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« March 15, 2009 - March 21, 2009 | Main | March 29, 2009 - April 4, 2009 »

March 27, 2009

AFP Finds Payments Fraud Rampant in Majority of US Organizations

Deteriorating financial conditions in 2008 coupled with the emergence of new payments types and the growth of electronic payments opened up new opportunities for payment fraud, according to the 2009 AFP Payments and Fraud Control Survey. According to AFP, "the assault on payments is widespread: over seventy percent of organizations surveyed experienced attempted or actual payments fraud in 2008." The survey was sponsored by J.P. Morgan Treasury Services. READ MORE »

FinovateStartup 2009 Expands Roster of Participating Companies

FinovateStartup 2009 will have 52 participating companies presenting their stories on April 28 in San Francisco. The latest additions include: BudgetPulse (an online personal financial management service), Mozo (a financial services comparison engine out of Australia), SeerGate (a startup working on popularizing online debit payments) and Tempo Payments (looking to make decoupled debit a household word). Early bird registration closes on March 31 - so if you're planning to go, be sure to signup in the next few days!

ChronoPay Partners with Payvision for Expanded Acceptance

ChronoPay and Payvision have announced they have signed a contract forming strategic partnership. Through the partnership with Payvision, ChronoPay expands its presence in European countries offering eCommerce merchants more flexible, secure and multi-currency payment solutions - enabling Chronopay merchants to increase their online transaction volumes. READ MORE »

March 26, 2009

A Look at CTIA Wireless 2009's NFC/Mobile Payments Workshop

The CTIA's annual conference - CTIA Wireless 2009 - is being held next week (April 1-3) in Las Vegas.

There are no keynote speakers this year out of the payments industry - however, on Friday, April 3, the day is primarily devoted to an NFC/Mobile Payments and Applications Workshop developed by the Smart Card Alliance.

The workshop will be moderated by Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director, Smart Card Alliance, and will feature industry speakers, including: Didier Serra, INSIDE Contactless; Joe Mendoza, Gemalto; Mohammad Khan, ViVOtech; Jeff Fonseca, NXP Semiconductors; and Liam Lannon, Collis.

US Airways Selects 41st Parameter's FraudNet

41st Parameter has announced that US Airways has selected FraudNet to detect and prevent Card Not Present (CNP) fraud across multiple reservation channels including online, kiosk and phone. READ MORE »

TSYS Acquiring Solutions Adds Healthcare Provider POS Solutions

TSYS Acquiring Solutions has announced partnership agreements with mPay Gateway and Nova Libra to provide point-of-sale payment solutions that meet the needs of healthcare providers and their patients, as well as pharmacies and drug stores. READ MORE »

The Impact of Credit Line Reductions on Consumer FICO Scores

Seeking Alpha has a good article this morning about the potential impact of credit card issuer credit line reductions on consumer FICO credit scores - creating a whole new segment of consumers who will migrate down to subprime status as a result of issuer actions, not actions taken by the consumers.

Headline News - March 26, 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 25, 2009

Nokia, Obopay and Mobile Payments

In an article titled "Nokia Makes a Call for Global Mobile Payments", Steve Bills writes for the American Banker about Nokia's investment in mobile payments provider Obopay. Bills cites a Nokia executive who compares the integration of cameras into mobile phones over the last few years with the potential for mobile banking and payments being similarly integrated - although the Nokia exec "declined to give details about the Obopay investment or to say whether Nokia plans to incorporate the technology in its phones."

Sioux Falls: The Town that Credit Built

Today's Marketplace program on PBS has the first of a two-part story about Sioux Falls, South Dakota and the historical reason why so many credit card issuers are based there.

Fee Addiction Among US Credit Card Issuers

In an article titled "Credit card users beware: Terms, they are a-changing", Connie Prater writes for about recent changes that some credit card issuers are making to their terms and conditions. According to Prater, "changes have come quickly in interest rates, fees, minimum payments, credit limits and rewards -- and none of them favor consumers."

Bank Fraud Forum Blog Launched

The Bank Fraud Forum Blog has been launched by Memento Security.

Fraud is a serious issue that deserves serious discussion. The Bank Fraud Forum℠ has two primary objectives: 1) to convey insights, opinions and comments on the world of financial crime, and 2) to serve as an open, albeit virtual, forum for the fraud fighting community. Our goal is to offer intelligent, timely and thought-provoking analysis of trends, news, best practices and more. Helps Consumers Manage, Pay Down Credit Card Debt

San Francisc-based GoalSpring has announced a major milestone following the December 2008 alpha launch of by passing the $100 million mark of consumer debt enrolled in its service. is "an easy-to-use, free online tool helping consumers with debt to create and manage a plan to pay it down." GoalSpring says it was founded out of a desire to break the mold of previous financial services companies that push products rather than help people achieve goals. READ MORE »

MasterCard Canada Responds to Retailer Concerns

In a press release, MasterCard Canada said it "has accepted an opportunity to appear before the Senate Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce in order to discuss the payments industry, as well as to address the significant misinformation being propagated by retail sector lobbyists." MasterCard Canada also has a web site on the subject of interchange fees called READ MORE »

ID Analytics Introduces ID Network Attributes

ID Analytics has announced the availability of the ID Network Attributes, a family of products that provide organizations with greater insight into the array of consumer identity information within the company's ID Network. According to the company, "these attributes reveal new and powerful insights into identity information not available from other sources such as public records or credit bureaus, while protecting the sensitivity of the data." READ MORE »

A Look at Cards for Taxi Ride Payments in New York City

In an article titled "Taxi Commission Says Credit Cards Help Drivers", William Neuman writes for the New York Times "that credit cards may be saving the industry from feeling the worst effects of the recession." It turns out that since all cabs in New York City are now equipped for credit card payments, "many corporations that once ordered black cars for their employees have begun telling them instead to take a cab (which costs less) and charge it." One in five taxi trips are being paid for using payment cards.

