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February 05, 2010

Fed Reports Revolving Credit Declined 11.7% in December 2009

The latest Federal Reserve G.19 Consumer Credit report finds that revolving consumer credit in the US declined at an annual rate of 11.7% in December. For the full year, consumer credit declined 9.5% - from $957.3 billion at the end of 2008 to $866 billion at year end 2009.

PayPal and Payments to/from India

TechCrunch's Robin Wauters reports that PayPal "appears to be blocking personal transactions to or from accounts of India-based users. It is reversing personal transactions; transactions involving businesses are still allowed." A PayPal spokesperson confirms that "personal payments to and from India have been suspended while we address some questions from our business partners."

Visa's eCommerce Initiatives

In it's earnings call last October, Visa CEO Joseph W. Saunders mentioned a new ecommerce solution being developed by Visa. He called it Right Click by Visa.

On Wednesday's earnings call this week, he was asked by Dan Perlin of RBC Capital for an update. According to the earnings call transcript made available on Seeking Alpha, he said:

Well I think the enhance checkout is something that we are pretty excited about and we intend to roll that out in a very big way in about six weeks. So, I think I'll leave that until Investor Day presentation [to be held in March- ed]. But I will tease you by telling you we are extremely excited about it, I think it'll be a big deal."

Kwedit Direct - Pay by Cash for Digital Content and Virtual Goods

We spoked yesterday to Danny Shader, founder/CEO of Kwedit. During our chat, Danny commented that Kwedit Promise was getting all of the press attention - but that Kwedit Direct might ultimately be even more successful.

Kwedit Direct allows consumers without payment cards to participate and buy online - by payment with cash:

  • At a local 7-Eleven convenience store (print our a Kwedit Slip, take it to the 7-Eleven and pay)
  • By sending greenbacks through the US mail using a prepaid mailer that you print out, fold, insert bills, and drop in the mail. Having a unique identifier, each envelope is tracked by the USPS as it moves through the postal system to Kwedit.
  • By "Passing the Duck" - you can forward your obligation to pay to a friend or family member.

Here's a video about how Kwedit Direct works for payers:

If you're a publisher wanting to receive funds via Kwedit Direct, here's another video with more information:

Headline News - February 5, 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.

February 04, 2010

Kwedit Announces New Payment Services for Digital Content, Virtual Goods

As previewed yesterday, Kwedit has announced the launch of Kwedit Direct and Kwedit Promise - two new services for consumers who have been unable to purchase digital content or virtual goods because they lack credit or debit cards or would prefer to pay with cash.

Kwedit Promise enables consumers to receive goods immediately in exchange for Promises to “Play Now. Pay Later.” Kwedit Promises can be paid off using any of the mechanisms provided by Kwedit Direct.

Kwedit Direct allows consumers to make payments at participating retail stores— starting with 5,800 7-Eleven stores in the United States— or by mailing cash or asking a friend or family member to pay on their behalf through a unique social payment network called Pass the Duck.™ READ MORE »

MasterCard Announces 4Q2009 Financial Results

MasterCard has announced financial results for the fourth quarter of 2009. MasterCard reported a 6.7% increase in the number of transactions processed, to 5.9 billion, and growth of 5.3% in MasterCard’s gross dollar volume, on a local currency basis, to $674 billion.

“In 2009 we took important steps to maintain MasterCard's bottom-line growth, and as a result delivered another quarter and year of solid financial results,” said Robert W. Selander, MasterCard chief executive officer. “We remained focused on the needs of our customers, and continued to add value amid a challenging economic environment. For example, we recently announced a significant debit win in the U.S. with SunTrust and the first consumer inControl implementation with Barclaycard in the UK.”

February 03, 2010

A New Payment Alternative for Virtual Goods: Kwedit

Danny Shader has launched his latest venture, Kwedit. See Michael Arrington's TechCrunch post "Kwedit Launches: The First Completely Unreliable Payment Network" for a quick overview of what Kwedit is up to.

For payments professionals, Kwedit is yet another example of segmentation in action. Remember the unserved? They'll accept something less than a perfect solution. Virtual goods merchants don't have a cost of goods sold that matters.

Here's a quick overview. To get started, you simply promise to pay. You can then choose to either pay within a few days - or default. In the meantime, you've bought whatever you wanted to buy from your favorite virtual goods merchant.

