Bellevue, Washington-based Mobile Giving Foundation has announced that Qualcomm, through its Wireless Reach initiative, has become MGF's founding patron in pursuit of its mission to create a single "mobile giving channel" allowing more than 250 million wireless users in the U.S. to make charitable contributions instantly through SMS from their cell phones.
The CheckImage Collaborative has announced the creation of a Universal Companion Document (UCD) which establishes a uniform industry approach for populating and validating check image files. Since the implementation of the Check Clearing Act for the 21st Century (Check 21) in October 2004, the banking industry has been rapidly transforming from a paper-based check clearing structure to an image-based system with nearly half of all checks paid cleared as images today. Ongoing interoperability issues have impacted the industry's ability to realize the full value of check image clearing. One of the biggest obstacles to true interoperability has been the use of the check image file format standard. The creation of the UCD establishes a consistent approach for all industry participants to use when processing check image files.
TrialPay has announced it is partnering with FreshGames to give away ZenGems, Cubis 2 and the Cubis 2 Expansion Pack for free. Using TrialPay, players can get FreshGames’ most popular titles free for a limited time by trying or buying an offer from blue-chip advertisers.
The Electronic Transactions Association held its Annual Meeting & Expo in April. Many of the presentations from that meeting are available for downloading from the ETA's web site. Some of the topics include "When Interchange Really Isn't Interchange: The Relevance of Interchange Optimization for Merchants" and "PCI Security & You" .
Crutchfield has announced that customers who shop online or through their call center can now choose to pay securely with cash using eBillme, an alternative payment option which brings online banking to the eCommerce checkout.
Glenbrook's Allen Weinberg and Jim Salters are in Las Vegas (tough duty!) attending this week's Payments 2008 conference hosted by NACHA. Allen filed his first report last night and Jim just filed his first report from the conference on yesterday's general session and the keynote by Peter Raskind, CEO of National City. If you're attending Payments 2008, be sure to "say hi" to Allen and Jim!
The 2007 U.S. Gift Card Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by First Data Corp. found that birthdays top the list of occasions to give gift cards, leading consumers to buy gift cards year-round. Nine out of 10 American adults who responded to an online survey purchased or received a gift card in the previous 12 months and six out of 10 did both, according to the survey, a significant increase from the previous year's findings.
The latest U.S. results of the Unisys Security Index find that Americans are more concerned than they were seven months ago about national security issues and health epidemics and are increasingly concerned about financial security issues and worries about identity theft.
Acxiom has announced FactCheck-X Authenticate - calling it "a more secure means of online account authentication. Based on unique, biographically based question-and-answer sessions for account holders, businesses are more secure and customers can experience a better online authentication experience."
New survey results announced by Capital One Canada find that "individual Canadians spend more than 115 hours - almost five days - each year waiting in line and paying for daily purchases" - and that contactless payments can help save between 28 and 46 hours of that time.
Fidelity National Information Services has announced the launch of a new two-way mobile banking and bill pay product suite, FIS Mobile Banking and Bill Pay. The offering supports all three modes of mobile banking -- SMS/text, mobile web and downloadable application solutions, allowing financial institutions to target different segments of their client-base with the most appropriate mobile banking solution. FIS teamed with ClairMail and mFoundry to provide the new services.
Suzanne Tindal writes for ZDNet.com.au about yesterday's announcement of SMS Banking by National Australia Bank (NAB) - noting that 1,100 users signed up in the first day the service was available. NAB's service, in addition to informational, supports transactions that move funds between the user's eligible NAB accounts. "Using SMS Banking is free until 1 November, apart from the cost of the SMS. After that an account balance enquiry will cost AU$0.25, a mini-statement AU$0.25, and a funds transfer AU$0.40." The NAB has a comprehensive FAQ on SMS Banking available.
Brandon McGee scoops the rest of us last night (from the beach - on vacation no less!) with news about WaMu's launch of SMS-based mobile banking. At this point, it appears the service is informational, not transactional, with the WaMu saying "you can review account balances and transaction history plus look for WaMu branches and ATMs" using your mobile phone. Jim Bruene takes a look on his Netbanker blog saying he believes WaMu's service is powered by New Zealand-based M-Com.
Accenture has announced that it has opened a new facility at its research and development technology lab in Sophia Antipolis, France, dedicated to innovation in the rapidly growing global payments industry. The facility, called the Accenture Payments Innovation Showcase, focuses on original research and development in all facets of the payments business, including mobile communications and other point-of-sale technology, bank-to-corporate connectivity, processing, process models, biometrics, regulation such as the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) initiative, and security.
APACS, the UK payments association, and ABTA, the UK travel association, have announced they've "published a consumer advice guide – Using your plastic overseas – which provides tips and useful information for holidaymakers and business travellers who will be using their cards abroad this summer."
We have received news of the following recent management changes: