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« June 3, 2007 - June 9, 2007 | Main | June 17, 2007 - June 23, 2007 »

June 16, 2007

Worry-Free Online Transactions

Ray Martin of the CBS Saturday Early Show explores the various payment alternatives for use while shopping online. "The thing consumers need to think about before any transaction they make online is: "How will my money be protected if the payment information I provide is compromised and used fraudulently?" Also, other important considerations include privacy, fees/costs and ease of use."

June 15, 2007

MasterCard Introduces Product Graduation for US Cardholders

MasterCard has announced the launch of MasterCard Product Graduation in the United States - a new program that enables cardholders to keep the same account number when switching between various card programs offered by an issuer, thereby avoiding the need for the cardholder to update recurring payment accounts, etc.

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MasterCard Announces Details of Class B Share Conversion Program

Following approval of its amended and restated certificate of incorporation at its 2007 Annual Meeting of Stockholders earlier this month, MasterCard has announced the details of its previously announced plan to "facilitate an accelerated and orderly conversion of Class B common stock into Class A common stock for subsequent sale to the public in 2007."

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PayPal Security Key Now Generally Available

PayPal has announced the general availability of the PayPal Security Key for PayPal's customers. The PayPal Security Key is a small electronic token that generates a unique security code approximately every 30 seconds. Members can use this code, along with their user name and password, to sign into both their eBay and PayPal accounts, helping to prevent unauthorized users from accessing them.

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PayPal Highlights from eBay Live!

AuctionByte's Ina Steiner reports on last night's eBay Live! keynote in Boston - including comments from PayPal CEO Rajiv Dutta such as saying "there was $2 billion in PayPal accounts ("waiting to be spent"), which he calls the PayPal money supply."

Leaky Rebate Cards

MSNBC's Bob Sullivan takes a look at rebate cards - saying that "many firms have taken to issuing debit-card-like gift cards instead of rebate checks. Known in the industry as "prepaid rebate cards," the cards do offer some benefits. But they also come laden with gotchas that can leave you with worthless plastic."

Legislators Question Regulators About Remotely Created Checks

US Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) have written to US banking regulators (PDF) about the practice of accepting and processing unsigned or “remotely created” checks.

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GE Money, eBay Introduce eBay MasterCard

GE Money has announced the eBay MasterCard, calling it an expansion of its partnership with eBay. eBay MasterCard customers will benefit from a new rewards program, earning one Reward Point for every $1 spent in purchases. Reward Points are also earned with non-Internet, everyday purchases wherever MasterCard is accepted. Points are redeemable for shipping discounts and vouchers that can be used to shop on eBay or to pay eBay seller fees.

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The Bank of PayPal

In an article titled 'The Bank of PayPal", Catherine Holahan writes for Business Week reporting that "To compete with banks, PayPal is becoming more like a bank itself. For the past year, PayPal has tested a virtual debit card enabling users to make purchases with PayPal on Web sites that do not offer it as a payment option."

How ING Direct Reinvented Banking

Barbara Kiviat reports for Time about ING Direct's "reinvention of banking". ING Direct's CEO Arkadi Kuhlmann told Kiviat he will spell out his formula for other bankers: "We simply asked, 'What does a customer really want to pay for?'"

Headline News - June 15, 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.

June 14, 2007

Chockstone's Dormancy Reports Ease Merchant Escheatment Worries

Chockstone has announced that it has built industry-critical dormancy reporting into its gift and loyalty marketing platform, easing compliance worries for merchants who offer gift and loyalty marketing programs.

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A Look Inside the American Express Rewards Program

TowerGroup has announced a new research report titled "Lessons in Loyalty: A Look Inside the American Express Rewards Program" by Brian Riley, senior analyst in the Bank Cards practice.

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Wesabe Asks Which Banks Charge the Most in Fees - and More?

Wesabe has announced that "its member-owned financial transaction database is the largest of its kind in the world, with more than $500 million in transactions. The company gave several examples of how it is putting that data to work, revealing which major banks charge its members the most in overdraft fees (Wachovia and U.S. Bank). Wesabe also reported the types of member purchases that give the most satisfaction (outdoor and camping), and showed that purchases in industries where there is the least competition, such as phone, utilities and cable, give the least satisfaction."

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Managing Your Money In Public View

Jane Kim writes for the Wall St. Journal about social networking sites focused on personal finance - including Wesabe and BillMonk.

