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« February 17, 2008 - February 23, 2008 | Main | March 2, 2008 - March 8, 2008 »

March 01, 2008

Going Broke: Why Americans Can't Hold On to Their Money

In an article titled 'Inside the Mind Of a Debtor Nation', Washington Post Personal Finance columnist Michelle Singletary recommends Stuart Vyse's book "Going Broke: Why Americans Can't Hold On To Their Money". Vyse is Professor of Psychology at Connecticut College, in New London. 'We've created a new kind of poverty, Vyse says. We have people who should have adequate income but still struggle because they're laden with debt.'

GAO Looks at Fees Banks Charge

In an article titled 'Banking Fees Are Rising and Often Undisclosed', Tomoeh Murakami Tse writes for the Washington Post's Sunday edition about a new report to be issued on Monday by the Government Accountability Office. 'The GAO report says the percentage of income at banks and thrifts derived from "noninterest sources," which include fees, rose to 27 percent in 2006 from 24 percent in 2000. Increased consumer use of electronic payments, as well as increased marketing of automatic overdraft protection programs, are likely contributing to the trend, the report says.'

February 29, 2008

Travelex Cash Passport Foreign Currency Prepaid Card

Calling it the "first ever prepaid foreign currency card", Travelex has announced it has teamed with MasterCard and West Suburban Bank to create the Cash Passport Card. The new Cash Passport cards are available in Euros and British Pounds with the exchange rate locked in at the time the card is loaded. Travelex says that for the consumer this means they avoid the risk of currency fluctuations.

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Various SEC Form 10-K Annual Report Filings

Several SEC Form 10-K Annual Report filings have been completed by various payments-related firms over the last few days including: TSYS, American Express, Fiserv, MasterCard Worldwide, Discover Financial Services, and Visa Inc.

Bellco Credit Union Launches Mobile Banking

Bellco Credit Union has announced that it "is making it easier for members to take care of their banking needs and access Bellco services through their mobile phones with Bellco’s new Mobile Banking. Bellco members can use their Internet-enabled mobile phones or PDAs to visit http://www.bellco.org and check their account balances, view account history, transfer funds between accounts and manage online bill pay."

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Bank of England Payment Systems Oversight Report

The Bank of England has published its fourth Payment Systems Oversight Report icon_PDF_small.gif. "The Oversight Report is an important element of the Bank’s oversight work, increasing transparency about the performance of the systems and acting as a tool to encourage further progress. The report describes the challenges presented to the key UK payment systems over the past year and explains the focus of the Bank's work in this field."

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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 28, 2008

Last Call: eB2B Payments at the Tipping Point - Special Focus Workshop

Registration is about to close for a special two-day focus workshop titled "eB2B Payments at the Tipping Point" being held in the San Francisco Bay Area next week on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 4-5. This special workshop is being taught by Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson in partnership with Erin McCune of Forte Financial. The workshop is approved for up to 17 CTP/CCM recertification credits by the Association for Financial Professionals. Please register ASAP if you'd like to attend this new workshop.

Availity, TRANSFIRST Launch CareCollect for Physicians

Availity, an e-health information exchange, and TRANSFIRST have announced the general availability of the Availity CareCollect solution for all physicians and health care providers nationwide. According to the two companies, the CareCollect solution is being offered through a partnership with TRANSFIRST, and will provide Availity customers fully integrated payment processing capabilities.

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Issuers Earning New Interchange Revenue from Bill Payments

Yodlee has announced that its proprietary DirectPay card payment network now supports over 300 national and regional billers, enabling new revenue generating credit and debit card based electronic bill payments. Yodless says that "the 300 DirectPay billers represent over 40 percent of major U.S. billers by volume and give most consumers the opportunity to pay nearly half of their bills by card each month."

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NACHA's PAYMENTS 08 Conference - May 18-21 - Las Vegas

Wondering whether the cell phone is about to replace the wallet? Will the disappearance of international border constraints from the payments landscape open as many doors to potential risk as it does to business growth opportunities?Financial institutions and businesses can choose from more than 130 sessions addressing these and other key industry issues at NACHA’s annual conference, PAYMENTS 08, May 18–21 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

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Airline Payment Summit

The Airline Payment Summit is being held in Toronto, Ontario on April 9-10, 2008. "As airline yields come under downward pressure, Airline Payment Summit (APS) will examine leading-edge low-cost payment solutions within the landscape of traditional forms of payments such as credit cards."

