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« March 20, 2005 - March 26, 2005 | Main | April 3, 2005 - April 9, 2005 »

April 02, 2005

Standing Up to eBay in China

Justin Doebele reports for on eBay's aims to conquer China -- and on Jack Ma, CEO of eBay's primary competitor in China.

Ma says Ebay thrives elsewhere but still may falter in China. "Ebay may be a shark in the ocean, but I am a crocodile in the Yangtze River. If we fight in the ocean, we lose--but if we fight in the river, we win."

China: First Pass

Glenbrook's Scott Loftesness recently visited Shanghai and Beijing to learn more about the consumer payments infrastructure in China.

If you'd like a copy of Scott's trip report, click on the link in the left sidebar to send Scott an email and request a copy.

Sunday Shoppers

The Post (Ireland) reports on data from PayPal about shoppers being much busier online on Sundays than Saturdays.

Geoff Iddison, chief executive of PayPal UK commented: “We see a dramatic peak in transactions on Sundays – particularly the evenings – as people use their final free time before the working week to hit the web. These findings show the impact the internet is having on our shopping habits. Online shopping is becoming a leisure pursuit, rather than a purely functional process, so people are using Sundays to indulge themselves.”

April 01, 2005

Cashless Vending reports from a white paper by Prof. Michael L. Kasavana of Michigan State University on rising consumer preferences for cashless purchasing from vending machines.

While some parts of the vending industry already accept card payment systems, widespread interest in expanded opportunities for cashless transactions are beginning to become more prevalent. Innovative payment technologies, designed to reshape vending transactions, have emerged and are being adopted at an unprecedented rate.


Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson has learned that several major consumer brands are working together to launch PayPerPal, a new "account to account" transfer offering that turns those small, handy, paper-based yellow pads into "order to pay" documents suitable for making purchases at local convenience stores or for getting books out of local libraries.

PayPerPal is reportedly also in discussions with several major airlines who believe there's a new business case with substantial downstream revenue derived from recycling new PayPerPal tickets into Starbucks coffee cups.

In the ecommerce space, sources tell Glenbrook that PayPerPal's unique faxable format will enable sellers to quickly verify the validity of the payment instructions, enabling timely fulfillment.

"We're excited about PayPerPal," said Glenbrook's Allen Weinberg. "We think it's especially attactive to aging baby boomers who can especially relate to paper-based solutions."

One innovative New York-based financial institution is reportedly planning an Overnight PayPerPal service -- remotely printing, stuffing, and overnight express mailing the PayPerPal page to anyone in the continental US. Once received, the shipping label combined with a special PayPerPal code enables remote cash withdrawals at any nearby ATM, provided there's a camera present.

PayPerPal is expected to be officially announced sometime in the next couple of months.

PS: Happy April Fools!

Glenbrook Issues New Report Citing Causal Links

Glenbrook Partners today released the results of a new study that definitively links receipt of payment to the delivery of goods and services both at the physical point of sale and in ecommerce.

"It's uncanny," said Scott Loftesness, Partner at Glenbrook. "All of our research indicates a strong, almost conditional dependence between a merchant's getting paid and their willingness to deliver merchandise."

"In fact, in those instances where the merchant is not paid, we find that the goods or services are almost never provided, or if provided (generally in the ecommerce world), these transactions almost universally end up being "written-off" as a loss."

The complete study will soon be available for purchase -- but will only be delivered following receipt of payment.

PS: Happy April Fools!

NRF Comments on Interchange Increases

The National Retail Federation has published a press release saying that Visa and MasterCard interchange fee increases scheduled to go into effect today will drive up costs for consumers.


March 31, 2005

MasterCard Canada Adds Acquirers to Board

MasterCard Canada has announced that it has added three new directors to its board from the acquiring side of the business.

"The addition of more acceptance-side representation on the board epitomizes MasterCard's commitment to transparency and being the best business partner in payments," said Kevin Stanton, President, MasterCard Canada. "We take a holistic view of Canadian payments. MasterCard Canada's Board felt strongly that enhancing acceptance-side representation in our governance would be important to ensuring higher-quality decision making and to position MasterCard to lead the Canadian payments industry."

More Credit Card Fees Loom Abroad

Jennifer Saranow reports for the Wall St. Journal on the new fee that Visa USA plans to begin levying April 1st on charges made outside the cardholder's home country.

Visa to Double Market Share in China

China's People's Daily Online reports on Visa's plans to grow in China.

Jim Allhusen, Visa International's executive vice-president for Asia-Pacific and general manager of Greater China region and the Philippines, said yesterday the company would leverage on its sponsorship of the Beijing Olympics.

Against competitors such as MasterCard and American Express as well as traveller's cheques and cash, Visa expects to double the 7.8 per cent market share it recorded in the world's seventh-largest tourist destination last year.

March 30, 2005

Trycera Financial Launches Prepaid MasterCard

Trycera Financial has announced the launch of the Mi Dinero y Mis Suenos Prepaid MasterCard card. The card is issued by Meta Payment Systems, a division of MetaBank.


Chris Alexander Retires from Hypercom

Hypercom announced today that Chris Alexander has retired from his positions as chairman, president and CEO. He will remain a member of the board of directors and act as a Special Assistant to the Board and the new CEO. William Keiper, a member of the company's board, has been named Interim President and CEO.

Diners Club Card Tries a Comeback

Ron Lieber reports for the Wall St. Journal on Citigroup's Diners Club cards.

Peter Knitzer, managing director for Citigroup's Citi Cards unit, says the company is particularly interested in using Diners as a tool to win more market share in the lucrative business of issuing corporate cards, where American Express has long led the field.

March 28, 2005

Chicago Fed's 2005 Payments Conference

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has announced details of its upcoming 2005 Payments Conference to be held May 18-19, 2005.

Wells Fargo Introduces New Electronic Deposit Services

Wells Fargo has announced two new services that allow businesses to deposit checks remotely from their own locations -- saving time and costs.

The Desktop Deposit Service allows customers to scan checks at their desks using equipment provided by Wells Fargo. For customers already equipped with their own scanning equipment, Wells Fargo offers the Electronic Deposit service to transmit check images from their business locations to the bank.

"Check 21 allows us to take anywhere, anytime banking to the next level," said Steve Ellis, head of Wholesale Services at Wells Fargo. "It is truly banking without boundaries. Our business customers can now deposit checks into their Wells Fargo accounts from their offices, stores or operations. There's no more need to deal with multiple branches.

March 27, 2005

Many Replace Credit Card Debt With Home Loans

Ted Griffith reports for the Gannett News Service on how revolving credit card users are using home equity loans to pay down their credit card debt.

Cashing In on Foreign Currency

David Lazarus reports in the San Francisco Chronicle about new currency conversion fees being imposed on credit card usage by US cardholders when they use their cards outside of the US.


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