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« July 5, 2009 - July 11, 2009 | Main | July 19, 2009 - July 25, 2009 »

July 17, 2009

MasterCard Launches Priceless Picks iPhone Application

MasterCardPricelessPicks.jpgMasterCard has announced the availability of the MasterCard Priceless Picks iPhone application which it says "gives consumers a location-based utility to find and share their favorite picks with friends and family. Leveraging the iPhone’s GPS technology, users can instantly find shopping deals, entertainment options, dining venues and special experiences just steps away from where they are or where they’re traveling to, for business or for pleasure. Priceless Picks is available for free download at the iPhone App Store." READ MORE »

Bank of America Reports Second Quarter 2009 Financial Results

BankofAmerica_logo-140px.jpgBank of America Bank today reported second-quarter 2009 net income of $3.2 billion down slightly from last year's $3.4 billion. The bank's Global Card Services unit had a net loss of $1.6 billion compared to a $582 million of net income in the same quarter last year. Loans outstanding declined 8% to $220 billion. Credit card purchase volume fell dramatically, down 19.5% year/year to $51.9 billion. Debit card purchase volume increased slightly to $55.2 billion.

First Data Files S-4 Registration Statement with SEC

FirstDataCorp_logo.jpgFirst Data Corp. has filed an S-4 Registration Statement with the SEC to permit holders of unregistered outstanding notes for freely tradable notes that have been registered under the Securities Act. First Data says it does not plan to list the exchange notes on a national market. The S-4 lists FDC's principal executive office location as Atlanta, Georgia with Greenwood Village, Colorado shown as its administrative headquarters.

Headline News - July 17, 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 16, 2009

CyberSource Adds Debenhams Direct in UK

CyberSource_logo-140px.jpgCyberSource has announced that it is working with Debenhams Direct to provide secure processing and management of its online transactions. Debenhams Direct is the eCommerce arm of one of the leading retail groups in the U.K. and Ireland and processes over 2,500 orders on an average day. READ MORE »

JP Morgan Chase Reports Second Quarter 2009 Financial Results

JPMorganChase_logo-140px.jpgJPMorgan Chase this morning reported second-quarter 2009 net income of $2.7 billion, an increase of 36% compared with net income of $2.0 billion in the second quarter of 2008.

In its credit card business, JP Morgan Chase reported that charge volume declined over 16% year over year to $78.3 billion. End of quarter outstandings declined 4% year over year to $148.4 billion. The managed net charge-off rate for the quarter was 10.03%, up from 4.98% in the prior year and 7.72% in the prior quarter. The 30-day managed delinquency rate was 5.86%, up from 3.46% in the prior year and down from 6.16% in the prior quarter, reflecting normal seasonal patterning. The managed net charge-off rate for the quarter was 10.03%, up from 4.98% in the prior year and 7.72% in the prior quarter. The 30-day managed delinquency rate was 5.86%, up from 3.46% in the prior year and down from 6.16% in the prior quarter, reflecting normal seasonal patterning.

In terms of outlook for its credit card business, JPM said it expected losses on the Chase portion of its card portfolio could approach 10% next quarter while it expects losses on the WaMu portion of its card portfolio to approach 24% by the end of 2009. The bank said it expects continued pressure on charge volume and outstandings.

A presentation on the quarterly results is available online.

July 15, 2009

US Retailers Press Fight re: Payment Card Interchange Fees

bank-generic_logo-140px.jpgIn an article titled "Retailers Prepare to Fight Credit Card Fees" in Thursday's New York Times, Andrew Martin writes about how merchants in the US are mounting a "fresh offensive" against payment card interchange fees.

Martin reports that the retailers sense that the momentum has shifted in their favor - while the banks and payment card networks are gearing for a "furious battle on Capitol Hill."

