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« December 4, 2005 - December 10, 2005 | Main | December 18, 2005 - December 24, 2005 »

December 17, 2005

A Look At E*TRADE's Mileage Maximizer Account

Last week, E*TRADE announced its new E*TRADE Mileage Maximizer Account that's designed to help consumers maximize their airline mileage rewards while minimizing their revolving interest expense. Other credit card issuers might find this new new account troubling, however, as it's specifically designed to maximize their mileage reward costs while minimizing their interest income. Read on for more details.


Tom Peters Interviews Eric Jackson, Author of "The PayPal Wars"

Tom Peters shares a great interview with Eric Jackson, former PayPal employee and author of the book The PayPal Wars. Jackson was the senior director and interim vice president of marketing for PayPal, Inc.


China: New Chip Bank Cards Launched

ICBC.jpgCRI Online reports that ICBC, China's largest commercial bank, launched the nation's first chip bank cards on Friday that are compliant with the EMV standard.


December 16, 2005

FDC Announces Fourth Quarter Restructuring Charge

FDC-Logo.jpgFirst Data Corp. has announced that it will take a restructuring charge in the fourth quarter of approximately $0.05 per share related to a reduction of about 3% of its workforce, primarily in the Card Issuing Services segment.


NIST Biometric Data Specification for Personal Identity Verification

NIST has released Special Publication 800-76, Biometric Data Specification for Personal Identity Verification (PDF), for a four week public comment period.


BCG: Retail Banks Must Focus on Organic Growth

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has released a new report today concluding that retail banks must find ways to generate sustainable growth -- particularly organic growth -- if they hope to remain viable.


AT&T Announces $100 Visa Gift Card Incentive For New SBC Yahoo! DSL Customers

AT&T has announced a $100 Visa Gift Card incentive for new customers who place orders online through between now and Dec. 31. The Visa Gift Card is issued by West Suburban Bank of Chicago and can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.


Headline News - Friday, December 16, 2005

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated.


December 15, 2005

Fed Approves Bank of America, MBNA Merger

Bank of AmericaThe Federal Reserve has announced its approval of the Bank of America acquisition of MBNA:

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday announced its approval of the proposal filed by Bank of America Corporation, Charlotte, North Carolina, to merge with MBNA Corporation and acquire its two subsidiary banks, MBNA America Bank, National Association and MBNA America (Delaware), N.A., all in Wilmington, Delaware.

Axalto Selected by Carte Bleue for First Gift Card Launch in France

axalto.jpgAxalto has announced it has been selected by Carte Bleue for the launch of the Gift Card, the first prepaid EMV (Europay MasterCard Visa) payment card for the consumer market.


eBay Enhances Support For Digitally Delivered Goods, Requires PayPal

eBay has announced that it is making some changes to make it easier for sellers to market digital goods. Details on eBay's Digital Items page and its Digital items FAQ page. Digital goods sellers will be required to list items for payment only by PayPal.

INSIDE Contactless Closes €9 Million Financing

INSIDE ContactlessINSIDE Contactless has announced the closing of a €9 million ($10.6 million) financing round led by three new investors: Sofinnova, Vertex Venture Capital (Israel) and Visa International. Prior round investors GIMV, Vertex Singapore and Siparex have also participated.


Fair Isaac Adds CardAlert Fraud Manager Clients

Fair IsaacFair Isaac has announced new agreements with Fiserv EFT and Alaska Option Network to utilize Fair Isaac's CardAlert Fraud Manager for early identification and reporting of suspected counterfeit card and skimming fraud.


Merrill Lynch, MBNA Extend Credit Card Agreement

MBNA and Merrill Lynch have announced that they have agreed to extend the multi-year agreement under which MBNA issues the MERRILL+ credit card. The terms of the new agreement have not been disclosed, however the agreement period extends beyond the anticipated early January close of the pending merger between MBNA and Bank of America.


December 14, 2005

Credit Card Interchange Fees To Fall In Switzerland reports on a deal between Switzerland's competition watchdog and the issuers of Visa and MasterCard cards that will both reduce interchange fees to merchants and eliminate existing non-discrimination restrictions on merchant card acceptance.


Online Purchasing With SECURE-eBill

SECURE-eBillMODASolutions Corporation has announced SECURE-eBill, a new way to pay online that avoids revealing any personal financial account information to online merchants. The new service sends an email bill to the consumer which is then paid by the consumer using their online bank's bill payment service. The approach is reminiscent of NACHA's earlier Project ACTION initiative which ultimately wasn't developed as a production service.


Interagency Guidelines Establishing Information Security Standards

The US federal bank and thrift regulatory agencies today announced the publication of a compliance guide for the Interagency Guidelines Establishing Information Security Standards (Security Guidelines) (PDF). The compliance guide summarizes the obligations of financial institutions to protect customer information and illustrates how certain provisions of the Security Guidelines apply to specific situations.


MasterCard: Small Business Owners Optimistic

MasterCard has announced the results of a new survey that shows that small business owners around the world are optimistic about the future of their businesses. Specifically, 60 percent of small business owners worldwide say the future outlook of their business is promising and over half are confident that they will meet their financial goals in 2006. Sixty-five percent say they would tell a friend to start a small business now, rather than to wait another year.


Online Holiday Shopping Up 30 Percent has announced its latest holiday demand data showing that Black Friday (11/25) and Cyber Monday (11/28) showed traffic increases of approximately 30 percent.


Near-Field Communications Tested At Atlanta Arena

Nicolas Mokhoff reports for EE Times on the first large-scale test of next-generation mobile phone applications in North America using near-field communication at Philips Arena in Atlanta. The trial for mobile phone applications includes "contactless payments," mobile content and premium arena services.


China: 99Bill to Provide Payment Services for Online Blog

99Bill99Bill Corporation has announced that it has reached an agreement with Bokee, one of the largest Internet blog websites in China, to provide secure and convenient online payment platform to serve millions of blog users.


Experian Acquires

Experian has announced the acquisition of, an online comparison shopping services. will become part of Experian Interactive, a group of Internet marketing businesses that includes, MetaReward, Affiliate Fuel, and Experian Consumer Direct.


December 13, 2005

Arcot Enables 3-D Secure Mobile Card Payments

Arcot SystemsArcot Systems has announced extension of the Verified by Visa secure online shopping program to mobile phone transactions conforming to the latest Visa dynamic passcode authentication specifications. The first implementation is being piloted in Russia and Europe with Visa member banks, mobile operators, and technology providers.


Glenbrook's QuickTake: TextPayMe

Glenbrook - Russ JonesEarlier today, we posted an item on the beta launch of a new text-based mobile payment service called TextPayMe.

Glenbrook's Russ Jones has taken a quick look at this new service and provides some initial comments on what he sees.



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