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July 12, 2008

Payments News - Weekly Wrap - July 12, 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 for more from the blogosphere about the worlds of payments and banking.

Quote of the week:: "In the last six months, we’ve watched consumer optimism about the economy decline sharply and at the same time, witnessed a forced rise in spending intentions spurred by high energy and food prices,” said Margo Georgiadis, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Discover Financial Services. “Consumers are working hard to make ends meet, with some even cutting back on groceries or sacrificing a vacation to compensate."

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!

July 11, 2008

Consumer Understanding of Credit Scores Improves but Remains Poor

Although consumer understanding of credit scores has improved over the past year, it remains poor, according to the latest credit score survey commissioned by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu). Less than one-third of Americans (31%), for example, understand that credit scores indicate risk of not repaying a loan, rather than factors like knowledge of, or attitude toward, consumer credit.

READ MORE »

Consumers Union Applauds Effort to Restrain Credit Card Practices

In a press release, Consumers Union applauded "the government’s effort to protect consumers from unfair credit card practices and calls for quick adoption of the proposed credit card rules in comments submitted to the Federal Reserve Board about regulations proposed by the Fed along with the Office of Thrift Supervision, and National Credit Union Administration." READ MORE »

Canada Leads World in Online Banking Usage

comScore has released a report on the Canadian online banking sector showing that Canada is one of the world's most developed markets for online banking. "Canadians are typically very savvy Internet users, a fact that is underscored by their heavy usage of online banking," said Brent Bernie, president of comScore Media Metrix, comScore Canada. "But because the Canadian online banking sector is so developed and competition already so fierce, banks need to closely examine how they are meeting the needs of their consumers online if they are to achieve customer growth and retention through this increasingly important channel." READ MORE »

Today is Launch Day for Apple's iPhone 3G

On his NetBanker blog, Jim Bruene writes about today's Apple iPhone 3 G launch - and that only Bank of America and PayPal have iPhone applications available for downloading from Apple's new App Store. Apple has made it easy for third-party developers to write and distribute new applications for the iPhone via the App Store. The App Store has a separate category for Finance-related applications for the new iPhone 3G.

Separately, comScore M:Metrics reports that iPhone users surpass all others in terms of their mobile media usage.

July 10, 2008

IBC Bank's Bilingual Mobile Banking Application from mFoundry

mFoundry has announced the launch of the industry’s first bilingual mobile banking application with the Laredo-based flagship bank of International Bancshares Corporation - IBC Bank. IBC is offering its mobile banking application as a free service to customers in both English and Spanish languages. READ MORE »

Oxigen Launches Oxicash, India's First Stored Value Wallet

In India, Oxigen Services Pvt Ltd has announced OxiCash - described as "a prepaid stored value wallet accessible through the mobile or PC allowing users to make payments for a host of services such as prepaid mobile & TV recharges, telephone bill payments, travel services, e-commerce sites, mobile videos, music, games and other utility/insurance bill payments." READ MORE »

TransUnion Launches New Models Focused on Bankruptcy

TransUnion has announced newly updated TransUnion Account Management and TransUnion New Account scoring models claiming that "both models experienced improvements, over the previous versions, in their ability to identify bankrupt accounts -- in some cases by as much as 32 percent." READ MORE »

Headline News - July 10, 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.

July 09, 2008

Barclays Deploys Strong Authentication to Over 1 Million Customers

Gemalto has announced that over one million Barclays Bank customers in the UK are using its cryptographic smart card reader, called PINsentry by Barclays, to provide stronger authentication for online banking. According to Gemalto, "the bank started deploying its strong authentication program in July 2007 and not one PINsentry online customer has suffered fraud since then. User feedback has proven extremely positive and Barclays observed that customer acceptance was higher than anticipated by 30 percent." READ MORE »

Discover's U.S. Spending Monitor Down Nearly a Point in June

Discover has announced that its "Discover U.S. Spending Monitor fell nearly a point in June to 85.9, as consumers struggled with rising prices for essentials and continued to lose confidence in the nation’s economy. Economic confidence hit a new Monitor low, falling in June to a level that is nearly 30 points lower than a year ago." READ MORE »

Altair to Use MasterCard rePower Reload Service in Europe

Altair Financial Services International has announced that "it will work with MasterCard to deliver the first prepaid card programs in Europe using MasterCard rePower, the MasterCard point-of-sale reload service. The first prepaid programs to benefit from MasterCard rePower loading facility in the UK will be issued by Newcastle Building Society in Spring 2009." READ MORE »

