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« April 8, 2007 - April 14, 2007 | Main | April 22, 2007 - April 28, 2007 »

April 21, 2007

First Data Security Chief Calls for PCI DSS Changes

Robert Westervelt reports for SearchSecurity.com on comments made by First Data's Chief Information Security Officer Phil Mellinger regarding the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) in which he calls for "an overhaul to eliminate subjectivity and ease restrictions to get more merchants to meet the standard."

Card Skimmers Indicted in New York City

In an article titled '13 indicted in NYC for $3 million credit card fraud", Samuel Maull of the Associated Press reports on a group of people indicted for credit card fraud perpetrated by paying restaurant staffers to skim credit card magnetic stripe details.

A Look at Verified by Visa in the UK

In an article titled 'Verified by Visa scheme confuses thousands of internet shoppers", Miles Brignall reports for the Guardian about the migration of many ecommerce sites to using Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode - and the confusion that some consumers experience when asked to enroll in those services in the middle of their shopping experience.

April 20, 2007

Commentary on Transactions Systems - Our 21st Century Dependence

Glenbrook's Linda Elliott has years of experience in designing, building and operating some of the largest payment processing platforms in the industry. She filed the following commentary - after reflecting upon some the cluster of news stories over the last week about difficulties with several significant transaction systems. Read on for Linda's commentary.

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Fintura Announces Funding from Battery Ventures

Fintura has announced that it has secured Series A funding from Battery Ventures. Fintura says it "provides financial institutions with customized solutions to accelerate new account growth, expand franchise presence and increase profitability through the delivery and management of credit cards, student loans and home equity products. Fintura’s solutions are particularly suited to institutions such as regional and community banks, credit unions and brand owners, who typically do not have the luxury of building the in-house marketing, operations and risk management expertise these products require."

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Credit Card Firms Focus on Small Business

Cyndia Zwahlen reports for the Los Angeles Times about how credit card companies are focusing on increasing the payment card usage of small businesses - saying that "Although small-business owners spent $4.9 trillion in 2006, less than 5% of that was with the aid of a credit or debit card, according to Visa USA research."

Charge! Chinese Bulk Up On Cards

Vivian Wai-yin Kwok writes from Hong Kong for Forbes.com about the growth in debit and credit card usage in China - reporting that "30% of consumer purchases were made with debit and credit cards last year in China’s biggest cities, according to the People’s Bank of China."

American Express Reports Financial Results

American Express reported first quarter financial results - including a 15 percent growth in worldwide billed business to $146.2B, a 10 percent increase in total cards in force to 79.9MM, worldwide average spending per proprietary basic card in force increased 8%, worldwide lending balances of $42.3B on an owned basis increased 29%; on a managed basis, and worldwide lending balances of $63.2B were up 18%. American Express reported its average merchant discount rate was 2.58% in 1Q ’07 and in 1Q ‘06 compared to 2.55% in 4Q ’06 - saying it reflects the seasonally higher retail spend levels during the fourth quarter

Headline News - April 20, 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.

April 19, 2007

Retailers Urge State Efforts on Credit Card Interchange Fees

The National Retail Federation has announced it is urging state legislators to "continue efforts to control $36 billion in credit card interchange fees paid by consumers each year, saying state legislation will help focus public attention on the little-known charges."

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Forrester - Person-To-Person Payment Goes Mobile

Forrester's Michelle de Lussanet has written a new report titled "Person-To-Person Payment Goes Mobile - But P2P Mobile Payment Is A Technology In Search Of A Market". From the abstract: "A number of firms in Western Europe have recently launched payment systems that allow consumers to make person-to-person payments using their mobile phones. Executives at other payment system operators, mobile operators, and banks need not rush to follow suit. We are not convinced that there is a large market for these new systems: Currently P2P supports only well-defined, narrow payment scenarios like mobile airtime prepay top-up of another person's prepay account. Instead, P2P payments are likely to become just one feature within broader mobile banking and mobile payment services."

Debit Card and Cash Usage: A Cross-Country Analysis

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has published a new working paper by Eugene Amromin and Sujit Chakravorti titled "Debit Card and Cash Usage: A Cross-Country Analysis" (PDF). From the abstract: "During the last decade, debit card transactions grew rapidly in most advanced countries. While check usage declined and has almost disappeared in some countries, the stock of currency in circulation has not declined as fast. We use panel estimation techniques to analyze the change in transactional demand for cash resulting from greater usage of debit cards in 13 countries from 1988 to 2003."

Wells Fargo Offers Cardholders Clean, Renewable Wind Power Rewards

Wells Fargo has announced that it is "the first U.S. financial institution to make clean, renewable energy reward options available to its cardholders. Through Wells Fargo Rewards programs, consumer and business credit card and check card customers can now redeem reward points to support renewable energy projects and receive certificates for their donations."

