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« August 24, 2008 - August 30, 2008 | Main | September 7, 2008 - September 13, 2008 »

September 06, 2008

A Look at Discover Financial Services

In this week's Barron's, Jonathan R. Laing takes a look at Discover Financial Services - saying the company "is likely to weather the surge in delinquencies and loan charge-offs that bad times are now unleashing on the U.S. credit-card industry."

September 05, 2008

Former Visa CEO Charles T. Russell Passes Away

Charles T. Russell, former CEO of Visa International, died on Labor Day in a tragic motorcycle accident in northern California. Russell was CEO of Visa International from 1984 to his retirement in 1994. He was 78 years old.

Several of us at Glenbrook worked with Chuck at Visa and have many fond memories of his leadership during those years. He frequently commuted to work by air - piloting his own plane over San Francisco Bay - and loved his Harley-Davidsons. Chuck was a truly gifted leader for Visa - he had just the right touch. We miss him - and our sincere condolences go out to his family.

Billing Revolution Unveils ‘single-click’ Mobile Commerce Service

Billing Revolution, a Seattle-based mobile commerce company, has announced “single-click” - calling it "a mobile billing and payments service designed to make it easy once and for all for retailers to sell products to on-the-go consumers without sacrificing high profits to mobile operators." READ MORE »

Amazon Introduces Gift Codes On Demand

ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a subsidiary of, has announced the launch of Amazon Gift Codes On Demand™ (AGC On Demand), a real-time electronic gift-card distribution option available from the Amazon Corporate Gift Card program. According to the company, "AGC On Demand is a simple Web service API that integrates Amazon’s proprietary gift-card technology directly into customer loyalty, employee incentive and payment disbursement platforms. With AGC On Demand, companies are able to reduce physical gift-card fulfillment overhead while providing gift card recipients with a customized experience and instant gratification. To learn more about AGC On Demand, visit" READ MORE »

A Look at Airline Frequent Flier Mileage Credit Cards

In an article titled "Airlines Want Cash. Card Firms Stiffen Terms. Who'll Blink?", Robin Sidel and Susan Carey write for the Wall St. Journal about negotiations between US airlines and credit card issuers over negotiations to provide the airlines with more capital.

September 04, 2008

Chrome Thoughts

Colin Henderson blogs about Google's new Chrome browser - asking bankers "Where is the Chrome in your strategy?"

A Push Begins for Chip and PIN in the US

In an article titled "Could this chip have prevented the TJX breach?", Ross Kerber reports for the Boston Globe on an interview with TJX vice chairman Donald G. Campbell who is "urging banks and other retailers to embrace a multibillion-dollar technology that uses a tiny computer chip to stop criminals from using stolen debit and credit cards." He's also proposing that retailers, banks and the card companies share the costs of upgrading the US to a Chip and PIN card payments infrastructure. On his StorefrontBacktalk blog, Evan Schuman writes: "There's little question that both moves [Chip and PIN plus encrypted card data transmission] would improve security, but the cost and change required will also make them almost impossible to deploy."

Enhancing Gift Cards with Mobile Features

Mocapay has announced that it has been selected by Smart Transaction Systems (STS) as a mobile marketing and payment platform to mobilize STS’s card-based payment systems. Mocapay’s mobile marketing and payment platform enables real-time mobile payments, promotions and loyalty at the point of sale. Mocapay and STS will launch a pilot in 2008, selecting from STS’s 4,500 retail clients. READ MORE »

PayPal Thought Leaders Webinar Series - Archives Available

During August, PayPal hosted four webinars on various subjects of interest to online ecommerce merchants. If you missed the webinars, online archives of each of the webinars are now available. The topics include: Capturing the Voice of Your Customer to Drive ROI, Using Social Media and Networking to Boost Sales, Building Loyal Customers to Increase Profitability, and Reducing Shopping Cart Abandonment.

September 03, 2008

Wells Fargo Enhances CEO Mobile Service for Corporate Customers

Tomorrow, Wells Fargo is announcing enhancements to its CEO Mobile service, a browser-based mobile banking service for its corporate banking customers that remains unique among major financial institutions in the US. Users of CEO Mobile can now initiate and approve federal tax wires and see which self administration dual control items they can act on from their mobile devices. READ MORE »

Visa Names Bill Sheedy President, North America

Visa Inc. has announced the appointment of Bill Sheedy as President, North America. Visa says Sheedy will oversee Visa Inc.'s relationships with card issuers, merchants, merchant acquirers and third-party processors in the United States and Canada. He will report to Hans Morris, President of Visa Inc. READ MORE »

CUP Data Signs Processing Agreement with Citibank

TSYS has announced that China UnionPay Data Services Co., Ltd. (“CUP Data”), TSYS’ joint venture with China UnionPay, has signed a debit card processing agreement with Citibank (China) Co., Ltd. (“Citi China”). READ MORE »

Checking Up on Bill Presentment

Glenbrook's Bryan Derman and Jim Salters take a fresh look at online bill presentment following a recent announcement by AT&T Mobility that it would begin delivering bills electronically through CheckFree-powered bank bill payment sites.

