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October 31, 2011

October 27, 2011

Chicago Fed Evaluates the Potential for Immediate Funds Transfer in the US

Chicago fed logo 60x60psThe Chicago Fed has published an essay by Katy Jacob and Kirstin Wells entitled, "Evaluating the potential of immediate funds transfer for general-purpose payments in the United States".
Immediate funds transfer (IFT) is a convenient, certain, secure, and low-cost means of electronically transferring money between bank accounts with no or minimal delay in receivers’ receipt and use of funds. Yet IFT is not widely available in the U.S. This article summarizes discussions on the potential for IFT in the U.S. held at the Symposium on Immediate Funds Transfer for General-Purpose Payments, sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, on September 7, 2011.

Giftango Adds Physical Gift Card Delivery Option to Turnkey Solution

Giftango logo 140pxGiftango has announced enhancements to their enterprise digital gift card and stored value promotions platform that extend its e-commerce gifting capabilities into physical card delivery.
Giftango’s Premium Turnkey solution offers a unified customer interface supporting both digital and physical gift card orders in a single shopping experience. The solution, allows a shopper to purchase eGift cards that feature multiple card designs, delivery to email and SMS, and allow for a personal message to the recipient. Giftango’s integration with Card Fulfillment Services, a division of Travel Tags Inc., allows customers to select from multiple physical gift card options for delivery via mail, as part of the same shopping experience.

Kaching! CommonwealthBank of Australia Jumps into Mobile Payments

Commonwealthbank logo 140pxThe CommonwealthBank of Australia has launched an app for the iPhone called 'Kaching' that combines NFC, peer-to-peer payments, and social payments via Facebook. Good summary articles by NFC World, Hindustan Times, and The Australian.

October 26, 2011

Bank of China to Issue American Express Cards in China

Amex logo 140pxBank of China (BOC) and American Express have announced a new strategic partnership, whereby Bank of China will begin issuing American Express-branded credit cards in China.
"China is a key growth market for American Express, and we are delighted to partner with Bank of China to offer the first American Express-branded credit card that targets the fast-growing, private banking customer segment in China. The launch of the Bank of China Private Bank American Express Card represents an important opportunity to further expand the reach of our brand and offer world-class benefits and services to the growing number of affluent consumers in China," said Dave Keung, Vice President and Group General Manager, American Express Global Network and Merchant Services, American Express.

Visa Reports Fiscal 4Q and Ful-Year 2011 Results

Visa logo 60pxhVisa has announced financial results for the Company's fiscal 4Q and full-year 2011 which ended September 30, 2011. For the quarter, GAAP net income was $880 million on GAAP net operating revenue of $2.4 billion, an increase of 14% over the prior year. Fiscal 4Q 2011 highlights include:
  • Payments volume growth, on a constant dollar basis, for the three months ended June 30, 2011, on which fiscal fourth quarter service revenue is recognized, was a positive 14% over the prior year at $941 billion.

  • Payments volume growth, on a constant dollar basis, for the three months ended September 30, 2011, was a positive 13% over the prior year at $970 billion.

  • Cross border volume growth, on a constant dollar basis, was a positive 15% for the three months ended September 30, 2011.

  • Client incentives, which are a contra revenue item, were $576 million and represents 19.5% of gross revenues.

For the fiscal full-year 2011, service revenues were $4.3 billion, an increase of 22% over the prior year. A webcast replay is available on the Visa investor website.

Mobile Banking App Usage in the U.S. Increases 45% from Q4 2010

ComScore logo 140px comScore has announced its recent analysis of mobile financial services usage in the U.S. showing that "32.5 million Americans accessed mobile banking information on their devices at the end of Q2 2011 in June, representing 13.9% of all mobile users. The study also revealed that 12.7 million mobile users reported using banking apps, showing a notable increase of 45% from Q4 2010."

Bank of American to Implement Yodlee FinApp Platform

Yodlee logo 140pxYodlee has announced an extended PFM service arrangement with Bank of America that includes BofA's intent to implement the Yodlee FinApp platform.
"As an early adopter of PFM and longtime customer of Yodlee, we're excited to support Bank of America's continued innovation in financial services, by supplying the company with our award winning FinApp technology platform," said Yodlee's president and CEO, Anil Arora. "Yodlee delivers an application-driven digital banking experience, enabling complete personalization for every customer and opens the door to the delivery of additional value-added services."

