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August 23, 2008

Payments News - Weekly Wrap - Saturday, August 23, 2008

Here's a review of this week's top stories on Payments News. Back to the future!: for fun, click for this same week's activity a year ago here on Payments News!

Looking for more payments-related reading? Checkout our Other Payments and Banking Blogs page for more from the blogosphere about the worlds of payments and banking.

Quote of the week: From Philip Mikal, COO of ChargeSmart: “We believe that consumers are taking advantage of the service for their car payments not only because of the credit card rewards they earn, but also the added convenience of being able to set up monthly payments, not to mention a useful cash management tool”

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 share on how we can improve the Weekly Wrap!

August 22, 2008

Finovate 2008 - New York City - October 14th - See You There!

Jim Bruene has announced the lineup of finalists who will be demo'ing their wares at the Finovate 2008 Conference coming up on Tuesday, October 14th in New York City. He's culled from a list of over 100 companies to a set of 24 finalists who will have the chance to strut their stuff.

Jim writes: "In a single action-packed day, we'll see several financial startups launch, a few major product overhauls revealed, and a pile of new features shown to the public for the first time. It could be the single biggest "news days" in the history of online finance."

October's simply a great time to be in New York and the Finovate conference format (no boring PowerPoint slides to sit through - just quick, to the point, 7-minute demos) keeps things moving and "information rich"!

For a taste of Finovate, see my postings from the San Francisco FinovateStartup conference held earlier this year. If you're interested in financial services innovation, you'll definitely want to be at the New York session in October. Registration is open - with a $100 Early Bird discount available. Glenbrook will be there - and we look forward to seeing you there.

TMG Expands Credit Union Prepaid Offering with Reloadable Cards

Des Moines-based TMG (The Members Group) has announced it is expanding its prepaid product line with the availability of general purpose reloadable cards to its credit union clients. "The reloadable card service, called ATIRAreload, allows cardholders (and other authorized users) to load money onto the credit union-branded card, which can be used for purchases almost anywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. The cards also function as ATM cards, giving cardholders instant access to cash." READ MORE »

FDC Showcasing Contactless at Democratic Convention in Denver

First Data has announced that "during this year's Democratic National Convention (DNC), Denver's Pepsi Center will serve not only as a focal point of American politics, but also as an arena for the future of how people will pay for goods and services. Next week, First Data will introduce a new payment technology to thousands of select media and delegates attending the DNC. Beginning August 25 through August 28, media and delegates receiving a limited edition pin from First Data can use the commemorative pin as a payment device to purchase refreshments up to $10 in value at participating Pepsi Center concession stands." READ MORE »

APACS Comments on Card Fraud on UK Cards Outside the UK

APACS issued a press release today responding to an earlier CPP release titled "Forecast is hot for fraud this Bank Holiday". APACS says that in the release "PP offers incorrect information when claiming that Spain and France are “… the top spots where Brits fall victim to card theft”. APACS says that its latest statistics "show that fraud in France on UK issued cards has decreased by £4.3million in two years, and France has dropped to fourth place for where fraud on our cards is committed. This is a direct result of the French introducing the same global chip and PIN system that we are using in the UK. Equally, fraud in Spain has fallen by £3.9 million since their rollout." In fact, based upon APACS 2007 fraud figures for UK-issued cards, the card fraud abroad is highest in USA (£24.6m) followed by Italy (£9.6m), Australia (£8.2m), France (£7.3m) and Spain (£5.7m). READ MORE »

Headline News - August 22, 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.

August 21, 2008

Banks, Datacenters and Networks - Going into the Cloud?

James Gardner writes on his BankerVision blog about what's happening with cloud computing and predicts: "In 10 years, 2 decades at the most, I believe banks will own neither data centres or networks."

Visa, Chase Pilot Mobile Merchant Offers

Visa and Chase have announced a consumer pilot to deliver merchant offers directly to the mobile devices of Chase credit and debit cardholders in the Phoenix metropolitan area. According to the two companies, "the offers – from merchant discounts to specials – are tailored to match the personal interests selected by Chase cardholders and will be redeemable at the point of sale or the web site of more than 50 participating merchants." READ MORE »

Mobile Payments and Contactless Stickers

In a post titled "Could Mobile Payments Get a Boost from Lowly Stickers?", Jim Bruene writes on his NetBanker blog about contactless payment stickers - "It's a quarter-sized sticker you plop on the back of your mobile phone making it instantly payment enabled."

First Data has published "Contactless Payments: Consumer Trends and Usage Preferences" icon_PDF_small.gif saying that "the first step toward mobile commerce is the introduction of consumer-friendly form factors (i.e. a sticker attached to a person’s mobile device or ID badge; a wristband; or a key fob)." FDC calls its contactless stickers GO-Tags.

Click here for a Google search that will find more articles about contactless stickers.

Capco's Journal of Financial Transformation

Capco has published its latest Journal of Financial Transformation - with this issue focusing on retail financial services. From the abstract: "Within the financial sector the retail financial services area is one where innovations have been most evident. Financial institutions are increasingly recognizing and reacting to growing competition in this space, both from banks and non-bank players, and learning how to incorporate best practices from other retail disciplines. As this diffusion of ideas into the industry increases, so will the number of new and innovative services. This issue of the journal provides a comprehensive review of the developments made in the world of retail and the aspects that have been, or can be, applied within the financial services sector."

