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« June 18, 2006 - June 24, 2006 | Main | July 2, 2006 - July 8, 2006 »

July 01, 2006

MasterCard Could Lose Role In Setting EU Bank Fees

Mary Jacoby reports for the Wall St. Journal that MasterCard "could be ordered to end its middleman role in establishing bank fees charged to complete credit-card transactions in the European Union."


June 30, 2006

MasterCard Criticized on Bank Fees by Europe

Paul Meller reports for the New York Times about the European Commission accusing MasterCard of conducting restrictive business practices in the European credit and debit card market.

A Touch of Money - Biometric Payments

Anil K. Jain and Sharathchandra Pankanti write for IEEE Spectrum about the use of biometric technologies for payments applications could put identity thieves out of business and commenting that "If credit card issuers don’t act soon, customers, many of whom are becoming increasingly comfortable with biometric technologies, might just force the issue."

Trolling With Business Method Patents – Glory Days Ending?

In the following article, attorney Broox Peterson takes a look at business method patents - which have been particularly important to the payments industry - and a recent US Supreme Court decision to hear an appeal of a business method patent case that could be bad news for so-called "patent trolls".


TextPayMe Temporarily Disables Credit/Debit Card Funding

Friends are reporting receiving an email notice from mobile payments operator TextPayMe saying that they've "temporarily disabled" their credit/debit card payment option and will only be supporting funding directly from bank checking accounts in the meantime. In the email, TextPayMe says it plans to bring back the credit/debit card capability "shortly" along with introducing some other new features to the service.

Google Checkout: Pros And Cons

Steve Bryant posts on his eWeek Google Watch blog about the pros and cons of Google Checkout in "Five Reasons Why You Won't Use Google Checkout (and 5 Reasons You Will)".

Bangladesh: Plastic Money On The Rise

Farizaa Sabreen writes for Bangladesh's The New Nation about the growth in credit card usage in the country. "More and more local and international financial institutions are exhibiting enthusiasm in this direction. It reflects prospects in Bangladesh market in accommodating numerous credit card competitors operating on the circuit, ensuring healthy and competitive card business deals."

Google Checkout: Amazon's Worst Nightmare

Rafe Needleman posts on his CNET Web 2.0 blog that he believes Google Checkout is a serious threat to - because it makes checkout at non-Amazon merchant locations just about as convenient as buying via 1-Click on itself. He also points out that as a result of Google Checkout "no other online company will end up knowing as much about the spending behaviors of online consumers as Google."

Payment Data Lockdown: "More Work To Be Done"

Data security concerns are penetrating small businesses with more than 64 percent taking action within the last 12 months to better protect customer financial information, according to a new survey from Visa USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Although businesses are taking action, the issue is far from top of mind for business owners with 63 percent saying they rarely if at all worry about securing customer data.


How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My RFID Credit Card

Gearlog blogger Dan Costa posts about his new Citibank MasterCard PayPass keychain token - and why he likes it. Separately, Nisha Ramachandran writes about contactless cards for US News and World Report.

Google Checkout: Who's On First?

A friend writes: "If I understand the Google Checkout service correctly, the point that all these analysts missed is that Google Checkout is a one-card wallet. Seems that point wasn't lost on Citi. In a one-card wallet, being first in the wallet, means you are top of wallet, so being first to market is a big deal. I suspect Google opted for a one-card wallet in order to create a very smooth customer checkout experience."

MasterCard Dispels RFID Payment Security Fears

Steven Deare reports for ZDNet Australia about comments made by MasterCard consultant Robert White at a smartcard conference in Sydney earlier this week regarding MasterCard's PayPass contactless card technology saying "In actual fact, the security is in the application. We don't rely on channel security, we don't rely on protocol security to secure a payment that's in the application."

Any Link Between Credit-Card Debt And Bankruptcy

Bloomberg reports that the Federal Reserve issued a report (PDF) yesterday "downplaying assertions that the banking industry contributed to bankruptcies by offering credit cards to customers who may be unable to repay the debt."

UK: Growing Calls To Get Tough On Credit Card Cheques

Lucy Warwick-Ching writes for the Financial Times about expected action by the UK's Department of Trade and Industry that would force credit card issuers to make charges for credit card cheques more transparent. Consumer groups are concerned that people who use credit card cheques are unaware that there is a charge for doing so.

