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May 01, 2009

BusinessWeek: Cash Vanishes from Merchants' Accounts

In a story titled "Cash Vanishes from Merchants' Accounts", Amy Barrett and Jeremy Quittner write for BusinessWeek about how some merchant acquirers are imposing new reserve requirements on some of their card accepting small business merchants.

Most processing agreements give the transaction giants the right to accumulate those reserves simply by holding back money the merchant is supposed to be paid after a credit-card transaction has cleared, often with little or no warning.

May Webinars for Bankers from Edgar, Dunn and Bankerstuff

Edgar, Dunn & Company and Bankerstuff are providing three webinars in May to help financial institutions capitalize on opportunities while effectively managing the challenges of this rapidly changing economic climate:

Amazon Payments Offers Free Processing Through 9/30/09

Amazon Payments has introduced a free processing offer (through 9/30/09 - subject to certain conditions) for new users of its various payment services.

MasterCard Reports 1Q2009 FInancial Results

MasterCard Incorporated has announced financial results for the first quarter 2009 reporting that net revenue was $1.2 billion, a 2.2% decline versus the same period in 2008. MasterCard's gross dollar volume was up 0.3%, on a local currency basis, versus the first quarter of 2008, to $550 billion. Worldwide purchase volume during the quarter was also up 0.3% on a local currency basis versus the first quarter of 2008, to $411 billion. Purchase volume in the US declined 8% in the quarter with a 17% decline in credit and charge card volume in the US. The number of processed transactions increased 5.8% compared to the same period in 2008, to 5.1 billion. A presentation on the financial results is available online. READ MORE »

Headline News - May 1, 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.

April 30, 2009

New First Data White Paper Looks at IP-based Payment Connections

First Data has published a new white paper, Leveraging Secure IP-Based Payment Connection Network To Reduce Costs and Increase Customer Satisfaction, that discusses "the emergence of secure IP transaction networks that leverage the strengths of conventional IP connectivity while addressing its inherent shortcomings. Learn why these networks are the transport method of choice for payment processing, and why merchants of all sizes should consider migrating their payment transactions—from dial-up or conventional IP solutions—to a secure IP network."

Fifth Third Bank Extends Brand Relationship with MasterCard

MasterCard Worldwide has announced a multi-year contract extension with Fifth Third Bank for it to continue its partnership with MasterCard, issuing Credit and Debit MasterCard cards for both consumers and corporations. READ MORE »

FICO Announces Falcon Fraud Manager 6.0 General Availability

FICO has announced the general availability of its Falcon Fraud Manager 6.0 - saying "it is the first payment card fraud management solution to incorporate adaptive analytics, an innovation that accelerates financial institutions’ ability to spot new fraud patterns and prevent them from causing extensive damage. Early response to this innovation has been enthusiastic, with multiple projects already underway, including an installation at a major, U.S.-based credit card issuer." READ MORE »

Western Union, CPS, VeriSign to Pilot Mobile Bill Pay Solution

Western Union, Consumer Portfolio Services, and VeriSign have announced a pilot project to enable CPS customers to trigger their monthly car payment directly from their mobile phone. According to the companies, "unlike mobile payment services that direct the consumer to a website or interactive voice response system (IVR), the new service allows consumers to quickly and easily initiate their payment using their phone's text messaging service based on debit or credit card information entered online." READ MORE »

A Look at US Debit Card Spending

In an article titled "Debit-Card Use Overtakes Credit", Robin Sidel writes for the Wall St. Journal about the increasing usage of debit cards by US consumers. Sidel notes that Visa reported yesterday that during the last quarter of 2008 debit card purchase volume slightly exceeded credit card purchase volume for the first time in Visa's history.

Similar statistics released earlier this week by APACS in the UK show the surging volume on debit cards in that particular market.

US Treasury Dept. Supports HR 627 - Need for Credit Card Reform

According to a press release, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, joined by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, met yesterday with consumer groups, civil rights leaders and credit card consumers to discuss the national need for credit card reform. The discussion centered on the House Bill, Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights of 2009, (HR 627) which is set for a vote today and would significantly strengthen consumer protections in the credit card market. READ MORE »

April 29, 2009

Visa Announces Fiscal Second Quarter 2009 Financial Results

Visa Inc. has announced financial results for the company's fiscal second quarter 2009 ended March 31, 2009. "Net operating revenue in the fiscal second quarter of 2009 was $1.6 billion, an increase of 13% over the prior year, driven by contributions across all revenue categories. Though slightly negative in the U.S., payments volume continued to grow on a constant dollar basis in all other regions globally. Processed transactions continued to post solid growth globally." READ MORE »

IMShopping Launches Twitter-Based Shopping Service

IMshopping has announced its beta launch of what it's calling "the first human-assisted shopping website and Twitter shopping service where knowledgeable shopping guides respond to product questions and provide personalized recommendations for users. It’s like a Shopping 411 information service. The site offers the experience of going into a store, speaking with a knowledgeable expert and being guided to the best products for your needs." READ MORE »

First Data Launches PayCargo for Shipping Industry

First Data has launched PayCargo, a first global online freight payment system for the maritime shipping industry. According to FDC, "the proprietary solution PayCargo offers allows shippers, carriers and freight brokers of all sizes to settle accounts faster and more safely than ever before. The PayCargo system is an electronic invoice presentment and payment (EIPP) tool that helps reduce the cost of approving and disputing payments. It also helps prevent expensive demurrage and storage charges that often result from inefficient payment processes and procedures." READ MORE »

