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« September 11, 2005 - September 17, 2005 | Main | September 25, 2005 - October 1, 2005 »

September 24, 2005

Visa, MasterCard Win Battle Over Security Breach

A California judge ruled Friday that Visa USA and MasterCard don't have to send individual warnings to thousands of consumers whose personal account information was stolen during the breach at CardSystems earlier this year.

"I don't see the emergency," San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said in rejecting a request for an order against the nation's two largest credit card associations. "I don't think there is an immediate threat of irreparable injury" to consumers.

September 23, 2005

Debitman Closes $3.6 Million Financing

Debitman has announced the closing of a $3.6 million equity financing led by Cardinal Venture Capital with participation by Selby Venture Partners. Eric Dunn, General Partner of Cardinal and Jim Marshall, General Partner of Selby have joined the company's board of directors. Dunn will also be chairman of the board.

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CyberSource Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Assets of CardSystems Solutions

CyberSource this morning announced it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire the assets of CardSystems Solutions.

"We are excited about this acquisition," said Bill McKiernan, chairman and CEO of CyberSource. "It will mean a strategic expansion of CyberSource's payment platform, and allow current CardSystems customers and partners to continue processing without interruption. The addition of the CardSystems technology extends CyberSource's capability to offer innovative, end-to-end payment solutions to its customers."

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September 22, 2005

CyberSource May Acquire CardSystems?

Eric Dash reports for the New York Times on rumors that CyberSource is close to submitting a letter of intent to buy CardSystems.

Making Mobile Payment Work for Everyone

Roman Friedrich, Johannes Bussmann, Olaf Acker, and Niklas Dieterich of Booz Allen Hamilton have written a new white paper titled "Making Mobile Payment Work for Everyone."

ecent advances in handset, chip, and mobile network technologies and upgrades to the point-of-sale infrastructure along with better teamwork among the players have dramatically improved the environment for mobile payment solutions across the globe.

American Express Tries to Find Its Place With a Younger Crowd

Robin Sidel reports for the Wall St. Journal on American Express' efforts to attract younger consumers to its cards and away from bank debit cards.

So now American Express is on a high-stakes hunt for young customers, forcing the company to learn the byways of an unfamiliar new marketplace. At the center of its quest is a new series of no-fee credit cards for urbanites who are single, age 25 to 35, dine out often, like to drink and aspire to be hip.

September 21, 2005

Visa USA Names Wells Fargo President John Stumpf As New Chairman

The San Francisco Business Times reports that Wells Fargo president and COO John Stumpf has been elected chairman of Visa USA.

John StumpfStumpf has served on Visa's board since 2002. As part of this week's move to Visa USA's chairmanship, Stumpf will resign his posts on the Visa International and Inovant boards.

Stumpf takes over the position of chairman from Pat Phillips, Bank of America's president of premier banking and investments. Phillips, a member of the Visa USA board since 1990, retires as Visa USA chairman, a post he has held for two years. Philips also retires from the Visa International board where he has served since 1995.

Linda Elliott Joins Glenbrook Partners

Glenbrook Partners has announced that industry executive Linda Elliott has joined the firm as a partner.

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New York Fed Conference: Antitrust Activity in Card-Based Payment Systems: Causes and Consequences

Last week, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York held a conference on "Antitrust Activity in Card-Based Payment Systems: Causes and Consequences." A number of the papers presented at the conference are now available online.

U.S. Credit Card Industry Heading Into Perfect Storm

James Kelleher reports for Reuters on comments from industry analysts yesterday saying that the U.S. credit card industry is heading into a "perfect storm" that could trigger a radical reshaping of the business.

Competition from mortgage lenders, lawsuits over transaction fees, growing regulatory scrutiny about consumer disclosures and the almost universal elimination of annual fees are largely to blame for the troubles.

September 20, 2005

September 19, 2005

Follow the Money, Frequent Fliers

Rob Lieber reports in the new Saturday edition of the Wall St. Journal on how the new batch of cash rewards credit cards are offering better deals than frequent flier rewards cards.

Getting up to five cents back for every dollar charged instead of one mile for every dollar spent (which is what most of the airline mile cards offer) makes sense only if a mile is worth less than five cents. Is it? The short answer is, almost always.

Mastercard Says Millions of Contactless Cards To Be Issued By Year-End

James Kelleher reports for Reuters on comments today by Ruth Ann Marshall, MasterCard's president for the Americas, saying that MasterCard expects there will be four million PayPass contactless cards in circulation by the end of the year.

Marshall said the pay-pass cards were "easier to use than cash" and were one of the products MasterCard was counting on to increase revenue and profits as it faces a variety of challenges in the marketplace, including new rivals and regulatory scrutiny.

Metris Companies To Issue New Credit Card on Discover Network

Metris and Discover have announced a definitive agreement for Metris to issue a new credit card on the Discover network.

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American Express Launches IN:CHICAGO Card

American Express has announced the IN:CHICAGO Card, "a fee-free credit card designed for young and social Chicago residents that offers exclusive rewards at some of the city's hottest restaurants, swank clubs, live entertainment, and cultural institutions."

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Consumers Insist Financial Institutions Remain Vigilant in Protecting Their Privacy

Financial institutions face serious repercussions should they suffer a data security breach according to the 2005 EDS Financial Services Privacy and Customer Relationship Management Survey.

The survey indicates 30 percent of consumers would close all accounts and move their business to another financial institution if their personal information was compromised and a further 10 percent would close some of their accounts and use another bank. In addition, 55 percent would discontinue banking until they felt the crisis was resolved.

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September 18, 2005

Weekend Reading: The MasterCard IPO S-1 Filing

[Update: 2/16/06 - The MasterCard IPO is delayed due to the CEO having surgery for prostate cancer.]

I took a bit of time this weekend to read through the MasterCard IPO S-1 registration filing filed mid-week with the SEC. These are my notes on some of the more interesting comments I found. Note that you can add your own comments by clicking on the link Comments below.

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