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« February 12, 2006 - February 18, 2006 | Main | February 26, 2006 - March 4, 2006 »

February 25, 2006

Mobile Payments - Six Years After WAP

I just stumbled across a posting from late January on the MobileRadicals Blog (from a a collection of mobile researchers based at the Department of Communications at Lancaster University in the UK) titled Mobile Payments - Six Years After WAP.

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Australia: Credit Card Fees To Hit Flights

Adam Bell of NEWS.com.au reports from Australia on the move by Qantas Holidays increasing its so-called service fee on credit card payments from one to 1.4 percent.

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Hidden Monthly Payments

M.P. Dunleavey writes for the New York Times about those small recurring payments that sometimes inch their way onto our credit card bills -- soon to be overlooked or forgotten. She calls them "stealth expenses."

Terms Of Service For Google Buyers

Google has posted a Terms of Service for Buyers. The terms of service are between Google users (buyers) and Google Payment Corp. (GPC), apparently a separate corporate entity setup by Google for processing payments.

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Another Payments Blog, Netherlands and Europe Focused

A friend sends word this morning about another payments-oriented blog out of the Netherlands called Linkdump on Payments. I can't find anything about the author on the site - but the coverage seems to be mostly on European payment-related topics.

February 24, 2006

An Update On Google Payments

Google staffers posted an update on their payment-related activity on the Google Blog earlier today. The post pointed to another post on the Google Base Blog about how buyers with Google Accounts will be able to use the credit card they've registered with their Google account to purchase Google Base items.

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What If We All Paid Off Our Credit Cards?

MSNBC's John W. Schoen answers a reader's question about what the impact might be if (dream on!) every consumer in the US paid of any outstanding credit card balances - all at one. As I recall, doing so would require consumers having access to something like $700 billion (the approximate level of outstanding revolving consumer debt). Guess where they actually have that kind of money? In home equity - but, of course, that's not evenly distributed across where the outstanding credit card balances actually are!

First Data Files 10-K, Exec Compensation Details

First Data Corp. today filed a number of documents with the SEC. Included was the company's 10-K Annual Report for 2005 with a number of exhibits including a description of the CEO and EVP Salary and Bonus Targets for 2006, the Retirement and Consulting Agreement between the company and former chairman and CEO Charlie Fote, and the Letter Agreement between the company and CEO Ric Duques for his employment beginning November 26, 2005.

The Sonny Martin Group Launches New Practice

Former Bank of America Merchant Services executives, Sonny Martin and Mitzi Gilligan have formed a new consulting company, The Sonny Martin Group, LLC. Martin and Gilligan have been in the merchant acquiring business since 1969.

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Fed Releases Latest Survey of Consumer Finances

The Federal Reserve has released its latest Recent Survey of U.S. Family Finances (PDF) based upon 2004 data and draws comparisons back to is previous survey conducted in 2001. The survey was written by Brian K. Bucks, Arthur B. Kennickell, and Kevin B. Moore, of the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Research and Statistics, prepared this article with assistance from Gerhard Fries and A. Michael Neal.

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Giropay Launches In Germany

ac60b7ed4c.gifCornelia Wels-Maug of Ovum (UK) reports on the launch of Giropay, a new online ecommerce payment service created by the German savings banks, credit unions and Postbank that will be used initially by PayPal. The service will be supported by the three IT services providers behind Giropay - Starfinanz Software, Fiducia AG and GAD.

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NACHA Internet Council - Multifactor Authentication

NACHA Road Map.pngThe NACHA Internet Council's next meeting is being held next week, February 28 - March 1, 2006, at Dana Point, California and will focus on multifactor authentication requirements and solutions as its theme. In preparation, it's prepared a "5-Stage Authentication Road Map" (PPT). See the General Internet Council Meeting Agenda (DOC) for a complete list of topics and speakers.

comScore E-Commerce Sales Data

comScore Networks has announced that its annual e-commerce sales trends for 2005 varied by less than one percent from those published by the U.S. Department of Commerce. The comScore e-commerce data were available to comScore clients and widely published in early January 2006 -- a full six weeks before the U.S. Department of Commerce issued its estimates on February 17, 2006.

