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October 31, 2007

PayPal's 2007 Holiday Survey

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.

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MasterCard Reports 3Q07 Financial Results

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.

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Mobile Wallets in the US Market

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.

A Look at Wells Fargo's Mobile Banking

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."

October 30, 2007

A Look at Decoupled Debit

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."

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Holiday Gift Cards Are More Popular Than Ever

Comdata Stored Value Solutions has announced the results of its fifth annual survey of gift card purchases icon_PDF_small.gif showing that "the availability of gift card malls and expanded uses for gift cards are making them even more popular and versatile."

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Shopping.com Ready for Holidays with Gift Cards Online

Shopping.com has announced it has "signed deals with some of the nation’s top retailers to offer their gift cards online this season, all from one convenient place. Shoppers will be able to easily compare brand name cards in various increments for everyone on their holiday list."

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BSG Launches Bill2Phone Mobile Payment Solution

BSG Clearing Solutions has announced a new mobile phone payment solution called Bill2Phone-Mobile icon_PDF_small.gif that enables multimedia merchants to deliver digital content to mobile phones and bill those content charges to subscribers’ mobile phone bills.

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Small Business Credit Card 2007 Update

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.

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Concerns about Rising Credit Card Deliquencies

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%".

A Look at Barclays US Credit Card Business

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 Introduces PCI-compliant Site Acceleration Service

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."

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Mobile Payments: Strategies & Markets, 2007-2011

Juniper Research has announced a new report titled "Mobile Payments: Strategies & Markets, 2007-2011". The report provides "detailed market sizing, forecasts until 2011, player analysis and positioning strategies."

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Metavante's New Healthcare Gateway

Metavante has announced the availability of its Healthcare Gateway - calling it "a single online portal through which most eligibility inquiries, claims submissions and status checks, and payments activities can flow and be monitored on-demand electronically."

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October 29, 2007

Annals of Synthetic Identity Fraud

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."

Visa's New Payment Application Security Mandates

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."

Mobile Banking Must Overcome Consumer Doubts

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."

October 27, 2007

An Update on Google Checkout

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."

TSYS Plans to Expand After Spinoff

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.

Credit Card 2.0 - Revolution Card from Revolution Money

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 Merchant Acquiring Side of the Payment Card Industry

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" icon_PDF_small.gif.

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October 26, 2007

Citi, mChek Expand Mobile Services in India

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."

Obopay Video Profile

Tony Russomanno reports for San Francisco's CBS5.com about Obopay - and using its person to person money transfer service instead of Western Union. Although currently US only, Russomanno reports the company plans international support for moving money.

TSYS to Spin-Off from Synovus, Become Independent

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."

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European Mobile Banking

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."

Headline News - October 26, 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.

October 25, 2007

U.S. Bank Issues Its 20 Millionth Gift Card

U.S. Bank has announced that it has issued its 20 millionth gift card this week, remaining the top Visa gift card issuer in the US. U.S. Bank reached the 10 millionth gift card milestone in July 2006, doubling the size of its gift card program in just over a year.

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