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« May 21, 2006 - May 27, 2006 | Main | June 4, 2006 - June 10, 2006 »

June 03, 2006

Investing in Payment Innovations: Risks and Rewards

On May 11-12, 2006 the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago held its annual payments conference - this year titled "Investing in Payment Innovations: Risks and Rewards". Presentations from the conference are now available at the conference web site.

New TrustedID Blog Focused On Identity Theft Prevention

Our friends at TrustedID have recently launched a new blog focused on identity theft and, more importantly, identity theft prevention.

No Cross-Sell for ING Direct

This morning's New York Times has an interview by Jennifer Kingson with the chairman of the ING Group, Michel Tilmant. When asked about increasing competition for the kind of high yield savings accounts offered by ING Direct, Tilman made several interesting comments including that cross-sell is not what ING wants to do - preferring to keep it simple and avoid confusing clients with too many products.

June 02, 2006

The Quality Of Bank Relationships With Retail Customers

Samuel P. Golden, Ombudsman of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency spoke earlier today at the Urban Financial Services Coalition conference in Dallas, Texas. The full text of his speech (PDF) is available online - and it's worth a read.

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MasterCard, Visa Battle For Sponsorship

MSN Money carries a Financial Times story updating the dispute between the two card associations over future sponsorship rights for financial services with FIFA, the official sponsor of World Cup soccer.

MasterCard Adjusts Board of Directors

MasterCard has filed an 8-K with the SEC detailing the composition of its new board of directors and their committee assignments following completion of its recent initial public offering.

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June 01, 2006

Citi: "New Online Bank Rocks!"

Shaheen Pasha reports for CNNMoney.com on comments made by Citigroup CEO Charles Prince about Citi's new Citibank Direct at an industry conference in New York today. According to Prince, in the first ten days after launching the new online bank in late March, Citi exceeded their estimates of volume by ten times and since has raised $3 billion in new deposits for the bank. Prince's slides (PDF) from today's conference are available online on the Citigroup web site.

Podcast: Remittance Services For Hispanics

The Hispanic Marketing & Public Relations blog has posted a podcast interview with Wells Fargo Senior Vice President Daniel Ayala in which he talks about his business at Wells Fargo serving Hispanics - not just for remittances but for their whole financial lives.

BBC: Cashing In On Mobile-Crazy Japan

Chris Hogg reports for the BBC from Tokyo about NTT DoCoMo's move into mobile payments and credit.

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Not Ready For Self-Service?

John Schmeltzer writes for the Chicago Tribune about the lack of success in the US market with self-service ordering kiosks in fast-food restaurants. According to Schmeltzer, "while major restaurant chains such as McDonald's Corp., Taco Bell, Burger King and Dairy Queen have considered the idea, none has taken the step to order a roll-out of the technology." Another comment suggests "the country is not quite ready for self-serve." Huh?

Fishback Financial's Revel Card Targets Underbanked Consumers

Fishback Financial Corporation has announced the Revel Card, a prepaid MasterCard that "takes prepaid financial services to the long-awaited point where the consumer literally carries the basic products and services found at the typical bank branch with them in their wallet." It plans to unveil the Revel Card at the Underbanked Financial Services Forum being held next week in Chicago.

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UK Credit Card Issuers Reduce Late Fees

Hilary Osborne reports for The Guardian on moves by three of the UK's biggest banks to reduce the late fees on credit card accounts following negative comments about the sizes of the fees made earlier this year by the Office of Fair Trading. The OFT recommended a "maximum charge of £12, rather than the £20 to £25 commonly charged by card providers and gave the industry until May 31 to respond."

Reward Points For Debit Card Use

Kathy Chu writes for USA TODAY about how more banks are rolling out debit card rewards programs.

On-Line Payments Next On Google's To-Do List

Mathew Ingram writes for Canada's Globe and Mail about what he thinks Google may be planning regarding online payments.

