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October 10, 2008

US Retail Sales Fell 2.4% in September

According to the Wall St. Journal, MasterCard's SpendingPulse reports "September retail sales excluding auto sales fell 2.4% in September from August, the biggest month-to-month drop since MasterCard SpendingPulse first started tracking spending of all types in 2003."

Headline News - October 10, 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.

October 09, 2008

Citi Ends Negotiation with Wells Fargo on Wachovia

Citi announced this afternoon that "it had reached no agreement with Wells Fargo following several days of discussions about matters related to Wachovia. The dramatic differences in the parties' transaction structures and their views of the risks involved made it impossible to reach a mutually acceptable agreement." The New York Times DealBook reports that Citi will not try to block the Wachovia/Wells Fargo merger.

Separately, the Federal Reserve has announced that it will "immediately begin consideration of the filings submitted by Wells Fargo for approval to acquire Wachovia Corporation."

ClairMail Introduces QuickStart Mobile Banking Offering

ClairMail has announced that the ClairMail QuickStart mobile banking product offering - saying it is "setting the industry standard with its rapid deployment, rich feature set and high level of bank branding." READ MORE »

EU Studying New MasterCard Fees

Peppi Kiviniemi writes from Brussels for that EU antitrust officials are looking at a new acquirer fee structure MasterCard has introduced. Earlier, EuroCommerce commented on the fee changes saying that "we see such fee increases as a clear attempt by MasterCard to circumvent the Commission's decision against their cross-border interchange fee. They are trying to recoup lost revenue by increasing fees in other areas without justification."

October 08, 2008

First Annapolis - September 2008 Issue

The September 2008 edition of the First Annapolis Navigator is now available (registration required). This month's feature article is "The World's Largest Bankcard Acquirers". Other articles include: "Retail Loyalty: What US Retailers Can Learn from Our Neighbors to the North", "HSBC's Multi-National Banking Package", Interchange Regulation Update: Poland", and "E-Commerce Payments Acceptance Update".

Credit Card Business Woes Driven by Higher Funding Costs

David Reilly writes for the Wall St. Journal's Heard on the Street column about the challenges US credit card issuers are facing as both credit losses and funding costs are increasing.

Discover's U.S. Spending Monitor Down 2.2 Points

Discover has announced that its "U.S. Spending Monitor dipped 2.2 points to 86.5 in September, as consumers grew increasingly concerned about the U.S. economy and worked hard to hold-the-line on future spending plans. More than 55 percent of the nation’s adults rated the economy as poor, and nearly 70 percent think it is getting worse. Both measures were 5 points higher than the previous month and both turned increasingly negative as the financial crisis played out." READ MORE »

First Data Names Robert P DeRodes as CTO

First Data has named Robert P. DeRodes as its chief technology officer (CTO). DeRodes, 58, will join the company’s executive management team and report directly to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Michael Capellas. READ MORE »

October 07, 2008

Fed Reports August Decline in US Consumer Credit

The Federal Reserve has published its latest G.19 Consumer Credit report for August 2008 showing that overall consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 3-3/4 percent in August. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 3/4 percent and nonrevolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 5-1/2 percent.

Experian Research Highlights Shifting Consumer Delinquency Trends

Experian has announced the results of a study that analyzed delinquency trends across consumer risk segments to uncover the shifting patterns in consumer payment behavior and the geographies most affected. "The changing delinquency trends highlight the severe affect of the mortgage crisis on subprime consumers and its continuing permeation into the prime consumer segment. The study's findings suggest that the conventional wisdom -- consumers who hold a mortgage are less risky than those who don't -- may need to be rethought in light of the mortgage market turmoil." READ MORE »

Introducing Contactless Transit and Retail Payments in Brazil

Libercard, ViVOtech and Inteligensa have announced they have "collaborated to develop the first Transit & Retail combination contactless payment implementation in Latin America. With the new technology, Brazilians in the city of Fortaleza use a single contactless payment card to ride local transit and make retail purchases. Libercard has enabled tens of thousands of transit riders with dual-purpose prepaid contactless cards to ride transit, pay for purchases and perform top-ups at several hundred retail stores in Fortaleza that use ViVOtech contactless payment devices implemented with Inteligensa integration expertise." READ MORE »

Zuora Launches Z-Payments for Subscription-based Businesses

Zuora has announced the release of Z-Payments, a complete payment solution built for subscription businesses that comes pre-integrated with the ability to accept PayPal payments. Z-Payments allows subscription-based businesses "to offer their customers flexible and secure online payment options, manage the complexities of collecting recurring subscription payments, and ultimately get paid faster." READ MORE »

Emerging Pockets of Cashlessness

Over on the Digital Money Forum blog, Dave Birch writes about a student In London who spends a whole day using just his Barclays OnePulse card - and then comes home to find his wallet (with his cash) on the kitchen table. Some believe that, in a few years, he wouldn't even need his card - just his ever-present mobile phone!

INSIDE Contactless Debuts MicroPass Contactless Payment Stickers

INSIDE Contactless has announced that "samples of its first MicroPass contactless prelam for use in mobile handset stickers for secure payments are now available for card manufacturers. INSIDE’s new sticker technology combines the award-winning MicroPass 4003 contactless payment platform – designed from the ground up to support open loop contactless payment applications – with a tuned RF antenna in a compact, shielded prelam for payment sticker applications. The contactless sticker form-factor is rapidly gaining popularity as a way to turn mobile phones, company IDs or just about anything else into a convenient payment device." READ MORE »

October 06, 2008

Glenbrook's October Payments Boot Camp is Sold Out

Glenbrook's October 15-16 Payments Boot Camp is now sold out. The next Payments Boot Camp is being held in Denver, Colorado on December 3-4.

BART Riders Like Paying with NFC-equipped Mobile Phones

BART, First Data and ViVOtech have released the results of an NFC-based mobile payments trial conducted in the San Francisco area from Jan. 28 to May 30, 2008 - saying it demonstrates high use when both transit fare and retail payments are combined in the same phone. READ MORE »

New US Consumer Payment Preferences Study

BAI and Hitachi Consulting have announced results of a new nationwide consumer payment preferences study that was sponsored by First Data Corporation and its STAR(R) Network, Harland Clarke, MasterCard Worldwide, Metavante and PULSE. READ MORE »

MasterCard Launches MasterCard Savings Discount Program

MasterCard Worldwide has announced the launch of MasterCard Saving - calling it "a new, innovative program that provides Debit MasterCard and eligible Prepaid MasterCard cardholders with hundreds of significant merchant-funded discounts and special offers each day from thousands of merchants across the country. Debit and prepaid MasterCard cardholders can quickly enroll at There is no cost to cardholders." READ MORE »

eBay to Acquire Bill Me Later, Combine with PayPal

eBay has announced that it has "reached a definitive agreement to acquire Bill Me Later®, the number two online-oriented payments brand, for approximately $820 million in cash and approximately $125 million worth of outstanding options, net of option exercise proceeds. The acquisition extends the company’s leadership in payments by combining Bill Me Later with eBay’s PayPal, the number one online-oriented payments brand. Subject to various closing conditions, the deal is expected to be completed by year-end." A webcast and a presentation icon_PDF_small.gif are available online - along with a blog post from PayPal's CEO Scott Thompson.

Among other announcements today, eBay announced "plans to reduce its global workforce by approximately 10 percent, affecting about 1,000 employees in addition to several hundred temporary workers and the reduction of open positions." READ MORE »

Headline News - October 6, 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.


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