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October 30, 2008

Rogers Wireless Joins RBC, Visa in Canadian Mobile Payment Pilot

RBC Royal Bank of Canada, Visa and Rogers Wireless have announced they are partnering for the next phase of a mobile phone payment pilot that will allow Canadians to make purchases securely at the point of sale with a wave of their mobile phone. The customer phase of the mobile phone payment pilot is expected to launch in mid-2009, following a brief employee pilot.


PayPal Launches 2008 Holiday Promotions

PayPal has announced special offers for online shoppers this holiday season. "Customers can receive up to 20 percent cash back on purchases from major retailers, such as American Eagle Outfitters, eToys and Blockbuster, as well as free shipping from select PayPal merchants and great eBay deals for anyone paying with PayPal." READ MORE »

Glenbrook's Advanced Session on Emerging Payments - Nov. 12th

Reminder: Join us Wednesday, November 12th in Mountain View, California for a one day, Advanced Workshop on Emerging Payments taught by Jay DeWitt, Russ Jones, and Allen Weinberg from Glenbrook Partners.

At this workshop, we'll be talking about the potential impacts of the current financial market crisis on the payments industry, as well as diving deep into topics such as PayPal's acquisition of Bill Me Later, and the learnings from several recent NFC trials for mobile payments.

Registration is now available online. Questions? Contact Carol Coye Benson via email at

ID Analytics Enhances Online Fraud Prevention Capabilities

ID Analytics has announced an enhanced version of ID Score that "leverages critical online identity elements to further reduce identity fraud within the online environment, while also significantly improving the customer experience." READ MORE »

MasterCard Mobile Provides Over-the-Air Provisioning for Mobile

MasterCard has announced the launch of a MasterCard Over-the-Air Provisioning Service, calling it "the first program of its kind that enables issuers to perform over-the-air personalization of their cardholders' mobile devices in an easy, one-step process. The service allows issuers to implement PayPass on mobile programs in a reduced timeframe with minimal development and implementation effort. Mobile MasterCard PayPass enables mobile devices to perform payment transactions at merchant locations with PayPass-enabled point-of-sale terminals." READ MORE »

Citibank Hong Kong Using Mobile Money Ventures Platform

Mobile Money Ventures, a joint venture of Citi and SK Telecom, has announced that it is providing Citibank Hong Kong with a service platform that supports mobile banking and mobile stock trading. Additionally, MMV has customized features for iPhone 3G users including providing a mobile stock trading application. READ MORE »

The Ascent of the Debit Card

In an article titled "The Steady Ascent of the Debit Card", Christopher Palmeri writes for Business Week about the increasing use by consumers of debit cards and what banks are doing to boost their profits from debit card usage - particularly with overdraft fees.

October 29, 2008

HSBC to Expand Visa Debit Issuance in Asia Pacific, Middle East

Visa and HSBC have announced that the two companies have expanded their global relationship to include new debit card programs in a number of countries throughout Asia Pacific and the Middle East. READ MORE »

Visa Announces Financial Results

Visa Inc. this afternoon announced financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter and full-year 2008.

Using statistical data from June 30, 2008 (not from September 30, 2008), Visa reported its payments volume grew 15% over the prior year to $699 billion while total volume, inclusive of cash volume was $1.1 trillion, an increase of 19% over the prior year. Cards carrying the Visa brands rose over 12% worldwide over the prior year to 1.6 billion. Total payment transactions increased 14% over the prior year to 11.5 billion. Total VisaNet processed transactions (for the year ending Sept. 30, 2008) were 9.6 billion, an 11% increase over the prior year.

A webcast and accompanying presentation and performance data is available online on the Visa web site. READ MORE »

Don Kingsborough Named to Board of Directors of ViVOtech

ViVOtech has announced that Don Kingsborough, CEO and found of Blackhawk Network, has been named to its Board of Directors. READ MORE »

Dealing with Debit Card Myths

PULSE has announced the launch of a new website,, that is says offers "consumers timely and practical information about debit's role as a convenient payment method and a valuable financial planning tool. The site addresses myths and misconceptions surrounding debit cards by offering fact-based information consumers need to know when using debit, as well as advice on making debit part of their personal money management strategy." READ MORE »

Google Checkout Introduces New Shopping Cart for Sellers

Google Checkout has introduced a new shopping cart feature for sellers - saying that: "With the Google Checkout shopping cart, your buyers can add multiple items to their shopping cart, change item quantities, and remove items -- all without leaving your site. When buyers are ready to check out, they can complete their purchases with Google Checkout." Details here.

October 28, 2008

Lenders Begin to Curb Credit Cards

In an article titled "As Economy Slows, Lenders Begin to Curb Credit Cards", Eric Dash writes for the New York Times about actions being taken by US credit card issuers to cut back new credit card offers and existing credit lines. Dash writes: "Lenders are shunning consumers already in debt and cutting credit limits for existing cardholders, especially those who live in areas ravaged by the housing crisis or who work in troubled industries."