If you default, your Kwedit (get it?) score goes down - and you may not get new credit in the future. If you want to pay, you can put cash into the system in several ways - including at your local 7-Eleven store. Or, you can mail-in cash in a Kwedit mailer. Or, you can pass the buck to a friend or family member and ask them to pay. There's more to it - but you get the idea. See you in Farmville!

New on Localization of Payments

In an article titled "Localization of Payments: Lessons from Online Travel", Glenbrook's Jacqueline Chilton writes about how payments are inherently local in nature - based on speeches and a panel discussion that she led at ATPS 2009 – Airline and Travel Payments Summit - held in early December 2009.

Visa Reports Fiscal 1Q2010 Financial Results

Visa Inc. has announced financial results for its first fiscal quarter of 2010. For the three months ended September 30, 2009, Visa's payments volume growth, on a constant basis, was up 2.5% over the prior year at $720 billion. Total processed transactions, which represent transactions processed by VisaNet for the three months ended December 31, 2009, totaled 10.9 billion, a 12% increase over the prior year.

"By all measures, Visa's fiscal first quarter was a strong start to the new year, as we continued to execute well against our business plan," said Joseph Saunders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Visa Inc. "We were able to capitalize on the secular trend to digital currency and grow revenues, as we expanded our payments network and processing capabilities to drive transaction growth through effective marketing programs. Even in the midst of the current economic environment, we remain fully committed to assisting our clients through these challenging times and returning excess cash to our shareholders."

Jack Dorsey, Square CEO, to Keynote PAYMENTS 2010 Conference

NACHA has announced that Twitter co-founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Square chairman Jim McKelvey will be the keynote speakers at the opening general session of PAYMENTS, the annual conference of NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association. This session will take place at 9:15 a.m. Pacific on Monday, April 26, 2010, at the Washington State Trade and Convention Center in Seattle. READ MORE »

More Consumers Making Payments on Credit Cards Before Mortgages

A new study by TransUnion confirms that the "new" payment hierarchy -- where consumers pay their credit cards prior to their mortgages -- is continuing, with the trend occurring more readily than ever before. READ MORE »

G&D, ARM Partner to Protect Mobile Applications from Data Theft

ARM and Giesecke & Devrient (G&D) have announced a strategic partnership for the development of highly secure mobile phone platforms. According to the two companies, "through the combination of ARM TrustZone technology, which creates a protected area in advanced systems-on-chip, and the highly secure Mobicore operating system developed by G&D, sensitive applications such as electronic payment and online banking via mobile phone will be efficiently protected from security threats. As a first step the two companies will develop a joint prototype." READ MORE »

Discover U.S. Spending Monitor Rises 2.2 Points in January

The Discover U.S. Spending Monitor rose 2.2 points in January to 85.2 (based out of 100), primarily driven by an increase in the number of consumers feeling better about their personal finances. Despite improving views about their finances, a majority of consumers continue to rate the economy as poor and nearly half don’t see economic conditions improving. As a result, consumer spending intentions were flat in January. READ MORE »

Gemalto Acquires Mobile Authentication Firm Valimo Wireless

Gemalto has announced that it has acquired Valimo Wireless, a mobile authentication company based in Helsinki, Finland. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

According to Gemalto, "Valimo has pioneered the use of two-channel, two-factor authentication based on Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), combining an over the air platform (OTA) with a software client in the SIM to generate a legally binding electronic signature, any time, any place. Valimo enables mobile phone users to securely authenticate themselves, digitally sign documents and confirm legally binding transactions simply by entering a self-chosen passphrase or a PIN code. Valimo Mobile ID solution facilitates secure online banking, mobile payments, governmental services, electronic and mobile commerce, and identity and access rights management for enterprise applications." READ MORE »

INSIDE Contactless Releases Open-Source NFC Protocol Stack

INSIDE Contactless has announced it is making its Open NFC™ commercial-grade NFC protocol stack available in a free and open source edition under the Apache™ License, Version 2.0. According to the company, "INSIDE’s Open NFC 3.4 is available now for WinCE 6.0 (compatible with Windows™ Mobile 7) and Linux 2.6 platforms, and an Android™ implementation will premier with the planned release of Open NFC 3.5 at the end of March." READ MORE »

