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« July 24, 2005 - July 30, 2005 | Main | August 7, 2005 - August 13, 2005 »

August 06, 2005

Zopa: Peer to Peer Banking

Eliminate the banking middle man -- that's what Zopa's about. Rebecca Jarvis reports for Business 2.0 on what the UK's Richard Duvall is up to with Zopa.

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Nimbus: Momentum Generated By Simpay Must Be Maintained

Madrid-based Nimbus Systems has issued a press release praising the standards set by Simpay and expressing its support for the Mobipay consortium now implementing mobile payments in Spain.

Simpay, which disbanded in June 2005, was a pan-European mobile payments platform set up in 2003 to tackle the billing and payment issues faced by the mobile market. Mobipay is a consortium of Spanish operators and banks that was introduced in 2000 to drive m-commerce. Initially targeted at "macropayments" (generally defined as payments over €10), Mobipay is now implementing the Simpay "micropayments" standard at a national level, placing Spain at the forefront of European m-commerce initiatives.

Tom Uhart, co-founder and managing partner of Nimbus Systems, comments: "Simpay was founded for all the right reasons and it tackled head-on the problems that threaten to thwart the potential of the m-commerce market. Writing it off as a failure is short-sighted and wrongly pessimistic. Now that the dust has settled, the mobile industry must focus on the benefits that Simpay initiated and put its efforts into promoting entities such as Mobipay across other European countries."

As the market for mobile content – such as ringtones, logos and games – continues to expand rapidly in Europe, it is exposing problems such as inflexible pricing, poor quality of service and the potential for fraud. This recognition, and the desire to meet the needs of consumers, content providers and operators, resulted in the collaboration of major European telecoms companies with the formation of Simpay.

"Because the mobile market has grown at an exponential rate, it is easy to forget that it is still in its relative infancy. By definition, much of what it does therefore has to push boundaries. First incarnations of ambitious projects like Simpay often don't work out as predicted, but they are an essential part of the learning curve that drives innovation and shapes the future," Uhart concludes.

August 05, 2005

MasterCard Reports Second Quarter Financial Results

MasterCard has announced its financial results for the second quarter.

MasterCard's revenue grew 19% to $772 million and its net income grew 82% to $120 million or $1.20 per share on a basic and diluted basis from the same period in 2004.

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I4 Commerce Introduces PayCapture

I4 Commerce has introduced PayCapture (PDF), a new service for select retailers who are members of the Bill Me Later Network.

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KeyBank Introducing MasterCard PayPass Debit Cards

KeyDebitCard_PayPass-125px.jpgKeyBank has announced it will become the first bank in the nation to issue MasterCard PayPass Debit Cards.

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First Data to Acquire Austrian Payment Systems Services

First Data Corp. announced today that it has signed an agreement to acquire Austrian Payment Systems Services GmbH (APSS), Austria's leading processor of cashless, card-based payment transactions. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

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Visa USA Announces Second Quarter Results

Visa USA has released performance data for the second quarter of 2005 (PDF).

Sales on consumer Visa credit cards grew 8.6 percent over the same period last year. Sales on consumer Visa debit cards grew 18.2 percent. Consumer credit card transactions were 1.8 billion vs 2.7 billion debit card transactions. Fraud as a percent of volume was reported at 0.06 percent, up twenty percent (1 basis point) from last year.

Analyst Says Amex Cutting Into Visa, MasterCard

BusinessWeek Online carries an AP story about American Express' growth.

"American Express is taking share from Visa and MasterCard," said Fox-Pitt Kelton analyst Edwin Groshans in a report to clients. "The outlook for American Express is strong -- cards are growing, billed business has been growing, partnerships have been growing, capital is being generated, reinvested and returned."

Mastercard's PayPass Service To Expand To 13,600 McDonald's Restaurants

Bloomberg reports that McDonald's is accelerating its rollout of MasterCard PayPass to many more restaurants.

The Oak Brook-based burger giant will offer MasterCard International Inc.'s Pay Pass service in more than 13,600 U.S. stores after introducing it in about 7,500, Cathleen Conforti, MasterCard's global Pay Pass product manager, said Thursday.

"We have actually gotten so much more interest from both the issuers' banks and the merchant side that we are going to be in many more markets than we expected to be in by the fourth quarter," Conforti said.

China Unionpay Card Holders Increase By 100,000 In Hk, Macao

People's Daily Online reports on remarks by China UnionPay executive vice-president Liu Yong-chun in which he spoke of the growth in China UnionPay cardholders in Hong Kong and Macao.

August 04, 2005

American Express Holds Financial Community Presentation

Yesterday, American Express held an update for the financial community. Text and slides from the presentations are available online. Amex's emphasis during senior management presentations yesterday was on the regulatory and legal aspects of card payments and on its merchant relationships and strategies related to its "closed loop" process.

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HSBC to Acquire Metris

HSBC Finance Corp. announced this morning the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Metris in an all-cash transaction for $1.594 billion.

