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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 »

PreCash Introduces Billocity Expedited Bill Pay Delivery Service

PreCash_logo-140px.jpgPreCash has announced Billocity, an expedited bill routing and delivery service that offers bill payment processors easier, faster and more profitable payment delivery. According to the company, "the service uses virtual card accounts to help processors add revenue and deliver a better value to consumers and billers." READ MORE »

Deloitte: Canadians to See Dramatic Shift in Credit Card Offerings

In a new report titled "Charting a new course for the credit card industry", Deloitte says that "in the wake of record industry losses, consumer bankruptcies and the recently announced voluntary Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in Canada, the credit card industry has been transformed from one of the most profitable areas of lending to one of the least." Deloitte says that "two things are clear: issuer strategies need to change and, in many cases, consumers will benefit." READ MORE »

Introducing TazCard - TazTag's NFC Payment Device

INSIDE Contactless, Sagem Orga and TazTag have announced the joint development of a new method of delivering NFC payment functionality. Based on TazTag's TazCard, the new device is currently in pre-alpha testing and, according to the companies, "demonstrates the feasibility of an option that facilitates NFC contactless payment transactions while providing full NFC functionality for other applications as well." READ MORE »

UK Payments Council, Accenture Launch Authentication Evaluation Tool

The UK Payments Council and Accenture have introduced a new modelling tool to help banks and businesses select authentication technologies for secure customer interactions online. "The tool, which can be loaded onto your PC, identifies the best suited authentication option based upon the specified requirements and will help banks and businesses make sense of the sheer variety of customer authentication options on offer." READ MORE »

Visa Launches First All-in-One Event Ticket, Transit and Prepaid Card

visa_logo-140px.jpgVisa has announced the launch of the first Visa Prepaid card that combines payment, transit fare and event ticketing features all in one card. The Visa Prepaid card’s functions include payment for trips on Singapore’s public transportation system, making purchases at Visa merchants, as well as serving as a ticket for entry to the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore. The Games will be held from 14 to 26 August 2010. READ MORE »

Survey Finds Loyalty to Banks Continues to Decline

For a fourth consecutive year, customer loyalty and perceptions of brand image among retail banking customers continue to decline, while satisfaction has leveled off, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 U.S. Retail Banking Satisfaction Study released today.

Now in its fifth year, the study finds that overall satisfaction of retail banking customers averages 748 on 1,000-point scale in 2010—a slight decrease from 749 in 2009. The brand image of banks has also continued to decline, with customers perceiving banks as being more profit-driven than customer-driven, compared with 2009. In addition, the percentage of customers who say they “definitely will not” switch banks during the next 12 months has decreased significantly during the past three years to 34 percent in 2010, compared with 46 percent three years ago in the 2007 study. READ MORE »

A Look at Facebook Credits

Facebook_logo-140px.pngYesterday, at Facebook's f8 developer conference in San Francisco, Facebook Credits manager Deb Liu provided more details about Facebook's plans for Credits - "a virtual currency in games, which you play for free but pay for specific virtual items with the virtual currency, which you buy with real money."

In an article titled "How Facebook plans to fuel the app economy with Facebook Credits", Dean Takahashi writes for VentureBeat about Credits.

In an article titled "A Look At The Future of Facebook Credits", Jason Kincaid writes for TechCrunch - in particular about App2user Credits - "a set of promotions that allow users to earn Facebook Credits in ways that don’t involve paying with their credit card."

Headline News - April 22, 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 21, 2010

A Look at PayPal's 1Q2010 Financial Results

PayPal_logo-140px.jpgPayPal's parent eBay announced financial results for the first quarter 2010 today.

eBay's Payments segment (including PayPal and BillMeLater) revenue was $809.3 million for the quarter, an increase of 26% year over year. Net total payment volume (TPV) for the quarter was $21.3 billion, an increase of 35% year over year. Merchant Services (the off-eBay business) was 59% of TPV, up from 57% in the prior quarter. Active registered accounts reached 84.3 MM, up 15% year over year. PayPal's revenue ("transaction revenue rate") increased to 3.59% with a transaction processing expense rate at 1.13% and a record-low transaction loss rate of 0.18%.

Bill Me Later's volume for the quarter was 1% of the total Payments segment payment volume. Net chargeoffs in the BML portfolio were 9.49%, down from 11.14% in the prior quarter.

The Nine Characteristics of Successful New Payment Products

Fiserv has announced new research about "the nine characteristics that are the hallmarks of a successful new payments product."

GeorgeWarfel.jpgAccording to Fiserv, "George Warfel, consulting director, Global Payment Solutions, Fiserv, formulated these nine principles based on time-tested learning and observations across a range of payments products. Adding to the development were focus group-based insights gleaned from banks and bank customers concerning the latest innovations in payment systems (including mobile and web-site based payments)." READ MORE »

Merchant e-Solutions Selected as Preferred Processor by NetSuite

Merchant e-Solutions (MeS) has announced that it has been selected by NetSuite as its preferred payment provider for merchants and partners. NetSuite introduced the expanded MeS partnership recently during its annual SuiteCloud 2010 Partner Conference. READ MORE »

More on Visa Acquisition of CyberSource

A webcast is underway regarding this morning's announcement of Visa acquiring CyberSource. Accompanying the webcast is a presentation, an FAQ, and a Fact Sheet.

Separately, in an SEC 8-K filing this morning, Visa included as an exhibit the Agreement and Plan of Merger document.

