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January 31, 2011

A Bubble in Mobile Payments?

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxWhile there is a lot of day-to-day excitement in the news about mobile phones replacing wallets, Glenbrook's Scott Loftesness has his doubts. Over on PaymentsViews, our sister site, he shares his reasoning in a post entitled "A Bubble in Mobile Payments?".

January 27, 2011

Survey Finds Increasing Interest Among Consumers For Mobility in Retail

survey_graphic_140px.pngA “Mobile POS Survey,” commissioned by Honeywell and conducted by Harris Interactive online in December 2010, indicates that consumer acceptance and use of mobile technologies in retail is a rising trend.
Based on the survey, a majority of adults (72%) have been offered the opportunity to check out using mobile POS. Of the 13% of early adopters that have actually checked out using a mobile POS solution, half agree that using mobile POS saves time and 43% say that paperless receipts sent via email are a good idea. Additionally, the survey found that nearly one in five adults (17%) uses credit cards for in-store purchases and would be interested in trying mobile POS.
In the retail context, Mobile POS is defined as purchases completed on the spot (ala Apple store), using a mobile device to quickly scan items and swipe a card for payment, with the receipt printed via a mobile printer or emailed to the buyer.

BilltoMobile And BOKU Sign Agreement For Verizon Direct Mobile Billing

boku_logo-140px.png BilltoMobile_logo.png BilltoMobile and BOKU plan to integrate BilltoMobile's payment gateway and BOKU's mobile payments platform. The goal is to offer direct mobile billing with Verizon (via BilltoMobile) to BOKU customers. Jim Greenwell, BilltoMobile CEO and Mark Britto, BOKU CEO, issued a joint statement:
“BilltoMobile and BOKU’s cooperative agreement is a landmark in US mobile payments cooperation. The real winners today are the many wireless subscribers who are excited about access to convenient, secure online mobile payments and the merchants who provide these consumers with a wide array of digital goods, content and services.”
Direct mobile billing (DMB) offers attractive merchant fees that are significantly lower than traditional PSMS rates. READ MORE »

January 26, 2011

What’s Coming Up at Glenbrook

GP Logo Horizontal-140px.png Glenbrook has two webinars coming up - one for industry newcomers ("Cards Essentials") and one for veterans ("Beyond PCI").
Payments Essentials Webinars – Tuesdays from 10:30AM -11:30AM PST, $149
February 1, 2011: Cards Essentials with Carol Coye Benson (Basics Level)
February 8, 2011: Beyond PCI with Bryan Derman and Carol Coye Benson (Insight Level)

Payments Boot Camps – Two day “deep dive” into the industry, $1995
February 16-17, 2011: Santa Clara, CA. - with Scott Loftesness and Carol Coye Benson
April 13-14, 2011: New York City - with Bryan Derman and Carol Coye Benson
Client and multiple-registrant discounts are available – email

eWise payo: A New Online Banking ePayments System in the UK

eWise has announced it plans to launch payo_logo_140px.pngeWise payo, the "first and only bank inclusive Online Banking ePayments (OBeP) solution" in the UK.
eWise payo enables the consumer to initiate secure and private payments for goods and services or bills online, without having to provide personal financial information to any third parties(1). To use eWise payo, customers are directed straight to their bank's website where they will log in using their existing account credentials. Once in their online banking application, consumers select from any account with available funds and confirm the payment. eWise technology enables the secure payment, leveraging the UK's Faster Payments network, thereby generating a near immediate payment for the merchant.
The payo website is located here. As a data point, eWise is the OBeP operator that powers NACHA's Secure Vault Payments.

PayGo Electric and SmartSynch to Enable Utilities to Deploy Prepaid Electric Solutions

paygo_logo_140px.pngPayGo Electric has announced that its account management and prepaid payment capabilities with be embedded in SmartSynch's SmartMetering Solution.
PayGo's unique (patent pending) technology embeds logic in either the communications modules or the meters, which alerts both the customer and the utility company of the need to add credit to a customer's account to enable continued electric service. The system includes a nationwide payment processing platform which enables utilities to use existing, as well as new payment methods for their customers.

