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« July 9, 2006 - July 15, 2006 | Main | July 23, 2006 - July 29, 2006 »

July 22, 2006

No Ordinary Counterfeit

Stephen Mihm writes for Sunday's New York Times Magazine about North Korea's counterfeiting of US currency.

July 21, 2006

Dexit Reviews Strategic Options, Cuts Staff, Locations

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."

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Identity 2006 - Identity Risk Management Conference

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 Nilson Report - Issue 860

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.

Preparing the Way for a Smart Future

The Smart Card Alliance has announced its annual conference will be held October 3-6, 2006 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla in San Diego. The theme of this year's conference is "Preparing the Way for a Smart Future".

Merchants Angry About Interchange Fees

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.”

A Look At Zopa: Create Your Own Bank

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 PayPass Increases Customer Loyalty

MasterCard reports that its PayPass users are "showing a marked change in their behavior while making their small, everyday purchases."

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Interchange Hearing Testimony Now Available

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 Launches PayPass in Europe

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.]

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July 20, 2006

Entrust Buys "Zero Touch" Fraud Company

Entrust announced they have acquired Business Signatures Corporation, the provider of "Zero Touch Fraud Detection" solutions.

PayPal Financial Results

eBay reported second quarter 2006 financial results yesterday including impressive results for its PayPal business that reported revenues up 39% and payment volume up 37% year-over-year. Highlights from PayPal's second quarter include:
  • Payments net revenues totaled $339 million in Q2-06, representing 39% year-over-year growth.
  • PayPal had 114 million total payments accounts at the end of Q2-06, a 44% increase from the 79 million reported at the end of Q2-05.
  • Total Payment Volume (TPV), the dollar volume of payments initiated through the PayPal system, excluding the payment gateway business, was $9 billion in Q2-06, a 37% increase from the $6 billion reported in Q2-05.

Billeo Announces Largest Biller Directory in Industry

Billeo has announced what it says is the largest online biller directory with over 5,200 entries. The Billeo directory consists of billers accepting online payments across 26 different categories -- half accept payment cards, and nearly all accept eChecks. Billeo is currently providing the biller directory search for Visa USA and twenty other banks including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Wachovia.

July 19, 2006

E-Payments To Become Mega-Market

Booz Allen Hamilton discusses the impact of Google Checkout on the eCommerce market in the UK and concludes that the market for online payments will consolidate around Google Checkout, PayPal, and 1-2 others major players.
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%.

Consumers Willing to Use Contactless Payments for Inexpensive Items

A new survey, conducted by Ipsos Insight and Peppercoin, explores the willingness of Americans to use contactless payments to pay for inexpensive items.
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.

MasterCard Could Make Acquisitions

Jay Loomis of The Journal News covers the MasterCard annual shareholders meeting as a local story. From a post-meeting interview he captures CEO Robert Selander thoughts on acquisitions.
Selander said that potential acquisition targets include processors of payment transactions. "I think processing is a great area of opportunity for us," he said.

U.S. Senate Hearing on Credit Card Interchange Fees

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee is holding hearing today on card interchanges rates, according to this planned hearing agenda. The National Retailers Federation spins their pre-hearing side of the interchange debate here. The Merchants Payments Coalition spins their pre-hearing version here. .

Consumer Spending Trends of Banked, Unbanked Prepaid Cardholders

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.

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July 18, 2006

MasterCard PayPass Progress Report

MasterCard has reported some new rollout statisticsfor its PayPass contactless payment technology.
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.

MasterCard Annual Shareholders Meeting

After going public in May 2006, MasterCard held its first annual shareholders meeting today to announce board members elections and discuss the state of the company. MSN Money is also reporting MasterCard CEO Robert Selander's remarks on the three pending lawsuits.

Merchants Get Access to Visa Rules for Bank Members

The American Banker (subscription required) is reporting that Visa USA plans to make its merchant-related operating regulations available to retailers, provided they sign a nondisclosure agreement. (MasterCard makes its equivalent document available as a 268-page PDF. It's freely available here without the need to sign a nondisclosure agreement.)

SEMPO Teams With Fair Isaac to Research Click Fraud

The Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) and Fair Isaac Corporation have announced plans to collaborate on a research study on click fraud and click quality in pay-per-click advertising (PPC advertising).

PayPal Outperforms Traditional Banks In Satisfaction Study

A new study from VocaLabs looks at the quality of telephone based customer service among five financial services companies -- Washington Mutual, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, and PayPal. And the winner is...

Headline News - July 18, 2006

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated.

July 17, 2006

Credit Card Firms hit Back at EU's Attack on Fees

Visa, MasterCard, and member banks respond to a European Commission's attack on their interbank fees, calling the charges crucial for spreading payment costs between consumers and sellers.

The Future of Mobile Commerce in Japan

The ROA Group has published a for-fee report entitled, "The Future of Mobile Commerce in Japan". The 93-page report focuses on trends, players and consumer behavior in the mobile market of Japan.

Online Banks Strengthen Security

CIO Today takes a first hand look at actual experiences deploying multifactor authentication.
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.

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