Stephen Mihm writes for Sunday's New York Times Magazine about North Korea's counterfeiting of US currency.
Toronto-based Dexit has announced (PDF) that it has formed a Special Committee of the Board "in response to overtures from several potential strategic investment partners" to review strategic options. Dexit also has implemented an "optimization plan" that includes reducing staff from 55 to under 30 as well as scaling back the number of locations at which the Dexit Service is available in the Toronto area. The Dexit Service "enables consumers to pay for a variety of low-cost items quickly and conveniently with the tap of a RFID (radio frequency identification) tag linked to a pre-paid account."
Today is the last day for discounted early bird registration for ID Analytics' Identity 2006 Identity Risk Management Conference being held September 18-21 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa in Dana Point, California.
The latest Nilson Report has arrived featuring an in-depth look at commercial credit cards in the US market (subscription only). This issue also has articles discussing TSYS' acquisition of Card Tech Limited, Bank of America's new American Express card, Tyfone's mobile payments, and Cydelity's eSentry online fraud detection service for online banking.
Convenience Store News reports on testimony given at Wednesday's US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on credit card interchange fees citing the comments of National Association of Convenience Stores Executive Committee member and 2004-2005 Chairman Bill Douglass, CEO of Douglass Distributing Co. According to Douglass, “I want to emphasize that the market by which interchange fees are set is broken and something must be done to fix it. The courts have said that Visa and MasterCard have market power, and I will tell you that the agreements among their member banks to fix and charge the same fees are outrageous.”
Michael Clarke writes for the UK's ThisIsMoney.co.uk about Zopa's "zone of possible agreement" borrower/lender matchmaking service. Clarke says "Zopa claims that the service is like investing in another asset class, other than shares, property or cash, that will give a portfolio more diversification."
MasterCard reports that its PayPass users are "showing a marked change in their behavior while making their small, everyday purchases."
The prepared testimony from Wednesday's US Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on "Credit Card Interchange Fees: Antitrust Concerns?" is now available from the committee's website. Included is testimony from Bill Douglass
(Chief Executive Officer, Douglass Distributing, Sherman, TX), Kathy Miller (Owner, The Elmore Store, Elmore, VT), Joshua R. Floum (Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary, Visa U.S.A., Washington, DC), Joshua L. Peirez (Group Executive Global Public Policy and Associate General Counsel, MasterCard Worldwide, Purchase, NY), Timothy J. Muris (Former Chairman, Federal Trade Commission, Of Counsel, O’Melveny & Meyers, Washington, DC), and W. Stephen Cannon (President and Managing Partner, Constantine Cannon, Washington, DC ).
MasterCard Worldwide has announced the launch of the first European MasterCard PayPass credit cards, in partnership with Garanti Bank in Turkey. Beginning 20 July, Garanti bank will reissue 25,000 “Tap & Go” cards, using MasterCard PayPass technology, to its Bonus cardholders. Starbucks, Burger King and Cinebonus, Turkey's largest cinema chain, have signed up to accept MasterCard PayPass in Turkey. [Editor's note: Earlier this year, we had featured the innovative work Garanti Bank in Turkey was doing with its Flexi Card Visa offering.]
If existing providers (predominantly the card issuers and acquirers) do not find an effective counter strategy we believe they could lose 10-20% by 2008 and in the long term up to 30%.
More than 50 percent of respondents, which translates into more than 100 million Americans, would use contactless cards to buy gasoline, items from fast food restaurants or corporate cafeterias, or groceries. More than 40 percent would use contactless cards to pay for convenience store items and transit fares (subway and bus fares and tolls). Almost 40 percent would use contactless cards to buy coffee or pay for parking, and 30 percent (60 million Americans) would use contactless cards for video games or at a vending machine or kiosk.Survey results also showed a strong alignment between contactless payments, young consumers, and high-income consumers.
Selander said that potential acquisition targets include processors of payment transactions. "I think processing is a great area of opportunity for us," he said.
Ecount has released figures on Banked vs. Unbanked Cardholders: Understanding the Use of Prepaid Cards in Today's Marketplace. The data, based on the Ecount Prepaid Index, outlines baseline spending habits of both groups, as well as provides insight into the role that prepaid cards play in the lives of consumers.
According to internal MasterCard data, the average PayPass transaction, credit or debit, is approximately $20. Consumers also use their payment cards more frequently once those cards become PayPass-enabled, approximately 18% more often on average. Though PayPass technology can also be used for transactions exceeding $25 (at which point a signature or PIN is required for verification), roughly 75% of all PayPass transactions were for purchases below $25 and approximately 45% of all PayPass transactions were for purchases below $10.MasterCard also indicates there are now nearly 10 million PayPass cards and devices in the market and approximately 32,000 merchant locations that accept PayPass.
There's no such thing as bulletproof security. But if done in layers and tied into fraud detection systems, multifactor authentication might make online banking safer than banking offline, experts say.Customers mentioned include e*Trade, SolidPay, and StoneBridge Bank.