Adknowledge Launches Mobile Monetization Solution for Android Applications

adknowledge_logo_140px.pngAdknowledge has announced a new Android toolkit for developers that combines direct payment methods, advertising offers, application installs and customer service all within a single SDK. The company claims that providing monetization solutions on mobile devices is a natural extension of its long-tail advertising business.

Western Union and InComm to Offer General Purpose Reloadable Prepaid Cards

inComm_logo-140px.png WesternUnion_logo-140px.png Western Union and InComm have announced that they have entered into an agreement to offer Western Union General Purpose Reloadable prepaid cards (GPR) through InComm retail locations.
InComm partners with more than 150,000 retail locations. Through its relationship with InComm, Western Union will now offer the MoneyWise Prepaid card to consumers through grocery and convenience stores, pharmacies, and mass merchandiser locations.

PhoneFactor Announces Multi-Channel Solution to Credit and Debit Card Fraud

phonefactor_logo_140px.pngPhoneFactor has announced support for phone-based multi-factor authentication using ISO 8583, the standard protocol that card issuers use to process credit and debit card transactions. By supporting the widely used ISO standard, PhoneFactor claims it can "authenticate card transactions in any channel, including point-of-sale, ATM, and online transactions, through a single technology implementation."

In related news, ValidSoft in the Netherlands announced the commercial availability of its four-factor authentication solution.

January 25, 2011

Current Opportunities on

Several new positions for payments professionals have recently been posted to Glenbrook's job board in the last 30 days: PaymentsJobs_logo-140px.jpgIs your company hiring? Are you in the market for qualified payments professionals? You can reach the best candidates here! Post your job openings for payments professionals on!

MasterCard and Telefónica to Offer Mobile Financial Solutions in Latin America

MasterCard_logo_140px.pngMasterCard and Telefónica have announced a joint venture to development mobile financial solutions in 12 countries in Latin America where Telefónica is present with the Movistar® brand.
As part of this agreement, Movistar® mobile subscribers in Latin America will be able to use their mobile phones for person-to-person money transfers, bill payment, mobile airtime reload and retail purchases, among other services.
There are 87 million Movistar subscribers in the region.

January 24, 2011

American Express Announces Fourth Quarter 2010 Financial Results

Amex_logo_140px.pngAmerican Express has reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2010. Net income was $1.1 billion, up 48% from $716 million a year ago.
"Continued investments in the business helped to generate higher consumer, small business and corporate card spending while expanding the use of our products online," said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer. "With cardmember spending up 15% this period, we reached all-time records for the quarter and the full year."

Global Mobile Payments News

mobile_payments_icon_140px.pngThe press fascination with mobile payments continues to dominate today's payments industry news in various countries around the globe:

New on Innovations in Card Acceptance

GP Logo Horizontal-140px.png Over on our sister blog,, Glenbrook's Scott Loftesness writes about innovations in card acceptance.
So, we’re talking about at least two market opportunities here – the unserved market who would like to be enabled for card acceptance – how big do you think that market is? – and a redefinition of the checkout experience for larger merchants who value a high touch customer relationship – how big might that market be?

January 21, 2011

Online Durbin Resources

Fed.gif If you're trying to think through the implications of proposed Debit Card Interchange and Routing rules, you might want to take a look at the following resources:
  • Durbin Video. C-SPAN is providing an online video of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors meeting where the draft Durbin rules were first released. After the key provisions are introduced, the Governors' spent most of the meeting probing the staff on the rationale behind the proposed rules. Very interesting.

  • Durbin Comments. Another great resource to keep your eye on is the industry feedback to the proposed regulations. Final comments are due back to the Federal Reserve by February 22, 2011. In the meantime, it is all posted online as it is received.

NACHA’s Board of Directors Elects New Officers

NACHA_logo-140px.pngNACHA has announced the election of new officers to its Board of Directors. The elected officers will serve a two-year term:
  • Pat Thelen, CTP, Executive Director, J.P. Morgan, Chairperson
  • Chrystina M. Giorgio, AAP, Senior Vice President, Operations, Sandy Spring Bank, Vice Chairperson
  • Russell K. Oatman, Senior Vice President, Corporate Treasury Services Group, First National Bank of Omaha, Secretary/Treasurer
The Board consists of 19 voting members representing depository financial institutions of all sizes that utilize the ACH Network in the U.S. READ MORE »

Bank of America Reports 4Q2010 Financial Results

Bank of America has reportedBankofAmerica_logo_140px.jpg financial results for the fourth quarter 2010.
Global Card Services returned to profitability in the fourth quarter of 2010 with net income of $1.5 billion. Excluding the $10.4 billion goodwill impairment charge in the third quarter of 2010, Global Card Services would have been profitable for four straight quarters. New U.S. consumer card accounts in the quarter were up 9 percent from the third quarter of 2010.

