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« March 1, 2009 - March 7, 2009 | Main | March 15, 2009 - March 21, 2009 »

March 14, 2009

NPR: Dental Credit Cards Drill A Hole In Some Wallets

This morning's Weekend Edition on National Public Radio included a report titled "Dental Credit Cards Drill A Hole In Some Wallets" by Kelley Weiss. The story talks, in particular, about CareCredit - a division of GE Money that offers healthcare financing for consumers through a network of over 100,000 providers.

March 13, 2009

Clickatell Introduces SMS Receipts

Clickatell has introduced the new Clickatell SMS Receipts service that enables anytime, anywhere alerts between financial service providers and their customers to help fight fraud. READ MORE »

New Pago Retail Report from Deutsche Card Services

Deutsche Card Services, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, has published the Pago Retail Report 2008. Among its findings: "In European online retailing, risks of non-payment are much lower for women than for men. This is indicated by a lower chargeback ratio, which describes the share of credit card transactions which had to be charged back after the cardholder rejected the transaction. At roughly 0.10%, female consumers' non-payment ratio for online purchases paid for by credit card is only half that of male customers (0.19%). One year before the opposite was true. " READ MORE »

Headline News - March 13, 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 12, 2009

Yodlee Launches New Solution for Developers & Entrepreneurs

Yodlee has announced the Yodlee Software Development Kit (SDK) Entrepreneur Edition, making Yodlee's data and payments technologies available to new developers and entrepreneurs worldwide. READ MORE »

More on Overdraft Fees

Banks shouldn’t be allowed to automatically enroll their customers in expensive overdraft loan programs, according to Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports. The group urged the Federal Reserve Board in a letter today to require banks to get their customers’ permission first before signing them up for high fee overdraft loan programs for overdrafts triggered by ATM and debit transactions. READ MORE »

Online Banking Draws Nearly Half of Active US Online Population

New research released today by HSBC Direct shows that 49 percent of the online population conducts most, if not all, of its banking via the Internet, up nearly 23 percent from early 2007. READ MORE »

Following the MRC on Twitter

Litle & Co's John Stevens is continuing his superb Twitter coverage today of the Merchant Risk Council's annual conference being held in Las Vegas. To, tune in, click here. Or try this Twitter search for MRC. Wow, John, rock on! Great job!

FICO Launches "FICO Score Trends" for Lenders

FICO has announced the launch of a new subscription service for businesses, FICO Score Trends. Through the service, "lenders will be able to access and drill down into industry FICO® score trends, indexed by a range of criteria such as industry, geography and time period, to regularly analyze their own portfolios and improve their risk management and forecasting." READ MORE »

TSYS to Seize Opportunity in India - Appoints TSYS India MD

TSYS has announced that it has appointed Amit Sethi, a veteran of the global payments industry, as Managing Director of TSYS India and South Asia. He will be based in New Delhi and will be responsible for all business development and outsourcing activities in the region. India is the second fastest growing market for financial cards in the Asia-Pacific region. The country’s credit card base, pegged at 27 million in 2007, is growing at an annual rate of 30 to 35 percent, according to Euromonitor. READ MORE »

Global Finance Magazine Says MasterCard Top Corporate Card

In a press release, MasterCard Worldwide said it has been named the "Best Corporate Cards and Expense Services Provider" by Global Finance magazine for the third consecutive year.

The award was bestowed to MasterCard for innovative solutions that enable value and efficiency in commercial payments. MasterCard was selected by the publication's editors who incorporate input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts in determining the award's recipient. The results of the exclusive survey are published in the March 2009 issue of the magazine.


A Look at Pricing - PayPal, Google Checkout, Amazon Checkout

Following yesterday's fee change announcement by Google Checkout, Glenbrook's Scott Loftesness has just posted a look at pricing across the three major online payment providers over on

What is It's our newest online site for payments professionals - devoted to analysis, commentary and opinions beyond just the news of the day we cover here on

Deutsche Bank, Luup Partner for Mobile Payments Services

Deutsche Bank’s Global Transaction Banking (GTB) division has announced it is introducing mobile phone payments services to its clients in 80 countries across Europe, Middle East and Asia. Luup, a European-based mobile payment provider, will partner with Deutsche Bank to provide the service. READ MORE »

A Look at Lower Fee Network-Branded Prepaid Cards

In today's Deal of the Day column on, Lisa Scherzer writes about "The Pitfalls of Prepaid Cards" - noting that "Prepaid cards may not come with the sky high late-payment fees or APRs of traditional credit cards, but they do carry a slew of other charges." She goes on to recommend four network-branded prepaid cards "whose fees are a little more palatable than others" - including two from MetaBank, the Wal-Mart Money Card issued by GE Money, and the new Current Debit Card by Discover.

March 11, 2009

A Look at PayPal and eBay's Analyst Day

In a post over on titled "eBay Analyst Day: PayPal World Domination", Glenbrook's Erin McCune reviews what she heard from the presentations at today's eBay Analyst Day.

Google Announces Tiered Pricing for Google Checkout

Google has announced a new tiered pricing plan for merchant fees for Google Checkout. Beginning May 5, Google Checkout's fees will vary based upon a merchant's monthly sales processed through Checkout. The new pricing plan removes the credit for Google AdWords advertising that was part of the original fee structure for Google Checkout. Here are the details for US merchants and for UK merchants. An additional 1% fee is charged on all cross-border transactions. Google Checkout continues to not charge any monthly, setup or gateway service fees.

