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September 30, 2007

A Look at Wells Fargo

The Sunday San Francisco Chronicle business section included an interview with John Stumpf, president and CEO of Wells Fargo & Co.

The Clash of Banks, PayPal

In an article titled 'Payments: En Garde! The Clash of Banks, PayPal", Lee Conrad writes for Bank Technology News about PayPal - saying that "industry veterans say they know a rival when they see it."

NetBank Fails

The corporate parent of NetBank filed for bankruptcy protection on Friday following the takeover of its wholly owned savings bank by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation at the direction of the Office of Thrift Supervision. According to the FDIC, "all insured depositors are now customers of ING Bank, fsb (ING DIRECT), member FDIC."

September 28, 2007

Is the Retail Payments Industry Headed for Disruption?

The Deloitte Center for Banking Solutions has published a hew paper titled “Is the retail payments industry headed for disruption?icon_PDF_small.gif. The paper "focuses on how retail payments for consumers and merchants is in overshoot and vulnerable to “disruptive innovation” — our term for an innovation that changes the competitive framework within an industry. The study also provides insights on how retail payment players can leverage their brand recognition, infrastructure, volume and profitability to help turn the search-to-purchase experience to their advantage."

The Race is On in Prepaid

Edgar, Dunn and Company's latest INSIGHT newsletter icon_PDF_small.gif is now available with a feature article titled "The Race is On in Prepaid" by Mark Beresford and Steve Karp. "While no prepaid product has reached any significant level of dominance, important incremental victories are being won. Likewise, enough prepaid products have misfired at this point that we can see some lessons in the experiences of the non-starters."

Grameen America Reporting Payment Histories to Experian

Grameen American and Experian have announced the two companies have established "a unique data reporting relationship to support Grameen America's business" that will "enable Grameen America's borrowers to establish their credit files and will provide the foundation for building the borrowers' credit scores allowing access to financial services previously not available."

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Annals of Visa Cash and Mondex Cards

I recently purchased an Apple iPod touch - and when it arrived a couple of days ago I was struck by how it looked a bit like a large-ish credit card - especially when turned on its side. Got me wondering what this fascinating chunk of technology might look like - and be capable of - in another 5 or 10 years.

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Card Advice Guides for Young People

APACS, the UK payments association, has launched two new advice guides "offering practical advice on choosing a plastic card for a teenager or young adult. One of the guides, Choosing cards - a guide for the under 18s icon_PDF_small.gif, is aimed at young people, and the other, Using cards - a guide for parents icon_PDF_small.gif, is for their parents. These form part of a series of consumer advice guides produced by APACS aimed at simplifying personal finance."

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A Look at Chase's Credit Card Marketing on Facebook

In an article titled 'For-Credit Course", Rob Walker writes for this Sunday's New York Times Magazine about Chase Card Services "+1" credit card - offered primarily by way of a sponsored group setup on Facebook called Chase +1. Chase limits access to the group so that only Facebook members who are part of college networks can join. Chase also has a Chase Credit Education group on Facebook that is open membership.

A Look at Credit Card Arbitration

Public Citizen has published a report titled "The Arbitration Trap: How Credit Card Companies Ensnare Consumers" (PDF). In a press release, the organization said "Public Citizen pulls back the curtain to reveal the cozy and dangerous relationship between credit card companies and the private arbitration firms that decide their binding mandatory arbitration cases. The result of an eight-month investigation, the report provides, for the first time, a comprehensive analysis of data on nearly 34,000 arbitration cases, and in-depth stories of credit cardholders and their struggles in this nightmarish system."

AT&T Mobile Banking

AT&T has added a page to its website describing the mobile banking services it is introducing in partnership with Firethorn as part of a strategic alliance announced last November. The page features a banner saying "Safe Banking on the Go", emphasizing security and lists BancorpSouth as currently offering mobile banking with Wachovia, SunTrust, Synovus, and 1st Bank listed as "coming soon". Brandon McGee writes a bit about it on the Mobile Money & Banking blog.

A Look at ACH Fraud Risk Management

Julie Schieffer writes for Financial News about steps being taken to improve the fraud risk management of the automated clearing house system in the US.

Headline News - September 28, 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.

September 27, 2007

An Update on Tempo Payments

Tempo announced a new decoupled debit strategy called Tempo Debit about two months ago. We recently asked Tempo Payments CEO Mike Grossman for an update on his company's activities since that announcement. Our Q&A exchange with him follows.

