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« February 22, 2009 - February 28, 2009 | Main | March 8, 2009 - March 14, 2009 »

March 06, 2009

Federal Reserve Reports Slight January Consumer Credit Growth

The US Federal Reserve has reported its latest G.19 Consumer Credit statistics - finding that "consumer credit increased at an annual rate of 3/4 percent in January 2009. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 1-1/4 percent, and nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 1/2 percent."

Huntington Introduces Text Banking

Huntington Bank has announced that its customers can now stay on top of their finances with Huntington Text Banking. The bank described it as "a secure, convenient and easy way for Huntington customers to access their bank accounts anytime, anywhere, using a cell phone or mobile device." READ MORE »

Former Visa Chief Executive Carl Pascarella Joins CyberSource Board

CyberSource has announced the appointment of Carl F. Pascarella to the CyberSource Board of Directors, effective March 5, 2009. According to the company, "Mr. Pascarella brings more than 22 years of industry experience to the Board, including serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Visa U.S.A., Inc. from 1993 to 2005." READ MORE »

March 05, 2009

Retail Council of Canada Applauds Credit Card Industry Investigation

The Retail Council of Canada (RCC) and the "Stop Sticking It To Us" coalition, representing over 200,000 small and large businesses, said in a press release today that it "applauds the Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce for announcing today that it will move forward with an investigation of Canada's credit and debit card system. The announcement follows the introduction of a motion for an investigation by Senator Pierrette Ringuette in January this year." READ MORE »

Last Call: Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp Next Week in New York

The next Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp will be held in New York City next Tuesday and Wednesday, March 10-11. For more information on our Boot Camps, click here. To register, click here.

After next week's session in New York City, the next Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp will be held in Santa Clara, California on May 12-13, 2009.

Kount Announces Partner Agreement With ClearCommerce

Kount, a subsidiary of Boise, Idaho-based Keynetics Inc., has announced signing a preferred partner agreement with ClearCommerce/Certegy, a subsidiary of Fidelity National Information Services, Inc.  Under the agreement, Kount will work alongside ClearCommerce to provide the latest in fraud detection services to ClearCommerce merchants who seek additional fraud protection for their card-not-present transactions. Both companies support all major card brands, as well as alternative payment services.

Preferred Health Technology, Visa Team for Medical Payments

Preferred Health Technology and Visa have announced an alliance making Visa the preferred payment brand for PHT's A-Claim medical payment solution for physicians, hospitals and other health care providers. The A-Claim system enables health care providers to simply and securely verify insurance eligibility, adjudicate claims, and accept credit, debit or prepaid cards for payment at the time of service, or at a later date once the amount of the patient's responsibility has been determined by his insurer. READ MORE »

PayMate Expands Mobile Payments in India

The MobileStore, India’s largest telecom retailer, has announced it has partnered with PayMate to offer Point of Sale solutions (E-POS) across its 1,300 stores in over 200 cities that will allow customers to pay for their purchases, recharge talk-time and even buy or send gift vouchers instantly and securely via mobile. READ MORE »

ClairMail Says Banks Seeing Significant Adoption of Mobile Banking

ClairMail has announced that the banks using its ClairMail System are experiencing "tremendous adoption and usage, with some banks getting well over 90% of mobile banking consumers signing up for and receiving bank-defined and user-defined 2-way alerts." READ MORE »

Headline News - March 5, 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.

March 04, 2009

Fraud Management Institute Report on Address Fraud

The Fraud Management Institute has released its first annual Address Fraud Survey.

This year, the Fraud Management Institute inaugurated its first annual Address Fraud Survey. We surveyed a wide variety of fraud management professionals in the banking, telecommunications and e-commerce industries to learn about their current experience with address fraud, the fraud risks they are giving top priority, and their implementation plans for different fraud management strategies. The results, and our analysis of those results, are published in this report.

CircleUp Launches SmartPay - Powered by Amazon Payments

CircleUp, a group messaging service for membership Web sites, has launched SmartPay - calling it "a powerful new service for online payments made among members of groups and teams. SmartPay runs on the SmartMessage Platform, an innovative messaging service operating across multiple channels, partner destinations and platforms."

"SmartPay is a service that lets members of teams and groups collect money using credit or debit cards for expenses like coach and teacher's gifts, team banners, group photos, event t-shirts, group transportation, group parties and more that have traditionally been paid with cash and checks." READ MORE »

Amex Appoints FDC as Exclusive Merchant Acquirer in Poland

First Data and American Express have announced a new merchant services agreement in Poland where First Data will become the exclusive merchant acquirer and merchant processor for American Express Card transactions in Poland. READ MORE »

KeyBank First to Launch World Debit MasterCard

MasterCard Worldwide has announced the launch of the World Debit MasterCard card, calling it "a premium debit card that provides U.S. consumers with unique rewards and savings opportunities, purchase protection, and security benefits. KeyBank today became the first financial institution to introduce World Debit MasterCard to its customers." The new card includes MasterCard PayPass contactless payment functionality. READ MORE »

Citi Launches Citi Forward and Citi Forward by MySpace

Citi has announced the launch of Citi Forward, calling it "a credit card designed to meet the specific financial needs and interests of today’s consumers. Specially built to help consumers maintain healthy credit, Citi Forward is the only credit card that lowers the purchase interest rate by a quarter percent when cardmembers use credit wisely and rewards them with ThankYou Points each billing period for paying on time and staying under the credit line." Citi Forward is a Visa-branded card. READ MORE »

