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« August 13, 2006 - August 19, 2006 | Main | August 27, 2006 - September 2, 2006 »

August 26, 2006

The UK's Unsung Queen Of Banking

Andrew Davidson of the London Sunday Times interviews Marion King, CEO of Voca. "King, chief executive of Voca, the automated payments system previously called BACS, is nothing if not a compelling saleswoman."

U.S. Banks Slow To Embrace Mobile Commerce

Eric Lai writes for ComputerWorld about the state of mobile commerce in the US - and, in particular, the tentativeness of banks in supporting mobile-based initiatives. He asks whether they're ceding the market to third parties like PayPal Mobile - citing Christophe Uzureau, an analyst at Gartner who says "PayPal is more agile than banks. Banks have to rethink their processes and act now."

Home Depot Launches MasterCard Credit Cards With Citi

Home Depot has announced the launch of its first co-branded consumer and business rewards credit cards - The Home Depot Rewards MasterCard and The Home Depot Business Rewards MasterCard - both issued by Citi Cards.

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Who's News - Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Steven D. Larson has been named Account Executive at RBSLynk covering Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Phone: +1.513.708.0051.
Announce yourself! Have you recently taken on a new position in the payments industry? If you'd like to share the news with your colleagues, be sure to tell us about it.

August 25, 2006

Visa Update On Tourism Spending In Asia Pacific

Visa Asia Pacific has released new information that shows international travelers to and within the region spent a total of US$6.8 billion on their Visa cards during the first quarter of 2006 - 13 percent more than the same period a year ago. According to Visa, the increase in spending can be attributed not only to more arrivals but also to an increase in the issuance of Visa cards across the region. In Visa's Asia Pacific region, there were 287 million Visa cards in circulation in the first quarter of 2006, an increase of 17 percent over the year before.

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German Rail Offers Mobile Phone Ticket Service

John Blau writes for PC Advisor that "train passengers in Germany can now purchase tickets with Internet-enabled mobile phones through the travel portal of the railway company Deutsche Bahn and receive a ticket in the form of a bar code sent via MMS that conductors scan to confirm the ticket."

ACC - A More Efficient Check-Image-ACH System

Mike Reagan, Managing Principal of Carreker’s Global Payments Consulting, has published an opinion piece (PDF) about what he calls "All-Consumer Check Conversion (ACC): the automatic conversion of any consumer-written check to ACH at the earliest point possible." Reagan says "The key variable is the willingness of the banking industry to move in a direction that looks at checks not by the way they are processed but by the value they deliver. It is not a question of championing one payments silo over the other, but advancing the electronification agenda in the manner that delivers to customers and derives for banks the best "win-win"
value scenario."

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard - UK Survey

In the UK, The Logic Group is surveying retailers regarding their views and awareness of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).

The Joys of Consumer Control

Bill Brohaugh of Colloquy writes for DMNews.com about the benefits of letting customers decide what loyalty options make the most sense for them. He mentions Turkey's Garanti Bank and its Flexi card that allows customers to "select from numerous options covering interest rates, reward percentages, fees and so on. For example, choose a higher interest rate for unpaid balances and offset it with a higher reward return percentage on purchases." Brohaugh concludes that "Garanti’s offer of multiple additional reward opportunities amounts to customer self-segmentation."

UK Credit Card Borrowing Falls

Hilary Osborne reports for the UK's Guardian Unlimited that "new borrowing on credit cards fell to an all-time low in July as consumers continued to rein in their exposure to unsecured debt." A press release by the British Bankers' Association (BBA) said "new borrowing on credit cards totalled £7,083mn in July, the lowest July figure since 2002. With repayments exceeding spending and after seasonal adjustment, net lending contracted by £348mn, continuing the recent subdued picture of demand."

Who's News - Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

Announce yourself! Have you recently taken on a new position in the payments industry? If you'd like to share the news with your colleagues, be sure to tell us about it.

August 24, 2006

Investing In Payment Innovations: Risks And Rewards

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has published "Investing In Payment Innovations: Risks And Rewards" (PDF) by Carrie Jankowski and Tiffany White. From the abstract: "Advances in technology have helped usher in new payment mechanisms catered to current demographic and cross-border demands. Yet these payment innovations also pose increasingly complex security challenges worldwide. Participants at a recent Chicago Fed conference discussed the implications of these developments for the payments industry." The agenda, selected speeches and presentations from the May 2006 conference are also available online.

Compressed T-Shirts And Gift Cards

Dallas-based Whitson Wells Promotional Marketing Group has started marketing some unique gift card packaging solutions for retailers - with "TeeBuck" T-shirts that have been compressed into the shape of a wine bottle, golf ball, paint brush, coffee cup, etc. to accompany a gift card.

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Consumers Trust Banks to Guard Their Identity

The American Bankers Association has announced the results of a new survey finding that, by a ratio of 6-to-1, consumers trust banks more than other institutions when it comes to their personal records.