US Consumers File 4,476 Bankruptcies Per Day in August

Bob Lawless writes on the Credit Slips blog that that "U.S. bankruptcy filing rate climbed again in August, reaching a new post-2005 high of 4,476 filings per day." At this year's average rate of 4,160 bankruptcy filings per day per day, he forecasts a total of 1,049,000 filings for 2008.

Visa Launches New Mobile Payment Services

Visa has announced it is launching four new programs to deliver payments and services via mobile devices. Two commercial mobile payments programs, in Brazil and Korea, along with two mobile offers and transaction notification pilots in the United States, add to more than a dozen pilot and commercial programs enabled by the Visa mobile platform around the world. READ MORE »

Juniper Forecasts $600 Billion in Mobile Payments by 2013

Juniper Research has announced a new report titled "Mobile Payment Markets Strategies & Forecasts 2008-2013" that concludes that "purchases via mobile devices of digital and physical goods, contactless NFC (Near Field Communications) transactions and money transfers will together generate transactions worth over $600bn globally by 2013." According to Juniper, this figure represents the gross value of all the items being purchased or the value of money being transferred. READ MORE »

Retail Credit Cards: New Interest In An Old Topic

Mercator Advisory Group has announced a new report titled "Retail Credit Cards: New Interest In An Old Topic" that "examines the venerable world of private label and co-branded retailer credit cards, and the market forces that are shaping this segment. The vast majority of retailers have turned their programs over to third party issuers, but these retailers' interest in payments as a sales enabler and relationship building tools have never been higher. And with more payment vehicles and providers at their disposal, retailers increasingly focus on developing their optimal payments strategy." READ MORE »

September 02, 2008

Signature Debit Cards Grow in Popularity Among Australians

In an article titled "Rapt in plastic", Lesley Parker writes for the Sydney Morning Herald about the growth in so-called "scheme debit cards" among Australian consumers. The story notes an analyst report finding that use of the debit cards has grown from 14 per cent in June 2005 to about 23 per cent now while there has been a gradual but persistent fall in credit-card payments from about 28 per cent to about 26 per cent over that same period.

Southwest Airlines Goes Cashless in the Cabin

With the slogan "Keep Your Cash", Southwest Airlines has announced that beginning September 9th, you'll not be able to use cash in the cabin to purchase onboard drinks, etc. [Hat tip:]

Glenbrook Looks at How To Evaluate Alternative Payments

Bill Me Later has announced it will host a webinar on Thursday, September 18, at 1 PM EDT where Russ Jones and Allen Weinberg of Glenbrook Partners will provide an in-depth look at how retailers evaluate alternative payments. READ MORE »

Payments Card-related Legislative and Policy Update

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's Payments Cards Center has extracted payment-card-related items from the Bank's quarterly legislative update. "Among other topics, this issue contains information about a proposed rule to require creditors to provide risk-based pricing notices to consumers as well as judicial decisions and legislation affecting the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)."

Consumer Trials Show Strong Interest in NFC Mobile Payments

Results from recent trials of NFC mobile payments in the UK demonstrate strong interest by consumers in having that form of payment available. According to the report, "nine out of ten trialists were happy using NFC technology on a mobile phone and 78% said they would be interested in using contactless services if available."

Google Launches Chrome - A New Web Browser

Yesterday, Google announced that today it would be making available a beta version of Google Chrome, a new open source web browser.

In its announcement blog posting, Google said: "We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build."

More details are available in this comic book that describes the motivation and design behind Chrome. A summary analysis of Chrome's many new features - including some new trust and safety features - is available here.

NetSpend, Axcess Financial Announce Alliance

NetSpend has announced an alliance with Axcess Financial alliance to create the NetSpend Axcess Prepaid MasterCard (the Axcess Card), a general purpose reloadable prepaid debit card, and enables the Axcess Card and the NetSpend National Savings Program to be available to thousands of customers across the country through Axcess Financial's distribution channels. READ MORE »


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