The Smart Payment Association (SPA), a group of the industry's largest manufacturers of payment smart cards, has announced findings from its 2008 market monitoring activity - undertaken in order to get a better understanding of the current status of the payment smart card market and its key trends.
"A lot of industries were severely affected by the financial crisis. Despite a slowdown in the SPA payment smart card shipments at the end of 2008, the smart card manufacturers are not as heavily impacted as others can be", said Marie-Jane Denis, President of the Smart Payment Association. "High volumes continue to be shipped around the world and a majority of regions carry on their migration to EMV standards."
Heartland Payment Systems has announced that yesterday it successfully completed the first phase of its end-to-end encryption pilot project. According to the company, "this first step involved the transmission of live AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)-encrypted card transactions from a merchant to Heartland’s processing platform. AES is the highest level of encryption and is currently on track to replace DES (Data Encryption Standard) and Triple DES as the desired standard for sensitive data."
Earlier this month Heartland announced it was working with Voltage Security to develop its end-to-end encryption approach.
Visa has announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Monitise plc "to facilitate the delivery of Visa mobile payments and related services to consumers around the world. Concurrent with the strategic alliance, Visa has agreed to make a minority equity investment in Monitise, subject to Monitise shareholder approval."
The Wall St. Journal is reporting that "Monitise said Visa has agreed to take a 14.4% stake" for $13 million.
Broox Peterson comments on today's US Supreme Court decision in the case of Cuomo vs. Clearinghouse Association. "The decision today (5 Justices on majority opinion, 4 on opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part) holds that state attorneys general can enforce non-preempted state laws against national banks, contrary to the position of the OCC that such enforcement constituted preempted "visitation" under the National Bank Act."
Bank of America and First Data have announced "the formation of a new company that will deliver next-generation payments solutions to merchants ranging from small business to commercial and corporate clients worldwide."
According to the two companies, Banc of America Merchant Services, LLC will provide clients "with the most comprehensive suite of innovative payments solutions including credit, debit and prepaid cards to merchant loyalty, check and eCommerce payments."
Thomas C. McCrohan and his colleagues at Janney Montgomery Scott recently surveyed over 300 payments industry professionals to ask several questions about interchange fees in the U.S. and the potential effects on payments companies.
The Federal Reserve has published its latest annual report on the Profitability of Credit Card Operations of Depository Institutions. Section 8 of the Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act of 1988 directs the Federal Reserve Board to transmit annually to the Congress a report about the profitability of credit card operations of depository institutions.
From the report: "In 2008, credit card banks with assets in excess of $200 million reported net earnings before taxes of 1.43 percent of outstanding balances adjusted for credit card-backed securitization, down 132 basis points or nearly 48 percent from 2007. The 2008 rate of return is very low by historic standards; well below the average rate of return of 3.03 percent since 1986."
Bankrate.com has published its annual Credit Card Study with this year's edition focusing on terms and conditions -- the fine print of credit card agreements. The survey looked at two cards from the top 10 issuers, one platinum card and one rewards card. Bankrate found that the terms and conditions varied by issuer, not by the card. Issuers surveyed were: American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, FNB Omaha, USAA Federal Savings, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.
Economic confidence among small business owners rose slightly in June as cash flow concerns abated and the mood on the economy held steady, according to the latest Discover Small Business Watch. The monthly index rose to 80.9, up from 78.1 in May.
“Cash flow problems are back to levels that are more in line with what we’ve typically seen since the Watch began nearly three years ago,” said Ryan Scully, director of Discover's business credit card. “Cash flow concerns usually erode confidence because they represent something tangible to a business owner, more so than an expectation or perception about the economy.”
In Sunday's Washington Post, writers Nancy Trejos and Jonathan Starkey look at what's been happening to bank fees - noting that "your bank wants more of your money, and it's found a way to get it: by jacking up the fees on your account."
Examples? "Bank of America this year raised the maximum number of times customers can get hit with overdraft fees from five a day to 10. On top of that, it began charging a one-time fee of $35 if the account remains in the negative for more than five days."
Newly available over on our PaymentsViews.com sister site is a new Glenbrook research brief titled "Credit Card Acceptance for B2B Payments" by Glenbrook's Erin McCune and Carol Coye Benson.
This new research brief is based findings from a series of interviews conducted with business-to-business suppliers about credit card acceptance conducted earlier this year. There's a form in the article for you to request a download of the report.
