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May 09, 2009

A Backward Glance at Emerging Payments While Looking Forward

Terri Bradford, Payments System Research Specialist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, has published a paper titled "A Backward Glance While Looking Forward" looking at some of the new payments products and technologies introduced over the last 10 years: check conversion, person-to-person payments, account aggregation, and electronic bill presentment and payment,

Obama Calls on Congress to Pass Credit Card Reform Bill

In his weekly address to the nation, President Obama called on Congress to pass a credit card reform bill, so that he can sign it into law by Memorial Day.

Americans know that they have a responsibility to live within their means and pay what they owe. But they also have a right to not get ripped off by the sudden rate hikes, unfair penalties, and hidden fees that have become all-too common in our credit card industry. You shouldn’t have to fear that any new credit card is going to come with strings attached, nor should you need a magnifying glass and a reference book to read a credit card application. And the abuses in our credit card industry have only multiplied in the midst of this recession, when Americans can least afford to bear an extra burden."

May 08, 2009

What Do Consumers Pay on Checking and Credit Card Accounts?

Victor Stango and Jonathan Zinman have published a paper titled "What Do Consumers Really Pay on Their Checking and Credit Card Accounts? Explicit, Implicit, and Avoidable Costs" icon_PDF_small.gif. The authors say they're attempting to answer the following questions:

What do people really pay to use their bank and credit card accounts, and which components of cost are the largest? Of all the costs that people pay, which could they easily avoid by making different day-to-day choices? And how stable are both the level of costs and the share of costs that are “avoidable,” for a given person over time?

MoneyGram Partners with NetSpend for Prepaid Card Reloading

MoneyGram and NetSpend have announced an agreement that will enable NetSpend prepaid debit card holders to be able to load value to their cards in a real-time, single-step transaction at any of the 40,000 MoneyGram ExpressPayment agent locations nationwide. According to the two companies, the agreement brings the number of locations that NetSpend customers can reload their prepaid debit cards to approximately 90,000. READ MORE »

Headline News - May 8, 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.

May 07, 2009

Fed Reserve, OCC, and FDIC Release Bank Stress Test Results

The results of the "stress tests" of the financial conditions of the nation's 19 largest bank holding companies by the federal bank supervisory agencies have been released. The exercise--conducted by the Federal Reserve, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation--was conducted so that supervisors could determine the capital buffers sufficient for the 19 bank holding companies to withstand losses and sustain lending--even if the economic downturn is more severe than is currently anticipated.

Fed Reports First Quarter 2009 Consumer Credit Results

The Federal Reserve has published its G.19 Consumer Credit report for the first quarter 2009. Consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 2 percent in the first quarter. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 6-1/2 percent, and nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 1 percent. In March, consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 5-1/4 percent with revolving credit declining 6.8 percent.

PULSE Launches New Surcharge-Free ATM Network

PULSE has launched PULSE Select, a surcharge-free ATM network alliance with the MoneyPass Network. The PULSE Select/MoneyPass Surcharge-free ATM Network provides financial institution participants with access to more than 16,000 surcharge-free ATMs in the US. READ MORE »

Western Union to Acquire Custom House, Ltd.

Western Union has announced a definitive agreement to acquire Canada-based Custom House, Ltd., a provider of business-to-business international payment solutions for small and medium enterprises. The US $370 million cash transaction is expected to close in the third quarter 2009, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. READ MORE »

Heartland Payment Systems Reports First Quarter Results

Heartland Payment Systems has announced financial results for the first quarter - including announcing a $12.6 million provision (pre-tax) for various expenses and accruals that were attributable to the processing system intrusion Heartland experienced in 2008. The company has recently returned to Visa’s and MasterCard’s lists of PCI-DSS Validated Service Providers.

Visa Launches New Web Site Design

I happened to visit this morning and noticed a brand new web site design - based around Visa's new advertising theme "More People Go With Visa". Check it out!

May 06, 2009

A Look at the Credit Cardholder's Bill of Rights

Yesterday, WAMU's Diane Rehm Show devoted an hour to a discussion of the credit card industry and legislation that has passed the House and is pending in the Senate to deal with certain issuer practices. You can listen to the show online.

Obopay Introduces Family Accounts

Obopay has announced the Obopay Family Account that "lets parents send money to their children -- or any family member -- instantly from any mobile phone. With Obopay's Family Account, parents get an Obopay Family Prepaid MasterCard issued by The Bancorp Bank for any child at least 13 years old, which can be used in-person, online or by phone with any merchant that accepts MasterCard debit cards." READ MORE »

Gartner: The New Age of Social Banking

New research by Gartner finds that while social banking won't change the consumer banking model immediately, retail banks that understand social media, financial social networks and microfinance have a better chance of adapting their services. Those banks that don't "face the prospect of being sidelined in the emergence of the social-banking services model." READ MORE »

May 05, 2009

mFoundry Launches Complete Three Mode Mobile Banking

mFoundry has announced that its mBanking product has been enhanced to include integrated support for text banking (SMS) and alerts, as well as support for mBanking within the mobile web browser (WAP). READ MORE »

Oberthur Technologies FlyBuy Contactless Payments Stickers

Oberthur Technologies has announced that it has deployed its FlyBuy contactless stickers to three banks internationally, including one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The sticker is the latest evolution in Oberthur Technologies' work into the development of contactless payment and form factors. READ MORE »

Sybase 365 Teams with Swisscontact for Mobile Money Projects

Sybase 365 has announced that it will team with Swisscontact, the Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation, to provide development of Mobile Money Transfer (MMT) and Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) services in emerging markets. READ MORE »

EMVCo to Hold First User Meeting, June 30-July 1, in Munich

EMVCo, the EMV standards body jointly owned by American Express, JCB, MasterCard and Visa, has announced that it will host an inaugural EMV User Meeting on 30 June-1 July 2009, at the Sheraton Arabellapark in Munich, Germany. Users of the EMV Specifications from across the world are invited to attend the meeting, and participate in technical discussions on the development of the EMV standard for future contact, contactless and mobile payments. READ MORE »

Verifi, Inc. Names Jennifer Schulz CEO

Verifi, Inc., a provider of transaction risk management services for card-not-present merchants, has announced that Jennifer Schulz has been appointed CEO effective immediately. Schulz succeeds the company’s entrepreneurial founder Matthew Katz, who will remain an active part of the company as Verifi’s Chairman. READ MORE »

May 04, 2009

Last Call - Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp - May 12-13, 2009

Next week's Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp is just about full. This session is being held in Santa Clara, CA - just down the road from Glenbrook World HQ in Menlo Park!

Over 2,500 payments professionals have already attended this unique session. If you're interested in attending Glenbrook's premier US payments education session next week before our summer break, please enroll right away.

After next week's session, we'll be bringing the Boot Camp to New York on Sep 23-24.

Swine Flu and Payments?

Over on the American Banker's BankThink blog, Maria Aspan asks what does swing flu have to do with MasterCard's and Visa's financial results? On last week's analysts' calls, both the Visa and MasterCard CEOs were asked about the potential impact.

Total U.S. Visa Debit Volume Surpasses Credit for First Time

Visa last week announced that spending on Visa debit cards in the U.S. had surpassed Visa credit card volume for the first time in the company’s history. For the period ending December 31, 2008, Visa's US debit payments volume was $206 billion, compared with credit payments volume of $203 billion. Debit transactions were nearly 70% of U.S. transactions for the same time period, representing an increasingly larger portion of Visa’s U.S. transactions. READ MORE »

NXP, Giesecke & Devrient Introduce NXP’s Fast Pay Chip, Devices

NXP and Giesecke & Devrient have announced the introduction of NXP’s new Fast Pay contactless security chip and a new line of G&D contactless payment devices based on this IC. According to the two companies, "Fast Pay-based devices have been specifically designed to provide consumers in the USA and Canada with a convenient and swift contactless payment solution – replacing the need for cash and reducing transaction times." READ MORE »

Headline News - May 4, 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.


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