USPS, Dunkin' Donuts Join MasterCard's Easy Savings Program

MasterCard Worldwide has announced that the U.S. Postal Service and Dunkin' Donuts have joined the list of merchants that provide small businesses with automatic discounts and savings through the MasterCard Easy Savings Program. Eligible MasterCard business credit and signature debit, U.S. cardholders enrolled in the program will now receive an automatic 5 percent rebate on Click 'N Ship purchases made with the United States Postal Service at, and an automatic 5 percent rebate on purchases at Dunkin' Donuts. READ MORE »

Wells Fargo Announces Products, Services Every Traveler Should Know

Wells Fargo is offering a broad array of products and services to help domestic and international travelers navigate through potentially challenging situations they may encounter even before they hit the road – including emergency card replacement/credit line increases, mobile and online banking enhancements, and foreign exchange services. READ MORE »

CFSI Adds to Innovators and Responsible Credit Roundtables

CFSI’s Innovators and Responsible Credit Roundtables meet today in Chicago, joined by four new participating organizations, Green Dot Corporation, Meta Payment Systems, LexisNexis Risk & Information Analytics Group, and NetSpend. This convening marks the second time these groups have met together to move forward on developing innovative ways to serve underbanked consumers. READ MORE »

April 28, 2009

CalPERS Votes Against Bank of America Board of Directors

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS), holder of 22.7 million Bank of America shares, has announced it is voting against the re-election of all 18 Bank of America directors, including Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Ken Lewis. READ MORE »

Wesabe Announces First Springboard Financial Institution

Wesabe has announced that Delta Community Credit Union, the largest credit union in Georgia, is its charter Wesabe Springboard customer. Using Wesabe's Springboard offering, Delta Community Credit Union will have full access to Wesabe's suite of applications, including account management, goal setting/tracking, community forums, widgets, and merchant tips and comparisons. READ MORE »

Glenbrook's Allen Weinberg Is Live Blogging from FinovateStartup09

If Twitter isn't your thing, over on, Glenbrook's Allen Weinberg is live blogging from FinovateStartup today.

Tweeters Are Covering FinovateStartup 2009!

FinovateStartup 2009 is being held today in San Francisco. As befits a financial technology-oriented conference - especially in San Francisco, there are a number of attendees who are tweeting away about what they're seeing - to follow along, view #finovate on Twitter. Glenbrook's Erin McCune (tweeting as @erinmccune) and Allen Weinberg are both attending today's conference - if you're there, be sure to look them up and say hi!

CyberSource Online Fraud Report on Airlines Now Available

CyberSource has announced the availability of its Airline Online Fraud Report, a study of the impact of online fraud on the airline industry. CyberSource commissioned the study in association with Airline Information LLC. It can be downloaded at: READ MORE »

UK Payments Industry Publishes 2008 Spending Data

APACS has released new figures from the UK payments industry that give an authoritative overview of UK consumers’ spending habits last year.

According to APACS, "the figures show that 2008 followed the key trends seen over recent years with cash and credit card spending remaining comparatively flat, cheque use falling and spending on debit card and electronic payments continuing to rise. In particular last year, the growth of debit card spending at retailers remained strong with spending rising by 6.8%: debit cards now account for two-thirds of spending on plastic cards.

The retail spending statistics, which cover all online and offline retail transactions in 2008, show that of a total £269.9bn spent by consumers, 43 per cent (£116.1bn) was by debit card, 32 per cent (£86bn) was by cash, 23 per cent (£60.7bn) was by credit card and only 3 per cent (£7.1bn) was by cheque."


Headline News - April 28, 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.

April 27, 2009

A Look at Visa Debit in Canada

In an article titled "Credit card wars, Part 2: Cards hugely benefit merchants" in Canada's Financial Post, Visa Canada head Tim Wilson writes about why he believes Canadian merchants should embrace Visa's debit products - rather than trying to get the Canadian regulators to impose regulation and price controls on cards.

Wilson writes:

The government intervention retailers are asking for has been tried in Australia and, while business costs have decreased, Australian consumers are worse off. They have seen credit card fees increase, card benefits reduced, the introduction of surcharging at the point-of-sale and savings realized by the retailer have not been passed to consumers."

New White Paper: Realizing the Full Potential of Mobile Commerce

Edgar, Dunn & Co. recently developed a whitepaper in cooperation with Sybase 365 entitled ‘Realizing the Full Potential of Mobile Commerce’. According to EDC, "stakeholders in the mobile commerce ecosystem will need to collaborate in order to bring flexibility to the consumer – the cornerstone needed for the success of mobile commerce. This will ultimately require orchestration to bring the stakeholders together and also manage the complexity of the mobile commerce ecosystem." You can also download the paper from the Sybase web site by registering.

Litle & Co. Highlights Recurring Transactions Best Practices

Noting that US consumers spend $1 Trillion annually on recurring transactions and installment billing, Litle & Co. says it believes that in order to remain competitive, merchants -- particularly online, membership and subscription services businesses -- must embrace and support these transaction types as part of their overall offering. The company has developed a list of "Recurring Transactions Best Practices" to hel merchants take advantage of recurring transactions to convert traffic into long-term customer relationships and to maximize revenue opportunities. READ MORE »

American Express Enhances Delta SkyMiles Program

American Express has announced a number of new benefits available through its Delta SkyMiles Credit Cards as well as the launch of what it is calling "a 360-degree marketing campaign to build awareness for the Cards in key Delta hubs that were formerly Northwest hubs within the U.S. including Detroit, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Memphis." READ MORE »


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