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November 30, 2009

Webinar: Understand How the PayPal X Platform Can Help Your Firm

Sign up for an in-depth webinar on the PayPal X Platform Fundamentals to be given by Glenbrook's Russ Jones - being held on December 17th, 10:30AM - 11:45AM PST (1:30PM - 2:45PM EST). After this webinar, you'll understand how the new platform enables third party application developers to add global payments functionality directly into existing applications.

Russ will explain the platform's features and talk about how major companies - like FIS, SAP, and Carlson Marketing - are using the platform for innovative P2P, B2B and rewards applications. See the registration site for more details and the agenda. The fee for the webinar is $249. Register Now!

This webinar is part of Glenbrook's Payments Essentials Webinar series - designed to help payments professionals further their knowledge on key topics in the industry. Registration is also open for the webinar "eCommerce Debit and Cash Alternatives in the U.S. Market" December 15th, 10:30AM PST - 11:30AM PST. The fee for the webinar is $149. Register Now!

More information on Glenbrook's Payments Essentials Webinars is available on the Glenbrook website.

Travelex, Monitise to Develop Mobile Services

Travelex has announced an agreement with Monitise to launch mobile services for its 1.75m global Cash Passport cardholders. Cash Passport, a prepaid travel money card available in seven currencies, offers a secure and convenient way to carry money overseas. Cardholders can use their Cash Passport to pay for things and withdraw cash, just as they would with any other card, but without charges for use overseas.

Travelex and Monitise are developing an application which can be downloaded to the cardholder’s handset, allowing them to check their balance at any time, reload the card by mobile and also set up other alerts. The service will launch next year with a low balance alert, reminding cardholders to reload. READ MORE »

GlobalPlatform Enhances Internet Connectivity Support

GlobalPlatform has announced the launch of the GlobalPlatform Card Networked Framework v1.0. According to GlobalPlatform, "the technical document - which can be downloaded at - introduces new concepts that will allow GlobalPlatform cards to support a sophisticated networked environment." The GlobalPlatform Card Networked Framework v1.0 will be of particular interest to mobile network operators as many of their networks are IP based and there is a long-term requirement to upgrade to 4G networks and capabilities. READ MORE »

Discover: Small Business Economic Confidence Plunges in November

Discover has announced that its latest Discover Small Business Watch index of economic confidence among America’s small business owners "plummeted in November, as more owners cited serious concerns about cash flow and saw economic conditions for their own businesses getting worse. The Discover Small Business Watch index fell 12 points in November to 76.5 from 88.5 in October." READ MORE »

Bank of America Announces Credit Card Clarity Initiative

Bank of America has announced the launch of a new Credit Card Clarity Commitment - "a one-page summary of customers' rates, fees, and payment information." Bank of America says it is "the first bank to provide each cardholder with a clear and simple explanation of this kind." BofA says that its Credit Card Clarity Commitment will be sent to its 40 million current cardholders beginning in December and will be available to new customers next year. READ MORE »

Merchant e-Solutions Offers Free Tokenization Services

Merchant e-Solutions has announced that it is providing merchants with a tokenization solution at no extra cost to protect sensitive credit card data and reduce the burden of PCI compliance. READ MORE »

Headline News - November 30, 2009

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.

November 27, 2009

More Holiday Deals - from eBillMe

Yesterday, we pointed to several holiday discount deal sites from various payment providers.

In addition to those, eBillme has a ShopDebtFree discount site that features deals of the day and discounts for shoppers who prefer to pay with cash from their checking accounts instead of the other forms of payment. The site has products from the over 800 online retailers offering eBillme as a checkout option.

eBillme has also introduced a Black Friday website which will extend throughout the entire holiday shopping season, with deals, coupons, sales, specials and tips. The deals page features bargains that are updated regularly and special coupon codes for additional discounts being offered by eBillme on top of merchant sales.

Headline News - November 27, 2009

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.

November 26, 2009

Holiday Discounts from PayPal, Google Checkout, Amazon Payments

Some nifty discounts are available - almost any way you want to pay online.

Both PayPal and Google Checkout are serving up discounts for purchases this holiday season. Here's PayPal's Deal page - and here's Google Checkout's Deal page.

Not to be outdone, Amazon Payments is also offering special holiday deals if you shop with Amazon Payments.

