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December 29, 2010

New MasterCard Report on Online Shopping in Emerging Markets

MasterCard_logo_140px.pngMasterCard has released its latest "Insights" report on online shopping in emerging markets.
The results of the index show the gap in online shopping is closing in the Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa (APMEA) region; last year we saw a huge spike with India and Thailand jumping in terms of their increasing ease of shopping online, bringing them close to numbers for some of the more mature markets like China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia. While scores in India and Thailand have stabilized since last year, this year we see a jump in markets like China and Malaysia.
The full report can be downloaded here.

December 27, 2010

Gift Card Mall Helps Facebook Users Change Their Gifting Habits

BlackhawkNetwork_logo-140px.pngBlackhawk Network has announced a new "gift card mall" Facebook application that helps consumers give gift cards in a social context.
Through the Group Gifting feature of the new Gift Card Mall Facebook application, Facebook friends are now able to contribute as a group for a single gift card, thereby increasing the value of the gift card for the recipient. A personalized message can also be added to a card. Additionally, the social networking gifting aspect enables Facebook users to remind others about friends' upcoming holidays and celebrations, further transforming the way people network and shop together.

December 22, 2010

Treasury Extends Direct Deposit to Millions of Americans, Phasing Out Paper Checks for Federal Benefit Payments

treasury_logo_80px.pngThe U.S. Department of the Treasury has issued a final rule to "extend the safety and convenience of electronic payments to all Americans receiving federal benefit and non-tax payments. Anyone applying for benefits on or after May 1, 2011, will receive their payments electronically, while those already receiving paper checks will need to switch to direct deposit by March 1, 2013."

Eight in ten federal benefit recipients already use direct deposit; the new rule is designed to push the other 20% over the line to electronic payments. The move is expected to save Social Security $1 Billion.

Luottokunta, BookIt, and Microsoft Develop New Text Message-Based Payment Service

luottokunta_logo_137px.gifLuottokunta, BookIt Oy, and Microsoft have announced a new authentication service, which "allows for mobile payments from any mobile phone and via any operator, using iSMS.
The advantage of iSMS is that the use of the service does not require additional accessories or applications for the phone. Earlier systems have been based on authenticating the mobile phone and its user. For this purpose, a separate certificate was needed on the phone’s SIM card. In iSMS, the system is entirely within the network, and no separate certificates or mobile wallets are necessary. The payment method can be any card registered for the service by the consumer. Authentication is done as a cloud service, where an unforgeable “fingerprint” is created for each transaction.
Luottokunta eMobile is a new payment service based on this new authentication method.

December 20, 2010

Thinking Through Moves and Countermoves on the Durbin Chessboard

GP Logo Horizontal-140px.pngOver on PaymentsViews, Glenbrook's Bryan Derman has spend some time analyzing the Fed's draft debit rules and offers another Glenbrook perspective on likely first order and second order effects in the market. In a post entitled "Thinking Through Moves and Countermoves on the Durbin Chessboard" he shares his thoughts on how things might evolve.

PerkStreet to Convert Debit Card Program to MasterCard Early Next Year

perkstreet_logo_140px.png PerkStreet Financial and MasterCard have announced an exclusive partnership to offer "innovative financial products to MasterCard cardholders as part of PerkStreet’s checking account rewards program. As part of the agreement, PerkStreet will convert its debit card program to MasterCard early next year." READ MORE »

December 17, 2010

Glenbrook Commentary on Draft Debit Interchange Rules

GP Logo Horizontal-140px.pngOver on our sister blog,, Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson and Scott Loftesness react to the recent draft debit interchange rules. In a post entitled "The Durbin Rules - Quick Takes on Impact by Domains and Players", Carol shares her initial thoughts on how the new rules may impact the six core payment domains, as well as the various stakeholders in the payments ecosystem. Scott looks at the blurring of debit interchange by acceptance environment and authentication method in a post entitled "The End of Interchange - Redux?".

First Data Reaches Milestone with Over 100,000 Merchants Using TransArmor

first data logo 140px.pngFirst Data has announced that "more than 100,000 U.S. merchants of all sizes are now securely processing transactions with the First Data TransArmor solution. The revolutionary payment security service became publicly available a mere three months ago after the successful completion of a merchant trial testing the solution."

TrialPay Rides Social Gaming Wave to Double Transaction Volume in 2010

trialpay_logo_140px.pngTrialPay has announced that it "has more than doubled its total platform revenue and transaction volume in 2010 and expanded its reach to more than 80 million users. TrialPay's transactional advertising approach has evolved from a marketing strategy for software companies into a critical monetization platform for social game publishers, online services, and retailers, with leadership in a wide range of fast-growing categories such as freemium applications and Web services."

December 16, 2010

Federal Reserve Releases Draft Debit Interchange Rules

Fed.gifThe U.S. Federal Reserve has released its draft proposal for debit interchange rules and is now soliciting public comment.
The Board is requesting comment on two alternative interchange fee standards that would apply to all covered issuers: one based on each issuer's costs, with a safe harbor (initially set at 7 cents per transaction) and a cap (initially set at 12 cents per transaction); and the other a stand-alone cap (initially set at 12 cents per transaction). Under both alternatives, circumvention or evasion of the interchange fee limitations would be prohibited. The Board also is requesting comment on possible frameworks for an adjustment to the interchange fees to reflect certain issuer costs associated with fraud prevention.

