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November 26, 2005

2005 - A Payments Year In Review - January Highlights

Payments News - January 2005 HighlightsIt's getting to be about that time when we take a look back at the major news stories in the world of payments during 2005.  We've examined our archives month by month and have culled the the most important and interesting highlights.  We'll be posting each month's highlights over the next few days.


Wireless POS Terminals Move Where You Are

Exadigm Wireless POSJennifer Kingson reports for the New York Times on the increasing use of wireless point of sale acceptance devices by merchants now that wireless coverage is nearly everywhere with POS devices working with wireless networks in combination to be much more reliable.


Gift Cards: The New Faces Of Holiday Plastic

Karla Ward writes for the Lexington KY Herald-Leader on the new faces of holiday gift cards this year.


Health Savings Accounts Hold Allure For Banks, Others

HSA InsiderThomas Lee writes for the Minneapolis - St. Paul Star-Tribune on bank interest in marketing health savings accounts.


Financial Services Powering India's Boom

India FlagHarsimran Singh reports for India's Financial Express on the importance of financial services and insurance clients to India's IT and business process outsourcing boom.


November 25, 2005

Bill Me Later - A Safer Way to Pay Online?

Bill Me LaterRobert Terry reports for the Washington Business Journal on I4 Commerce's Bill Me Later.


Monday After Thanksgiving - Online Shopping's Black Friday

Mylene Mangalindan of The Wall Street Journal reports on the Monday after Thanksgiving -  the expected peak shopping day for online ecommerce retailers.


Thanksgiving Day Online Shopping Up 41% Says Visa USA

Visa USAPete Barlas reports for Investors Business Daily on Visa USA's report that Thanksgiving Day online shopping peaked at $205 million, up 41% from Thanksgiving last year.


RBA Adjusts Australian Credit Card Interchange

Attempting to address the nature of competition between card schemes as it relates to the level of interchange fees, the Payments System Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia has announced a revised Standard to apply to the setting of interchange fees in the designated Bankcard, MasterCard and Visa credit card schemes in Australia.


Gift Cards Now Play Music, Record Messages

mcds_giftcard.jpgKris Hudson reports for the Wall St. Journal on new features being used to personalize gift cards with personal photos, messages, or music as well as major new gift card marketing initiatives by Wal-Mart and McDonald's.


Opinion: Crying Wolf Over Credit Card Interchange Fees

Phil Kerpen, Policy Director of the Free Enterprise Fund, writes an op-ed piece in today's Boston Globe about "frivolous litigation and pleas for unnecessary regulation" by merchants regarding credit card interchange fees.


Bank of America May Clear Hurdle Re: MBNA Acquisition

Bank of AmericaValerie Bauerlein reports for the Wall St. Journal that Bank of America appears to have just barely cleared one potential hurdle that could have blocked its ability to acquire MBNA.  At the end of September, the combined assets of BofA and MBNA were 9.8% of total US deposits, just below the 10% U.S. federal cap on the percentage of deposits that can be held by a single bank.


November 24, 2005

Mobile Commerce In Canada Fails To Reel In Retailers

100x50.jpgCatherine McLean reports for Canada's Globe and Mail on the efforts by Bell Mobility, Telus Mobility and Rogers Wireless to develop a standardized mobile commerce system called Wireless Payment Services.


November 23, 2005

Best of Thanksgiving Wishes from Glenbrook Partners

We wish you and your family all the best as you celebrate Thanksgiving 2005!

Holiday Gift Cards: A Gift With Strings Attached? has released the results of its Second Annual Holiday Gift Card Survey that profiled gift cards available from 20 leading retailers and the top four credit card issuers.


To Pay, Wave Here

Alekansandra Todorova reports for SmartMoney Consumer Action on contactless payments.


Headline News - Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Note: This posting is updated regularly throughout the day.

November 22, 2005

Alliance Data Systems: New Go-to-Market Name, Logo

Alliance DataAlliance Data Systems Corporation has announced that it has modified its market-facing name, dropping the word "systems" and will now be known as Alliance Data. A new logo accompanies this change.


Modernizing Latin America's Payment Systems

The Economist Intelligence Unit has announced a new white paper sponsored by Visa International that assesses the
evolution of electronic payments systems in the six largest Latin American countries, as well as prospects for overcoming obstacles to full modernization. The study found that across the region collaboration between governments and the financial services industry has led to greater penetration of electronic payment products.


US Bank Promoting Health Savings Accounts

logo_usbank.gifUS Bank currently has a promotion on Health Savings Accounts running whereby new accounts opened before February 28, 2006 will have the $3.50 monthly maintenance fee waived for the life of the account.


Online Resources Study Shows Growth in Deposit Account Balances for Premium Service

Online ResourcesOnline Resources Corp. has released results of a study on the impact of its premium online financial management service, Money HQ, on deposit account balances showing that for those consumers who were enrolled in Money HQ for one year, deposit account balances increased 115 percent more than those of consumers who were not enrolled.


Washington Mutual Launches New MasterCard Gift Card

WaMu Gift CardWashington Mutual has announced the launch of the Washington Mutual MasterCard Gift Card. The card costs $3.95 plus a $1.00 first class shipping and handling charge in addition to the value loaded onto the card.


First Data Grows TeleCheck Services Relationship with Wal-Mart and Sam's Club Stores

TeleCheckFirst Data's TeleCheck Services has announced that it has significantly expanded its check services relationship with Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores.


November 21, 2005

Bank of America’s "Keep the Change" Program Draws Critics

Missy Baxter reports for on some criticisms from consumer representatives about Bank of America's recently introduced "Keep the Change" program tied to its debit card accounts.


Fed Amends Reg CC Re: Remotely Created Checks

The Federal Reserve Board has approved amendments to its Regulation CC that define "remotely created checks" and create transfer and presentment warranties to shift liability for an unauthorized remotely created check to the institution where it is first deposited.



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