Free vs. Cheap - Why Micropayments Failed

In an article titled 'Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business', Chris Anderson writes for Wired Magazine about how more and more things are trending toward free. Here's his view about why micropayments failed: 'The huge psychological gap between 'almost zero' and 'zero' is why micropayments failed. It's why Google doesn't show up on your credit card. It's why modern Web companies don't charge their users anything. And it's why Yahoo gives away disk drive space. The question of infinite storage was not if but when. The winners made their stuff free first.'

More on Visa IPO

In an article titled 'Visa IPO success hinges on share price', Sam Zuckerman writes for the San Francisco Chronicle. He writes: 'Visa Inc.'s upcoming initial public offering is shaping up to be this year's hottest ticket on Wall Street. But should individual investors try to crash the party?'

February 27, 2008

Recommendations for Credit Card Issuers to Mitigate Credit Risk

TowerGroup has announced new research titled "Process and Data Risks in a
Changing Economy: How Credit Card Issuers Can Protect Their Portfolios" that identifies critical steps credit card issuers can take to withstand the current credit storm, and recover more quickly when the economy normalizes.

READ MORE »

Visa's Brazil Unit to Sell Shares in IPO by June

Reuters reports that VisaNet Brasil, owned in part by Visa Inc, is expected to sell shares in an initial public offering later this year.

February 26, 2008

Plastic Cards in Iraq

Deborah Haynes reports for the London Times from Baghdad about prepaid MasterCards being distributed in Iraq by a Baghdad-based financial services company. "The firm has been providing pay-as-you-go MasterCards since 2004, although business started to pick up only over the past year as the country became more secure."

Security of Chip & PIN

Saar Drimer, Steven J. Murdoch and Ross Anderson, researchers at the Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge in the UK, have announced a demonstration showing that "Chip & PIN machines are not as secure as the banking industry claims. Two widely deployed models of PIN Entry Devices (PEDs), the Ingenico i3300 and Dione Xtreme, fail to protect customers' card details and PINs adequately." The BBC also reports on this story.

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The Credit Card Fine Print

In an article titled 'Exposing the Credit-Card Fine Print', Anita Hamilton writes for Time about credit card issuer practices regarding interest rate adjustments. Hamllton writes that 'with politicians angry with the bankers over the subprime fiasco, the heat is rising on the industry's credit-card segment.'

The Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights Act of 2008

On the Credit Slips blog, Adam Levitin examines the legislation recently introduced by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) called the The Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights of 2008 icon_PDF_small.gif (H.R. 5244). Levitin says the proposed legislation "is an important first step to reining in an industry that has run wild in a regulatory no-man’s land of outdated and threadbare federal laws, preempted state laws, and somnolent consumer protection by federal banking regulators. The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights is a major piece of federal consumer protection legislation that will help shield consumers from the worst abuses of the card industry."

A Look at Visa's Upcoming IPO

Robin Sidel writes for the Wall St. Journal about Visa's planned initial public offering - scheduled for the week of March 17. Randall Smith writes for that Wall St. Journal about the fees ($350 million) that Wall St. firms may earn from the Visa IPO. Eric Dash writes about the Visa IPO for the New York Times.

Payments Professionals Management Changes

We have received news of the following recent management changes:

  • Jeff McLaughlin has been named Executive Vice President of Mobile Strategy for Monitise Americas. Prior to joining Monitise Americas, McLaughlin held management positions at mFoundry, McCaw Cellular/AT&T Wireless, BCGI, GetConnected and Refresh Mobile.
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 25, 2008

Bailing Out the Banks

Floyd Norris, chief financial correspondent of the New York Times, posts about the Visa IPO - asking how much of the Visa IPO proceeds will stay in Visa to help the company grow?

Meta Payment Systems Introduces iAdvance Credit Alternative

Meta Payments Systems has announced "the iAdvance Line of Credit for the millions of Americans who are unable to access affordable, small dollar credit."

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Bankrate.com Surveys Attitudes Towards Consumer Debt

Bankrate.com has published findings from a national poll of 1,014 consumers that examined attitudes toward consumer debt. Among the findings, "66 percent of Americans say debt is often the result of unfortunate circumstances beyond a person's control, while 60 percent say it is usually the result of bad decisions."

A Look at the Use of Alternative Payments for eCommerce Purchases

Edgar, Dunn recently commissioned an independent online survey of 700 individuals in the United States who made Internet purchases during the 2007 end-of-year gift shopping season, and the results revealed a significant shift in consumer use of these types of "alternative forms of payment". A new Insight article by Pascal Burg explores some of the implications of this shift to key stakeholders including alternative payment providers, traditional payment providers, merchants, and consumers. Almost a third of survey respondents used PayPal, Bill Me Later or Google Checkout to make an online purchase during the 2007 end-of-year gift shopping season.

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