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March 31, 2006

Paying Uncle Sam With Plastic

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.

NACHA's Payments 2006

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.

NACHA's Payments 2006

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".

What It Pays To Be A U.S. Bank Chief

Reuters reports on what a number of US bank CEO's made in terms of compensation last year.

Improving Financial Privacy Notices for Consumers

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 Launches Points-Based Rewards Program

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."


Several Banks Eliminating Some Visa Debit Card Benefits

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.


Visa Canada Chips Away At Fraud

Bruce Erskine reports for the Halifax, Nova Scotia Chronicle Herald on Visa's migration to smart cards in Canada.


Update On Debit Card Fraud Investigations

Robert Lemos reports for on the Secret Service's Operation Rolling Stone that has recently made seven additional arrests related to the earlier debit card fraud incidents.

March 30, 2006

NACHA Launches New Web Site:

NACHA has announced a new web site - - 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 Counsel Julie Williams Speaks Out On Consumer Disclosures

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.


TransUnion and ID Analytics Announce Partnership

TransUnion has announced it will be integrating the ID Analytics ID Score into its Fraud and Identity Management Services.


Obopay Announces U.S. Mobile Payment Service

Click here for Glenbrook's analysis:
"Obopay Mobile Payments - A First Look"
containing more analysis and details on Obopay.

Palo Alto-based Obopay this morning is announcing what it calls the "first complete mobile payment service ever offered in the United States" saying that it will be "a milestone in a transformation in financial services that will make the mobile phone the central device consumers use to make purchases and share money." READ MORE »

Debit Cards Rewards Programs

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".


Taiwan's Increasingly Dangerous Credit Card Problem

Lara Wozniak writes for about a significant increase in charge off rates on credit cards issued in Taiwan.


Gaming Credit Cards Could Offer Virtual Rewards

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.

Some Landlords, Renters Look At Paying Rent With Credit, Debit Cards

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.


March 29, 2006

Wal-Mart Offers FDIC Changes To Bank Application

Kristin Roberts reports for Reuters that Wal-Mart has offered to modify its pending application with the FDIC for a limited purpose bank.

Citibank Direct - A First Hand Report

Earlier today, Citibank launched Citibank Direct, a new high yield savings account product.

One of our partners just opened the new Citibank e-savings account -- an interesting and rather positive experience. Read on for details.


Gift Cards Very Popular

Stored Value Systems has announced the results of a national web survey of adults conducted at the end of February revealed that eight in 10 said they would rather receive a gift card to their favorite retailer than any other kind of gift.


I4 Commerce Secures $27.4 Million in Venture Funding

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.


Citibank Launches Citibank Direct High Yield Savings Accounts

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


Interview: John Stuart, MasterCard Sponsorships

The Gulf Marketing Review interviews John Stuart, MasterCard's senior vice president for global sponsorships.


Saving On Credit Card Debt - Pay More Frequently is urging consumers burdened with high levels of credit card debt to consider using a technique often suggested with mortgages - make payments twice as often and you'll significantly affect the total amount of interest you pay for a given amount of debt.


NACHA's First Authentication Conference - June 6-7

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.


Westpac Dual Card Offer: Amex, MasterCard Share Account

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.


The Topology Of Interbank Network Flows

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has published a staff paper titled “The Topology of Interbank Payment Flows,” (PDF) by Kimmo Soramäki, Morten L. Bech, Jeffrey Arnold, Robert J. Glass, and Walter E. Beyeler.


A Look At Neteller

Michael Jivkov writes for the UK's Independent about yesterday's financial results reported by Neteller and asks the question "is there no end in sight to the company's growth?"



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