More Blogging from the Merchant Risk Council Annual Meeting

We've got more blogging over on from Glenbrook's Allen Weinberg who, along with Jay DeWitt, is in Las Vegas attending the Merchant Risk Council's annual conference. This morning, Allen covers the keynotes given by Tom Ridge and Terry Jones.

And, if you're on Twitter, you might want to follow JohnBStevens from Litle & Co. who is tweeting highlights in real-time from the MRC. Here's a list of some other tweets from the MRC.

Deloitte Consumer Spending Index Continues Upward in February

The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index rose in February driven by strong growth in real wages and a decline in energy prices. The Index attempts to track consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending. READ MORE »

eBay's Tweeting Its 2009 Analyst Day

eBay is holding its 2009 Analyst Day today. In addition to webcasting the event, eBay is also tweeting highlights from the presentations using Twitter @ebayinkblog. You can follow the hashtag #ebayinc for comments from others as well.

Prepaid Perspectives: Underbanked Consumers to Industry Executives

The Center for Financial Services Innovation is holding a webinar hosted by Jennifer Tescher next Tuesday, March 17, 2009 from 1-2 PM CST on the subject of "Prepaid Perspectives: Underbanked Consumers to Industry Executives".

Hear Jennifer share results from CFSI research in interviewing industry leaders across the spectrum of participants in the prepaid value chain, along with interviews from underbanked consumers. She will also discuss results from a research project completed by CFSI and to conduct an Internet poll of industry executives. Join us for this webinar, so you can better understand the current trends in general purpose reloadable (GPR) prepaid cards and chart a path forward in this growing industry.

TowerGroup Urges Caution re: Financial Services Regulation

New research from TowerGroup shows that "unfettered protectionism from national governments, in response to the financial crisis, could pose significant risks for the global financial services industry and its stakeholders worldwide. The research finds that although a short-term economic lift often results from governments’ use of protectionism, history has shown it to be an artificial solution that limits sustainable growth and puts a nation behind the global economic curve." READ MORE »

Headline News - March 11, 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 10, 2009

Updates from the Merchant Risk Council's Annual Conference

Glenbrook's Allen Weinberg and Jay DeWitt are participating in this year's Merchant Risk Council e-Commerce Payments and Risk Conference this week in Las Vegas. This is the seventh year for the conference and it's completely sold out.

On our new web site, Allen has posted his highlights from today's morning and afternoon Platinum Day sessions. Today's topics included the CyberSource 2008 Fraud Survey findings and PIN-debit for eCommerce.

Jay will be leading a panel discussion on Thursday on "Payments as Business Strategy" - highlighting how payments management is an important part of any eCommerce Merchant's overall strategy, both in keeping expenses in line but also, and, even more importantly, contributing to top line merchant revenues.

Stay tuned for more updates here by Allen and Jay from this important annual conference for eCommerce merchants.

National Economic Indicators Data from the Richmond Fed

One of the regular publications (updated every two weeks) from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond is a summary of the key national economic indicators.

The bank is just out with the latest edition today - it includes some pretty amazing charts - like the following:

US Retail Sales

Spiraling U.S. Credit Card Delinquencies Continue

In a press release, Fitch Ratings says that "U.S. consumers are falling further behind on their credit card bills as the economy continues to unravel, setting the stage for record default rates going forward. For the second consecutive month, credit card delinquencies breached all-time highs according to the latest Fitch Credit Card Index results. At January month end, the 60 plus day delinquency rate was 4.04%. The results come amid an unending parade of troubling economic data from surging unemployment to steeper declines home and equity market values." READ MORE »

Bank of America's Add It Up Offers Cash Back for Online Shopping

Bank of America has announced the launch of a new online shopping site that "allows enrolled customers to earn up to 20% cash back on their purchases at more than 270 online retailers, including top names such as, and Barnes & Customers with a current Bank of America credit or check card who are enrolled in online banking can register for free through the Add It Up site at" READ MORE »

ThreatMetrix Introduces Fraud Prevention 2.0

ThreatMetrix has announced an upgrade to its isoftware-as-a-service fraud and abuse-prevention solution. Calling it "the first major release of the product since ThreatMetrix relocated to the United States from Australia at the end of last year, ThreatMetrix Fraud Prevention 2.0 includes more than two dozen feature enhancements, all of which are designed to help merchants and financial institutions thwart cyber criminals before the first transaction." READ MORE »

Vindicia Extends CashBox Billing System With Merchant e-Solutions

Vindicia has announced that it has integrated its on-demand CashBox billing system with Merchant e-Solutions' (MeS) e-Commerce payment platform. In conjunction with the Merchant Risk Council Annual Conference in Las Vegas, Vindicia and Merchant e-Solutions are also announcing that Custom Builders USA (CB/USA) has selected the integrated solution to meet its subscription billing requirements. READ MORE »

Bernanke Speech: Financial Reform to Address Systemic Risk

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke gave a speech this morning titled "Financial Reform to Address Systemic Risk" at the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, D.C.

In my remarks today, I have emphasized the need to address the problems posed by firms that are perceived to be too big to fail, the importance of efforts to strengthen the financial infrastructure, the desirability of reducing the procyclical effects of capital regulation and accounting rules, and the potential benefits of taking a more macroprudential approach to the supervision and regulation of financial firms.


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