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« February 4, 2007 - February 10, 2007 | Main | February 18, 2007 - February 24, 2007 »

February 17, 2007

Google Moves To Checkout Line

Sara Kehaulani Goo reports for the Washington Post about Google Checkout. "Checkout handles only one transaction for every 70 that PayPal does, according to Hitwise, a firm that measures online traffic."

February 16, 2007

YeePay Partners with China Unicom to Promote Mobile Top-up Service

YeePay has announced it has partnered with China Unicom, the nation's second largest mobile operator, to promote mobile top-up service in Beijing, adding support for two more banks and launching online service for mobile top-up.

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The End of the Cash Era

This week's Economist contains an article titled "The end of the cash era" (subscription required) and subtitled "Welcome the coming age of electronic money, but safeguard the anonymity of cash". A interesting quote: "Some Japanese merchants have already begun to offer discounts to people using electronic cash. Others will follow."

Should Banks Offer Credit Cards To Illegal Immigrants?

An editorial in the Spartanburg (SC) Herald-Journal questions whether it's right for banks in the US to be issuing credit cards to illegal immigrants - saying that the "Bank of America has found a segment of the market that isn't currently being exploited by credit cards." The Wall St. Journal reported earlier this week on Bank of America's card issuing efforts for immigrants.

Another Look At Privacy Aspects Of Contactless Cards

In an article titled 'New Credit Cards May Leak Personal Information," Erik Larkin writes for PC World writes about the privacy aspects of new contactless credit cards - including a discussion of new "second generation" specifications from Visa that require the issuer not include the cardholder name in the data transmitted by the contactless card's chip.

February 15, 2007

What Americans Pay For - and How

The Pew Research Center has published a report on "What Americans Pay For - and How" (PDF) - concluding that nearly three-in-ten adults (28%) say the most common way they take care of their regular monthly bills is by an online or electronic payment. A bare majority (54%) mostly uses checks, and a small minority (15%) mostly uses cash.

More About ING Direct's Electric Orange Checking Account

Shaheen Pasha writes for CNNMoney.com about ING Direct's Electric Orange high-yield online checking account - saying that some industry analysts are skeptical of the service concept.

APACS Provides Update On Chip and PIN Progress in the UK

APACS yesterday celebrated the first anniversary of the transition in the UK to chip and PIN technology on payment cards. APACS provided a number of statistical updates on the progress and impacts of this technology upgrade.

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Canadian Banks Deal With Retailer Security Breaches

Tara Perkins and Dana Flavelle report for the Toronto Star on actions being taken by several Canadian banks to reissue credit cards following reports of security breaches of credit card data at several retailers.

Survey Shows 14 Percent of U.S. Population Has More Than 10 Credit Cards

Experian Consumer Direct has released its latest National Score Index study reporting that approximately 14 percent of the U.S. population has more than 10 credit cards, The study examines consumer credit card use on both a statewide and a national level.

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An Update On Credit Card Usage in Australia

The Sydney Morning Herald reports on credit card usage in Australia - where credit card debt outstanding has reached A$38.99 billion or an average of A$2,932 per account, up 7.5 percent over the last year. Growth in both credit card spending and receivables has slowed in Australia as consumers have reacted to higher interest rates.

Headline News - February 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.

February 14, 2007

Discover, Motorola Launch Mobile Payments Trial

Discover Financial Services has announced the launch of a mobile payments and account management trial that enables participants to check their Discover Card account balances, review payment history, and make purchases using their mobile phones in place of a traditional plastic credit card. According to the company, the pilot project is being conducted by Discover Network, a division of Discover Financial Services, and Motorola, and involves up to 1,000 participants with Discover Card accounts and multiple merchants in the Chicago and Salt Lake City areas.

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Alliance Data Updates Investor Presentation

Alliance Data has filed an updated investor presentation with the SEC that emphasizes the growth focus on its loyalty businesses.

CheckFree Announces Agreement to Acquire Corillian

CheckFree Corporation has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase Corillian Corporation, a provider of Internet banking software and services, for a purchase price of about $245 million.

