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« May 13, 2007 - May 19, 2007 | Main | May 27, 2007 - June 2, 2007 »

May 26, 2007

A Highly Charged Relationship

In an article titled 'A Highly Charged Relationship - Americans Can't Do Without Their Credit Cards, But the Card Companies Are Another Matter", Washington Post writer Kathleen Day says that "while Americans love the convenience of plastic, they often hate the credit card issuer. Credit card complaints outstrip all other bank-related grievances filed with federal regulators in recent years."

May 25, 2007

Credit Cards Make Tiny Inroads in Iraq

Wendy Pollack writes for The Informed Reader at the Wall St. Journal Online reports that in Iraq "at least one bank, the Trade Bank of Iraq, has begun offering credit cards — so far, it has issued 15,000 of them."

Shift4 Introduces Technology to Remove Cardholder Data from POS Systems

Shift4 Corporation has announced new technology for current and legacy point-of-sale (POS) systems that, when used with Shift4's $$$ ON THE NET(r) gateway, removes all useable personal credit card data at the POS terminal, in back-office data storage and during all data transport.

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India's Electronic Payments Seen Doubling in 3 Years

Reuters India reports that "electronic transactions in India are set to double in the next three years with the Reserve Bank of India, the banking system, aggregators and merchants pulling out all stops to promote it."

Field Report - Debit Card Security Breach at Restaurant

Tim Landis reports for the Springfield, Illinois Journal Register about a local restaurant's data breach resulting in reissuance of a number of debit cards. The comments at the bottom of the story reflect some of the consumer frustrations associated with this kind of event.

IndyMac Joins American Express' New Mortgage Payments Program

American Express has announced that IndyMac Bank, the nation’s second largest independent mortgage lender, will be among the first to offer this Express Rewards Mortgage program to borrowers seeking eligible prime loans.

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NFC Mobile Payments Fail To Inspire

Card Technology reports on comments by Bank of America's John Suchanec regarding the bank's recent trial of contactless mobile phone-based payments - saying the results "failed to inspire".

New P2P Lending Service - Lending Club - Launches on FaceBook

Lending Club, a Sunnyvale, California-based startup, has launched a new person-to-person lending service on the social networking service FaceBook. From the company's web site: "Lending Club is an online lending community where people can borrow and lend money, bypass the banks, and get better rates. By working together, members can borrow money more easily and at a better rate than they would get from a bank, or invest in a pool of loans at higher rates than those served by savings accounts or CDs." Lending Club is using the recently introduced Facebook Platform for integration into Facebook. Read more on the Lending Club blog.

Consumer Action’s 2007 Credit Card Survey Now Available

Consumer Action has announced the release of its 2007 Credit Card Survey (PDF) - saying it reveals new details about a range of credit card industry practices.

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Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act Class Action Litigation

The law firm of Perkins Coie reports on the more than 100 class action lawsuits that have been filed in federal court since December 2006 against a broad spectrum of retailers alleging violations of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act ("FACTA") of 2003 (15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.). "The suits allege these companies "willfully" violated FACTA by generating electronic customer credit or debit card receipts containing prohibited information, and seek awards of what some courts have described as "annihilating" statutory damages in the $100 million to $1 billion range, plus punitive damages and attorneys’ fees."

Headline News - May 25, 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.

May 24, 2007

US Mobile Banking and Payments

Mercator Advisory Group has announced a teleconference titled "U.S. Mobile Banking and Payments: Finding the Seams, Accelerating the Pace" - scheduled for Friday, June 1, beginning at 1 PM Eastern.

Debit Card Rewards At the Top Fifty US Banks

Mercator Advisory Group has announced a new report that "evaluates the changes that have occurred in the Debit Reward marketplace in the last year by comparing the state of the debit reward programs at the top fifty debit card issuers (in annual card holder spending) today as compared to more than a year ago."

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APACS Highlights 10th Anniversary of Online Banking in UK

APACS has highlighted this week as the 10th anniversary of online banking in the UK, calling it a significant milestone in the evolution of UK banking and payments. "Over the last ten years online banking has become increasingly popular and the number of people using the service has risen five fold in the last six years alone. In 2006 there were a record 18.1 million Britons banking online and for the first time the number of adults using internet banking exceeded those using telephone banking. Today, half of all internet users in the UK bank online."

