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« February 8, 2009 - February 14, 2009 | Main | February 22, 2009 - February 28, 2009 »

February 20, 2009

2009 CNP Payment Forum Conference - Barcelona, May 11-13

The CNP Payment Forum (previously titled DRF EU) has announced its 6th annual conference to be held in Barcelona on May 11-13, 2009. READ MORE »

CTIA Announces Industry Guidelines for Mobile Financial Services

The CTIA has published “Best Practices and Guidelines for Mobile Financial Services (MFS)icon_PDF_small.gif - which were unanimously approved by America’s leading wireless carrier companies. According to the CTIA, "this voluntary initiative was developed to provide consumers with a high level of safety and security for mobile banking, commerce and payments products and services." READ MORE »

APACS Provides UK 2008 Payments Update

APACS has released full year 2008 data for payments in the UK icon_PDF_small.gif. Highlights from the full year’s data include:
  • Plastic cards: Total debit and credit card spending was up in 2008 in terms of both value and volume, increasing 6.8% and 7.4% respectively.
  • Debit cards dominate card spending - accounting for 73.5% of all plastic card purchase transactions in 2008.
  • There were 42.1 million debit cardholders with 75 million debit cards in issue at the end of 2008, compared with 30.1 million credit card holders with 71 million credit cards.
  • The number of debit cardholders and cards in issue increased by 1.0% and 4.7% respectively, whereas the number of credit card holders and cards in issue decreased by 2.1% and 2.4% respectively.
  • Cheques: During 2008, the number of cheque transactions went down by 10.4%, total values declined by 7.1%.

Fiserv Finds Banks Interested in Offering Mobile Deposit Capture

Fiserv has announced the results of recent market research that quantified the interest among banks and credit unions for mobile deposit capture and gauged their views on potential customer acceptance. Mobile deposit capture is an extension of remote deposit capture (RDC) that enables checks to be deposited anywhere via a mobile phone equipped with a camera to create and send an image of the check. READ MORE »

February 19, 2009

Merchant Risk Council eCommerce Payments & Risk Conference

The Merchant Risk Council is holding its 7th Annual e-Commerce Payments and Risk Conference at the Wynn Las Vegas Resort on March 10-12, 2009. Former US Congressman, Governor of Pennsylvania and the nation’s first Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, will be a special keynote speaker at the event. READ MORE »

Citi Launches ThankYou Network Gift Card Design Contest

Citi has announced it is offering members of its ThankYou Rewards Network the chance to put their creativity into wallets around the world with the launch of the ThankYou Gift Card Design Contest. READ MORE »

Complete CFSI Underbanked Consumer Study Now Available

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) has announced the availability of the complete CFSI Underbanked Consumer Study for purchase. Included will be the full study results and tailored business recommendations for serving the underbanked population from CFSI, the leading expert on the underbanked market. READ MORE »

NetSpend, Winn-Dixie Introduce Prepaid Reloadable Debit Card

NetSpend and Winn-Dixie have announced the introduction of a prepaid, reloadable debit card in all 520 stores in the southeast. Jacksonville, Florida-based Winn-Dixie will be a distributor of general purpose prepaid reloadable debit cards developed, marketed and processed by NetSpend as an agent of Inter National Bank, the issuer of the cards. READ MORE »

February 18, 2009

US Credit Card Issuers Changing Credit Card Pricing, Rewards

Lightspeed Research has announced the results of its latest Lightspeed Research Card Terms Tracking Study finding that US credit card issuers "continued to increase APRs and fees on credit cards through mid-February and are pulling back on rewards programs." This monthly report provides insights into the changes in terms notifications mailed by the top 10 U.S. credit card issuers in the past month. READ MORE »

Walmart Launches "Operation Main Street: Money Management"

Walmart has announced that it is "stepping up efforts to provide affordable access to essential money services for the growing number of underserved Americans, including the millions who are not using traditional checking accounts to manage their finances. Dubbed "Operation Main Street: Money Management," the program includes a $3 Rollback price on the Walmart MoneyCard and a focus on financial literacy." READ MORE »

Help With My Credit Launched by US Credit Card Issuers, Networks

A group of credit card issuers and payments networks (Bank of America, Capital One, Citi and Discover Card along with MasterCard and Visa) have introduced Help With My Credit, a resource to assist and educate consumers struggling to make their credit card payments.

According to a press release issued late Tuesday, "Help With My Credit invites consumers to call a toll-free telephone number (1-866-941-1030) where operators will provide them with information about speaking with customer service representatives within participating credit card issuers or to accredited credit counseling agencies, depending on the individual’s situation and needs."

Consumers can also visit a new Web site,, which provides consumers information on how to manage credit cards and better communicate with their credit card companies, and how to identify and speak with an accredited credit counselor. READ MORE »

Some Results from Australia's Trial of Contactless Mobile Payments

Telstra, National Australia Bank and Visa have reported on initial results from a three-month trial of mobile contactless payments at Melbourne’s Docklands. In the trial, consumers downloaded the NAB Visa credit card software application to their Telstra SIM remotely, and then used their mobile phone to purchase goods and services by waving their phone over a participating merchant’s Visa payWave enabled reader.

According to the companies, "the trial exceeded expectations, with a clear consumer demand emerging for contactless mobile payments and services during the trial, leading the three organisations to continue to explore opportunities in this area in the next few years." READ MORE »

Visa, GSMA to Partner for Secure Mobile Financial Services Globally

Visa Europe and Visa Inc. have announced plans to work with the GSMA to advance the delivery of mobile financial services around the world. As part of the continuing collaboration between the two organizations, the GSMA has selected Visa as a provider for mobile money transfer solutions globally, and is working to execute an agreement to formalize participation terms. Visa is already a leading provider of money transfer solutions with active programs in 14 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. READ MORE »

February 17, 2009

Introducing Payments Views - A New Glenbrook Blog

Over the last few days, we've been working to bring online another Glenbrook blog - this one called Payments Views. Our goal with Payments Views is for it to be a forum for commentary about the world of payments - complementing the news of the day coverage we provide here on Payments News.

