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« November 18, 2007 - November 24, 2007 | Main | December 2, 2007 - December 8, 2007 »

November 30, 2007

US Bank, CheckFree Encourage Bill Pay with Toys for Tots Benefit

U.S. Bank and CheckFree have announced they are collaborating "to encourage consumers to save time, reduce stress and make children smile this holiday season by paying bills online. For every five bills that a customer pays via U.S. Bank Internet Banking now through Dec. 31, 2007, U.S. Bank and CheckFree will donate $10 to Toys for Tots."

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TJX Announces Settlement Agreement With Visa USA and Visa Inc.

The TJX Companies has announced that "it has entered into a Settlement Agreement with Visa U.S.A. Inc. and Visa Inc. Under the agreement, an alternative recovery offer will be made to eligible U.S. Visa issuers that issued payment cards potentially affected by TJX’s previously announced unauthorized computer intrusion(s), and Visa will recommend the offer."

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A Look at Private Label vs. Co-Brand Cards from Retailers

In an article titled 'Target card or Target Visa? Which is better?', Gregory Taggart of Bankrate.com takes a look and compares private label cards vs. co-brand cards - both from retailers.

Headline News - November 30, 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.

November 29, 2007

Next Monday Forecast to be Biggest Online Shopping Day in the UK

APACS has announced it expects holiday shoppers to spend over £5 billion online this December - with next Monday, December 3, expected to be the busiest online shopping day. APACS estimates that total spending on cards, cash and cheques will reach £53.0 billion in December. APACS figures show that the number of adults shopping online has more than doubled in the last five years to almost 30 million. "To help online shoppers stay free from fraud this Christmas, APACS has also launched http://www.shopsafeonline.org.uk, which contains details about Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode – systems that make online shopping payments more secure for both consumers and online retailers."

Payments Systems Review Conference - Reserve Bank of Australia

As part of its2007–08 review of the reforms to Australia's payments system, the Reserve Bank of Australia co-hosted a Payments Systems Review Conference (several papers available for download) today in conjunction with the Centre for Business and Public Policy at the Melbourne Business School.

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Bank of America Launches Brighter Planet Credit Card

Bank of America has announced that it has teamed with the organization Brighter Planet to "offer a credit card that helps customers reduce their contribution to climate change and invest in the development of clean, renewable energy projects."

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Alliance Data Signs 7-Eleven

Alliance Data Systems has announced signing "a multi-year agreement with 7-Eleven, Inc. to provide payment processing services to more than 5,500 7-Eleven-branded convenience stores nationwide. Headquartered in Dallas, 7-Eleven is the largest chain of retail convenience stores, operating, franchising or licensing more than 33,200 stores in 17 countries and one U.S. territory, with worldwide sales
in 2006 exceeding $44 billion."

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RBI Releases First Report on Oversight of Payment Systems in India

The Reserve Bank of India has released its first Report on Oversight of Payment Systems in India icon_PDF_small.gif. "Though Visa and MasterCard are not under the regulatory purview of the Bank, the Reserve Bank as the regulator and supervisor for banks has published guidelines for the issuance of cards by the card issuing banks. The compliance with the Guidelines is assessed during the inspection of these card issuing banks by the RBI. Also, RBI is in regular dialogue with the Visa and MasterCard affiliates in India."

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November 28, 2007

Bank of America's Mobile Banking Grows to 500,000 Active Users

The mobile banking race is on. Bank of America has announced that, six months after rolling out its Mobile Banking service to consumers nationwide, it has reached a record 500,000 active mobile customers. The bank says that "according to a recent TowerGroup report, that's more than all other U.S. banks combined."

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Brazil's ACSP Launches Global FICO Consumer Credit Scores

Fair Isaac and Associacao Comercial de Sao Paulo (ACSP), one of the largest credit bureaus in Brazil, have announced ACSP’s launch of Global FICO Score for Brazilian businesses - saying that "the launch of this innovative consumer credit-risk score makes Brazil the first South American nation to access Fair Isaac’s global-standard FICO credit risk scoring technology."

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More about Bill Me Later's Safe Online Shopping Experience

In an article titled 'An Old-Time Touch for the Modern Shopper', Catherine Rampell writes for the Washington Post about how Bill Me Later is attractive to shoppers who don't want to provide their credit card details to online ecommerce merchants. According to the article, Bill Me Later has 3 million customers.

A Look at Online Lending and Zopa

In an article titled 'Online Lending Gets Easier and Safer', Jane J. Kim writes for the Wall St. Journal about Zopa's entry into the US market. Rather than doing everything itself, Zopa will be "working with several credit unions to offer person-to-person loans to prospective borrowers."

Strong Sales Growth for eCommerce Merchants

Retail Decisions reports that the "online retail market received a double dose of good news as merchants kicked-off the 2007 Holiday season. Purchase value of goods sold on Black Friday was up 83% and on Cyber Monday was up 80% year on year."

