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« May 2, 2010 - May 8, 2010 | Main | May 16, 2010 - May 22, 2010 »

May 15, 2010

Memo to Bankers: A Customer is Someone Who Pays You

Carol Coye Benson - Glenbrook.comIn a post titled "Memo to Bankers: A Customer is Someone Who Pays You" over on PaymentsViews.com, Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson comments on the passage late this week of the Durbin amendment - and its implications (if the amendment survives) for retail bankers.

Carol writes:

I think the underlying problem that banks are dealing with is that too much of their retail customer revenue is hidden – that is, their customers don’t know they are paying it. It seems to me that you really don’t have a customer unless the customer is making a conscious decision to pay you. ... (click to continue reading)

May 14, 2010

A Surprising Loss for US Banks

In an article titled "Vote to Limit Debit Card Fees Is Surprising Loss for Banks", Binyamin Appelbaum writes about yesterday's Senate vote that passed (on a 64-33 vote_ an amendment offered by Sen. Dick Durban to limit debit card fees paid by merchants.

Bankers’ Bank of the West, Bling Nation Partner for Mobile Payments

BlingNation_logo-140px.pngBankers’ Bank of the West, a provider of correspondent services to community banks in the Rocky Mountain and western states, and Bling Nation have partnered to enable tap-and-pay purchases at the point of sale across the mid-west. According to the companies, Bankers’ Bank of the West will offer mobile payments to its more than 330 client banks. Bling Nation will help these financial institutions and their business customers eliminate payment processing middlemen, while differentiating their services and supporting community “shop local” programs. READ MORE »

Visa Statement on Durbin Legislation

Visa has released the following statement on yesterday's approval of the Durbin Amendment:

We are disappointed that Senator Durbin has decided to force unrelated legislation into the financial reform package at the eleventh hour without a hearing or debate.

“Thursday’s vote is another step in a lengthy legislative process. We’re hopeful that when the issue is fully reviewed by members of Congress during the next phase of negotiations, they will conclude the amendment harms consumers, credit unions and community banks and should be eliminated from the bill.

“Visa will continue to work with policymakers to educate them about this flawed legislation that imposes price controls on debit products and allows retailers to dictate which payment card is used by consumers at the point of sale.

“Debit products deliver significant incremental value over cash and check, including guaranteed payment to merchants, greater security and increased sales, all of which the Durbin amendment ignores.

“At the direction of Congress, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has twice examined the potential impact of proposed interchange legislation, and confirmed that there is little evidence to suggest that consumers would benefit. In Australia, where price controls have been implemented, consumers have not seen a reduction in retail prices, and instead have experienced reduced consumer benefits and increased costs.

“We hope Congress sees today’s amendment for what it is – an attempt by retailers to increase their profits at the expense of consumers.”

Community Bank Focuses on Financial Education

BeneficialBank_logo-150px.pngBeneficial Bank, a full-service bank that specializes in serving the financial needs of the greater Philadelphia and South Jersey regions, has announced it is unveiling a new, education-themed retail banking concept with the opening of two new branches in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

“Beneficial Bank is not only a bank, it is an education company that puts a priority on providing customers with the tools and resources that they need to become smarter about their money and do the right thing financially,” said Gerard P. Cuddy, President and CEO of Beneficial Bank. “Our two new campuses in Cherry Hill are a representation of Beneficial’s education philosophy and we plan for these innovative retail banks to become the blueprint for the next generation of Beneficial Banks.”

As a part of Beneficial Bank’s education mission and to commemorate its introduction to the community, the bank will donate $20,000 to the Cherry Hill Public Schools to support financial literacy education at Cherry Hill High School West and Cherry Hill High School East in the 2010-2011 school year.

US April Retail Sales up 0.4% to $366.4 Billion

The US Department of Commerce has announced that retail sales for April 2010 increased 0.4 percent from the previous month and 8.8 percent above April 2009.

May 13, 2010

Sen. Durbin's Interchange Fee Amendment Passes Senate on 64-33 Vote

US-CapitolBuilding.jpgIn an article titled "Durbin wins battle to pass 'interchange fee' legislation, 64-33", Silla Brush reports for TheHill.com that Senator Dick Durbin's amendment passed on a 64-33 vote this afternoon in the Senate.

Senator Durbin issued a statement following the amendment's passage:

“Wall Street reform is really about two things: holding the big banks accountable for how they operate and empowering consumers to make good financial choices. Passage of this amendment is a win for the public on both fronts.

Passage of this measure gives small businesses and their customers a real chance in the fight against the outrageously high “swipe fees” charged by Visa and MasterCard. It will prevent the giant credit card companies from using anti-competitive practices, allow merchants to offer discounts to their customers and restore common sense and fairness to this broken system.

By requiring debit card fees to be reasonable, and by cleaning up Visa’s and MasterCard’s worst abuses, small businesses and their customers will be able to keep more of their own money. Making sure small businesses can grow and prosper is vital to putting our country back on solid economic footing.”

