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April 05, 2008

Payments News - Weekly Wrap - April 5, 2008

Here's a review of this week's top stories on Payments News:

You can find all of our Weekly Wrap summaries in the Weekly Wrap Archive.

Looking to hire payments professionals? Post your job openings on!

April 04, 2008

Reported Dollar Loss From Internet Crime Reaches All Time High

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has published the 2007 Internet Crime Report icon_PDF_small.gif. For the year, IC3 received 206,884 complaints of crimes perpetrated over the Internet during 2007. Of the complaints received, more than 90,000 were referred to law enforcement around the nation, amounting to nearly $240 million in reported losses. This represents a $40 million increase in reported losses from complaints referred to law enforcement in 2006.


ATM Frustrations

Thomas Hawk blogs about using his bank's (Bank of America) ATMs: 'How come every single time I do an ATM transaction every ATM machine asks me what language I want? I want English. Why can't I set English as my default and never have an ATM ask me this question again?'

Tip: News View Finds Payments News Stories by Topic

Regular readers of Payments News are familiar with the News View pull down over in the right sidebar of every page. Newcomers might not be - so here's a brief explanation.

Every story on Payments News is categorized by topic using a tag. Using the News View pull down menu, you can read individual category pages on specific topics. For example, if you want to read only those stores on Payments News concerning Mobile Payments, you'd pull down the News View menu and select Mobile Payments - and you'd be taken to this page with all of the Mobile Payments stories with the most recent story at the top.

That's it - now you know how to quickly and easily find related stories by subject on Payments News - using News View! Here's a complete list of the current categories on Payments News.

A Profile of Obopay's Carol Realini

In an article titled 'Turning your cell phone into a wallet', Fortune Small Business writer Jonathan Blum profiles Obopay's CEO Carol Realini. Also, earlier this week, Obopay launched the 'Official Obopay Blog'.

Barclaycard Plans to Issue Over 1 Million Contactless Cards in UK

Barclaycard has announced plans to issue over one million contactless cards this year across the UK. Barclaycard began issuing contactless enabled cards in London in September 2007 with the launch of Barclaycard OnePulse, the 3-in-1 card featuring Oyster, credit and contactless payment functions.


Headline News - April 4, 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.

April 03, 2008

Near Miss

Today's Senate Banking Committee hearing on 'Turmoil in U.S. Credit Markets: Examining the Recent Actions of Federal Financial Regulators' has several witness testimonies - two of which are especially worth reading - the testimony of NY Fed President Timothy F. Geithner and JP Morgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon. As Paul Kedrosky wrote earlier today about Geithner's testimony: "Read it twice. Or three times. As many as it takes."

So, Who Exactly Brings You Payments News?

Sometimes, we hear from readers and subscribers who tell us that they don't know who takes the time to edit and publish Payments News! If you're in that camp, we'd like to introduce you to Glenbrook Partners.

Glenbrook is a payments strategy consulting firm that delivers a unique combination of specialized skills in electronic payments, years of hands-on operating experience in executive roles, and an extensive network of trusted relationships to clients and investors in financial services and financial technology.

We're also known among payments professionals for our Payments Boot Camps (next up in New York - April 16-17) and our customized payments education programs. And, of course, among the "payments cognoscenti" we're known for Payments News.

Got a project that could benefit from our expertise? Perhaps a private payments workshop? Get in touch - we'd love to hear from you and promise a prompt reply!

Direct Response Forum's 19th Annual Forum - Aug. 11-13 - San Diego

The Direct Response Forum (DRF), a trade association for payments professionals in the direct response marketing industry, has announced that it has begun accepting registrations for its 19th Annual Forum to be held in San Diego, Monday August 11 through Wednesday August 13.


TSYS Introduces Enterprise-Loyalty Program for FIs

TSYS Loyalty has announced the 'development of an innovative product that calculates points and rewards for customers who subscribe to multiple products with a single financial institution, which include, but are not limited to direct deposit, credit, mortgage, insurance and Certificate of Deposit accounts.'


Consumer Credit Delinquencies in Fourth Quarter 2007

The American Bankers Association has announced that consumer credit delinquencies in the fourth quarter of 2007 reached their highest levels since 1992. "The composite ratio, which tracks eight closed-end installment loan categories, rose 21 basis points to 2.65 percent of all accounts in the fourth quarter (seasonally adjusted)." The number of delinquent bank card accounts rose 20 basis points to 4.38 percent, but remains close to the five-year average of 4.40 percent according to the ABA.

A Look at Consumer Debt

Research analyst Kristie M. Engemann and economist Michael T. Owyang of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis have published an article in the April issue of The Regional Economist titled "Extra Credit: The Rise of Short-term Liabilities".


The Remote Deposit Capture Branch Renewal Paradox

Celent has published a new report, 'Do Banks Want Customers in Their Branches?' that examines the results of a web-based survey conducted among 157 financial institutions in December 2007. Among them, 56% of respondents offer RDC and another 9% are in pilot with the product. US financial institutions have invested heavily to grow their geographic branch footprints while concurrently investing in self-service technology to keep customers out of those same branches. Paradox or strategy?

