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« May 20, 2007 - May 26, 2007 | Main | June 3, 2007 - June 9, 2007 »

June 02, 2007

Boston Fed Holds Contactless Forum

The Emerging Payments Research Group of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston held a Contactless Forum at the bank on May 21, 2007. The forum "brought together invited industry experts, academics, and Federal Reserve System payments professionals to explore consumer and merchant payment choices related to contactless (RFID) technology, examine security risks and vulnerabilities with RFID-enabled payments, and finally look at future adoption—the barriers and the opportunities with contactless smart cards." A copy of the agenda (along with links to the several presentations given) is available on the bank's web site.

JCB Announces New Brand Slogan

JCB, a global payment brand and credit card issuer and acquirer in Japan, has announced the a brand slogan "Good times start here.", as part of a new global branding strategy.


MasterCard Exploring New Technologies

Jay Loomis reports for the Westchester County, NY Journal News about MasterCard's recent investor day presentation of some of MasterCard's new technology initiatives. "MasterCard currently has more than 100 new products under development. Many are focused on new ways for credit cards, debit cards or electronic payments to replace cash and checks in fast growing areas of the economy such as health care."

More Background on the First Data / KKR Acquisition

The proxy statement filed by First Data Corp. with the SEC earlier this week contains a section that provides background on how the acquisition discussions began and how they evolved. It all began with a discussion in late November or early December of last year between Henry Kravis, a founding member of KKR, and James Robinson III, a director of First Data.

June 01, 2007

A Look at Friendly Fraud

In an article titled 'Retailers Look to Put a Halt To Rising Chargeback Losses", Cards&Payments takes a look at the issue of "friendly fraud". Glenbrook's Allen Weinberg comments: "It's a big unspoken problem," says Allen Weinberg, managing partner of Glenbrook Partners, a Menlo Park, Calif.-based payments-consulting firm. "No one wants to talk about it because it shows the system is being abused, and the merchants get left holding the bag."

Discover Spin-Off Scheduled for June 30

In a regulatory filing today with the SEC, Morgan Stanley announced that the spin-out of Discover Financial Services is now scheduled for June 30, 2007.


Details on Financing of First Data Corp. Acquisition by KKR

Earlier this week, First Data Corp. filed a proxy statement with the SEC containing further details about its acquisition by KKR. Included was a breakdown of equity and debt financing coming into the deal - about $7.2 billion in equity financing (from KKR and several other entities) and about $24 billion from various debt financing vehicles.

Mobile Banking Catching On in US, Slowly

Matt Hamblen reports for Computerworld on comments made about mobile banking in the US by Tower Group analyst Bob Egan, in an interview after a keynote address at the consulting firm's financial services conference this week. Egan said currently only about "400,000 consumers are using mobile banking out of almost 240 million mobile phone users in the U.S."

Bank of Montreal Debit Card Reward Program

The Bank of Montreal has announced a new loyalty program that rewards Canadian AIR MILES Collectors for all of their debit card transactions. The bank says its new program is a move to capture the personal banking business of AIR MILES collectors who currently represent nine million active collector accounts or approximately two-thirds of Canadian households.


May 31, 2007

Know Your Enemy

Scott Berinato writes an article for CIO titled "How Online Criminals Make Themselves Tough to Find, Near Impossible to Nab". According to Berinato, "computer crime has shifted from a game of disruption to one of access. The hacker’s focus has shifted too, from developing destructive payloads to circumventing detection."

Hey, Wesabe You?

Jim Bruene blogs about his upcoming Online Banking Report issue on the topic of Social Personal Finance. Jim says it will include "a detailed look at Wesabe and Lending Club, which is catering entirely to Facebook users, and what banks should do to compete and/or partner with this new type of financial provider."

FSTC Annual Conference Presentations

The Financial Services Technology Consortium has posted some of the presentations from its recent Annual Conference to its website.

What Banks Tell Online Customers About Their Security

In a new post-FFIEC implementation article titled "What Banks Tell Online Customers About Their Security", Sarah D. Scalet writes for CIO Magazine writes about what she earlier called "creative" authentication. She writes about her experiences calling Citibank, Chase, and Bank of America and asking the call center reps about her concerns about online security.

Presentations from MasterCard's Investment Community Day

MasterCard has filed with the SEC a copy of its presentations from today's MasterCard Investment Community Day. MasterCard has also posted the presentation materials (PDF) and related product information (PDF) to its web site.