In a press release this evening, the National Retail Federation said it "welcomed Senate approval of an amendment to financial services reform legislation that would direct the Federal Reserve to determine “reasonable and proportional” transaction fees for debit cards."

SImilarly, the Merchants Payments Coalition said in a press release that "the measure will ensure the debit card transactions are reasonable and proportional to the cost of processing the transaction."

Visa Expands ReadyLink Reload Network with Marathon Oil

Visa and Marathon Oil have announced plans to rollout Visa ReadyLink – Visa’s prepaid reload network – in 4,000 Marathon Brand retail stations. To date the service has rolled out to approximately 2,000 locations, with the remainder expected to be active by the end of 2010. Marathon markets through approximately 4,600 branded locations in 18 states in the Midwest and Southeast U.S. READ MORE »

United Nations Federal Credit Union Issues Globally Compliant Payment Card

Gemalto_logo-140px.jpgGemalto has announced it has been selected by the United Nations Federal Credit Union (UNFCU) to deliver the first U.S. issued, globally compliant microprocessor payment card. According to the company, "UNFCU recognized the need of their members, who reside and frequently travel to more than 210 countries and territories, to have a more convenient and secure payment option when traveling internationally. Partnering with Gemalto, UNFCU will be able to provide a globally compliant Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) standard-based Dynamic Data Authentication (DDA) contact and contactless dual interface card that can be used anytime – anywhere their members travel. UNFCU anticipates introducing the program in the second half of 2010." READ MORE »

May 12, 2010

EMVCo 2010 User Meeting - June 29-30 - Singapore

EMVCo, the EMV standards body jointly owned by American Express, JCB, MasterCard and Visa, has announced its 2010 User Meeting to be held on 29-30 June, at the Singapore Marriott, Singapore. READ MORE »

U.S. Bank Addresses Consumer-Directed Healthcare Opportunities

US BankU.S. Bank Healthcare Payment Solutions has announced it is "expanding its consumer product suite beyond health savings accounts (HSAs) with a comprehensive set of services designed to make consumer-directed healthcare (CDHC) easier to manage. U.S. Bank’s new integrated set of card-based payment solutions enables employers to offer competitive benefits plans, with tax savings to employees, while managing costs." READ MORE »

Chase Introduces Single-Use Accounts Solution for Mid-Size Companies

Chase_logo-140px.jpgChase has announced that it is offering new commercial card payment solutions and capabilities to its mid-market corporate client base using single-use accounts technology with new online reporting and program management capabilities. The bank also has revamped its mid-market corporate rewards program and introduced a streamlined Executive Card program. READ MORE »

What's Coming Up at Glenbrook?

GP Logo Vertical-140px.jpgGlenbrook has opened registration for the fall sessions of its popular Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp - with sessions scheduled in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City.

As the pace of innovation in the payments industry continues to astound us, we've revamped the agenda - and updated our material - to highlight the impact of these changes - from mobile payment at the point of sale, to "micro merchant" products, and an array of new ideas, players, and trends in eCommerce, P2P, Bill Payment, and B2B. The new agenda also includes a new section addressing cross-border payments.

Register now for one of the following sessions:

Questions? Let us know! Also, you may want to consider one of our Private Payments Workshops conducted on site at your location - with an agenda specifically customized to your needs.

Capital One Introduces Small Business Rewards Card: Venture for Business

Capital OneCapital One has launched Venture for Business, a premium rewards credit card offering small business owners double miles on every purchase, the opportunity to earn up to 15,000 bonus miles within the first three months and a flexible redemption process that eliminates the restrictions commonly found in rewards programs. According to Capital One, there are no limits on when, where or how double miles can be earned, no retailer specifications or spending categories, no separate rewards enrollment or re-enrollment requirements, and no limit on the number of miles cardholders can accumulate. READ MORE »

Headline News - May 12, 2010

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit PaymentsJobs.com. Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.

May 11, 2010

Sage Introduces Sage Exchange Payments Platform

Sage North America has announced Sage Exchange, a new secure, Payment Card Industry (PCI) certified payments platform delivered in a Software as a Service (SaaS) model. Sage says that "Exchange will allow small and midsized businesses (SMBs) and organizations to accept all forms and methods of payment, with seamless data integration to a wide range of Sage business management software products and third-party business solutions. Seamless integration between payment applications and back-office software can improve an organization's cash flow and forecasting, while eliminating manual data entry and the risk of errors." READ MORE »

Boxee Selects Vindicia's CashBox for Boxee Payment Platform

VindiciaVindicia has announced that Boxee, which brings movies, TV shows and video from the Internet to the TV screen, has selected Vindicia's CashBox billing solution to enable the new Boxee Payment Platform. According to the company, "Vindicia CashBox will enable Boxee content partners to offer premium content to Boxee users through a wide variety of payment methods and plans, from individual pay-per-view charges to premium subscription models. Boxee users will also have the option to provide their payment information via credit card, gift cards, and PayPal for easy, one-click content purchases with the underlying security of Vindicia's PCI-compliant environment." READ MORE »