NFC USB "Dongle" Introduced for PCs

SCM Microsystems has announced the SCL3710 NFC reader, a USB dongle which enables a variety of contactless applications using mobile electronic devices. 'The reader can be used to enable contactless transactions for merchants. When inserted into a PC or notebook that is connected to a system such as a Point of Sale (PoS) terminal, vending machine, access terminal or parking meter payment device, the SCL3710 dongle communicates contactlessly with consumers’ NFC-enabled devices to support contactless transactions.'


Credit Card Redlining

Ethan Cohen-Cole, a financial economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, has published a working paper titled 'Credit Card Redlining' icon_PDF_small.gif that 'evaluates the presence of racial disparities in the issuance of consumer credit. Using a unique and proprietary database of credit histories from a major credit bureau, this paper links location-based information on race with individual credit files. After controlling for the influence of such other place-specific factors as crime, housing vacancy rates, and general population demographics, the paper finds qualitatively large differences in the amount of credit offered to similarly qualified applicants living in Black versus White areas."' In a commentary about Cohen-Cole's paper on the Credit Slips blog, Adam Levitin writes 'what this all speaks to is the need for greater transparency in the credit card industry, including the collection of more publicly available data.'

JetBlue Now Accepts PayPal for Online Bookings

JetBlue Airways has announced that customers booking at now have the option to purchase flights using PayPal.


Comments to WSJ Editorial On Interchange Fees

Today's Wall St. Journal contains several letters to the editor in response to the Journal's editorial last Saturday "urging a market solution to excessively high credit-card interchange fees." One commenter writes "What aggravates so many merchants and service providers is the fee surcharges that are unilaterally imposed upon merchants for accepting certain types of credit cards most often associated with the multitude of rewards programs so widely advertised."

Capital One Moves to Fixed Interest Rates on Some Credit Cards

Jane J. Kim writes for the Wall St. Journal about Capital One's changing of interest rates on some of its credit cards from variable to fixed rates. With a fixed rate, any further reductions in interest rates as the result of Federal Reserve actions aren't passed along to the cardholder as lower interest charges.

Just Put It on My Phone

In an article titled 'Just Put It on My Phone', Olga Kharif writes for Business Week about this week's flurry of mobile banking announcements. "Companies are introducing services with new ways for consumers to buy, sell, and carry out other transactions using wireless handsets."

MasterCard, TJX Reach Settlement on Card Data Breach

MasterCard Worldwide has announced an agreement with The TJX Companies Inc. (TJX) to offer an 'Alternative Recovery Program to MasterCard issuers affected by the previously announced data breach of TJX. The agreement calls for TJX to provide up to $24 million to support an Alternative Recovery Program to settle claims made by issuers to recover costs and losses they claimed to have incurred in connection with the breach. Issuers must have previously filed claims and agree to the Alternative Recovery Program's terms to be eligible for compensation funded by the agreement.'


April 02, 2008

Data Breaches More Than Doubled in 2008 First Quarter

Data breaches disclosed by Hannaford Bros Supermarket Chain, GE Money, and Georgetown University are just some of the 167 breaches reported during the first quarter of 2008, according to the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). This is more than double the first quarter in 2007 (76 breaches).


Remote Deposit Capture Gains Momentum

Jack Henry & Associates has announced that its Remote Deposit Capture solution has now been selected by 720 financial institutions. According to the company, the RDS solution, which enables commercial customers to scan, submit, and deposit checks electronically without leaving their place of business, has been implemented in 622 of these institutions and by approximately 11,000 merchants.


Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Falls in March

Discover reports that the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor reached a new low in March as consumers grew even more concerned about the economy and their personal finances in the face of rising monthly expenses. The March Monitor fell to 85.1, down more than a full point from the previous month and lower by 11 points than just six months ago.


Citibank, Obopay to Pilot Mobile Person-to-Person Payment Service

Citibank has announced that it will make Obopay’s mobile person-to-person payment service available to Citibank checking account customers on a trial basis. Citibank says it is the first U.S. retail bank to trial an integrated mobile payment service.


Amazon TextBuyIt - Use Mobile SMS to Shop on has launched Amazon TextBuyIt, a new service that lets customers use text messages to find and buy products sold on 'With the addition of TextBuyIt to Amazon's existing mobile offering, including its mobile site and mobile iPhone site, customers can now shop, compare prices, and buy from virtually anywhere they are, with any mobile device, using either text messages or their mobile device's web browser.'


MasterCard Foundation Names Reeta Roy President & CEO

The MasterCard Foundation has announced the appointment of Reeta Roy as president and chief executive officer. 'The mission of the MasterCard Foundation, which has an endowment of more than $2 billion, is to broaden access to the global economy through innovative microfinance programs and to increase access to quality educational opportunities for youth worldwide.'


Mobile Money Summit - Cairo - May 14-15

Naguib Sawiris, CEO of Orascom Telecom, Christina Gold, CEO of Western Union, Hans Wijayasuriya, Group CEO of Dialog Telekom, Rizza Maniego-Eala, President of Globe Telecom's G-Xchange, and Dr. Tarek Mohamed Kamel, Egypt's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, will be among the speakers at the GSMA's Mobile Money Summit in Cairo, Egypt on May 14th and May 15th. The GSMA is hosting the event in partnership with IFC (International Finance Corporation), which is part of the World Bank, the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a global resource for microfinance, and the U.K. Government's Department for International Development.



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