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« November 26, 2006 - December 2, 2006 | Main | December 10, 2006 - December 16, 2006 »

December 09, 2006

PCI-DSS Compliance Research Study

We've received word from our friends at Voltage Security about a research study they're currently conducting in the area of PCI-DSS compliance. If you're interested in participating, read on.


New Niches For Payments Processors

Investors Business Daily reports on how payments transaction processors are moving into new niches for growth - including Heartland, Global Payments, and TSYS.

InComm Delighted With Gift Card Boom

Patti Bond writes for the Cox News Service about InComm's delight with the boom in gift cards. "More people will receive gift cards this year than ever before, and that's because now there's a much bigger selection," said Tim McCallum, senior vice president of gift cards at InComm. "Retailers have either expanded their displays or have decided to carry gift cards for the first time, so this is going to be an explosive year in the business."

December 08, 2006

An Update From The Clearing House And SVPCO

Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson spoke yesterday with George F. Thomas, who oversees strategy and product management at The Clearing House in New York. Carol filed this report on her conversation with George.


New Mercator Report - U.K. Credit Card Issuing

Mercator Advisory Group has published a new report titled "U.K. Credit Card Issuing: Across The Pond, But Not Out Of The Woods" that "examines recent downturns in U.K. credit card issuing in terms of receivables and payment volume, which are unprecedented in this traditionally fast-growing card market. Credit card growth rates in the U.K. have historically exceeded those of the U.S., and the decline in growth represents a sudden departure from these trends."


Some Help With Mobile Banking Terminology

Jim Bruene writes on his Financial Marketing blog about some of the key terms in mobile banking and mobile payments.

Google Checkout Could Change the Game

Vishesh Kumar writes for about Google Checkout's recent announcement that it will be offering Google Checkout free to merchants through 2007. Kumar suggests that "with a perch that allows it to see which searchers end up making what purchases, Google could introduce an advertising model whereby merchants choose to pay only when a product is sold, rather than when an ad is clicked on."

Creating Wealth From Payments Innovation - PayPal's Peter Thiel

Earlier this week, we wrote about creating wealth from payments innovation - and featured PayPal as one of the shining examples so far this decade. This morning, The Australian carries a Bloomberg story profiling former PayPal CEO Peter Thiel - who turned a $240,000 investment into $60 million over four years at PayPal.

ING DIRECT Expands Options For Investors With New Mutual Funds

ING DIRECT has announced "the addition of six new mutual funds to its existing investment portfolio by its affiliate ING DIRECT Securities, Inc. The new funds provide a dynamic mix of investment opportunities for Customers and include three Asset Allocation Funds; a Money Market Fund; a Global Real Estate Fund; and a Global Equity Dividend Fund."


Reinventing The Payment Industry

MasterCard's Chris Thom writes a perspective for CNET on the 40 years MasterCard's been around - concluding by predicting "not far off is the day when, through the assignment of an ever-changing access code, every transaction will be unique, incapable of being replayed and utterly useless to the criminal fraternity."

PNC Bank Announces New Online Security Feature

PNC Bank has announced "a new security feature for online banking customers to further protect their information and help prevent fraud and identity theft. Available Dec. 10, PNC's layered security is designed to enable customers to verify they are at the authentic PNC Bank Online Banking site, and simultaneously enhances PNC's ability to validate a customer's identity. This will be accomplished through a unique image and caption chosen by the customer as well as security questions with answers that only he or she should know."


The Value Proposition For Banks To Offer Small-Business EIPP

Aite Group has published a new report title "Small-Business Banking: The Value Proposition for Banks to Offer Small-Business EIPP" that "evaluates the size of the EIPP opportunity for U.S. banks and builds a case for banks to offer the service."


The Relationship Between Rewards and Payments

Celent has published a new report titled "Making Loyalty Pay: The Relationship Between Rewards and Payments". According to Celent, "alternatives to credit card reward programs are increasing as a result of new payment technologies and business models. Credit card issuers have been the main beneficiaries of reward programs, while merchant loyalty programs have failed abysmally. However, new technology and business models will allow merchants and payment providers to benefit from rewards programs.


