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July 02, 2009

A Look at Credit Card Issuers Raising Rates

bank-generic_logo-140px.jpgIn an article titled "Credit Card Issuers Raising Rates Ahead of New Law", Nancy Trejos writes for the Washington Post about how some US credit card issuers are raising fees and interest rates ahead of the date when new rules take effect early next year - "much to the irritation of Congress and consumer advocates."

Bling Nation Announces $8 Million in Series A Funding

BlingNation_logo-140px.jpgMobile payments provider Bling Nation has announced receiving $8 million in Series A funding with $6.3 million coming from lead investor Lightspeed Venture Partners. The remaining $1.7 million was raised primarily from Meck, Ltd., which invested an initial $5.3 million in Bling Nation, and CampVentures. READ MORE »

Headline News - July 2, 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.

July 01, 2009

Glenbrook's Newest Partner: Jacqueline Chilton

Jacqueline-retouch.pngGlenbrook Partners, a leading financial services consulting and research firm, has named Jacqueline Chilton as a partner in the firm. As a respected consultant in the payments industry, Jacqueline offers clients expertise in opportunity assessment, strategy development, and business case justification across multiple disciplines including payment cards, risk and compliance, and processor platforms. READ MORE »

Fitch: June US Credit Card Chargeoffs Up 62% vs 2008

FitchRatings_logo-140px.jpgFitch Ratings reports that credit card chargeoffs in June were 10.44%, 62% higher on a year over year basis. 60+ day delinquencies set yet another record high at 4.45% this month after dropping seven basis points (bps) in May. Given delinquency and bankruptcy trends, Fitch expects chargeoff increases to decelerate in the coming quarter, although actual improvements are not foreseen at this time.

Obama Administration Proposes Specifics for Consumer Agency

Yesterday, the Department of the Treasury sent to Congress specific language for a bill that would create the Consumer Financial Protection Agency.

The agency will be dedicated to looking out for American families when they take out loans or use other financial products or services – with a mission to promote access and protect consumers from unscrupulous practices across the market. This new agency will implement and enforce the new credit card bill signed into law by President Obama and Congress and have authority to combat the worst abuses in mortgage markets. This legislation creates an agency to promote transparency, simplicity, fairness, accountability, and access – laying the cornerstone for the effort to fundamentally reform our system of financial regulation.

In an article titled "Banks Balk at Agency Meant to Aid Consumers", Edmund L. Andrews writes for the New York Times that "banks and mortgage lenders are placing top priority on killing President Obama’s proposal to create a new consumer protection agency."

NYCE Finds Consumers Interested in Secure Online Payments

NYCE_logo-140px.jpgNYCE Payments Network has published results from a consumer survey finding that "consumers who limit their online shopping say they would make more purchases online if their financial institution offered them a safe payment method." A summary presentation on the survey findings is available online. READ MORE »

June 30, 2009

JP Morgan Takes a Look at PayPal

PayPal_logo-140px.jpgThe PayPal Blog notes that JP Morgan has recently published an "in-depth analysis on the PayPal business".

2008 Global Payment Card Market Survey Results

SmartPaymentAssociation_logo-140px.jpgThe Smart Payment Association (SPA), a group of the industry's largest manufacturers of payment smart cards, has announced findings from its 2008 market monitoring activity - undertaken in order to get a better understanding of the current status of the payment smart card market and its key trends.

"A lot of industries were severely affected by the financial crisis. Despite a slowdown in the SPA payment smart card shipments at the end of 2008, the smart card manufacturers are not as heavily impacted as others can be", said Marie-Jane Denis, President of the Smart Payment Association. "High volumes continue to be shipped around the world and a majority of regions carry on their migration to EMV standards." READ MORE »

Heartland Completes First Phase of End-to-End Encryption Pilot

HeartlandPayments_logo-140px.jpgHeartland Payment Systems has announced that yesterday it successfully completed the first phase of its end-to-end encryption pilot project. According to the company, "this first step involved the transmission of live AES (Advanced Encryption Standard)-encrypted card transactions from a merchant to Heartland’s processing platform. AES is the highest level of encryption and is currently on track to replace DES (Data Encryption Standard) and Triple DES as the desired standard for sensitive data."

