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April 30, 2010

A Brief Look at Blackhawk Network

BlackhawkNetwork_logo-140px.pngYesterday, Safeway held its Q1 2010 Earnings Call (see call transcript provided by Seeking Alpha).

On the call, Safeway CEO Steven Burd commented about Blackhawk: "The face value of cards sold ... increased 28% over last year's first quarter. Now this increase is larger than any quarter in 2009, and represents a significant acceleration from what we experienced in the fourth quarter of 2009. Again, I would attribute a good piece of that to the fact that I think we're seeing a bit of a recovery in the U.S. economy. And I believe it's slow, but I think that is indicative of some of the numbers we see coming from BlackHawk, and some of the numbers we see in some other aspects of our food retail operation."

InComm Acquires GroupCard to Offer Social and Group Gifting

GroupCard_logo-140px.pngInComm has acquired GroupCard, a developer of social gifting applications on Facebook. By acquiring the GroupCard social gifting platform, InComm says it "extends its leadership in online gift card and social payments services. Together, the companies will generate greater social marketing exposure for retailers and some of the industry’s first ecommerce solutions for prepaid gift card products." READ MORE »

Headline News - April 30, 2010

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.

April 29, 2010

April 28, 2010

Next Up at Glenbrook: Social Payments Webinar, Wednesday, May 5

GP Logo Horizontal-200px.pngHere's what's coming up soon at Glenbrook:

Next Wednesday - Glenbrook Payments Essentials Webinar:
Social Payments - A Scenario Analysis - a one hour webinar next Wednesday, May 5th at 10:30 AM Pacific - fee $149.

See NetBanker Jim Bruene's praise for Glenbrook's presentation on Social Payments by Russ Jones and Erin McCune earlier this week at NACHA's Payments 2010 conference in Seattle. We'll be reprising this presentation on next Wednesday's webinar. (Big thanks to Jim!)

Our next Payments Boot Camp is on May 19th and 20th in Santa Clara, CA - taught by Scott Loftesness and Carol Coye Benson. Enroll now for this public session - or contact us to discuss an on-site private Glenbrook payments workshop for your company. READ MORE »

Visa Reports Fiscal Second Quarter 2010 Financial Results

visa_logo-140px.jpgVisa has announced financial results for its fiscal second quarter 2010 ended March 31, 2010 with GAAP net operating revenue in the fiscal second quarter of 2010 of $2.0 billion, an increase of 19% over the prior year. According to Visa, revenue was "driven by strong contributions across all revenue categories, in particular data processing and international transaction revenues."

Some highlights:

  • Payments volume growth, on a constant dollar basis for the three months ended December 31, 2009 on which fiscal second quarter service revenue is recognized, was up 8% over the prior year at $769 billion.
  • Payments volume growth, on a constant dollar basis, for the three months ended March 31, 2010, was up 13% over the prior year at $745 billion.
  • Cross border volume growth, on a constant dollar basis, was positive 12% for the three months ended March 31, 2010.
  • Total processed transactions, which represent transactions processed by VisaNet, for the three months ended March 31, 2010 totaled 10.6 billion, a 14% increase over the prior year.

A conference call replay, presentation and more detailed operational performance data are available online. Seeking Alpha has made available a transcript of today's Visa earnings conference call. READ MORE »

US House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on Interchange Fees

The US House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing today on H.R. 2695, the "Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2009". Witnesses include:
  • David Carpenter, President, J.D Carpenter Companies, Inc. - on behalf of the National Association of Convenience Stores
  • Edmund Mierzwinski, Director, Consumer Program, U.S. PIRG
  • John Blum, Vice President of Operations, Chartway Federal Credit Union - on Behalf of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions
  • Douglas Kantor, Partner - Government Affairs & Public Policy, Steptoe & Johnson, LLP - on behalf of the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Society of Indepent Gasoline Marketers of America, and the Merchants Payments Coalition

Bradesco, Banco do Brasil Agree to Launch New Brazilian Card Brand

125px-Flag_of_Brazil.svg.pngBradesco and Banco do Brasil have announced signing a Memorandum of Understanding "regarding the launch of a Brazilian brand and integration of part of their credit cards operations." Specifically, they have entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding for the preparation of a business model, involving:
  • The integration of part of their card operations;
  • The launch of a Brazilian brand ("Elo") of credit, debit and pre-paid cards for account-holders and non-account-holders;
  • The joint creation of new businesses for private label cards (cards offered to non-account-holder clients through partner merchants);
  • The creation of a company to sell cards to certain determined groups of non-account-holder clients;
  • The transfer of shareholdings retained by both institutions or their subsidiaries in CBSS S.A., for the subsequent creation of a company.

More details in this article and this Reuters story.