Bank of America May Bid For Barclays

There are several articles this morning speculating that Bank of America may be about to make a bid to acquire Barclays Bank - based upon a research report issued by Merrill Lynch.

How To Spot A Fraudster

Retail Decisions says there is a swelling army of invisible thieves, perhaps the worst kind, who are pillaging online merchants via stolen credit and debit card information. Criminals use stolen credit and debit card information to fraudulently purchase items for resale.


More On MasterCard's Soccer Sponsorship Save

Robin Sidel reports for the Wall St. Journal on Wednesday's court decision that ruled in favor of MasterCard retaining its sponsorship rights to the World Cup and other FIFA events. Visa International had earlier this year announced it had successfully negotiated with FIFA for the rights. The text of the judge's decision (PDF) is available online. The decision is an amazing read of how the negotiations for the sponsorship played out - including even a story about an audio recording of one key meeting with a mysterious "gap" at a critical point on the tape!

December 07, 2006

Revolving Credit Up In October

The latest Federal Reserve G.19 summary of consumer credit for the month of October is now available - showing a 4.1 percent annualized increase in revolving credit - to a total of $863.4 billion. Non-revolving debt declined at a 3.3 percent rate.

MasterCard Intra-European Fallback POS Interchange Fees & Cost Components

MasterCard has posted on its web site its intra-European fallback POS interchange fees along with the three main cost components (payment guarantee costs, free funding costs, and processing costs) used in its consumer cards cost study.

Octopus Card Observations

Dave Birch writes on the Digital Money Forum blog about Hong Kong's Octopus scheme - based upon a presentation given by Brian Chambers at a conference in Munich today. Dave links to Wikipedia which has a great summary overview article of Octopus.

Visa Announces Test Requirements for Powered Cards

Visa has announced a "new set of test requirements to help card manufacturers ensure that emerging card technologies, such as battery powered cards and display cards, meet Visa standards for security, safety and interoperability."


Biggest E-Retail Day in History

eMarketer reports on Cyber Monday, November 27, which - according to data from comScore Networks - was the biggest ecommerce retail day in history at $608 million, up 26% compared to last year.

Consumers With Rewards Credit Cards Not Reaping Full Benefits

GMAC Mortgage has announced the results of a national survey that concludes that, while over 50 percent of respondents in a recent national survey of American consumers reported having at least one or two rewards credit cards, more than 41 percent of these reward cardholders either rarely or never even bother to use their rewards. The results also indicate that traditional rewards programs, such as airline miles, are losing steam as only 13 percent of all respondents in the survey ranked airline miles as valuable.


A Look At Retailer Card-based Loyalty Programs

Ylan Q. Mui writes for the Washington Post about retailer card-based loyalty programs. According to Mui, "the cards encourage shoppers to spend more, allow the stores to avoid fees from other credit card companies and offer the retailers insight into their customers' buying habits."

InComm Enables Sale of Postpaid Contract Services at Retail

InComm has announced that it now offers "technical solutions that enable retail customers to order and manage postpaid services, including wireless, broadband or television. Merchants and their customers can leverage InComm technology to sign up for postpaid services, pay their monthly services bills and do many other things at convenient retail locations such as grocery stores or big box retailers."


Chase Paymentech Approved By MasterCard For Canadian Chip Transactions

MasterCard Canada has announced that Chase Paymentech Solutions has become the first acquirer in Canada to receive approval from MasterCard to process chip transactions. According to MasterCard, "Chase Paymentech's approval sets the stage for the introduction of MasterCard chip cards in 2007."


Pay By Touch Acquires S&H Solutions

Pay By Touch has announced that it has acquired S&H Solutions (S&H) and its parent company S&H greenpoints for a purchase price that was "in excess of $100 million in cash and stock." Pay By Touch sais the acquisition was "in keeping with its corporate strategy to acquire companies that complement its portfolio and provide
future growth opportunities."


December 06, 2006

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. Accepts Visa For Residential Bill Payment

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Visa USA have announced "the start of an 18-month pilot program that will enable millions of Californians to pay their utility bills conveniently using Visa-branded payment cards, such as consumer debit, credit and prepaid cards. PG&E is one of the country's largest providers of natural gas and electric service and is now the nation's largest utility company to offer its residential customers the option of using a Visa card for their monthly payments."



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