American Express also has its Daily Wish specials promotion underway this week while Discover is promoting special discounts along with a 5% cashback offer. And, if you'd prefer to just pay with Visa or MasterCard, they have their discount pages as well.

With just a few extra clicks while shopping online this holiday season, you can find some valuable savings!

MasterCard Canada Brings PayPass to BlackBerry Smartphones

Paypass-BlackberryPhoto-16628.jpgIn partnership with BMO Bank of Montreal and Research In Motion, MasterCard Canada has announced that it is bringing mobile payments to BlackBerry smartphones through its MasterCard PayPass 'tap and go' contactless payment technology. MasterCard is beginning a four-month trial in which participants will use PayPass Mobile Tag-equipped BlackBerry smartphones to make purchases at any of the 8,500 merchant locations in Canada that accept MasterCard PayPass. As announced, the trial is contactless sticker-based and doesn't appear to include any application integration with the Blackberry handsets. READ MORE »

A Look at Qualcomm's Mobile Payments Strategy

In an article titled "Qualcomm’s Mobile Payment Strategy: Fix the “Costanza Wallet", Colin Gibbs writes for GigaOm about Qualcomm's mobile payments strategy based on an interview with Tripp Rackley, Qualcomm senior vice president and division president of Firethorn. Gibbs writes that "Qualcomm is continuing to invest in a space that it hopes will become a pillar of its business several years down the road."

November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from All of Us at Glenbrook!

Gosh, it's almost Thanksgiving again - the holiday that many folks (including me!) think of as just the best holiday in the US. At Glenbrook, we've got a lot to be thankful for again this year.

Across the industry, many payments professionals have worked hard to make sure everything in the card payment systems is ready for the upcoming annual "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday" onslaught of volume. Chase Paymentech's Pulse Index will be tracking ecommerce sales trends over the holiday weekend - so we can watch how the currently challenged US consumer economy is doing vs. last year. So far, the big news is that, while transaction volumes are up almost 23%, there is currently a 12.5 percent decline from 2008 in the average ticket.

We hope our US-based friends and readers enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends! It's just the best! We'll see you on the other side.

Frontline's The Card Game

Last night, PBS aired the Frontline documentary "The Card Game" about credit cards, credit card debt, fees and consumer loans in the US. The PBS website has an online version that can be watched along with additional interviews, background, analysis, press reaction and a discussion area.

Tactics for Getting a Lower Merchant Discount Fee - Surcharging

In an article titled "Bar Owner Stood Firm and Won Lower Fees", Keith Bradsher writes for the New York Times from Sydney, Australia about how The Merivale Group, Sydney’s largest operator of upscale restaurants and bars, successfully negotiated a lower merchant fee for acceptance of American Express cards. The tactic they used? In a word: Surcharging. The regulatory environment in Australia allows merchants to surcharge card fees to consumers.

Headline News - November 25, 2009

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.

November 24, 2009

Merchants Fighting Chargebacks

In an article titled "Shady Shoppers Beware" in today's Wall St. Journal, Emily Maltby writes about how some merchants are fighting customers who tend to chargeback purchases by using services such as those offered by and Ignify.

A Look at Interchange Fees in Australia

In an article titled "In Australia, Curbs on Credit Card Fees Backfired", Keith Bradsher writes for the New York Times about the adjustments to payment card interchange fees made several years ago in Australia by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Bradsher notes: "Now, as Congress debates how to rein in credit and debit card companies in the United States, Australia’s experience is being pointed to as an example of just how tricky that can be: for one thing, if regulators limit one fee or rate, banks are likely to find another way to keep revenue flowing."

Scotiabank Partners with M-Com for Mobile Banking

Scotiabank has announced a partnership with M-Com to bring mobile banking to Scotiabank customers in the spring of 2010. Scotiabank’s mobile banking service will provide personal and small business customers with easy access to their Scotiabank accounts from their mobile device, regardless of their mobile service provider. Customers will be able to view balances and transaction history, pay bills and make transfers. READ MORE »

American Express Holiday Rewards Points Promotions for Charge Cardmembers

American Express says it is "making holiday shopping a more rewarding experience for Charge Cardmembers enrolled in the Membership Rewards program by offering generous bonus Membership Rewards promotions for online shopping. From Black Friday (November 27th) through Cyber Monday (November 30th), American Express is exclusively offering to eligible Charge Cardmembers triple Membership Rewards points on every purchase, up to $5,000, made on, which offers a large selection of great gifts for the holidays."