In a post today on Payments Views titled "Who Wants to be (Half) a Millionaire?", Glenbrook's Bryan Derman reacts to an article titled "Banking for Dummies" by Michael Kinsley in today's Washington Post. Bryan welcomes your comments - particularly from those in the investment community.

As with Payments News, you can subscribe to Payments Views either via email subscription or RSS feed. And, as always, we welcome your feedback!

Global Payments Introduces Global HomeCurrencyPay in India

Global Payments Asia-Pacific Limited, a joint venture between The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and U.S.-based Global Payments has introduced its Global HomeCurrencyPay service to merchants in India, following the earlier launch of this dynamic currency conversion service in China, Malaysia and Taiwan. READ MORE »

GSMA, Gates Foundation Partner on Mobile Financial Services

The GSMA and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have announced an innovative program that "will expand the availability of financial services to millions of people in the developing world through mobile phones. The Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) programme, supported by a US$12.5 million grant from the foundation, will work with mobile operators, banks, microfinance institutions, government and development organizations to encourage the expansion of reliable, affordable mobile financial services to the unbanked." READ MORE »

Barclaycard Reveals Valentine's Day Spending in UK

Barclaycard Payment Acceptance in the UK says that "British shoppers are still willing to splash the cash on their loved ones at Valentine’s. Flowers remain a favourite choice for present giving, with purchases from florists on the 14 February up 168.8 per cent on the week before. Jewellery purchases remain popular, with purchases on Valentine’s Day showing a very strong uplift on the previous week’s sales, an increase of 67 per cent from Saturday 7 February to Saturday 14 February. Meanwhile, spending in restaurants experienced a 20 per cent uplift on the previous week." READ MORE »

Headline News - February 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.

February 16, 2009

Glenbrook's Web 2.0 & Financial Services Workshop - March 19

Are you monitoring your brand on Twitter, FriendFeed, Blogs? Do you know why you should?

Web 2.0 and Financial Services Workshop

Here at Payments News we've embraced Twitter, are delighted with FriendFeed, and gorge on the many payments and banking industry blogs now available. These tools are all part of how we track what's going on in the industry and stay abreast of new developments that may impact our clients. We're amazed by the amount of timely information and insight that can be gleaned using these tools and some specialized techniques we've developed.

How about you? Are you monitoring mentions of your brand online? Are you tracking your competitors' online activities? Are any of your disgruntled customers airing their complaints on the Internet? You won't know unless you've engaged in social media. We can help you.

You've got questions and our upcoming Web 2.0 & Financial Services workshop has answers. Join Scott Loftesness and Erin McCune of Glenbrook along with Mitch Muroff of Curaxian as we explore the world of Web 2.0 technologies and their impact on financial services in a special, one-day workshop (morning plus optional afternoon sessions) on March 19th in Santa Clara, California.

You can find the complete schedule of 2009 Glenbrook workshops here - registration for all of these sessions is now open. There are also downloadable agendas available for each of these workshops.

Direct Response Forum (DRF) Annual Forum - Aug. 10-12, Tampa

The Direct Response Forum (DRF), a trade association for payments professionals in the direct response industry, has announced it will hold its annual forum on Monday August 10th through Wednesday August 12th, 2009 at the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel.

This year’s forum, Celebrating 20 Years of Educating Merchants on Payment Processing Profitability, will provide a variety of educational sessions designed to give card-not-present merchants real-time strategies for streamlining payment processes and cutting costs. READ MORE »

The Fed's 2007 Survey of Consumer Finance

Last week, the Federal Reserve released its latest triennial summary of the Survey of Consumer Finances icon_PDF_small.gif. As Paul Krugman noted in his column in the New York Times this morning, "there has been basically no wealth creation at all since the turn of the millennium: the net worth of the average American household, adjusted for inflation, is lower now than it was in 2001."

Here's how the Fed put it in the introduction to this update of the SCF:

The survey shows that, over the 2004–07 period, the median value of real (inflation-adjusted) family in- come before taxes was little changed; median income had grown slightly in the preceding three-year period.

Noting that the SCF has typically underreported credit card debt, Adam Levitin writes on the Credit Slips blog:

Balances for revolvers grew by somewhere between a quarter and a third in three years. Wow. This bespeaks a rapid leveraging up in credit card debt for a large segement of Americans.

ViVOtech Announces Closing of Additional Series C Financing

ViVOtech has announced that it has closed an $8.6m extension to its Series C round of funding from its existing investors, bringing the total investment in its series C round to more than $40m. Separately, the company also announced that it has been awarded a key NFC-related software patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Patent number 7,469,151 was awarded on December 23rd 2008 and covers" a broad range of methods, systems and products for over the air (OTA) provisioning of credit, debit, prepaid, loyalty and other payment or non-payment cards into mobile phone devices through wireless networks or the internet." READ MORE »

Headline News - February 16, 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.

February 15, 2009

Reading Payments News on Your iPhone


We've put together a custom version of the main Payments News page for easy viewing on iPhones and iPod Touches.

To view the iPhone-optimized page, open Safari on your iPhone and go to the following URL:

You can save it as an icon to your home screen on the iPhone for easy re-opening. (Note: If you're curious what was involved in creating the iPhone version, see this article on my personal blog.)

Comments are always welcome - just use the feedback link on the menu bar above just below the Payments News logo.


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