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« March 9, 2008 - March 15, 2008 | Main | March 23, 2008 - March 29, 2008 »

March 21, 2008

AccountNow Introduces New Services for Unbanked

AccountNow has announced several new services: the addition of the iAdvance Line of Credit from MetaBank, the elimination of upfront fees for new accounts with direct deposit, and the debut of Money 411, an online financial resource center. READ MORE »

PaymentsJobs Update

Our sister website,, has several new job postings:

If you've got current openings for payments professionals, be sure to post your requirements on! Featured postings on cost $200 for a 30-day listing.

Reminder: Airline Payment Summit - April 9-10 - Toronto

A reminder that the Airline Payment Summit is coming up in Toronto, Ontario on April 9-10, 2008. "As airline yields come under downward pressure, Airline Payment Summit (APS) will examine leading-edge low-cost payment solutions within the landscape of traditional forms of payments such as credit cards."

Northwest Airlines Teams with PayPal to Offer Cash Back

Northwest Airlines has announced that it is "offering cash back into customer PayPal accounts when they purchase a ticket at using PayPal for payment. PayPal is offering $50 USD cash back into customer PayPal accounts when they purchase tickets of $250 or more by March 27, 2008. Travel must take place between April 1 and June 14, 2008, and tickets must be purchased at"


Headline News - March 21, 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.

March 20, 2008

A New Call for Additional Financial Services Industry Regulation

Congressman Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, gave a speech today to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce in which he call for a number of "new policy options" to help deal with current issues. Among them, was the notion of a new Financial Service System Risk Regulation (perhaps the Federal Reserve with additional powers) that "has the capacity and power to assess risk across financial markets regardless of corporate form and to intervene when appropriate."

A Look Back at Biometric-based Payments

The archive of Pay By Touch-related stories here on Payments News begins over four years ago. It's interesting to scroll back (read from the bottom up) and look at the various partnerships, financings, trials, etc. that Pay By Touch announced along the way prior to shuttering its biometrics payment service at 11:59 PM last night.


Amazon Introduces Fulfillment Web Service

For some time, has offered merchants Fulfillment by Amazon - where they could have Amazon hold their goods for shipment at Amazon's fulfillment centers. Now, Amazon's introduced a new Fulfillment Web Service that enables merchants to programmatically manage their inventories, replenishment and shipment activities using FBA. "Products that are fulfilled by Amazon qualify for all of Amazon's buyer shipping and customer promotions (such as free Super Saver shipping and Amazon Prime) and Amazon takes care of customer service and returns." More on the Amazon Web Services blog.

Discover Financial Services Holds Financial Community Briefing

Discover Financial Services is holding a financial community briefing in New York City this morning. A webcast is underway and the presentation slides are available online in an 8-K filing with the SEC.

paybox, Celcom Partner for Mobile Payments, Banking in Malaysia

Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad and paybox have announced they are partnering to launch new a mobile banking and mobile payment solution for the Malaysian market.


Headline News - March 20, 2007

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.

March 19, 2008

Starbucks to Add Rewards to Popular Prepaid Card Program

At its annual meeting today, Starbucks announced several new initiatives including adding a new rewards feature for registered users of its Starbucks Card. Starbucks says that currently one in seven customers uses the Starbucks Card to pay.


Pay By Touch To Shut Down All Biometric Services Immediately

We've received the following announcement from Pay By Touch: "Solidus Networks, Inc., dba Pay By Touch, regretfully announced today that it will no longer process biometric transactions on behalf of its merchant customers and consumer membership base, as 11:59:59pm March 19, 2008."


A Major Retailer's Perspective on Contactless and Payments Costs

Dave Birch writes on the Digital Money Blog about a presentation given by Julian Niblett of Boots, one of the UK's largest retailers, at the New Payments Channels conference in London. Interestingly, Boots studied where in their stores contactless made economic sense, and where it didn't. But, perhaps even more interesting were Niblett's comments on the costs of cash acceptance vs. the cost of cards.

FSTC's Mobile Payments and Banking Project

The Financial Services Technology Consortium has announced a new Mobile Banking and Payments Project. The first phase will "identify and document technology-based opportunities for banks in the mobile arena." The project proposal is available online.

Discover Reports 5% Increase in Sales Volume

Discover Financial Services reported first quarter financial results this morning - with sales volume up 5% and US card managed loans up 2%. Discover reported managed credit card net chargeoffs of 4.37%, up 52 basis points from the prior calendar quarter. A transcript of Discover's earnings call today is available online. Discover will be holding an investor day meeting in New York City tomorrow, Thursday, March 20.

