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« August 26, 2007 - September 1, 2007 | Main | September 9, 2007 - September 15, 2007 »

September 08, 2007

PayPal's Smart Form

Web designer Khoi Vinh writes on his Subtraction blog about PayPal's newly redesigned payment card entry form that's smart about the card brand being used and doesn't require the user to select between Visa, MasterCard, Discover, etc. As he says "there’s no value in asking the user to identify the kind of card they’re using if they’re already entering the card number anyway."

September 07, 2007

The Dirty Secret of Campus Credit Cards

BusinessWeek's series on the increasing use of credit cards by students continues this week with an article titled "The Dirty Secret of Campus Credit Cards". The article says that credit cards issued under affinity contracts represent sweetheart deals between the card issues and the colleges - and that "it's the students who pay the price."

Wireless, Cashless Payments Come To The World Of Taxi Drivers

Marilyn Alva writes for Investor's Business Daily about Verifone and how it's benefiting from wireless POS equipment sales in support of expansion of card acceptance into new segments such as taxis in New York City.

Smart Card Alliance Says No to Long-Range RFID

In a press release yesterday, the Smart Card Alliance weighed in on plans by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and several states including Arizona, Vermont and Washington, to develop and issue enhanced state driver's licenses that could be used as acceptable alternative documents for crossing the United States' land and sea borders. The Smart Card Alliance says it "has serious privacy and security concerns for U.S. citizens participating in these programs based on the direction DHS has been recommending for the enhanced driver's license technology."

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Contactless vs. Biometric Payments

In an article titled 'Did Radio (Waves) Kill The Biometric Star?", Evan Schuman writes on his Storefront Backtalk blog about how "contactless payment and mobile payment efforts seem to have stunted the growth of retail biometrics." He notes that "the surprisingly rapid acceptance of contactless payment credit cards essentially usurped the speed/convenience argument away from the biometric people."

JCB J/Speedy Contactless in Taiwan

JCB has announced the launch of the Breeze Center JCB Card with the J/Speedycontactless payment program in alliance with Union Bank of Taiwan (Union Bank). According to JCB, "this will be the first card with J/Speedy in the world. J/Speedy allows customers to pay quickly and easily by simply tapping the card - no signature is required."

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Best Practices in Remote Deposit Capture

Celent has announced a new report titled "Best Practices in RDC: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Deployers" - saying that "differences among banks are stark, with highly effective deployers enjoying a hundred-fold advantage in the number of RDC clients deployed."

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India: mChek Launches with Airtel

The Hindu reports from Bangalore on Airtel's launch of mChek's mobile payment service - enabling Airtel subscribers to pay their mobile phone bills via SMS using mChek.

Headline News - September 7, 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.

September 06, 2007

Cooperation is the Key to BPAY's Bill Payment Success

Forrester's Alyson Clarke takes a look at Australia's BPAY bill payment service - saying it is "believed to have been a catalyst for all other Internet banking transactions. The service already dominates the electronic bill payment market. With recent news that BPAY's only real competitor, Australia Post's Postbillpay, will discontinue its Internet service, the firm will soon strongly dominate intermediated Internet bill payments. The secret behind BPAY's success? Cooperation."

First Annapolis Navigator - August 2007 Issue

The August issue of the First Annapolis Navigator is now available. This issue has a special feature article, "An Attractive Alternative: An Interview with Gary Marino, CEO of Bill Me Later, Inc." as well as "Mortgage Market Meltdown: Taking the Pulse on Potential Spillover Effects",
"These Commercial Cards Have Wheels! - A Fleet Card Snapshot", "Q2 2007 Issuer Performance Snapshot", "Business Bankruptcies: Increasing Trend Amid Housing Market Turmoil", and "Average Ticket Dynamics Among Agent Banks".

Visa Finds Small Businesses Cautiously Optimistic about Their Future

In its latest Visa Small Business Spend Insights report, Visa USA reports that "U.S. small businesses are cautiously optimistic about their business prospects, but remained concerned about the increasing costs of energy, rent and mortgages."

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Annals of Digital Identity

In a commentary titled "Identity: Innovation or Infrastructure", Glenbrook's Linda Elliott shares some of her thoughts going into this year's Digital Identity World conference.

The Expanding World of Cashless Payments

More and more merchants are finding cash less attractive. "American Airlines today announced a three-week test on flights departing from San Francisco in which it will only accept major credit cards or debit cards for onboard purchases, including headsets, snacks, fresh light meals and alcoholic beverages."