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Glenbrook at NACHA Payments 2007

Glenbrook's Jim Salters was at NACHA's Payments 2007 conference earlier this week. Jim filed the following report from the conference.

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Postillion, Metavante Form Alliance

Postilion, a division of S1 Corporation, has announced an alliance naming Metavante Corporation a strategic provider of electronic presentment and payment (EPP) services. Under the agreement, Postilion and Metavante will deliver an integrated self-service banking solution featuring expanded bill payment capabilities and an e-banking customer experience for financial institutions and their customers in the Americas.

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April 18, 2007

PayPal First Quarter 2007 Results

eBay reported first quarter 2007 financial results today - saying that "PayPal had a excellent quarter, with robust Total Payment Volume (TPV) growth, driven by increased eBay penetration around the world and another outstanding performance from its Merchant Services business."

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JPMorgan Chase to Acquire Xign

JPMorgan Chase Bank and Xign Corporation have announced that "they have signed an Agreement and Plan of Merger whereby Xign, a leading provider of business-to-business on-demand financial settlement solutions, will be acquired and combined with the Commercial Card and Procurement businesses of JPMorgan Chase’s Treasury Services unit. Under the Agreement and Plan of Merger, JPMorgan Chase will acquire all of the capital stock of Xign, as well as the company’s technology, services and Order-to-Pay domain expertise. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of 2007, subject to regulatory approval. Terms have not been disclosed."

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Shift to Premium Credit Cards Increases Merchant Interchange Concerns

The Merchants Payments Coalition says that "increases in credit card interchange rates announced by Visa last week average only 0.6 percent, but the $36 billion in total interchange fees consumers paid in 2006 will probably increase close to 20 percent this year" because of the movement of cardholders to premium credit cards that have higher interchange fees associated with them.

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Infonox, PayMate Partner on Mobile Payments for US Market

Infonox has announced a partnership with PayMate, a mobile-commerce solutions provider in India, to develop a suite of mobile payment products for the US market. According to the company, "the existing businesses on Infonox platform, which include major merchant acquirers, financial service aggregators and banks, will have the instant ability to offer their branded transaction services on cell phones."

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Questioning Contactless

Welcome Real-time founder and chairman Aneace Haddad blogs about the contactless card launch in London - now about six months away. He asks why merchants aren't announcing their plans to accept contactless card payments - concluding that, for merchants, the contactless "benefits are [far] from irresistible"

Visa's Money Transfer Service Launches in Singapore

Visa Money Transfer, Visa’s card-to-card payment service, has been launched by Visa International and Maybank in Singapore. Visa's Money Transfer service allows customers to send funds from their Visa cards to other Visa cardholders around the world.

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Discover Launches Business Miles Card for Small Business Owners

Discover Financial Services has announced the launch a new Discover Business Miles Card, which the company says "gives small business owners a way to earn miles faster and the ability to travel with no restrictions. Discover Card is introducing the new Business Miles Card following last year’s successful debut of Discover Business Card as another way to provide more flexibility and control to America’s small business owners."

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Endpoint Exchange Links To SVPCO Image Payments Network

Endpoint Exchange LLC, a Metavante company, and SVPCO – Electronic Clearing Services, the electronic check and check image exchange business of The Clearing House Payments Company LLC, have announced that member financial institutions of both systems can now exchange check data and images.

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More on Barclays PINsentry Two-Factor Authentication Solution

Gemalto has announced that it is providing Barclays Bank with a tailor-made product supporting Barclays project to offer stronger authentication for online banking customers. According to the company, its solution "includes the authentication devices and a full service encompassing design of the readers, fulfillment and distribution to the Barclays customer. In addition, Gemalto produced a unique looking device, customised with the bank’s visual corporate identity. The contract calls for the delivery of over half a million units by the end of this year and includes options for additional deliveries into 2008." More information, including photos of the device, are available at the Barclays web site.

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eBay's PayPal Battles Google Checkout with Help of Yahoo!

AuctionBytes Ina Steiner takes a deeper look at yesterday's launch by Yahoo! of Yahoo! PayPal Checkout - noting that merchants are being offered free processing through 12/31/2007 along with $100 to spend on Yahoo! advertising if they sign up for the program.

Barclays Provides 500,000 Chip and PIN Readers to Customers

Tash Shifrin reports for Computerworld UK that "Barclays bank is sending out handheld chip and PIN card readers to more than half a million online banking customers in a bid to prevent fraud."

Who's News - Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Marc Edmondson has been named Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, for Chockstone. Prior to joining Chockstone in 2005, Edmondson served as Vice President and General Manager for First Consumer’s National Bank, where he directed the consumer marketing organization and was responsible for product and business development, strategic planning and portfolio acquisitions.
Announce yourself! Have you recently taken on a new position in the payments industry? If you'd like to share the news with your colleagues, be sure to tell us about it. Are you looking for a new payments-related job? Or are you needing to find someone great? Checkout the Payments Jobs job board.

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