Book Recommendation: The Art of Making Money

Every once in a while we come across a new book that we think will be of interest to the payments professionals among our readership. (Note: you can find a selection of all of our prior book recommendations in our PaymentsNews Bookstore on

Today, we've got a new recommendation for you to consider - and it's ideally suited to summer vacation reading. The Art of Making Money: The Story of a Master Counterfeiter by Jason Kersten extends an article that he wrote in 2005 for Rolling Stone about master counterfeiter Art Williams.

The book "details how Williams painstakingly defeated the anti-forging features of the New Note, how Williams and his partner-in-crime wife converted fake bills into legitimate tender at shopping malls all over America, and how they stayed one step ahead of the Secret Service until trusting the wrong person brought them all down. A compulsively readable story of how having it all is never enough, The Art of Making Money is a stirring portrait of the rise and inevitable fall of a modern-day criminal mastermind."

It's a great read! Also available in a Kindle edition from If you're interested in learning more about the book, you should listen to this excellent interview of the author by KQED's MIchael Kransny last week and this article on

Several New Articles on

It's been a busy day today on Glenbrook's where the following new articles have just been posted:

Fed Approves Interim Reg Z Changes for Credit Card Issuers

FederalReserve-130px.jpgThe Federal Reserve Board has approved an interim final rule amending Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) to require creditors to increase the amount of notice consumers receive before the rate on a credit card account is increased or a significant change is made to the account's terms. The amendments also allow consumers to reject such increases and changes by informing the creditor before the increase or change goes into effect. READ MORE »

Vindicia Raises $7.5 Million in Series D Financing

Vindicia_logo-140px.jpgVindicia has announced raising $7.5 million in series D financing - bringing the total amount raised to over $21 million. ONSET Ventures led the financing in partnership with existing investors Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, DCM and Leader Ventures. The company also announced that ONSET Ventures General Partner David Lane and BDMI Principal Keith Titan have joined its board of directors. According to the company, "Titan offers deep expertise in digital media, while Lane brings to the board a track record for success in developing emerging IT infrastructure companies." READ MORE »

US Banking Industry Provides Perspectives on Proposed Reforms

US-CapitolBuilding.jpgThe US House Committee on Financial Services is holding a hearing in Washington today on the Obama administration's financial regulatory reform proposals. A number of speakers from the banking industry are testifying at the hearing.

Canada's INTERAC Partners with INSIDE for Contactless Debit Cards

Interac_logo-140px.jpgCanada's Interac Association has announced a partnership with INSIDE Contactless, the world leader in open-standard contactless chip technologies to develop chips containing the specifications for INTERAC’s contactless payment service. According to the companies, this partnership will enable Interac Association and its members to offer their debit card users a “next generation” retail payments solution. READ MORE »

O2, NatWest Launch O2 Money in UK

O2_logo-140px.jpgO2 has announced it has partnered with NatWest to launch of O2 Money, a new business within O2 that the company says 'will seek to advance the increasing synergies between mobile and money. The first products from O2 Money, supported by NatWest, are two cash cards, designed to give people greater control of their money." READ MORE »

Consumer Overdraft Fees Increase During Recession

worried man at desk-140px.jpgAccording to research conducted by Moebs Services as part of its 22nd annual survey, "the national median for overdraft (OD) fees on consumer checking accounts, debit cards and ATMs increased to $26 per incident in 2009 from $25 per incident in 2008, a 4 percent increase, led primarily by Wall Street Banks – those with assets of more than $50 billion. These findings are the result of a just-completed nationwide survey of more than 2,000 commercial banks, savings institutions and credit unions." READ MORE »

A Look at Mobile Payments in the US

mobilepayments-140px.jpgIn an article titled "Will that be cash, check or cell phone?" and subtitled "Mobile payments are the next frontier, but Americans are slow to adopt", Vanessa Richardson writes for about the status of mobile payments in the US market - particularly for local, NFC-based payments using mobile phones at the point of sale.

