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July 24, 2009

A Look at PayPal's Adaptive Payments

PaymentsViews_logo-140px.jpgOver on our sister blog,, Glenbrook's Russ Jones reviews what he learned at yesterday's announcement of PayPal's Adaptive Payments platform.

Russ writes: "First, there is a lot going on here. But what’s most interesting to me is what some at PayPal call “split payments”. ... It’s an important concept and well worth understanding."

The State of Contactless in the US

Contactless Payments Symbol - Photo-small.jpgIn a new weekly column for titled "The Credit Card Reform Backlash", Evan Schuman writes about the state of contactless in the US market - and some of the market forces that are pushing and slowing the pace of deployment of contactless for acceptance by retailers. (Schuman's StorefontBacktalk blog is also a must read for the retailers' perspectives on payments, etc.!)

Separately, in a podcast that Dave Birch recently posted with Nam Bain from the GSM Association, Bain cited results of a study the GSMA had conducted that concluded that contactless deployments needed to be in place at 30% of shopping locations before consumers would feel a "tipping point". He's concerned about contactless acceptance deployment because it's a critical foundation required for the eventual evolution to NFC-based mobile payments.

Headline News - July 24, 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 23, 2009

PayPal Launches Global Payment Platform for Developers

PayPal_logo-140px.jpgPayPal has announced plans "to open its payment platform to third-party developers with the release of new APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that allow developers to embed PayPal’s secure global payment system into their applications and platforms. In opening up the PayPal platform, developers can now create new ways to send and receive payments for services beyond traditional e-commerce. According to a recent McKinsey report, the global payments market represents a $30 trillion opportunity." READ MORE »

American Express Announces 2Q2009 Financial Results

American Express has announced financial results for the second quarter 2009 reporting that income declined 48% from the same quarter in the prior year to $342 million. Amex's billed business declined 16% on a worldwide basis to $151.4 billion. Average cardmember spending declined 15% to $2,712. Amex's merchant discount rate declined slightly to 2.55%.

TSYS Healthcare, Consumer Health Technologies Partner

tsys_top_logo.gifConsumer Health Technologies and TSYS Healthcare have announced an agreement that "extends streamlined payment solutions to consumers, enabling easier, more convenient and cost effective healthcare purchases. TSYS Healthcare’s payment card solution offers end-to-end functionality with greater automation, refined reporting and smoother reconciliation capabilities, resulting in minimal error rates. The TSYS Healthcare system will be integrated into BenefitSpan™, CHT’s award-winning total benefit administration platform for managing HRA, FSA and HSA accounts." READ MORE »

Stimulating Innovation at MasterCard

MasterCard Logo.jpgIn an article titled "Keeping Employees Creative in a Downturn", Reena Jana and Damian Joseph write for Business Week about MasterCard's approach using a company-wide webcast tomorrow to help ensure employees stay creative and suggest ideas for new products, services or internal processes.

J.P. Morgan Launches Total Settlement Accounts Payables Service

JPMorgan_logo-140px.jpgJ.P. Morgan has announced the launch of Total Settlement, an electronic payment solution that helps businesses simplify the payment of supplier invoices and lay the foundation for complete order-to-pay automation. According to the bank, "Total Settlement consolidates Automated Clearing House (ACH), commercial card, wire, and standard paper check payments in a single file, eliminating the extra effort in accounts payable involved with processing multiple payment types. A self-service web portal for suppliers provides valuable payment status information, remittance details and allows suppliers to maintain their own contact and payment-related information." READ MORE »

Opening Up the PayPal Platform

PayPal_logo-140px.jpgIn an article titled "EBay Plans to Ride PayPal Business to Greater Profit", Claire Cain Miller writes for the New York Times about eBay's plans to open up the PayPal platform to developers "who want to build applications that use PayPal’s technology." PayPal is scheduled to unveil its platform plans later today.

Prepaid Card Processor TxVia Raises $15.5M in Series C Financing

TxVia_logo-140px.jpgTxVia has announced it has raised $15.5 million in Series C financing, led by Bain Capital Ventures. Also participating were all current institutional investors, including Espírito Santo Ventures, High Peaks Venture Partners and Village Ventures. New York City Investment Fund joined as a new co-investor.

According to the firm, "the funding follows important milestones for TxVia, including successful large-scale client deployments of the company’s groundbreaking platform-as-a-service (PaaS) delivery model for prepaid card processing. Today, TxVia has more than five million reloadable and nonreloadable cards on file in both B2B and B2C prepaid applications." READ MORE »

A Perfect Silly-Season Summer News Story!

That's what Peter Applebome writing in the New York Times called the news about Visa's programming error that resulted in more than 12,000 Visa cardholders getting charges in the quadrillions posted to their accounts as the result of a "temporary programming error". "A quadrillion here and a quadrillion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money."

July 22, 2009 to Acquire has announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire, a leader in online apparel and footwear sales. According to Amazon, "the acquisition brings together two companies who share a passion for serving customers and whose customers benefit from cultures of innovation and long term thinking." READ MORE »

A Look at PayPal's 2Q2009 Financial Results

PayPal_logo-140px.jpgPayPal's parent eBay announced financial results for the second quarter 2009 today. PayPal's revenue grew 11% year over year to $669 million. PayPal's purchase volume grew 12% to $16.7 billion. Active registered accounts reached 75.4 million, up 20% year over year. PayPal's revenue ("transaction revenue rate") was 3.77% with transaction processing expense rate at 1.15% and a transaction loss rate of 0.30%.

