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« November 2, 2008 - November 8, 2008 | Main | November 16, 2008 - November 22, 2008 »

November 15, 2008

Citi to Raise Credit Card Interest Rates

In an article titled "Despite Pledge, Citigroup to Raise Credit Card Rates, Blaming ‘Difficult’ Environment", Eric Dash writes for the New York Times that Citi is "reneging on a promise it made to tens of millions of credit card customers in good times" by raising interest rates - by 2 to 3 percent - on credit cards for its customers that haven't had an increase in the last two years. The increased interest rate will be communicated to cardholders in their November statements. The affected cardholders can then choose to decline the increase and continue to pay interest at the original rate but only until their cards expire.

November 14, 2008

Retail Sales Decline in October, Auto Sales Collapse

The U.S. Census Bureau has announced that advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for October, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $363.7 billion, a decrease of 2.8 percent from the previous month and 4.1 percent below October 2007. Total sales for the August through October 2008 period were down 1.3 percent from the same period a year ago.

Retail trade sales were down 3.1 percent from September 2008 and were 5.0 percent below last year. Motor vehicle and parts dealers sales were down 23.4 percent from October 2007 and sales of furniture and home furnishings stores sales were down 13.5 percent from last year.

Firethorn Enhances Mobile Banking and Payments

Firethorn Holdings has announced the introduction of a mobile application upgrade capability which will "enable Firethorn to transition its financial institution and wireless operator relationships from banking to broader mobile commerce functionality." READ MORE »

First Data Reports Third Quarter 2008 Financial Results

First Data Corp. has reported financial results for the third quarter 2008 - with consolidated revenues growing 4% to $2.2 billion. FDC's strongest revenue growth was in international with a 19% increase in revenue. Its weakest segment, Financial Services, saw revenues decline 5%. Merchant services grew 6%. A webcast is scheduled to discuss the results later this morning.

US FInancial Regulators Issue Final Rule re Internet Gambling

The US Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board have announced the release of a joint final rule icon_PDF_small.gif to implement the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. READ MORE »

Headline News - November 14, 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 13, 2008

Billing Revolution Wins Judges' Choice at Under the Radar

At yesterday's Under the Radar conference, Billing Revolution was the Judges' Choice winner. Billing Revolution announced a “single-click” mobile credit card checkout toolbox earlier this week.

APACS Releases 3Q2008 Payments Statistics for UK

APACS provided its latest quarterly statistical release icon_PDF_small.gif on payments in the UK for the third quarter 2008. Among the highlights, APACS reported that debit card spending now accounts for 73.8% of all plastic card purchases in the UK by volume, up from 72 per cent in Q2.

Equifax Introduces Online Identity Card - I-Card

Equifax has announced the Equifax online identity card or I-Card, with a beta test of what it is calling "a first-of-its-kind digital identity management solution that is designed to make online transactions easier and more secure for both consumers and businesses." READ MORE »

Chase Paymentech Announces Gift Card Study Results

Chase Paymentech has announced the results of a survey commissioned to provide insight into consumers’ attitudes towards gift cards. "The study, which polled 850 American adults, found that gift card awareness and usage remains very high, with nine in ten respondents having received or purchased a gift card. Additionally, two-thirds of respondents have bought at least one gift card within the past 12 months." READ MORE »

Headline News - November 13, 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 12, 2008

Outlook for Remittances Flows 2008-2010

The Migration and Remittances Team at the World Bank has published a paper titled "Outlook for Remittance Flows 2008‐2010" icon_PDF_small.gif. From the abstract: "After several years of strong growth, remittance flows to developing countries began to slow down in the third quarter of 2008. This slowdown is expected to deepen further in 2009 in response to the global financial crisis, although the exact magnitude of the growth moderation (or outright decline in some cases) is hard to predict given the uncertainties about global growth, commodity prices, and exchange rates."

More on Mobile Payments in Canada

Robin Arnfield, a Canadian banking industry reporter, has forwarded us a link to a recent article Robin wrote for ElectronicPaymentsInternational.com titled "Canada edges towards m-payments".

Shell Takes Echeck to the Gas Pump with Shell $aver Card

Shell Oil Products US has announced that it will be "the first major gasoline retailer to nationally launch an electronic check payment method when the Shell $aver Card becomes available to consumers on January 5, 2009. The Shell $aver Card will provide a convenient, new way to pay for purchases through a direct link to a consumer’s checking account, and offer a savings on each gallon of fuel pumped at participating Shell-branded stations. Shell wholesalers and retailers will benefit from the Shell $aver Card’s flat, per-transaction merchant service fee that is lower than third-party debit and credit cards."

Also, according to Shell, First Data will be handling the $aver Card transactions including using FDC's TeleCheck check verification services. READ MORE »

A Model Credit Card Application Form for Canada

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) and MasterCard Canada have announced a new model credit card application form icon_PDF_small.gif designed to help Canadian consumers better understand what they are applying for and the terminology used in the form. READ MORE »

Discover Financial Services Provides Investor Update

Yesterday, Discover Financial Services CEO David Nelms spoke at the Merrill Lynch Banking and Financial Services Conference. A webcast archive and a copy of his presentation slides icon_PDF_small.gif are available online.