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Highest Rates of U.S. Identity Fraud in New York and the Western States

ID Analytics has announced the results of analytical research on U.S. identity fraud by geography. The new research, with the company saying this is the first ever research to be based on actual and attempted frauds rather than on consumer victim reports. The results show that the states with the highest rates of identity fraud are New York and the Western states of California, Nevada and Arizona, while the states with the lowest rates of identity fraud are Wyoming, Vermont and Montana.

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Headline News - February 14, 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.

February 13, 2007

SmartPay Launches 172.com Payments Portal In China

SmartPay has announced the beta launch of www.172.com, a convenient payments portal that allows users to pay their phone bills, utility bills, buy lottery tickets, purchase air tickets and make other purchases, primarily using their mobile phones or fixed-line telephones.

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Blue Healthcare Bank Receives Federal Regulatory Approval

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association has announced approval by the Office of Thrift Supervision of its application for a Federal Savings Bank charter for the Blue Healthcare Bank. The charter allows the Blue Healthcare Bank to provide healthcare-related banking services in all 50 states. The bank is located in Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City.

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Merchants Complain About Card Association Interchange Valentines

The Merchants Payments Coalition has announced that it views Visa, MasterCard and their affiliated banks as receiving a "one-day Valentine gift of $169 million this year because of hidden "interchange" fees collected on
transactions during the holiday."

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More About GSM Association's NFC-based Mobile Payments Initiative

The GSM Association has announced more information about its initiative to help facilitate the worldwide use of mobile phones for payments at point of sale. According to the association, "the 'Pay-Buy Mobile' initiative is a natural progression for the industry, following the GSMA's program - announced last year - to define a common global approach to enabling Near Field Communications (NFC), the technology used to link mobile devices with payment and contactless systems. By embedding mobile contactless services, such as credit and debit payments, in the SIM card the mobile industry will extend the role of mobile phones in customers' everyday lives."

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CircleLending Introduces Private Alternative to Reverse Mortgages

CircleLending has announced an innovative private lending product, Family Advantage that allows families to "arrange private loans that feature the benefits of traditional reverse mortgages without the drawbacks. Family Advantage loans are more flexible and eliminate many of the costs and restrictions those who need a reverse mortgage face."

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Chockstone Opens National Advertising Network at Retailers' Point of Sale

Chockstone has announced Receipt and Respond, an advertising network linking its restaurant and retail clients with national and local advertisers. According to Chockstone, the new advertising network "delivers point of purchase advertisements and promotional offers directly on consumer receipts. Specific ads are delivered based on actual transaction parameters, including retailer, store location, consumer spending pattern, type of transaction (e.g. loyalty, credit card), day of week, time of day, and items purchased."

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Bank of America Launches Mobile Banking

Bank of America has announced that its Online Banking customers "will be able to use their cell phones and smartphones when they're on-the-go to check account balances, pay bills and transfer money with the launch of secure mobile banking." The bank is launching the service in Tennessee beginning in March and will roll mobile banking out to markets across the country through mid-year.

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Visa Launches Visa Signature Living Advertising Campaign

Visa USA has launched a new advertising campaign called "Visa Signature Living" that the company says "illustrates that these unique experiences and opportunities are more accessible than ever with the Visa Signature card." Visa is targeting the "new affluent" - Visa Signature’s core audience - that is defined by Visa as U.S. households with more than $125,000 or more in annual income.

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SmartPay, China Unicom Launch 'China Unicom Mobile Wallet'

China Unicom and SmartPay have announced the launch of "China Unicom Mobile Wallet" in Guangdong Province. Guangdong Province is the largest province in China by number of mobile users and total mobile revenues.

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Bank of America's Immigrant Card Strategy

Miriam Jordan and Valerie Bauerlein report for the Wall Street Journal about Bank of America's immigrant-focused credit card issuing efforts - "open to people who lack both a Social Security number and a credit history, as long as they have held a checking account with the bank for three months without an overdraft," according to Jordan and Bauerlein. The program is currently focused in the Los Angeles area with national rollout planned for later this year. Upfront fees are charged for the credit cards along with higher rates of interest on revolving balances.

Visa Signature - Things To Do While You're Alive

Maria Aspan writes for the New York Times about Visa USA's new advertising campaign for its Visa Signature cards. The print and online campaign "hopes to raise the profile of Visa's high-end cards," according to Aspan. The campaign doesn't involve any television ads because the eyes of Visa's "new affluent" consumer base aren't there.

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