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« October 15, 2006 - October 21, 2006 | Main | October 29, 2006 - November 4, 2006 »

October 27, 2006

New Payments Event Calendar Added To Payments News

We've just launched a new payments event calendar here on Payments News. We're using Google's online calendar feature to host the calendar - making it easy to share. If you're on a Mac, you can use this link to point iCal at the calendar. If you're aware of an event that should be listed, please click the link on the calendar page and send us an email with the details for the event.

EU Regulators Schedule MasterCard Interchange Fee Hearings

Mary Jacoby writes for the Wall St. Journal about upcoming hearings scheduled on November 14 and 15 in Brussels for EU regulators to examine MasterCard's interchange fees. The EU regulators view interchange fees as "obstacles to creating a single payment area in the EU".

A Look At "Spend to Save" Credit Cards

Dana Dratch writes for Bankrate.com about "spend to save" credit cards such as the American Express One card launched a year ago that deposits 1% of the amount purchased into a high-yield savings account.

MasterCard Wins 2006 Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award

MasterCard Worldwide has been awarded the 2006 Frost & Sullivan Company of the Year Award for its performance in the contactless payment market.

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October 26, 2006

HSAs - A Paradox for Bankers

Javelin Strategy & Research has published a new report concluding that "Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) represent a paradox for banking and payment leaders: Banks cannot overlook the long-term opportunities for asset growth, yet must plan to address problematic consumer awareness and interest along with other thorny healthcare industry issues."

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Payments News Search Engine Enhanced

Earlier this week, we announced that we'd implemented a new, customized search engine here on Payments News - taking advantage of a feature that Google announced on Monday. What's unique about this search engine is that we can provide it with a list of sites that should be searched - rather than searching the whole World Wide Web. For payments professionals, the search results from the Payments News Search Engine are much more likely to be results of interest vs. a standard Google search. We've further enhanced the list of sites searched this morning - with the list now totaling about 80 payments-related sites. You may want to bookmark our search page if you find it useful.

Annals of Fraud: US Currency Counterfeiting

The US Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. Secret Service issued their third collaborative report (PDF) on the use and counterfeiting of U.S. currency abroad - concluding that, of U.S. notes in circulation abroad and at home, about one note in 10,000 is counterfeit. The report estimated that about $450 billion of the $760 billion in circulation as of December 2005 is held abroad. According to the report, "Colombia registers first on the counterfeiting threat list because it has been the chief supplier of counterfeit notes to the U.S. market. ... During FY 2005, approximately 15 percent ($8 million out of a total of $56.2 million) of all counterfeit currency passed within the United States originated in Colombia."

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Target Introduces Prepaid Photo Card

Target has announced the launch of a Prepaid Photo Card that allow purchasers to save up to 20 percent on photofinishing services.

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Wells Fargo: Business Customers' Check Deposits Via Internet Nearly Double

Wells Fargo has announced that the number of deposits its business customers have made via the Internet -- eliminating the need for physical deposit of paper checks at the bank (called "remote deposit capture" in the banking industry -- nearly doubled in the past three months. This paper-less process was made legal by the "Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act" signed into law two years ago.

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New Bank of America Credit Card With Pharmaceutical Rewards Program

Bank of America and Caremark Rx have announced the launch of a new Caremark Visa credit card program that offers cardholders a rewards program for making beneficial decisions related to their use of prescription medications, including choosing generic and preferred drugs.

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Smart Card Talk - October Issue

The October issue of Smart Card Talk, a publication of the Smart Card Alliance, is now available. This issue features an interview with Mohammed Khan, President and Founder of ViVOtech along with a look at Transit and Contactless Financial Payments.

Coinstar Announces Financial Institutions Solutions, FDC/Star Agreement

Coinstar has announced a new Coinstar Direct Coin Deposit service that will allow bank and credit union customers to electronically transfer coin into their personal accounts. In addition, Coinstar’s making available a new "Madison" coin-counting kiosk specifically designed for retail financial institution branches.