MasterCard Expands PCI Merchant Education Program

MasterCard Worldwide has announced the availability of three new seminars designed to help merchants protect payment card data and reduce the likelihood of reputational risk and the incidence of fraud. The new seminars are titled "Data Encryption: Understanding Encryption and PCI DSS," "Network Segmentation," and "Maximize Internal Preparations for PCI DSS." READ MORE »

ChargeSmart Launches New Credit Card Bill Payment Solution

ChargeSmart has announced the launch of a web-based payment service allowing consumers to pay their mortgage, auto and education loans as well as utility bills using a major credit card. READ MORE »

WaMu Enhances Mobile Banking

Washington Mutual has announced that it has launched mobile banking capabilities, "delivering account information – anytime, anywhere wireless service is available, providing customers the ability to view real-time account balances, view and search real-time transaction history and locate a nearby branch/ATM." READ MORE »

Headline News - July 9, 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.

July 08, 2008

Mpayy Closes Series B Financing Led by US Bank

eCommerce and mobile commerce solution provider, Mpayy, Inc. has announced that it has closed its Series B financing led by US Bancorp with participation from a number of private investors. READ MORE »

Federal Reserve Releases New Consumer Credit Data

The Federal Reserve provided its G.19 monthly update on consumer credit in the US - reporting that revolving credit grew at 7.1 percent annual rate during May as compared to declining 0.5 percent in April.

eBay, PayPal Team up with Gmail to Fight Phishing

eBay and PayPal have announced "a collaborative effort with Google’s webmail service Gmail to better protect consumers against fraudulent e-mails and phishing attacks. Starting today, eBay and PayPal customers with Gmail accounts will have a safer e-mail experience because they will receive fewer fake e-mails claiming to be sent by eBay and PayPal." See Michael Barrett's post on The PayPal Blog. READ MORE »

Chase Introduces New Statement Credit Feature

Chase Card Services has announced a new statement credit feature for its Chase Freedom credit card. According to Chase, "the feature lets customers put anything they want on their Chase Freedom credit card and apply their reward points to their next statement so they can spend rewards like cash. With this new feature, Chase provides customers with maximum rewards flexibility." READ MORE »

Gas Stations Offer Discounts for Cash But Consumers Use Credit

Kathy Chu reports for USA Today on gas stations wanting to encourage customers paying with cash rather than credit cards - but finding that with higher gasoline prices that consumers are wanting to pay with credit cards more often because they "don't have enough cash on hand."

It's Official - Bill Me Later Now Available on Amazon.com

As we noticed last week, Amazon.com is now supporting Bill Me Later for payments. This morning both companies officially announced that "millions of Amazon.com customers will be able to use Bill Me Later’s next-generation payments service to pay for their purchases instantly online without using a credit card." READ MORE »

Visa Launches ATMs for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games

Visa today unveiled a new look for the ATM kiosks to be installed specially for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. According to Visa, "the artwork on the ATM kiosks has been inspired by Chinese culture and calligraphy. It uses blue and white brush strokes and traditional signature seal designs which are most recognizable on traditional Chinese porcelain vases." READ MORE »

Headline News - July 8, 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.

July 07, 2008

Online Bankers Could Learn from Google's Gmail Enhancement

Google today announced an enhancement to its Gmail service - one that is designed to enhance login security and to better protect Gmail accounts from takeover attempts.

Gmail will soon display information about whether the account is currently open on another computer - as well as displaying recent activity on the Gmail account. Also included is a one click way for a user to sign off any other Gmail sessions that may be in progress.

This is an enhancement to basic sign-on "hygiene" - and an approach that online bankers may want to take a hard look at with respect to adding to their online banking services. TechCrunch comments on this new Gmail feature as well.

Satyam, Tyfone Partner on Mobile Financial Services

Satyam Computer Services has announced that it has entered into an alliance with Tyfone, a provider of mobile financial services, infrastructure and mobile payments capabilities to collaborate "to provide businesses with an even greater edge when competing in the mobile financial services sector. The alliance combines Satyam's deep domain expertise and system integration experience with Tyfone's complete mobile financial services infrastructure, and will provide institutions with enhanced solutions and technology." READ MORE »

Discover Opens Data Analysis Subsidiary in Shanghai, China

Discover Financial Services has announced the opening of a new subsidiary, Discover Information Technology (Shanghai) Ltd., in the People’s Republic of China, to support Discover’s data analysis and modeling operations. READ MORE »

Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Sherri Hammons has been named vice president of engineering at Denver-based PaySimple. Previously, she was vice president of data and model performance at Abacus, a division of Epsilon Data Management.

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.

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