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« October 2, 2005 - October 8, 2005 | Main | October 16, 2005 - October 22, 2005 »

October 14, 2005

MBNA America Bank Launches Contactless Credit Cards in Atlanta

MBNA has announced that it has begun issuing credit cards in Atlanta using MasterCard's PayPass contactless payment technology.

MBNA PayPassMBNA selected Atlanta to launch the product because hundreds of merchants in that area have already installed the specially equipped terminals, enabling cardholders to speed through checkout during their daily routines.

"We're always looking for new ways to make everyday life easier for MBNA Customers," said MBNA Group Executive David Turner. "Like our rewards programs, MasterCard PayPass is another way we're giving Customers the greatest value and convenience. And we're excited at how fast the list of merchants who have committed to accepting PayPass continues to grow."

More details here.

Time for a Chinese Equifax

Frederick Stakelbeck writes for Asia Times on the opportunity for a national credit bureau in China.

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October 13, 2005

Citi Simplicity Card

[Update - 10/18/05: The Citi Simplicity cards launched today.]

Diya Gullapalli reports for the Wall St. Journal on plans by Citigroup to launch a new credit card next week called Simplicity.  The Simplicity card will, among other features, have no late fees for customers who use it to make at least one purchase transaction each month.

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October 12, 2005

FFIEC Guidance: Multi-factor Authentication in an Internet Banking Environment

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) has issued new guidance for banks regarding “Authentication in an Internet Banking Environment.”

For banks offering Internet-based financial services, the guidance describes enhanced authentication methods that regulators expect banks to use when authenticating the identity of customers using the on-line products and services. Examiners will review this area to determine a financial institution’s progress in complying with this guidance during upcoming examinations. Financial Institutions will be expected to achieve compliance with the guidance no later than year-end 2006.

The full text of the guidance letter (PDF) is available online.

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Visa Enhances VisaNet

Visa USA has announced several new upgrades to VisaNet, its global payment processing network. 'The demands of Visa cardholders never stop changing, so we never stop improving and expanding the technology that is at the core of Visa's value,' said John Partridge, CEO of Inovant LLC, Visa's IT organization responsible for global transactions processing and technology development.

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October 11, 2005

PassMark Introduces Version 2.0

PassMark Security has announced Version 2.0 of its Two-Factor Two-Way Authentication system incorporating neural network technology and a policy engine for customer authentication decisions.

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Canada Prepares For Smart Cards

Simon Avery reports for Globeandmail.com on migration efforts underway in Canada to prepare for smart cards.

For two years, card issuers and merchants have been building and installing new transaction systems that can handle credit and debit cards that store information on a computer chip. So-called smart cards will begin replacing magnetic strip cards late next year and the industry hopes to have the conversion completed by 2010.

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October 10, 2005

New PULSE Debit Card Study

The PULSE EFT Association has announced the result of a new study into debit card fraud, comparing PIN and signature debit.

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United Cuts Credit Card Deal With J.P. Morgan Chase

Chicago Business report on an unusual arrangement between United Airlines and JP Morgan Chase which allows the airline to switch credit card processors (from NPC to Chase's Paymentech) without having to post cash reserves.

The new processing agreement’s rates are “more favorable than any new processing contract in the industry,” says a United spokeswoman. “Together, these arrangements represent substantial steps forward in our reorganization efforts and are further validation of the work we’ve done to successfully restructure and strengthen our business.”

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PayPal to Acquire VeriSign's Payment Gateway Business

eBay and VeriSign have announced a strategic alliance to collaborate on payment services and security initiatives for e-commerce.  In addition, eBay's PayPal will be acquiring VeriSign's payment gateway business for $370 million in cash and/or eBay stock.  The payment gateway business is expected to result in an incremental $100 million of revenue for 2006 with a 20 percent pro forma operating margin.

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AFP Releases Interchange Survey Results

The Association for Financial Professionals has released the results of its just completed AFP Interchange Survey.

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Visa Survey Finds Use of Corporate Payment Cards on the Rise as Efficient Cash Management Tool

According to Visa USA's annual cash management survey, released today, only 58 percent of financial executives and cash managers view their cash management process as efficient, due to the lack of streamlined operational processes and increases in labor intensive administrative work. This is a marked decrease from the 2004 study, in which 70 percent of respondents said their cash management processes were efficient.

"We continue to see a downward trend in corporate preference for check payments, as adoption and satisfaction of more efficient electronic payment methods, like corporate and purchasing cards, increases," said David Cramer, senior vice president, commercial solutions, Visa USA.

"By electronifying a greater share of their commercial payments, corporate America is realizing increased cash management process efficiencies with measurable cost saving benefits."

Today's Headline News - Monday, October 10, 2005

Note: This posting is updated regularly throughout the day.

October 09, 2005

MasterCard Pursues No-Touch Retail

Evan Schuman reports for eWeek.com on MasterCard's efforts to make contactless payment a reality.

MasterCard said it wants to take a central role in expanding contactless payment. But, Steeley said, the first step might very well be ditching the credit card itself and giving that payment power to some other device, most likely a cell phone.

"People think of MasterCard as a credit card company. But the truth is that we're about a payment brand and, in the future, we'll be less about the card itself," Steeley said. "The form factor issue is a crucial and critical one for the payments industry. Payments will be less about the cards and more about how devices communicate with one another."

The article continues with a discussion of the security of contactless payment technologies.

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