Consumer Confidence Index Plummets to All-Time Low in October

The Conference Board has announced that its Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index, which had improved moderately in September, fell to an all-time low in October. The Index now stands at 38.0 (1985=100), down from 61.4 in September. The Present Situation Index decreased to 41.9 from 61.1 last month. The Expectations Index declined to 35.5 from 61.5 in September. READ MORE »

Macerich, American Express Partner on New Green Gift Card

Macerich has announced that it, in partnership with American Express, is introducing the "Give Green" Gift Card. Calling the card "something brand new in the shopping center industry, every purchase of a Give Green Gift Card benefits American Forests, the nation's oldest nonprofit citizen conservation organization, which is dedicated to growing a healthier world through healthier forest ecosystems." READ MORE »

AurionPro, IP Commerce Form PriorityCommerce JV

AurionPro Solutions Ltd. and IP Commerce have announced they are forming a joint venture called PriorityCommerce to build payment-enabled applications tailored to the needs of small and medium businesses in the U.S. READ MORE »

Canadian Chip Card Market Trial Declared A Success

Members of the Canadian payment card industry - Interac Association, MasterCard Canada, Inc., Visa Canada and many of their respective card issuers and payment processors - have released positive insight and observations from the industry trial of chip technology being conducted in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. READ MORE »

October 27, 2008

Discover Reaches $2.75 Billion Settlement with Visa, MasterCard

Discover Financial Services has announced that "it has reached an agreement with Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. in the settlement of a lawsuit seeking damages for practices that suppressed third-party issuing on the Discover Network and the acceptance of its cards. "

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Discover expects to receive up to $2.75 billion in the settlement of its lawsuit against Visa and MasterCard. Discover will receive approximately $862 million of the settlement in the current fiscal quarter and up to approximately $472 million per quarter in 2009.

Visa said it is responsible for $1.8875 billion of the settlement amount. In a press release, Visa said that amount "includes $1.7425 billion from the escrow created under Visa's retrospective responsibility plan, $80 million from Visa Inc. to obtain releases from MasterCard, and an additional $65 million which will be refunded by Morgan Stanley under a separate agreement related to the settlement."

MasterCard announced it will pay $862.5 million reflecting the terms of a judgment-sharing agreement with Visa that was finalized in July, 2008. In addition, MasterCard reported that, in connection with the settlement, Morgan Stanley, Discover's former parent company, agreed to pay MasterCard $35 million. READ MORE »

A Look at Residual Interest Charges on Credit Cards

In an article titled "Worst Practices: Residual Interest", Adam Levitin writes on the Credit Slips blog about residual interest charges on credit cards - saying that "residual interest has not gotten nearly as much attention as it should (and it is often confused with double-cycle billing). Residual interest is a nasty billing trap that drains away discretionary income (also known as potential savings) from American consumers, and should be at the top of the Congressional hit list for predatory credit card billing practices."

Can Smart Cards Reduce Payments Fraud and Identity Theft?

In its latest issue, the Economic Review published by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City includes an article titled "Can Smart Cards Reduce Payments Fraud and Identity Theft?" icon_PDF_small.gif by Richard J. Sullivan.

From the summary: "Sullivan explores why smart cards have the potential to provide strong payment authorization and thus put a substantial dent into the problems of payments fraud and identity theft. But adopting smart cards in the United States faces some significant challenges. First, the industry must adopt payment smart cards and their new security standards. Second, card issuers and others in the payments industry must agree on the specific forms of security protocols used in smart cards. In both steps the industry must overcome market incentives that can impede the adoption of payment smart cards or limit the strength of their security."

comScore Reports Online Credit Card Applications Declining

comScore has announced results of a study of the online credit card industry, based on both passively-observed online behavioral data as well as a survey of more than 2,000 Internet users conducted in September 2008. "Study findings revealed that for the first time in the five most recent quarters, the total number of credit card applications submitted online at the top ten credit-card issuer sites declined, dropping 6 percent in Q2 2008 versus the same period in 2007." READ MORE » Surveys US Checking Account Fees has published the results of its 2008 Checking Study - finding that "the costs of checking account fees have risen again this year to an all-time high." Bankrate's 2008 Checking Study details the average fees associated with using and maintaining an interest bearing account, including bounced check fees, ATM surcharges, and monthly services fees, plus tips on how to avoid them. The study also found that bounced check fees ("NSF or nonsufficient funds fees") increased 2.5 percent to an average of $28.95. READ MORE »

eBillme Online Spending Index Shows Credit Crunch Impact

eBillme has announced its latest quarterly eBillme Online Spending Index finding that the impact of the credit crunch is expected to effect holiday shopping as projected consumer spending online remains steady at $100 - $250 on average - and finding "that the credit crunch is causing shoppers to reduce their credit card usage and impacting consumer access to credit resulting in a shift to cash alternatives." READ MORE »

CashEdge Introduces Me-to-Me Transfers for Small Businesses

CashEdge has announced the launch of Small Business Me-to-Me Transfers, an online funds transfer product designed specifically to help financial institutions meet the needs of small businesses. READ MORE »

Chicago Taxis to Upgrade Card Payments Systems

Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT) has announced a 10-year deal with Taxi Affiliation Services, a Chicago based company providing services to Yellow, Checker and Blue Diamond taxicabs in the City of Chicago. Yellow, Checker and Blue Diamond, together form the nation's oldest and largest continually operating taxicab fleet, and comprise 2,600 taxicabs in Chicago. CMT's deal will bring Chicago taxi passengers a credit card payment system in the rear seats of vehicles. READ MORE »

Headline News - October 27, 2008

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.

October 24, 2008

PNC to Acquire National City

The PNC Financial Services Group and National City Corporation have announced that "they have signed a definitive agreement for PNC to acquire National City for $2.23 per share, or an aggregate fixed amount of approximately $5.2 billion in PNC stock."


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