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« August 12, 2007 - August 18, 2007 | Main | August 26, 2007 - September 1, 2007 »

August 25, 2007

The Next Credit Crunch?

Susan Chandler writes for the Chicago Tribune about the potential spill-over effects of the mortgage crisis on the ability of consumers to repay their credit card debt. She quotes Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren: "Families have been making up the shortfall with credit and someday, perhaps someday very soon, the credit music will stop."

In article titled "Credit Cards Rates Rise for Some With Poor Credit", Scott Mayerowitz reports for ABC News that "several credit card companies in recent weeks have started to jack up rates for some customers, and other lenders are tightening standards for auto and personal loans."

Net Settlement for Your Social Network

Obopay's BillMonk has introduced what they call "debt shuffling" - but it's really all about computing a net settlement position for social debts owed to a network of friends.

Payment Cards Train Teenagers to Use Plastic

M.P. Dunleavey reports for the New York Times on payment cards being marketed "squarely at teenagers". A recent survey is cited concluding that "less than half [the teenagers surveyed] said they understood how a debit or credit card worked."

Online Banking Usage in UK Grows Fastest Among Those Over 55

APACS has announced telephone, Internet banking and eCommerce figures for 2006 revealing that "in the past five years the greatest proportion of new internet banking users are in the over-55 age group. The five-year growth statistics for online banking show that the number of adults in the UK using online banking has increased by 174 per cent from 6.2 million in 2001 to 17.0 million last year. This includes a 350 per cent increase in usage amongst the over 55s."

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Headline News - August 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.

August 24, 2007

Cooler - Shop Online and Help Deal with Global Warming

Cooler, a new web site that enables consumers to eliminate the global warming impact of the goods and services they purchase online, has been launched by Redefining Progress, a think tank that helped design America’s most ground-breaking global warming laws and the Ecological Footprint and was supported by the David and Lucille N. Packard Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Foundation.

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Observing Trends in the Payments Industry

PayPal's Dan Schatt (formerly an industry analyst for Celent and thirty days into his new strategy role at PayPal) blogs about his views on three important payment trends: 1) Cash continues to become electrified; 2) Convenience is spurring debit; and, 3) In a saturated market, rewards matter. Dan welcomes comments about his views over on the PayPal Blog.

What Will We Stop Paying First?

James Scurlock, author of Maxed Out: Hard Times, Easy Credit and the Era of Predatory Lenders and the documentary film Maxed Out, writes for the Huffington Post about the current credit crisis in subprime mortgages. He says that "as the refi cash stops flowing, it is a mathematical certainty that people will be forced to stop paying the credit card bill as well."

Midwest Airlines Adds PayPal as Payment Option for Online Ticket Purchases

Midwest Airlines has announced that PayPal is now available as a payment option to those purchasing tickets on the Midwest Airlines Web site.

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Headline News - August 24, 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.

August 23, 2007

FINOVATE 2007 - Special Discount for Payments News Readers

At Glenbrook, we're fans of the work that Jim Bruene does with his Online Banking Report. Last week, he announced a new conference, FINOVATE 2007 to be held on October 2nd, 2007, in New York City. See Jim's NetBanker blog post for more background on the conference.

Jim has graciously extended a special discount offer to Payments News readers - use the code BLOGD1 when you register and save $100 off of the normal registration fee. If you register before the end of August, your cost to attend will be $395 vs. the normal $695 fee. This special offer is good for the first 25 Payments News readers to register. There are less than 100 seats remaining - so if you're interested in attending, be sure to register promptly!

Branch, ATM or Online?

Although branch banking still ranks first overall among consumer's usage, younger customers are continuing to choose the anonymity of their laptops over the human contact of a teller, according to a survey released today by the American Bankers Association.

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ONE Payment Alliance Consolidates China, Japan and Korea Payments

"ONE Payment Alliance Corp., a collaborated payment processing service with ChinaPay, ECONTEXT, and INICIS, announced today it has launched an online payment processing service for China, Japan, and Korea market with a single interface, a single merchant service, and a single payment gateway to reach out to online consumers in the three largest economies in Asia. This alliance service is available to begin online payment processing services to many global merchants wishing to conduct online business in China, Japan and Korea immediately."

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Security Concerns Key to Growth of Near Field Communication Chip Markets

A new ABI Research study titled "Near Field Communication Semiconductors" concludes that "Near Field Communications (NFC), and its leading application, contactless payment, offer financial institutions a way to move small transactions out of the cash economy and into profitable credit-based systems. For consumers who hate to wait, they offer faster, easier checkout, just by waving a wireless phone near a point-of-sale reader. But the development of the market for the chipsets that underpin the technology has been slow. The main reason for this, according to ABI Research senior analyst Douglas McEuen, is security: the financial institutions and industry standards-setting bodies around the world can't yet agree on the appropriate levels and methods of data protection."

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Shell Stations Adopt Visa Partial Authorization for Better Prepaid Experience

Visa USA has announced that "Shell stations are adopting Visa partial authorization, which allows drivers to more easily purchase gas at the pump using a Visa prepaid card. Shell is in the process of expanding this service at stations across the U.S."

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PayPal's New Logo

The PayPal Developer Blog reports on PayPal's new logo.

PCI Is Hard

Evan Schuman blogs on StorefrontBacktalk.com about PCI-DSS compliance, saying "PCI deployment isn’t perfect, but it’s quite impressive how far it’s come given the mammoth obstacles."

August 22, 2007

Cash Rules at Some Gas Pumps

In an article titled 'Cash rules at some pumps", Elizabeth Douglass writes for the Los Angeles Times about how "at more and more gas stations, it pays to be part of the cash crowd."

AccountNow Secures Funding from the New CFSI Catalyst Fund

AccountNow, a marketer of network branded prepaid cards for the estimated 40 million underbanked consumers in the US market, has announced that the Center for Financial Services Innovation’s new Catalyst Fund is the final investor in the companies third round of venture funding announced in June.

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The Economic Impact of the Single Euro Payments Area

In its Occasional Papers series, the European Central Bank has published a paper titled "The Economic Impact of the Single Euro Payments Area" (PDF) by Heiko Schmiedel. From the abstract: "...banks are expected to face downward pressure on their revenues as competition will increase across borders and as a result of new market entrants."

NEC, Valista Partner for Payments Solutions

NEC Corporation and Valista International have announced forming a "strategic partnership to target payments solutions business opportunities in Japan with secure and flexible payments offerings." The two companies also said that "the partnership also has sights beyond the Japanese domestic market aiming to expand into the global telecommunications market combining NEC's proven strength in system integration and Valista's global experience in payments, settlement, and merchandizing solutions."

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Most Consumers Pay $3 or Less on Monthly Bank Services

The American Bankers Association has announced results of a recent survey concluding that "sixty-five percent of consumers spend $3 or less in monthly fees for bank services such as checking account maintenance and ATM access." The ABA also reported that the "portion of consumers this year that pay no bank fees grew to 52 percent, a 9 percent increase from 2006."

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Harsher Terms on Credit Cards

Jane Kim reports for the Wall St. Journal that some card issuers have "recently raised fees and interest rates for some of their credit-card customers."

Headline News - August 22, 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.

August 21, 2007

First Data Receives Final Regulatory Approvals on Merger with KKR

First Data Corp. has announced that it has received all domestic and international regulatory approvals required to close the pending merger with an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR). "Achieving this milestone is a critical step for First Data and KKR. We continue to work closely together to ensure a smooth transition and expect to close the transaction by the end of September," said First Data CEO Ric Duques.

Like a House of Cards

John Crudele writes for the New York Post about one of the more interesting effects in the current credit cycle: why aren't people falling behind in paying their credit card bills? He says "going against conventional wisdom, people are handling their credit-card bills much better than their mortgage payments."

TSYS Europe Offers Instant-Issue Capability for Prepaid Cards

TSYS Europe and The Gift Voucher Shop (GVS) have announced the launch of GVS’ One4all retail gift card campaign in five major Irish Post Offices in Dublin and on the GVS Web site, www.giftvouchershop.ie.

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