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August 31, 2007

Cheque Usage by Individuals in UK Cut in Half Over Last 10 Years

APACS has announced a new report finding that "the number of cheques written by individuals has halved from 2.0 billion to 1.0 billion in the last ten years. The Way We Pay 2007: UK Cheques reveals that in 2006 cheque volumes declined at their fastest ever rate, falling by eight per cent. Last year, only 54 per cent of adults made payments using cheques and only 47 per cent received a cheque payment. On average we now write 1.6 cheques a month and receive just one every two months, with half of adults no longer receiving any. For personal payments, cheques have fallen from one in four non-cash payments in 1996, to just one in 14 in 2006. In the retail sector the decline has been particularly rapid, with cheques accounting for just three per cent of all non-cash transactions."

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APACS Urges UK Consumers to Use Verified by Visa, MasterCard SecureCode

APACS has announced that "ten million UK-issued payment cards have now been registered with MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa services – making these cards more secure when shopping online. Using these services is quick and easy. Cardholders sign up and choose a private password, which they then use when shopping at participating retailers." APACS has published a new guide for consumers titled "How to protect cards against online fraud" (PDF).

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The Best and Worst Credit Cards

Consumer Reports has published results of a consumer survey into the best and worst credit cards conducted by the Consumer Reports National Research Center that asked 36,298 readers about their experiences with 61,944 credit cards. USAA Federal Savings and the Navy Federal Credit Union ranked highest in the results. CNNMoney reports that five of the largest Visa and MasterCard issuers earned mediocre ratings by consumers.

GE Money to Purchase Chevron’s Proprietary Consumer Credit Card Business

GE Money has announced an agreement to purchase the proprietary consumer credit card business from Chevron Corporation subsidiaries, Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and Chevron Credit Bank, N.A. GE Money Bank will own and operate the Chevron- and Texaco-branded consumer credit cards.

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Coinstar Partners with PayPoint in UK

Coinstar E-Payment Services Limited and PayPoint have announced an agreement to team and to make available a gift card program for PayPoint retailers at more than 17,000 outlets in the United Kingdom.

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August 30, 2007

Some Evolutionary Thinking About Mobile Banking

Jim Bruene (of the Online Banking Report) and I had a discussion yesterday about the evolution of mobile banking in the US market. He writes about it here on his Mobile Money & Banking blog. Back in February, Jim published is first forecast of how this market would evolve. In his blog post, he reflects on the dynamics of the market since that time and makes some adjustments to his thinking. He's looking for comments from industry participants - and providing a bit of a bounty to entice you to share your thoughts.

BidPay Lowers Pricing, Improves Usability

BidPay has announced it is reducing the fees it charges online merchants and auction sellers and streamlining the purchase process when BidPay is used. On a $50 purchase, fees paid by merchants on domestic US payments will be reduced from $1.75 to $1.345 - a 23% reduction.

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Annals of Payments and Patents

Brent Bowers reports for the New York Times on the recent decision in a patent litigation case between AdvanceMe and AmeriMerchant. In its decision in the case, the court found the patent to be invalid because it was "obvious and anticipated." AmeriMerchant's David Goldin is profiled in Bowers' article. Goldin also has his own blog - called the "Merchant Cash Advance Blog" where he provides more background on the litigation.

Visa Inc. Updates S-4 Registration Statement

Yesterday, Visa Inc. filed with the SEC Amendment No. 4 to the Visa Inc. Form S-4 Registration Statement. Visa filed its original S-4 on June 22, 2007. Also included in yesterday's filing were a series of new exhibits including consents from newly named board members.

NAB Trial of Mobile Payments in Australia

Mahesh Sharma writes for The Australian about National Australia Bank and Visa trials of mobile payments involving around 200 people and 30 stores in the greater Melbourne area. "Consumers' banking information will be embedded in SIM cards contained in smart phones that can be read by waving them over specially designed sensors. The banking information can then be used to pay for goods and services."

Headline News - August 30, 2007

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit PaymentsJobs.com. Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.

August 29, 2007

Visa Announces Post-Restructuring Board of Directors, CFO

Visa has announced the members of Visa Inc.'s Board of Directors who will serve after the completion of the proposed restructuring. Visa also announced the appointment of Byron Pollitt, Jr. as Chief Financial Officer designate of Visa Inc.

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The Takeover of First Data by KKR

Henny Sender writes for the Wall St. Journal's Heard on the Street column about the negotiations underway between KKR and the banks to complete the financing of KKR's acquisition of First Data.

