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March 05, 2010

Fed Reports Revolving Consumer Credit Continues Decline in January

Today's G.19 Consumer Credit report from the Federal Reserve shows that revolving consumer credit continued to decline in January at a 2.3% annual rate. While still shrinking, the rate of decline has slowed significantly from 2008. Overall consumer credit grew in the month at an annual rate of 2.4%.

March 04, 2010

What's Coming Up at Glenbrook!

Next week, on Wednesday and Thursday, March 10-11, we're holding the next Glenbrook Payments Boot Camp in Santa Clara, CA. If you want to join us, please register right away. The 2010 editions of our Boot Camps include a special focus on mobile payments.

Speaking of mobile payments, Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson has recently published a Glenbrook research report titled "Musings about Mobile Payments" based upon a series of interviews she conducted late last year with the major players in mobile payments.

Watch a video by Carol Coye Benson about Glenbrook's Payments Education offerings.

March 03, 2010

The Ultimate ACH Panel

In a post on titled "ACH and the Future of Electronic Payments: BAI Convenes the Ultimate ACH Panel", Glenbrook's Erin McCune describes the "dream panel" that discussed ACH at the BAI Payments Connect conference in Orlando this week. The panelists were: Jan Estep (CEO NACHA), Rich Oliver (EVP Retail Product Manager, Federal Reserve), Rossana Salaris (SVP Payments Products, The Clearing House), and Stephanie Sturgis-Griffin (CEO Pariter Solutions); the moderator was Fred Brothers of eCom Advisors.

Fed Proposes Reg Z Changes to Protect Credit Card Users from Fees

The Federal Reserve Board has proposed a rule amending Regulation Z (Truth in Lending) to "protect credit card users from unreasonable late payment and other penalty fees and to require credit card issuers to reconsider increases in interest rates."

"This proposal addresses two key costs of using a credit card--fees and interest rates," said Federal Reserve Governor Elizabeth A. Duke. "The rule would prevent credit card issuers from charging large penalty fees for small missteps by consumers and would require issuers to reevaluate rate increases imposed since the beginning of last year." READ MORE »

Chase Enhances Cash Back Rewards on Chase Freedom Card

Chase Card Services has announced it is increasing the cash back rate on its Chase Freedom credit card to 5 percent on popular seasonal spending categories, like home improvement, gas and department stores. READ MORE »

TSYS Acquiring Solutions Names Mark D. Pyke as President

TSYS has announced that Mark D. Pyke has been named president of TSYS Acquiring Solutions. Prior to joining TSYS Acquiring Solutions, Pyke served as president of Bank of America Merchant Services in Louisville, KY.

Glenbrook's Erin McCune at BAI’s Payments Connect Conference

Glenbrook's Erin McCune is attending BAI's Payments Connect Conference in Orlando this week. You can follow Erin's tweets in real-time on Twitter - and read her coverage on of yesterday's panel discussion exploring the most pressing issues in e-payments. She'll be posting more articles from the conference soon!

Open Identity Exchange Provides New Online Trust Framework

OIX_logo-140px.pngGoogle, PayPal, Equifax, VeriSign, Verizon, CA, and Booz Allen Hamilton have announced the formation of the Open Identity Exchange (OIX), a non-profit organization they say is "dedicated to building trust in the exchange of online identity credentials across public and private sectors. With initial grants from the OpenID (OIDF) and Information Card Foundation (ICF), OIX has been approved as a trust framework provider by the United States Government to certify online identity management providers to U.S. federal standards for identity assurance." READ MORE »

EMVCo Seeks Broader Industry Participation With New Framework

EMVCo, the industry organization that manages the EMV Integrated Circuit Card Specifications, has announced a new participation framework that it says "will allow all payment industry stakeholders to play a more active role in guiding the organisation’s strategic and technical direction. This new framework creates unique opportunities for interested organizations, including payment card issuers, acquirers, merchants, processors, card and terminal vendors, networks and their representative associations, to provide input into the enhancement of existing and creation of future EMV Specifications for payment technologies." READ MORE »

USAA Teams with VeriSign for Mobile Authentication

USAA has announced that it is giving its mobile users "faster, more secure mobile logon access to their banking, insurance and investment accounts through its new quick logon and authentication security software." Instead of a three-step process of username, password and PIN, USAA members will be able to access their accounts through a secure four-digit PIN. To enable the capability in its USAA Mobile App, it has teamed with VeriSign to use VeriSign's Identity Protection Service (VIP) for authentication. READ MORE »

Edgar, Dunn White Paper on Citi Tap and Pay Mobile NFC Pilot in India

Edgar, Dunn & Company has announced the release of "Citi Tap and Pay mobile NFC proximity payments pilot - Bengaluru, Results & Findings" by Samee Zafar and Pascal Burg. The white paper discusses the Citi Tap and Pay pilot service launched in Bengaluru, India in July 2009. According to the company, "with over 3000 customers, 250 merchant locations and nearly 50,000 purchases made, the recently concluded 26-week pilot is one of the world's largest and most comprehensive next-generation contactless credit card payments pilot ever undertaken based on Near Field Communications technology." READ MORE »

Zoompass Launches Contactless Mobile Payments Trial in Canada

Zoompass-sticker-Photo-17425-140px.jpgEnStream LP has announced a wireless payment sticker trial based upon the Zoompass Tag, a wireless payment device designed in the form of a sticker that can be attached to a mobile phone. Enstream says that "the Zoompass Tag ushers in the future of mobile payments by allowing consumers to tap their phones at checkout to make purchases at retail stores."

