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« June 17, 2007 - June 23, 2007 | Main | July 1, 2007 - July 7, 2007 »

June 30, 2007

A Look at ACH Fraud

Glen Fest writes for Bank Technology News about ACH fraud and new proposals under consideration that "would also require originators to maintain statistics on their return activity and rid themselves of problem firms (read: telemarketers) that blatantly violate NACHA rules with improper Web- or telephone-based authorizations-each helping to form the basis of a de facto originators blacklist."

June 29, 2007

Mobile Banking Is Finally Almost Here. Really

Glen Fest writes for Bank Technology News about mobile banking - saying that "recruiting Gen Y users will be most banks' priority. Ninety percent of the under-25 set already have data capabilities on their phones. And more than half of younger users say they will consider mobile banking offerings when choosing a bank."

Top Trends in U.S. Corporate Cash Management

Aite Group has published a new report titled "Top Trends in U.S. Corporate Cash Management: Strategies for a New Environment" that "explores the top trends that are currently shaping the U.S. cash management space and the strategies that are being implemented by the largest global players, down to the smallest community banks."

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A Perspective on Contactless Payments

Aneace Haddad of Welcome Real-time shares his London contactless conference presentation - taking a skeptical view of contactless payments that simply replace mag stripe functionality and suggesting that the real value is to also enable the card to interact with the merchant's POS to enable promotional marketing in addition to basic purchase functionality.

A Look at Discover Financial Services

In an article titled 'Discover Finds a Fan Base Ahead of Looming Spinoff", Robin Sidel writes for the Wall St. Journal about the spinoff of Discover Financial Services from parent Morgan Stanley. The spinoff is to be completed next Monday when Discover is expected to have a market capitalization of about $14 billion.

Google Checkout vs. PayPal

In a post titled "Google Checkout Team Lays out Differences From eBay's PayPal", Red Herring blogger Tomio Geron writes about a presentation by Google's Michael Feldman comparing Google Checkout to PayPal. Feldman said that as compared to PayPal as a payment method at completion of a purchase, Google "Checkout provides solutions much earlier in the shopping cycle. We help consumers find merchants … and can help them through that experience. We help influence users much earlier in the process and streamline the actual process."

Headline News - June 29, 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 28, 2007

A Look At Consumer Credit Reports

Last week, in testimony before the US House Financial Services Committee, Sandra Braunstein, Director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs of The Federal Reserve Board, provided a deep look at consumer credit reports in the US. The Committee was looking into issues associated with errors in credit reports and how consumers can get the errors corrected.

Visa Quarterly Looks at Mobile Payments, Visa Mobile Platform

The new issue of The Visa Quarterly is mostly devoted to mobile payments - including an interview with Dave Wentker, vice president of Mobile Innovation at Visa International, and a discussion of Visa's Mobile Platform. Payments News took a look at Visa's Mobile Platform earlier this year.

Mercator Looks at HSA Growth

Mercator Advisory Group has released a new report titled "HSA Growth Accelerates In Uncharted Waters" that discusses the significant investments being made to implement Prepaid HSA cards that will provide significant benefits to cardholders and Third Party Administrators.

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Small Ticket Payments Get Boost from Federal Reserve Decision on Regulation E

Visa USA says that a Federal Reserve Board decision announced earlier today will "make it easier for merchants to accept cards at vending machines, parking lots and a range of other locations, giving consumers more places to make convenient, small ticket purchases with their Visa cards."

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AccountNow Closes $12.75 Million in New Funding

AccountNow, a marketer of MasterCard and Visa branded prepaid cards, has announced the closing of $12.75 million in a third round of venture funding led by Trident Capital.

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Banks Explore 'Price Optimization'

TowerGroup has announced a new report titled "Price Optimization: A Practical Guide to a Retail Bank Implementation" that finds that the "strategies and procedures used by most banks today to set prices remain too simplistic. Banks are still relying heavily on manual processes and so are prone to errors, and they often exclude consideration of a critical factor -- the consumer's price elasticity of demand."

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mFoundry Expanding Mobile Financial Services Platform to Support iPhone

mFoundry has announced the expansion of its Spotlight Financial Platform to enable mobile banking applications on the iPhone.

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Northwest Airlines Offers PayPal for NWA.com Ticket Purchases

Northwest Airlines has announced that it is now offering PayPal as a way to pay for tickets at its Web site www.nwa.com. "With more than 140 million accounts, PayPal is a global leader in online payment solutions that allows a safe, easy way to pay for items and services online. With PayPal, Northwest customers now have a new way to pay for tickets using debit cards, bank accounts, stored balances, or credit cards through their individual PayPal accounts."

