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« May 1, 2005 - May 7, 2005 | Main | May 15, 2005 - May 21, 2005 »

May 14, 2005

UK Banks Slow Transfers To Fight Phishing

Joe Morgan reports for the UK's Times Online on actions taken by four of Britain's biggest banks to slow down intra-bank payments to help combat security breaches stemming from phishing attacks.

This week Barclays introduced a one-day delay for transfers. A spokeswoman said: “This delay enables us to carry out checks that seek to prevent fraud.” Halifax also introduced delays in the processing of payments this week, as have Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest.

May 13, 2005

PayPal: More Than eBay's Best Friend

As a sidebar to a longer story about PayPal's potential future plans, Business Week Online's Silicon Valley Bureau Chief Robert Hof interviews PayPal CEO Jeff Jordan.

Q: What merchants are you going after, and what can you offer them?

A: The bulk of it is large merchants. We're in conversations with a lot of these guys. The merchants right now, from the largest to the smallest, are very concerned about the cost of payments. The cost of their credit-card accounts keeps going up, and the merchants aren't happy about this.

First Data Corp. Holds Investor Conference

Yesterday, First Data Corp. held an Investor Conference in Omaha. A webcast replay plus the presentation slides from the conference are available online.

Interestingly, FDC CEO Charlie Fote used the following statement to illuminate FDC's tag line "Making Life Easier":

We want to lead with our brands, to process any payment, from any device, at any time, to any account.
The emphasis right up front in Fote's statement about "leading" with FDC's brands seems to be a new one. Historically, FDC was largely content (except for Western Union) to be behind the scenes of its bank clients' brands.

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EUFISERV and China UnionPay Link Up

EUFISERV and China UnionPay have announced an agreement that will allow China UnionPay cardholders to access participating EUFISERV member ATM's for cash withdrawal. This is the first agreement that China UnionPay has made with a European processing company.

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May 12, 2005

Pay By Touch to Deploy in All South Carolina, Georgia Piggly Wiggly Stores

Pay By Touch has announced that Piggly Wiggly has decided to deploy a storewide expansion of the Pay By Touch consumer biometric payment service in its grocery stores throughout South Carolina and Georgia.

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First Data Corp. Announces Acquisition of Vigo Remittance Corp.

First Data has announced the acquisition of Vigo Remittance Corp., a provider of electronic money transfer services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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"Defining Moment" for TSYS

Tony Adams writes in TSYS' hometown paper, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, about yesterday's announcement that TSYS will be processing Capital One's credit card accounts.

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May 11, 2005

TSYS Reaches Agreement in Principle with Capital One

TSYS has announced that it has "reached an agreement in principle with Capital One Financial Corporation to provide processing services for Capital One's North American portfolio of consumer and small-business credit card accounts."

New Credit Card Spots Show Fierce Competition for High-End Consumers

Eric Dash reports for the New York Time's Advertising section about new advertising efforts being launched by American Express, MasterCard and Visa.

Like the candy and cola wars, the three-way advertising frenzy among the credit card companies reflects the challenges of a saturated marketplace. Until recently, the payment associations, which provide the electronic processing network and basic card platforms to their issuing banks, largely left product advertising to their members. But as debit card use has risen and credit card growth has slowed, the companies are struggling to find new customers and get existing ones to use the cards more.

Wachovia's New 'Honors' Reward Program

Jennifer Saranow reports for the Wall St. Journal on Wachovia's new "Honors" reward program.

Wachovia hopes its rewards program will persuade wealthy customers to boost their account balances at the bank rather than transfer money to a brokerage firm or elsewhere.

May 10, 2005

American Express Investor Presentation

American Express CEO Ken Chenault spoke to a UBS investor conference earlier today. His speech text and presentation slides are available online.

US Bank Acquires Genpass

US Bank announced this afternoon that it has purchased Genpass, making US Bank the second largest third-party ATM processor in the US.

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Consumer Spending on Visa Signature Surpasses $100 Billion For Past 12 Months

Visa USA announced today that consumer spending on Visa Signature cards in the US surpassed $100 billion over the past 12 months.

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Metavante to Acquire MBI

Metavante announced this morning the signing of a definitive merger agreement to acquire Med-i-Bank (MBI) for $145 million.

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MasterCard Reports First Quarter Financial Results

MasterCard today reported first quarter financial results. Net income for the quarter was $93 million or $0.93 per share compared to $74 million or $0.74 per share for the same quarter last year. Revenues were $638.2 million for the quarter up 10.7 percent over last year.

Chris McWilton, MasterCard's chief financial officer pointed out that "despite pricing pressure in an increasingly competitive payments marketplace, the first quarter of 2005 represents the fifth consecutive quarter of double-digit revenue growth for MasterCard. This growth underscores our ability to continue to increase MasterCard's profitability while delivering enhanced value to our key stakeholders."

MasterCard filed its 10-Q for the first quarter with the SEC yesterday. Included as an exhibit was a recent Master Agreement (with many details redacted) between JP Morgan Chase and MasterCard.

Merchants: "Plastic Slices into Bottom Line"

Alan Wechsler reports for the Times Union (Albany, NY) on merchant resentment about the fees charged for accepting credit cards.

May 09, 2005

NTT DoCoMo: Mobile Payment Powerhouse?

Dan Balaban reports for The Deal on NTT DoCoMo's contactless mobile wallet "i-mode FeliCa".

To date DoCoMo has lined up 20 service providers and counting for i-mode FeliCa, including e-ticketing schemes for the country's large Toho Cinemas chain and its two major passenger air carriers, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways. JAL customers, for example, can wave their way onto the jet without needing a boarding pass.

"We see this [handset] as a fundamental device the people will have in the future," says Izuru Takaya, JAL's planning manager for product marketing and development.

Chase Launches New Brand Combining Strengths of Bank One, Chase Brands

ChaseLogo.jpgJPMorgan Chase has announced the launch of a national advertising campaign designed to establish Chase, its consumer brand, as the company that provides customers with flexibility and choice throughout all stages of their lives.

Created by mcgarrybowen of New York, the campaign reintroduces the trademark Chase octagon as a portal for customers to "look" into the world of Chase and see the financial solutions Chase can provide.

"Chase has always had a strong hold in the marketplace with an extensive network of partners and products. The new brand combines Chase's trust and sophistication with Bank One's approachability and energy and expresses the full power of what will become the industry icon brand," said Carter Franke, chief marketing officer for the Chase credit card bank.

Duane Reade to Offer American Express Gift Card

American Express and Duane Reade have announced that the American Express Gift Card will be available at Duane Reade's stores in the New York metropolitan area.

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May 08, 2005

How MasterCard Fights Identity Thieves

Mitchell Pacelle reports for the Wall St. Journal on MasterCard's efforts to fight identity theft.

Paying More For Overseas Purchases

Matthai Chakko Kuruvila writes in the San Jose Mercury News Business section today about the escalating fees associated with using credit cards overseas.

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