Consumer Spending Grows in April, but at a Slower Pace says First Data

First Data CorporationFirst Data Corporation has released its First Data SpendTrend™ analysis for the month of April 2010 compared to April 2009. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending via credit, signature debit, PIN debit and EBT cards at U.S. merchant locations. READ MORE »

Swipely Closes $7.5 Million Series A Financing

SwipelySwipely, a new online service that gives users an easy way to turn their purchases into conversations, has announced completing a Series A round of financing led by Index Ventures with participation from Greylock Partners, First Round Capital, and a number of well-known angel investors. A preview version of Swipely's service is now available by invitation. READ MORE »

Obopay Announces Mobile Money for Banks

ObopayObopay has announced Mobile Money for Banks - a new service that "will allow banks to deploy their own branded mobile money service. Designed to make bank accounts the anchor for all current and future mobile money transactions, the service combines complete brand control and a full range of mobile transactions and applications with simple low-cost integration and deployment. Mobile Money for Banks includes the ability to send and transfer money, makes payment card acceptance available to everyone and can be implemented in 30 days or less." READ MORE »

Amazon Payments Implements Yodlee's Bank Account Verification Service

Yodlee_logo-140px.jpgYodlee has announced that Amazon Payments has implemented Yodlee's InstantAccountVerification™ technology to simplify how customers add and verify bank accounts to their Amazon Payments accounts. Yodlee's patented account verification technology verifies a person's account information, ownership, and balance in real-time. READ MORE »

MoneyGram, Visa Launch Cash-to-Visa Card Money Transfer

MoneyGram_logo-140px.jpgMoneyGram International and Visa have announced the launch of MoneyGram’s first cash-to-Visa card program enabling consumers to transfer money from MoneyGram locations in the United States directly to the Visa accounts of recipients outside of the United States. At launch, the new program will enable funds to be received on Visa-branded credit and debit cards issued by Banco Industrial, a Visa bank and MoneyGram agent in Guatemala. READ MORE »

Headline News - May 11, 2010

Note: Throughout the day, as Payments News happens, this post is updated. For job opportunities available for payments professionals, visit PaymentsJobs.com. Employers looking to hire payments professionals can post their job openings there as well.

May 10, 2010

New Overdraft Pricing at US Bank Takes Effect This August

U.S. Bank has announced a new overdraft policy that includes a reduced fee of $10 for overdraft transactions that are $20 or less. The pricing change takes effect this August. READ MORE »

Fiserv Unveils ZashPay - P2P Payments via Online Banking

FiservFiserv has announced ZashPay, a new person-to-person payments service that "will allow consumers to tap into a community where they can quickly send or receive money using their existing online banking accounts. With ZashPay, consumers will be able to send money to anyone they know using only an e-mail address or mobile phone number. The payment will be deducted directly from the sender’s banking account and deposited directly into the recipient’s account in as little as one business day, utilizing the same secure processes as a typical online banking transaction." Fiserv has also launched a Facebook page for ZashPay. READ MORE »

WAUSAU Introduces ReceivableWorks - Integrated Receivables Hub

Wausau_logo-160px.pngWAUSAU Financial Systems has announced the launch of ReceivableWorks™, an integrated receivables hub that handles all forms of payment on a single platform. According to the company, "the receivables hub is based on WAUSAU's remittance platform that currently manages nearly 40 percent of the entire remittance market. ReceivableWorks™ is designed to simplify a corporation's overall payments architecture by reducing capture time, improving the handling of exception items and monitoring workflow in real time, all while automating, aggregating and accelerating the entire receivables cycle." READ MORE »

TrialPay Finds that Mother's Day Was Payday for Social Game Publishers

TrialPay_logo-140px.pngBased on results of a study that tracks Mother's Day campaigns conducted by social games on the Facebook Platform, TrialPay reports that Mother's Day generated a 5x boost in social games revenues, driving $1 million per day for publishers with 40% of purchasers being first-time buyers.

"According to TrialPay's research, in the week leading up to Mother's Day, about $1 million per day was generated by "gifts for mom" promotions that paired offers from online flower merchants and others with free in-game virtual goods and currency. TrialPay estimates that these promotions drove a 5x increase in social game revenues over normal daily revenue, and found that about 40% of purchasers were first-time buyers in these games. In addition to adding new buyers, the holiday also helped game publishers more than double their visitor conversion rates - meaning that twice as many players as usual made a purchase during the period."

To download the full research report (registration required), visit http://www.trialpay.com/go/mday_2010. READ MORE »

ProPay Adds ACH Encryption/Tokenization Services

ProPayProPay has announced that it has added encryption and tokenization of Automated Clearing House (ACH) data (bank routing and account numbers) to its suite of ProtectPay services. "ProPay’s ACH encryption and tokenization solution removes the need for organizations to store, transmit, or process sensitive ACH payment data on initial and subsequent transactions. After ProPay captures, encrypts, and processes the ACH data, the data is replaced with a token which organizations can use for future transactions against the data." READ MORE »

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