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« November 25, 2007 - December 1, 2007 | Main | December 9, 2007 - December 15, 2007 »

December 07, 2007

China's Credit Card Issuing Market

Mercator Advisory Group has published a new report titled "Roadmap to Profit's in China's Credit Card Issuing Market" that provides both qualitative and quantitative analyses on the profitability of China's credit card issuing market.

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A Look at Capital One's Card Lab

Ron Shevlin writes on his Marketing ROI blog about Capital One's Card Lab. Shevlin's verdict? "Card Lab is a winner"

Martha Stewart Loves PayPal

From a syndicated Martha Stewart column in this morning's Boston Globe: "PayPal is perhaps the most secure option, especially if you're buying from individuals or smaller businesses. To use this service, you pay PayPal, which in turn pays the merchant for you. This additional layer of protection means there will be little chance of your personal information falling into the wrong hands."

Gift Card Rules Change in Ontario

In an article titled 'New gift-card rules riddled with loopholes, critics say', Karen Howlett reports for the Globe and Mail looks into the newly effective changes to law in Ontario affecting gift card terms - reporting that "it did not become apparent until this week that the legislation contains loopholes that allow gift cards for specific services, such as a massage, manicure or restaurant meal, to be exempt from the new rules."

A Look at VeriFone's Accounting

In an article subtitled "Payment Firm VeriFone Can't Count Its Money", Troy Wolverton of the San Jose Mercury News reports on VeriFone's announcement earlier this week that it "had overstated its pre-tax profit by 80 percent this fiscal year." Wolverton says that "the situation is not without its ironies: a high-tech company felled by a low-tech problem; a company that helps customers count money, having trouble counting its own."

Update from MasterCard SpendingPulse

According to a new MasterCard SpendingPulse report on U.S. Retail Industry Segments, "retail sales in November improved in a number of sectors as the holiday season took off on a positive note." November’s year-over-year growth in the eCommerce channel was up by 21.7%.

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Mobile Banking on the Apple iPhone

iPhoneMatters.com shows Bank of America's new mobile banking application designed to take full advantage of the Apple iPhone's Mobile Safari web browser. A commenter complains, however, that it's only the first page that looks so good on the iPhone - saying "once you click thru, it’s the same old mobile banking site."

Mobile Payments Need an Open Ecosystem

Lynn Tan writes for ZDNet Asia on comments by David Vander, Microsoft's managing director of banking for worldwide financial services, about mobile payments. Vander comments that "we all know that for widespread consumer adoption, that (ecosystem) has to be far more generalized and open."

Headline News - December 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.

Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

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.

December 06, 2007

Gift Card Malls at Work and near Home

HQ Gift Cards, a division of Stored Value Solutions, has announced the launch of “Gift Card Central” - bringing gift card malls to office workers and residents in 25 of Atlanta’s class A office developments and residential condominium towers. The concept seeks to make gift card-buying even more convenient for busy corporate executives, office workers and luxury condominium residents.

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India's mChek Enables Insurance Payments from Mobile

mChek has announced that "ICICI Prudential Life Insurance policyholders can now pay their premiums through their mobile phones, anytime and from anywhere. ICICI Prudential is the first life insurance company in the country to launch this unique service facility for its policyholders."

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Battles and Bids Over Pay by Touch

Arik Hesseldahl reports for Business Week that "VeriFone has quietly expressed interest in buying the assets of Pay By Touch, a biometrics company currently in Chapter 11, according to court filings obtained by BusinessWeek.com."

Visa Introduces Government ePayments Adoption Ranking

Visa has introduced a Government ePayments Adoption Ranking icon_PDF_small.gif (GEAR) that "measures the extent to which governments in 43 countries provide key payment services on electronic platforms." The GEAR study, underwritten by Visa, and conducted independently by the Economist Intelligence Unit, ranks Canada as the world’s leading nation for government electronic payments (with a score of 92.4 out of 100), because of the government’s comprehensive electronic administration procedures.

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December 05, 2007

Bank of America Distributing American Express Gift Cards

American Express has announced an agreement with Bank of America "to offer American Express Gift Cards at participating Bank of America retail banking centers, significantly increasing customer reach for American Express Gift Cards."

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Holiday Promotions from PayPal, Bill Me Later and Google Checkout

Mylene Mangalindan reports for the Wall St. Journal on marketing promotions being offered this holiday season to online shoppers by PayPal, Bill Me Later and Google Checkout. "For consumers, the offers represent an increasingly significant variable to consider when trying to play the holiday promotions. Most of the latest promotions involve free shipping, discounts or credits."

December 04, 2007

The Business Case for Mobile Payments

Dave Birch blogs about the business case for mobile payments - partially in reaction to a paper by Deloitte titled "Reversing the Charges" icon_PDF_small.gif.

MasterCard Launches Web-based Expense Management Solution

MasterCard has announced the launch of MasterCard smartdata.gen2 - describing it as "a proprietary, web-based expense and information management solution that provides businesses with integrated, global expense spending analysis and multiple robust reporting options so they can better manage their expenditures."

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Update on Online Holiday Shopping

Chase Paymentech has updated its Pulse Index - reporting that, building from a strong base established during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, online retailers continue to see growth in both the number of transactions and sales volume.

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Credit Card Practices: Unfair Interest Rate Increases

The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is holding a hearing this morning titled "Credit Card Practices: Unfair Interest Rate Increases". "The Subcommittee hearing will examine the circumstances under which credit card issuers may increase the interest rates of cardholders who are in compliance with the terms of their credit cards." Copies of the witnesses' testimony is available online.

Zopa Launches in US with Credit Union Partners

Zopa has launched what it says is "an online community that offers unprecedented benefits to borrowers and investors, by offering safe, market rate Zopa CDs to individual investors that are linked to lowering the payments of an individual borrower’s unsecured personal loans."

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Discover Launches eGift Card

Discover Financial Services has announced the launch of a new eGift Card, a prepaid, stored value card that can be used for purchases online or over the phone at merchant locations that accept Discover Card.

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PayPal's Storefront Widget

PayPal has introduced a new Storefront Widget in beta that "allows casual sellers to embed a virtual storefront into your blog, website, social networking profile page, or just about anywhere that accepts HTML code." Judy Chang writes more about it on the PayPal Blog and Duncan Riley reports on TechCrunch.

A Profile of Bill Me Later

In an article titled 'A credit-card alternative', Tricia Bishop reports for the Baltimore Sun about Bill Me Later - "a young company is trying to change the way people shop online by providing a payment alternative to the credit card."

December 03, 2007

NACHA's Payments 2008 - May 18-21, 2008 - Las Vegas

PAYMENTS 2008, NACHA's annual conference, will be held May 18-21, 2008 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. A "showcase event for the electronic payments industry", the 2008 edition will include new environmental meeting practices that will also provide benefits for the attendee, the association, and the community.

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Save the Date - April 23-24, 2008 - London

Dave Birch has announced that the 11th annual Digital Money Forum will be held in London on 23rd/24th April 2008.

MasterCard Teams with ARC to Launch Prepaid Travel Card

MasterCard has announced the launch of a prepaid reloadable travel card with travel industry data and financial solution provider Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC). The MasterCard Travel Card, which is available through ARC's network of more than 20,000 U.S. travel agent locations, features MasterCard PayPass contactless functionality in addition to the traditional magnetic stripe. MasterCard says "it is the first prepaid travel card offering in the U.S. to be equipped with contactless technology, a sign of the continued advancement of the category in the face of increased cardholder demand."

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