Ingenico Develops Chip and PIN Self-Service Airport Kiosks

Ingenico_logo-140px.jpgIngenico has announced a three-year partnership with Ryanair to develop the world’s first self-service passenger kiosks with chip and pin technology to allow passengers to purchase optional services such as priority boarding when they arrive at the airport. READ MORE »

July 14, 2009

The Amazon Payments Prize for 2009

AWS-Startup-Challenge.jpgAmazon Web Services 2009 Startup Challenge includes a prize from Amazon Payments for the AWS Start-Up Challenge finalist with the most creative monetization strategy and use of Amazon Payments solutions. Winner of the Amazon Payments prize will go home with $10,000 in combined cash and Amazon Payments credits. Details here.

Fiserv Says Four of Five Online Households Use Online Banking

fiserv_logo.gifFiserv says that more than two million U.S. households adopted online banking and bill payment during the last year, according to a recent consumer survey. "A total of 69.7 million households, representing four out of five households with Internet access, now use online banking services, primarily to access balance and account history and transfer money between accounts. In addition, 64.4 million households pay at least one bill online, either at a bank website or directly at a company website." READ MORE »

What You Don’t Know About M-Pesa

M-Pesa_logo-140px.jpgOver on CGAP's Technology Blog, Olga Morawczynski, a doctoral candidate at the University of Edinburgh, writes about Kenya's M-Pesa and what most of us don't know about M-Pesa. She credits much of its success not to the usual suspects we've heard about but rather to Sagentia, a technology consultancy firm based in Cambridge. As often happens with innovations, it was the small dedicated team working with the two big players that provided the focus to get things done!

A Look at Remote Deposit Capture for Small Businesses

RDC.gifIn an article title "Not-So-Personal Banking", Laura Lorber writes for the Wall St. Journal about more small businesses avoiding trips to the bank to deposit checks they've received - instead using remote deposit capture to transmit an image of the check electronically to their bank.

Remote deposit capture is the equivalent of the electronic draft capture POS terminal that moved the credit card world from paper to electronics over 20 years ago - finally coming to the world of checking. One of the implications of RDC, of course, is that the local bank branch becomes less important. Said differently, banks can now market services to small businesses outside of their branch footprint.

When Shopping for a Bank - Consumers Value Brand Image Highest

JDPower_logo-140px.jpgThe new J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Retail Bank Shopping Study finds that, when selecting a retail bank, shoppers place the most importance on the bank’s brand image. The study finds that 36 percent of a shopper’s selection decision is driven by the bank’s brand image, while branch proximity (21%) and products and services (14%) also considerably influence which bank shoppers ultimately choose. READ MORE »

Prosper's SEC Registration Declared Effective

Prosper.pngYesterday, Prosper announced the successful completion of its registration process with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). As a result, Prosper's peer-to-peer (P2P) loans marketplace "has resumed for borrowers nationwide and lenders in 14 states with others soon to follow. Prosper is the first Internet auction-based P2P loans platform to have its registration statement declared effective by the SEC — a move that marks a significant breakthrough for the P2P lending industry." READ MORE »

July 13, 2009

Two Looks at ACH

PaymentsViews_logo-140px.jpgToday over on our sister site, our Glenbrook colleagues Carol Coye Benson and Erin McCune have each published articles about ACH. Carol recently interviewed NACHA CEO Jan Estep - see her article ACH: Big Questions for the Biggest Network. Erin's article discusses her thoughts on the future of ACH.

Annual Fees on Credit Cards Are Coming Back

annualfees.gifAuriemma Consulting Group says that "reduced revenues will drive credit card issuers to introduce cards with annual fees to consumers in the near future. Cards without annual fees will not feature rewards and will only offer cardholders basic benefits." READ MORE »

7-Eleven and Credit Card Interchange Fees

7-Eleven-unfairfees.jpgThe Consumerist takes note of 7-Eleven's new campaign to get customers to sign a petition to Congress protesting payment card interchange fees. "The vendor of last resort is mad about interchange fees, the fees banks charge merchants for accepting a credit card payment. The recent credit card legislation signed into law protected consumers from rate increases, but stayed silent with regards to interchange fees."


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