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« September 2, 2007 - September 8, 2007 | Main | September 16, 2007 - September 22, 2007 »

September 15, 2007

Employers Can Legally Refuse to Hire Applicants with Low Credit Scores


Visa USA has published results of a new survey that shows that "the vast majority of Americans do not know that a bad credit score is more than just a barrier to getting a loan - it may also keep you from getting the job you want." According to the survey, "only 20 percent of Americans know that it is legal for employers to refuse to hire job applicants with low credit scores. Fully 52 percent of Americans mistakenly believe it is illegal for prospective employers to use credit scores as a hiring criteria and another 28 percent of survey respondents are unsure."

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iBazaar - a Marketplace Application using Amazon's FPS

Amazon Web Services has published a sample application called iBazaar that shows developers how build a marketplace application using Amazon Flexible Payments Service that enables movement of money between two third parties and how the developer can take a portion of each transaction in exchange for providing the marketplace.

UK Papers Explore Contactless Payments as First Cards Issued

In an article titled 'New card is small change", Jill Papworth reports for The Guardian about Barclaycard's new OnePulse "touch and pay" card that also includes Oyster capability for paying on Transport for London's services. She writes "the all-in-one card will allow Londoners to buy newspapers and coffee, then jump on the tube without ever using cash."

In a longer article titled "The plastic replacement for your loose change", James Charles writes for The Times about the new contactless technology. He notes that "by the end of next year Apacs, the UK payments association, expects five million contactless cards to have been issued in the UK."

Headline News - September 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.

September 14, 2007

Last Call: Glenbrook Merchants Payments Boot Camp, Sept 18-19

Today is the last call for Glenbrook's Merchant Payments Boot Camp being held next Tuesday and Wednesday, September 18-19, in Santa Clara, California. There are only a few seats remaining available for this one and a half day session specifically tailored for merchants. For registration details, click here.

The next session of Glenbrook's full two day Payments Boot Camp will be held in Denver, Colorado on November 14-15. The October 10-11 Payments Boot Camp in Santa Clara, California is already sold out.

September 13, 2007

Visa Updates S-4 Registration Statement

Visa Inc. has filed with the SEC Amendment No. 5 to the Visa Inc. Form S-4 Registration Statement. Visa filed its original S-4 on June 22, 2007.

Update: Visa announced today that its registration statement on Form S-4 filed in connection with its proposed restructuring was declared effective by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 13, 2007.

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MoneyGram to Acquire PropertyBridge

Moneygram International has announced it has reached an agreement to acquire Oakland, California-based PropertyBridge, Inc., a provider of electronic payment services to the residential real estate management industry. Moneygram says the acquisition, expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2007, "will expand the reach of MoneyGram’s global brand and line of payment services into a dynamic and synergistic market."

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Target Considering Options for Credit Card Business

Target, one of the top 10 credit card issuers in the US, has announced that "it will review potential ownership alternatives for its credit card receivables, an asset of approximately $7 billion." The company further explained that "the review of our credit card receivables will be focused on the economics of possible alternatives and will include, but not be limited to, an examination of possible differences in growth rates and credit risk exposure between the current direct ownership model and other possible ownership structures, the cost of debt and equity capital to fund our receivables, and current and future liquidity considerations."

September 12, 2007

Prosper’s People-to-People Lending Market Survey

Prosper has introduced its first monthly People-to-People Lending Market Survey that provides key statistics including: membership and loan volume statistics, marketplace returns; borrower rates; mix of prime, near prime and sub-prime loans, noteworthy marketplace statistics/trends and a market commentary by Chris Larsen, Chief Executive Officer of Prosper.

NACHA Announces Fees for Secure Vault Payments

NACHA has announced the fee structure for its online payments pilot, Secure Vault Payments (SVP). According to NACHA, "the pilot, scheduled to go live the first quarter of 2008, will enable consumers to initiate private and secure payments for purchases and bill payments through their financial institutions' online banking platforms. During the pilot, participating financial institutions will authenticate consumers and provide real-time payment authorizations for ACH Network transactions to the participating online businesses."

According to our calculations, on a $50 purchase, the fees would be: 1) an authorization fee of $0.675 paid from the merchant's bank to the consumer's bank, a $0.06 switch fee paid by the merchant's bank, another $0.06 switch fee paid by the consumer's bank, a $0.01 network fee paid to NACHA by the merchant's bank and another $0.01 network fee paid to NACHA by the consumer's bank. The total of all the fees here - not including any mark-up by the merchant's bank to the merchant - would be $0.815 or about 1.63% of the purchase amount. Read on for the details of NACHA's announcement.

Update - September 18, 2007: We spoke with NACHA this morning about our calculations above. While the total fees collected from all parties involved on a $50 transaction are the $0.815 shown above, the fees charged to merchants for a Secure Vault Payments transaction would be the authorization fee of $0.675 paid by the merchant's bank, plus the $0.06 switch fee paid by the merchant's bank, plus the $0.01 network fee to NACHA paid by the merchant's bank. Those merchant-side fees total $0.745 on a $50 purchase or about 1.49% of the purchase amount. The merchant's bank will, of course, need to charge additional processing fees to the merchant for providing the Secure Vault Payments service which would be over and above those "wholesale" fees.

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The Dark Secrets of Debit Cards

Consumer Reports has published an article titled "The dark secrets of debit" that explores the growth in debit card usage, explains the difference between signature and PIN-basd debit, and points out how banks are making money by not declining transactions but, rather, charging overdraft fees when funds aren't available in the consumer's account.