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Fed Approves Reg E Changes for Small Transactions

The Federal Reserve Board has announced its approval of a final rule to create an exception for transactions of $15 or less from Regulation E's requirement that receipts be made available to consumers for transactions initiated at an electronic terminal. According to the Fed, the rule is intended to facilitate the ability of consumers to use debit cards in retail environments where making receipts available may not be practical or cost effective. A copy of the Federal Register notice (PDF) is available online.

Visa Analyzes Key U.S. Business Spending Trends

Visa USA has released a "detailed analysis revealing key insights into how U.S. businesses large and small are spending their money. The Visa Commercial Consumption Expenditure™ (CCE) Index for 2006 analyzes government data sources and research methods to provide a useful assessment of business expenditures."

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Visa Confirms Global FIFA Relationship

Visa International and FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association) have announced confirmation that "Visa has become a FIFA Partner with global rights to a broad range of FIFA activities, including the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups and the FIFA Women's World Cups." According to an article by Robin Sidel in the Wall St. Journal, Visa will be paying $170 million for the sponsorship.

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Fed Weighs Future of Contactless Payments

Paul F. Roberts writes for InfoWorld about a conference held last month by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston exploring various aspects of contactless payment technology including security.

June 27, 2007

China UnionPay Data, Arcot Partner on Risk Management, Anti-Fraud Measures

China UnionPay Data (CUP Data) and Arcot Systems have announced a partnership that the two companies say will help minimize Internet transaction fraud. Under the licensing and development agreement, CUP Data will use Arcot’s TransFort family of solutions in the joint development of a common risk management outsourcing service for marketing to card issuers in China.

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Fidelity National Information Services to Acquire EFD/eFunds Corporation

Fidelity National Information Services and EFD/eFunds have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby FIS will acquire EFD in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $1.8 billion.

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Banks' Retail Payment Operations at a Tipping Point

Aneace Haddad of Welcome Real-Time blogs about a recent Gartner report titled "Banks' Retail Payment Operations at a Tipping Point" saying that he found it so interesting that he "obtained the right for you to view it." Aneace cites a couple of comments from the report suggesting what bankers should do including "Introduce PIVAS [Payment Information Value-Added Services] to reduce pricing pressure from merchants and initiate a virtuous circle for retail payment operations. Merchants must actively support card programs and emerging payment solutions, but they are challenging the pricing model for the interchange. It's time to introduce services such as PIVAS to convince them of the real value of bank-sponsored retail payment networks.”

Australian Credit Card Issuers Brace for Fees Cut

The Age reports from Melbourne that "the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is currently considering reducing to zero the fees banks charge to process transactions made using other banks' cards, also known as interchange fees."

Philip Lowe, Assistant Governor (Financial System) of the Reserve Bank of Australia, spoke earlier today on the topic of "Reform of Australia's Payments System: The 2007/08 Review" at the 4th International Consumer Credit Card Summit being held in Sydney, Australia. In his speech, he noted that "merchants’ acceptance decisions and their ability to influence how payments are made by their customers can potentially play an important role in influencing the competitive dynamics in the payment systems."

Stumpf Named CEO of Wells Fargo, Kovacevich Remains Chairman

Wells Fargo's Board of Directors has named John G. Stumpf, President and Chief Operating Officer, to be the Company's Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. Stumpf, who retains the title of President, succeeds Dick Kovacevich, who continues as Chairman.

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Wells Fargo, Visa Launch Mobile Payment Pilot

Wells Fargo and Visa USA have announced the launch of an "extensive mobile pilot to test consumer mobile payments and services. The pilot has three phases to help Wells Fargo and Visa better understand how consumers will use mobile payment and service options on mobile devices equipped with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology."

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APACS Publishes Guide for UK Cardholders Traveling Abroad

APACS, the UK payments association, and ABTA, the UK travel association, have published a consumer advice guide - Payments Abroad (PDF) - providing UK consumers advice on how to make their trip overseas safer and easier.

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JCB Appoints New President & Chief Executive Officer

JCB has announced the appointment of Tamio Takakura as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective immediately. Mr. Takakura succeeds Hiroya Nobuhara who had served as JCB's President and CEO for the past 4 years.

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