Payments News from Glenbrook Partners
Glenbrook   Book   Education   Views   Archives   Store   Advertise   About         SUBSCRIBE:

« August 27, 2006 - September 2, 2006 | Main | September 10, 2006 - September 16, 2006 »

September 09, 2006

Best Places To Launch A Career - In Payments

This weekend's Business Week cover story, "The Best Places To Launch A Career", lists only four payments related companies in the top 25: GE (#8), JP Morgan Chase (#9), Google (#13 - although it's a stretch to call them a payments company just yet!), and Wells Fargo (#23). Curiously, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency comes in at #48 on the Business Week list - with the following comment included: "Flextime policy allows employees to take every second Friday off by working nine-hour days."

Wachovia Partners With GE's Corporate Payment Services

Wachovia has announced a strategic partnership with GE Money - Corporate Payment Services to provide commercial and purchasing cards to its wholesale and treasury services customers. Under the terms of the partnership, Wachovia will sell, underwrite, manage and own the asset portfolio, which will feature MasterCard as its preferred brand. CPS will provide all back-office functions and a rich information- reporting and analytical toolkit that is essential to enhancing companies cash management and procurement capabilities.


September 08, 2006

Google: "Payment Right Now On The Web Is A Disaster"

Donna Bogatin blogs on ZDNet about comments made yesterday by Alan Eustace, Google SVP Engineering & Research during a Q&A at Citigroup's 13th Annual Global Technology Conference (webcast) in New York City. According to Eustace, "Payment right now on the Web is a disaster. Everybody who has ever tried to buy anything on the Web right now, you don’t know who the person who is selling the goods are, you have to input your credit card to a thousand different places out there, who knows what those people are doing with my credit card...."

US Consumer Credit Growth Slows In July

The Federal Reserve reported today that the growth in consumer credit increased at a slower annual rate of 2-3/4 percent in July, down from a 6.6 percent annual growth rate in the second quarter.

Field Report: How Identity Theft Works

Steve Stasiukonis, VP and founder of Secure Network Technologies Inc., writes for Dr. Dobb's about one example of a successful social engineering attack that could have resulted in identity theft. Stasiukonis writes "in a recent project, my penetration testing firm was able to gain an alarming amount of access to personal information -- and even financial accounts -- with only a birth date to go on."

Barclays Uses Transversal Web Ad Targeting

Transversal has announced that Barclays is its first customer to deploy Transversal's Sales Engine on its main UK site. The company claims that Sales Engine is "the first online marketing solution able to serve up targeted content, advertising and sales promotions in response to naturally phrased questions asked by customers via an organisation's website."


Higher Credit Card Mail Volumes For First Half of 2006

Consumers have received more credit card direct mail for the first half of this year than in 2005, according to Mintel Comperemedia, a competitive intelligence service that analyzes direct mail and print media. The service estimates that close to 4.2 billion direct mail pieces were distributed to U.S. consumers during the first half of 2006, up from 3.9 billion pieces during the same time period. The mailings include acquisition, cross-selling, and follow-up mailings.


More On The Saks Fifth Avenue World Elite MasterCard

Saks Fifth Avenue yesterday announced the launch of The Saks Fifth Avenue World Elite MasterCard, its first co-branded credit card, issued by HSBC. Steve Sadove, Chief Executive Officer of Saks Incorporated, noted, "We have a valued and long-standing strategic alliance with HSBC, and we are delighted to once again team up with them and to work with MasterCard Worldwide to introduce The Saks Fifth Avenue World Elite MasterCard card. This card exemplifies what is already one of the retail industry's most rewarding programs, SaksFirst, and enhances our customers' benefits. It allows us to extend our relationship with our best customers and provide them with rewards and benefits that solidify their loyalty to Saks. Saks Fifth Avenue's customers have a variety of interests, including a passion for international travel, and MasterCard has an unparalleled global presence. The World Elite MasterCard card has worldwide acceptance and travel benefits that deliver on our customers' expectations for premium service."


September 07, 2006

Wheaties For Your Wallet

Listen to the web. "Jason Knight and Marc Hedlund are the co-founders of a company called Wesabe, which is all about bringing people together in a community designed to make getting the most from your money dead simple." Read more about what they're thinking at their blog "Wheaties For Your Wallet". For example, read Marc's recent frustrations trying to pay his American Express credit card bill online. Or another post about how Marc felt he was treated as a (now an ex-) Washington Mutual customer.

MasterCard Launches World Elite Card With HSBC, Saks Fifth Avenue

MasterCard Worldwide has announced the launch of the World Elite MasterCard - describing it as a "new card platform for elite affluent consumers, small businesses and executives of large corporations." The card targets the "elite affluent demographic" targeting those with annual household incomes greater than $250,000.


The Merchant-Bank Struggle for Control of Payment Systems

Back in June, we pointed to an article by Adam Levitin. Adam emailed us this morning with news that a greatly expanded version of his paper is now available online: "The Merchant-Bank Struggle for Control of Payment Systems." His prediction: "the payments industry will look very different in a decade."


Chase Notifying 2.6 MM Circuit City Cardholders Re: Improperly Discarded Tapes

Chase Card Services says that it is "notifying 2.6 million current and former Circuit City credit card account holders that computer tapes containing their personal information were mistakenly identified as trash and thrown out."


H&R Block Plans To Open 1 Million Bank Accounts For Free

H&R Block has announced plans to open low-cost bank accounts for free for 1 million of its tax clients and to significantly reduce the cost of its refund anticipation loans for tax season 2007. The company has outlined a four-part plan that includes a next generation, low-cost bank account new high-yield savings products, lower cost refund anticipation loans and enhanced financial education to better serve its tax clients.


