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« November 30, 2008 - December 6, 2008 | Main | December 14, 2008 - December 20, 2008 »

December 12, 2008

Visa's Mobile Application for Google's Android Mobile Handsets

ReadWriteWeb reports on Visa's new Mobile Application for Google's Android-powered mobile handsets. Visa Mobile delivers three services - Alerts, Offers, and Locator - to help find merchants and Visa ATM's. The Visa mobile website says that it is available now for select Chase Visa cardholders. An FAQ is available. READ MORE »

US Retail Sales Fell Dramatically in November

The US Census Bureau has reported that US retail trade sales declined 2% in November from October and declined 8.5% below November 2007. Motor vehicle and parts dealers sales were down 25.2% from November 2007 and gasoline stations sales were down 22.0% from last year.

UK Credit Card Issuers Agree to Change Practices

APACS has announced that, "following a successful meeting on 11 December between the [UK] credit card industry and Government, real changes for credit card holders who may be struggling to make their regular payments are announced. This delivers on the industry’s commitment to draw up new principles made at the credit card summit on 26 November. APACS has published a fact sheet icon_PDF_small.gif to explain exactly what has been agreed and what the changes mean for credit card holders."

As the Guardian reports, earlier UK credit card "lenders were given two weeks to come up with a set of "fair principles" and warned that the Office for Fair Trading would be asked to investigate if they failed to agree on a plan." READ MORE »

Headline News - December 12, 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.

December 11, 2008

Visa Presents at Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Conference

Visa Inc.'s Chairman and CEO Joseph Saunders spoke earlier today at the Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Conference in New York. Webcast details here - slide presentation here icon_PDF_small.gif.

A Look at WaMu's Send Direct P2P Funds Transfer Service

Writing on the NetBanker blog, Jim Bruene takes a look at WaMu's new Send Direct funds transfer service powered by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based AliasWire. For a 2% fee, WaMu credit cardholders can send money to almost any other US bank account and can be initiated via the website, an SMS message to a specific short code, or a telephone call to a toll-free number. Bruene writes: "It's a cool service. It will be interesting to see if Chase continues the service as they assimilate the WaMu credit card portfolio. "

Headline News - December 11, 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.

December 10, 2008

US Credit Card Issuer Charge-Offs Escalating

In an article titled "Charge-Offs Start to Shred Card Issuers", Robin Sidel reports for the Wall St. Journal about increased US credit card issuer charge-off rates - as cardholders are falling behind on their payments and eventually defaulting.

Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Falls Below 80 for First Time

Discover has announced that its "Discover U.S. Spending Monitor slipped to 79.7 in November, falling below 80 for the first time in its history, as consumer economic sentiment fell to a record low and concern over personal finances reached record highs. Heading into the holiday season, consumers temporarily reversed course on spending from previous months, with an increasing number planning on spending more in December. But the results of nightly surveys of random consumers during November painted a dark picture for retail activity at the onset of the important holiday shopping season. Continued concerns over the economy and personal finances have many more consumers preparing to spend less on holiday shopping than they did last year." READ MORE »

Rite Aid Upgrades POS to Support Flexible Spending Account Cards

Rite Aid has announced that its stores nationwide "now make it easy for customers to use their Flexible Spending Account (FSA) debit cards. Upgraded pharmacy and front end cash registers simplify tracking health spending by printing receipts that identify items that may be eligible for reimbursement as part of a flexible spending account benefit plan." READ MORE »

The Orange Code - A Book about ING Direct

In a review titled "Banking Without Tears", Dave Kansas writes for the Wall St. Journal a review of the new book The Orange Code: How ING Direct Succeeded by Being a Rebel with a Cause by Arkadi Kuhlmann and Bruce Philp -- respectively, ING Direct's U.S. chief and the chairman of ING Direct's marketing partner. [Editor's note: we've also just finished reading The Orange Code, enjoyed it very much and will be posting our own review soon.]

10th Annual CyberSource Survey of eCommerce Fraud

CyberSource has released its 10th annual survey of eCommerce fraud showing that merchants expect to lose a record $4 billion to online fraud in 2008. According to CyberSource, "merchants say the fraud loss rate will hold constant at 1.4% of revenue (same as 2007 and 2006), but continuing growth in eCommerce sales mean dollar losses to fraud are still growing. Merchants are shifting some fraud fighting priorities, perhaps as an adjustment to a slowing economy." READ MORE »

Visa to Strengthen Payment Security in Australia with Chip and PIN

Visa has announced details of a five-year agenda for Australia to strengthen the security of the payments system. As part of the agenda, Visa will engage in discussions with Australian financial and merchant communities to set deadlines for the implementation of seven key security initiatives. Visa says that "all of the initiatives will provide greater protection against fraud for cardholders, merchants and financial institutions, while some will also help to reduce the time it takes to make an electronic transaction." READ MORE »

US Credit Card Industry Trends from TransUnion.com

TransUnion.com has released the results of its analysis of trends in the credit card lending industry for the third quarter of 2008. The report is part of an ongoing series of quarterly consumer lending sector analyses focusing on credit card, auto loan and mortgage data that may be found on TransUnion's Web site. READ MORE »

