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

February 28, 2007

An Update on Heartland's Merchant Bill of Rights

Heartland Payment Systems has announced that forty-six state associations now support its "Merchant Bill of Rights, a major initiative to help owners of small and mid-sized businesses manage the cost and complexity of credit and debit card acceptance."


Elan, Sapphire Mobile Systems Partner For Mobile Banking and Payments

US Bank's Elan Financial Services has announced it has partnered with Sapphire Mobile Systems to conduct a mobile banking and payments pilot, integrating with the Phire Mobile Debit Network to provide customers with "highly secure, instant access to their PayCard accounts via any mobile handset."


February 27, 2007

Stop & Shop Issues Statement

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company issued a press release late today updating news of an earlier suspected security breach: "On Monday night, associates in our Coventry, Rhode Island, Stop & Shop noticed suspicious activity at the front of the store near our cash registers. Our associates called the Coventry Police, who responded immediately and arrested four individuals."


Be Your Own Bank

Jessica Anderson writes for about being a person-to-person lender on - saying it "offers financial rewards with a dose of good karma."

Lloyds TSB To Begin Charging Annual Fees For Low Credit Card Usage reports on news out of the UK that Lloyds TSB plans to begin charging cardholders fees of £35 per year if they don't use their credit cards often enough. More details about the plan are available in this BBC story.

Aliaswire's Voice-Operated Bill Payment for Prepaid Debit Cards

Aliaswire has announced the general availability of PayVox, a "Voice-Activated Bill Payment solution that has been designed exclusively for the prepaid card industry. Using just a prepaid debit card, PayVox allows users to pay bills over the phone or the web in a manner previously only available to on-line banking bill-pay customers."


Visa Expands Participation In ReadyLink Prepaid Load Network

Visa USA has announced that nearly twenty issuers, partners, processors and acquiring financial institutions have agreed to implement Visa ReadyLink, Visa’s prepaid load network service. Visa recently announced an agreement with Blackhawk Network’s alliance partner stores, making Safeway the first in Blackhawk Network’s alliance of 60,000 stores in North America to implement Visa ReadyLink.


Trust in Online Finance - Creating Safe and Trusted Online Offerings

The European Financial Management & Marketing Association has announced a conference titled "Trust in Online Finance - Creating Safe and Trusted Online Offerings" to be held in Brussels on Thursday-Friday, April 26-27.


Report: Bank of America Achieves Highest Adoption of Online Bill Pay

comScore Networks has released the results of a study analyzing usage of online bill payment services at leading banks - "defined as paying a bill online from a checking, savings, or money market account using the functionality in the bill pay portion of the bank's Web site and where the recipient of the money is not the bank itself. According to the study, among those consumers who had one or more checking, savings, or money market accounts and who used online bank bill pay during the quarter with a leading financial institution Bank of America achieved 65 percent penetration in Q4 2006. Wells Fargo ranked second in penetration of online bill payers, with a level of 18 percent, followed by Chase and Wachovia (each achieved 13 percent penetration)."


Update on Bank of America's 2007 Investor Conference

Bank of America is webcasting the second day of its annual investor conference today. Yesterday's webcast is also available for viewing online.

A presentation by Barbara Desoer, Chief Technology & Operations Officer, titled "Payments: The Opportunity" is particularly of interest to payments professionals - she notes that "payments drive more revenue for banks than any other business." Additional presentations from the conference are available online.

Glenbrook Payments Boot Camps Update

Glenbrook's next Payments Boot Camp, scheduled for Atlanta, Georgia on March 13 and 14, has only a few open seats remaining. Carol Coye Benson and Scott Loftesness will be teaching this session. If you're interested in attending this boot camp in Atlanta, please be sure to register now as we're just about sold out.

Glenbrook's Merchants Payments Boot Camp, specifically tailored for retailers, ecommerce merchants, etc. is being held March 21 and 22 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Allen Weinberg, Russ Jones and Jay DeWitt will be teaching this session. Registration is available online.

For answers to any questions about Glenbrook's Payments Boot Camps, you can contact us at

New Book For PayPal Developers

Damon Williams has posted about his new book for PayPal developers titled "Pro PayPal E-Commerce." Williams says he's "pulled together just about all of the different options that PayPal offers to web developers, and included lots of sample code and best practices for developing your website or application."

You'll find more books specially selected for payments professionals at the Payments News Store.

Capital One's New No Hassle Cash Rewards Card

Capital One has announced the No Hassle Cash Rewards credit card that "offers (one percent) cash back on purchases without the complicated requirements, confusing language and frustrating expiration periods of other cash back rewards programs."


