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« February 15, 2009 - February 21, 2009 | Main | March 1, 2009 - March 7, 2009 »

February 27, 2009

Citi to Exchange Preferred Securities for Common

Citi has announced that "it will issue common stock in exchange for preferred securities, which will substantially increase its tangible common equity (TCE) without any additional U.S. government investment. The transaction is intended to build Citi's TCE to a level that removes uncertainty and restores investor confidence in the company."

Citi Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit said,

"This securities exchange has one goal – to increase our tangible common equity. While we believe Tier 1 capital remains the most important measure of the financial strength of banks, we recognize that the markets also view Tangible Common Equity as an important measure. This transaction – which requires no additional investment from U.S. taxpayers – does not change Citi's strategy, operations or governance. Our clients and partners will not be affected and will continue to receive the high level of service they expect from Citi around the world."

Separately, the US Treasury Department announced its agreement to participate in the exchange.

February 26, 2009

FaceBook? Twitter? Mint? Wesabe? FriendFeed? Blogs? Confused???

Join us for the Web 2.0 & Financial Services Workshop we're holding on March 19th in Santa Clara, California.

The demographic reach of Web 2.0 may surprise you – it's not just kids! Consumer buying decisions and the perception of major brands are being driven by social media's influence.

After a number of tentative forays, financial institutions are starting to use the tools and techniques of Web 2.0 more confidently. But is it too late? A number of personal finance management success stories (Mint, Wesabe, Quicken Online and a host of popular bloggers) have already gained traction - has their early success been at the expense of financial institutions?

You've got questions and in this workshop we'll provide some answers. Join Scott Loftesness and Erin McCune from Glenbrook and Mitch Muroff of Curaxian as we explore the world of Web 2.0 technologies and their impact on financial services in this one day workshop (morning plus optional afternoon sessions) on March 19th in Santa Clara. Registration is now open.

Visa Inc. Presentation at Goldman Sachs Conference

Visa Inc. CFO Bryan Pollitt presented today at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference. A webcast and accompanying slide presentation are available online.

JP Morgan Chase Holds 2009 Investor Day Today

JP Morgan Chase is holding an Investor Day series of presentations today. The presentation slides are available online - including a presentation about Chase Card Services by Gordon Smith, Card Services CEO.

Among other things, Smith notes that home price depreciation was the biggest driver of credit losses in their credit card portfolio until mid-2008 when unemployment became a meaningful factor. He predicts that unemployment will be the primary driver of credit losses in 2009.

February 25, 2009

Metavante, Monitise Americas Launch Text Message Banking

Monitise Americas and Metavante have announced the launch of text message banking services - allowing consumers to use text messaging to obtain any-time balance information on their accounts. The service also enables consumers to set alerts, to notify them when their balance is low or when their payroll deposit has arrived. READ MORE »

February 24, 2009

Chase Receives Patent for Fraud Protection Invention

Chase Card Services has announced that it recently received a patent (US 7,480,631) from the United States Patent Office for its fraud prevention technology, First Watch Intelligence. READ MORE »

Discover Introduces Current Debit Card for Teens

Hero_Front.jpgDiscover Financial Services has announced the launch of Current by Discover Card - calling it "an innovative debit card for teens that helps them track and manage their spending and keep their money safe. The card also helps parents foster financial responsibility in teens, which is especially critical in today’s economy." READ MORE »

Reserve Bank of Australia Studies PayPal Practices in Australia

The Reserve Bank of Australia's Payments System Board has announced that it has "recently been considering PayPal’s and eBay’s rules that prohibit merchants from surcharging customers for the use of PayPal and from discouraging the use of PayPal." Following its review, the Board said it was not going to impose any new regulation now on PayPal's practices because of PayPal's relatively small size in the online market. READ MORE »

American Express Seeks to Shrink Outstandings with $300 Reward

Mary Pilon writes for the Wall St. Journal about the news that came out over the weekend that American Express has begun offering certain of its credit card customers a $300 American Express Gift Card in exchange for them paying off their outstanding balance by the end of April. A company spokeswoman said that the offer was made to a "small number of cardmembers who have sizeable balances and little spending and payment activity."

Discover Financial Services Adds to Board of Directors

Discover Financial Services has announced the addition of Cynthia A. Glassman and Richard H. Lenny to the company’s Board of Directors. READ MORE »

February 23, 2009

Utah Transit Authority Showcases Open Payment System for Transit

The Utah Transit Authority is showcasing its new electronic fare collection system this week at an event held in Salt Lake City by the Smart Card Alliance. According to the UTA, "the new electronic payment system for the transit agency is the first full-system rollout of a transit payment system based on the open payment network." READ MORE »

Smart Card Alliance - Conference Agenda for CTST 2009

The Smart Card Alliance has announced the agenda for the CTST The Americas 2009 Conference being held May 4-7, 2009 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. READ MORE »

Payments Study Highlights Continued Growth of Credit, Debit Cards

Hitachi Consulting has announced results of the 2008 Study of Consumer Payment Preferences, a nationwide study conducted by BAI Research and Hitachi Consulting sponsored by First Data, MasterCard Worldwide, Metavante, and PULSE. According to the study, "traditional card-based payment methods already have whittled away the base of check transactions in the United States, and are now impacting consumers’ use of cash, with 41 percent of consumers indicating they use cash less often today than they did two years ago." READ MORE »

Federal Reserve Expands Website

The Federal Reserve has announced that it has launched a new section of its website expanding the information provided about the policy tools the Federal Reserve has employed to address the financial crisis and simplifying access to that information. READ MORE »

Economic Confidence Remains Flat among Small Business Owners

Economic confidence among the nation’s 22 million small business owners remained flat in February, gaining only a half-point over the previous month in the latest Discover Small Business Watch. The monthly index rose to 71.9 in February from 71.4 in January. READ MORE »

Fiserv Enhances Market Approach and Launches New Brand Identity

fiserv_logo_orange_rgb.jpgFiserv has announced the unveiling of "an enhanced market approach and new brand identity, affirming the company’s commitment to its clients and to leading the transformation of financial services technology. These moves represent a further acceleration in Fiserv’s singular approach to the market and to anticipating client demands within a rapidly changing environment. The full integration of CheckFree's electronic commerce operations within Fiserv has been a catalyst to drive increased innovation and focus the power of Fiserv’s cumulative expertise on helping clients grow their business and increase profitability." READ MORE »


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