For more information about the Yodlee FinApp Platform, visit

October 25, 2011

October 24, 2011

Payments Views: Do You Want a Commerce Identity? I Do!

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxOver on our sister blog, Payments Views, Glenbrook's Russ Jones wraps up his commentary on the recent X.Commerce Innovators Conference with a post entitled, "Do You Want a Commerce Identity? I Do!"
Logging in to a website with my social identity tells the seller that I have an account. That’s all. But using my commerce identity via PayPal Access tells the seller that I’m a buyer. It tells them, minimally, that I’ve set up a PayPal account, attached a payment method to that account, and the account is in good standing.

The post explores the implications of PayPal Access and the little known X.Commerce Segmentation Service and Prospect Score.

Office Depot to Launch Office Depot Merchant Services

Office depot logo 140x60pxOffice Depot has announced the launch of Office Depot Merchant Services, an electronic payment processing service for small and medium-sized businesses.
In partnership with Century Payments, Office Depot is the first office supply retailer to provide a private branded solution to enable small and medium-sized businesses with direct access to accept electronic payments via all major debit and credit cards at the point-of-sale. Businesses can now conveniently accept payments using a variety of cutting-edge equipment options that will allow companies to process payments from a retail location, through the Internet or with a mobile device.

Office Depot Merchant Services website has all the details.

Pageonce Introduces Mobile Bill Pay

Pageonce logo 140x60pxPageonce has announced a mobile bill pay service that gives consumers remote control over when and how they pay their bills.
The award-winning Pageonce Money & Bills already lets users automatically track all types of bills -- from rent and mortgage, utilities, and cell phone to credit cards -- and alerts them when a bill is due. Now Pageonce gives users the option to pay immediately from their choice of accounts with a few taps on their smartphone. Pageonce makes paper bills, checks and stamps, and logging into several different websites for online bill pay, obsolete -- helping users save time and avoid annoying late and overdraft fees.

Facebook To Extend 'Credits' Payment Method to Third-Party Websites

Facebook logo 140pxInside Facebook, GigaOM, and other media outlets are reporting that Facebook has launched a closed, limited test of "Facebook Credits for Websites" which would allow third-party websites to accept Facebook Credits as a payment method. From Facebook's developer blog…
We have begun working with a few developers to test the ability to offer Facebook Credits on websites, with the goal of helping them offer a more unified app experience to users beyond apps on Facebook.

GAME Launches ‘Digital Wallet’ for Online Gamers

Gamewallet logo 140x60pxThe GAME Group in Europe has partnered with InComm and announced GAMEwallet, "a completely new way for customers to explore, find and pay for digital downloads, streaming, online gaming subscriptions and essential in-game items." GAMEwallet is intended to give online gamers an alternative to using debit and credit cards online.

Blackhawk Network Acquires Cardpool

BlackhawkNetwork logo 140pxBlackhawk Network announced the acquisition of Cardpool, a gift card exchange for buying, selling and trading gift cards.
"Blackhawk Network has always provided consumers with the utmost convenience for making their gift card purchases," said Bill Tauscher, Chairman and CEO, Blackhawk Network. "We now look forward to extending that convenience to gift card recipients by allowing them to easily get the gift card they want through this exchange."

October 20, 2011

Payments Views: Give a Listen - It's Conversational Commerce

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxOver on our sister blog, Payments Views, Glenbrook's Russ Jones has shared his thoughts on how the Siri "personal assistant" on the iPhone 4S might someday be payment-enabled.
Our particular interest in Siri here at Glenbrook is how this (or other) intelligent voice-aware agents might be enabled at some point to truly streamline how we buy stuff online. We think of it as “conversational commerce”.

The full post is available here.