On PaymentsViews.com, Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson takes a look at CashEdge's new POPmoney person-to-person money transfer service. Carol interviewed CashEdge's Neil Platt, SVP & General Manager - US Banking, about the new service.
With yesterday's death of Michael Jackson, purchasers of tickets to his planned London shows originally scheduled to begin in a few weeks will be seeking refunds on their purchases. See this article in todays' Guardian for more information. "Tickets for Jackson's 50-day tour sold out almost immediately when they went on sale in March. More than a quarter of a million people bought tickets..."
This is a nightmare scenario for a merchant acquirer - tickets purchased using credit cards for a future performance that ultimately doesn't happen. This is why merchant acquirers are as concerned about the nature of the goods/services being sold as they are about the merchant itself. It will be interesting to watch as this plays out in the UK.
Metavante has announced that the smartOne Prepaid Solutions division of First National Bank of Omaha has renewed its prepaid card processing agreement with Metavante Corporation. Extending a relationship that began in 2005, First National Bank of Omaha will continue offering its smartOne Prepaid Solutions products and services with account processing and real-time account validation services from Metavante. First National Bank of Omaha’s smartOne Prepaid Solutions portfolio includes payroll, reward/incentive and corporate disbursement (travel expenses and relocation funds) prepaid cards.
Mercator Advisory Group has published a new report, End-to-End Encryption: The Acquiring Side Responds to Data Loss and PCI Compliance that "explores end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in the hands of merchants, payment service providers and processors. In the face of the three bogies of PCI DSS compliance and penalties, reputational risk and direct financial loss, the acquiring half of the payments process is evaluating options for eliminating cleartext cardholder data from their systems. Tokenization (the subject of a recent Mercator report) and end-to-end encryption are the leading candidates. This report examines the complexity of E2EE within payments and enterprise security."
Gemalto has announced commercial launch of the Ezio Optical TAN, a unique optical authentication reader for online banking access that is specially designed for the German market. According to the company, "the reader, the size of a credit card, fits in a wallet along with the banking card. Users present the device in front of their computer screen and optical sensors capture the data they would normally enter from the reader keypad to carry out and sign online transactions. No software needs to be installed to use the device."
In a post on PaymentsViews.com titled "eRetailer Tender Type Acceptance Analysis", Glenbrook's Russ Jones takes a look at a recent Internet Retailer study of the top 500 retail web sites and does some additional tender type analysis to see what we could learn about acceptance trends across various alternative online payment methods.
Across the top 100 online retailers, Russ found that "87% of the Top 100 accept a form of payment other than the main four payment card tenders. 72% took at least five types of tenders — the four main tenders plus one alternative. On the far end of tender types diversity, 11% of the Top 100 took at least 8 different types of tenders."
Russ notes that this analysis is specific to online retailers based in the United States. Our analysis at Glenbrook indicates that about 60% of the global eCommerce market is now outside the United States — and tender type acceptance (and acceptance strategies) vary greatly country-to-country. If you're looking to sort out your global acceptance strategy, contact Russ Jones directly for further assistance.
In yesterday's edition, we announced we were making available a copy of Glenbrook’s Payments Systems and Domains Analysis for 2008 to those who request it.
Unfortunately, in our email newsletter, the form didn't work correctly for some recipients - so you may have not be able to successfully request a copy.
If you'd like to receive a copy, please go directly to this page on PaymentsViews.com and request your copy by filling out the form on that page. We appreciate your interest in our work at Glenbrook and welcome your comments on our analysis!
PayPal has released a new survey released finding that nearly half (45 percent) of online shoppers have abandoned their carts multiple times in the past three weeks due to high shipping costs, security concerns and lack of convenience. According to PayPal's survey, the average cost of abandoned goods in U.S. shopping carts is $109.
Javelin Strategy & Research has released a new report evaluating providers of alternative payment solutions for online retail transactions. The report, Predicting Alternative Payments Vendor Success: Balancing Needs Among Banks, Merchants, and Consumers reviews services provided by nine vendors: Acculynk, eBillme, HomeATM, Mazooma, Moneta, NACHA SVP, Noca, SeerGate, and Verient.
CashEdge has announced the launch of POPmoney - calling it "the first person-to-person payments (P2P) service for banks, enabling banks to provide simple and secure P2P payments from their online or mobile banking applications."