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« August 20, 2006 - August 26, 2006 | Main | September 3, 2006 - September 9, 2006 »

September 02, 2006

The Nilson Report - Issue 863

The latest Nilson Report has arrived featuring an in-depth look at US currency and counterfeits (subscription only). This issue also has articles discussing Google Checkout, an update on peer-to-peer lending, and consumer vs. commercial card products in the US.

Pre-Paid Plastic Set to Save on Cheques

James Daw reports for the Toronto Star about the pre-paid benefits cards that Mint Technology Corp. has introduced. "There is an underserved market that needs a sort of virtual bank account," says Mint president Frank Maduri.

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September 01, 2006

FSTC Announces GSA RFI For Identity Credential Services

The Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) has announced that the General Services Administration (GSA) is requesting information on the capability of commercial and other entities to provide identity credential services to support public access to Internet-based online government services. A copy of the RFI is available for download.

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Are Contactless Cards A Risk For Acquirers?

Digital Transactions, In an article titled 'Study Warns of Contactless, Other Rising Risks for Top Acquirers", writes about a recent TowerGroup report titled "Taking Charge: Essentials of U.S. Bank Card Acquiring" and speculates that implementation of RFID technology by major retailers might represent a risk to major US acquirers.

FFIEC Internet Banking Guidance: Banks Begin to Show Their Hands

Glenbrook's Linda Elliott has been following the banking industry's efforts to comply with the FFIEC Internet Banking Guidance issued almost a year ago. Here, Linda provides the following update on what the industry has been doing - and talking about:

The implementation deadline for FFIEC Internet Banking Guidance looms at the end of this year, and after almost a year of studying both the guidance and their options, banks are beginning to show their hands in addressing the guidance. Clarifications from the FFIEC last month added little to the set of considerations for most institutions, but re-iterated that the implementation target is the end of the year, and that ‘do nothing’ was not considered a valid response, even if a bank is willing to accept the inherent risk in that approach.

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RBS Drops Convenience Cheques In The UK

The Guardian reports on a decision by RBS to abandon providing its cardholders credit card cheques (aka as "convenience cheques"). In the UK, pressure has been building against the banks as regulators and consumer groups have been challenging the practice while the banks claim they provide the cheques for their cardholders' benefit. According to one industry analyst, the cheques "cost more than using your card, you don't get an interest-free period even if you pay off the balance immediately, and you don't get the same protection as when you use your card."

The U.S. Retail Payments System in Transition: Federal Reserve Initiatives

The Payments System Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has published an article by Barbara Pacheco, senior vice president of financial services, titled "The U.S. Retail Payments System in Transition: Federal Reserve Initiatives" (PDF). In the article, she writes that "the big story is the adoption of the debit card for everyday purchases, with transaction volume increasing 25 percent per year. Embraced by consumers who want the convenience of a card with the discipline of the tie to a checking account, the number of debit card transactions surpassed those made by credit card in 2003."

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 31, 2006

Chase Paymentech PCI Compliance Initiative For Level 4 Merchants

Chase Paymentech Solutions has announced a new data security compliance program targeted to small-to-medium sized merchants -- those who process less than 20,000 e-commerce and/or one million card present transactions of a single card brand annually.

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Wesco ACH Debit Cards Offer Savings For All

Dave Alexander writes for the Muskegon Chronicle about the launch of new Debitman-based debit cards by Muskegon, Michigan-based Wesco that he says "will provide the regional chain of gas stations and convenience stores relief from high bank card transaction fees and provide discounts to customers." Wesco and Debitman announced the new card program last week.

TeacherDollars - Special Purpose Debit Cards Supporting Teachers

Evolution Benefits has announced a pilot test with the Hartford Public Schools of TeacherDollars, a new debit card program developed with funding from The Robert & Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation, card technology from Evolution Benefits, and program leadership from the Hartford Public Schools.

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New York State Jobless Benefits Via A Debit Card

Jerry Gleeson reports for the Journal News (NY) about New York State's plans to begin paying unemployment benefits into accounts that will be accessed via debit cards.

MasterCard Focuses On Small Business

MasterCard has announced zero liability protection for small business cardholders effective September 1, 2006 along with a "Build Your Business" sweepstakes to promote its small business product offerings. MasterCard is also launching a new MasterCardBusiness.com site, "where small business owners can find further information about the "Build Your Business" promotion and zero liability protections, as well as tips on how to manage employee benefits, ways to market their businesses on a budget, and helpful money management advice."

