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« December 31, 2006 - January 6, 2007 | Main | January 14, 2007 - January 20, 2007 »

January 13, 2007

Mobile Payment Forum Announces New Board of Directors

The Mobile Payment Forum has announced its incoming Board of Directors for the 2006 – 2008 term of office: Martin Harrison, First Data International; Simon Pugh, MasterCard; Christopher J. Bierbaum, Sprint Nextel; Bob Adamany, VeriSign; Stephanie Ericksen, Visa International; and Oliver Kelly, Vodafone.

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Banks Gone Wild

In an Op Ed piece in today's New York Times titled "Banks Gone Wild", Joe Lee and Thomas Parrish write about how credit card issuers are seeking “revolvers” - people "who are likely to pay little more than the monthly minimum — and who eventually find themselves in thrall to mushrooming interest payments, abundantly garnished with late fees." They go on to ask whether anyone can afford to pay debts charged a 30 percent interest rate?

January 12, 2007

Standards: The Pony Express to e-Payments

Celent has published a new report, Standards: The Pony Express to e-Payments that discusses advances made in developing payment-related standards for commercial/wholesale payments.

US Bank Plans For BOC Check Conversion

U.S. Bank has announced that it "is prepared to meet the needs of retailers and other customers who wish to take advantage of check electronification opportunities for point-of-sale (POS) payments when NACHA’s check conversion rules change for Back Office Conversion (BOC) on March 16, 2007." The bank has launched a new enhancement to U.S. Bank Electronic Check Service designed to meet the needs of multi-lane retailers by eliminating the investment in check imaging technology at the point of sale.

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MPF Releases Proximity Payment Issues & Recommendations Document

The Mobile Payment Forum, a global cross-industry alliance of key organizations from the mobile and financial industries dedicated to the advancement of mobile commerce, has published its Proximity Payment Issues & Recommendations Document.

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PayPal To Offer Password Key Fobs To Users

Joris Evers writes for CNET's News.com about plans by PayPal to make available key fobs to its users to help authenticate themselves at logon and reduce the threat from on-going phishing attacks. Evers reports that PayPal plans to charge personal PayPal users $5 for the key fob but will be giving them away to PayPal business account users.

A Look At Discover Post-Spinoff

Eric Grover, a partner at Intrepid Ventures, has written a viewpoint commentary for the American Banker on the options that Discover Card will have to build its business and expand globally - after its upcoming spin-off from Morgan Stanley. In his comments, Grover suggests that part of Discover's problem in signing up issuing partners is its lower interchange fee - suggesting that Discover "should push harder to close its interchange gap with MasterCard and Visa, enhancing its profitability for bank and retailer issuers, fueling rewards, and thereby increasing issuance and cardholder spending."

Metavante Acquires Valutec Card Solutions

Metavante has announced the acquisition of Valutec Card Solutions of Franklin, Tenn. The company will continue to operate under the Valutec name, and will become a Metavante company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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January 11, 2007

Who's News - Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Robert J. Philbin has been named president of TSYS Acquiring Solutions. Philbin, who will report to M. Troy Woods, president and chief operating officer of TSYS, joined the TSYS Acquiring Solutions team as chief financial officer in 2004.
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.

The iPhone and the mCommerce Challenge

Ken Eisner blogs about the iPhone and mobile commerce - commenting on an article in today's Internet Retailer titled "Apple’s iPhone could push consumers to mobile Commerce". Eisner comments "without having an opportunity to utilize the phone and interact with its form and features, I’m extremely bullish on its possibilities. For the mobile industry, it may very well be a game changer."

SunTrust Announces Treasury & Payment Solutions Division

SunTrust Banks has announced the re-branding of its treasury management division to SunTrust Treasury & Payment Solutions. According to the bank, the new name is "in line with a shift in the marketplace, where corporate treasury departments are expanding in scope and often contributing significantly to corporate strategy and decision-making."

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Ten Millionth Oyster Card Issued

Transport for London (TfL) has announced that the 10 millionth Oyster card has been issued - say that "this is a major step towards TfL's aim of making Oyster smart card electronic ticketing the predominant means of payment throughout London's transport system. Around three quarters of all Underground and bus payments in London are now by Oyster card."

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Wells Fargo Expands Online Game for Financial Education

Wells Fargo has announced it has "added more challenging financial education content -- and entertaining activities -- to Stagecoach Island, its multi-player, online role-playing game for high school and college age students. When Wells Fargo piloted the Stagecoach Island game more than a year ago it became the first financial institution to use an online role-playing game to make financial education fun."

