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November 08, 2008

Plastic and Status Are Intertwined in America - Prepaid Cards

In an article titled "Social Currency", Rob Walker writes for the New York Times Sunday Magazine about prepaid cards. Walker writes "that plastic and status are intertwined in contemporary America" - and later says "it seems odd that flashing a piece of plastic that might be the engine of negative net worth could represent social status worth emulating."

November 07, 2008

November 06, 2008

US Retail Sales Collapse in October

Stephanie Rosenbloom reports for the New York Times on today's dismal reports from major retailers on their October sales.

She writes: "Sales at the nation’s largest retailers fell off a cliff in October, casting fresh doubt on the survival of some chains and signaling that this will likely be the weakest Christmas shopping season in decades."

ID Analytics Introduces Credit Optics Supplemental Credit Score

ID Analytics has introduced ID Analytics Credit Optics, a supplemental credit score that the company says "delivers a new dimension to the assessment of the creditworthiness of individuals. ID Analytics Credit Optics improves credit decisions by gleaning insight from information that is not typically included when calculating a traditional credit score. Organizations can immediately reduce losses by combining traditional credit scores with ID Analytics Credit Optics to fine tune credit decision processes." READ MORE »

Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Posts Record Decline in October

Discover has announced that its "Discover U.S. Spending Monitor fell a record six points in October to 80.4 (based off of 100), as consumers’ economic confidence reached record lows and views of their personal finances deteriorated." READ MORE »

Credit Card Securitization Remains at a Standstill

In an article titled "Bond Woes Choke Off Some Credit to Consumers", Robin Sidel and Prabha Natarajan write for the Wall St. Journal about how the asset securitization credit market - including that for credit card debt - remains at a standstill.

Small Business Owners Lobby to Reduce Interchange Fees

In an article titled "Small-Business Owners Lobby to Cut Credit Card Fees", Jane Birnbaum writes for the New York Times about concerns among smaller merchants over payment card interchange fees.

Headline News - November 6, 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.

November 05, 2008

The Economics of Payment Cards

The Fourth Quarter 2008 edition of Economic Perspectives from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago includes an article titled "Economics of payment cards: A status report" icon_PDF_small.gif by Wilko Bolt and Sujit Chakravorti.

From the abstract: "This article surveys the recent theoretical literature on payment cards (focusing on debit and credit cards) and studies this research's possible implications for the current public policy debate over payment card networks and the pricing of their services for both consumers and merchants."

Consumers Offered New Payment Choices by Retailers

In an article titled "Retailers Offering New Payment Choices", Kelli B. Grant writes for the Wall St. Journal about payments options available to consumers this holiday shopping season.

November 04, 2008

First Data, InComm Mutually Agree to Terminate Acquisition Plan

First Data and InComm have announced that "they have mutually agreed to terminate the planned acquisition of InComm. Instead, First Data and InComm have signed a distribution agreement and will continue to support their joint customers with prepaid card processing, program management and a distribution network that allows First Data and its merchants to sell prepaid products in InComm prepaid card malls." READ MORE »

Vesdia Adds New Merchants to Partnership Marketing Network

Vesdia has announced the addition of several new brands to its portfolio, including: Claim Jumper Restaurants, Dale and Thomas Popcorn, Gaiam, Mori Luggage & Gifts, Puritan's Pride Vitamins, and The North Face. These merchant brands are working with Vesdia to participate in partnership marketing programs with Citibank, Citizens Bank, Hawaiian Airlines, SunTrust Banks, Inc and others. Vesdia says its "partnership marketing programs drive direct results for each merchant partner, including a positive return on investment, increased brand exposure and incremental sales." READ MORE »

MasterCard, RATP Testing PayPass Contactless in Paris

MasterCard and RATP have announced that "they are cooperating at developing the functional and technical requirements and feasibility of using MasterCard PayPass contactless payment cards to access public transport services." According to MasterCard, "the goal is to help French and foreign travellers gain faster access to public transportation by simply taping their MasterCard PayPass bank card in front of a validator. In association with la Banque Postale, lab and field tests could also be conducted in the course of 2009."