Visa Prohibits Web Merchants From Passing Along Cardholder Info

visa_logo-140px.jpgVisa has announced it is prohibiting web merchants from providing cardholder information to other companies without the consumer's knowledge or active consent. To address the data pass practice, Visa is requiring that "merchants will now have to prompt consumers to re-enter their card information to accept a subsequent offer from a third-party merchant. This provides a clear signal to cardholders that a second purchase is being initiated and protects them from questionable marketing practices."

According to Visa, "the misleading practice, called "data pass," usually involves a consumer shopping at a familiar retailer. At checkout, the consumer receives an offer for a discount or reward and does not realize it is from a different merchant and comes with unexpected monthly membership fees or recurring charges. Such deceptive marketing can result in high levels of consumer disputes and degrades the efficiency, reliability and security of the payment system. According to a 2009 U.S. Senate Commerce Committee staff report, 35 million consumers have paid $1.4 billion for "data pass" marketing offers." READ MORE »

Headline News - April 28, 2010

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.

April 27, 2010

NACHA Announces 2010 Payments System Awards

NACHA_logo-140px.pngNACHA has announced the recipients of its 2010 Payments System Awards at its PAYMENTS 2010 conference. The awards recognize outstanding individuals and organizations for their superior leadership, innovation, and excellence in the development, implementation, or advancement of electronic payments. This year's awards recipients include:
  • The 2010 George Mitchell Payments System Excellence Award: Richard R. Oliver, Executive Vice President, Federal Reserve System
  • The 2010 Kevin O'Brien ACH Quality Award: PayChex, Inc. and Tarrant County Tax Assessors Office
  • The 2010 NACHA PayItGreen® Award: Fiserv, Inc.
  • The 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award: Peter J. Kight, Founder, CheckFree Corporation, now part of Fiserv, Inc.

"It is because of the efforts and vision of this year's award recipients and others like them that the ACH Network remains one of the most efficient, safest, and greenest payments networks in the world," said NACHA President and CEO Jan Estep. "Their commitment to excellence, innovation, and quality is what makes the ACH Network what it is today. We are pleased to recognize their outstanding contributions to the industry by honoring them with these distinguished awards." READ MORE »

Zong Closes $15 Million Financing Led By Matrix Partners

Zong_logo-140px.jpgZong has announced that it has completed a $15 million round of funding led by Matrix Partners. Formerly a division of Echovox, Zong is now a standalone company headquartered in Palo Alto and will use the investment to further market leadership by accelerating the growth of its merchant network in US and international markets and through funding the rapid expansion of its mobile carrier network.

Dana Stalder, general partner of Matrix, will join Zong’s board of directors. He has extensive knowledge in financial services and ecommerce, having served in executive positions at Netscape, eBay and PayPal. Stalder also initiated a number of other startup projects, including PayPal Mobile and the PayPal Developer Platform. READ MORE »

Ex-First Data Exec David Yates Joins Advent International

AdventIntl_logo-140px.pngDow Jones Newswire reports that David Yates, former president of First Data International, has joined Advent International's Operating Partner Programme.

Headline News - April 27, 2010

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.

April 26, 2010

When Worlds Collide! - New on

JayDeWitt.jpgIn an article titled "When Worlds Collide" penned from the NACHA Payments 2010 conference in Seattle, Glenbrook's Jay DeWitt writes on about when the traditional world of banking collides with the worlds of entrepreneurs - and how different approaches emerge.

Jay's commentary was triggered by listening to a couple of today's conference presentations - one about consumer interest in P2P payments and the other by Jack Dorsey from Square.

Blippy's Ashvin Kumar Blogs About Last Week's Card Number Issue

Blippy_logo-140px.pngOn the Official Blippy Blog, founder/CEO Ashvin Kumar writes about last week's events - beginning with a New York Times story about the company's Series A financing only to be shortly followed by news "about the discovery of credit card numbers within Google’s cached search results." Kumar goes on to say: "Our mood quickly went from elation to disbelief to disappointment. We are very sorry."

Following Today's Future of Money Conference

Were you unable to attend today's Future of Money Conference in San Francisco? You can follow attendee tweets about the conference using hashtag #futureofmoney on Twitter.

Follow NACHA's Payments 2010 Conference on Twitter

Twitter_logo-140px.jpgAttendees at NACHA's PAYMENTS 2010 conference in Seattle are tweeting their comments using the hashtag #payments2010. Follow them on Twitter - including Glenbrook's Erin McCune!

Fiserv, MoneyGram Partner for Same Day Bill Payment

fiserv_logo.gifFiserv has announced a partnership with MoneyGram International to enable consumers to pay household bills through financial institution websites the same day they are due. The bills that will be available for same day payment represent those most common to U.S. households, including auto, mortgage, credit card, utility and mobile phone bills. READ MORE »

TD's Mobile iPhone App Averaging More Than 10,000 Downloads/Day

TD_logo.jpgTD has announced that since the launch of its TD mobile app for iPhone and iPod touch devices, the app has been averaging more than 10,000 downloads per day.

