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March 10, 2007

If Law Enforcement Doesn’t Care About Identity Theft, Who Does?

Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt in their column for the New York Times Sunday Magazine write about identity theft - suggesting that it's not the consumer or card issuer who cards about identity theft - but, rather, it's the merchant. In the world of card not present transactions online, "If you’re a merchant, you have all the liability.”

March 09, 2007

Questioning Credit Card Issuers' Change of Heart

MSNBC's Bob Sullivan asks whether the recent changes in business practices announced by a couple of the major credit card issuers go far enough - saying he envisions "war rooms full of hidden fee visionaries are right now dreaming up new ways to hit cardholders with new and even more creative tack-on charges that don't run afoul of these recent concessions."

VeriFone Launches Payment Security Web Site

VeriFone has launched a new payment security web site at "VeriFone developed this web site to help retailers better understand the confusing set of payment industry standards. The web site includes white papers, links to industry standards, news updates and information about VeriFone products."

A Deeper Look at Amex’s S2S eInvoice & Pay Service

Glenbrook's Bryan Derman attended yesterday’s briefing in New York by American Express on its new B2B commerce solution and had an opportunity to speak directly with a few of the executives involved. Here's his report on this new service.


Mobile Candy Dish Pilots Movie Ticketing Mobile Commerce

Berkeley, California-based Mobile Candy Dish has announced a pilot with Marcus Theaters of a new service that allows consumers to use their mobile phones to buy movie tickets and get movie information.


Looking at ING Direct's Electric Orange Paperless Checking Account

Following ING Direct's general availability of it's new Electric Orange paperless checking account,'s Laura Bruce and Netbanker's Jim Bruene take a deeper look. Bruce notes that Electric Orange "has all the bells and whistles necessary to make a checkless account feasible for many people and, true to form, ING is sticking with its no-minimums policy to make this a free checking account."

Headline News - March 9, 2007

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

March 08, 2007

ING Direct's Electric Orange Checking Now Generally Available

ING Direct's web site now has information available about its new Electric Orange paperless checking account. The bank describes it by saying "America's first all–electronic, paperless checking account is going to change the way you do your banking. Earn a great rate, with online Free Bill Pay, easy access to cash, an Electric Orange MasterCard Debit Card and more – it provides the access and convenience of checking with the earning power of savings."

Vesdia Supports Citizens Bank Merchant Network For Debit Card Rewards

Vesdia and Citizens Financial Group have announced the launch of the Citizens Bank Merchant Network - calling it "a new and unique enhancement to the recently launched Citizens Bank Rewards program. Now, when cardholders shop at retailers participating in the Citizens Bank Merchant Network, they will earn up to 20 Everyday Points for each dollar they spend." See the earlier Citizens Bank announcement.


American Express Launches S2S eInvoice&Pay

American Express has announced S2SSM eInvoice&Pay, calling it "the first fully integrated Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment (EIPP) solution. With S2S eInvoice&Pay, companies can now process 100% of their invoices and issue payments to their suppliers from a single online portal managed by American Express."


Visa's Coghlan Challenges Businesses to Make Security Strategic Priority

Visa USA President and CEO John Philip Coghlan told an security summit conference in Washington today "that payment security must become a strategic priority for businesses and that all entities touching payments must invest in security to maintain consumer trust."


Consumers Reward or Punish Businesses Based on Security Practices

Javelin Strategy & Research has announced results of a new study showing there is a strong relationship between a consumer's perception of a retailer's reputation for safeguarding card account data and the consumer's willingness to shop at that retailer. The study also found that consumers believe retailers share an equal responsibility with banks, credit card companies, processors, and cardholders themselves for protecting their credit and debit card account information - and - no surprise given the litany of retailer data breaches - that they believe that retailers are lagging in their responsibility to keep their credit or debit card information out of the hands of criminals


POS Skimming Devices Target Debit Card Readers

Joseph Pereira reports for the Wall St. Journal on how merchants can be vulnerable to fraudsters attaching mag stripe skimming devices to the merchant's own point of sale systems or, amazingly, simply replacing a merchant's POS terminal with one modified by the fraudster to capture card mag stripe and PIN data - as illustrated by Stop & Shop's recent experience. Pereira cites a recent Gartner study that concluded that eighty percent of card data breaches were due to attacks on POS devices.