A Look at Alternative Payment Services

Mercator Advisory Group has published a new report titled "Alternative Payment Services: Moving into Traditional Payment Territory" that offers "an in-depth look at the principle providers of alternative payment services" and "examines the payment modalities supported by these alternative payment services and the consumer demographics they appeal to."

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China National Advanced Payment System

People's Daily Online reports on an announcement by the People's Bank of China about the China National Advanced Payment System - a high-value payment system that enables instant clearing between banks nationwide. A bank spokesman also said "the central bank has also been promoting the use of bank cards, and nearly 1.3 billion bank cards had been issued."

A World of Selective Merchant Surcharges?

Aneace Haddad blogs about a recent story in the Los Angeles times about merchants offering discounts for cash purchases - vs. cards - and speculates how the future might be very different if merchants had the legal ability to selectively surcharge for cards. He says such a world would "automatically force payment schemes to think seriously about the benefits they provide to merchants when they come up with a new card product with higher interchange fees attached."

Mobile Web Design - Book Recommendation for Mobile Bankers

Technically oriented bankers considering their mobile banking strategies may find Cameron Moll's new book "Mobile Web Design" helpful. Moll writes in his introduction that "web content on mobile devices can be every bit as good of an experience [as the desktop experience], but in its own right. If we treat the mobile web as its own environment rich with possibilities, rather than a crippled extension of the desktop experience with restrictive limitations, we begin to understand how to embrace and even exploit those possibilities."

Visa Europe Proposes New Articles of Association

Visa Europe has filed (as part of Visa Inc.'s SEC filings) a Form 425 filing detailing its new Articles of Association (for remaining as a separate entity from Visa Inc.), the form of its put/call option agreement with Visa Inc., and various other changes. Visa Europe has also called an "extraordinary meeting" for Sept. 21 in Brussels to obtain member approval of the proposed changes and agreements.

August 28, 2007

Banking By Cell Phone

The Early Show on CBS this morning interviewed Consumer Reports Money Adviser Editor Greg Daugherty about mobile banking - who says it's "been around about since the beginning of the year. But I think most consumers are probably hearing about it just about now."

NCR Partners with MShift for Mobile Banking

NCR has announced that it has entered into a global reseller agreement with MShift, a San Jose, California-based provider of customizable wireless solutions. NCR will offer the MShift Mobile Banking Solution as part of its suite of Internet banking services enabling "financial institutions to provide customers with anytime, anywhere access to online banking services via their cellular phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), and other wireless devices."

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Diebold's Patents on Mobile Phone - ATM Interactions

Diebold has announced that it has been granted five U.S. patents over the last 18 months "covering a variety of applications that enable mobile devices to interact directly with bank ATMs. These technologies extend beyond current mobile banking practices that permit using mobile phones to conduct online banking transactions such as transferring funds or checking account balances." READ MORE »

Fraud Detection Capabilities for Debit Cards

Fair Isaac has announced that it will team up with NYCE Payments Network to "deliver innovative device-profiling technology to the debit card industry, providing NYCE Network participants with one of the best fraud detection and prevention offerings in its class."

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PULSE Adds Recurring PINless Debit Bill Pay Service

The PULSE ATM/debit network has announced it is offering "utility companies, lenders and certain other billers a new payment option that enables consumers to automatically pay recurring bills using a debit card without entering their personal identification number (PIN)."

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The Protection of Sensitive Customer Information

Tablus has announced results of a "survey of 400 consumers' views on brand equity as it relates to data breaches and found that 87 percent lost respect for businesses that lost sensitive customer information."

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ClairMail Announces New Mobile Banking Platform

ClairMail has announced ClairMail System Release 3, calling it "the first and only platform to support the “triple play” of all three user interface types available for mobile banking and payments: messaging (SMS and email), mobile web and native client applications." READ MORE »

TrialPay Helps Turn Browsers Into Buyers

Rebecca Buckman writes for the Wall St. Journal about TrialPay, a Mountain View, California-based startup that allows web merchants to offer consumers goods and services for free - if the consumer accepts another unrelated offer such as agreeing to open a new credit card account. Buckman writes about Zagat's use of TrialPay: "Zagat gets paid by the partner Web merchants for directing business their way -- sometimes even more than the $24.95 cost of a yearly Zagat subscription." More details at the TrialPay web site - and in this earlier article we posted on Payments News for July 17, 2007.

Who's News - Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Roger A. Barrios has been named chief information officer of TSYS Acquiring Solutions. Barrios was most recently CIO of RBS Lynk.
Announce yourself! Have you recently taken on a new position in the payments industry? If you'd like to share the news with your colleagues, be sure to tell us about it. Are you looking for a new payments-related job? Or are you needing to find someone great? Checkout the Payments Jobs job board.

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