December 09, 2008

Maritz, Welcome Real-Time Launch US Loyalty Offering for Issuers

Maritz and Welcome Real-time have announced a partnership to launch an new loyalty offering in the United States and Canada that will allow customers to redeem points to make purchases and allow card issuers to deliver personalized offers at the point of sale. READ MORE »

Fair Isaac Announces Limited Release of Falcon Fraud Manager 6.0

Fair Isaac has announced it is releasing its Falcon Fraud Manager 6.0 scoring server to select customers who wish to begin deployment projects ahead of the product’s general availability in the spring of 2009. The new version applies recent advances in fraud analytics and profiling to help financial institutions quickly identify changing fraud patterns and minimize losses. READ MORE »

ABI Research Reduces NFC Forecast for Mobile Payments

In a press release, ABI Research has announced a new report titled "Mobile Commerce and Payments" concluding that NFC (Near Field Communication), once the leading contender among technologies that could enable mobile payments, "has developed more slowly than anticipated, and will not offer viable large-scale mobile payment solutions for at least six years. In the mean time three existing technologies - SMS, mobile Internet and downloadable mobile applications - have the potential to deliver what NFC (so far) cannot." READ MORE »

Delta Air Lines, American Express Extend Co-Brand Card Partnerships

Delta Air Lines and American Express have announced a multiyear extension of their exclusive Co-brand Credit Card partnerships. As part of the partnership agreement, Delta will receive an immediate $1 billion boost to its liquidity from a purchase of SkyMiles. Delta said it expects to receive an additional $1 billion from contract improvements through 2010.

WesPay Launches New Payments Strategy Series

WesPay (Western Payments Alliance) has announced the launch of its Payments Strategy Series, a collection of white papers that examine industry sound practices in the areas of payment systems, risk management, customer engagement and revenue stabilization. The first paper in the series, “Six Critical Elements of a Comprehensive Risk Management Programicon_PDF_small.gif examines the areas that financial institutions should address to reduce their payments systems risk.

Vindicia Enhances CashBox for Online Merchants

Vindicia has announced a new version of its hosted billing solution, CashBox. "Designed for recurring and one-time transactions, Vindicia CashBox enables online merchants to attract and retain customers globally through a variety of services including a built-in tax engine and support for multiple processors, currencies and languages." READ MORE »

Survey Finds that US Consumers Trust Biometrics for Data Protection

A recent survey conducted by Unisys finds that "a majority of Americans are comfortable using common biometric technologies for authentication. More than 70 percent of respondents will trust banks and government agencies to ask them for biometric data for identity verification. Additionally, fingerprints nearly tied personal passwords as the primary preferred authentication method, 73 percent to 72 percent, respectively."

Wells Fargo Unveils New Tools to Pay Down Debt Faster, Save More

Wells Fargo has announced new tools to help consumers save more while reducing what they owe, while also introducing resources to use credit better for a lifetime.

The Wells Fargo Debt Pay Down Solution allows customers to consolidate their monthly payments through a personal loan and help find money to pay off the loan faster. The bank is also offering the Wells Fargo Cash Back Card and the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card to incent customers to pay down debt by offering cash-back rewards that they can use to reduce credit card or personal loan balances or add to checking or savings. Wells Fargo is also introducing its Smarter Credit center, an online resource center with information about how to establish, rebuild and use credit. READ MORE »

December 08, 2008

Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency

The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency has released its final report, "Securing Cyberspace for the 44th Presidency" icon_PDF_small.gif. "The Commission’s three major findings are: cybersecurity is now one of the major national security problems facing the U.S.; decisions and actions must respect American values related to privacy and civil liberties; and only a comprehensive national security strategy that embraces both the domestic and international aspects of cybersecurity will improve the situation."

Latest BIS Quarterly Review - December 2008

The Bank for International Settlements has just published its latest Quarterly Review - covering a range of topics related to the global financial crisis.

Tuesday, December 2, Was Peak Online Shopping Day

According to the 2008 Chase Paymentech Pulse Index, last Tuesday, December 2, was the peak online shopping day - surpassing sales on Cyber Monday, December 1. Both purchase transactions and sales volume were up significantly on Tuesday over last year's levels - but then fell off as the week progressed.

Vodafone, Safaricom, Western Union Partner for Mobile Transfers

Vodafone, Safaricom and Western Union have announced that they will partner to pilot a cross-border Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) service between the U.K. and Kenya. This service will enable customers to send cross-border remittances from select locations directly to Safaricom mobile subscribers in Kenya generally in minutes. READ MORE »

Holiday Shoppers Plan to Spend Nearly 10% Less This Year

Discover Card has released its annual Holiday Shopping Survey assessing consumer spending trends and gift intentions for the 2008 holiday season. According to the survey, "on average, shoppers expect to spend nearly 10 percent less this year than in 2007. More than half (55 percent) of respondents say they plan to cut back. Of these, 89 percent said the economy had an influence on their decision to do so."

Headline News - December 8, 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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