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« February 5, 2006 - February 11, 2006 | Main | February 19, 2006 - February 25, 2006 »

February 18, 2006

All About Gift Cards

The Federal Trade Commission has posted a new consumer article regarding Buying, Giving, and Using Gift Cards. Consumers spent about $18 billion on gift cards during the 2005 holiday season.

Overseas Credit Card Surcharges

David Kelly reports for the New York Times on how recent changes in credit card and debit card fees for international transactions along with the "unintended consequences" of fraud prevention measures by card issuers have made using payment cards tricker and potentially more expensive for consumers.

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FTC Chief Calls for Disclosures on Gift Cards

Caroline Meyer reports for the Washington Post on a letter sent by Deborah Platt Majoras, the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, to Rep. Charles F. Bass (R-N.H.) this week in which she said that gift card issuers that do not clearly and conspicuously disclose fees or expiration dates may be engaged in deceptive marketing and that any failure to disclose them adequately "would be likely to mislead consumers."

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UK: £1 A Week Earns 14 Years Of Freedom

Elizabeth Davidson reports for The Scotsman on how paying just one pound more per week above the minimum credit card repayment will bring "financial freedom" almost 14 years earlier.

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Headline News - Saturday, February 18, 2006

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

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February 17, 2006

Ask Glenbrook: How Does Debit Affect Acquirers?

We received the following Ask Glenbrook question earlier today:

I had a question about recent moves by many card issuers to actively promote debit cards in response to the growing consumer (and merchant) preference for debit card payments. It seems that increasingly the more profitable credit card payments volume will get supplanted by less profitable debit card processing business. How are the acquirers reacting to this?

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MasterCard Europe Announces Initiatives For SEPA

Last week, MasterCard Europe announced several initiatives regarding pricing, interchange, processing and product intended to enable European banks to deliver the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) beginning in January 2008.

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Online Access Agreements - Wells Fargo Experience

David Lazarus reports for the San Francisco Chronicle on changes made this week by Well Fargo Bank to its online banking service that included requiring some customers to consent to a revised online access agreement.

Bank Gift Cards Come Wrapped With Limits

Caroline Mayer reports for the Washington Post the consumers are rankled by some of the difficulties, charges and rules associated with using MasterCard, Visa or American Express-branded gift cards.

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February 16, 2006

Visa Contactless: A Swifter Way To Buy And Pay

Francine Brevetti writes for Inside Bay Area about the new deployment of about 100 contactless readers for Visa cards at San Francisco's AT&T Park.

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February 15, 2006

Spark Parking

Cooper Marcus, the founder and CEO of startup Spark Parking, has started the Spark Parking Founder's Blog where he says he'll "be writing about all manner of items related to Spark Parking, including wireless sensors, mobile phones, future commerce (typically involving mobile phones or Web 2.0 approaches), and of course parking!"

Retailers And Data Breaches

Responding to recent press reports regarding a major data breach by a national retailer, Congressman Barney Frank, the Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, has announced he has written to the CEO’s of Visa and MasterCard regarding their unwillingness to name the retailer involved with a recent serious data breach.

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The Myth Of The Cashless Society

Liz Moyer reports for Forbes on the nature of money in the US - in both electronic and paper forms.

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Benefit Resource Launches Beniversal MasterCard

Benefit Resource has announced its new Beniversal MasterCard that provides users with direct access to multiple pre-tax accounts, or purses. At the point of service -- such as a doctor's office or pharmacy, even a center providing day care for dependents -- the card automatically debits the correct account to cover qualified expenses.

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The Law And Economics Of Interchange

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce is holding a hearing today on "The Law and Economics of Interchange" (includes links to PDF's of the testimony provided at today's hearing).

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US Warms To Mobile Commerce

Red Herring reports on a recent research report by Dan Schatt, a senior analyst at Celent, who has written a report on the future of mobile commerce. In the report, Schatt predicts that the mobile commerce market in 2006 will be worth $24 billion, with Japan and South Korea accounting for nearly 60 percent of the total.

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MULTOS Smart Card OS Gets New Owners, Mission

CR80News reports on StepNexus, the new holding company responsible for the development of the MULTOS smart card operating system.

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ID Analytics, PassMark Security To Partner

ID Analytics and PassMark Security have announced a partnership to bring the power of authentication and identity risk scoring to online banking and e-commerce. The combined offering will help more companies determine the risk associated with each log-in and safeguard legitimate customers from identity fraud while transacting online.

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February 14, 2006

New Features: Enhanced Searches On Payments News

We're very pleased to introduce two new enhancements to the search features available here on Payments News that are designed to help you quickly find the relevant content you're looking for. Read on for the details.

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Microsoft: Fostering A Trust Ecosystem Online

Microsoft's Bill Gates keynoted today's RSA Conference by focusing on Microsoft's vision for a more secure online future. Included in that future is a "trust ecosystem" that engenders trust and accountability between people and businesses online.

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Ask Glenbrook: Learning the Basics About Credit Cards

We received the following Ask Glenbrook question earlier today:

"I am wondering what is the best source to explain how credit card transactions work -- i.e. the various steps, the various parties involved, timing of the steps, costs etc. Thank you"

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Bank of America Says Keep The Float

Bruce Mohl reports for the Boston Globe on a change made by Bank of America over the weekend that allows customers to continue to earn interest on their money until bill payments are delivered rather than from when a bill payment has been initiated.

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