Comments on the draft proposal are due by February 22, 2011. The draft rule proposal also includes an interesting summary of industry feedback the Fed gathered through is outreach program.

FinovateSpring 2011

FinovateSpring_2011.pngJim Bruene has announced that FinovateSpring 2011 is expanding to a two-day format and will be held in San Francisco on May 10 and 11th at the San Francisco Design Center Concourse.
There is a tremendous amount of innovation happening in fintech right now, a lot of it in the Bay Area / Silicon Valley region, and the two-day format will enable us to showcase more of it. We're getting inquiries from interesting new companies on a daily basis and expect to feature an array of exciting, fast-paced 7-minute demos (no slides allowed!) on stage next May.
We'll be sure to have somebody from Glenbrook at the conference to blog about interesting new payment companies. If you plan to attend, signup before December 31st for an early discount.

Discover Reports Financial Results for 4Q2010

Discover_logo-140px.pngDiscover Financial Services has reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2010. The company said Discover card sales volume was $23 billion in the quarter, an increase of 6% from the prior year. Credit performance continued to improve, with net charge-offs down $103 million from the prior quarter and a net charge-off rate for the fourth quarter of 6.58%. The delinquency rate for loans over 30 days past due was 3.89%, with delinquent balances declining $181 million in the quarter.

December 15, 2010

Blaze Mobile Invents New 'Smart' Payment Sticker With Two Way Communication

blaze_mobile_140px.pngBlaze Mobile has announced a new "patent pending 'smart' sticker that enables information to be transferred in real-time between the sticker and a mobile device without the use of a carrier network" or Wi-Fi for that matter.
This technology offers unprecedented capabilities to the consumer. For example, consumers can use the Blaze sticker to easily store and select from multiple payment options, like credit, gift and debit cards. Furthermore, Blaze’s sticker offers a myriad of business options beyond mobile payments including remote access to buildings, cars or health care data, and increased data security because of the ability to remotely deactivate lost or stolen stickers.

Blackhawk Network's Gift Card Mall Now Available on eBay

BlackhawkNetwork_logo-140px.pngBlackhawk Network announced that it has joined forces with eBay to offer prepaid cards on "the world's largest online marketplace."
Attracting over 90 million users globally, eBay is the perfect complement to Blackhawk's extensive network of leading supermarkets, big box, convenience, pharmacy, specialty and Internet retailers worldwide.

Canadian Competition Bureau Challenges Card Company Anti-Competitive Rules

canada_competition_bureau.pngThe Canadian Competition Bureau has announced that it "has filed an application with the Competition Tribunal, to strike down restrictive and anti-competitive rules that Visa and MasterCard impose on merchants who accept their credit cards."

Visa's official statement on the action is here.

Emida Deploys Mobile Wallet Service Worldwide

emida_logo_140px.pngEmida Technologies has announced that its Cash and Transact (CAT) Mobile Wallet platform has been integrated with its Debisys direct top-up platform. "This means that the most difficult element of any m-wallet system, the cash-in network, is solved for all Emida customers in the 37 countries where Emida systems are deployed. CAT is specifically designed for developing markets where customers do not have bank accounts, credit or debit cards."

December 14, 2010

IP Commerce and PlaySpan To Work On Global Payment Solutions

ip_commerce_logo_140px.pngIP Commerce and PlaySpan have announced a partnership between the two companies to "facilitate the delivery of PlaySpan’s monetization solutions to social and digital content developers through IP Commerce’s Managed Services Platform."

eCommLink Releases Global Prepaid Debit Processing Platform

ecommlink_logo_140px.pngeCommLink has announced he release of its new global processing platform, the "first of its kind to support the full array of international payments. The architecture of the new platform enables simple localization of the processing engine based on regional regulations, language, currency and processing standards while still offering the flexibility and robust feature set that has made eCommLink's legacy platform so successful."

Visa Mobile Application Delivers Location-Based Merchant Offers on iPhone

visa_logo_140px.pngVisa has announced a new mobile app for the iPhone that provides cardholders with access to more than 50 unique merchant offers ranging from clothing and dining to entertainment.
Visa is working with a select list of popular merchants to deliver exclusive offers to Visa account holders, helping them save money on every-day purchases. More than 50 merchants including some of the most popular retailers in the U.S. such as 24 Hour Fitness, Jos. A. Bank, Meineke, New York & Company, and Zales are providing discounts through the Visa Mobile application, helping them reach more consumers with targeted offers.
The application uses location-based technology to provide consumers with a map and directions to a nearby retailer where they can redeem merchant offers.

December 13, 2010

American Express Identifies Five Key Trends Driving Consumer Spending

Amex_logo_140px.pngAmerican Express recently announced the results of new research on consumer spending behavior, identifying a “New Era of Pause and Purchase” that shows U.S. consumers are giving more thought to their purchasing decisions and redefining what it means to be a smart shopper today. One trend, Check In to Check Out, explores the interaction between mobile devices and location-based coupons and incentives. The full report is available here.

December 10, 2010

PayPal X Innovate 2010 Videos on Demand

PayPalX_logo-140px.pngPayPal is now providing all of the PayPal X Innovate 2010 breakout sessions in video on demand format. Viewing requires that you sign on to the PayPal X website using your PayPal credentials. There are 45 sessions, each roughly 45 minutes long, from the two-day conference that was held in late October in San Francisco.


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