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July 06, 2007

Walgreens Signs With Fifth Third Processing Solutions

Fifth Third Processing Solutions has announced that "Walgreens, the nation's largest drugstore chain, has signed a new, multi-year contract for credit card processing services to all of its retail locations throughout the United States."


Another Try for Pay at the Table POS

In an article titled 'Restaurants Test Table Card Readers", Greg Bluestein writes for the Associated Press about pay at the table POS systems - very popular in a number of markets outside the US but slow to catch on here. Terminal suppliers now see an opportunity - increased concern about mag stripe card skimming - and feel that the time may be right for pay at the table to take off.

Heartland Payment Systems Announces Strategic Relationship with Bremer Bank

Heartland Payment Systems has announced it has announced a strategic relationship with Bremer Financial Corporation (Bremer Bank), based in St. Paul, MN. "Initially, more than 1,500 of Bremer's current merchant clients will be converted to Heartland's processing system. Heartland and Bremer will also focus on a joint business development program that leverages both companies' regional customer bases for new business and cross selling opportunities."


eBay Simplifies PayPal Promotional Financing Offers

eBay has announced that it is simplifying the PayPal Promotional Financing offers displayed on eBay auctions by removing the more advanced (complicated?) financing offers and replacing them with a standard simplified financing offer. eBay says the more advanced offers had low adoption while the standard offer has shown a positive effect on sales. PayPal's promotional financing is offered through a partnership with GE Money.

Startup Allows Home Owners to Tap Equity Without Going Into Debt

Carolyn Said writes for the San Francisco Chronicle about San Francisco-based startup Rex & Co. - short for Real Estate and Equity Exchange. Rex allows home owners to sell a share of the future appreciation potential in their homes in exchange for an immediate cash payment to the home owner. According to the companay, "the REX Agreement is not a loan, but a real estate investment agreement in the form of a purchase option. It gives homeowners a portion of their home’s equity in cash today—in exchange for the right of REX & Co. to share in a specified percentage of the future increase or decrease in the home’s value."

Credit Card Terms Prompt Indignation in India

Heather Timmons writes for the New York Times about some consumer reactions in India to credit card fees. "Credit card rates and fees frustrate borrowers around the world, but Indian consumers have something special to complain about. Interest rates average more than 30 percent, and can soar to over 50 percent, while charges tacked on for late payments are sometimes a hefty 20 percent of the overall balance."

An Update on Trends in the Debit Card Market

The Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has published "An Update on Trends in the Debit Card Market" (PDF) by Julia S. Cheney that documents a workshop held at the center in March. The paper describes trends and issues affecting the debit card market with respect to performance metrics, networks and interchange, debit rewards, and debit card fraud.

EBay's Whitman Spurs Growth With PayPal

Bloomberg reports on an interview with eBay CEO Meg Whitman: "PayPal is a huge home run,'' Whitman, EBay's chief executive officer, said in an interview. "It's the most innovative Web payment product out there and has done really well, even in the face of a little bit of a challenge from Google.''

An Update on Mobile Payments Provider TextPayMe

TextPayMe, one of the first person-to-person mobile payment services to launch (PN first covered TextPayMe on December 13, 2005), has recently enabled users to link a Visa or MasterCard to their TextPayMe account for the purpose of funding payments. TextPayMe says it is currently "designed for personal use only" and caps the amount of money that can be sent or received at $500 per month per account - but the company says it is "working to include a merchant account feature to allow our users to surpass the initial payment limits." TextPayMe is currently offering a $5 referral bonus for referring new members to its mobile payment service.

Coffee, Pastry, Banking Services

Becky Yerak writes for the Chicago Tribune about a new ING Direct Cafe opening soon at the southwest corner of Chestnut and Wabash Streets in Chicago. More info about the ING Direct Cafes is available on the ING Direct web site.

A Look at Social Security Number Usage and Protection

Late last month, the US Government Accountability Office issued a study report titled "SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS - Use is Widespread and Protection Could Be Improved" (PDF).


July 05, 2007

Banks and Payments

The new issue of the ABA Banking Journal has an article titled "Still in the payments game?" (PDF) written by Lauren Bielski. The cover of the Journal asks whether payments is the lost franchise for banks?