Capital One to Launch Rewards for Money Market Account

Jane J. Kim reports for the Wall St. Journal about plans by Capital One to launch a money market account soon that will offer rewards points based upon a customer's average monthly balance.

Monitise Americas Joint Venture for Mobile Banking, Payments

Monitise plc and Metavante have announced the formation of a joint venture company, Monitise Americas LLC, to pursue building a mobile banking and payments ecosystem for the United States. Plans for the joint venture were originally announced by the companies in March 2007.

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Headline News - September 12, 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 11, 2007

The Best Use for Mobile - Securing Online Banking?

Is the best use of mobile devices by financial services players to use them for securing online banking access? Rob McMillan writes for PC World about Bank of America's SafePass announcement yesterday. Or, is two-factor authentication in the US market just a zero sum game between the bank and the consumer?

MasterCard, Orbisom Create MasterCard inControl Platform

MasterCard and Orbiscom have announced an agreement to create MasterCard inControl - what the companies call an "innovative platform that offers an array of advanced authorization, transaction routing and alert controls designed to enable issuers to more quickly and cost-efficiently introduce new and enhanced products."

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PCI Security Standards Council to Manage PED Requirements

Taking on an expanded role, the PCI Security Standards Council has announced that it has also assumed responsibility for the PIN Entry Device (PED) Security Requirements that were previously administered under the auspices of JCB, MasterCard International and Visa International.

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Chase SMS-based Mobile Banking

Jim Bruene and Brandon McGee blog about Chase Mobile, an SMS-based mobile banking service from JP Morgan Chase.

In a discussion about mobile security, Chase says that "Chase Mobile is not a mini-version of Chase Online. Rather, it's a text messaging service from Chase that gives you 24-hour access to view your balances, transaction history, credit card payment due date and amount without having to log on." It goes on to say that Chase Mobile will not allow you to complete transactions over your mobile device or cell phone. The emphasis is on ease of use (e.g., no logon) for information access only.

Research Reveals U.S. Consumer Obsession With Bank Balances

Sybase 365 has announced new research report titled "Mobile Opportunities for the Financial Sector" concluding that "U.S. consumers are obsessed with managing their personal finances. More than a third of U.S. consumers, dubbed 'nano-economists,' are able to state their bank balance at any given time, and an additional 42 percent typically know their bank balance to the nearest $200."

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Protecting Interchange

Aneace Haddad blogs about a new ad his company - Welcome Real-time - is running that he believes is "probably the first advertisement in the world that specifically addresses interchange protection through new, merchant-centric payment features."

Cardtronics Files For IPO

Last Friday, Cardtronics filed a Form S-1 Registration Statement with the SEC for an initial public offering of its common stock. The company says it operates the world's largest network of ATMs - "approximately 31,000 ATMs, principally in national and regional merchant locations throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, and Mexico. Approximately 18,850 of the ATMs we operate are Company-owned and 12,125 are merchant-owned."

Headline News - September 11, 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 10, 2007

Bank of America Introduces Stronger Two-Factor Authentication

Bank of America has announced a new security feature for its online banking service called SafePass™ that the bank says "provides customers with an extra layer of protection against unauthorized transactions." According to the bank, "SafePass delivers a one-time-use six digit code as a text message to consumers' mobile devices that they can use to authorize their most sensitive online transactions. As an additional security measure, the code expires as soon as it is used or within 10 minutes after it is issued."

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China: YeePay Powers the New EachNet

YeePay has announced that it has partnered with EachNet to provide payment solutions for its newly re-launched consumer-to-consumer online marketplace. According to YeePay, "as the sole payment provider working with EachNet, YeePay manages the money flows for EachNet's escrow payment service, which allows buyers and sellers to send and receive payments. YeePay also provides user identity verification service for EachNet."

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Yodlee “PayItAll™” Online Bill Pay Solution

Yodlee has announced the general availability of a new, end-to-end online payment solution called Yodlee BillPay PayItAll™ - calling it "a complete, next generation online bill pay offering that will enable financial institutions to dramatically lower bill pay solution, processing and related expenses, generate new revenue and significantly improve the customer experience."

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America First Credit Union Selects Firethorn, CheckFree for Mobile Banking

Firethorn and CheckFree have announced that "Ogden, Utah- based America First Credit Union, one of the nation's 10 largest credit unions, will offer the Firethorn mobile banking solution to its 432,000 members."

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Mobile Payments: Leveraging NFC and the Contactless Infrastructure

The Smart Card Alliance has published a new white paper titled "Mobile Payments: Leveraging NFC and the Contactless Financial Payments Infrastructure" that concludes that "proximity mobile payment – because it leverages the well-established infrastructure of the financial payments industry, and because it is based on Near Field Communication (NFC) technology and the ISO/IEC 14443 standard – will become the mobile payment technology of choice for consumers using mobile phones for retail payment transactions in the United States."

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KKR and First Data

Henry Sender reports for the Wall St. Journal on negotiations between KKR and its banks regarding the debt necessary to complete KKR's acquisition of First Data Corp. According to Sender, "KKR has blinked" and appears willing to make concessions regarding the terms of the debt financing for FDC.

Journeypay BuyVoice Mobile Commerce for Taxis in UK

Journeypay Limited, a transport payments specialist, Lloyds TSB Cardnet, and Planet Payment have announced the nationwide launch in the UK of a new mobile commerce solution for the transport sector called Journeypay BuyVoice, a fully managed, turnkey mobile payment application that allows taxi drivers to accept Visa, MasterCard, Maestro and American Express cards for payment of fares using only their mobile phones.

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