99Bill Launches Installment Credit Services in China

99Bill Corporation has announced the launch of a new service offering installment credit enabling consumers to buy goods by paying in installments. 99Bill says this is the first of its kind in China's electronics payment service market. READ MORE »

August 20, 2008

"Easy Access to Plastic Is About to Dry Up"

In an article titled "The next credit crunch", Fortune senior editor at large writes that "we may be approaching the end of the most worrisome bubble of all: the standard-of-living bubble."

Merchant Acceptance, Costs, and Perceptions of Retail Payments

The Bank of Canada has published a new discussion paper titled "Merchant Acceptance, Costs, and Perceptions of Retail Payments: A Canadian Survey" icon_PDF_small.gif by Carlos Arango and Varya Taylor. READ MORE »

PayPal Webinar: Building Loyal Customers to Increase Profitability

PayPal is holding one of its weekly webinars later this morning on the subject of "Building Loyal Customers to Increase Profitability". Speakers include David Daniels, vice president and research director at JupiterResearch, and Jeff Wisot, vice president of marketing at

Reserve Bank of Australia to Seek PayPal Reforms

The Reserve Bank of Australia's Payments System Board has announced that it will be pursuing reforms of some PayPal policies: "Over recent months, the Board has received a number of comments on the no-surcharge and no-steering rules that apply to payments using the PayPal system as well as the mandated acceptance of PayPal on eBay’s auction site. Where no-surcharge and no-steering rules have existed in other systems, the Board has encouraged their removal on the grounds that these rules can diminish competition in the payments system. Consistent with this, the Bank will shortly be holding discussions with PayPal with a view to seeking the removal of these rules."

August 19, 2008

Contactless - How Far Are We From a Tipping Point in the US?

Most observers note that the eventual success of mobile payments for face-to-face purchases depends upon the rollout of new POS devices that support contactless payments.

Yesterday, Pulse released a summary of results from its 2008 Debit Issuer Study. Included for the first time were results on three areas of emerging payments: contactless, mobile banking and mobile payments.

The survey results for contactless found that 10 percent of respondents currently offer contactless debit cards with another 35 percent saying they plan to introduce contactless in the future. Of the 10 percent that currently offer contactless, 24 percent of their cardbase is contactless, on average. The survey reported that the "key barriers to contactless adoption are low merchant acceptance, unfavorable cost/benefit ratios and low demand."

A different story seems to be emerging in the UK where, as we reported recently, there's a significant rollout of contactless already underway in London.

ClairMail to Power Mobile Banking for Alerus Financial

ClairMail has announced that Alerus Financial, a Midwestern-based financial services company offering banking and wealth management services, has selected ClairMail to power its new mobile banking offering – Alerus Mobile Access. READ MORE »

August 18, 2008

PCI Security Standards Council Issues Summary of Changes

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has announced the availability of a summary of forthcoming changes to PCI DSS as it moves from version 1.1 to the previously announced version 1.2 in October. READ MORE »

Visa, North American Banks Launch Transaction Notification Pilot

Visa has announced that it and eight North American financial institutions – PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, and Wells Fargo in the United States, and Royal Bank of Canada, TD Bank Financial Group, and Vancity in Canada – have agreed to initiate a pilot program with up to a total of 2,000 participants to test the delivery of real-time notification alerts on Visa accounts. READ MORE »

Garanti Bank Wins Industry Award for Contactless Loyalty Sticker

On Track Innovations has announced that Garanti Technology (GT), an affiliate of Garanti Bank, Turkey's third largest private bank, has won the "Best Innovation in a Loyalty Programme" award at the Cards & Payments Europe 2008 for the "Bonus Trink" Sticker project based on OTI's smart sticker contactless payment device. READ MORE »

Pulse Releases 2008 Debit Issuer Study

Surcharge-free ATM access is gaining in popularity among debit card issuers as they explore new ways to better serve cardholders, according to the 2008 Debit Issuer Study, commissioned by PULSE. Financial institutions also are increasingly offering debit rewards. READ MORE »

Guardian Analytics Releases FraudMAP 2.0

Guardian Analytics has announced the general availability of FraudMAP 2.0 - saying that this release extends its "proprietary Dynamic Account Modeling technology to model all individual online account holder activity session by session, from login to logout, increasing FraudMAP's ability to detect suspicious actions and flag behaviors inconsistent with predicted account holder behavior." READ MORE »

Markup Transcript of The Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008

The Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008, H.R. 5546, was introduced in March by Rep. John Conyers and co-sponsored by 39 other representatives with the objective to "to amend the antitrust laws to ensure competitive market-based rates and terms for merchants' access to electronic payment systems".

A transcript icon_PDF_small.gif of the Judiciary Committee's recent markup discussion of this bill is available online - and makes for interesting reading.

Consumers Using ChargeSmart for Auto Payments

ChargeSmart has reported that payments for automotive loans and leases are the most prominent transaction since the company launched its online service this past July. With a network of more than 4,000 billers, ChargeSmart’s web-based payment application allows consumers with a major credit card to make payments to companies in four different industries, including auto loans and/or leases, home mortgages, education loans and utility companies. READ MORE »

APACS Releases Latest Quarterly Statistics on UK Card Payments

APACS has released its latest quarterly statistical summary icon_PDF_small.gif of UK card payment activity.

"In the second quarter of 2008 there were 1.8 billion plastic card purchases made in the UK totalling £92.6 billion. The number of purchases was 7.8% higher than in the second quarter of 2007, and spending was 7.5% higher. Debit cards accounted for 73.4% of all plastic card purchases compared with 71.6% in the second quarter of 2007."


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