February 02, 2010

CIBC Launches Mobile Banking for iPhone

CIBC has announced that its CIBC Mobile Banking App is now available from the iPhone App Store - saying it "offers greater flexibility and choice for CIBC clients to bank on the go by becoming the first major bank in Canada to offer a mobile banking App for iPhone. The App gives CIBC clients the flexibility to use their iPhone or iPod touch to check account balances, transfer funds, pay bills and even send INTERAC Email Money Transfers." READ MORE »

Vindicia Expands Payment Method Support for CashBox

Vindicia has expanded the number of payment methods available for online billing in its CashBox™ service. The company recently announced that it had added PayPal – both PayPal Express Checkout and PayPal’s enhanced recurring billing solution, known as “reference transactions” – to its payment method support. Specifically, Vindicia CashBox now supports: credit and debit cards (including JCB, Switch/Solo and Carte Bleu), Electronic Check (ACH in the United States), PayPal, Boleto Bancário – one of the most popular online payment methods in Brazil, and European Direct Debit, specifically ELV in Germany and Austria. READ MORE »

Elevon, Santander Form Merchant Services Alliance for Mexico

Elavon and Santander have announced the establishment of a joint merchant services alliance in Mexico. According to Elavon, "the alliance establishes a new global foothold for Elavon in a burgeoning credit card market and capitalizes on an existing relationship with Santander in Spain, the UK and Puerto Rico." READ MORE »

Discover Introduces CardBuilder

Discover Financial Services has launched CardBuilder, an online tool that gives applicants the ability to select certain terms, rewards preference and card design. Discover says that, for the first time, "CardBuilder provides prospective cardmembers with the ability to design a card based on how they want to use their Discover card." READ MORE »

ImageSpan, arvato Partner for Global Digital Content Clearinghouse

ImageSpan and arvato finance services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of arvato AG, a Bertelsmann company, have announced a platform collaboration to deliver a global clearinghouse that "unifies, drives and accelerates the trade of digital content, including video, images, audio and text. The new global content clearinghouse combines ImageSpan’s automated content licensing, publishing and tracking platform, called LicenseStream, with arvato finance’s PaymentLounge, premium merchant services consisting of global billing, accounting and payment components." READ MORE »

Headline News - February 2, 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.

February 01, 2010

Coming Up at Glenbrook

Here's what's coming up this month at Glenbrook:

View a video Introduction to Glenbrook's Payments Education Program (5 min) by Carol Coye Benson on the new GlenbrookPartners YouTube channel.

Webinar on B2B Supplier Directories - February 9th, 10:30AM - 11:30AM PST. Carol Coye Benson and Erin McCune talk about the biggest gating factor in the conversion of B2B payments from checks to electronics - and evaluate the current market solutions. Register online - $149.

Payments Boot Camp - New York City - February 10th & 11th. Bryan Derman and Carol Coye Benson focus on the economic models of incumbents and challengers as they cover the entire U.S. payments industry - in two information-packed days! Register online - $1995.

Webinar on New Approaches to Chargeback Management - February 24th. Allen Weinberg and Jay DeWitt look at the problem, and market solutions, from the perspective of the eCommerce payments manager. Register online - $149. No charge for MRC merchant members.

Banking the Poor via G2P (Government to Person) Payments

More than 170 million poor people worldwide receive regular payments from their governments, but the potential to use these payments to increase financial inclusion is largely untapped, according to "Banking the Poor via G2P Payments," a new Focus Note from CGAP and the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Pioneering programs in Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Africa are providing financial services, such as savings accounts and electronic money transfers, to poor recipients of government transfers. But the Focus Note finds that worldwide fewer than one-quarter of government-to-person (G2P) payments to the poor land in a financially inclusive account—i.e., one that enables recipients to store funds, make or receive payments from other people in the financial system, and is accessible, in terms of cost and distance.

Some of us will remember that years ago in the US, it was G2P payments (for Social Security, etc.) that helped jump start the ACH system and helped make receiving funds via ACH nearly ubiquitous with banks.

VeriFone’s PAYware Mobile Now Available on iPhone App Store

PW Mobile_Swipe-B3_rev-250px.jpgVeriFone Holdings has announced that it is shipping its PAYware Mobile secure credit card encryption sleeve for iPhone and that the complementary PAYware Mobile app is now available on the App Store.

According to VeriFone, "PAYware Mobile provides small businesses with simple and secure card processing capabilities using the revolutionary iPhone. The app and patent-pending card encryption technology are provided free in conjunction with a low cost PAYware gateway services agreement." READ MORE »


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