Who's News - Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Garen Staglin has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Bottomline Technologies. Staglin served on the First Data Corporation Board of Directors from 1992 to 2002, is the former Chief Executive Officer of eONE Global LP, and a member of the Board of Directors of ExL Services, Solera, and Global Document Solutions.
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.

May 30, 2007

MasterCard's Investment Community Day

On Thursday, May 31, MasterCard's Investment Community Day presentations begin at 9 AM Eastern time. The event is scheduled to run for 3 hours and 45 minutes. A replay is to be available after the event.

Electronic Invoicing Community Brings Trading Partners Together

Transcepta has announced an Internet-based electronic invoicing community that brings trading partners together – a place where buyers and vendors find common ground to process invoices free from the everyday constraints of paper and rigid computing systems.


A Cashless, Contactless Society

Bonna De La Cruz writes for the Gannett News Service about the cashless, contactless society ahead - asking "what's the fate of the Salvation Army's familiar red kettles and the tip jars that performers depend on?"

Unisys to Develop Next-Generation Electronic Check Payments System

Unisys has announced it will design and help implement a new electronic check and image processing system in a consulting, software and hardware agreement with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, acting on behalf of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks.


Who's News - Payments News Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Steve Hawco has joined the Board of Directors of MODASolutions. Hawco is former Vice President of the LEGO Group and current Senior Vice President of eCommerce for Group RCI, a Wyndham Worldwide Company which provides non-hotel leisure accommodations.
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.

May 29, 2007

Gartner Says New PCI Security Standards Council Needs More Power

Avivah Litan from Gartner is out with a new note titled "New PCI Security Standards Council Needs More Power". From the abstract: "The Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council's newly elected Board of Advisors will help to improve stakeholder communication. But the advisors need voting power and expanded authority to resolve problems."

Barclays Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Connect Card

Barclaycard in the UK is celebrating the upcoming 10th anniversary of its Connect Card, the UK's first debit card. According to Barclays, "June 3rd, 1987 was the day that Barclays revolutionised the nation’s spending habits by putting the UK’s first debit card, the Barclays Connect card, into the purses and wallets of people up and down the country. The new cards caught on immediately and just nine months after the launch Barclays issued its millionth card."


Debit Card Usage By Women Doubled Since 2003

MasterCard has announced the results of a study titled "Women in the Financial Marketplace" conducted as part of the Yankelovich MONITOR 2006/07 study. The study, commissioned by MasterCard Worldwide, found that debit card usage by women has more than doubled since 2003, growing from 20 percent to 43 percent - with women now representing 61 percent of the most frequent debit card users.


Wachovia Reaches One Million Credit Card Customers

Wachovia has announced that, less than a year since its re-entry into the credit card business, it has reached one million credit card customers in its portfolio.


HSBC Direct Launches New Online Payment Account

HSBC Bank USA has announced HSBC Direct’s Online Payment Account, a new Online Payment Account product that offers instant fund transfers to and from the HSBC Direct Online Savings Account (OSA) and pays a current yield of 2.50% APY. According to HSBC, "this account allows customers to leave funds in the high-yield OSA longer, and fluidly manage their money so that they can maximize the value of every dollar, every day. Customers can also earn interest on money in the Online Payment Account used for everyday expenses, and then promptly move anything they do not spend back into high-yield savings, getting the most earning power from both."


SEPA and Interchange Fees

Aneace Haddad of Welcome Real-time blogs about a potential unintended consequence of SEPA - that the elimination of national debit card monopolies could lead to a spiraling up of interchange fees as brands compete for issuance by banks. Haddad says "now that banks finally have a choice, it will be irresistible for them to choose the brand that offers the highest interchange. The old European national debit brands have never had to deal with this before."

Reserve Bank of Australia Launches Payments Systems Review

The Reserve Bank of Australia has a paper titled "Reform of Australia’s Payments System: Issues for the 2007/08 Review" (PDF) that begins the formal process of consultation for the Bank’s review of the payments system reforms of recent years in Australia. According to the RBA, "the paper sets out details on the timing and scope of the review and provides a summary of the reforms and their rationale. The paper also raises a number of specific issues on which the Bank is seeking comment from interested parties." More in this story by Katherine Jimenez in The Australian.


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