May 31, 2006

Coming Attractions: PayPal Radio

No, not PayPal Mobile - PayPal Radio. Jason Miner, a long-time PayPal employee, is starting a new streaming radio show premiering live at eBay Live 2006 on Tuesday June 13th.

A friend writes: "Does this mean we can look forward to Bill Me Later Radio? Why not Visa Radio with individual shows devoted to the various card products? Maybe they can even get issuers to act as sponsors?" How about MasterCard TV? Now, wouldn't that be priceless?

Falcon One for Online Access

Fair Isaac has announced the release of Falcon One for Online Access, a real-time, multi-factor authentication solution that the company says "uses industry-leading fraud analytics to provide maximum online fraud detection with minimal customer impact."

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Fed Adjusts To Declining Check Volumes

The Federal Reserve Banks have announced changes to their check operations as consumers and businesses continue the shift from using paper checks toward electronic payments.

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Obopay Developing BREW Extension to Enable Mobile Payments

Obopay has announced that it will enable a new phone payment option for online retailers and BREW mobile application providers that provides merchants an easy and low-cost way to process mobile payment transactions and enables consumers to easily initiate purchases from their mobile phones with a simple touch of the keypad.

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Metavante's MBI Benefits Card Enhanced

Metavante has announced that its healthcare benefit debit card, the MBI Benefits Card, is the first and only card and authorization system in the payments industry to authorize healthcare purchases against a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) maximum in real time at the individual and family level.

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Underbanked Financial Services Market Exceeds $10 Billion

The "unbanked" and financially underserved population is making its mark in the economy in a market segment that now exceeds $10 billion, according to data compiled by Phoenix ESP Payments Research Group. Phoenix reports that although this below-the-radar group may not be using credit cards to make purchases, many are turning to pre-paid cards instead, fueling an opportunity for financial services firms and retailers.

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UK: HMV, Digital Rum Launch Txt2Buy Mobile Payments

In the UK, HMV and Digital Rum have announced a new mobile service that enables music, film fans and gamers to Txt2Buy CDs, DVDs and Games directly from their mobile phones. "The new Txt2Buy service allows consumers to respond immediately to HMV adverts appearing in the national and lifestyle press, using their credit/debit cards to buy products 'on the move' in a simple three step process over the mobile internet."

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Discounts For Cash Payments For Gas - A New Trend?

Barbara Hagenbaugh reports for USA TODAY on why some gasoline retailers are again offering discounts for payment in cash vs. cards.

FSTC Concludes Phase I of Better Mutual Authentication Project

The Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) has announced the conclusion of phase I of its Better Mutual Authentication (BMA) Project, part of an on-going effort to secure access to customer accounts and combat fraud across the financial services industry.

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Visa Spotlights Payment Card Incentive Programs

Visa International is showcasing how its government partnerships have significantly contributed to the realization of economic development goals for emerging and industrialized nations around the world at the 8th annual Visa International Government Services Conference in Buenos Aires.

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May 30, 2006

GE Consumer Finance's New PayPal Plus MasterCard

As mentioned in an American Banker story last week, GE Consumer Finance has announced a relationship with eBay Inc. and PayPal Inc. to launch the new PayPal Plus MasterCard, a credit card offering both rewards and extended purchase protection for purchases made via the PayPal Web site.

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Visa USA Adds Credit Union Representation to Board Of Directors

Visa USA has announced the appointment of Robert Hackney to its board of directors. Hackney is president of Card Services For Credit Unions, Inc. (CSCU), the largest credit union card processing association in the United States, serving 3,500 members. In addition to his general board responsibilities, Hackney will also serve on the board's Audit and Risk Committee.

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Lightweight Mobile Payments: Gift and Beg on Helio

Helio, a new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) launched earlier this month by SK Telecom and Earthlink, includes new "gifting" and "begging" features for its subscribers to gift a purchased music video, game or other content from their Helio handset to another Helio subscriber. Begging does the opposite, allowing a subscriber to request a gift from another subscriber. Helio's got a blog called Helio Mag where the company talks about its service and what's cool.

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