Visa, SHPS Renew Agreement for Employee Benefit Cards

Visa and SHPS have announced "the renewal of a collaborative agreement which pairs the world’s largest electronic payments network with one of the nation’s largest providers of account-based, consumer-driven healthcare solutions. Under terms of the renewal, Visa remains the preferred payment brand for employee benefit card programs administered by SHPS, which serves large and mid-sized employers, health insurance carriers, and government agencies." READ MORE »

TowerGroup Forecasts Private Label Gift Card Sales to Decline 7%

TowerGroup says it is finding that the popularity of private label store gift cards is "plummeting." According to the research firm, "he reduction in card spending is reflective of a weakened economy, decreased holiday sales and less confidence in retailer inventories and stability. TowerGroup expects store gift card spending volume to fall by 7%, with a modest increase of 3% in general purpose cards in 2009." READ MORE »

November 23, 2009

Electronic Payments Orders Could Be An Opportunity for Banks!

In an article titled "The Check is in the Email? Electronic Payments Orders Could Be An Opportunity for Banks" over on our sister site, Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson takes a look at the opportunity for banks with Electronic Payment Orders.

Carol writes that "the EPO concept is a way for banks to leverage their existing investment in checking – and check imaging – and enhance the somewhat surprising success of remote deposit capture."

The Card Game - on Frontline/PBS Tomorrow Night

In an article titled "In Love Affair With Credit, It’s Business as Usual", Eric Mink writes for the New York Times about the PBS Frontline episode titled "The Card Game" that's scheduled to air tomorrow evening. Mink writes that "the program, a co-production with The New York Times, springs from the enactment in May of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009."

Wesabe Launches for FI's Wanting PFM Tools

Wesabe_logo-140px.pngWesabe has announced the launched of, "a personal finance management (PFM) platform that is available via a cloud-based services model for financial institutions that want award-winning personal finance management tools without the engineering requirements of hosting the platform in-house."

Wesabe CEO Marc Hedlund notes that Wesabe is offering "a new model for deploying banking software. Instead of going back and forth for weeks (or months) with a salesperson to get a quote, and then spending months with consultants charging for "integration," our new site lets banks and credit unions see pricing, sign up, launch, configure, and control their sites all over the web. We've had people deploy a full PFM suite for their site in under 10 minutes. We think this is a new way to get and deploy banking software, more akin to or than to traditional banking software."

Chase Paymentech's Third Annual Cyber Holiday Pulse Index

Chase_logo-140px.jpgChase Paymentech has launched an updated version of its Cyber Holiday Pulse Index to track online shopping activity throughout the 2009 holiday shopping season. Chase Paymentech says its Pulse Index this year will track over one million payment transactions made daily at 50 of the top U.S. retail Web sites as ranked by Internet Retailer magazine. READ MORE »

Discover Launches Web Site Showcasing the Value of Cash Rewards

Discover has announced the launch of, a new web site that describes all the ways Discover's cardmembers can get the most value from their Cashback Bonus rewards. READ MORE »

Mobile Money Ventures, CPNI Partner for Mobile Payments

Mobile Money Ventures (MMV) and CPNI Inc. (CPNI) have announced they will be partnering to offer financial institutions "a comprehensive solution that integrates CPNI's mobile commerce solutions into MMV's mobile financial services platform. The multifaceted relationship will combine CPNI's PATsend remote mobile payment technology into MMV's next generation mobile platform, with the opportunity to integrate PATbuy mobile purchases in the next phase." READ MORE »

Credit Card Bills Disguised as Junk Mail?

In yesterday's The Haggler column in the New York Times, David Segal writes about how he had been throwing away his credit card bill because it had begun arriving in a plain envelope with no return address on the outside. "The Haggler can’t prove it, but this seemed like a brilliant, low-cost way to pocket a fortune in late fees." The bank, Bank of America, said it changed the envelope after the "acquisition of several credit card companies" in 2006 and denied that it was trying to fool people.


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