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

March 04, 2006

1.57 Million Americans Paid Taxes With Credit Cards In 2005

1.57 million Americans paid their taxes with credit cards in 2005, 54% more than the year before, according to IRS. As many as a third of them did it just to accumulate some sort of rewards points, says Official Payments.

Sam's Club Comments On Media Security Breach Reports

Sam's Club yesterday issued a press release "to set the record straight" regarding "persistent rumors and false media reports" regarding reports of fraud following the use of debit and credit cards to make purchases at Sam's Club fuel stations.

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Tax Bills and Plastic Don't Mix

Damon Darlin reports for the New York Times on the dubious economics around using a credit card to pay taxes just to earn reward points - because of the convenience fee of 2.49 percent typically charges on tax payments by service providers Official Payments or Link2Gov.

March 03, 2006

NTT DoCoMo, Mizuho Tie Up For Phone Credit Card

Reuters is reporting from Japan that "NTT DoCoMo, Japan's largest mobile phone operator, will tie up with Mizuho Bank and Credit Saison to start a service allowing mobile phones to be used as credit cards," according to a story in the Nihon Keizai Shimbun on Saturday. The deal, which could be announced as early as next week, would involve DoCoMo investing to acquire an 18 percent stake in UC Card Co, a Mizuho affiliate.

MasterCard Asks Oscar Viewers to Fill in Blanks

Eleftheria Parpis reports for AdWeek on MasterCard's plans to run two commercials on Sunday's Academy Awards broadcast that asks viewers to create their own words to go along with two video ads. MasterCard will be using its recently launched Priceless.com web site to capture viewers' input.

Credit Bureaus Share Your Loan Application

Kenneth Harney reports for the Washington Post about how mortgage lenders are sharing loan application information with the credit bureaus - who then make it available to other third parties.

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Google Analyst Day, Payments Discussion

Google held an Analyst Day yesterday at its headquarters in Mountain View, CA. The presentation and webcast from the event are available online.

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Pay By Touch Roll-Out At Jewel-Osco

Lisa Shidler writes for the Merrillville, Indiana Post-Tribune about the use of fingerprints to purchase groceries at Jewel-Osco stores as Pay By Touch rolls out in Northwest Indiana starting this week.

Biometrics At The Disney Gates

David Wyld writes for SecureID News about the implementation of finger geometry biometric systems at four of Disney's theme parks.

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Mexico's Middle Class - Piggy Banks Full Of Pesos

Business Week looks at what's happening in Mexico as the middle class (those making between $7,200 and $50,000 a year) "have swelled to record levels of around 10 million families. That's equal to nearly 40% of all Mexican households."

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Dissecting Credit Card Contract Fine Print

Kathy Chu reports for USA TODAY on a map to help consumers dissect the complexities of the fine print in credit card contracts.

March 02, 2006

Prosper.Com Re-launches Chris Larsen

Andrew Reinbach, editor of Electronic Payments Week, has recently written about Prosper.com and Prosper's CEO Chris Larsen. Here's Andy's analysis - posted with permission.

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First Data CEO Duques To Cash Out

David Milstead reports for the Rocky Mountain News on plans by First Data CEO Ric Duques to exercise more than 4 million stock options "that could yield profits of roughly $91 million at today's prices."

Credit Alerts Can Help Protect Consumers

Eileen Alt Powell reports for the Associated Press on credit alerts, access to credit reports, and security freezes increasingly being used by consumers to limit access to their credit reports. She reports that credit issuers are worried about increasing use of security freezes by consumers.

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Visa Europe 2005 Annual Review

For the first time since it became a separate company from Visa International, Visa Europe has published an Annual Review (PDF) for fiscal year 2005.

No Cash To Park? Charge It

Patrick Driscoll reports for the San Antonio Express-News on a pilot project by Parkeon Corp. that installs new parking pay stations that accept credit cards and coins as a replacement for parking meters.

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March 01, 2006

UK: Steep Rise In Credit Card Debt

Andrew Ellson reports for The Times (UK) about the latest data from the Bank of England reporting that credit card debt in the UK increased by £733 million in January to a total of nearly £57 billion in total credit card debt. That works out to about £1,000 per person.

Pay It Forward

Bank Systems & Technology Online interviews Patrick K. Barron, First Vice President and COO, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, about his views on treating payments as the business that it really is.

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Payroll Debit Cards Score Big With Banked Employees

Ecount has announced survey results concluding that payroll debit cards are as popular with banked employees as unbanked employees, establishing that payroll cards are a desired benefit for employees within all demographics.

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A "Health Warning" For Credit Cardholders?

Kamahi Cogdon reports for Australia's Herald Sun about a recent review of the credit industry by the Victoria state government that results in recommendations that state laws be amended to require credit card issuers to include on their monthly statements a warning about the cost and time associated with paying off credit card debt.

Visa CEMEA Future Of Payments Conference In Dubai

Visa CEMEAAME Info reports on an upcoming conference sponsored by Visa International's CEMEA region on The Future of Payments to be held next week in Dubai on March 7th and a follow-up Merchant Solutions Conference being held on March 8th.

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Moneygram Holds Analyst Day

Moneygram International is holding its first ever Analyst Day today. A copy of the investor day presentation (PDF) is available online at the company's web site.

JP Morgan Chase Holds Investor Day

Yesterday, JP Morgan Chase executives held a major investor day event. An audio recording of the event and copies of the presentations are available in the Investor Relations section of the JPMorganChase web site.

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Arizona Attorney General - Fraud Fighter Accounts

The Business Journal of Phoenix reports on efforts by Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard to get financial institutions to offer consumers in his state what he's calling Fraud Fighter Accounts.

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Consumers Like Biller Direct Bill Payment

An article from The Bulletin Bend, OR titled "Central Oregon residents opt for online payments" profiles consumer appreciation for being able to pay bills directly on biller web sites.

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