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December 31, 2007

Headline News - December 31, 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.

December 30, 2007

December 29, 2007

That Gift Card Feeling?

In an opinion piece titled "The gift card shuffle" in the Los Angeles Times, Megan Daum writes about the "retail phenomena" of gift cards - saying that her gift card buying "experience left me feeling empty and a bit ashamed. It's as though I had opted to take a class pass/fail, not because the material was difficult but because I was too lazy to study; the gift cards seemed like the ultimate cop-out."

An Online Merchant's View of Credit Card Acceptance

37signal's Jason Fried writes about the process they use for handling credit cards for payment for their online services (including Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, etc.). Fried writes: "So, credit card processing and set up and all that stuff is a real pain in the ass. It’s definitely intimidating to get started. The industry just feels dirty."

December 28, 2007

Remote Order and Pay

Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch writes about a patent application by Apple that "hints at a killer future feature that would let iPhone owners bypass long lines by placing orders at coffee shops and other retail outlets right from their phone." Over the years, there have been several "remote order and pay" initiatives - most recently including MyTango.com.

Credit Concerns Not Limited to Mortgages

Online Resources Corp. has released results of a recent survey of U.S. households
and billers regarding the effect of the current mortgage crisis on bill payment and collection patterns. According to ORCC, the survey shows that fallout from the mortgage sector is spilling over into the broader economy, impacting companies across industries and their ability to collect payments.

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Favorite Payment Myths in the UK

APACS, the UK payments association, has just published a new report titled "Payment Myths" icon_PDF_small.gif that it says "uncovers the facts behind payment trends in Britain." According to APACS, the booklet uses statistical evidence to help consumers better understand the payment options available to them and offers advice on the best ways to manage their finances; no matter what payment method they use. The report uses APACS statistics to show examples of the way we use cash, our susceptibility to fraud and the new demographic make up of online bankers – to name but a few.

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Sony Awarded US Patent 7,311,246 for Electronic Value Exchange

A Japanese inventor, Shigeru Arisawa of Tokyo, was issued US patent 7,311,246 on Dec. 25 for a "method and system of transmitting electronic value information between terminals." The patent has been assigned to Sony Corporation.

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The Evolution of the ACH

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's Payments System Research Department has published a new Payment System Research Briefing by Terri Bradford titled "The Evolution of the ACH" icon_PDF_small.gif. "This article ... summarizes the beginnings of the ACH, exciting changes underway today, and possible further changes in the future."

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Headline News - December 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.

December 27, 2007

A Critique of the ABA's Study on Credit Card Regulation

Adam J. Levitin, Associate Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, has published a new paper titled "All But Accurate: a Critique of the American Bankers Association's Study on Credit Card Regulation". From the abstract: "This review article takes issue with three of the main assertions of the American Bankers Association's Study on Credit Card Regulation."

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Complex Pricing of Credit Cards Should Be Simplified

Adam J. Levitin has a commentary published in today's Chicago Tribune titled "Complex Pricing of Credit Cards Should Be Simplified" in which he argues that the complicated pricing structure of credit cards makes it virtually impossible to determine the potential costs of carrying a balance. He believes that the complexity "helps explain the soaring growth of American credit card debt, now approaching $1 trillion." Levitin notes that while he qualifies "as a savvy and dedicated reader of financial contracts, but frequently I cannot calculate with certainty the costs of carrying a credit card balance, and my calls to card issuers' 800-number servicing lines have done nothing to clarify matters."

Headline News - December 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.

December 26, 2007

Are Consumers Cashing Out?

In a paper titled "Are Consumers Cashing Out?", Paul Bauer and Daniel Littman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland examine consumer usage of cash for payments - "Two indirect methods of measuring cash usage suggest that people are indeed switching from cash to more electronic forms of payment, but the process is happening slowly. Innovations in electronic payments may be gradually eroding the advantages of using cash, but cash is still preferred for many transactions."

Overall Holiday Season Retail Grows 3.6%

MasterCard Advisors' SpendingPulse, a macro-economic report tracking retail sales nationally, has reported summary results for the 2007 Holiday shopping season concluding that, for the period between Black Friday and December 24, retail grew by a seasonally adjusted 3.6% over the same period in 2006.