"In just over a week, more than 100,000 customers are now ready to bank on the go, wherever and whenever they want," said Joan Dal Bianco, Vice President, Online Channel, TD. "The TD mobile app not only allows customers access to everyday banking at their fingertips, but also delivers the ease and convenience to contact TD Waterhouse to get a quote, place a trade or to reach TD Insurance for help with insurance needs."

TD is also active on Facebook. READ MORE »

Secure POS Vendor Alliance Announces New Leadership

SPVA_logo-140px.pngThe Secure POS Vendor Alliance (SPVA), a non-profit business organization founded by Hypercom, Ingenico and VeriFone has announced that TK Cheung, vice president global quality & security, Hypercom, will assume the position of SPVA chairman of the board with Paul Rasori, senior vice president, global marketing, VeriFone, stepping in as vice chairman and CTO and Christophe Dolique, executive vice president, global marketing & transaction services, Ingenico, serving as secretary/treasurer. Bob Carr, CEO, Heartland Payment Systems, will continue to serve as associate member director, an elected position. READ MORE »

Visa Europe Reduces Intra-Europe Debit Interchange to 20 Basis Points

visa_logo-140px.jpgVisa Europe has announced that will cap its weighted average intra-regional MIF for immediate debit transactions at 20 basis points (0.2%) for four years. The same cap will apply to domestic immediate debit rates that defaulted to the intra-regional MIF rate before 10 March 2009 and continue to do so, and to domestic immediate debit rates set directly by Visa Europe. Visa Europe noted that "many of these countries have their own arrangements for setting domestic interchange or have few immediate debit card transactions, therefore the overall impact is limited." READ MORE »

ClairMail, CashEdge Partner for P2P Mobile Payments

clairmail-logo.gifClairMail has announced an agreement with CashEdge to provide financial institutions with connectivity to CashEdge's Popmoney through the ClairMail platform. As a result of the relationship, ClairMail customers will have the ability to provide consumers with a secure, consistent mobile banking and P2P payments experience. READ MORE »

New Consumer Survey Finds Increasing Demand for P2P Payments

FIS_logo-140px.jpgFIS has announced results of research by eCom Advisors that it commissioned along with NACHA and PayPal finding that "demand for electronic person-to-person (P2P) payments and transfers is growing rapidly and the interest of making these and other payment transactions through an ePayment Portal is strong as well. In fact, the study found that of those who were interested in the Portal concept, 70 percent would be likely to use P2P payment services within that Portal." READ MORE »

Cardlytics, Vesdia Partner on Merchant-Funded Rewards

Cardlytics_logo-140px.jpgCardlytics and Vesdia have announced a partnership to provide banks with a comprehensive approach to delivering merchant-funded rewards and retailers access to additional marketing platforms. According to the companies, "the partnership will enable banks to provide targeted rewards based on customers' debit, credit and bill-pay transactions, as well as deploy a broad-based rewards strategy that includes online malls and multi-channel marketing. This approach is fully merchant-funded, enabling banks to deploy an effective loyalty program at no fee." READ MORE »

Headline News - April 26, 2010

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.

April 23, 2010

A Look at Mobile Money for Women

ValerieRozycki.jpgOn the GSMA's Mobile Money for the Unbanked blog, Valerie Rozycki, Head of Strategic Initiatives at India's mChek, writes about how, by focusing on catering and delivering mobile money services to women, telecom operators, banks and service providers can use mobile money as a way to shrink the gender gap for mobile services in general. READ MORE »

A Look at Social Sharing of Payment Data - Including Blippy, Swipely

Blippy_logo-140px.pngIn an article titled "For Web’s New Wave, Sharing Details Is the Point", Brad Stone writes for the New York Times about the new way of social data sharing - what he calls helping people "indulge their urge to divulge" - and how new companies such as Blippy, Swipely and others are being built on that notion. He writes that Blippy, for example, "hopes to one day make money by, among other things, taking a commission when people are inspired to imitate their friends’ purchases posted on the site."

Separately, MG Siegler reports for TechCrunch on Blippy's recently closed $11.2 million round of funding led by August Capital. READ MORE »

Headline News - April 23, 2010

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.

April 22, 2010

American Express Announces First Quarter 2010 Financial Results

Amex_logo-140px.jpgAmerican Express has reported financial results for the first quarter 2010. Net income was $885 million, up 103 percent from $437 million a year ago. Worldwide average spending per proprietary basic cards-in-force of $3,012 increased 23% during the quarter or 20% on a constant currency basis. The average merchant discount rate was 2.55% in 1Q‘10 versus 2.51% in 4Q‘09 and 2.56% in 1Q‘09.

“Cardmember spending was up 16 percent, rebounding strongly from the recessionary lows of last year,” said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer. “Credit metrics also continued the improvement that began in the second half of 2009.” READ MORE »


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