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May 31, 2008

Payments News - Weekly Wrap - May 31, 2008

Here's a review of this week's top stories on Payments News. If you missed it, last week's Weekly Wrap is here. Back to the future!: for fun, click for this same week's activity a year ago here on Payments News! Looking for more? Checkout our Other Payments and Banking Blogs page.

You can find all of our Weekly Wrap summaries in the Payments News Weekly Wrap Archive. They're published every Saturday and look back at the highlights of the week's news. Please send us on how we can improve the Weekly Wrap!

It's Saturday - Welcome to the Weekend Mobile Web

Olga Kharif writes for Business Week about the weekend web - and how mobile Internet usage spikes on Saturdays. "Google Mobile reports that the majority of its traffic occurs on weekends." The busiest weekend mobile web site? Craigslist, of course.

The Safaricom IPO

Jack Ewing and Eliza Barclay writes for Business Week about the upcoming initial public offering of shares in Kenya's Safaricom - scheduled to begin trading on the Nairobi Stock Exchange on June 9th. Although not mentioned in the article, Safaricom is the home of M-PESA, perhaps the most successful person-to-person mobile payment scheme on the planet. (See more articles about M-PESA in the Payments News Archives.)

May 30, 2008

How Online Merchants Can Pay Less for Payments

Don Davis writes for Internet Retailer about how ecommerce merchants can reduce payments acceptance costs.

"To get the best deal, retailers must be prepared to go shopping among the many processors—or transaction acquirers in payments lingo—vying for their business, and to examine every rate and fee in the contract," says Allen Weinberg of payments consulting firm Glenbrook Partners.

“The guiding principle is that everything is negotiable,” Weinberg says. “But it’s important to keep in mind that every acquirer has a profitability target they feel they must meet. If you win on a couple of points, they will likely try to make it up in another area.”

Frontier Airlines, First Data Agree on Credit Card Processing Terms

Frontier Airlines and First Data have announced "an agreement with respect to the continued processing of Frontier's Visa and MasterCard charges without any interruption. The agreement provides First Data with appropriate protection for continuing its processing work for customer credit card purchases on a "business as usual" basis." READ MORE »

Direct Response Forum Announces Agenda for Annual Conference

The Direct Response Forum (DRF), a trade association for payments professionals in the direct response industry, has announced the full agenda of educational sessions that will be offered at its annual meeting on August 11th, 12th and 13th at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel. READ MORE »

UK's Faster Payments Service Moves £200 million in First 3 Days

APACS has announced the volume and value figures for the first three days’ operation of the new Faster Payments Service, launched on Tuesday, May 27. "In total, between just after midnight on Tuesday 27th May and today at 12.45pm, 318,405 faster payments have been processed to a value of £200,127,682.03. This equates to around 90,000 payments a day, 3,750 payments an hour – one every second – with an average value of over £625 per payment." READ MORE »

UK's PayforIT Becomes Online Alternative Payment Mechanism

The UK mobile payment initiative payforIT has announced it is expanding onto the World Wide Web with the help of mobile interactive specialist Dialogue Communications. The payforIT payment mechanism will offer shoppers an online payment alternative and enable ecommerce merchants to reach new customers. READ MORE »

May 29, 2008

In 2008 Canadians Love to Shop in the US - with PIN Debit Cards

According to a press release from Acxsys and NYCE, during the four month period from December through March 2008, Canadian shoppers spent record amounts and made significantly more cross-border purchases in the US than last year. READ MORE »

First Data Enters into Direct Merchant Business in Austria

First Data posted a press release this afternoon saying that it is now "directly offering a solution to address merchant needs" in Austria. The company sais its 'FirstPOS' offers merchants a comprehensive package for accepting payment cards. READ MORE »

Trust, Mobile Banking, and Urban-Rural Remittances

Al Hammond blogs on the blog of the World Resources Institute about comments made at the recent Cairo conference on mobile banking and, in particular, the experience of M-PESA in Kenya. "The dominant use of M-PESA by Kibera residents is to transfer money home to their native rural villages, underscoring the importance of internal remittances in virtually all developing countries. ... M-PESA is competing successfully with more traditional means of remittances. Many users say the service is faster, safer-less chance of theft or "lost" money-and could be sent directly to their home village."

UATP Signs Deal With Stored Value Solutions for Airline Gift Cards

Universal Air Travel Plan (UATP) has announced an alliance with Stored Value Solutions (SVS) that focuses on supplying gift cards to the global commercial airline community. READ MORE »

MasterCard Boosts Financial Outlook

At its investment community meeting earlier today, MasterCard said it is now "targeting annual net income growth of 20% to 30%, revenue growth of 12% to 15% and a three- to five-percentage point increase in operating margin" according to a story in the Wall St. Journal by Kevin Kingsbury.

