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« March 16, 2008 - March 22, 2008 | Main | March 30, 2008 - April 5, 2008 »

March 29, 2008

FinovateStartup - April 29 - San Francisco

Jim Bruene has announced the final starting lineup of 40 financial technology startups for the upcoming FinovateStartup conference to be held on April 29 in San Francisco. If you register by Monday, March 31, you can save $100. We'll be attending FinovateStartup ourselves and look forward to seeing you there!

Barron's Looks at Fiserv

In an article titled 'Fiserv Is Largely Immune To Banking's Plagues', Jack Willoughby writes for Barron's this weekend that Fiserv may be among the 'companies whose earnings are likely to rise this year.'

The Hannaford Bros. Payment Card Data Breach

In an article titled 'Advanced tactic targeted grocer', Ross Kerber writes for the Boston Globe about how the data breach disclosed earlier this month by Hannaford Bros. Co. actually occurred. In a letter to Massachusetts officials, the company reported that malware had been installed on servers in each of its 300 stores. "The malware intercepted the "track 2" data stored on the magnetic stripe of payment cards as customers used them at the checkout counter." Hannaford had been certified as PCI compliant in late February. In 2005, Hannaford was featured for its migration to a Linux-based in-store POS environment.

Credit Card Wars - The Credit Card Fair Fee Act & Plastic Card Tricks

The Wall St. Journal has an editorial this morning about the Credit Card Fair Fee Act introduced by House Democrat John Conyers of Michigan and Republican Chris Cannon of Utah. 'The Conyers-Cannon bill requires that any credit card company with more than 20% of the credit and debit market -- Visa has about 50% and MasterCard 25% -- negotiate for 90 days with a coalition of retailers on a mutually acceptable fee. (The retailers would gain an antitrust exemption for these deliberations.) If the parties can't agree, a three-person panel of "electronic payment judges" will "determine rates and terms" which shall be binding. That sounds like a price-control regime.'

Separately, today's New York Times editorial page had an editorial titled 'Plastic Card Tricks' saying that 'Washington needs to change the way these companies [credit card issuers] do business to ensure that consumers are treated fairly.' Further: 'Congress needs to address numerous unfair practices, including interest rates that skyrocket for no apparent reason and due dates that suddenly shift — forward — so that an unwary consumer pays late.'

March 28, 2008

US Treasury's Blueprint for Financial Regulatory Reform

Edmund L. Andrews reports for the New York Times on plans by the US Treasury Department to announce a 'Blueprint for Financial Regulatory Reform' (see executive summary) on Monday. According to the Times, Treasury will propose 'that Congress give the Federal Reserve broad authority to oversee financial market stability, in effect allowing it to send SWAT teams into any corner of the industry or any institution that might pose a risk to the overall system.'

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A Personal Credit Card Dispute Experience

Over on the Credit Slips blog, Adam Levitin writes about his own recent experience attempting to dispute a charge on his credit card resulting from a merchant error.

Customer Relationship Snapshot: Credit Card Providers

Forrester has published a new report titled 'Customer Relationship Snapshot: Credit Card Providers' by Bruce D. Temkin based on a survey of nearly 5,000 US consumers.

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Headline News - March 28, 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.

March 27, 2008

TJX Agrees to Settle FTC Charges

The Federal Trade Commission has announced that TJX has agreed to settle charges that it engaged in practices that, taken together, failed to provide reasonable and appropriate security for sensitive consumer information. The settlements will require that TJX implement comprehensive information security programs and obtain audits by independent third-party security professionals every other year for 20 years. Full details available here.

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Obopay Partners with YES BANK in India for Money Transfer

Obopay has announced the launch of its instant money transfer service in India through an alliance between wholly-owned subsidiary Obopay India and YES BANK, an Indian private sector bank.

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Transcard Mobile Provides On-Demand Payroll Statements

Transcard, a provider of prepaid debit card solutions branded with Discover Network, MasterCard and STAR associations, has announced 'the introduction of Transcard Mobile, one of the industry’s first applications built specifically for payroll card members. This new platform enables Transcard payroll card members, a majority of which have text-enabled cell phones, to access full account activity and functions via their cell phones.'

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American Express to Acquire GE Money’s Corporate Payment Services Portfolio

American Express and GE Money have announced that they have 'entered into an agreement for American Express to purchase Corporate Payment Services, GE’s commercial card and corporate purchasing business unit, for $1.1 billion in cash. The sale, which is subject to customary closing conditions and certain regulatory approvals, is expected to be completed by the end of the month.'