Headline News - January 21, 2011

Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners:

Note: Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated.

January 20, 2011

InsurCard Selects Visa for Distribution of Insurance Claim Payments

visa_logo-60pxh.pngVisa and InsurCard have announced an agreement naming Visa as InsurCard’s preferred brand for the delivery of payment for insurance claims. "InsurCard provides the insurance industry with card-based solutions for the payment of claims, expanding the penetration of electronic payments in an industry traditionally reliant on check payments."

Usablenet Integrates PayPal’s Mobile to Support Its Merchant's Websites

usablenet_logo_140px.pngUsablenet has announced integration with PayPal’s mobile payments product, Mobile Express Checkout, to enhance payment offerings on clients’ mobile websites. Usablenet can now optimally extend PayPal’s Mobile Express Checkout to mobile commerce websites and other supported solutions, such as mobile applications, tablets, Facebook & other social media, and in-store kiosks.

January 19, 2011

A Look at PayPal's 4Q2010 Financial Results

PayPal_logo-140px.jpg PayPal's parent eBay announced financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2010 today.

eBay's Payments segment (including PayPal and BillMeLater) revenue was $971 million for the quarter, an increase of 22% year over year; $3,436 million for the year, an increase of 23%. Net total payment volume (TPV) for the quarter was $26.9 billion, an increase of 26% year over year; $91.9 billion for the year, an increase of 28%. In term of revenue mix, Merchant Services (the off-eBay business) represented 61.5% of TPV; international was 43.4% of TPV. The company processed 421.1 million transactions.

For the quarter, PayPal's revenue cut (now called its "global take rate") decreased slightly to 3.45%, along with a slightly lower transaction processing expense rate of 1.10% and a slightly lower transaction loss rate of 0.15%. Active accounts (defined as active in the last 12 months) reached 94.4 MM, up 16% year over year.

Bill Me Later's volume for the quarter was up and now stands at 1.7% of the total Payments segment TPV. Outstandings are now at $999 million, and net charges offs dropped to 6.1%. READ MORE »

What’s Coming Up at Glenbrook

GP Logo Horizontal-140px.png Stay on top of the payments industry! Glenbrook’s payments education programs offer comprehensive, unbiased, and time-efficient ways to keep current.
Payments Essentials Webinars – Tuesdays from 10:30AM -11:30AM PST, $149
February 1, 2011: Cards Essentials with Carol Coye Benson (Basics Level)
February 8, 2011: Beyond PCI with Bryan Derman and Carol Coye Benson (Insight Level)

Payments Boot Camps – Two day “deep dive” into the industry, $1995
February 16-17, 2011: Santa Clara, CA. - with Scott Loftesness and Carol Coye Benson
April 13-14, 2011: New York City - with Bryan Derman and Carol Coye Benson
Client and multiple-registrant discounts are available – email

Mobile Payment Debuts Nationally at Starbucks

starbucks_logo.pngStarbucks has announced that it now accepts mobile payments in all US company-operated stores.
Building on the earlier introduction of Starbucks Card Mobile App for select BlackBerry smartphones, iPhone and iPod touch and a successful mobile payment test program, customers now have access to the largest mobile payment program in the US and the fastest way to pay at Starbucks. This national program now includes nearly 6,800 company-operated stores and more than 1,000 Starbucks in US Target locations.
Over on Payments Views, Scott Loftesness applauds this development in a post entitled, "One Hand Clapping!"

Visa Europe Releases 2010 Annual Results

visa_logo-60pxh.png"Spend on Visa cards in Europe grew by over 16% in 2010 to total over €1 trillion", according to results released by Visa Europe. "This growth now means that €1 in every €8 of consumer spend in Europe is spent on a Visa card, up from €1 in €9 in 2009." The Visa Europe Annual Report 2010 was also released.


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