First Data, Wells Fargo Extend Merchant Alliance JV

In its 2008 earnings release this morning, First Data Corp. announced that on Dec. 31, 2008 First Data and Wells Fargo extended their merchant alliance joint venture, Wells Fargo Merchant Services, for five years. In connection with the transaction Wells Fargo increased its ownership in WFMS by paying First Data a cash consideration resulting in First Data and Wells Fargo owning 40% and 60% of WFMS, respectively, as of Dec. 31, 2008.

First Data held a webcast this morning - an accompanying presentation icon_PDF_small.gif is available online.

Nokia Invests in Obopay

Obopay has announced an investment from Nokia - sayimg that "this investment is a resounding endorsement for Obopay's ongoing innovation in mobile money technology." READ MORE »

Headline News - March 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.

March 24, 2009

A Break for Credit Card Customers in Bankruptcy?

In tomorrow's Washington Post, V. Dion Haynes reports on today's Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing that "heard debate on a measure that would wipe out credit card debt for people in bankruptcy." According to the article, "the [proposed] bill would apply to companies that raise rates higher than 15 percent plus the current yield on the 30-year Treasury bond. That combined rate currently is 18.5 percent."

Canadian Merchants Lobby Against Visa/MasterCard Debit Cards

The "Stop Sticking It To Us" Coalition, representing over 200,000 Canadian businesses, small, mid and large, says it is gathering in Ottawa this week to combat overcharging by VISA and MasterCard. Speaking on behalf of the Coalition, Retail Council of Canada President, Diane J. Brisebois said, "The credit card companies are pushing to take over debit transactions and hike credit card service charges. That's bad for merchants, and bad for consumers. At a time when governments are asking Canadians to stimulate the economy by spending on goods and services, credit card companies skimming more off the top is not helping our economic recovery." READ MORE »

FTC Testifies on Efforts to Protect Consumers of Financial Services

The Federal Trade Commission today told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection of the Committee on Energy and Commerce that the FTC will continue protecting consumers from predatory lending and other illegal practices through all stages of the credit life-cycle, from advertising of credit through collection of debt. The FTC also recommended legislative and other remedies to enhance the agency’s effectiveness. The text of the prepared testimony icon_PDF_small.gif is available online. READ MORE »

US Senate Hearing: Abusive Credit Card Practices and Bankruptcy

The US Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts held a hearing today on "Abusive Credit Card Practices and Bankruptcy". See this Wall St. Journal story for more coverage of the hearing. A webcast of the hearing is also available (1 hour 45 minutes long).

MasterCard Discounts on Online Tax Preparation Services

This tax season, MasterCard is working with both H&R Block and TurboTax to provide discounts to its cardholders on the purchase of online tax preparation services:

Link2Gov Offers an Alternate Way to Pay Taxes With Bill Me Later

Link2Gov has announced that it now offers Bill Me Later as a payment option for qualified taxpayers. Taxpayers can now log onto, powered by Link2Gov, to pay their individual or business federal taxes. Bill Me Later offers customers credit for single transactions at the point of payment online, and provides authorization for approved customers within seconds. In addition to federal taxes, Link2Gov plans to add Bill Me Later as a standard payment option along with the card-based and electronic check payment solutions it provides to non-IRS government agencies of all sizes. READ MORE »

Western Union, US Bank to Partner for Money Transfer Services

Western Union and U.S. Bank have announced an agreement to offer the Western Union global money-transfer service in 2,791 U.S. Bank branch offices across 24 states. The agreement will connect consumers to more than 334,000 Western Union Agent locations worldwide. READ MORE »

Payment System Reforms: Innovation and Competition (Australia)

Philip Lowe, Assistant Governor (Financial System) at the Reserve Bank of Australia, spoke today at the Cards & Payments Australasia 2009 conference being held in Sydney, Australia. In his speech, he addressed "firstly, the recent reforms of the ATM system; secondly, the conclusions of last year’s review of the reforms to the card payment systems; and thirdly, the architecture and governance of Australia’s bilateral systems." In his discussion of the reforms, he comments, in particular, about online payments:

The Bank’s recent focus on online payments reflects a couple of considerations. One is that in many situations, consumers wishing to buy goods online have few payment choices other than to use a card issued by the international schemes. This lack of choice weakens competition, and is likely to become a bigger issue as online commerce continues to grow.

Another consideration is that fraud rates on online transactions appear to be steadily increasing. Almost half the fraud on credit cards occurs in situations where the merchant does not physically see the card, with the fraud rate increasing by around 50 per cent over the past year. If this trend were to continue, it could undermine consumer confidence in transacting online which would have obvious costs.

March 23, 2009

Survey Finds Consumers Want Opt-In Choice on Overdraft Coverage

A new Center for Responsible Lending survey icon_PDF_small.gif finds that U.S. consumers overwhelmingly want to be asked their preference before a bank or credit union enrolls them in a program to cover debit card purchases when they do not have the funds. READ MORE »


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