Earlier this month Heartland announced it was working with Voltage Security to develop its end-to-end encryption approach. READ MORE »

Visa, Monitise Form Strategic Alliance For Mobile Payments

visa_logo-140px.jpgVisa has announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Monitise plc "to facilitate the delivery of Visa mobile payments and related services to consumers around the world. Concurrent with the strategic alliance, Visa has agreed to make a minority equity investment in Monitise, subject to Monitise shareholder approval."

The Wall St. Journal is reporting that "Monitise said Visa has agreed to take a 14.4% stake" for $13 million. READ MORE »

Headline News - June 30, 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.

June 29, 2009

Cuomo vs. Clearinghouse Association Decided

Broox Peterson comments on today's US Supreme Court decision in the case of Cuomo vs. Clearinghouse Association. "The decision today (5 Justices on majority opinion, 4 on opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part) holds that state attorneys general can enforce non-preempted state laws against national banks, contrary to the position of the OCC that such enforcement constituted preempted "visitation" under the National Bank Act."

Bank of America, First Data Form Merchant Acquiring Alliance JV

BankofAmerica_logo-140px.jpgBank of America and First Data have announced "the formation of a new company that will deliver next-generation payments solutions to merchants ranging from small business to commercial and corporate clients worldwide."

According to the two companies, Banc of America Merchant Services, LLC will provide clients "with the most comprehensive suite of innovative payments solutions including credit, debit and prepaid cards to merchant loyalty, check and eCommerce payments." READ MORE »

What Do Industry Professionals Think About Interchange Fees?

Thomas C. McCrohan and his colleagues at Janney Montgomery Scott recently surveyed over 300 payments industry professionals to ask several questions about interchange fees in the U.S. and the potential effects on payments companies. READ MORE »

Fed Reports Significant Decline in Profitability of Credit Card Issuers

FedReport.jpgThe Federal Reserve has published its latest annual report on the Profitability of Credit Card Operations of Depository Institutions. Section 8 of the Fair Credit and Charge Card Disclosure Act of 1988 directs the Federal Reserve Board to transmit annually to the Congress a report about the profitability of credit card operations of depository institutions.

From the report: "In 2008, credit card banks with assets in excess of $200 million reported net earnings before taxes of 1.43 percent of outstanding balances adjusted for credit card-backed securitization, down 132 basis points or nearly 48 percent from 2007. The 2008 rate of return is very low by historic standards; well below the average rate of return of 3.03 percent since 1986."

Bankrate's 2009 Credit Card Study has published its annual Credit Card Study with this year's edition focusing on terms and conditions -- the fine print of credit card agreements. The survey looked at two cards from the top 10 issuers, one platinum card and one rewards card. Bankrate found that the terms and conditions varied by issuer, not by the card. Issuers surveyed were: American Express, Bank of America, Capital One, Chase, Citi, Discover, FNB Omaha, USAA Federal Savings, US Bank, and Wells Fargo.

Small Business Confidence Rises as Cash Flow Issues Decline

DiscoverGraphic.jpgEconomic confidence among small business owners rose slightly in June as cash flow concerns abated and the mood on the economy held steady, according to the latest Discover Small Business Watch. The monthly index rose to 80.9, up from 78.1 in May.

“Cash flow problems are back to levels that are more in line with what we’ve typically seen since the Watch began nearly three years ago,” said Ryan Scully, director of Discover's business credit card. “Cash flow concerns usually erode confidence because they represent something tangible to a business owner, more so than an expectation or perception about the economy.” READ MORE »

June 28, 2009

The Bite of Bank Fees

worried man at desk-140px.jpgIn Sunday's Washington Post, writers Nancy Trejos and Jonathan Starkey look at what's been happening to bank fees - noting that "your bank wants more of your money, and it's found a way to get it: by jacking up the fees on your account."

Examples? "Bank of America this year raised the maximum number of times customers can get hit with overdraft fees from five a day to 10. On top of that, it began charging a one-time fee of $35 if the account remains in the negative for more than five days."

More here.


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