Ron Lieber and Jessica Mintz report for the Wall St. Journal's Saturday edition about paying convenience fees to pay your taxes and why they're not always a rip-off - but only if your card issuer is offering bonuses for tax payments.
PAYMENTS 2006, NACHA's annual conference on electronic payments, will be held this year in San Diego, California from May 7-10 at the San Diego Convention Center.
As a Payments News reader, you can attend this year's conference at the Member's registration price, $200 less than Non-Member registration. To get your discount, register as a member, select Other as your ACH Council affiliation and key in "Payments News subscriber".
The Weekend Australian reports on plans by the standing committee on economics, finance and public administration of the Australian parliament to review reforms made by the Reserve Bank of Australia to the country's payments system - including changes to card interchange fees.
Federal regulators have announced the release of Evolution of a Prototype Financial Privacy Notice, a report by Kleimann Communication Group summarizing consumer research commissioned by the regulators as part of their ongoing efforts to develop improved financial privacy notices.
National City has announced a new points-based rewards program that "rewards consumer and small business customers with points for everyday transactions, like making purchases with debit and credit cards, paying bills online, writing checks – even improving a home or small business through purchases with a home equity or small business line of credit access card."
David Lazarus reports for the San Francisco Chronicle on the elimination of some benefits previously included on Visa debit cards. The banks he mentions planning to eliminate some of the existing debit card benefits include Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Wachovia.
NACHA has announced a new web site - www.electronicpayments.org - designed to be a resource for NACHA members to use to educate and inform consumers about Direct Deposit, Direct Payment and Check Conversion - ACH applications that NACHA says "provide safe and secure consumer payments, improve business and financial institution process and profitability, and strengthen our nation's payment system."
OCC Chief Counsel Julie Williams has spoken out in a speech delivered today to the 2006 Banking Institute (PDF) on her views regarding the current state of financial industry consumer disclosures.
Mercator Advisory Group has announced a new report examining the debit card reward programs titled "Setting Goals For Debit Reward Programs: Balancing Revenue Goals and Brand Loyalty".
Lara Wozniak writes for FinanceAsia.com about a significant increase in charge off rates on credit cards issued in Taiwan.
Jeremy Reimer writes for ArsTechnica about the kinds of rewards credit cards that online gamers want to use - where the rewards associated with the cards extend into the virtual worlds of their favorite online games such as World of Warcraft and Second Life.
The Winston-Salem Journal carries an AP story about card acceptance is rapidly increasing among landlords who are enabling their renters to pay monthly rent via credit and debit cards.
Kristin Roberts reports for Reuters that Wal-Mart has offered to modify its pending application with the FDIC for a limited purpose bank.
I4 Commerce, the company offering the Bill Me Later payment service, has announced it has secured $27.4 million in venture funding led by Kingdon Capital Management and including previous major investors, Crosspoint Venture Partners, Azure Capital Partners and GRP Partners.
Clint Riley reports for the Wall St. Journal on Citibank's launch of a new high yield savings account program competitive with similar accounts offered by ING Direct, HSBC, and Emigrant Savings. Citi's approach, however, also requires consumers to maintain a Citibank checking account. The new e-Savings account is offered on a new website at direct.citibank.com.
NACHA has announced Authentication Mandate: Compliance Issues & Revenue Opportunities for Online Banking, a conference focusing on the business opportunities resulting from financial institutions' online authentication capabilities and the recent Federal regulatory guidance on authentication in Internet banking.
Matthew Charles reports for Australia's Herald Sun on the new Altitude Platinum rewards card program launched by Westpac that actually issues each consumer two cards - a co-branded American Express card and a Westpac MasterCard.