Acculynk Announces Issuer Participation in PIN Debit Pilot Program

Acculynk has announced that its Internet PIN debit pilot program is scheduled to go live in early March with several issuers that will bring several million cards to the pilot. The first pilot issuers to participate are from the ACCEL/Exchange EFT network, owned by Fiserv. Acculynk says that a second EFT network will be announced in a few weeks. READ MORE »

White Papers Available in First Data's Thought Leadership Library

First Data Corp. has a growing collection of white papers in its Thought Leadership Library covering a wide range of payments-related topics. The latest papers include:

March 03, 2009

Why Are (Some) Consumers (Finally) Writing Fewer Checks?

The Consumer Payments Research Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has published a new working paper titled "Why Are (Some) Consumers (Finally) Writing Fewer Checks? The Role of Payment Characteristics" icon_PDF_small.gif by Scott Schuh and Joanna Stavins. READ MORE »

TwitPay Is Ready for Prime Time - Powered by Amazon Payments

TwitPay, the Twitter-based person-to-person payments service, has announced that it's exiting its beta phase and will be moving "real money" starting today using Amazon Payments.

Working with Amazon Payments, we’ve built a new version of Twitpay that means we don’t have to be the middle-man for your cash. That’s good for you as a user because you don’t have to trust us with your money, you just have to trust Amazon. It’s good for us as a service because it allows us to focus on adding new features and focus on the core of our business."

Urban Trust Bank, First Data Partner to Offer Prepaid Cards

First Data and Urban Trust Bank have announced that Urban Trust Bank will offer the Money Network payroll card and related prepaid products to businesses and consumers. READ MORE »

Verifi Announces Preferred Partner Agreement with Chase Paymentech

Verifi, a provider of transaction risk management services for card-not-present merchants, has announced that the company has signed a preferred partner agreement with Chase Paymentech. "Verifi will recommend Chase Paymentech as a preferred merchant account provider to its merchant customers, and will provide its transaction risk management services, including chargeback prevention and management, to Chase Paymentech’s card-not-present merchants." READ MORE »

Treasury, Fed Launch Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility

In a press release this morning, the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board have announced the launch of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF). They say that "the TALF has the potential to generate up to $1 trillion of lending for businesses and households. Under the TALF, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York will lend up to $200 billion to eligible owners of certain AAA-rated ABS backed by newly and recently originated auto loans, credit card loans, student loans, and SBA-guaranteed small business loans.

Elavon Markets the American Express OnePoint Program to MSPs

Elavon, the merchant acquiring subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, has announced that it is the "first acquirer to commercially market the American Express OnePoint program to its third party sales channels, including Merchant Service Providers (MSP's) and Agent Banks." Under this program, Elavon says it performs all set up, processing, settlement, funding, customer support and reporting for eligible American Express acceptance, thereby providing merchants with one processing relationship for all major card brands. Elavon also offers OnePoint to merchants in its direct sales and alliance bank referral channels. READ MORE »

New BCG Report: Global Payments 2009

The Boston Consulting Group has announced its ninth major study of the payments industry titled "Weathering the Storm: Global Payments 2009" find that "banks must take forceful steps to overcome major challenges to their payments businesses if they are to bolster their overall profitability amid the ongoing financial crisis." READ MORE »

Headline News - March 3, 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.

March 02, 2009

Zuora Announces Z-Commerce for Facebook Applications

Zuora has announced Z-Commerce for Facebook - calling it "the missing link to making the Facebook Economy a reality. Until today, the vast majority of Facebook applications were limited to an advertising-based revenue model. Now, Zuora’s vision of the Business Cloud – the commerce engine for cloud-based services – is available to all Facebook developers who want to charge for their applications using recurring pricing, usage-based fees, one-time charges, or the subscription pricing model that best fits their service."

[Editor's note: For a perspective on this space from Glenbrook's Russ Jones, see A Subscription-based App Store? on] READ MORE »

CashStar Launches Interactive Gift Card Platform

CashStar, a new interactive gift card and incentives company, has announced the launch of a e-gifting, marketing and promotions platform that enables businesses and consumers to securely e-mail monetary value such as Interactive Gift Cards, rewards, incentives and rebates. The company says that "several companies, including Uno Chicago Grill, Travelocity Incentives and Gorham Bike & Ski, are already offering Interactive Gift Cards via the CashStar platform. In addition, the company disclosed that is has secured more than $4 million in funding." READ MORE »

HSBC To Exit US Consumer Finance Business - Except Credit Cards

In its annual earnings release today, HSBC announced that it was going to shut down its US HSBC Finance business:

It is now clear that models of direct personal lending that depend on wholesale markets for funding are no longer viable. In light of this, we have taken the difficult decision that, with the exception of credit cards, we will write no further consumer finance business through the HFC and Beneficial brands in the US and close the majority of the network. Thus, in terms of new business, we are drawing a line and we will run off our existing business, providing all necessary support to HSBC Finance to enable it to do so in a measured way and meet all its commitments. ... With the benefit of hindsight, this is an acquisition we wish we had not undertaken."


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