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Payroll Card Accounts Covered By Reg E

The Federal Reserve Board has announced its approval of a final rule to provide that payroll card accounts are covered by the Board's consumer protection regulation governing electronic fund transfers.

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New Aite Report Re: Online Banking As Acquisition Channel

The Aite Group has announced a new report titled "Online Banking: Moving Toward a New Paradigm" that surveys 21 of the top 50 US banks and forecasts that, by 2010, 13 percent of new checking accounts in the US will be opened via the online channel. According to the report, the top performer among the banks surveyed says they are currently sourcing about 20 percent of new checking accounts online with the next highest performer currently sourcing 13 percent.

FDIC Quarterly Banking Profile

The FDIC has released its Quarterly Banking Profile (PDF) for the second quarter - reporting that banking in the United States continues to be a good business!

Your Digital Wallet

Michael Fitzgerald writes for Technology Review about near field communication (NFC) technology and how NFC can enable mobile phones to become like mobile wallets - with the added ability to swap addresses and share photos between two NFC-equipped phones (or other devices). Industry forecasters predict that by 2010 half of all new mobile phones will be NFC-equipped.

Visa Reports Progress On Small Purchases

Visa USA has announced that Visa volume on purchases less than $25 in targeted small ticket segments totaled $27.3 billion in the first six months of the year, an increase of 17 percent over the same period in 2005, indicating that Visa cards are increasingly being used instead of cash and checks for everyday purchases less than $25.

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Paysafecard Supports Entropia Universe

Entropia Universe, a fast growing virtual world utilizing a real cash economy, has announced "the launch of a new monetary deposit platform designed by Paysafecard.com, Europe's first prepaid card for online payments."

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Mobile Internet Usage Is Low In The US

eMarketer takes a look at the relatively low rate of mobile Internet usage in the US - as compared to other regions. "According to a new report from Telephia, 34.6 million US mobile phone subscribers accessed the Internet from a wireless device in June 2006. With eMarketer estimating the US mobile phone population at approximately 213 million in 2006, that equates to only 16% of mobile phone subscribers." What are the implications for mobile commerce generally? eMarketer has also recently published a report on Mobile Payments in Japan.

PULSE, LINK Networks Reciprocal Agreement

PULSE EFT Association LP and LINK Interchange Network Ltd., the operator of the UK Cash Machine Network, have announced a reciprocal agreement that will allow the 4,200 financial institution participants in the PULSE ATM/debit network to offer their cardholders access to all but a handful of the more than 58,000 cash machines across the United Kingdom and allow LINK to offer its 38 participating financial institution members access to an additional 250,000 PULSE cash machines in the United States.

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August 23, 2006

More On West Coast Bank, Coinstar

As mentioned yesterday, West Coast Bank is now offering its banking customers the Coinstar line of gift card, prepaid wireless, cash card, and phone card products. According to a press release issued this afternoon, included in the products being offered are gift cards from food, entertainment and retail businesses including Chili's, Borders, Starbucks, Circuit City, AMC Theatres, KB Toys, and Timberland along with Green Dot prepaid debit cards.

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Still Bullish On Contactless

Andy Williams writes for CR80News.com about how the big three US payment card brands remain bullish on contactless payments - one year after nationwide launches began - as key to their strategies to displace cash payments.

Visa TravelMoney Cards Now Available At Safeway Stores

Visa USA has announced that Visa TravelMoney cards will now be available in more than 1,550 Safeway store locations nationwide, including participating Safeway, Carrs, Dominick's, Genuardi's, Pak 'n Save, Pavilions, Randalls, Vons, and Tom Thumb stores. NetSpend will market the reloadable prepaid travel cards and process transactions for the issuer, Inter National Bank.

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Financial Organizations See Business Opportunity In HSAs

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services has announced results of a recent survey of financial organizations in which eighty percent of financial organizations responding said their organization currently offers Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or plans to do so in the next year.

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A Look At The US Credit Card Merchant Acquiring Industry

TowerGroup has announced new research examining the US merchant acquiring business - concluding that further concentration of the large merchant acquirers in the United States is unlikely and that growth opportunities are likely to come from competition either between U.S. acquirers or with those outside the United States.

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Colleges Decline Credit Card Tuition Payments

Cara Nissman writes for Bankrate.com about how more colleges and universities are deciding that it's just too expensive for them to accept credit cards for tuition payments. We reported earlier this month on a move by Brigham Young University to push its students to using echecks for tuition payments.

All Points Capital Chooses Arcot For Multi-factor Authentication

Arcot Systems has announced that All Points Capital, a subsidiary of North Fork Bank, has chosen the Arcot's WebFort multi-factor authentication solution for authenticating financial institution customers into its online transaction portal. The ability to also use Arcot's solution for secure digital signing of electronic documents was an important factor in All Points' decision.

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