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December 18, 2009

Credit Card Tricks and Traps

In a post titled "New Credit Card Tricks, Traps, and 79.9% APRs" on the Credit Slips blog, Adam Levitin says that "the card industry is at it again, devising new tricks and traps to disguise the cost of its products and avoid price competition."

Morgan Stanley's Mobile Internet Report

Morgan Stanley has published a comprehensive look at the Mobile Internet, now available for online download in three components. They write:

We decided to create The Mobile Internet Report largely in PowerPoint and publish it on the web, expecting that bits and pieces of it will be cut / pasted / redistributed and debated / dismissed / lauded. Our goal is to get our thoughts and data into the conversation about what may be the biggest technology trend ever, one that may help make us all more informed in ways that are unique to the web circa 2009, and beyond."

Available for download here.

First Two Banks Go Live with CashEdge’s POPmoney P2P Payments Service

POPmoney_logo-140px.pngCashEdge has announced today two U.S. banks are the first in the nation to launch POPmoney, its new email and mobile person-to-person (P2P) payments service that is offered through banks. According to the company, "five additional financial institutions have signed on to launch the service in early 2010, demonstrating strong momentum for the innovative new P2P payments service." From the list of participating banks shown on the website, it appears the first two banks are First Hawaiian and PNC. READ MORE »

Hypercom, McDonnell Group Create Phoenix Managed Networks

Hypercom and The McDonnell Group have announced they have signed a Letter of Intent "to form a joint venture that will equip payment processors, banks and retailers worldwide with highly reliable and cost-effective data communications services for transaction-based applications. The joint venture will be called Phoenix Managed Networks LLC, and will acquire and operate Hypercom's HBNet secure transaction transport business. Industry veteran John (Jack) McDonnell, Jr. will serve as CEO of Phoenix Managed Networks." READ MORE »

A Look at Bling Nation

BlingNation_logo-140px.jpgIn an article titled "Cell phone tags an alternative to credit cards", Mareesa Nicosia writes for The Saratogian in Saratoga Springs, NY about plans by Adirondack Trust Company to begin offering Bling Nation's contactless tag-based payment system beginning in January.

According to Dave Brown, chief operating officer at Adirondack Trust Company, “We’re going into this to promote local merchants and buying local. This is a way our merchants can offer an alternative payment method that we think will appeal to a lot of people.”

Headline News - December 18, 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 17, 2009

eCommLink, CPNI Partner for Mobile Prepaid Debit Solutions

CPNI and eCommLink have announced they will be partnering to offer CPNI’s mobile solutions to the prepaid debit card industry. The companies say they will jointly market to eCommLink’s existing program manager and financial institution customers - effectively "mobilizing card programs already in place." READ MORE »

Heartland, American Express Agree to $3.6 MM Intrusion Settlement

Heartland Payment Systems has announced a settlement agreement with American Express related to the 2008 criminal breach of Heartland's payment system environment. Under the agreement, Heartland said it will pay American Express $3.6 million, resolving all intrusion-related issues between the two parties.

“We are pleased to have reached an equitable settlement with American Express,” commented Bob Carr, Heartland’s chairman and chief executive officer. “This settlement marks the first agreement with a card brand related to the intrusion.”

TrialPay - Doing Right by the Consumer: Going Beyond Compliance

TrialPay has published issued a new whitepaper titled, “Doing Right by the Consumer: Going Beyond Compliance.” The paper, which is based upon guidelines that TrialPay says it has adhered to since the company’s inception 2006, outlines "best practices for gaming developers, publishers, advertisers and offer companies to ensure consumer protections and long-term success of the industry at large." READ MORE »

Discover Financial Services Reports Financial Results

Discover Financial Services has reported financial results for its fiscal fourth quarter ending Nov. 30, 2009. For the quarter, Discover noted that Discover Card sales volume declined 1% from the prior year to $22 billion, managed loans remained at approximately $51 billion, and he fourth-quarter managed net charge-off rate rose to 8.43% and the over 30 days delinquency rate rose to 5.31%.

“Discover's results this quarter reflect stronger than expected credit performance and our on-going investments to strengthen the Discover franchise,” said David Nelms, Discover’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We were very pleased with the stability of our sales volume, our expanded merchant acceptance and the continued growth of our direct-to-consumer banking business.”

Visa, FTC and BBB Partner to Educate Consumers about Online Scams

Visa joined the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau in a press conference today to "alert consumers to online deceptive marketing practices associated with free trials with a negative option feature. According to a Visa survey, 29 percent of American consumers have fallen victim to deceptive marketing when unscrupulous e-commerce merchants require them to cancel or opt-out of a recurring charge for future products or services." READ MORE »

mPayy Launches Free Android Mobile Payment Application

mPayy has announced the availability of its mobile payments application in the Android marketplace for all phones that run the Android operating system. mPayy says it "enables free person-to-person payments between members, and low cost merchant processing through its new Android application." There are no costs for opening an mPayy account or making payments. Personal account-holders can receive free mobile payments while small business account-holders pay merchant processing fees. READ MORE »

FIS Introduces New Bill Pay User Interface

FIS has announced its next generation bill payment solution for financial institutions. According to the company, "the new bill pay interface uses task-oriented, configurable modules that answer consumers’ hot button bill pay questions, all at the landing page. The solution features a product tour and setup assistant designed to ease “new user” apprehension and drive increased bill pay usage. “Click here” to take a fully interactive tour." READ MORE »

Smart Card Alliance Webinar: Top 10 Reasons U.S. Should Consider EMV

SmartCardAlliance_logo-140px.jpgEMV/chip technology will be the topic of a January 2010 webinar from the Smart Card Alliance, featuring speakers from Aite Group, Bank of Nova Scotia, KeyPoint Consulting and Visa on the reasons behind the global migration to this technology, and the possibilities for U.S. adoption.

The free educational webinar, "Top 10 Reasons for Considering EMV in the U.S," will take place on Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time/10:00 a.m. Pacific time. To register, please visit READ MORE »

A Look at Blippy and Philip Kaplan

In an article titled "Introducing a Twitter for Credit Card Purchases", Don Steinberg writes about Philip Kaplan and his new company Blippy - where you can choose to share your credit card purchase details with friends - or strangers. Kaplan suggests that consumers choose only one of the several credit cards in their typical wallet to make the "social card" - transactions on that card would then be shared via Blippy.

See also last week's TechCrunch article and yesterday's NetBanker article on Blippy.

December 16, 2009

InComm, NetSpend Announce Prepaid Card Distribution Partnership

NetSpend_logo-140px.jpgInComm and NetSpend has announced a distribution agreement that the two companies say "will give many of InComm’s retail partner locations the opportunity to sell and reload the NetSpend general purpose reloadable debit card. InComm — the industry’s largest retail distribution network — will further add to NetSpend’s reload network of 93,000 locations." READ MORE »

It’s THE Online Holiday Season!

russ.jpgIn a post titled "It's the Online Holiday Season!" over on our sister blog, Glenbrook's Russ Jones takes a look at some of the statistics regarding online eCommerce sales this holiday season.

Russ notes that "we’re wondering if this season might represent a significant inflection point in the shift towards online retail?"

American Greetings' iPhone Application Now Includes Retail Coupons

American Greetings has updated its iPhone application (introduced earlier this year) to include an option for consumers to take advantage of special coupons for paper greetings, redeemable at American Greetings retailers nationwide.

"We have received great feedback from consumers on the iPhone application, and we are excited to bring this successful app to the greeting card aisle," said Dan Miller, vice president of product management and user experience at "This is a great example of how American Greetings is continuing to expand our presence for consumers to offer solutions and great value wherever they shop." READ MORE »

The End of Checks?

The UK Payments Council has announced that "the Payments Council Board has agreed to set a target date of 31st October 2018 to close the central cheque clearing. Cheque use is in long-term, terminal decline. The Payments Council was faced with the choice of either managing the decline to ensure that personal and business cheque users have alternatives easily available to them; or to stand back and let the decline take its course. It has decided that its active involvement can help prevent confusion and deliver cheque alternatives that are acceptable to cheque users. The Payments Council wants to ensure that consumers and businesses are not left high and dry when the closure of the clearing occurs." READ MORE »

Magento, GlobalCollect Partner To Boost Online Sales

GlobalCollect and Varien have announced a strategic partnership aimed at empowering online retailers to meet their global sales objectives. "The Magento e-commerce platform, developed by Varien, is based on open source technology that provides merchants with high levels of flexibility and control over the user experience, content, and functionality of their e- commerce channel. By joining forces with GlobalCollect, Magento’s clients gain access to an unrivalled portfolio of local, alternative, and international payment methods in over 200 countries and for 170 currencies." READ MORE »

December 15, 2009

New in

Atlanta-based Acculynk is looking to hire a VP of Internet Merchant Sales - be sure to check out their posting on

Have a job opening for a payments professional? Post your job opening on!

Read Your Credit Card Mail!

This is one of those year-end stories that you'd prefer to ignore - I know, trust me.

In an article titled "Credit-Card Mail May Be Boring, But Ignoring It Could Cost You" in Wednesday's Wall St. Journal, Karen Blumenthal writes to remind us all to read all "those disclosure letters that banks and credit-card companies are sending you in coming months—or at least try really hard."

What could be more fun, right? Bluementhal's article provides a great set of tips about what to look for in the fine print, how to respond, etc. Too bad we have to keep our hands in our pockets the whole time! Happy holidays! ;-)

Reminder: Glenbrook Webinar on the PayPal X Platform This Thursday

We hope you were one of the over 100 payments professionals who joined host Carol Coye Benson and presenters Russ Jones and Jay DeWitt for today's first Glenbrook Payments Essentials Webinar on eCommerce Debit and Cash Alternatives in the U.S. Market.

Essentials-Webinars-v1.jpgThe second webinar in our new Payments Essentials Webinar Series is scheduled this Thursday, December 17, beginning at 10:30 AM Pacific. Led by Russ Jones, Thursday's webinar is focused on helping you understand the fundamentals of the new PayPal X Platform, with particular focus on the first two platform services -- Adaptive Payments and Adaptive Accounts. For more information and to register for this webinar ($249 fee), click here.

On January 14, we'll be holding the first webinar in our Essentials of eCommerce Payments Management series on the topic of Mobile Commerce for eCommerce Merchants. Read on for more information on this webinar. READ MORE »

A Look at US Credit Card Issuers

In an article titled "Credit-Card Issuers Under Pressure", Aparajita Saha-Bubna writes for the Wall St. Journal about the recently reported credit losses from major credit card issuers.

Ecommerce Shopping Transactions, Sales Up Significantly Over 2008

The Chase Paymentech Cyber Holiday Pulse Index reports that, for the first five shopping days following Thanksgiving, online transactions were up 32 percent, and sales were up 24 percent. At the same time, the decline in the average customer’s ticket value was cut in half, from approximately 12 percent to 6 percent. According to Paymentech, "this result is unexpected when considering that this five-day stretch included aggressive Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions." READ MORE »

Headline News - December 15, 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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