According to Chase Paymentech, Americans rushed to the web on Tuesday, Dec. 18 to complete their 2007 online holiday shopping as Christmas delivery deadlines loomed, resulting in a single-day Chase Paymentech Pulse Index high of $169 million in sales and more than 3 million orders. This notable sales spike is more than 42 percent higher than Friday, December 15th, the peak Pulse Index shopping day in 2006.
Amazon.com has introduced another new web services offering - this one called DevPay. "This new service allows entrepreneurial developers to wrap their own business models around Amazon S3 and Amazon EC2, taking advantage of Amazon's existing customer base and billing infrastructure. With DevPay, developers can focus on being creative and innovative while dispatching the less-than-glamorous aspects of dealing with bank accounts, credit cards, and so forth to us."
Romina Abal of Edgar, Dunn & Company has published a new article titled "Rich Opportunity in the Unbanked Segment" . "New and unique data from the PaymentDynamicsSM 2007 Preferred Payments Study shows that the conven- tional wisdom regarding the unbanked is overly simplistic at best, and in many ways, simply inaccurate. For instance, many financial institutions may be sur- prised to learn that more than half of the unbanked have attended college, or that only a third of them are rated as having sub-prime credit scores."
TSYS has announced that China UnionPay Data Services Co., Ltd. (“CUP Data”), TSYS’ joint venture with China UnionPay (“CUP”), has successfully completed a bankcard conversion for Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (“SPDB”), one of the largest joint-stock commercial banks in China.
A coalition of U.S. merchants opposed to unfair credit card fees says it welcomed a ruling by the European Union (EU) Competition Commission that MasterCard’s credit card interchange fees for consumers must be cut across the 26 member nations of the European community.
Discover Financial Services has announced its financial results for the fourth quarter of 2007 reporting that its U.S. Card managed loans reached $48.2 billion, up 5% from last year driven by a 6% increase in credit card sales volume. Discover says that its "U.S. Card credit quality remained strong, although delinquency rates increased from last quarter reflecting weakening in the U.S. economy. The fourth quarter managed credit card net charge-off rate was 3.84% and the 30+ days delinquency rate was 3.59%."
Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) has announced "a partnership with HomeATM ePayment Solutions, a global online payment solution and web security engineering firm. The partnership will initially offer an alternative payment option to the global commercial airline community."
Hypercom has announced that "It has entered into exclusive negotiations with Thales SA, a leading international electronics and systems group serving defense, aerospace and security markets worldwide, to acquire the e-Transactions business line of Thales." The company also announced that it has obtained a $60 million financing commitment from Francisco Partners and that Philippe Tartavull has been named Chief Executive Officer and President of Hypercom Corporation.
In a move it says is "aimed at enabling consumers in Mainland China to buy directly online from North American retailers," Alipay has announced a cooperation agreement with Philliou Selwanes Partners (PSP), a New York City based consulting and advisory firm, to promote the acceptance of its Chinese payment service to North American merchants.
Intuit and Electronic Clearing House have announced they have "signed a definitive agreement for Intuit to acquire ECHO. Under the terms of the agreement, Intuit will pay $17 per share in cash in exchange for each share of ECHO common stock, including shares issuable upon exercise of options. The total purchase price is approximately $131 million on a fully diluted basis."
MasterCard Europe has announced that "it will appeal to the European Court of First Instance today's decision by the European Commission regarding MasterCard Europe's default cross-border interchange fees."
This morning, Neelie Kroes, European Commissioner for Competition Policy, announced that the European Commission has "adopted a decision that MasterCard's multilateral interchange fees, or MIF, for cross-border payment card transactions with MasterCard and Maestro branded debit and consumer credit cards in the European Economic Area (EEA) violate EC Treaty rules on restrictive business practices." MasterCard has six months to comply with the Commission's order to withdraw the fees. A number of documents about the decision are available online in PDF form including her speech, a press release, and an FAQ.
With respect to Visa, Kroes went on to add: "Let me finally say a few words regarding the other large payment card scheme in Europe, VISA. Back in 2002, the Commission adopted an exemption decision concerning VISA's MIF. This exemption expires in a few days, on 31 December and from that moment on VISA will be responsible to ensure that its system is in full compliance with EU competition rules."
Jim Bruene's announced the latest edition of his Online Banking Report newsletter - this issue titled on "Person-to-Person Lending 2.0: Disruptive service or market niche?".
From the abstract: "Person-to-person lending is the perfect product for the Web 2.0-social-networked consumer. Why, then, has growth been relatively slow compared to other networked services? Because it’s a difficult business. Not only are P2P lenders competing with 20,000 other financial institutions for good borrowers, the are up against thousands of investment alternatives for funds to lend, all the while waging a fierce battle with fraudsters and deadbeats. It’s not a business for the faint of heart. "
The AP is reporting that the China Banking Regulatory Commission has announced that "Citigroup Inc. and four other banks will become the first foreign institutions allowed to issue credit cards on their own in China once they meet regulatory standards"
Google Checkout has posted a page of charities that are using its Google Checkout for Non-Profits service. As a reminder, "Google Checkout for Non-Profits is a fast, convenient donation process that helps you attract more donors and increase online giving to your organization – and you can use it to process donations by charging credit or debit cards for free until 2009."
In an article titled 'Google’s Checkout perks paying off', Yi-Wyn Yen writes for Fortune's TechLand blog about Google Checkout and some new figures that Google provided yesterday about its performance: "Google says web shoppers who’ve signed up for Checkout are 10 percent more likely to click on an ad that features a Checkout button and 40 percent more likely to make an online purchase once they reach a site."
Saul Hansell of the New York Times has been exploring "what's wrong at eBay" on the Times' Bits blog. He quotes Scot Wingo of Channel Advisor who says "“EBay has gone from the channel of first resort to the channel of last resort" for online sellers. First resort these days is the seller's own web site, followed by Amazon, and then by eBay.
After years of slow progress, business-to-business (B2B) payment conversion from check to electronics is accelerating. Significant new product developments and announcements from MasterCard, American Express, JPMorgan Chase and others, as well as developments in the use of ACH and wire payments, are contributing to a new sense of urgency in this enormous marketplace.
Glenbrook is taking its popular Payments Boot Camp format and applying it to the subject of B2B payments. The new workshop, called "eB2B Payments At The Tipping Point" will be an intense, two day workshop covering both the "basics" (how A/P and A/R interface with payments, how paper and core electronic B2B payments work) and the wide array of new products and services that are addressing this opportunity.
Payment card authentication solutions provider QSecure has announced that it has closed a Series C Preferred Stock financing round totaling $5 million led by QSecure's existing investors Allegis Capital, Worldview Technology Partners, Société Générale and UMC Capital.
Gartner has announced results from a survey of online US adults finding that $3.2 billion was lost in 2007 from phishing attacks with 3.6 million adults having been affected. According to Gartner, "thieves are increasingly stealing debit card and other bank account credentials to rob accounts — targeting areas where fraud detection is weaker than it is with credit card accounts."
American Express and First Data Corp. have announced the signing of an agreement whereby First Data will offer American Express Card acceptance as part of an integrated solution for small- and medium-sized merchants.