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« January 22, 2006 - January 28, 2006 | Main | February 5, 2006 - February 11, 2006 »

February 04, 2006

Credit Card Sharks

Jim Sollisch writes an op-ed piece for the Washington Post about some of the worst (he calls them "ruthless") practices of credit card issuers - the practices that lead him to call them "credit card sharks".

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Next BayPay Meeting: Monday, February 6, San Jose

baypay-140px.jpgAre you a payments professional living in the San Francisco Bay Area? The next meeting of BayPay, the payments professionals' networking group for the San Francisco area is being held next Monday, February 6, at 6 PM in San Jose. The topic for this meeting is "Solutions for the Unbanked".

If you're not already a BayPay member and are interested in attending Monday's meeting, please contact us to request more information and an invitation to join the group.

Headline News - Saturday, February 4, 2006

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated.

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February 03, 2006

Boston Globe Grapples With Credit Card Blunder

Svea Herbst-Bayliss reports for Reuters on the credit card security breach by the Boston Globe that was reported earlier this week.

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Top 11: Popular Searches On Payments News

Whenever you're looking for a posting here, you can search Payments News using the search box over in the sidebar on the right side of the page.

This week, the top 11 most popular search keywords on Payments News have been: mastercard ipo, certegy, bidpay, washington mutual mastercard, american express red card, secured mastercard, citibank ipod, charlie fote, hello kitty credit card, financial institution shared assessments program and sitekey.

eWeek: Some Consumers Resist Retail Biometrics

In a lengthy article, Evan Schuman reports for eWeek.com on some problems with the rollout of biometric-based payments at Piggly Wiggly - after initially seeing "strong consumer interest and support for the system."

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US Money Laundering Threat Assessment

In mid-January, the US Department of the Treasury released a new government-wide examination of money laundering vulnerabilities in a report titled "US Money Laundering Threat Assessment" (PDF).

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Job Opportunities In Mobile Payments

I took a look for job postings re: mobile payments at SimplyHired this morning and came up with the following list. Included are openings for both a business manager and a senior product manager at PayPal in the PayPal Mobile group.

"PayPal Mobile is a dynamic, young “start-up” business unit within PayPal dedicated to bringing value-added mobile payment services to consumers and merchants."

UK: Credit Boom Leads To Rise In Bankruptcies

Andrew Ellison reports for the The Times on a forty percent growth in the number of personal bankruptcies in the UK during the last quarter of 2005.

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More on UK OFT/MasterCard Investigation

Rupert Jones reports for The Guardian on the investigation launched yesterday by the UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) into "anti-competitive" behavior by MasterCard over interchange fees.

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February 02, 2006

Visa USA: Now More Than 20,000 Contactless Locations

Visa USA has announced there are now over 20,000 Visa Contactless acceptance locations in the United States, including McDonald's, AMC Theatres, CVS/pharmacy and Meijer, and over 4 million Visa-branded contactless cards have been issued.

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UK's OFT Launches New MasterCard Investigation

The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has announced an investigation into MasterCard's new arrangements for setting the fallback interchange fees that apply to all UK domestic transactions made using UK-issued MasterCard credit and charge cards, introduced by MasterCard on 18 November 2004.

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US DOJ Submits $100 MM Claim in Debit Fee Case

Robin Sidel reports for the Wall St. Journal that the antitrust division of the US Department of Justice has submitted a $100 million claim in the $3 billion settlement to be paid by Visa and MasterCard to merchants as part of the settlement reached in 2003 in a class action lawsuit brought by merchants against the card associations.

February 01, 2006

Latest Bank Investor Presentations

A number of banks are making their first investor presentations of the year this week at the Citigroup Financial Services Conference in New York. Copies of their presentations are available online.

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Vesta, Axalto Mobile Payments Solution

Vesta and Axalto have announced they are teaming up to offer prepaid wireless customers new payment capabilities from their mobile phones. Vesta and Axalto say their solution will serve the rapidly growing U.S. population of prepaid wireless consumers with real-time top-up, leveraging the security and ubiquity of the GSM SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card in their phones.

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MasterCard, Official Payments Offer Lower Fee On Tax Payments

MasterCard has announced a partnership with Official Payments Corp. to offer a specially reduced convenience fee for MasterCard cardholders to pay their federal personal income tax balance due payments online.

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Financial Institutions Face Significant Security Breach Costs

Tracey Vispoli, vice president, Chubb & Son, cautioned bankers about the potential costs associated with a security breach at a recent American Bankers Association conference.

"For many financial institutions, a network security breach involving the release of confidential customer information is not a matter of if, but when. It's time for financial institutions to further tighten their data security controls and to prepare for the potentially significant financial cost of this risk."

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Big US Banks Avoiding Integrated Core Systems

TowerGroup has released a new report that concludes the largest U.S. banks (those with assets of $80 billion or more) have historically used an individually tailored approach to core banking systems that lack vital integration with the other core applications. These banks continue to show no indication of adopting new integrated core systems.

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Financial Institution Shared Assessments Program

Robert Guth reports for the Wall St. Journal on a new banking industry initiative called the Financial Institution Shared Assessments Program expected to be announced today to guard customers against security breaches.

Marketing Payment Card Security

Eric Dash reports for the New York Times on the "vastly different approaches" being taken by Visa and MasterCard in marketing their security initiatives to consumers and merchants.

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Consumers With High and Low Credit Scores

Experian Consumer Direct has announced the results of a nationwide study on the
differences between consumers in high and low credit score ranges.

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Newegg.com Tests Four Bill Me Later Options

MarketingSherpa reports on a case study at Newegg.com testing several different Bill Me Later payment options with online shoppers - after having earlier experimented with PayPal as a payment option.

January 31, 2006

Nova Buys First Horizon Merchant Services Business

ViewMedia-5.jpgNOVA Information Systems (NOVA), a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the merchant processing business of First Horizon Merchant Services Inc. (FHMS), a wholly owned subsidiary of First Tennessee Bank and a part of First Horizon National Corp.

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