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New QuickBooks Point of Sale Software

Intuit has announced the release of the latest version of QuickBooks Point of Sale retail management software that replaces the traditional cash register and gives small retailers features that help them provide great customer service and improve inventory management.

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November 27, 2007

Blackhawk Network Extends Gift Card Mall Network to Kroger Stores

Blackhawk Network has announced it has "signed an exclusive agreement with The Kroger Co. to bring Blackhawk Network's award winning Gift Card Mall program to the nation's largest grocery chain in time for the holiday season."

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Heartland Sues MICROS, Merchant Link and Chase Paymentech

Heartland Payment Systems has announced it has "filed an antitrust action against MICROS Systems, Inc.; Merchant Link, LLC; and Chase Paymentech, owner of Merchant Link. The suit, filed in United States District Court in New Jersey, alleges the three companies have caused increased processing prices for table-service restaurants through an anti-competitive tying arrangement which violates the Sherman Antitrust Act and New Jersey's unfair competition laws." The text of Heartland's complaint icon_PDF_small.gif is available online.

Monitise, Metavante Launch Mobile Financial Services

Monitise Americas and Metavante have announced the launch of Monitise Americas' mobile financial services in the United States. According to the two companies, "the service, which is fully integrated into the industry leading NYCE Payments Network to deliver a highly secure connection to the nation’s leading financial institutions, allows financial institutions of all sizes to offer mobile financial services to their customers without significant investment in new technology."

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VeriFone Pursues Managed Merchant Services in Emerging Markets

VeriFone Holdings has announced "formation of VeriFone Access to provide merchant hosted services for managing electronic payments, beginning in Mexico. VeriFone Access was formed with VeriFone’s investment and in partnership with Tienda-kit, an innovative Mexican third-party acquirer and merchant services provider, which now operates as VeriFone Access."

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Verizon Walks Slowly Towards an Open Mobile World

Verizon Wireless has announced that it will "provide customers the option to use, on its nationwide wireless network, wireless devices, software and applications not offered by the company. Verizon Wireless plans to have this new choice available to customers throughout the country by the end of 2008."

With this move by Verizon, the implications for mobile banking and mobile payments will be fun to ponder. What's not mentioned in Verizon's press release is what the cost might be to qualify an open device on its network.

What's an example of a non-traditional mobile device? Amazon's Kindle comes to mind - I've got one and Amazon's Whispernet (running over Sprint's wireless network) is a key ingredient in making the Kindle such a delightful experience for readers. That, and, of course, the integrated 1-Click payment from my Amazon Account.

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November 26, 2007

A Look at PayPal Labs

Speaking of labs, Hugo Olliphant, the head of PayPal Labs, blogs about his groups activities. You'll find PayPal Labs at www.x.com.

Capital One's Card Lab

You've probably already seen the ads. Capital One Financial Corporation has announced the launch of the Capital One Card Lab, calling it "a convenient online tool designed to help consumers select from a menu of terms and options to build their own credit card. The Capital One Card Lab site offers an array of options related to interest rate, annual fee, rewards and even the design on the front of their card and allows consumers to select the combination of features that are most important to them."

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Global Payments Enables Discover Network Card Acceptance for ISOs

Global Payments has announced that "it has activated the first of its Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs) relationships - EVO, Mercury Payments, North American Bankcard and Total Merchant Services - to acquire Discover Network merchants in a manner consistent with Visa's and MasterCard's acquiring programs."

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Cyber Monday Shopping Tips

Today is Cyber Monday - expected to be the busiest online shopping day of the year. As a reminder, some of the online ecommerce payments companies have special offers setup to save you money doing this year's holiday shopping. These include PayPal's Holiday Shopping site, Bill Me Later's holiday store, and Google Checkout's Holiday Offers.

UK Payments Council Begins Work on National Payments Plan

The Payments Council, the organisation that sets strategy for UK payments, has announced the launch of a public consultation on its proposals for a UK National Payments Plan. The National Payments Plan will set the strategy for how payments will develop in the UK over the next five to ten years and will cover current payment methods like plastic cards, cash and cheques and innovative technologies like contactless, pre-paid and mobile payments.

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NACHA Approves Network Enforcement Rules

NACHA has announced that its voting membership has approved the Network Enforcement Rule as an amendment to the NACHA Operating Rules. "The implementation of the Network Enforcement Rule, the first rule change under NACHA’s comprehensive risk management strategy, is intended to give NACHA and the ACH Rules Enforcement Panel greater ability to enforce the NACHA Operating Rules."

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The State of the Merchant Acquiring Industry

Aite Group has announced a new report titled "The State of the Merchant Acquiring Industry" that "provides an overview of the state of merchant acquiring in the U.S. market. The report looks at the impact of discount rates and interchange in the merchant acquiring space, reviews vendors, overviews sampled acquirers' portfolios and fraud and PCI DSS compliance, and considers the future of acquiring."

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