A Look at Mobile Banking & Payments 2.0

NetBanker's Jim Bruene has announced the publication of new research titled "Mobile Banking & Payments 2.0" - saying that "after three months of looking at mobile banking, talking to more players, and trying to develop a reasonable forecast, we have tempered our initial enthusiasm a bit. While we remain optimistic that the mobile channel will someday eclipse desktop online banking ... in North America mobile banking is NOT a new channel, but rather an extension of existing sales and service channels." The report is available for $495 or included with a subscription to Online Banking Report.

February 26, 2007

Transforming U.S. Retail Payments

The Federal Reserve System’s Payments System Policy Advisory Committee has published a summary of results from a forum on "Transforming U.S. Retail Payments" that was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on November 2, 2006 to discuss payments system developments and barriers to innovation with the payments industry and relevant payments system participants. "During the forum, industry experts representing depository institutions, payment processors, and nonfinancial corporations provided a variety of perspectives on strategic issues and opportunities associated with the changing U.S. retail payments system."

FSTC Annual Conference & Mobile Payments Workshop

The Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) has announced its annual conference and general meeting will be held in Dallas on May 16-17. On May 15, the FSTC will he holding a Mobile Payments Workshop - also in Dallas.

A Look At DirectHuntington

Over on The Bankwatch blog, Colin Henderson takes a look at Huntington Bank's new DirectHuntington high rate online savings account initiative. Huntington announced DirectHuntington earlier today - offering a 5.3% APY.

Comdata Surveys Consumers About Gift Card Malls

According to Comdata, "gift cards make holiday shopping quick, while gift card malls make it painless." A recent survey by the company shows consumers hit gift card malls in a big way this past holiday season. Results of a national web survey of adults conducted in February revealed that 22 percent of adults purchased cards at a gift card mall this year, up from 14 percent in 2006.


Retail Expansion Network Launches PaidByCash eCommerce Service

Retail Expansion Network has announced PaidByCash - described as "a new coast-to-coast cash network that allows any online retailer and any online shopper to complete a cash transaction over the Internet. PaidByCash is a Virtual MasterCard product accepted by nearly every online retailer. With a nationwide network of 60,000 neighborhood retail outlets where consumers can convert cash into an online payment instrument, PaidByCash has opened a new market for the national online retail economy."


Cardholder Use of General Spending Prepaid Cards

The Center for Financial Services Innovation has published a white paper titled "Cardholder Use of General Spending Prepaid Cards: A Closer Look at the Market" (PDF) written by Sherrie L. W. Rhine, Katy Jacob, Yazmin Osaki, and Jennifer Tescher. From the executive summary: "To gain a clearer understanding of the transaction behavior of cardholders, CFSI explored trends in the general spending prepaid card market as understood from four card providers that participated in this study. With transaction data provided by the participants on a total of nearly
2,000 cardholders, this study seeks to define how consumers use branded general spending cards."

Card-Based Remittances

The Center for Financial Services Innovation has published a new white paper titled "Card-Based Remittances; A Closer Look at Supply and Demand" (PDF) written by Manuel Orozco, Katy Jacob and Jennifer Tescher. From the executive summary: "This report presents the results of an analysis of the supply and demand for card-based transfers among migrants. We analyze a nationwide study of Latin American and Caribbean migrant remittance senders and their access and use of card products of all kinds. Coupled with extensive interviews with card-based remittance providers, this analysis allows us to investigate the relationship between the supply for card-based remittances and remittance senders’ demands for financial products."

Who's News - Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Dave Johnson has been named CFO at mobile payments provider Obopay. Earlier, Johnson held roles as chief operating and/or financial officer at PayPal.
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.

NTT DoCoMo, McDonald's Partner For Mobile Payments in Japan

Reuters reports that NTT DoCoMo and McDonald's have announced they will be forming a new joint venture company to facilitate acceptance of mobile payments at McDonald's locations in Japan.

EMVCo Publishes Card Type Approval Process

EMVCo, the EMV chip card standards body jointly owned by JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International, has announced its launch of a Card Type Approval process for Common Core Definitions (CCD) and Common Payment Application (CPA) compliant cards.


ABA, APWG, FSTC Plan Counter-eCrime Operations Summit

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), American Bankers Association (ABA) and the Financial Services Technology Consortium (FSTC) have announced joint sponsorship of the inaugural Counter-eCrime Operations Summit (CeCOS), "a conference for counter-ecrime stakeholders focusing on the management of electronic crime events and the work of the professionals charged with engaging these increasingly threatening and costly incidents."


February 25, 2007

Citi Makes It Official - Gary Crittenden Named New CFO

Following earlier press reports that it was about to do so, Citi has officially announced that "Gary Crittenden, formerly Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and head of Global Network Services at American Express, will become its Chief Financial Officer. He will report directly to Charles Prince, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, effective March 12, 2007."


An Update on Bank Card Volumes In China

Zhang Fengming reports for on the increasing volumes of bank card transactions in China as reported by China Unionpay, the country's sole bank card transaction system operator.


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