Payments News from Glenbrook Partners
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« November 29, 2009 - December 5, 2009 | Main | December 13, 2009 - December 19, 2009 »

December 12, 2009

Earn Cashback When You Checkout with Amazon's PayPhrase

Want to save money on your holiday purchases? Amazon is offering a Cashback promotion if you sign up and use its new PayPhrase feature when you purchase now and your order is shipped by 12/31/09. With the promotion, you can 5% CashBack at and 10% CashBack at PayPhrase-accepting merchants across the web.

December 11, 2009

What's Blippy?

Earlier today, in a post titled "Want Everyone To See Your Credit Card Transactions? Of Course You Do. Meet Blippy", TechCrunch's MG Siegler covered Blippy and notes that the big question that Blippy answers is ‘What are your friends buying?”.

Do you want to share your payment card purchase details with your friends?

Wildcard Network Launches iPhone Gift Card Application

Wildcard Network has announced the launch of its free Wildcard iPhone application - now available in the iTunes Store.

According to the company, the "Wildcard app brings gift cards to life by offering a convenient and intuitive way to manage and gift on the iPhone." Using the app, you can buy and use gift cards from the iPhone. When you need to make a purchase, the app displays a bar code that the merchant's POS scans.

Navigation Capital Partners Acquires Prepaid Solutions USA

Navigation Capital Partners, an Atlanta-based middle market private equity firm, has announced that it has acquired the assets and associated liabilities of Prepaid Solutions USA via newly-formed entity Prepaid Solutions, Inc. (PPS). Prepaid Solutions USA was a division of West Suburban Bank (WSB), a Chicago area-based community bank and wholly-owned subsidiary of West Suburban Bancorp, Inc. WSB's Prepaid Solutions USA division was founded in 2001. READ MORE »

December 10, 2009

Glenbrook Office Hours - Friday, December 11, 2009

Do you have questions, observations, or thoughts about payments? Give me (Scott Loftesness) a call.

I'll be holding office hours all day on Friday, December 11th. You can reach me at +1.650.469.3421. I look forward to talking to you! If I'm unable to take your call, I'll try to return your call - subject to my availability. If you'd rather email, you can reach me at:

Do you have Glenbrook on your side?

Obopay Launches iPhone App

obopay.pngObopay has announced that its Obopay mobile payments application is now LIVE on the Apple App Store and available for free download.

"By delivering a rich, user friendly experience, Obopay’s iPhone mobile payment application is unparalleled in the market today. Advanced features include push notifications and family-centric money management tools that enable parents to monitor children’s spending and make real-time transfers to/from family accounts. Children can send requests for emergency money to their parents and receive it in seconds. In addition, it is ideal for small merchants who will benefit from the push requests, advanced history display and tracking capabilities."

CRL: Credit Card Issuers Use Loopholes to Bypass New Rules

The Center for Responsible Lending says that "credit card companies are busy crafting new tricks and traps to bypass both Federal Reserve Board rules and new federal law set to take full effect in late February 2010" in a new research report titled: "Dodging Reform: As Some Credit Card Abuses Are Outlawed, New Ones Proliferate". READ MORE »

December 09, 2009

First Data Releases SpendTrend Consumer Spending Data for November

First Data Corporation has released First Data SpendTrend transaction data for November 2009. SpendTrend tracks same store consumer spending via credit, signature debit, PIN debit and EBT cards at U.S. merchant locations.

Overall transactions for the month showed a growth of 8.9% over 2008, despite one less shopping day in November 2009. Transactions in the month of October 2009 were 8.2% higher than the previous year. READ MORE »

MasterCard Presentation at Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Conference

Yesterday, MasterCard's Tim Murphy presented at the Goldman Sachs US Financial Services Conference. The presentation and webcast are available online. Of particular interest is one of the slides (slide 7) that illustrates where debit card growth is coming from - and that it's not at the expense of credit cards.