Wells Fargo To Offer Retail Banking Customers a Personal Online Safe

Wells Fargo has announced the Wells Fargo vSafe service, calling it "the first online storage solution from a financial institution that lets retail banking customers store and organize copies of important materials, such as financial statements, loan and tax documents, wills, passports, and birth, marriage and death certificates."


Visa Inc. Begins Trading on NYSE

Visa Inc. began trading this morning on the New York Stock Exchange - stock symbol V - in early trading the shares traded up over 30 percent from the $44 offering price. Visa has added a new Investor Relations section to its corporate web site. Visa Inc.'s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Joseph W. Saunders, made a statement following the launch of trading: "This is an exciting and historic day for Visa. It marks the culmination of a more than two-year process that led to our global reorganization and our becoming a public company."


2008 Payments Conference - Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago - June 5-6

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago will host its eighth payments conference entitled “Payments Fraud: Perception versus Reality” on June 5-6, 2008 at the Chicago Fed. The conference, which will highlight threats to the security of the payments system and explore solutions to those challenges, will cover such topics as:
  • Identifying security issues in the retail payments system
  • Preventing and containing payments fraud
  • Allocating losses when payments fraud occurs
  • Exploring fraud in emerging payment channels
  • Evaluating public and private responses to payments fraud

The planned conference agenda is available online. Early registration ends March 28. Registration details here.

Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Tony Wootton has been named Senior Vice President of Business Development at YapStone, Inc. Previously, Wooten was Vice President and General Manager of Payment Solutions at The Green Dot Corporation.
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.

March 18, 2008

Visa Inc. Prices Initial Public Offering

Visa Inc. announced today that it has priced the initial public offering of 406,000,000 shares of Class A common stock at $44 per share. Visa's shares will begin trading on March 19, 2008, on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "V". Visa expects net proceeds from the offering, after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and estimated offering expenses, to be approximately $17.3 billion.


Understanding Consumer Payment Choices

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond's Cash Unit has established a Payments Advisory Council "to study and analyze payments trends with an eye toward anticipating consumer behavior." Their first Payments Advisory Council report is now available - surveying nine merchants about the payment options they accept and the trends they're seeing in terms of consumer preferences.

Adoption of Contactless Payment for Retail, Transit Grows

The Smart Card Alliance’s first annual Payments Councils Summit held recently in Salt Lake City, Utah, reviewed the growth of contactless financial and transit payment markets in the US.


Quova, Guardian Analytics Partner to Fight Online Account Fraud

Quova has announced a partnership with Guardian Analytics to help protect online financial accounts from fraud and identity theft. "Under the partnership, Guardian Analytics has integrated Quova’s IP geolocation data into its FraudMAP solution. Providing online channel risk management, FraudMAP delivers fraud detection, forensics and ongoing risk monitoring based on strong analytics and predictive models of individual behavior. The unique solution was built from the ground up to automatically detect new online fraud threats in real time without requiring rules development or algorithm training."


PayItGreen Alliance Asks Consumers to Green Their Finances

The PayItGreen Alliance says it is "asking consumers to turn off paper bills and statements and make payments electronically. The Alliance, comprised of leaders in the financial and consumer billing industries, was formed in 2007 to educate consumers about the positive environmental impact of choosing electronic bills, statements and payments over paper alternatives. The Alliance has named April as PayItGreen Month to launch this initiative."


Obopay Enables Money Money Transfer from Existing Accounts

Obopay has announced that "customers can now use their existing bank accounts to send and receive money via their mobile phone. With Obopay's mobile money transfer, non- customers can pick up payments without signing up for Obopay. These innovations make it easier than ever for any bank customer to conveniently send and receive payments from their mobile phones."


Metavante Supports NACHA's Secure Vault Payments Solution

Metavante has announced that it will process and settle transactions for NACHA’s Secure Vault Payments, an automated clearing house (ACH)-based Internet payments system that allows consumers to conduct e-commerce and bill payment transactions without sharing personal or account information online.


New Study Challenges Bankers to Break Out of 'Static Game'

Cornerstone Advisors has released "Cornerstone Report 2007: Benchmarks and Best Practices for Mid-Size Banks" urging "bankers to recognize how misaligned the industry has become and implores individual banks to break out of a "current closed loop that will go nowhere.""


Yodlee, Vodafone UK Partner for Mobile Banking

Yodlee has announced an agreement with Vodafone UK for it to exclusively re-sell Yodlee’s mobile banking solution. "Yodlee Mobile, which will be individually branded for each UK financial institution, provides customers with easy, secure access and proactive monitoring across multiple financial accounts (banking, investments, bills, credit cards, etc). Access is available through a mobile WAP browser as well as two-way text messages, and alerts can be received on email as well as through text. Two major UK financial institutions have already signed up for the Vodafone/Yodlee Mobile Banking solution, and will launch by year end." READ MORE »


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