US Check Image Volume Continues Rapid Growth

SVPCO-Electronic Clearing Services has announced that monthly check image volume in August surpassed $200 billion and 75 million items as compared to $45.3 billion and 5.3 million items in the same month last year.


Payment Processor Tops Inc. 500 List Of Fastest Growing Companies

Litle & Co., a payment processor for direct marketing merchants, has announced that it was ranked number one on the Inc. 500 list of the country’s fastest growing private companies. Litle & Co. says it topped the list with a three-year sales growth of 5,629% and 2005 revenues of $34.8 Million. The Inc. 500 list can be found in the September print issue and will be available online on September 19th.


The Mobile Phone as the Key to Daily Life

"The Mobile Phone as the Key to Daily Life" - that's the theme of this year's NTT DoCoMo's Annual Report to Shareholders. DoCoMo says that it is developing new businesses such as credit services based on the strength of its customer base of over 50 million subscribers and that it "intends to hasten this evolution by providing diverse, innovative services that enhance the convenience of customers' daily lives, including not only voice calls and Internet connection services via i-mode, but also credit payments, e-money, e-ticketing, music players and television, and even ID cards and house keys."


Five Payment Brands Unite To Strengthen Global Data Security

American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International have announced the formation of an independent council - the PCI Security Standards Council - designed to manage the ongoing evolution of the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard.


Astroleap Launches Mobile Coupons

Astroleap has announced the launch of eureka!mobile, a new mobile software application enabling users to access, save and redeem location-based coupons, discounts and promotions via their wireless phone.


Euro Alliance of Payment Schemes Links Debit Networks

Cardholders of European banks will soon be able to use their payment cards for transactions in other European countries just as easily as in their home country according to the new Euro Alliance of Payment Schemes (EAPS). The executives of several national card payment schemes have agreed on principles of cooperation that will enable the creation of a "new alternative for pan-European payments" that will bring significant additional benefits to banks, retailers and cardholders.


Contactless Breeze Blows Across Atlanta’s MARTA

Andy Williams writes for SecureIDNews about MARTA's new smart card-based fare collection system that in the final stages of launch. The MARTA system, built by Cubic Transportation Systems, is the first U.S. system to deploy both limited use smart card paper tickets along with conventional plastic smart cards - both using different flavors of Philips MIFARE chips. Williams quotes Neil Poling, program manager at MARTA, who says ""one of the disappointments in the whole smart card deployment efforts with MARTA and across the country has been the reluctance of banks and card associations to become involved. There have been a lot of promises and a lot of discussion from banks on where we go with stored value, but it's never comes to fruition. When we got into this, we were very excited about the possibilities, becoming partners with banks and card associations, but they've been extremely cautious about getting involved."

Two-Factor Authentication: No Silver Bullet

Jay Cline of the Carlson Companies writes an opinion piece for ComputerWorld about how there's no one "silver bullet" solution to two-factor authentication, saying "it’s bad for business and bad for the economy for standards organisations to mandate a one-size-fits-all solution. Continued flexibility is the right way to go to address this complex risk."

Who's News - Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Angel Pacheco has been named vice president, new business development at FreeStar Technology Corp., an international card payments processor and technology company.
  • Geoff Judge has been appointed to the board of directors of Global Cash Access Holdings Inc. Judge currently serves as the acting chief revenue officer of Piczo Inc., a social networking site for teens that was named the fastest-growing Web brand in the United Kingdom for 2005.
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.

September 06, 2006

Survey: E-Crime Incidents Declining Yet Impact Is Increasing

CSO Magazine has released the results of the 2006 E-Crime Watch survey, revealing a decline in security events, yet an increase in the financial and operational losses caused by such electronic crime incidents.


Some Results From Atlanta Near Field Communication (NFC) Trial

Atlanta Spirit, Chase, Cingular, Nokia, NXP, Visa USA and ViVOtech have announced the completion of the first North American Near Field Communication (NFC) trial for mobile phones, including contactless payments and content downloads at the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia.


First Annapolis Navigator - August 2006 Edition

The August 2006 edition of the First Annapolis Navigator is now available. This month's issue features an article on health care and payments, a snapshot of Target's credit business, how to think like a major retailer about self-acquiring, exploring the relationship between risk and losses in US acquirers, and a summary of second quarter 2006 US card issuer performance.

Lighthouse1 Teams With First Data and UMB Healthcare Services

Lighthouse1, a provider of consumer driven healthcare administration solutions, has announced an agreement with First Data Healthcare Services to deliver a debit card and transaction processing services for subscribers using Lighthouse1's healthcare programs. First Data will provide healthcare card services, including a transaction card processing solution for members to access their fund contributions at the point of care. UMB Healthcare Services will work with First Data to support debit card access, investment programs and transaction processing.


Big Banks On Campus

Jane Kim reports for the Wall St. Journal on this season's marketing efforts by banks on college campuses around the country - and the trinkets, from iPod Shuffles to cases of Coca-Cola to lava lamps, that they're giving away to entice students to open new student checking accounts, signup for new credit cards, etc. Nope, no toasters are included.

NACHA Readies Rule Changes To Help Avoid Fraud

Steve Bills writes for the American Banker about a "sweeping" set of rule changes NACHA is planning to propose designed to help reduce potential fraud risks in the ACH system. In June 2005, NACHA's board failed to adopt a Network Returned Item Fee proposal that was intended to provide the mechanism for a receiving bank to be compensated by the originating bank in the event an ACH item was found to have been unauthorized (submitted in error or fraudulently) by the receiver. Today, there's no such mechanism in the ACH system. Bills reports that this time around NACHA is looking beyond just the returned item fee at other risk management approaches.


News View

Payments Consultants