Merchants Welcome Sen. Coleman's Interchange Comments

The Merchants Payments Coalition says it welcomed comments from Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) yesterday "criticizing the hidden "interchange" fees that Visa and MasterCard charge merchants whenever a customer makes a purchase using a credit or debit card."


Citizens Enhances Debit Rewards Program With Merchant Network

Citizens Financial Group has announced the "launch of the Citizens Bank and Charter One Bank Merchant Network that includes partnerships with 14 popular retailers in its Citizens Bank Rewards and Charter One Bank Rewards programs. Customers will earn up to 20 Everyday Points for each dollar of their debit card purchases at the retailers in the Merchant Network."


Michigan Considering Gift Card Legislation

An editorial in the Lansing (MI) State Journal endorses gift card legislation pending in Michigan that "would bar retailers who offer gift cards for sale from imposing an "inactivity" or "service" fee on the redeemer of the card, or imposing an expiration date on the card's use."

March 07, 2007

Visa Summit To Counter Data Breach Hype

Matt Hines reports for InfoWorld on a briefing being put on by Visa tomorrow in Washington, DC titled "Maintaining Trust in Payments Summit".

Bank of America's Emergency Relief Cards

Bank of America has announced Emergency Relief Cards - what the bank calls "a suite of prepaid card products that will assist corporations and government entities to prepare for catastrophic events. The special-use cards are
designed to be incorporated into contingency plans to enable continuing business operations and to provide relief measures during times of critical need."


Washington Mutual Joins NACHA

Washington Mutual (WaMu) has joined NACHA as a direct financial institution member. According to the most recent NACHA Top 50 list, WaMu is the nation's fifth largest receiving financial institution of ACH payments.


Zopa Celebrates Second Birthday

Zopa, the UK-based person-to-person lending marketplace, is celebrating its second birthday. An article in Easier Finance reports on Zopa's progress to date - more than 135,000 members have joined Zopa and, perhaps most significantly, very few Zopa members have failed to pay back their loans – Zopa’s default rate is 0.2%. More birthday celebration on the Zopa blog.

New Insights About

The Innovate blog written by two students at Stanford's business and design schools has posted a podcast interview of Chris Larsen, CEO of person-to-person lending company "In this podcast, Chris chats with Julio and Min Li about Prosper's innovative vision, its unique challenges as an eBay platform for money (check out Prosper's cool tools for academics and researchers for performing case studies on its model), and the fine balance between the countervailing forces of transparency and privacy in the world of Web 2.0."

A Look At Ecommerce Payment Needs in India

Naushad Contractor writes for Thinking Aloud! about the needs he sees for payment systems to support ecommerce in India. He says "Most of the eCommerce in India is currently conducted using credit cards. However, while the Internet has penetrated rapidly into semi-urban and rural areas, credit card penetration has not quite kept pace, further accentuating the need for an all pervasive, easily available ePayment service."

ID Analytics Introduces Data Breach Analysis Services

ID Analytics has introduced Breach Analysis Services for enterprises - "the only solution on the market that can determine with a high degree of accuracy whether a data breach is truly a source of identity theft or related harm" according to the company.


A Look At Paperless Checking

Laura Bruce writes for about paperless checking accounts - among them ING DIRECT's Electric Orange checking account - soon to be generally available

Today's US Senate Hearing on Credit Card Practices

The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is holding a hearing today titled "Credit Card Practices: Fees, Interest Rates, and Grace Periods."

Speaking from the industry will be Bruce Hammonds , President, Bank of America Card Services; Richard Srednicki, Chief Executive Officer, Chase Bank USA, N.A.; and Vikram Atal, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Citi Cards.

According to an article by Kathleen Day of the Washington Post, the CEO of Chase Card Services "will apologize to Congress today for charging a financially strapped customer $7,500 in interest charges and late fees on purchases of $3,200, the company said yesterday."


March 06, 2007

ClickandBuy Expands Into P2P, Phone Billing in US

ClickandBuy has announced it plans to offer secure person-to-person payments and a cash voucher program for the European market, as well as bringing its phone billing service to the U.S. market.


Wells Fargo Updates Back Office Conversion Plans

Wells Fargo said today that it will become "the first financial institution in the U.S. to provide Back Office Conversion (BOC) to its business customers through multiple depository channels when new electronic check processing rules take effect March 16."


UK's Voca and LINK Announce Merger

UK payment services companies Voca and LINK Interchange Network have announced their intention to merge to create VocaLINK with the combined company expected to handle over 8 billion payment transactions this year.



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