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Market Forecast For World EFT POS Terminals

Frost & Sullivan has published its latest forecast of World EFT POS Terminals Markets reporting that the total market accrued revenues of $1.3 billion in 2005 and estimates it will reach $2 billion in 2011.

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AT&T, Citi Extend Consumer Credit Card Agreement

AT&T and Citigroup have announced a long-term extension of the relationship through which the AT&T licensing arm, AT&T Knowledge Ventures, licenses the AT&T brand to Citi for general purpose consumer credit cards.

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A Look At MasterCard

Marilyn Alva writes for Investor's Business Daily about MasterCard - and some of its plans as well as the competitive and litigation landscape likely to be ahead in 2007.

January 10, 2007

Visa International Annual Report 2006

The Visa International Annual Report (PDF) for fiscal 2006 is now available online.

Build a .NET App for Google Checkout

Google's Martin Omander has written an article titled "Build a .NET App for Google Checkout" for O'Reilly's WindowsDevCenter.com that includes sample code for developers to use to integrate ecommerce web sites with Google Checkout.

PayPal Doubles Buyer Protection on eBay

eBay and PayPal have announced an expansion of PayPal Buyer Protection, giving buyers up to $2,000 of coverage for qualified transactions on eBay.com - doubling the coverage provided by the existing protection program. AuctionBytes reports that eBay is also eliminating buyer-protection for non-PayPal transactions.

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Visa USA Annual Report 2006

The Visa USA Annual Report (PDF) for fiscal 2006 is now available online.

Contactless, m-Payments and Biometric Payments Forecast To Grow

The PELORUS Group has published a new report titled "Alternative Payments: Changing The Rules" that concludes that "three emerging payment alternatives to the traditional magnetic stripe credit/debit card payments regime, when combined, hold the potential to significantly alter the payment landscape. Contactless credit and debit card payments (sometimes called proximity payments), mobile payments (m-Payments) and biometrically authenticated payments will each levy its own unique impact over the next five years. Together, they could garner over $400 billion in revenue by 2011." [Editor's note: I suspect that's payment volume on those instruments, not revenue.]

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2007 - The Year Of Check Image Exchange

TowerGroup has published a new report titled "Check 21 in 2007: The Year of Image Exchange" on bank adoption of Check 21 - predicting that 2007 will be the first year in which monthly check image exchange volumes surpass paper check presentment volumes.

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A Guide to the ATM and Debit Card Industry

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has just published the 2006 update to "A Guide to the ATM and Debit Card Industry" (PDF) by Fumiko Hayashi, Richard J. Sullivan, and Stuart E. Weiner. The authors introduce this update by saying that "the three years since the orginal book was published have been a very dynamic time in the industry with a number of important developments. Some trends and patterns have persisted or accelerated, while others have peaked or reversed. Still others have emerged for the first time. The purpose of this 2006 Update is to document these trends and patterns by updating the data we presented in the original book and to discuss their implications for the current and future state of the industry."

Metavante's LINK2GOV Enables Tax Payments Via Debit Cards

Metavante's LINK2GOV has introduced incometaxpayment.com - a new web site that supports Federal balance-due tax payments for a $2.95 flat fee, no matter the amount, when initiated with a debit card. Debit cards issued on the NYCE, Star or PULSE networks are supported). According to LINK2GOV, "never before has PIN-less debit been a card option for Federal balance-due tax payments; and the $2.95 convenience fee charged at incometaxpayment.com is the only flat-fee option available anywhere. Payments made at incometaxpayment.com are authorized in real time and the payment date is the same date the transaction was successfully completed."

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More on PurePay

Earlier this month, PurePay, a Columbus, Ohio-based acquirer and operator of payments companies, announced its plans. Dan Primack of PE Hub takes a deeper look at the company based upon a conversation with PurePay co-founder John Cullen.

Apple's iPhone As A Contactless Payments Platform

Jim Bruene writes on his Financial Marketing blog about how Apple's iPhone could spur more mobile banking adoption - and adds his prediction that "within two years one of those buttons on the iPhone will activate contactless card payments via MasterCard, Visa, or American Express." We did a bit of our own speculation yesterday following Steve Jobs' keynote introduction of the new iPhone. On the other hand, given the price of the iPhone and Apple's own estimate that it hopes to take 1 percent mobile phone market share in 2008, the iPhone just isn't going to be a mass market device over the next couple of years.

January 09, 2007

Negotiating A Lower Credit Card Interest Rate

Ann Carrns reports for the Wall St. Journal on the "just ask for it discount" that some consumers are getting from their credit card issuers by calling customer service and requesting a lower interest rate. Carrns cites one recent survey that conclude the odds were good - "more than 75% of those who asked to pay less said they got their rate reduced."

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