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Consumers Should Be Able to Opt Out of Higher Credit Card Rates

Saying that he saw a "state of disequilibrium when it comes to consumer protection for credit cards", Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan said today that "consumers should be given the opportunity to “opt out” of certain credit card rate increases and be given the alternative of paying off the card balance at the old rate."

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Google Checkout for Non-Profits Provides Free Payment Acceptance

Google has announced Google Checkout for Non-Profits - saying "with this launch, U.S. non-profit organizations (IRS-certified 501(c)(3)s) now have an easy way to accept online donations, and donors have a fast and secure way to support their favorite groups. The best part: it's completely free for the organizations. Through at least the end of 2008, non-profits will pay 0% + 0 cents in transaction fees for each donation they accept through Checkout." More details here.

Wachovia Introduces PatientPOS

Wachovia has announced expansion of its treasury solutions for the healthcare industry with the addition of PatientPOS, calling it "an innovative solution proven to improve revenue cycle management for healthcare providers."

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Monitise Announces 2008 Mobile Banking Product Suite

Monitise has announced its current global product suite for 2008 - saying that its "new range of services have been developed by Monitise on the basis of the requirements of its key partners and its view of the expanding demands of the consumer in this rapidly developing market space."

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Paying for Goods - on the Fly

Joanna Pachner writes for Canada's Globe and Mail about contactless payments - saying that "perhaps the real breakthrough will happen with the next generation of contactless technology, already growing fast in Asia: mobile commerce, employing a new generation of cellphones equipped with near-field communication (NFC) chips."

BidPay Adds Integrated Checkout Options

BidPay has announced that online sellers and third party developers can now integrate BidPay as a payment option on their checkout pages allowing sellers to use BidPay as an alternative payment service across all online marketplaces from auctions to traditional Web stores.

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Headline News - September 27, 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.

September 26, 2007

Mobile Money On the Go

The FiveCentNickel blog has a useful post about the personal finance things you can do with your smartphone while on the go - some SMS-based, some browser-based.

More on Canadian Report on TJX Data Breach

The full text of TJX data breach analysis report produced the Canadian Office of the Privacy Commissioner and the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner of Alberta is available online.

VeriFone Retail Payments Conference

VeriFone has announced that its annual Retail Payments Conference will be held October 17-19 at the Don Cesar Resort in St. Pete Beach, FL. "The Retail Payments Conference is the only event that focuses on payment security, payment standards and emerging payment trends from a retailer and a retail systems integration perspective."

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Late Credit Card Payments Fall Slightly in 2Q07

The American Bankers Association reports today that credit card loan delinquencies fell slightly in the second quarter of 2007, according to its Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. "Late payments on credit cards were 4.39 percent of all accounts in the second quarter, compared to 4.41 percent in the first quarter of this year (seasonally adjusted). The ABA report defines late payments as 30 days or more overdue."

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A Look at G-Cash

Ana Escalante blogs about attending a conference last week on mobile banking - and learning about the mobile banking service in the Philippines called G-Cash.

Visa, Experian Announce Strategic Risk Management Alliance

Visa and Experian announced an alliance to create unique risk management products for financial institutions. According to the companies, "the alliance intends to deliver a series of jointly developed risk management products designed to help financial institutions reduce credit and fraud risk losses."

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Bankrate.com's 2007 Checking Account Fee Study

With the headline "Banking fees soar again in 9th Annual Checking Study", Bankrate.com has published the results of its latest survey of fees associated with bank checking accounts. Among its findings, the survey reported that "the average cost of a bounced check, often referred to as a nonsufficient funds fee, climbed 3 percent since last year's survey to a record high of $28.23."

The Visa Micro Tag for Contactless Payments

Visa has announced the availability of the Visa Micro Tag, a new key fob payment device embedded with Visa payWave, Visa's contactless technology feature. The Visa Micro Tag is designed to easily attach to a key ring, and allows cardholders to pay by simply waving their Visa Micro Tag in front of a contactless payment terminal without the need to physically swipe or insert the device into a point-of-sale terminal.

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The Business Case for Mobile Banking

Is there a positive business case for bankers to spend money on enabling mobile banking services for their customers? In an article titled 'Mobile Banking: Where's the Business Case?", Karen Epper Hoffman writes for BAI's Banking Strategies magazine about the question. A sidebar discusses one of the key cost drivers for bankers - whether to take a web browser-based approach to mobile banking or the "on deck" rich application approach that involves having to work with the wireless operators. Jim Bruene says the business case question really doesn't matter - writing that "banks have no choice in the mobile matter."

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