A Look at Chargebacks in Canada

Carly Weeks writes for the Vancouver Sun about increasing merchant concerns about chargebacks -

Future of EFD/eFunds Uncertain

Jane Larson writes for the Arizona Republic about the acquisition of EFD/eFunds Corp. by Fidelity National Information Services announced last week and what that might mean for jobs in the Scottsdale headquarters of EFD.

V-Cash to Make Mobile Payments Easy in India

Contactless News reports that "India's E3India is researching and planning on releasing a new mobile-commerce product, V-Cash, to enable payments to vendors directly through cellphones."

Headline News - July 5, 2007

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.

July 04, 2007

Credit Cards Can Make You Fat

Tamara E. Holmes writes for about one of the potential side effects of being able to pay for fast food with credit cards - a recent survey said that "77 percent say they can buy exactly what they want because they are not limited by the cash they have available." On that note, enjoy your Fourth of July BBQ today!

The World's Most Exclusive Credit Cards

Liz Moyer writes for about so-called elite credit cards - including Bank of America's new Accolades American Express card. She points out that "Amex Black (Centurion) carries an annual fee of $2,500 and a minimum annual purchase threshold of $250,000."

The Transformational Potential of M-Transactions

Vodafone in partnership with Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks has announced publication of a new policy report titled ‘The Transformational Potential of M-Transactions’ (PDF) that suggests a "new regulatory framework is needed to encourage financial transactions by mobile phones and transform access to financial services in developing countries."


Stored-Value Cards: A Card for Every Reason...

The Payment System Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has published a briefing article by Terri Bradford titled "Stored-Value Cards: A Card for Every Reason..." (PDF) that discusses the various uses of stored-value cards and the different degrees of their growth and acceptance. Bradford is also the author of "Paper, Plastic.....or Phone?" (PDF), a briefing about mobile payments and banking published last December.

July 03, 2007

The E-ZPass Economy - So Convenient

David Leonhart writes for the New York Times on the E-ZPass economy - and just how convenient it is. But he worries about the downside: "The old frustrations that came with cash also brought a hidden benefit: they forced you to notice that you were spending money. With electronic money, it’s much easier to be carefree."

On that note, we're totally ready for Independence Day in the United States. Hope you all have a wonderful July 4th holiday!

Jacqueline Chilton Joins Glenbrook

Jacqueline Chilton has recently joined the team of payments strategy consultants at Glenbrook Partners. Jacqueline brings over fourteen years of consulting experience and extensive knowledge in market assessment, business case development, and product strategy across multiple disciplines including payment cards, cash management, transaction clearing, procurement and technology infrastructure.


New Enhanced Google Search on Payments News

We've recently enhanced the Google search engine here on Payments News to include other payments-related sites in the search results - in addition to Payments News pages. If you're searching for something payments related, be sure to search from Payments News - you'll have much higher odds of finding relevant links as compared to a general Google search! You'll find the Payments News search box in the upper right corner of every page.

Payments News and the Apple iPhone

FYI, over the weekend we made a few tweaks to Payments News so that both Apple iPhone and Blackberry users can now easily read the stories posted here every day. To do so, just go to the main Payments News url: using either device. Enjoy!

Credit Card Deliquencies Decline in First Quarter 2007

The American Bankers Association's Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin reports that credit card loan delinquencies declined the first quarter of 2007 to 4.41 percent of all accounts compared to 4.56 percent in the fourth quarter of 2006 (seasonally adjusted).


Swift Financial Focuses on Small Business Loan and Deposit Products

Swift Financial , M&I Bank and Metavante Corporation have announced agreements facilitating a new business venture that will offer loan and deposit products to small businesses nationwide.


'Gen Plastic' Loves Debit Cards

The AP reports on how the use of debit cards is growing "especially fast among young adults."

Google Checkout Introduces Digital Delivery

Google Checkout has announced new digital goods delivery support - described as "an improved user experience tailored specifically to digital goods. Now merchants will have option of tagging an item as digital within the shopping cart and specifying details about how it should be delivered."


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