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MasterCard to Hold Investment Community Meeting

MasterCard has announced that it will host an investment community meeting on May 31, 2007 at the Company's headquarters. Members of MasterCard's senior management team will provide updates on the company's
operational, business and product initiatives. A live web cast of the formal presentations beginning at 9:00 AM EDT will be available on the Investor Relations section of MasterCard's website. A replay of the event will be available approximately one day later and will be archived for 90 days.

Google's Patent Search

We're fans of Google's Patent search service and its fast and easy searches of issued US patents. Google recently added a "Download PDF" option to the service that allows you to quickly save a copy of a patent that you've found of interest. Here's an example: US Patent 6,341,724 titled "Cardless Payment System".

Metrics Drive Wells Fargo's Home Page

Forrester has published a new report about how Wells Fargo's Internet Services Group "used Web site metrics, customer survey data, and internal search information to develop a home page steeped in analytics, not opinions. Forrester sat down with Stephanie Smith, senior vice president and head of online sales and marketing, and Brett Pitts, manager of the ISG's Web channel management to discuss the Web site launch and its results to date."

Citi Switching Visa-branded Cards to American Express

Robin Sidel reports for the Wall St. Journal that Citigroup is "replacing thousands of Visa-branded American Airlines credit cards with new account numbers and cards that carry the American Express logo." Some cardholders aren't happy about the change.

PCI Security Standards Council Announces Elected Board of Advisors

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), an independent industry standards body providing management of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (DSS) on a global basis, has announced the results of elections for the PCI SSC Board of Advisors. The Board of Advisors will represent the current roster of nearly 200 PCI SSC Participating Organizations and provide feedback to the ongoing enhancement of security standards managed by the Council.

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May 23, 2007

Mobile Banking Is Coming of Age

John Quain reports for the New York Times about how banks are enabling their customers to use their cell phones for basic banking functions.

Gift Cards - Facts and Cautions

Helen Mirza writes an article titled "Gift Cards – Facts and Cautions Regarding a Widely Used Financial Product" (PDF) for the May 2007 issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's Profitwise News and View periodical.

Canadian Tire Stores Ready for Canadian Chip Card Roll-Out

Canadian Tire and MasterCard Canada have announced that all of Canadian Tire Retail's 468 stores will be ready to accept MasterCard chip cards by the end of 2008. Canadian Tire is setting up its software, point-of-sale systems, and retail processes to be chip-ready as MasterCard issuers gear up to introduce chip cards across the Canadian market.

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Mobile Commerce Summit

Update: See Jim Bruene's report on the first Mobile Commerce Summit.

Crone Consulting,LLC, American Banker and CardTechnology have announced a Mobile Commerce Summit to be June 18-19, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV.

Federal Reserve Issues Proposed Amendments to Regulation Z

The Federal Reserve Board has issued for public comment proposed amendments to Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) that are intended to improve the effectiveness of the disclosures consumers receive in connection with credit card accounts and other revolving credit plans by ensuring that information is provided in a timely manner and in a form that is readily understandable.

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Metavante Files S-4 Registration

Metavante yesterday filed an S-4 Registration Statement with the SEC as part of the previously announced plan to separate Marshall & Ilsley’s banking business and Metavante’s business into two separate, publicly-traded companies.

American Express Introduces Home Mortgage Payments via Cards

American Express has announced that its cardholders will be able to pay monthly home mortgage payments on its cards. Amex said that "American Home Mortgage Corp. will be the first lender to offer this Express Rewards Mortgage program for eligible prime loans." The program also provides Amex's Membership Rewards, cash back, airline or hotel points or other types of rewards affiliated with their card for the mortgage payments. Cardholders must pay a one-time fee of $395 to the lender for enrollment in the Express Rewards Mortgage program at the time of mortgage closing.

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NOVA Launches PCI Compliance Program for Small Businesses

NOVA Information Systems has announced a data security compliance program to help "Level 4" merchants comply with the Payment Card Industry Data security Standard (PCI DSS). According to the PCI DSS, Level 4 merchants are defined by processing fewer than 20,000 e-commerce transactions and/or fewer than 1 million Visa or MasterCard transactions annually. NOVA currently processes for more than 850,000 merchants in North America, most of which meet the Level 4 criteria.

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