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« February 20, 2005 - February 26, 2005 | Main | March 6, 2005 - March 12, 2005 »

March 05, 2005

PayPal Off eBay

Gary Rivlin of the New York Times takes a look at eBay and PayPal in Sunday's edition.

PayPal is the default method of payment on the American site, and it is slowly gaining momentum as eBay struggles, country by country, to translate the service into a foreign language while seeking approval from local regulators to operate within their borders. Already, it accounts for one-quarter of eBay's revenue, which the company expects to reach roughly $4.3 billion this year.

But the company's deepest hope for PayPal, which eBay bought for $1.5 billion in 2002, is that more and more Web sites not related to eBay will adopt it as a preferred payment method.

When Your Identity Is Their Commodity

Evan Hendricks writes for the Washington Post about the business of collection and sale of personal information.

So you think it's your personal information? That's not the viewpoint of the mega-companies compiling and selling data about you. As they see it, if they collect the information, they own it. Sure, it's about you, but it's theirs. You might think "privacy," but they see a commodity -- and a valuable one at that.

Another article by Robert O'Harrow in today's edition examines how access to ChoicePoint's data cache was obtained by appearing to be a legitimate business requesting access to the data.

March 04, 2005

Glenbrook's Allen Weinberg to Keynote MRC 2005 Conference

Glenbrook's Allen Weinberg will be the keynote speaker on Thursday, March 10th at the Merchant Risk Council's 2005 conference meeting in Las Vegas. The full agenda is available online.

ChoicePoint to Exit Non-FCRA, Consumer-Sensitive Data Markets

ChoicePoint today announced it will "discontinue the sale of information products that contain sensitive consumer data, including Social Security and driver's license numbers, except where there is a specific consumer-driven transaction or benefit, or where the products support federal, state or local government and criminal justice purposes."

Alibaba and ICBC Promote Online Payment Service reports on a strategic cooperation agreement between Alibaba and the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

March 03, 2005

John Partridge Appointed to Quantum Board of Directors

Quantum Corp. has announced the appointment of John Partridge, president and CEO of Visa's Inovant, to its board of directors.

"John runs one of the largest transaction processing companies in the world and knows first-hand the challenges and opportunities in the enterprise storage market," said Rick Belluzzo, chairman and CEO of Quantum.  "I look forward to drawing on his experience and expertise as we further extend Quantum's leadership in helping customers meet their backup, recovery and archive needs."

In addition to serving on Quantum's board of directors, Partridge also sits on the boards of Inovant and Delta Dental.

March 02, 2005

MasterCard Files 10-K for 2004

MasterCard has filed its 10-K report with the SEC for 2004. For the year MasterCard reported $2.6 billion in revenue (up 14% over 2003) and operating income of $346.7 million. About 12% of MasterCard's 2004 revenue came from one customer, JP Morgan Chase.

"MasterCard's strong global business model is delivering excellent results that reflect our unwavering focus on our customers and the value of a key strategic asset, our brand," said Robert W. Selander, president and chief executive officer.

"MasterCard's far-reaching global footprint is supported by unsurpassed worldwide merchant acceptance and an ever-increasing array of payment programs that consumers and businesses worldwide rely on daily. With these assets and our solid financial discipline, MasterCard has benefited from recent improvements in the global economy and remains well positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities."

Among the exhibits filed with the 10-K are an addendum to the employment agreement with MasterCard CEO Robert W. Selander in which is it disclosed that a retention payment of $10,000,000 will be payable to Selander under certain conditions and the text of MasterCard's 12/31/04 agreement with Citibank (with details redacted),

March 01, 2005

Unravelling the Plastic Money Maze

Ross Gittins writes in the Sydney Morning Herald about what happens behind the scenes in Australia when a plastic card payment is made.

This web of subterranean payments matters a great deal to the banks, which means they put a lot of marketing effort into manipulating our choices, pushing us in directions that maximise their profits.

This is stuff you and I aren't meant to know about. And it's so complicated many people would prefer not to know. But if you like to know how the big boys are trying to manipulate you - and how the Reserve Bank is fighting back - keep reading.

Simon Property Group Settles Gift Card Issues

Simon Property Group has announced that it has voluntarily entered into a consent agreement with New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer to resolve the dispute regarding the Simon Visa Giftcard program.

Wells Fargo Says All ATM's Now Web-Enabled

Wells Fargo has announced that its entire network of 6,200 ATMs is now web-enabled.

"Very few of our customers are single-channel users," said Jonathan Velline, head of Wells Fargo's ATM Banking. "Today more than 51% of our checking accounts are accessed online and our customers are conducting as many transactions at our ATMs as they do with our tellers. We've completely integrated our webATM machines with all our other channels, so customers can access information and conduct transactions in whatever channel that best suits their changing needs and preferences."

Visa Launches Service Views

Visa USA has announced Visa Service Views, a new suite of systems monitoring tools that summarize the health of Visa's multiple payment streams in real-time.

"In a business that handles $1.7 trillion a year, and more transactions in an hour than all the world's stock exchanges handle in a day, every second lost is worth millions," said Keith Hunter, Executive Vice President of Global Processing Services at Inovant LLC.

"Visa Service Views has enabled us to shift our management of the global payment system from measuring the performance and reliability of technology platforms, to measuring the performance of specific Visa business services."

February 28, 2005

FinCen Releases 2006-2008 Strategic Plan

The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has released its 2006-2008 Strategic Plan (PDF).

$24 Billion in Credit Card Fees

Selena Maranjain writes for the Motley Fool about the $24 billion spent on credit card fees in 2004, up 18 percent from 2003 according to

Perhaps the most un-Foolish fee I've heard of is the "no-balance fee," where some cards are charging a small fee if you pay off your bill in full -- which is what you should be doing!

VeriSign Releases Internet Security Intelligence Briefing Update

VeriSign has released the fifth edition of the VeriSign Internet Security Intelligence Briefing reporting that Internet commerce last year grew 88 percent by dollar volume and 39 percent by transaction volume.


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