Discover Holiday Shopping Survey Finds Consumers Cutting Back

Discover Financial Services has released its annual Holiday Shopping Survey finding that "shoppers plan to spend 15 percent less on holiday gifts compared to last year. Forty-eight percent of shoppers who plan to spend less said the economy was very influential on their decision to cut back on holiday spending this season. But of those spending less, nearly 80 percent say it will not put a damper on their holiday spirit." READ MORE »

Blackhawk Network Enables iTunes Online Gifts on Facebook

Blackhawk Network has announced that it now provides Facebook users with a new way to purchase and send iTunes Online Gifts. iTunes Online Gifts can be used to purchase and download content from the iTunes Store. The new service is now available in the U.S. exclusively on the iTunes Fan Page on Facebook. (The iTunes Fan Page on Facebook has over 2 million fans!) READ MORE »

A Look at the American Express Zync Card

In an article titled "American Express Zync: Will Young Adults Want a Charge Card?", Ron Lieber writes for the New York Times about this new card that Amex is targeting at young adults who want a charge card (requires payment in full each month) with a relatively rich rewards program - but with an annual fee, etc.

Western Union, InComm Partner for Prepaid Money Transfer Service

Western Union and InComm have announced an agreement to offer the Western Union GoCashSM service, a new U.S. in-lane prepaid money-transfer service from Western Union. READ MORE »

Latest Statistics on Payments Fraud in Australia

The Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA), the payments industry self- regulatory body, has released the latest fraud statistics for cheques, debit cards and credit and charge cards for the 12 months ending 30 June 2009. During the period Australia’s total rate of fraud (cheque and payment cards) has risen by 2 cents for every $1,000 of payments from 7 cents to 9 cents in every $1,000. READ MORE »

December 08, 2009

VeriFone Announces PAYware Mobile iPhone Payments Solution

VeriFone Holdings has announced PAYware Mobile - a payment solution for the Apple iPhone that it says "provides small businesses with simple and secure card processing capabilities on the popular smartphone platform. VeriFone’s payment solution for the iPhone puts mainstream payment processing capabilities in the hands of small business merchants who need a mobile card acceptance solution for enterprises such as home repair, small cafes, door-to-door sales, or virtually any other type of business." READ MORE »

Headline News - December 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.

December 07, 2009

Why Wait for NFC?

One of the use cases that NFC fans like to discuss is the smart poster - where a mobile handset can pickup information by simply being held in close proximity to an NFC "button". With not a lot of NFC-equipped handsets in the market yet, this isn't a use case that's very actively used. We wait for NFC.

Along comes an alternative technology. Today, Google announced it was beginning a local marketing effort called "Favorite Places on Google" that is based on 2D bar code technology which, as it turns out, can also be read by mobile handsets using their on-board cameras and an on-board application. Google calls this "a new effort to send window decals to over 100,000 local businesses in the U.S. that have been the most sought out and researched on and Google Maps."

Recently, Starbucks decided to use 2D bar code technology to bridge between mobile handsets and its POS systems for payment. Are we seeing a theme develop here?

What do you think? Add your comment here!

What's a US Retail Bank to Do?

Over on our sister blog, Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson asks "What Are the Best Ways for Banks to Replace Lost Overdraft Fee Income?".

She writes: "Bank income from debit card overdraft fees is variously estimated as $25 billion to $38 billion annually. The recently announced Federal Reserve Bank regulations requiring opt-in procedures will result in a gigantic hit to retail bank P&Ls, as we wrote about recently."

Do you have some ideas for what retail bankers should be doing to respond to the revenue impacts? You can share them here.

Fed Reports 9.3% Decline in Revolving Consumer Credit in October

The Federal Reserve's G.19 Consumer Credit report issued this afternoon reports that consumer credit decreased at an annual rate of 1.7 percent in October. Revolving credit decreased at an annual rate of 9.3 percent while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent.

Retailers Concerned About Proposed Fed Rules re: Instant Credit at POS

In an article titled "Hurdle Emerges for Stores Pitching Credit Cards", Robin Sidel writes for the Wall Street Journal about concerns that some major retailers have with proposed Federal Reserve regulations that would "force retailers to gather more financial information from customers— including how much they earn— before giving them credit."

Cardlytics Enables Retailers to Market via Online Banking Channel

Cardlytics has announced the expansion of its transactional marketing platform for national, local and online retailers - saying that its "patent-pending platform enables retailers to deliver targeted promotional offers to consumers through their online banking statements. These offers are delivered as cash or other reward incentives, which are earned once the consumer makes a qualifying purchase with a debit or credit card, whether in-store or online. ... With its unique tracking capabilities, Cardlytics is the first platform to target and track both offline and online consumer redemptions via digitally targeted ads." READ MORE »

Headline News - December 7, 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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