Paulson Says New Focus on Asset-Backed Securities Market

In a statement earlier today, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said that new efforts are going to be made to address the currently difficult funding issues facing the non-bank consumer finance sector (defined as car loans, student loans, and credit cards primarily).

According to Paulson, "the illiquidity in this sector is raising the cost and reducing the availability of car loans, student loans and credit cards. This is creating a heavy burden on the American people and reducing the number of jobs in our economy. With the Federal Reserve we are exploring the development of a potential liquidity facility for highly-rated AAA asset-backed securities. We are looking at ways to possibly use the TARP to encourage private investors to come back to this troubled market, by providing them access to federal financing while protecting the taxpayers' investment."

New Merchant Acquirers Group on LinkedIn

We've just started a new group on LinkedIn for payments professionals involved in the merchant acquiring business. You can find the group home page here - just click on Join Group if you qualify and want to join. The first discussion topic is: "Hidden Fees in Merchant Statements?" [Update 4 PM PST: LinkedIn seems to be running behind in adding new members to the group - please be patient!]

A Look at RBC's Mobex Mobile Payment Service

In late September, RBC Royal Bank in Canada announced the launch of a trial of a text message-based mobile payment service called RBC Mobex. We recently heard from a colleague in Canada who's delighted with the service. READ MORE »

DepositNow Speeds Cash Collection for Small Businesses

BankServ has announced that its DepositNow remote deposit service has added the capability for small businesses to be paid directly from emailed invoices. READ MORE »

Best Buy Lowers Guidance

In a press release this morning, Best Buy said that "falling consumer spending, driven by the recent turmoil in the financial markets and other macro economic factors, has resulted in lower-than-expected revenue for the consumer electronics retailer. The uncertainty regarding future consumer spending has limited the company’s ability to project revenue for the critical holiday shopping season and the balance of the fiscal year."

“Since mid-September, rapid, seismic changes in consumer behavior have created the most difficult climate we’ve ever seen. Best Buy simply can’t adjust fast enough to maintain our earnings momentum for this year,” said Brad Anderson, vice chairman and chief executive officer of Best Buy.

Understanding PCI DSS Version 1.2

The PCI Security Standards Council, the standards body providing management of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), PIN Entry Device (PED) Security Requirements and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS), has announced it will be offering a complimentary webinar, "Understanding PCI DSS Version 1.2,” to be held on Tuesday Nov. 25, 2008 at 11:30 a.m. EST and at 7:30 p.m. EST. The session will be repeated on Wednesday Dec. 17, 2008 at 10:30 a.m. EST and 8:30 p.m. EST. READ MORE »

November 11, 2008

Zions Selects mFoundry for Mobile Banking and Payments

mFoundry has announced that Zions Bancorporationhas selected its financial services platform for its mobile banking and payments offerings. The mFoundry platform will enable mobile banking and payments services for all of Zions’ retail banking subsidiaries including Amegy Bank of Texas, California Bank & Trust, National Bank of Arizona, Nevada State Bank, The Commerce Bank of Oregon, The Commerce Bank of Washington, Vectra Bank Colorado and Zions First National Bank (Utah and Idaho), as well as Zions Direct (nationwide Web direct banking). READ MORE »

Fiserv Holds Investor Conference

Fiserv held an investor conference earlier today in Boston. A copy of the presentation is available online.

Billing Revolution Announces Mobile Commerce Solution

Seattle-based Billing Revolution has announced a “single-click” mobile credit card checkout tool-box designed for Android, BlackBerry, and iPhone application developers, as well as mobile marketing agencies and publishers launching branded applications. According to the company, "the turnkey credit card billing service allows developers to easily add on-the-go purchase capabilities to their existing mobile applications, allowing developers to sell products and services within these applications while introducing new revenue-generating opportunities." READ MORE »

Signs of Strong Acceptance of Unembossed Cards in the US

Dynamic Card Solutions reports that it is seeing very strong demand for unembossed "flat" card instant issuance among financial institutions. DCS says it has received orders for approximately 1,300 new FCP 20/20 flat card printers, which is powered by HID Global's High Definition Printing (HDP) technology. READ MORE »

The Litigation of Financial Innovations

Josh Lerner, the Jacob H. Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, has published a working paper titled "The Litigation of Financial Innovations" that examines the litigation of patents relating to financial products and services which he finds are litigated at a much higher rate than that of patents as a whole.

Summit Partners, Bridgescale Partners Invest in VIPGift

VIPGift, a provider of corporate and consumer incentive programs and prepaid card solutions, has announced that it has received a majority investment from Summit Partners and Bridgescale Partners. Founded in 2000, VIPGift offers corporate and consumer incentive programs to Fortune 500 companies. READ MORE »

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