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July 10, 2009

A Market Test for Credit Cards

bank-generic_logo-140px.jpgCommenting that "sometimes the answer to a failure of competition is to require more competition", Ian Ayres and Barry Nalebuff have published an op-ed in Forbes titled "A Market Test for Credit Cards" that advocates requiring card issuers putting up account relationships for bid if they choose to change the terms (like interest rate) on the account. Consumers would have an option to move to a new issuer who bid for the relationship - or to stay put with the revised terms.

Senator Dodd Writes Regulators About Credit Card Rate Increases

dodd.jpgSenator Chris Dodd has sent a letter to to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and the heads of key regulatory agencies "directing them to write and enforce robust rules to implement new requirements that credit card companies review rate increases on their customers implemented since January 1st of this year."

Dodd reminds the regulators that the recently enacted Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (Credit CARD Act) includes a provision that will require credit card companies to review every six months any account where the interest rate has been raised since January 1, 2009 and reduce the rate if the customer has become less of a credit risk or the circumstances that warranted the increase are no longer present.

Headline News - July 10, 2009

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit PaymentsJobs.com. Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.

July 09, 2009

A Look at the U.K.’s Faster Payments Service

PaymentsViews_logo-140px.jpgOver on PaymentsViews.com, Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson takes a look at the UK's Faster Payments Service. Carol spoke with David McFarlane, Company Manager, CHAPS Clearing Company about FP - and said she was surprised by much of what he said: FP is not what you thought!

comScore Publishes New Mobile Financial Services Report

comScore_logo-140px.jpgcomScore has released an inaugural study of the mobile financial services industry with a new report titled Mobile Financial Services: The Market Today & Opportunities for Tomorrow. The report provides a look at the current state of the industry and mobile financial users, and highlights areas for potential growth in this rapidly evolving market. READ MORE »

eBillme Introduces Cash Back Rewards

eBillme_logo-140px.jpgeBillme has announced it will give consumers 1% cash back for every purchase made using its cash checkout option. According to the company, "in order to qualify, online shoppers select eBillme for checkout at one of over 800 online merchant sites offering the credit card alternative payment option. Consumers can then sign-up for eBillme's cash back rewards and immediately start earning 1% cash back for every order. Once $10 in rewards has been earned, the cash can be redeemed on eBillme merchant sites, or shoppers may choose to continue earning before redeeming." READ MORE »

ClairMail Reports Revenue Growth

clairmail-logo.gifClairMail has announced a record number of new customers and a 200 percent year-over-year revenue increase for the second quarter ending June 2009. The company says this record quarter "continues the rapid growth trend the company has experienced in the past 12 months." READ MORE »

TransUnion's Consumer Credit Risk Index Hits Record Level

TransUnion_logo-140px.jpgTransUnion has announced that it TransUnion Credit Risk Index, a statistic developed to measure the changes in average consumer credit risk within various geographies, increased 1.98 percent from 124.79 in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 127.26 in the first quarter of 2009. On a year-over-year basis, the Credit Risk Index increased 7.10 percent (from 118.83 in the first quarter of 2008), the largest increase for that time period in this decade. The Credit Risk Index is defined as the weighted average probability of 90-day delinquency or worse among consumers in a given region relative to the nation as a whole. READ MORE »

July 08, 2009

Consumers and Interchange Fees - The 7-Eleven Petition Drive

7-Eleven-unfairfees.jpgIn an article titled "Roping Consumers into Fee Tug-of-War", Maria Aspan writes for the American Banker about 7-Eleven's effort to garner consumer signatures on petitions that will be forwarded to the US Congress as it considers legislation dealing with credit card interchange fees.

Aspan writes that some industry observers feel that the time is right for such a petition drive as "a lot of people are just fed up with credit card companies in general and they're willing to sign anything".

Fed: Revolving Consumer Credit Outstanding Shrinks 3.75% in May

FederalReserve-130px.jpg
Photo: Cliff1066
The Federal Reserve released its monthly G.19 Consumer Credit report today showing that overall consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 1-1/2 percent in May 2009 while revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 3-3/4 percent.

