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September 26, 2009

The Rage at Overdraft Fees

The rage around bank overdraft fees continues with an article titled "Overdraft 'Protection' Is Anything But" by Michelle Singletary in today's Washington Post.

She writes: "Clearly, people should be more responsible. But once again, financial services institutions have crossed the line of fairness. And to be honest, the federal government has helped them along. The federal agencies that regulate the industry determined several years ago that overdraft protection programs were not extensions of credit, a ruling that was ridiculous."

Mobile Coupons Interest More Merchants

In an article in DMNews, Dianna Dilworth reports on JCPenney's pilot program for mobile coupons in the Houston area. Using the coupons presented on their mobile phones, consumers earn discounts on purchases. For its program, JCPenney is using San Jose-based Cellfire to manage the mobile coupon efforts. Cellfire claims they are seeing redemption rates of 10% to 20% for mobile coupons - resulting from much better targeting of offers as compared to traditional paper coupons.

Dilworth also reports that Starbucks is using 2D bar code as well with its new Starbucks Card Mobile iPhone application now in pilot. She says that Starbucks is using technology from Codilink to read the 2D bar codes generated by the application on the iPhone.

How to Find a Credit Card Processing Merchant Account

TransFS_logo-140px.jpgIn an article titled "TransFS Launches Comparison Site for Credit Card Processing Fees", TechCrunch profiles TransFS - one of a new breed of websites designed to help businesses comparison shop among various merchant acquirers and ISOs for the best deal that matches their needs. TransFS collects information from the merchant and then gathers bids from providers to present back. The TransFS blog provides a steady stream of helpful, merchant-related articles as well.

Payments-R-Us_logo-140px.jpgAnother new entrant into this space is Payments-R-Us (www.paymentsrus.com) that focuses on online merchant payment solutions. Unlike the auction process managed by TransFS, Payments-R-Us offers a free "suggester" based upon the merchant answering some basic questions about their business. Payments-R-Us also has a collection of reference materials helpful to online ecommerce merchants.

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