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« April 30, 2006 - May 6, 2006 | Main | May 14, 2006 - May 20, 2006 »

May 13, 2006

Next Generation Plastic for Travelers

Ron Lieber reports for the Wall St. Journal on the "third wave" of credit cards tied to free air travel rewards - highlighting the new Chase United Mileage Plus Visa "Choices" and American Express Delta SkyPoints programs.

Green Dot Plans Credit Card For Store Sales

While browsing around this morning, I noticed the following on the Green Dot Corporation's web site: "2006 - Green Dot announces its plans to create the first ever credit card to be sold at a retail store. With a pilot scheduled for Q3, the Green Dot credit card program has the potential to re-invent the credit card acquisition model." Sounds interesting - haven't been able to find any other details about their plans. I'm reminded that back in April 2004, Chase and Universal Entertainment announced an instant issue credit card program - inside Universal theme parks.

PODER Payroll MasterCard For Hispanic Immigrants

Unlimited Diversity, Inc., a provider of prepaid products and services for BankFirst and MasterCard, has announced the launch of the PODER Payroll MasterCard, a card program it says is designed specifically to address the needs of the Hispanic immigrant in the United States.


Consumers Losing Trust in Online Banking

Ed Sutherland reports for that US consumer concerns about online banking security is slowing the growth of online banking.


Charging Ahead, Finally - MasterCard's IPO

Michael Santoli writes for Barron's about MasterCard's upcoming initial public offering (subscription reqd). Santoli reports that MasterCard's IPO roadshow is now underway - meeting with institutional investors - with an expected launch date of May 24. If the IPO is priced at the mid-point of the $40 to $43 range -$41.50 - MasterCard would have a market value of about $5.6 billion, trading nearly 21 times last year's per-share net income per share.

May 12, 2006

Home Depot's Bank Play

Marc Gerstein, Director of Investment Research for, takes a look at Home Depot's recently announced plans to buy a bank - Enerbank USA, an ILC - and how it's different from Wal-Mart's ILC strategy.

World's First ISO Compliant Payment DisplayCard

SiPix Imaging and SmartDisplayer have announced that they've developed the "first flexible display panel to be embedded into an ISO compliant payment card" - resulting in a One Time Password DisplayCard that "enables cardholders to generate and display a dynamic passcode for one-time use."


NACHA Online Payments Pilot Web Site

A new web site with more information about NACHA's Online Payments Pilot is now up and running. The site includes a number of documents about the plans for the pilot.

Competition Cuts Cost of Wiring Money

Krissah Williams writes for the Washington Post about international remittances - where competition over the last five years has saved immigrants nearly $5 billion in fees according to a report released today by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

ING Direct To Offer Paperless Checking Accounts

Ted Griffith writes for the Wilmington (DE) News Journal about plans by ING Direct, the nation's largest Internet bank, to introduce this summer a new "paperless" no fee electronic checking account - "Electric Orange". Jim Kelly, chief operating officer ING Direct said the bank "hopes to have 100,000 customers for the electronic checking accounts by the end of the year." Kelly also explains the paperless aspect of the new checking account: "You'll be able to write checks with your computer, but not with your pen."

Financial Access For Immigrants

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and the Brookings Institution have published a new 100-page paper titled "Financial Access for Immigrants: Lessons from Diverse Perspectives" (PDF) by authors Anna Paulson, Audrey Singer, Robin Newberger, and Jeremy Smith.


May 11, 2006

Fed Governor Donald L. Kohn On Payment Innovation

Federal Reserve Governor Donald L. Kohn spoke today at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's 2006 Payments Conference on the subject of "Investing in Payment Innovations: A Federal Reserve Perspective".


MasterCard Files Bank of America Agreement

MasterCard has filed an 8-K with the SEC containing a Customer Business Agreement with Bank of America - with much of the information in the agreement omitted due to confidentiality.


NACHA's Take on the Future of Payments: Convergence

Glenbrook's Jim Salters is back from NACHA's Payments 2006 conference and shares some of his insights with Payments News' readers.