Visa to Acquire CyberSource to Accelerate eCommerce Growth

Visa and CyberSource have announced entering into a definitive agreement for Visa to purchase CyberSource, a provider of electronic payment, risk management and payment security solutions to online merchants at a price of $26.00 per share - for a total consideration of approximately $2.0 billion to be paid with cash on hand. READ MORE »

A Brief Look at AT&T's First Quarter Earnings Report

AT&T has reported financial results for the first quarter of 2010 - and a couple of comments jumped out at me based upon my quick review:
  • At the end of the quarter, approximately half of AT&T’s 65.1 million postpaid subscribers had integrated devices, up from 31.9 percent one year earlier.
  • AT&T’s first-quarter integrated-device growth included 2.7 million iPhone activations, with more than one-third of the activations for customers who were new to AT&T.
  • The average ARPU for integrated devices on AT&T’s network is 1.7 times that of the company’s nonintegrated-device base, and with a high percentage of integrated device subscribers on FamilyTalk plans and through business relationships, churn levels for this category continue to run well below the company’s nonintegrated-device base.

That growth in "integrated devices" (smart phones, etc.) is impressive - now making up half of AT&T's subscribers.

New Paper: Mobile Payments Go Viral - M-PESA in Kenya

A new paper is available from the CGAP Microfinance Gateway titled "Mobile Payments go Viral: M-­PESA in Kenya" by Ignacio Mas and Dan Radcliffe of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mobile Payments Go Viral_M-PESA in Kenya_Mas and Radcliffe.jpgFrom the abstract:

M-PESA’s market success can be interpreted as the interplay of three sets of factors:

  • Pre-existing country conditions that made Kenya a conducive environment for a successful mobile money deployment;
  • A clever service design that facilitated rapid adoption and early capturing of network effects;
  • A business execution strategy that helped M-PESA rapidly reach a critical mass of customers, thereby avoiding the adverse chicken-and-egg (two-sided market) problems that afflict new payment systems.

Another View on Interchange Fees - Regulate Them

In an op-ed in the New York Times titled "Our $48 Billion Credit Card Bill", Albert A. Foer, president of the American Antitrust Institute, argues that, as part of the pending consumer financial reform legislation, Congress "should include new rules about how - and how much - credit card companies can charge."

In particular, Foer favors defining debit cards as really being just "plastic checks" - which shouldn't be charged fees on an ad valorem basis. And, he seeks to have the Federal Reserve "limit credit card interchange fees to their actual cost, fairly determined, plus a reasonable profit."

Headline News - April 21, 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 20, 2010

Target to Issue Proprietary Credit Cards to All New Credit Accounts

Target Corporation has announced that all new qualified credit card applicants will receive the Target Credit Card, a credit product accepted at all Target stores and Effective April 29, 2010, Target will no longer issue the Target Visa Credit Card to new credit card applicants. Existing Target Visa Credit Card holders will not be affected. READ MORE »

NXP, Trusted Logic Release An Open NFC API for Android

NXP and Trusted Logic have announced the release of an open source NFC Android API. According to the companies, "this will enable mobile phone users to access a new range of contactless applications such as mobile payments, transport and event ticketing as well as data sharing directly from their Android phones." READ MORE »

New GlobalPlatform Technical Paper on Secure Elements in Mobile Devices

GlobalPlatform, the international specification body for smart card infrastructure, has released a technical paper that analyzes the implications of managing multiple secure chips in a single mobile handset to deliver near-field-communication (NFC) services. The document, GlobalPlatform’s Requirements for NFC Mobile: Management of Multiple Secure Elements, is free to download. READ MORE »

NACHA Announces Top 50 ACH Originating and Receiving FIs

NACHA has issued its annual lists of the top 50 originating and receiving financial institutions of automated clearing house (ACH) payments for 2009. The NACHA top 50 originating financial institutions accounted for 88.3 percent of the total ACH transaction volume and 95.9 percent of the commercial (non-federal government) ACH transaction volume in 2009. Those in the top 50 on the receiving side accounted for 55.6 percent of the total ACH transaction volume in 2009.

JP Morgan Chase again topped the list of originating FIs - although Wells Fargo and Bank of America (#2 and 3 respectively) had significantly higher growth rates vs. Chase's decline of 7% in originating volume. READ MORE »

April 19, 2010

WAUSAU Financial Systems Introduces Health Care Remittance Service

WAUSAU Financial Systems has announced an outsourced health care remittance processing service - the Healthcare Revenue Cycle Management Service - that that company says "makes it easy for financial institutions of any size to process complex commercial health care payments without investing in the technical infrastructure, people and expertise required to build this capability." READ MORE »

Citi Reports 1Q2010 Financial Results

Citigroup has reported financial results for the first quarter 2010. In its North American Consumer Banking sector, Citi reported purchase sales on cards declined 10% year over year to $36.2 billion. Average managed card loans declined 5% to $79.2 billion.

Payvment Enhances Facebook eCommerce Solution

Payvment, a Facebook eCommerce solution provider, has introduced a Facebook Fan Incentive Pricing feature for its Payvment e-commerce solution. According to the company, "the program marks the first time sellers on Facebook can provide instant product discounts to users that become Fans or “Like” their Facebook page. Now any brand or seller with a presence on Facebook can finally provide direct rewards to current and potential customers by tying the action of becoming a Fan to sales discounts." READ MORE »


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