This holiday shopping season, gift cards are hot, but shopping for your spouse is not - according to PayPal's 2007 Holiday Survey conducted in October by Nielsen Customized Research.
MasterCard Incorporated has announced financial results for third-quarter 2007, reporting net revenues of $1.08 billion, a 20.1% increase versus the same period in 2006 and net income of $314 million including after-tax gains of $70 million from the partial sale of the company's investment in Redecard S.A. in Brazil. A MasterCard presentation on the results is available online.
In an article titled 'Mobile Wallet Will Take Time to Mature In U.S.', RIchard Winston from Accenture writes for Bank Systems & Technology magazine about the challenges in bringing mobile payments to the US market. Winston says "the technology will take time to mature, requiring banks, credit card issuers, cellular carriers and merchants to either cooperate or be forced to act by disruptive competitors entering the market."
Separately, David Evans asks whether Google will be the catalyst for the mobile ecosystem in the US. He says "however, Google faces the same difficulty that other developers have faced–which is interacting with the mobile carriers who understandably want to get paid for their vast investments in mobile capacity." Evans spoke at last week's CTIA conference in San Francisco.
In a post titled "Wells Fargo: Hitching its Reins to Mobile Banking", Brandon McGee writes for the Mobile Money & Banking blog about Wells Fargo's rollout of mobile banking services. McGee writes: "what captured my attention is that Wells Fargo seems to have strategically positioned themselves as the leader in mobile banking."
Mercator Advisory Group has announced a new report titled "Decoupled Debit - Let's Take a Closer Look" that the company says "evaluates the recent emergence of this new and possibly disruptive technology in the financial services industry, decoupled debit. Decoupled debit is an alternative based ACH debit card solution that utilizes two existing systems that are well defined in the financial services industry but were not designed to work in combination with each other, the ACH network and the branded payment networks such as MasterCard, Visa, NYCE, etc."
Mercator Advisory Group has announced a new report titled "Small Business Credit Card 2007 Update: Competition for Segments Intensifies" that examines recent developments in the highly competitive small business credit card marketplace.
In an article titled 'The $915B bomb in consumers' wallets', Peter Gumbel writes for Fortune about increasing concerns that credit-strapped consumers may accelerate the delinquency rates for US credit card issuers. He suggests looking at the experience in the UK - saying it's about 18 months ahead of the US in the current credit cycle. He notes that "credit card delinquencies and charge-off rates in Britain have risen as much as 50%".
In an article titled 'Barclays becomes major credit card player', Leslie A. Poppas writes for the Wilmington News Journal about Barclay's US credit card business. "While employment at other credit card issuers in the area has decreased, employment at Barclays has tripled since the London bank bought Juniper for $293 million in December 2004. This month, Barclays hired its 1,000th Delaware employee and now employs 1,012 people in the state..."
Akamai Technologies has introduced what the company is calling "the industry’s first and only PCI-compliant site acceleration service. PCI-compliant site and transaction acceleration will provide companies conducting ecommerce online with the assurance that sensitive credit card information is transmitted over a platform that is PCI-compliant."
In an article titled 'The Borrower Who Never Was', Christopher Conkey writes for the Wall St. Journal about synthetic identity fraud - where made up identities are used to perpetrate financial fraud. "This kind of fraud doesn't usually directly affect consumers. The big losers are banks, which get stuck with loan defaults and unpaid credit-card bills that identity thieves leave behind."
Jaikumar Vijayan writes for Computerworld about last week's announcement by Visa of new payment application security mandates. "Basically, they require any company that accepts payment card transactions to ensure that all third-party payment applications they use to store, process or transmit cardholder data comply with a set of minimum security requirements from Visa."
Mark Schwanhausser writes for the San Jose Mercury News about mobile banking - saying that, for banks to succeed with mobile banking, "they must show customers it's convenient and easy to use their cell phone to check balances, transfer money and watchdog their finances even if they're miles from a computer."
Earlier this month, during its review of quarterly financial results, Google's management was asked about the progress of Google Checkout. Jonathan Rosenberg responded:
"I think the real story that is important there is that many of the advertisers that we are working with, such as Jockey, are reporting much, much higher click-through rates. They achieved as much as 60% higher with Checkout and they decreased the cost-per-click by over 31% with Google AdWords and Google Checkout. So we are seeing much more significant volumes in terms of some of these advertisers and the performance with the advertisers."
Péralte C. Paul writes for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about TSYS' plans based upon an interview with Philip W. Tomlinson, chairman and chief executive of the Columbus, Georgia-based payments processor. Earlier this week, TSYS announced it was being spun out of parent Synovus Financial to become an independent public company.
Kris Hundley writes for the St. Petersburg Times about hometown company Revolution Money - saying that "the company's two products, a PayPal competitor called Revolution MoneyExchange and a PIN-based credit card called Revolution Card, are ready to take on the MasterCards and Visas of the world."
The Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has published a new discussion paper titled "The Merchant-Acquiring Side of the Payment Card Industry: Structure, Operations, and Challenges" .
Aniruddha Ghosh writes for India's Economic Times about the work Citi India and mChek are doing in India that enables a variety of services using the mobile phone as a remote customer signature device. "To ensure security, users of such services have a unique passcode which will prevent misuse even if their phone is lost. These transactions operate on a ‘remote signature’ principle, and are validated by one-time PINs generated separately for each transaction."
TSYS has announced that "it has entered into an agreement and plan of distribution with Synovus, under which Synovus plans to distribute all of its shares of TSYS common stock in a spin-off to Synovus shareholders. Under the terms and conditions of the agreement, TSYS will become a fully independent company."
In a report titled "European Mobile Banking: An Inconvenient Truth", Forrester's Benjamin Ensor writes about adoption of mobile banking in Europe - saying that "although most leading European retail banks offer mobile banking services based on SMS and mobile Internet to everyone with a capable phone, only 5% of Net users use them today. Those who do tend to be young, technology-savvy males with above-average incomes who already bank online."