A presentation on the results is available online. In the presentation, PayPal's segment margin is reported as 16.1% for the quarter, down from 19.5% in the same quarter last year. Bill Me Later's volume was $200 million for the quarter with an outstanding portfolio balance of $553 million. Net chargeoffs in the BML portfolio were 11.1%, up from 8.95% in the prior quarter.

Bankrate to be Acquired by Apax Partners

Bankrate has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired and taken private by funds advised by Apax Partners, a global private equity firm.

American Express Launches OPEN Forum Social Media Site

Amex-Open_logo-140px.jpgAmerican Express OPEN has announced the OPEN Forum, a new online resource and networking site for business owners. According to Amex, "the site is designed to forge meaningful business connections and provide practical, actionable information and insights from influential bloggers, industry leaders, and savvy entrepreneurs. In addition, the site will aggregate relevant online small business conversations from Twitter." READ MORE »

Sports Authority Adds MasterCard PayPass Contactless Acceptance

MasterCard Logo.jpgMasterCard has announced that "the sporting goods retailer, Sports Authority, will begin accepting MasterCard PayPass contactless payments at all of its 450 store locations in the U.S. In addition to using traditional magnetic-stripe payment cards, customers can now tap their PayPass contactless cards or devices on electronic readers at check-out to make their purchases, enabling quicker transactions and more convenient payments." READ MORE »

Credit Card Arbitration in Disarray

bank-generic_logo-140px.jpgIn an article titled "Credit Card Disputes Tossed Into Disarray", Robin Sidel and Amol Sharma write for the Wall St. Journal about yesterday's decision by the American Arbitration Association to "stop participating in consumer-debt-collection disputes until new guidelines are established." Their decision followed an earlier one by the National Arbitration Forum to stop accepting new credit card arbitration cases.

Headline News - July 22, 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 21, 2009

Sterling HSA Selects Metavante's WealthCare Card

Metavante_logo-140px.jpgMetavante has announced that it has been selected by Sterling HSA to be its exclusive provider of benefit debit card and healthcare payment technology. Sterling HSA is an independent, privately held company offering health savings account administration services to employers and individuals nationwide. READ MORE »

An End to Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Credit Card Agreements?

bank-generic_logo-140px.jpgIn an article titled "Next Consumer Backlash: Mandatory Arbitration" in today's American Banker, Maria Aspan writes about the decision announced over the weekend by the National Arbitration Forum Inc. to "stop handling such disputes by Friday as part of a settlement with Lori Swanson, the Minnesota attorney general." Aspan writes that the "Minnesota settlement comes as Congress is considering a bill that would ban mandatory arbitration clauses from credit card agreements, amid a larger debate about financial consumer protections and an agency to regulate them." Launches MintLife has launched MintLife, an expanded, magazine-style online publication that "will deliver more in-depth features and advice to help its more than 300,000 monthly visitors better manage their money and more knowledgably navigate the current, difficult economy. Expanded content, increased interactivity, data-driven infographics and direct access to celebrity sources will enhance the award-winning value of the money management and budgeting tools, furthering on its mission to help Americans save and do more with their money." READ MORE » Introduces ePayments for Small and Midsized Businesses has introduced ePayments - a payment method seamlessly integrated with's bill management service, which let SMBs pay any employee, individual or vendor, regardless of size, via electronic direct-deposit rather than with paper checks. ePayments enable payment from any US bank account using the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network. READ MORE »

Mobile Money Application Now Available on Apple App Store

MobileMoney_logo-140px.jpgMonitise Americas has announced the launch of its Mobile Money application on the App Store. According to the company, "Mobile Money gives iPhone and iPod touch users simple access to their account information using a dynamic application that is easy to navigate and safe to use. Mobile Money is a leading global solution for mobile banking and payment services. It is the world's first mobile banking ecosystem, empowering consumers to perform banking and payment transactions using a single consistent interface -- regardless of choice of mobile operator." READ MORE »

An Update on the Direct Express Debit MasterCard for Social Security

DirectExpress_logo-140px.jpgOne year after introducing a low-cost prepaid debit card option for Social Security check recipients, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS) reports that more than half a million Americans have signed up for the Direct Express Debit MasterCard. According to a new survey of cardholders, 95 percent say they are satisfied with the card and 86 percent say they would recommend it to family members or friends who receive a federal benefit payment. READ MORE »

Equifax, FICO Deliver New Credit Capacity Index

Equifax_logo-140px.jpgEquifax and FICO have introduced the Credit Capacity Index to give lenders and credit grantors easy access to a unique analytic tool to better assess consumer credit risk. The Index is "the first forward-looking risk management tool that rank-orders consumers based on their ability to take on future debt. Available through Equifax, Credit Capacity Index enables lenders to strengthen their account acquisition and account management strategies while minimizing exposure to potential losses while not burdening consumers with too much debt." READ MORE »

July 20, 2009

The US Credit Card Industry Is Unraveling - Says TowerGroup

TowerGroup_logo-140px.jpgNew research titled "Credit Cards 2.0: Smaller Balances and Tighter Margins" from TowerGroup predicts that "the ripple effect of the economic downturn will significantly impair balance growth for the credit card industry through 2010 and that modest growth will resume only in 2011. TowerGroup finds that the payment rate of US credit cardholders declined below 15% through the end of May 2009, a rate last seen in 2002, and attributes the decline mainly to increased unemployment rates." READ MORE »

Fifth Third Bank Joins Western Union Money Transfer Network

WesternUnion_logo-140px.jpgWestern Union and Fifth Third Bank have announced an agreement to offer the Western Union global money-transfer service at Fifth Third’s more than 1,300 banking center locations in 12 states. The Western Union global money-transfer service, a new service offering for Fifth Third accountholders and walk-in consumers, will be available in the next several months. READ MORE »


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