China Unionpay Opens First Regional Representative Office In Singapore

China Unionpay (CUP), China's only national electronic payment and interchange network operator, has announced it has opened its first regional representative office in Singapore. The new representative office will "facilitate collaboration in the regional payment industry, as well as further develop trade ties between Singapore and its neighboring countries. CUP is planning to launch similar offices in Europe, the United States and other parts of Asia in the future.

Prof Predicts Cashless Vending On Campus

Fredricka Paul reports for The State News that Michael Kasavana, Michigan State University National Automatic Merchandising Association-endowed professor, predicts that vending machines that accept credit and debit cards will become more popular in coming years. "By 2009, half of the six million vending machines will be capable of having cashless technology," Kasavana said. "About half of those will have card readers."

Goldleaf Teams with RSA Security

RSA Security has announced that Goldleaf Technologies is now offering the RSA Adaptive Authentication solution to its banking and credit union customers.

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No Quarters for the Meter?

Ellen Rosen reports for the New York Times on the parking payment system developed by Parcxmart Technologies and its CEO John J. Regan.

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 30, 2006

Branch, ATM or Online? Generations Clash

The American Bankers Association has released results of a recent survey of consumers that concludes that although branch banking still ranks first overall among consumer's usage, younger customers behave very differently.

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Visa Quarterly Focuses On Emerging Markets

The new issue of the Visa Quarterly focuses on emerging markets in an interview with Visa International's Debbie Arnold, vice president and managing director for emerging markets. Other articles include Financial Literacy Unveiled, Visa's Remittance Solutions, a look at WAY Systems' Mobile Transaction Terminal, and Credit Bureaus and Visa.

Todd Strubbe To Lead First Data Debit Services

First Data Corp. has announced that Todd Strubbe has returned to the company as president of First Data Debit Services. Strubbe will oversee First Data's debit processing business which includes the STAR Network, reporting to David Bailis, president, First Data Financial Institution Services.

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YeePay Announces Financing from DFJ, Intel Capital, WR Hambrecht

YeePay has announced the completion of a round of financing led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ Dragon and joined by Intel Capital China, WR Hambrecht and several other institutional investors.

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Some Reward Card Challenges

The Washington Post's Caroline Mayer writes about a colleague's frustration with his Chase-issued Amazon.com Visa card and its paper-based reward certificates. He says "It's no surprise I guess. While they want to make it easy for me to spend my money, they'd like to make it hard for me to spend their money."

Banks Balk At Potential Enforcer Role

David Kesmodel reports for the Wall St. Journal about concerns raised by the Independent Community Bankers of America about pending legislation in Congress that "would require financial institutions to block payments between U.S. residents and online casinos." Bankers and the ICBA are concerned that the ACH system provides no information about the nature of a recipients business and "would require a massive – and costly – overhaul to allow banks to identify transactions."

Generation Plastic - 70% Use Cards On Purchases Of Less Than $2

Lore Croghan writes for the New York Daily News about how the "25-and-under crowd is hooked on debit and credit cards" - including using them for small purchases. Croghan writes about a recent Visa USA survey about using cards for small purchase amounts.

August 29, 2006

Fuel Cards Get Hot

With the cost of gasoline at record levels, payments companies aren't missing any opportunities to promote new card programs designed to help consumers save money on gas. Today, Ecount announced seeing a 500% growth in demand for their Fuel Card program over last year - saying that the dramatic increase in demand is due to numerous companies turning to the Ecount Fuel Card program to help provide relief from high gas prices for their employees and customers. Separately, National Payment Card LLC has announced the launch the "first ACH payment card for the gas industry" - saying it provides a way for consumers to pay less for gasoline through an immediate cash reward and for station operators to substantially lower their processing costs for participating consumers compared with the current charges of credit and debit card interchange and processing fees.

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Glenbrook's "Mile High!" Denver Payments Boot Camp

Glenbrook has announced the addition of a new session of our popular two-day intensive Payments Boot Camp program to be held in Denver on November 7th and 8th. Each of the Glenbrook Payments Boot Camps is taught by full partners at Glenbrook with many years' experience in the business, operations, technology, marketing and risk management of payments. Glenbrook Payments Boot Camps are a great professional networking venue as well - with many opportunities to talk with other attendees both during the workshop and at a reception on the first night. Learn more about the Denver Payments Boot Camp and registration details at the Glenbrook web site.

Some Banks Boosting Checking Account Interest Rates

Jane Kim reports for the Wall St. Journal that some banks have begun paying higher interest rates on checking accounts in an effort to attract new accounts. But, no surprise, she cites industry experts who say that checking accounts are still "a lousy place" for consumers to save.

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