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February 23, 2006

Anatomy Of A Verified By Visa Phishing Attack

Bruce Schneier recently linked to this detailed analysis of a recent Verified by Visa phishing attack. As he said, it's a great example of how the sophistication of these attacks is ever-increasing. This particular attack combined several features -- all designed to improve the chances of enticing a cardholder to hand over important card information.

Who We're Watching: Garanti Bank

Garanti BankFrom time to time, we at Glenbrook come across companies doing new things we think are pretty cool. When we do, we'll profile them in this new "Who We're Watching" section here on Payments News.

This morning, Glenbrook's Russ Jones writes about his latest discovery: Garanti Bank in Turkey. READ MORE »

CardSystems Solutions Settles FTC Charges

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that CardSystems Solutions, Inc. and its successor, Solidus Networks, Inc., doing business as Pay By Touch Solutions, have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that CardSystems' failure to take appropriate security measures to protect the sensitive information of tens of millions of consumers was an unfair practice that violated federal law.

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Educated Consumers Are The MVP On Identity Theft

In a speech today at the California Identity Theft Summit being held in Los Angeles by the California Department of Consumer Affairs, FTC Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras spoke on "Teaming Up Against Identity Theft" (PDF).

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Cashing In On India's Banking Boom

Standard & Poor's Isabelle Sender reports for Business Week on how global banks are rushing to increase their presence in India.

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Skype - More Payment Options and Local Currencies

Over the last few days, Skype has announced the addition of new payment options for Skype users. Skype says "it has never been easier, quicker or more convenient for customers to buy products from Skype.com." Customers wanting to top up their Skype Credit to pay for Skype's offerings can now take advantage of online payment methods, special vouchers and scratch cards bought from high street stores.

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Skype Using GlobalCollect for Alternative Payments

GlobalCollectGlobalCollect has announced it has been selected by Skype to process payments for its premium offerings. For Skype, GlobalCollect will process local bank transfer payments in local currencies worldwide, including real-time online bank transfers in countries where this payment method is available.

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Critics Fear Wal-Mart Move Into Banking

Kathleen Day reports for the Journal News on Wal-Mart's request to obtain a banking charter for an industrial loan corporation in Utah. Wal-Mart's competitor Target has owned Target Bank, an ILC, since 2004.

Bulgaria's Transcard To Issue JCB Smart Card In Europe

JCB Smart CardJCB has announced that Transcard AD, Bulgaria's largest credit card issuer and acquirer, will roll out the JCB branded TRANSCARD JCB card in March. This will mark the first time for a JCB card compliant with EMV to be issued in Europe, and will bring the number of countries in which JCB cards are issued to 20.

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Charles Schwab To Cover All Fraud Losses

Gregg Keizer reports for Information Week on Charles Schwab's announcement yesterday that the online broker will provide a guarantee against any and all losses from unauthorized account access. Called the Schwab Security Guarantee, it is an effort intended to help calm customer concerns about phishing and identity theft.

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Reuters, MasterCard To Provide SpendingPulse Index

MasterCardReuters has announced an agreement with MasterCard Advisors LLC, the global professional services organization of MasterCard International, to provide a U.S. retail economic service exclusively to Reuters clients. The service, known as SpendingPulse, provides granular measures of the U.S. retail economy, both nationally and regionally, with a degree of speed and a level of detail surpassing spending data estimates from traditional sources.

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February 22, 2006

New infoDev Report on m-Commerce

A new report titled "Micro-Payment Systems and their application to mobile networks" (PDF) commissioned by the Information for Development Program (infoDev), in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the GSM Association, found that mobile-enabled commerce, or m-Commerce, can address a major service gap in developing countries that is critical to their social and economic development.

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Wider Probe Of Debit Card Losses

Greg Sandoval reports for CNET News.com that "the FBI has expanded its investigation into a debit card fraud that has mostly affected 200,000 consumers in the Western United States, saying that the case might be linked to other debit card thefts around the country."

New Ideas in Credit Card Issuer Portfolio Analytics

Mercator Advisory Group has announced a new research report that covers a variety of strategies for credit card issuers to improve portfolio returns by delving more deeply into improving and expanding the uses of portfolio analytics across the account lifecycle.

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