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« February 10, 2008 - February 16, 2008 | Main | February 24, 2008 - March 1, 2008 »

February 22, 2008

Recommended Practices to Reduce Potential for Prepaid Card Money Laundering

The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association has published “Recommended Practices for Anti-Money Laundering Compliance for U.S.-based Prepaid Card Programs.” The association says the document will "assist in the industry’s response to reduce the potential for prepaid cards to be used for money laundering, financial crime or other illegal activity such as terrorist financing."

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House of Cards - Consumers Turn to Credit Cards Amid the Mortgage Crisis

The Center for American Progress has published a new report titled "House of Cards" icon_PDF_small.gif by Tim Westrich and Christian E. Weller. From the abstract: "As borrowing in the mortgage market slows, credit card borrowing is accelerating—a dangerous trend because borrowers still face weak income growth. That means the credit card market could eventually run into the same problems that now afflict the subprime mortgage market."

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Headline News - February 22, 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.

Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Heidi R. Goff has been named President and Managing Director, the Americas, for Hypercom.
  • David Hunter, the former European MD of ClickandBuy, has joined paysafecard as UK CEO.
Announce yourself! Have you recently taken on a new position in the payments industry? If you'd like to share the news with your colleagues, be sure to tell us about it. Are you looking for a new payments-related job? Or are you needing to find someone great? Checkout the Payments Jobs job board.

February 21, 2008

More Contactless Testing for Transit in NY/NJ

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced it will "partner with NJ TRANSIT to undertake an eight-month pilot test that will allow customers to use contactless bank cards, key fobs, cell phones and other devices to pay for transit. The test will help determine if customers could ultimately use these devices to pay fares on all of the region's transit systems, including New York City's subways and buses." Contactless payment will be available exclusively to MasterCard PayPass customers during the initial two months of the test and to other bank-issued contactless card customers for the balance of the test period.

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Alternative Data and Its Use in Credit Scoring

The Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released a new discussion paper titled "Alternative Data and Its Use in Credit Scoring Thin- and No-File Consumers" icon_PDF_small.gif.

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Chicago Fed Conference - Payments Fraud: Perception versus Reality

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has announced it will host its eighth payments conference, Payments Fraud: Perception versus Reality, June 5–6, 2008 at the Chicago Fed. The conference will highlight threats to the security of the payments system and explore solutions to those challenges.

Amazon.com Now Supports Purchases in 11 Local Currencies

Amazon.com has launched a new feature allowing international customers to pay for their purchases in the currency of their payment card, instead of U.S. dollars. Amazon says its new Amazon Currency Converter allows international customers to purchase eligible items with greater ease and certainty.

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NetSpend, Advance America Announce Distribution Agreement

NetSpend and Advance America have announced an agreement "that makes prepaid, reloadable debit cards and gift cards available at just over 2,600 Cash Advance Centers across 35 states. Advance America, the country's leading provider of payday cash advance services, now makes prepaid cards a key component of its current suite of services in the United States."

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JCB to Test Over the Air Issuance for NFC-equipped Mobile Phones

JCB and CASSIS International have announced an agreement to collaborate in a test of NFC over-the-air (OTA) services. The two companies will jointly demonstrate end-to-end secure contactless payment issuance services for NFC mobile phones.

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Interchange Regulation Coming to the US?

The American Banker reports this morning about legislation being drafted in the US Congress that would "amend the antitrust laws to ensure competitive market-based rates and terms for merchants' access to electronic payment systems."

Adding a Second Factor to Online Card Transactions

M. E. Kabay writes for Network World about his proposal for using the cardholder name field in card authorization messages to transport one-time codes.

Probing RFID-based Contactless Cards

In an article titled 'The Hands-Free Way to Steal a Credit Card', Robert Vamosi writes for CNET.com about a demonstration given yesterday in which 'Adam Laurie, a RFID security expert, demoed a new Python script he's working on to read the contents of a Smart chip-enabled credit card.'

