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May 07, 2008

Don't Play the Credit Card Game

In her Thursday column titled 'Your Losing Hand', Michele Singletary reports for the Washington Post on last week's proposed rule changes by the US financial regulators re: credit cards. She writes: 'Although regulators are proposing to eliminate some of the more unsavory practices of the industry, many cardholders -- regardless of class, education or income -- can only win by not playing the credit card game.'

Understanding the Payment Application Data Security Standard

The PCI Security Standards Council has announced a complimentary educational webinar, “Understanding the Payment Application Data Security Standard” on Thursday May 22, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. EDT with a second session scheduled the same day at 7:30 p.m. EDT. READ MORE »

An Update on Prosper's New Slogan, Advertising

Jim Bruene's Netbanker reports on person-to-person lender Prosper.com's new marketing initiatives including its new slogan: "Let's bank on each other." More on the Prosper Blog.

A Look at Orange Money

Wireless operator Orange is testing in the Ivory Coast a new money transfer system: Orange Money. Strategies Telecom & Media interviews Marc Rennard, executive director in charge of Orange’s operations in Africa, Middle-East and Asia. about Orange Money. As we've seen previously with M-PESA in Kenya, the mobile operators are focusing much of their mobile payments initiatives on markets where a large majority of the population is unbanked.

Credit Card Regulation is Overdue!

That's the title of a Dallas Morning News editorial this morning commenting on last week's proposed rules changes that says 'enough is enough.' The editorial continues: 'New regulation is overdue. Creditors have been free to hike interest rates at any time and for any reason – and then apply the new rate to purchases the consumer has already made.'

Federal Reserve Reports March Consumer Credit Stats

The Federal Reserve reported today that consumer credit increased at a 7.2 percent overall rate in March 2008 - with revolving credit increasing at 7.9 percent for the month.

Sony Announces FeliCa Technology Channel Program

Sony Electronics has announced the establishment of an integrator and developer channel program for its FeliCa contactless integrated circuit (IC) chip technology. The FeliCa microchip provides a fast, convenient and secure all-in-one solution platform for multiple applications, including electronic pre-paid transactions, access, interactive signage and membership or loyalty rewards systems. The chip combines processing, storage and communication functions, and can be implemented in a variety of form factors including cards, key chains and mobile phones. READ MORE »

The US Mobile Internet - Major Partners Join Together on Clearwire

Clearwire and Sprint Nextel have announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement to combine their next-generation wireless broadband businesses to form a new wireless communications company. In addition, Intel Capital, Google, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks – have collectively agreed to invest $3.2 billion into the new company to be named Clearwire.

Google's Larry Adler comments on the Official Google Blog about Google's participation in the new company. It will be fascinating to watch how this affects mobile Internet usage for financial services applications. Wikipedia has a comprehensive article about the WiMax technology that is the basis for this new network. READ MORE »

Pew to Promote Fair Bank Account Standards For 'Underserved'

The Pew Charitable Trusts have announced a new project aimed at 'helping America's workers underserved by mainstream financial institutions secure access to safe, affordable, fair, and empowering bank accounts. The Pew Safe Banking Opportunities Project, a two-year $2.1 million initiative, will develop and promote standards for bank accounts so that moderate- and low-income households that are new to or have been left out of the mainstream banking system are less likely to have to rely on overly expensive, income-stripping financial products.' READ MORE »

MasterCard Adds Fuel, Maintenance to Easy Savings Program

MasterCard Worldwide says it is 'the first payments company to offer small businesses automatic savings on fuel and maintenance through the addition of the Fuelman Network to the MasterCard Easy Savings program.' MasterCard says its BusinessCard credit and signature debit cardholders enrolled in the program will now receive a 1% automatic rebate on fuel and a 5% automatic rebate on maintenance purchases at more than 16,800 participating locations in the Fuelman Network nationwide. READ MORE »

MasterCard Selects ACI Worldwide for IPS Debit, Prepaid Platform

ACI Worldwide has announced that MasterCard Worldwide has selected ACI's electronic payment solutions as key elements of the new MasterCard Integrated Processing Solutions (IPS) announced in early April. MasterCard IPS provides banks a suite of branded debit network and card issuer processing services including PIN and signature debit and prepaid processing, and ATM driving. READ MORE »

MasterCard Foundation Announces Microfinance Grant

The MasterCard Foundation has announced it has awarded a 'two-year, $740,000 grant today to Microfinance Information eXchange (MIX) to launch MIX Market 2.0, a next-generation Web platform for sharing reliable, comparable and publicly available information on the financial strength and performance of microfinance institutions.' According to the foundation, 'MIX, a not-for-profit private company, has received industry-wide recognition for its efforts to increase the transparency of the microfinance sector.' READ MORE »

Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Shows Little Movement in April

The April Discover U.S. Spending Monitor reflects a 'continuing pattern of economic concern from consumers in the face of rising expenses. For the last four months including April, the Monitor has remained in the 85-86 range. The April index rose a scant .3 from March when the index hit its lowest point ever. The up-tick to 85.4 was primarily the result of higher spending expectations.' READ MORE »

Commentary about Banks Bluster on Proposed Rule Changes

In a column titled 'Banks' credit card bluster rings hollow', Los Angeles Times consumer reporter David Lazarus writes: 'I just love it when the credit card industry threatens to take its toys and go home.'

Headline News - May 7, 2008

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.

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