October 19, 2011

A Look at PayPal's 3Q2011 Financial Results

PayPal logo 140pxPayPal's parent eBay announced financial results for 3Q2011.
PayPal ended the quarter with 103.0 million active registered accounts, a 14% increase year over year. PayPal revenue increased 32% year over year driven primarily by increased penetration on eBay as well as continued merchant and consumer adoption. PayPal's net total payment volume (TPV) grew 31% to $29.3 billion in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the same period of last year. PayPal continues to invest in innovation, focusing on the core platform, as well as mobile and point of sale initiatives. PayPal expects to generate more than $3.5 billion in mobile TPV in 2011, up from $750 million in 2010.

eBay reported that the PayPal 'take rate' increased to 3.78%. TechCrunch has a nice summary of John Donahoe's comments on their point of sale initiative.

American Express Releases Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results

Amex logo 140px American Express has reported financial results for the third quarter 2011. Net income was $1.2 billion, up 13% from $1.1 billion a year ago. Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer, commented:
Cardmember spending was strong during the period, growing 16 percent to record levels and again outpacing most of the major bank card issuers. Credit quality continued to be excellent, with key lending metrics improving from the historically strong levels we achieved earlier in the year. The growth in operating expenses moderated this quarter, as planned, and we expect to further slow that growth towards the end of this year and into next.

October 18, 2011

Citi Expands WorldLink Local Payments Offering into Eight New Countries

Citi logo 140pxCitigroup has announced that its Global Transaction Services unit is expanding its premier cross-border payment solution, WorldLink® Payment Services (WorldLink), into eight new countries for local payments.
This expansion sees the traditional Automated Clearing House (ACH) offering increase from 21 countries, primarily in Europe, to 29 countries spanning Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

Travelex Acquires Pay 24-7 Online Payments Technology for Universities

Travelex logo 140pxTravelex Global Business Payments has announced the acquisition of Pay 24-7, "online payments technology used by leading universities and higher education institutions in the UK, North America, Europe and Asia. The online payments technology is specifically designed to reduce the banking and the administrative cost associated with collecting fees from overseas students and enables a speedier payments process for both the student and university."

Paymentwall launches Bill to Mobile Meta Platform

Paymentwall logo 140pxPaymentwall has announced the launch of MobilePay+, which combines thirteen bill to mobile providers into one meta platform.
Honor Gunday, CEO of Paymentwall comments: “There’s a lot of competition in mobile payments, and many mobile providers are strong in specific regions and are constantly expanding coverage, but to achieve full global coverage, today, we combined 13 mobile payment solutions in 1.”

The payment providers included in the MobilePay+ are Allopass, Atlas Interactive, Boku, BoxPay, DaoPay, Fortumo, ImpulsePay, MikroOdeme, Mobile First, Mopay, Smart Philippines, SMSCoin/Aggregator, and Zong.

Heartland Payment Systems Releases State-Specific Durbin Impact Statistics

HeartlandPayments logo 140pxHeartland Payment Systems has released the state-specific data about the legislation’s actual effects on business owners in various states across the country.
“Merchants are wondering how the percentage of regulated versus non-regulated transactions in their states would impact their savings, and this data provides insight into exactly that,” said Bob Baldwin, Heartland’s president. “By providing business owners a frame of reference for how much money, on average, their peers across their state are saving from Durbin, they have an idea of what their own savings may be."

Bank of America Reports 3Q2011 Financial Results

BankofAmerica logo 140px Bank of America has reported financial results for the third quarter 2011.
Card Services reported net income of $1.3 billion, compared to a loss of $9.8 billion in the year-ago quarter. The improvement in net income reflected the impact of a $10.4 billion goodwill impairment charge in the third quarter of 2010 and lower credit costs in the current period, partially offset by lower revenue. Excluding the impairment charge, net income was up $708 million from the third quarter of 2010.

The number of new U.S. credit card accounts grew by 17 percent in the third quarter of 2011 compared to the second quarter of 2011.

October 17, 2011

Payments Views: PayPal Thinks Big Offline

GP Logo Horizontal 140px Over on our sister blog, Payments Views, Glenbrook's Russ Jones shares his thoughts on PayPal's vision for taking its momentum in online payments to the point of sale in the offline world –– PayPal Thinks Big Offline: Exploring PayPal’s Seamless Shopping Vision.
It is interesting that PayPal is focused on optimizing the shopping experience, and not just the payment experience. As many people have pointed out, it’s not only how long it takes to swipe your payment card at BestBuy –– it’s how long you have to wait in line for that privilege.


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