Capital One Introduces Enhanced Rewards Card for Small Businesses

Capital One has announced the Preferred No Hassles Miles card, a card that it says "offers small business owners double rewards for travel and entertainment purchases."

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The Plastic Revolution

Ronald J. Mann, professor of law at Columbia Law School, has put together an interesting graphic published in the latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine about the growth in credit card usage in countries around the world. Mann is also the author of Charging Ahead, a book on the credit card industry published in 2006.

MasterCard Files Form 10-K

MasterCard has filed its Form 10-K Annual Report with the SEC. On pages 24-25 of the 10-K, MasterCard notes that "interchange fees are subject to increasingly intense legal and regulatory scrutiny worldwide, which may have a material adverse impact on our revenue, our prospects for future growth and our overall business." MasterCard notes that "on January 31, 2008, the Hungarian Competition Authority commenced a formal investigation of MasterCard Europe’s domestic interchange fees in Hungary."

Experian Files Suit Against LifeLock

Experian( has announced it has filed a lawsuit against LifeLock, Inc. "for allegedly placing fraud alerts illegally on credit files maintained by Experian."

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February 20, 2008

Southwest Airlines Selects Accertify's Interceptas Fraud Prevention

Accertify has announced that Southwest Airlines has selected its Interceptas solution to fight credit card fraud.

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U.S. Bank, Visa Inc. Renew Partnership Agreement

U.S. Bank and Visa Inc. have announced that they have signed a multiyear partnership agreement through which U.S. Bank will continue to offer the full range of Visa payment platforms to its consumer and business customers.

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TrialPay Announces Series B Financing

TrialPay has announced that is has closed a $12.7 millionSeries B round of financing - bringing the total amount raised to $15.8 million. The company also announced that it now has 5.2 million registered users - with over 15,000 new users joining TrialPay daily.

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MasterCard Advisors Studies Small Businesses, Card Usage

MasterCard Advisors, the professional services arm of MasterCard Worldwide, has introduced The Small Business Study, an in-depth report of cardholders’ spending, attitudes, and preferences across the leading small business card issuers.

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Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

Announce yourself! Have you recently taken on a new position in the payments industry? If you'd like to share the news with your colleagues, be sure to tell us about it. Are you looking for a new payments-related job? Or are you needing to find someone great? Checkout the Payments Jobs job board.

February 19, 2008

White Paper on Gift Cards for Credit Unions

The Members Group has released a white paper for credit unions considering adding gift card as a product. The paper steps through the advantages of an effective program.

A Look at Mobile Banking in India

In an article titled 'Villagers across 12 states to benefit from mobile banking', Leslie D`Monte writes for India's Business Standard about mobile banking and how government is helping increase adoption.

FDIC Reports Bank Profits Down

In its latest Letter to Stakeholders, the FDIC notes that "FDIC-insured commercial banks and savings institutions reported net income of $28.7 billion in the third quarter of 2007, a decline of $9.4 billion (24.7 percent) from the third quarter of 2006. The year-over-year decline is primarily attributable to increases in provisions for loan losses and a decline in non-interest income."

Conference Call Insights into Card Processing for Merchants

This Thursday in the San Francisco Bay Area, we'll be hosting a special focus workshop on Card Payment Processing - The Value Chain. If you're interested in some current insights into the merchant card processing side of the business, be sure to take a look at the recent conference call transcripts on quarterly earnings from both Global Payments and Heartland Payment Systems. Thanks to Seeking Alpha for making the transcripts available.

Money Going Mobile - In Kenya

In an article titled 'Money is going mobile through phone services', Cassell Bryan-Lowe reports for the Wall St. Journal about Safaricom, a joint venture between Vodafone and Telkom Kenya, that provides person-to-person remittance services in Kenya. According to the article, Vodafone is planning to add India as well as cross-border remittance services between Kenya and the UK.

Dynamic Card Solutions Introduces Contactless Instant Issuance

Dynamic Card Solutions has introduced contactless card personalization - "allowing financial institutions to maintain the customer and revenue benefits of instant issuance while capitalizing on one of the card industry’s new growth opportunities."

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