Last year, EnStream launched the Zoompass mobile application and began offering Canadians a mobile wallet. Available at and accessible on most mobile phones in Canada, Zoompass allows users to send money to friends and family from their mobile handsets.


Headline News - March 3, 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.

March 02, 2010

A Look at Venmo

In an article titled "Venmo Wants You To Pay Your Pal, Over the Phone. What Will the Carriers Think?" on, Peter Kafka takes a look at Venmo. He writes: "Venmo simply sets up an account for each user, funded by their checking account or credit card, and moves the money into other Venmo accounts." In an FAQ on its website, Venmo describes using SMS text messages to actually perform transfers, etc. Venmo has a fan page on Facebook. READ MORE »

ClickandBuy Launches Buxter - P2P Payments App for Facebook Users

Buxter, a new P2P payment application for Facebook developed by ClickandBuy, was launched today enabling users to send or receive money up to a value of €50. The application can be found here: READ MORE »

Ingenico Introduces Mobile Commerce Applications

Ingenico has introduced the Ingenico ROAM suite of mobile applications - including ROAMpay and ROAMbuy - to help sales agents, mobile workforce professionals, and merchants reach and service consumers on their own mobile phones. The applications result from a strategic investment Ingenico made recently to work with ROAM Data Inc., a Boston-based mobile application service provider. According to Ingenico, "ROAM's patented technology enables it to be the only provider to dynamically deliver business and payment applications to nearly 200 million US customers, regardless of carrier on hundreds of different devices from smartphones to feature phones running J2ME and Brew." READ MORE »

Headline News - March 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.

March 01, 2010

A Look at Bling Nation

In an article titled "Colorado town leading the way with contactless payments, rewards" on, Ed McKinley writes about the experience of The State Bank of La Junta Colorado with the contactless debit payment system provided by Bling Nation. He writes: "The bank, merchants and townspeople are committed to the convenience, consumer rewards, low merchant fees, tight security and community spirit of wireless debit payments, says Brad Rose, a State Bank of La Junta vice president and IT security officer."

A New Model for Retail Banking

Over the weekend, reported on Green Dot's plans to become a bank holding company through the acquisition of Bonneville Bancorp. In a post titled "A New Model for Retail Banking?" on our website, Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson reacts to the news - saying she thinks that Green Dot's move "gives, I think, a peek at what may come for retail banking in the future."

TSYS Forms Merchant Acquiring Joint Venture With FNBO

TSYS has announced a joint venture agreement with First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) to form a new company, First National Merchant Solutions, LLC (FNMS). The new alliance gives TSYS a top-10 presence in the merchant acquiring market in the United States. TSYS will acquire 51 percent ownership of FNMS for approximately $150.5 million, while FNBO will control the remaining 49 percent. FNMS had net revenue of $93 million in 2009. The transaction is expected to close April 1, 2010. A presentation on the new joint venture is available. READ MORE »

First Data Extends TransArmor Payment Card Security Trial

First Data Corporation has announced it has expanded the merchant pilot of the its TransArmor data security solution to more than 400 U.S. merchants. FDC's TransArmor solution was developed in partnership with EMC Corporation and "addresses the root cause of merchant data security issues by removing payment card data from the merchant environment as part of processing the transaction, significantly reducing risk and the scope of PCI compliance efforts." READ MORE »

Tyfone Updates Launch Plans for SideTap MicroSD Cards

Tyfone has announced that its SideTap micro secure digital (MicroSD) memory card versions will be available via partners in the second half of 2010. According to Tyfone, these MicroSD memory cards with Tyfone’s SideTap contactless payment technology can be used by "hundreds of millions of mobile phones at thousands of existing contactless payment terminals worldwide. These cards will work in phones with MicroSD slot on any side of the phone – top, left, right, bottom or back." READ MORE »

Firethorn Adds Mobile Banking Support for Over 3,700 Financial Institutions

Firethorn Holdings has announced that it has expanded its mobile banking solution to allow consumers to now manage their checking, savings and credit card accounts with more than 3,700 U.S. financial institutions using a single mobile application. Firethorn says that "consumers can now go to to download the updated Mobile Banking application directly to their mobile devices and enroll their accounts with these newly added financial institutions. The application is available on a variety of smartphones and feature handsets offered by wireless operators working with Firethorn." READ MORE »

February 28, 2010

Glenbrook's 9th Birthday!

March 1, 2010 is the ninth birthday of Glenbrook Partners! Along with our strategy consulting and payments education services, we bring you and

Thanks to all of our clients who we've served and the many friends we've been fortunate to meet over the last nine years!

We're looking forward to many more years in your service! Let us know if we can help you!

PayPal and Seller Reserves

In a very comprehensive post titled "Beware of ‘the Paypal call’ and what to do today to mitigate large Paypal reserves" on his eBay Strategies blog, Scot Wingo writes about an increasing focus by PayPal's risk team on sellers if certain triggers appear on a seller's account. Once that happens, there's an in-depth analysis initiated and Wingo writes that "the typical verdict we’ve seen is Paypal putting a reserve on the seller’s account – usually in the 5% range, but we've seen it as high as 20%."

In a second post, Wingo shares a response from Paypal's Ed Eger, SVP and GM of PayPal's North American business (Eger's response is also posted on The PayPal Blog). Eger writes: "We are selectively addressing a small fraction of the highest risk merchants in our portfolio—merchants who we believe may struggle to meet their commitments to their customers." He also says: "The vast majority of our sellers get access to their funds immediately." Eger says he's looking for seller feedback:


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