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FFIEC Internet Banking Guidance: Bank Updates

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. We first posted her summary of bank strategies last September. Now, Linda provides an update on what the industry has been doing since then:

We've updated our earlier chart on announced FFIEC Compliance actions. We are now beginning to see more varied approaches to the dual-factor authentication challenge. Biometrics is being rolled out at some smaller institutions, such as Credit Unions. Today, Verisign and Northern Trust announced use of the Verisign network approach to risk-based authentication. While the field of announced solutions is more varied than before, the large security firms still seem to be announcing more 'wins' with larger companies.

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HP Adds PayPal as Payment Option to HP Home & Home Office Store

HP has announced that it is offering PayPal as a payment option at the HP Home & Home Office Store.

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October 25, 2006

Highlights from the 2006 Summary of Deposits Data

The FDIC's latest issue of "FYI: An Update on Emerging Issues in Banking" contains "Highlights from the 2006 Summary of Deposits Data" that provides a number of interesting observations based upon the Summary of Deposits survey data captured each June by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of Thrift Supervision.

Pay By Touch Signs Scott's Food & Pharmacy For Pilot

Pay By Touch has announced that Scott's Food & Pharmacy will be piloting finger-scan payment program at four of its stores in northeast Indiana.

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Entrust, VeriSign Propose Collaborative Fraud Intelligence Network

Entrust has announced that it is collaborating with VeriSign in proposing a new fraud intelligence network. The two companies have prepared an IETF Internet Draft document titled "How to Share Transaction Fraud (Thraud) Report Data".

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APACS Reports On Credit Card Industry Transparency

APACS has announced its latest report into "transparency and responsibility in the credit card industry." The report, - ‘Sharing Best Practice’, "details the steps the industry has undertaken to benefit the consumer, and provides an update on responsible lending initiatives such as increased data sharing."

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Connecting the Unconnected

Jan Chipchase is a researcher for Nokia - and a great blogger too. He recently gave a presentation titled "Connecting the Unconnected" (in PowerPoint format annotated with notes) that's a real delight.

Annals of Fraud: Food Stamps, Retail Theft

Two stories this morning about fraudsters and their methods - one from the Government Accountability Office examining the level of "trafficking" in food stamp benefit programs and the other from the Wall St. Journal examining the increasing sophistication of outright retail theft.

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A Single Ecommerce Payment Service For Korea, China, Japan

INICIS Co. Ltd. of Korea has announced that it has entered into an alliance with ChinaPay of China and eContext of Japan to provide online global payment processing services to merchants from around the world. This strategic alliance will provide online payment processing services to many global merchants conducting or wishing to conduct online business in China, Japan and Korea.

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Signature Debit Begins Displacing EFTPOS In Australia

In an article titled 'Imitation Plastic", John Luu reports for the Sydney Morning Herald on new signature debit cards from ANZ (Visa) and Westpac (MasterCard). ANZ's Visa Debit has a monthly fee of A$6 for unlimited transactions - and can also be used for direct deposit of payroll. Westpac's Debit MasterCard doesn't have a monthly fee but does require an associated savings or deposit account.

October 24, 2006

A Different Kind Of Bank - New Resource Bank

New Resource Bank, an innovative commercial bank in San Francisco, has announced an agreement to provide simple and one-step financing to California customers of SunPower residential solar systems with SunPower Corporation, a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of the world's highest-efficiency, commercially-available solar cells and solar panels.

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Yahoo, Arroweye To Offer Personalized Gift Cards For Multiple Retailers

InternetRetailer.com reports that Arroweye Solutions is partnering with Yahoo! to offer gift cards that online shoppers can personalize with their own photos and text.

PRBC Closes Equity Funding, Installs New CEO

PRBC, also known as Pay Rent, Build Credit, Inc., has announced that it has "completed a round of equity financing that will enable it to expand its business as the leading "alternative credit bureau" in the United States."

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eFunds To Power Online Segment Of New UK Faster Payments Service

eFunds International Limited has announced that it will be working with LINK Interchange Network Ltd., the payments processor whose infrastructure powers the UK's real-time online ATM network, to provide the core functionality for the new Faster Payments Service (FPS) to deliver real-time funds transfer from one bank account to another.

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