Mc Nelly Torres reports for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel on the increasingly promoted gasoline rebate credit cards -- but that often come with higher interest rates on any revolving balances on the cards.
Kelly Spors reports for the Wall St. Journal on how slip-ups on financial matters as a young person can have financial consequences that last a long time by impacting the person's credit score.
In an article titled 'Get merchants to lust after credit and debit card acceptance!", Aneace Haddad writes on his blog about how merchants feel about credit and debit card acceptance - and "why merchants and regulators are fighting interchange fees so fiercely." His "worst case scenario" is pretty dark for the card industry: "merchants win their antitrust lawsuit, banks lose $100 billion, interchange revenue is eliminated and banks have to pay merchants to accept cards."
Another point of view might be that all of those credit losses that card issuers suffer consist of sales actually made by merchants. One can argue that US card accepting merchants' top line sales revenues are about five percent higher than they otherwise might be - after all, that's roughly the level of credit losses currently being absorbed by credit card issuers.
Visa USA has announced the election of its first four independent members of its board of directors: Philip D. DeFeo, Linda Baker Keene, Jon C. Madonna and John A. Swainson.
Mercator Advisory Group has released a new report titled "The Online Opportunity for PIN-Based and "PIN-Less" Debit" that discusses market opportunities to expand usage of PIN-based debit cards in the online environment.
David Steiner writes for AuctionBytes about his first impressions as a shopper on eBay's new eBay Express fixed price shopping portal - he calls it "eBeX". HIs big learning - watch out for shipping costs from eBeX sellers - especially when comparing prices before checkout to those on Amazon.com where shipping on orders over $25 is free.
Cliff D'Arcy writes for Motley Fool UK about how some card issuers, notably MBNA, have introduced a new approach to reducing the minimum payment amount due on outstanding balances - which he calls "the most evil and disturbing card trick that I've ever seen in almost two decades in financial services." Credit card issuers in the US were recently nudged to address the minimum payment amount due issue by federal regulators.
Andrea Coombes writes for MarketWatch about the record number of mailed credit card solicitations - over 6 billion - mailed by US credit card issuers in 2005, up 16 percent over 2004 according to a new report by Synovate. That works out to an average of six offers per household per month.
Yukako Ono writes for Japan's Asahi.com about NTT DoCoMo's new DCMX contactless mobile payment service phones containing Sony Corp.'s Felica contactless IC chip.
MasterCard International has announced that it has named Walter M. Macnee President of the Americas, effective May 15, succeeding Ruth Ann Marshall.
The Toronto Star reports on increasing concerns by consumer groups in Canada about the error rate associated with pre-authorized debits against consumer checking accounts - citing more than 1,000 erroneous postings each day to consumer accounts.
Peralte Paul reports for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about a recent deal between card processor TSYS and Exante Financial Serfvices, the banking unit of United Health Group.
American Express has announced the American Express Benefits Plus Card, a new healthcare payment product that provides access to cardholder healthcare flexible spending accounts (FSA). In addition, American Express announced separate agreements with PayFlex and WageWorks, leading consumer-driven tax-advantaged spending account administrators, to offer the Benefits Plus Card to corporations and their employees.
First Data Corp. has announced a multi-year agreement to provide global merchant processing to Microsoft for global online consumer and business clients of Microsoft.
David Breitkopf and Isabelle Lindenmayer report in this morning's American Banker on proposed changes to the Visa USA board of directors - to be voted on tomorrow - including the addition of four independent non-bank board members. Last November, Visa USA had announced it would be adding eight independent directors and today's article says Visa continues to interview candidates for the four remaining director seats.
Ruth Simon of the Wall St. Journal takes a comprehensive look at the current state of home equity lending and what some banks are doing to keep their home equity lending business growing with promotions, special deals, etc. in the face of higher interest rates. This has become a big business for banks as "balances on home-equity lines of credit have climbed 71% to $543.2 billion over the last two years."
Visa International, in collaboration with Maybank, Maxis Communications Berhad (Maxis) and Nokia, has launched its first Mobile Visa Wave Payment Pilot in Malaysia. Two hundred participants who are both Maybankard Visa cardholders and Maxis mobile phone subscribers will participate in the four-month trial beginning today.
Robert Scott, Editor, Accounting Technology, reflects back on the heyday of account aggregation and wonders whether enough time has passed that it's beginning to come around again. He notes that Intuit is looking for a Vice President & Business Leader for its Financial Institution Group - "whose responsibilities will include Customer Central, the former TekPortal, a data aggregation technology that Intuit acquired in August."
The Reserve Bank of Australia has finalized new reforms it will be imposing on the debit card systems in Australia, significantly reducing fees paid by banks to merchants for EFTPOS transactions (Australia has "reverse interchange" in that scheme), significantly reducing interchange paid to bank issuers on Visa Debit transactions, forcing Visa to amend its rules for Visa Debit acceptance to allow merchants to accept Visa Credit cards but not Visa Debit cards and allowing merchants to surcharge Visa Debit transactions.
Katy Matlock reports for Baylor's Lariat Online on college students and credit cards. According to Matlock, Dr. Franklin Potts, associate professor of finance at Baylor, describes credit card issuers as having "several sneaky ways to catch consumers".
Mark Calvey writes for the San Francisco Business Times about Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis' repeated recent comments that the bank is considering the possibility of leaving Visa and creating its own credit card network.
Michael Merritt, Deputy Assistant Director of the Office of Investigations for the United States Secret Service testified yesterday before the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information and International Security of the Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs in the US Senate. Merritt's prepared testimony (PDF) described the history of the so-called "Supernotes", high-quality counterfeit U.S. currency (Federal Reserve Notes) and the connections the Secret Service has made between the production and distribution of these counterfeit notes and the government of North Korea.