[Editor's note: Today seems to be the day for contactless transit payments - apparently the new "killer app" for contactless. Earlier, Visa also announced trials of its PayWave contactless payments as part of a strategy focusing on transit payments. Since widespread deployment contactless acceptance is a precursor to supporting local mobile payments, transit payments may be emerging as an ideal, high-frequency acceptance environment for mobile payments - as it has been in Japan for several years.] READ MORE »

Gemalto’s Instant Issuance Deployed in over 300 Shopping Malls

Gemalto has announced that it has equipped over 300 shopping malls worldwide with its Dexxis Instant Issuance solution, "enabling on-the-spot delivery of one million credit cards per year in total." READ MORE »

Privier Develops No-Bank Account Required ATM Service

Privier , a charlotte, NC-based company, has announced ATMSend, calling it "the world's 1st 'no-card', 'no-bank account', cash-to-cash ATM remittance service ... aimed at targeting the U.S 106 million unbanked users." READ MORE »

U.S. Bancorp Tests Visa's Contactless Micro Tag

Visa and U.S. Bancorp have announced a pilot program designed to test consumer preferences for an alternative electronic payment device, the Visa Micro Tag, the smallest Visa payWave-enabled device currently available. The U.S. Bank Visa Micro Tag easily attaches to a key ring and allows Micro Tag holders to simply wave and pay. READ MORE »

Visa Focuses on Transit Payments

As part of a strategy focused on enabling Visa card usage for transit payments, Visa has announced that it is working with the Los Angeles transit authority to allow train, subway and bus riders to speed through turnstiles and past fare boxes with a simple wave of their Visa payWave-enabled contactless card. In parallel, Visa Europe has announced it is collaborating with the Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP), the major transit operator responsible for public transportation in Paris and its surroundings, to demonstrate that Visa payWave acceptance at a Paris metro fare gate is technically feasible. READ MORE »

India's mChek Completes PCI DSS 1.2 Certification

mChek has announced it has been certified as compliant with the latest Payment Card Industry, Data Security Standard 1.2. mChek believes it is "one of the first payment products globally to be certified as PCI DSS 1.2 compliant." READ MORE »

November 03, 2008

MasterCard Announces Financial Results for Third Quarter 2008

MasterCard has announced financial results for the third quarter 208 reporting that its gross dollar volume increased 12.3% on a local currency basis and transactions processed increased 13%. MasterCard is holding a conference call to discuss its results this afternoon - a presentation and supplemental materials are also available.

A Look at the FTC's Red Flags Rule Enforcement Delay

In an article on his Payments Industry Regulation blog titled "FTC Red Flags Rule Enforcement Delay -"What Red Flags Rules?"", our friend and colleague Broox Peterson takes a look at the FTC's recent decision to delay compliance requirements to May 1, 2009 "for entities under its jurisdiction to comply with the "Red Flags" rules".

Broox writes: "The FTC discovered during outreach and education attempts after adoption of the regulation that many of the entities subject to the Red Flags rule were not aware that such a rule existed, much less that they were subject to it, or even that they were subject to FTC jurisdiction at all."

FiCentive to Support Discover Prepaid and Gift Card Programs

FiCentive has announced that it has signed an agreement with Discover Financial Services that allows for the creation and management of specific Discover Network prepaid and gift card programs. According to FiCentive, it "will work with Discover Network, a business unit of Discover Financial Services, to develop general spend reloadable prepaid products that will run on the Discover Network in addition to providing all program management services." READ MORE »

Special Discount Available for PaymentsJobs.com Job Listings

With the economy slowing and jobs becoming scarce, we'd like to do our part to help encourage employers who are hiring to list their openings on Glenbrook's PaymentsJobs.com web site.

So, between now and the end of December, you can save 50% off the $200 listing fee by entering the discount code: HIRINGNOW when you post you job openings. Posting a job listing is easy - click here to begin.

AT&T, Firethorn Bring Mobile Banking to iPhone Customers

AT&T and Firethorn Holdings have announced the availability of their mobile banking application on the Apple iPhone. "Mobile Banking on AT&T lets users securely and efficiently manage their finances, including checking balances and transaction history, transferring funds, receiving offers, viewing and paying bills, and tracking rewards points." [Editor's note: The AT&T/Firethorn mobile banking application is currently ranked #6 in popularity in the Finance section of the iTunes App Store.] READ MORE »

Does Your Age or Gender Govern Your Payment Habits?

APACS, the UK payments association, has announced the launch of Payment Profiles, taking a look behind the statistics of 12 separate age and gender profiles within England, Scotland and Wales to show the differences that exist when it comes to managing money. READ MORE »

JPMorgan Chase Completes JV Transition of Chase Paymentech

Chase Paymentech has announced the completion of its transition from a joint venture with First Data Corp to a wholly-owned unit of JPMorgan Chase. The assets of the joint venture owned by JPMorgan Chase have been integrated into the bank as a part of its card services division and will continue to operate under the name Chase Paymentech. READ MORE »

Safeway Doubles PowerPump Gas Rewards on Gift Cards

Safeway has announced it is doubling its PowerPump Gas Rewards for gift cards purchased at Safeway stores. READ MORE »

Headline News - November 3, 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.

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