Citi Introduces Extra Cash - New Rewards Program

Citi has announced it is offering its cardholders "an exciting, new benefit on participating credit cards called Extra Cash from Citi that allows customers to earn discounts on some of the biggest and most popular names in travel, entertainment and merchandise -- just for using their card." READ MORE »

Innovation and the Future Proof Bank

James Gardner, head of Innovation and Research at Lloyds TSB in London, blogs about a new book he's writing titled "Innovation and the Future Proof Bank". He says "the end result will be a book that senior managers can use to help them establish an innovation function."

Gardner is looking for input from active practitioners - specifically "case studies around innovation processes, specific results of that process, people and leadership, governance or anything else that might be useful guidance to anyone starting their innovation journey." He's also looking for stories of things that went wrong. I'm sure he'd welcome hearing from you. Contact him via email - at the address listed at the bottom of his post. (Yesterday, I was reading a great new book about Pixar - and loved this quote from Joseph Schumpeter: "Successful innovation is a feat not of intellect, but of will." Oh so true!)

Ways Issuers Can Prepare for the Risk of Lower Interchange Fees

In a blog post titled "5 ways to prepare today for the risk of lower interchange revenue tomorrow", Aneace Haddad lists what he thinks card issuers in the US and Europe should be thinking about if they're evaluating the scenario that interchange fees could be reduced.

U.S. Bank to Provide Purchasing Cards to U.S. Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service has selected U.S. Bank to provide purchasing cards and Voyager fleet cards under the new General Services Administration (GSA) SmartPay2 contract. READ MORE »

Attacking NFC Mobile Phones

In a post titled "Attacks on NFC mobile phones demonstrated", Dancho Danchev writes for ZDNet on last week's presentation by Collin Mulliner icon_PDF_small.gif at the EUSecWest conferece in London.

MasterCard Holds Investment Community Meeting

This morning MasterCard is holding an investment community meeting. A copy of the presentation slides icon_PDF_small.gif is available.

Visa Extends Fraud Recovery to Plus, Interlink Transactions

Visa has announced an expansion of its fraud recovery process to include Plus and Interlink ATM network transactions to better help financial institutions recoup counterfeit fraud losses. The extension becomes effective November 1, 2008. READ MORE »

Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Floris de Kort has been named Chief Commercial Officer at GlobalCollect. Mr. de Kort joined the Management Team of GlobalCollect in 2003 as Vice President Global Business Development.

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.

May 28, 2008

Javelin's 2008 US Mobile Banking Benchmark Study

Javelin Strategy & Research has announced a new report titled "2008 US Mobile Banking Benchmark Study: Mobile Access, Features, and Security – What Banks Are Offering Now" that it says "examines banks and credit unions on consumer mobile banking offerings within three categories: Access, Security and Features. Top US financial institutions (FIs) were mystery-shopped for their mobile banking service offerings, using Web and phone data collection methods." READ MORE »

Online Shoppers Abandon Due to Unexpectedly High Shipping Fees

PayPal has announced results of a survey conducted with comScore that found that unexpectedly high shipping fees are the number one reason consumers abandon online purchases. According to PayPal, "checkout abandonment is a significant challenge for online merchants, with an estimated two out of every three consumers failing to pay for items they put in their shopping carts." READ MORE »

Merchant e-Solutions Adds Support for Payer Authentication

Merchant e-Solutions has announced that it is "adding Payer Authentication security programs to its e-Commerce service offering. Enhanced e-Commerce services are delivered through the integration of CardinalCommerce's Centinel system with the MeS Payment Network and include support for Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode, as well as alternative payment brands like Bill Me Later." READ MORE »

A Look at Dynamic Credit Cards

Pittsburgh's Pop City e-magazine reports on Dynamics, LLC, a a startup emerging from Carnegie-Mellon's Project Olympus. The company's initial product focus is on a dynamic credit card that uses a computer on the card to "periodically changes several digits of the card number, making it impossible for anyone to capture or copy the number and reuse it." A presentation icon_PDF_small.gif is available online.

Pay by Mobile Phone Parking Now Available in Miami

The Miami Parking Authority has announced it now offers "the Verrus Pay by Phone service" at more than 8,000 regulated street spaces and more than 20 parking lots throughout the City of Miami. When paying by phone, motorists may also select the option to receive a text message reminder a few minutes before their time expires and add more time remotely - no more hurried trips to the vehicle to feed the meter. READ MORE »

CSC Powers MasterCard Debit, Prepaid Processing Platform

CSC has announced that "MasterCard Worldwide is using CSC's CAMS II Card & Merchant System to power its newly launched debit and prepaid processing platform, MasterCard Integrated Processing Solutions (IPS). The MasterCard platform provides a suite of debit and card issuer processing services that enables financial institutions to quickly expand their payments offerings across banking channels." READ MORE »


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