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Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • David Kozal has been named Senior Vice President and CFO at Payment Alliance International in Louisville, KY. Kozal previously worked for First Data Corp. as CFO of its credit card processing unit.
  • Ronald R. Rhodes has been named Vice President, Global Supply Chain Management and Tim Jones has been named Vice President, Global Human Resources at HyperCom 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 26, 2008

Majority of US Consumers Unaware of Online Fraud Liability Coverage

JupiterResearch has published results of a new national survey of 2,706 consumers sponsored by eBillme finding that "while fraud protection and security are the most important factors for online shoppers, 68% of online shoppers who pay with a credit card do not know their liability coverage."

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European Commission Initiates Formal Proceedings Against Visa Europe

From their press release: 'The European Commission has decided to open formal antitrust proceedings against Visa Europe Limited in relation to its multilateral interchange fees (MIF) for cross-border point of sale transactions within the EEA using Visa branded consumer payment cards, and the 'Honour-All-Cards-Rule' as it applies to these transactions. The proceedings will seek to establish whether these practices constitute infringements of Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement, which forbid restrictive business practices such as price fixing.'

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First Fully Integrated Contactless Payment System in UK

In the UK, EAT, Commidea Ltd and Barclaycard Business have announced that EAT, a sandwich, soup and coffee shop, has become the first retailer in the UK to introduce a fully integrated contactless payment system. Using Commidea’s Ocius Chip & PIN solution with contactless technology, Eat will now be able to process both Visa (Paywave) and MasterCard (Paypass) contactless transactions for its customers using Barclaycard Business as their merchant acquirer.

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Bill Me Later, Continental Airlines Announce Promotion

Bill Me Later, has announced that 'Continental Airlines is offering customers that pay with Bill Me Later $20 off the total price of their airfare. The discount is available to new Bill Me Later customers that purchase tickets at continental.com or by calling Continental reservations at 1-800-523-3273 through April 23. In addition, customers that pay using Bill Me Later can take advantage of special promotional financing offers including no payments for 90 days and no payments for six months on purchases of $1500 or more.'

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Discover Card Launches Insurance Center

Discover Financial Services has announced the launch of the Discover Insurance Center, 'an easy-to-use Web site that offers consumers auto, homeowner’s, and term life insurance, as well as home warranty plans from trusted, reputable providers.'

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Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Lance Blockley has been named CEO and Managing Director of Edgar, Dunn & Company.
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 25, 2008

Nearly 50 Percent of US Checks Are Consumer-to-Business

The Federal Reserve’s 2007 study of the composition of the check market icon_PDF_small.gif released today shows that nearly 50 percent of checks written are consumer-to-business checks.

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EMEA POS Grows While U.S. Slows

The IHL Group has released a new study finding that 'the PC-based electronic point-of-sale (EPOS) market in Europe/Middle East/Africa experienced a 4 percent shipment increase in 2007 and continues to show strong growth potential in 2008. Taking advantage of normal cyclical upgrades in Western Europe and enjoying strong oil revenues in Russia and the Middle East, the region is poised to remain strong even while shipments slow in North America.'

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USA Technologies, ViVOtech Expand Contactless Relationship

USA Technologies and ViVOtech have announced entering into an agreement by which ViVOtech would provide 25,000 contactless/magstripe card readers for USAT’s ePort technology.

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Headline News - March 25, 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.

March 24, 2008

PaySimple Launches Blog on Electronic Payment Technology

Denver-based PaySimple has announced a new blog where it says 'small business owners looking for ways to streamline their billings and collections process, find news about electronic payment industry trends, get insights on marketing and teambuilding in a small company, or simply looking for a place to connect with other small business owners.'

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March 23, 2008

Glenbrook's Roundtable on Emerging Payments - May 7th

The second session of Glenbrook's new Roundtable on Emerging Payments is now
open for registration! This roundtable, being held May 7th in Mountain View, CA, is titled "Cross-Border eCommerce: Pot of Gold and Rainbow of Fraud" and will be taught by Glenbrook Partners Allen Weinberg and Russ Jones. It will be a half day session (morning through lunch). Online registration for this roundtable is now open. For more information, see the Glenbrook Payments Education website, or send an email to bootcamp@glenbrook.com.

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