A Look at Prepaid Reloadable Mobile & Utilities Cards in Latin America

latinamerica.jpgNovoPayment has announced its regional forecast for prepaid general-purpose reloadable mobile and utilities cards - estimating a potential market of nearly US$160 billion annually by 2015. According to the company, "the forecast is part of a larger regional study for prepaid cards covering 15 countries – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Mexico and Venezuela – that measured factors such as size of labor force, poverty rates, wages, banking and other metrics based on the company’s experience in the field." READ MORE »

Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Falls for First Time in Four Months

Discover_logo-140px.jpgDiscover has announced that its U.S. Spending Monitor fell for the first time in four months from 86.2 to 85.6 (based out of 100) finding that "consumer attitudes toward the economy reversed course from the previous three months with more consumers expressing concern over the current state of the U.S. economy. Overall, 59 percent rated current economic conditions as poor, a 4-point increase from the previous month and the first increase since February." READ MORE »

July 07, 2009

7-Eleven Takes Card Interchange Fee Fight Into Convenience Stores

7-Eleven-unfairfees.jpgIn an article titled "7-Eleven leads fight against what it calls excessive credit card fees", Maria Halkias writes for the Dallas Morning News about how 7-Eleven is using its 6,300 stores in the US to solicit signatures "on petitions calling for Congress to change what the chain says are unfair and excessive credit card transaction fees." [Editor's note: We noticed that the 7-Eleven next door to Glenbrook's HQ began the petition drive last week. There's signage and a notebook for signatures right next to the cash register.]

US Credit Card Delinquencies Rise to 4.75% of All Accounts in 1Q09

bank-generic_logo-140px.jpgThe American Bankers Association’s Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin reported today that in the first quarter of 2009 that bank card delinquencies rose 23 basis points to 4.75 percent (s.a.) of all accounts, compared to 4.52 percent in the previous quarter. (The record was 4.81 percent in the second quarter of 2005.) The balances on those delinquent accounts rose dramatically, up 108 basis points to 6.60 percent (n.s.a.) of the value of all outstanding bank card debt, marking a new record. READ MORE »

Lessons Learned from the Heartland Data Breach

HeartlandPayments_logo-140px.jpgBased on an interview with Heartland Payment Systems CEO Robert Carr, Rachael King writes for BusinessWeek about lessons learned during the Heartland data breach that began in 2008 and was discovered and announced in January 2009.

Equifax Launches Debt Wise for Consumers

Equifax_logo-140px.jpgEquifax has launched Debt Wise, a new product that uses information from the Equifax Credit Report to consumers to free themselves from debt--faster. According to Equifax, "Debt Wise effectively eliminates one of the biggest hurdles for many debt laden consumers -- getting started. Subscribers can create their personal debt payment plan online in as little as 10 minutes, in the privacy and comfort of their own home." READ MORE »

July 06, 2009

PayPal's Platform for Third-Party Developers

PayPal_logo-140px.jpgFollowing the TechCrunch story earlier today about PayPal's Application Platform, Osama Bedier, VP of platform and emerging technology at PayPal, has posted an article on the PayPal Blog saying: "...it is true that PayPal will be the first and only global payments platform open to third-party developers allowing them to easily monetize their ideas."

MasterCard Extends Agreement With OptumHealth

OptumHealth_logo-140px.jpgMasterCard has announced a multi-year contract extension with OptumHealth Inc.'s OptumHealth Bank to issue MasterCard cards for health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), including the accounts they manage for UnitedHealthcare members. The OptumHealth MasterCard cards can be used as a form of payment, tied to these tax-advantaged accounts, for eligible medical expenses, such as copayments, deductibles, prescriptions, vision care and certain over-the-counter items. READ MORE »

Headline News - July 6, 2009

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit PaymentsJobs.com. Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.

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