June 29, 2006

Google Checkout: No PayPal Killer

Anders Bylund reports for and concludes that its "not the PayPal killer many expected" largely because "this is not going to be a person-to-person payment system anytime soon".

Hands On: Google's New Checkout Service

Dennis O'Reilly of PC World writes about his first hand experiences with Google Checkout today. He says "I suspect the little green Google Checkout cart will soon be all over the Web."

EMC To Acquire RSA Security

It's official, EMC this afternoon announced that it is acquiring RSA Security in an all-cash transaction valued at slightly less than $2.1 billion.


PayPal vs. "GBuy"

Bruce Cundiff of Javelin Strategy and Research writes on his blog about PayPal vs. Google, thinking in terms of on eBay (where issues have been raised as to whether eBay would allow its merchants to accept a Google-provided payment service) vs. the off-eBay merchant opportunity (which is where he thinks the real battleground will be).

Move Over PayPal, Here Comes Google Checkout

Google this morning launched the long rumored (and often called GBuy) Google Checkout, a new online payment option for ecommerce merchants and online shoppers that plays on many of the same consumer themes of safety and convenience that have been key to PayPal's success. Google Checkout allows consumers to store - in a new version of an online wallet - their payment and shipping address information with Google. (According to Laura Petrecca writing for USA Today, "Google says it also is in talks with online payment service PayPal to let Checkout handle payments by holders of PayPal accounts, which connect with its users' credit cards and banks.") Assuming merchant acceptance of Google Checkout ramps up, the new service appears to position Google as a major hub for ecommerce transactions on the web.


Bank of America Launches American Express Credit Card

Bank of America made it official today with the launch of the Bank of America American Express Rewards Card -- "the first Bank of America credit card to be accepted for payment on the American Express global network."


Sale Of RSA Said To Be Near

Andrew Ross Sorkin and John Markoff report for the New York Times that RSA Security is in the late stages of negotiating a sale of the company - with EMC reported as one of the potential bidders to acquire the company.

June 28, 2006

Bank of America Offers First American Express Card

Jonathan Stempel reports for Reuters on Bank of America's launch this Friday of its first American Express-branded cards. Tonight, the Bank of America home page features an image of the new MBNA Rewards American Express card along with a link to the online application page.

Fortent Combines Searchspace, Semagix

Fortent, a company created specifically to deliver a comprehensive suite of risk and compliance solutions to financial institutions worldwide, was launched today. Fortent combines Searchspace, a leading anti-money laundering solution, and Semagix, a pioneering Know Your Customer and Enhanced Due Diligence product, into a single brand.


Majority of Data Thefts From Careless Mistakes By Employees

Palisade Systems has announced that a year to date audit of data theft cases it conducted found that employees represent the largest and costliest threat to organizations that store, send or access consumers' personally identifiable information such as Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers, healthcare records, etc.


China's SmartPay Launches 'Lottery in Your Palm'

SmartPay along with partners China Unicom Guangdong and Guangdong Kingold Telecommunications have announced the launch of ''Lottery in your Palm'', a jointly developed mobile lottery service for consumers which allows for purchase, payment, prize award announcements, and award information.


PayPal's Virtual Debit Card

In an article mostly about Google's rumored launch of a payment service, Business Week's Robert Hof also mentions that next month PayPal will begin testing a "virtual debit card" for use on web sites that don't accept PayPal directly. According to Hof, using a small toolbar downloaded to their browser, PayPal users will be able to get a one time-use MasterCard card number linked to their PayPal account.

MasterCard Unveils New Corporate Name and Brand Identity

MasterCard WorldwideMasterCard has announced that its principal operating subsidiary, MasterCard International, is introducing a new corporate name, MasterCard Worldwide. The company has also unveiled a new corporate signature and a new corporate tagline, The Heart of Commerce, "to reflect the company's globally integrated structure and its strategic vision of advancing commerce worldwide."


eBay Could Ban Google's GBuy As Payment Method

Ina Steiner reports for on eBay's Safe Payments Policy introduced last October and speculates that it seems unlikely that eBay would allow its sellers to advertise any new Google payment service in their eBay listings - at least initially.


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