CitiBusiness Credit Cards Free Prescription Discount Program

CitiBusiness Credit Cards has announced it is teaming with Health Access Services and New Benefits, Ltd. to offer a Prescription Discount Benefit Program free to all cardholders and their dependents.


Home Depot's ILC Plan Renews Worries

Bill McConnell reports for about Home Depot's announcement that it plans to acquire Utah industrial loan company EnerBank USA - saying those plans are "sure to invigorate efforts on Capitol Hill to eliminate this controversial category of lending institution."


MVNOs: Wireless Phone Companies Without The Equipment

Mathew Ingram writes for Canada's Globe and Mail about mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and some of the innovation they're introducing. [Editor's note: We continue to be intrigued about the notion of a financial services-focused MVNO.]

WaMu Launches Paperless Checking Account Openings on the Web

Washington Mutual has introduced a new paperless account opening experience that couples 100% online approval and opening, and eliminates the need to mail a traditional signature card. The signature on the first paper check the consumer writes is scanned by the bank and becomes the sample signature for the account.


Impact From Missing A Credit Card Payment

Personal Finance columnist Terri Cullen of the Wall St. Journal writes about what happened to her when she missed paying a private label credit card bill - twice - and the impact on her credit scores.

Bush Appoints Task Force On Identity Theft

President Bush has signed an Executive Order strengthening Federal government efforts to protect against identity theft by appointing an Identity Theft Task Force to be co-chaired by the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. Fact Sheet.

May 10, 2006

The Sleaze of Credit-Card Fees

European travel expert Rick Steves writes for ABC News about his irritation with the card fees being imposed by many credit card issuers when their cards are used overseas - and includes some suggestions for international travelers to either avoid or reduce those fees. His bottom line: "Pay for as much as possible with cash, using a bank that charges low rates for international ATM transactions."

Wal-Mart Can Cancel Some Bank's In-Store Leases

Marcus Kabel reports for AP that Wal-Mart can terminate some of the leases it has in place for banks operating branches in its stores more easily than originally indicated in some recent comments by the retailer at hearings held by the FDIC in considering Wal-Mart's application for a special purpose banking license.

Chinese Banks Plan New Service Fees

Zhang Fengming reports for Shanghai Daily that Chinese banks will begin charging bankcard holders for making inquiries about their accounts at ATM's owned by rival banks starting on June 1. No surprise, consumers are annoyed by the news.

MPD: A Baker’s Dozen Questions for Emerging Payments

Market Platform Dynamics shares former Visa executive Win Derman's "A Baker’s Dozen Questions for Emerging Payment Technologies" from his closing keynote speech at the "CardTech/SecurTech Emerging Payment Technologies: Challengers, Contenders" workshop held recently. In his paper, Win lists 13 questions that he always asks about any new payments technology.

Netherlands: Facilitating Moving Banking Relationships

Simon Lelieveldt emails the following from the Netherlands:

"Beginning in December 2003, the Dutch banks offer a so-called Interbank Switch Support Service ("Overstapservice"). The service aims to facilitate account holders who want to move their payments relationship from one bank to another, thus increasing customer mobility and lowering switching costs for current accounts. The switch support servcie has now been operational for more than two years: this brief background paper (PDF) describes the functionality and experiences."
Editor's note: This is sort of like telephone number portability - except for your banking/payments relationships! Fascinating!


Visa Asia Pacific Reports EMV Chip Card Growth

Visa Asia Pacific has announced that the EMV chip card migration continues with more than 43 million Visa EMV-compliant chip cards issued in the region as at the end of 2005 and the number of EMV chip terminals in the region rising to more than one million.


Interview With NACHA Chairman Steve Ellis

Digital Transactions reports on their interview with NACHA chairman and Wells Fargo EVP Steve Ellis including his views that he expects NACHA to revisit the "network return entry fee" proposal that would compensate have originating banks compensating receiving banks for certain returned ACH items and his expectations about NACHA's new "credit push" Internet payment application.


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