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At Online Stores, Sniffing Out Crooks Is a Matter of Survival

Mitchell Pacelle writes for the Wall St. Journal on the challenges facing online retailers in dealing with card fraud.

When a crook uses a stolen credit card in a traditional store, and the store follows proper procedures, the card-issuing bank usually swallows the loss. For online retailers, the tables are turned. Credit-card association rules dictate that merchants who accept charges from cyberspace, a riskier endeavor, must also shoulder the risk of fraud.

August 03, 2005

MasterCard Sued By Group of Retailers

The Wall St. Journal Online is reporting tonight that a group of supermarket and drugstore chains that last month sued Visa USA has now filed a similar antitrust lawsuit against MasterCard.

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Glenbrook's Jay DeWitt On The Future of Payments

Glenbrook's Jay DeWitt is speaking on The Future of Payments at next week's Direct Response Forum's Annual Conference in Chicago.

From Bluetooth-enabled POS to payment aggregation to SMS payments, the world of payments is changing. In this thought-provoking presentation, Jay will explore how technologies current in development may evolve to support the next generation of payment services. Will payments of tomorrow come from the established players or leap across industry boundaries as technology marches forward? More than just a survey of emerging payment technologies, this talk will ask attendees to join us on a journey through the retail experience of tomorrow.
Jay's session is on Thursday, August 11, at 3:15 PM.

Update on GE Consumer Finance

David Nissen, President and CEO, GE Consumer Finance, and his team hosted an investor meeting last week to provide an update on GE Consumer Finance. A webcast and a copy of the presentation (PDF) are available on the GE web site.

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Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index Shows 18 Percent of Consumers Report Being Victims of Identity Theft

Experian and the Gallup Organization have announced the latest Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index finding that 18 percent of consumers report being victims of identity theft. Younger adults areat greatest risk, with 25 percent of consumers under age 30 reporting having their financial information stolen.

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PayPal's Goal: The Global Standard for Online Payments

Mickey Alam Khan reports on PayPal CEO Jeff Jordan's presentation to Etail 2005.

Nearly 10 percent of all U.S. e-commerce is funneled through PayPal, according to Jordan. One out of seven transactions crosses national boundaries. Consumers in more than 40 countries send PayPal, and those in more than 20 countries receive this currency.

"Our goal," he said, "is to be the global standard for online payments."

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Banks Question Gartner's ATM/Debit Card Fraud Report

Some bankers are questioning the ATM/debit card fraud report issued yesterday by Gartner's Avivah Litan that estimated $2.75 billion in fraud losses in the last 12 months.

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August 02, 2005

MasterCard Reports Second Quarter Results

MasterCard this morning reported operating results for the second quarter including an increase of 12.3 percent in payment volume to $408.4 billion from 4.8 billion transactions.

"MasterCard's customer-centric approach enables us to bring value to our key stakeholders as a thoughtful and innovative partner focused on helping them build, manage and enhance the profitability of their payments businesses," said Alan Heuer, chief operating officer, MasterCard International.

"MasterCard's results for the first half of this year are a testament to the global strength of the MasterCard brand and our ability to work with our member financial institutions to deliver the best payment solutions in the industry."

Gartner Says ATM/Debit Card Fraud Resulted in $2.75 Billion in Losses in Past Year

Gartner has announced the results of a survey of 5,000 active online US adults that examined fraud involving ATM/debit cards. The report "Criminals Exploit Consumer Bank Account and ATM System Weaknesses" is available for purchase online.

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99Bill to Enable Paying Music Downloads in China

China's 99Bill has announced partnership agreements with two of China's music download sites 9sky.com and kuro.com to provide online payment solutions.

"99Bill is the first company offering email and mobile phone number based online payment solutions in China, and today's announcement demonstrates our ability to develop innovative payment solutions for local digital content service and application providers" said Oliver Kwan, CEO of 99Bill. "These partnerships are part of 99Bill's ongoing efforts to secure strategic relationships with leading Internet companies in China and establish the company as a leading third party online payment service provider in China".

August 01, 2005

Glenbrook Research Request: NTT DoCoMo, Sony / FeliCa Mobile Commerce Services

We're currently doing some extensive research on the mobile commerce / mobile payments market. I'm currently seeking a senior contact at NTT DoCoMo or Sony who has been involved in DoCoMo's integration of the Sony FeliCa technology with DoCoMo i-mode services.

If you are that person - or can introduce me to that person - please contact me as soon as possible via our feedback page.

Commerce Bank Eliminates All Fees with New Visa Credit Card

Commerce Bank has announced the launch of a new, no-fee Commerce Bank Visa credit card that it claims is the first in the nation to eliminate all membership and penalty fees typically charged on credit cards.

"Commerce Bank is passionate about freeing customers from paying unnecessary and ridiculous bank fees and penalties charged by other financial institutions," said Commerce Bank Founder and Chairman Vernon W. Hill.

"The new Commerce Visa card is the first credit card that will actually save customers money while earning them significant rewards points."

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