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Headline News - December 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.

December 24, 2007

Seasons Greetings

Seasons Greetings
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Payments News and all of us at Glenbrook!

NRF Says U.S. Should Follow European Ruling re: Interchange Fees

In a press release yesterday, the National Retail Federation says it "has welcomed a ruling by the European Commission that hidden fees currently charged by MasterCard to process credit card transactions in Europe – similar to those that cost U.S. shoppers $40 billion annually – drive up costs for consumers in violation of EC rules and must be withdrawn within six months."

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Unpaid Credit Cards Bedevil Americans

AP writers Rachel Konrad and Bob Porterfield write that "Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year and prompting warnings of worse to come." Their story is based upon a review of the SEC filings of securitized credit card debt "representing about 325 million individual accounts."

Headline News - December 24, 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.

December 21, 2007

Visa Inc. Files 10-K Annual Report, Amends S-1 Registration

Visa Inc. has filed a Form 10-K Annual Report with the SEC as well as the first amendment to its previously filed Form S-1 Registration Statement. READ MORE »

Major Online Retailers Hit Sales High on December 18

According to Chase Paymentech, Americans rushed to the web on Tuesday, Dec. 18 to complete their 2007 online holiday shopping as Christmas delivery deadlines loomed, resulting in a single-day Chase Paymentech Pulse Index high of $169 million in sales and more than 3 million orders. This notable sales spike is more than 42 percent higher than Friday, December 15th, the peak Pulse Index shopping day in 2006.

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Amazon's DevPay

Amazon.com has introduced another new web services offering - this one called DevPay. "This new service allows entrepreneurial developers to wrap their own business models around Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2, taking advantage of Amazon's existing customer base and billing infrastructure. With DevPay, developers can focus on being creative and innovative while dispatching the less-than-glamorous aspects of dealing with bank accounts, credit cards, and so forth to us."

Rich Opportunity in the Unbanked Segment

Romina Abal of Edgar, Dunn & Company has published a new article titled "Rich Opportunity in the Unbanked Segment" icon_PDF_small.gif. "New and unique data from the PaymentDynamicsSM 2007 Preferred Payments Study shows that the conven- tional wisdom regarding the unbanked is overly simplistic at best, and in many ways, simply inaccurate. For instance, many financial institutions may be sur- prised to learn that more than half of the unbanked have attended college, or that only a third of them are rated as having sub-prime credit scores."

CUP Data Completes First-of-its-Kind Bankcard Conversion in China

TSYS has announced that China UnionPay Data Services Co., Ltd. (“CUP Data”), TSYS’ joint venture with China UnionPay (“CUP”), has successfully completed a bankcard conversion for Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (“SPDB”), one of the largest joint-stock commercial banks in China.

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December 20, 2007

Merchants Applaud EU Ruling on MasterCard Interchange Fees

A coalition of U.S. merchants opposed to unfair credit card fees says it welcomed a ruling by the European Union (EU) Competition Commission that MasterCard’s credit card interchange fees for consumers must be cut across the 26 member nations of the European community.

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Discover Reports 6% Increase in US Card Sales Volume

Discover Financial Services has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2007 reporting that its U.S. Card managed loans reached $48.2 billion, up 5% from last year driven by a 6% increase in credit card sales volume. Discover says that its "U.S. Card credit quality remained strong, although delinquency rates increased from last quarter reflecting weakening in the U.S. economy. The fourth quarter managed credit card net charge-off rate was 3.84% and the 30+ days delinquency rate was 3.59%."

Mobile Payments in India - Atom Cards

Rachana Khanzode reports for the Financial Express in India about Atom Cards - a mobile optical payment technique using 2D-bar codes displayed on the mobile handset and captured by the retailer.

UATP Signs with HomeATM ePayment Solutions

Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) has announced "a partnership with HomeATM ePayment Solutions, a global online payment solution and web security engineering firm. The partnership will initially offer an alternative payment option to the global commercial airline community."

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