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Austrians Dig Mobile Payments

Unstung reports on NFC-based mobile payments efforts in Austria being driven by Mobilkom Austria AG. Currently, the service uses a hybrid of NFC and SMS to complete the purchase - but that's planned to change in the next phase of the service.

Getting Away With It

Wendy M Grossman writes for the Guardian (UK) about how some smart fraudsters exploit the hole left by the disappearance earlier this year of the National High-Tech Crime Unit in the UK. According to Grossman, "the unit's disappearance means that crimes committed online might not be investigated by the local police for the victim - which in turn would mean that central statistics would not show the extent of e-crime, and the need for the reinstatement of the unit."

Those Pesky Social Security Numbers

Consumer Reports National Research Center has announced results of a national poll finding that "an overwhelming majority of Americans want lawmakers to restrict the use and availability of Social Security numbers by businesses and government agencies. According to the poll, 89 percent of Americans agree that state and federal lawmakers should pass laws restricting the use of Social Security numbers."

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Pursuing Subprime Consumers

In an article titled 'Credit card companies pursue subprime borrowers", the International Herald Tribune publishes Robert Gavin's story from the Boston Globe on the marketing efforts of some credit card issuers targeting subprime consumers for credit cards. According to Gavin, "subprime customers, charged higher rates than those with better credit, are more likely to make minimum payments, maintaining balances that generate interest revenue for card issuers..."

Competition for Debit in Europe Post-SEPA

On his blog, Aneace Haddad has posted a presentation he's titled "Making MasterCard's Maestro the preferred debit brand in post-SEPA Europe" in which he discusses the features he thinks any debit product needs to create value for merchants. Aneace's is experimenting with using SlideShow's voice annotated presentation engine for this presentation.

UK: Paying Bills via Mobile SMS

In the UK, Telrock Communications Ltd, a mobile applications technology company focused on the financial services, utility and public-sector markets, has announced an exclusive agreement with PayPoint that will enable consumers to pay bills and top up their mobile phones via text message using its textDebit service.

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A Look at Debit Card Usage

The Phoenix Payments Research Practice has announced results of recent research concluding that "the shift to debit card usage creates opportunities for banks to increase customer loyalty and deepen their wallet share with their existing customers."

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Who's News - Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Nicholas J. Sommerio has been named chief financial officer of RBS Lynk, the US payment processing arm of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Sommerio was most recently with Global Payments, Inc. and, earlier, with First Data Corporation.
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.

September 05, 2007

Apple Introduces iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store at Starbucks

Among other iPod related announcements this morning, Apple announced a deal with Starbucks that allows customers to walk into their favorite Starbucks with their new iPod (or their iPhone, PC or Mac running iTunes) and be able to purchase and download music from the iTunes Music Store (via WiFi) onto their music device - without a connection fee or hotspot logon. Even more interestingly, they'll also be able to see on their iPod exactly "What's Playing" in that particular Starbucks at the moment they're there.

APACS Issues Security Advice for UK Chip and PIN Retailers

APACS has published a new retailer advice guide – Transactions with your chip and PIN terminal (PDF) – that it says is designed to "remind card-accepting businesses of some of the necessary security measures to help keep their chip and PIN equipment safe and secure."

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Facebook Personal Finance Apps

In a post titled "Following your money in Facebook", Colin Smillie blogs on his Inside Facebook blog about the personal financial management applications on Facebook - including BillMonk and Lending Club. He notes that "many developers have been clamoring for Facebook to launch a payment system fully integrated with the Platform soon."

American Greetings Retail Stores Add 'Gift Card Malls'

American Greetings Corporation has announced that its U.S. card and gift shops "will soon sell gift cards for other retailers, making them the first mall-based stores to offer what is known as a "gift card mall."

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Danal Appoints Steve Klebe VP of Sales & Business Development

Danal, a US-based company that is jointly funded by Morgenthaler Ventures and South Korea-based Danal Co., Ltd., has announced that it has appointed Steven Klebe, a veteran of new market development and a payment & eCommerce industry expert, as vice president of sales & business development. Klebe will be responsible for building the team to develop partnerships with online merchants and key business partners for Danal. Danal announced the closing of a $9.5 million financing round in June.

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September 04, 2007

First Data - Ready for the Road Show

In an article titled 'Banks to Test Debt Market This Week", Michael J. de la Merced and Eric Dash write for the New York Times about the upcoming test of the debt markets - with First Data and KKR needing to finance about $24 billion to complete their transaction taking FDC private scheduled for later this month.

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