Speaking of BillMonk, they just launched the BillMonk application on the FaceBook Platform. They say "Let BillMonk help you keep track of money that you've borrowed or loaned, and eliminate the awkwardness of mixing money and friends. Use it to keep track of IOUs, and shared bills like beer, food, or utilities. Let us deal with the pain of money math and reminders, so you can concentrate on the beer and not who paid for it."

Want to learn more about the FaceBook Platform, read this excellent post by Marc Andreessen.

Blackhawk Network Honors Excellence in Gift Card Industry

Blackhawk Network has announced the winners of its Hawk Awards intended to honor excellence in the gift card industry. These awards recognize quality and merit in card design, package design, promotions, marketing and an overall outstanding achievement in the gift card industry.

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Impact of Identity Theft on Banking Relationships

Financial Insights has announced the release of a new report titled "Consumers Speak About Identity Theft: Does Perception = Reality for U.S. Banks?" examining consumer perceptions of identity theft and fraud that explores how consumers are adjusting their behaviors regarding low cost self-service channels to protect themselves from the crime.

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Average Credit Score Is 98 Points Lower With One Late Auto Payment

Experian Consumer Direct reports that the average credit score for U.S. consumers with no late auto payments is nearly 100 points higher than for those who have at least one late payment.

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June 13, 2007

Google Checkout Cancels Boston Party

Earlier this week, Google Checkout announced it would be holding a "Let Freedom Ring" party Thursday evening in Boston - where eBay is holding its eBay Live! conference. Tonight, apparently after considerable back and forth between the two companies, Google announced that the Google Checkout party planned for tomorrow night has been cancelled.

Capital One Tests New Decoupled Debit Card

Aleksandra Todorova writes for SmartMoney about Capital One's new "decoupled debit" card strategy. (See earlier posts on this new Capital One product on Payments News here and here.)

Overhauling the US Health Care Payment System

The McKinsey Quarterly has a new article titled "Overhauling the US Health Care Payment System" (registration required). From the abstract: "Over the next five years, rapid innovation may lead to a restructuring of the value chain of health care payments and to a shift in the sector’s balance of power. Financial institutions have an opportunity to take on a more prominent role, while payers risk losing influence to new entrants. Providers stand to benefit as fewer dollars are wasted on transaction-processing inefficiencies."

GSA Awards JPMorgan Chase SmartPay2 Charge Card Contract

The U.S. General Services Administration has named JPMorgan Chase winner of a GSA SmartPay2 charge card service contract, certifying that the company can offer its charge card services to any U.S. federal entity.

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U.S. - A Global Leader in Retail Bank Performance

The U.S. ranks as one of the top three countries in overall retail banking performance, according to a new, global study by management consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton; Hong Kong and Switzerland are the other leaders. However, the study concludes that banks in all regions have room for improvement.

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CVS/pharmacy Offer Own Gift Card via Coinstar Coin to Card

Coinstar has announced that CVS/pharmacy is expected to have gift cards available in more than 360 Coinstar Center kiosks in CVS/pharmacy stores this summer. The Coin to Card service allows consumers to convert their loose change to a CVS card at the Coinstar kiosk and pay no coin-counting fee.

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Chase Unveils Rapid Cash - Free Money Transfers to Mexico

Chase has introduced Rapid Cash - calling it "an easy new way to send money to Mexico for free."

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Fidelity National Financial Joins ID Analytics ID Network

ID Analytics has announced that Fidelity National Financial will be using ID Analytics ID Network - what the company calls "the nation's first and only real-time fraud prevention network" - to manage identity risk.

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PayPal to Roll Out 'Advanced Risk Predictors'

Ina Steiner reports for AuctionBytes.com about comments made by PayPal CTO Scott Thompson in a keynote address to eBay's Developers Conference in Boston. She reports that "in October, PayPal will test a Web Service that utilizes advanced risk predictors, giving merchants more information and control over whether to accept payments, while maintaining buyer privacy."

The full text of Thompson's keynote is available on the PayPal Developer Blog. Thompson concludes his keynote address to PayPal developers with the comments: "Imagine the hundreds of opportunities in the offline world. Perhaps you’re the guy to take an Internet-only company and extend it into the brick-and-mortar world."

June 12, 2007

eBureau’s Buy-Now Pay-Later eScore

eBureau, a provider of custom predictive scoring and information solutions, has announced a new predictive scoring service that allows consumer-focused direct marketing companies to "more profitably offer deferred payment options to consumers as part of their online marketing and e-commerce programs."

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