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May 21, 2010

RewardsNOW Closes $7.5 MM Financing

RewardsNOWRewardsNOW has announced closing a $7.5 million investment from Edison Venture Fund. The company provides customer loyalty programs to more than 300 financial institutions. Founded in 1997, RewardsNOW designs, implements and manages turnkey direct marketing and loyalty programs for the full range of financial services including credit cards, debit cards, loans, deposits and online banking. READ MORE »

MasterCard, Visa Issue Statements on Passage of S. 3217

US-CapitolBuilding.jpgLast night, following passage of the financial regulatory reform bill (S. 3217) in the US Senate on a 59-39 vote, both MasterCard and Visa issued statements expressing concerns about the legislation.

MasterCard said:

"...MasterCard urges House and Senate conferees to reject the amendment tacked on by Senator Dick Durbin, which will hurt the people and businesses it is supposed to protect. Consumers, community banks and credit unions will all pay if this thinly-veiled attempt by merchants to increase their profitability at their customers’ expense becomes law. ..."

Visa said:

"We are disappointed that legislation intended to make our financial system safer and fairer for consumers includes an irresponsible and anti-consumer amendment offered by Senator Durbin. Adopted with no debate or review of facts, the amendment allows retailers' to shift their cost for accepting debit cards onto the backs of consumers while they continue to receive the value of electronic payments -- including faster check-outs, ticket lift and guaranteed payment. ..."

Headline News - May 21, 2010

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

May 20, 2010

Wells Fargo, Visa Rollout Rapid Alerts for Credit Cardholders

Wells FargoWells Fargo and Visa have announced the rollout of Rapid Alerts for Wells Fargo Visa credit cardholders enabling consumers to better manage and track their spending while providing them with near real-time detection of potentially fraudulent activity. Rapid Alerts by Wells Fargo are enabled by Visa's transaction alerts platform. Alerts are sent on behalf of Wells Fargo directly from VisaNet - typically within seconds of a transaction occurring. Rapid Alerts are triggered when the transaction meets certain criteria previously selected by the Wells Fargo Visa account holder and delivered via text message or e-mail. READ MORE »

May 19, 2010

Chase Adds New Alerts for Low Balance in Checking, Funds Transfer

ChaseChase has announced rolling out two new free mobile banking features: "customers now can receive a text message the moment their checking account balance falls below a pre-selected amount – and then instantly transfer funds by sending a text-message reply as short as four keystrokes." Chase says it is currently sending out 725,000 low-balance alerts each week. READ MORE »

Payvment Closes $1.5 Million Series A Financing

PayvmentSan Francisco-based Payvment, a Facebook e-commerce solution provider, has announced closing a $1.5 million Series A funding round led by BlueRun Ventures with participation by angel investor Dave McClure. "Payvment provides a free Facebook application that allows businesses, organizations and individuals to set up virtual storefronts and begin selling to 400 million Facebook users within five minutes. Since the company launched in November, over 20,000 businesses and individuals have started to sell goods on Facebook and over 500,000 Facebook users have shopped for products in stores using the Payvment app." READ MORE »

May 18, 2010

Facebook, Zynga Partner for Social Gaming, Facebook Credits

FacebookFacebook and Zynga have announced entering into a five-year strategic relationship that "increases their shared commitment to social gaming on Facebook and expands use of Facebook Credits in Zynga's games. The agreement provides a solid foundation for both companies to continue to work together to provide millions of people with a compelling user experience for social games." READ MORE »

Safaricom, Equity Bank Bring Banking to M-PESA Users in Kenya

M-PESAEquity Bank and Safaricom have announced "an ultimate bank account that lets customers transfer money to and from their M-PESA accounts via their mobile handsets while enjoying other benefits that come with the bank account." Safaricom Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said “M-PESA is proud to launch another new initiative with our partners Equity Bank by offering a new service that will target customers who are looking for the convenience of a bank account that uses M-PESA as the tool to deposit money into their accounts. This is a great idea that will drive customers to save into their bank accounts and enjoy the benefits of having the value added services of both M-PESA and an Equity bank account."

An M-KESHO account will offer short term loan facilities as well as pay interest on mobile account deposits. Credit evaluation for loans will be based on scoring using 6 months of history of the consumers M-PESA balances. There is no application for to fill - the loan request is made by the consumer using the mobile phone.

For more information, see "M-PESA meets microsavings with Equity Bank deal in Kenya" on the CGAP blog.

Survey Finds Americans Don't Believe Statements by Financial Institutions

In a press release titled "Very Few Americans Find Statements by Financial Institutions Completely Believable", the Harris Poll says that its research found that "very few Americans (between 2% and 5%) say they find statements completely believable if made by a spokesperson for one of these types of companies" - and that "almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) say they find statements made by a spokesperson from a credit card company not at all believable." Baby Boomers are even more negative about statements from credit card companies - 69% say they find them not at all believable.

Wells Fargo Commemorates 15 Years of Online Banking

Wells FargoWells Fargo today commemorates the 15-year anniversary of online banking. On May 18, 1995, Wells Fargo became the first bank in the nation to give customers free Internet access to current balances in their checking, savings, line of credit and credit card accounts. The service showed customers’ transaction histories for checking and savings accounts. Today, Wells Fargo serves 17.2 million combined active online customers who visit more that 2 billion times per year. READ MORE »

Headline News - May 18, 2010

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

May 17, 2010

Transformation Technology at the Chicago Fed's Payments Conference

Bryan DermanGlenbrook's Bryan Derman is moderating a panel this Thursday at the annual Chicago Fed Payments Conference. The conference theme this year is Payment Innovations in the Wake of the Financial Crisis and Bryan's panel will be focusing on Transformation Technology, particularly in the mobile channel.

Bryan will be joined on the panel by senior representatives of Bling Nation, Citi, and USAA who will be discussing their latest initiatives.

Please stop by and say hi to Bryan if you'll be attending this always interesting conference. You can drop him an email at

DeviceFidelity's In2Pay Mobile Contactless Payment Solution for iPhone

DeviceFidelityDeviceFidelity has announced the availability of In2Pay™ - combining DeviceFidelity’s In2Pay microSD technology with a "patent-pending protective case that adds mobile contactless capability and works with iPhone 3GS and iPhone 3G." DeviceFidelity and Visa collaborated to combine Visa's PayWave contactless payment technology with DeviceFidelity's In2Pay technology. READ MORE »

Last Call - Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp - This Wed-Thu, May 19-20

GP Logo Vertical-140px.jpgThe next Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp is being held this week in Santa Clara, CA. After this session, we take a break for the summer months and begin again with our next Santa Clara session on October 6-7 followed by New York City on October 27-28. If you're looking for insights into how the US payments systems are evolving, be sure to enroll in one of these sessions!

Headline News - May 17, 2010

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


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