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« December 4, 2011 - December 10, 2011 | Main | December 18, 2011 - December 24, 2011 »

December 15, 2011

Chase Makes Checking Accounts Easier to Understand

Chase logo 140px Chase has unveiled a revised summary guide for Chase Total Checking that makes its terms and conditions easier to understand for consumers. Chase collaborated with the Pew Health Group’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project to develop a simple disclosure form.

““Our research shows the median length of the checking account disclosures at the nation’s ten largest banks is 111 pages. This volume of highly technical information makes it difficult for consumers to know how their checking account operates,” said Susan Weinstock, director of Pew’s Safe Checking in the Electronic Age Project. “We applaud Chase for being the first large bank to adopt our model disclosure box and are urging other financial institutions to do the same.”

Chase’s new disclosure form can be found at www.chase.com/clearbanking. The Pew Health Group also issued a related announcement.

Swipely Brings Cash Rewards to Boston With 150 Retail Members

Swipely logo 150pxSwipely announced that it "is expanding to the Boston area to help more than 150 area retailers turn credit card transactions into interactions. Swipely gives these new merchant members a hassle-free way to understand, retain and engage customers with loyalty rewards and personalized offers without coupons or keychain cards. The system works with the credit and debit cards more than 90 percent of consumers already carry, and with existing point of sale systems most retailers already use."

Discover Reports Financial Results for 4Q2011

Discover logo 140px Discover Financial Services has reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2011. The company said Discover card sales volume grew 8% from the prior year to $25.0 billion. The increase was driven by growth in spending from both new and existing customers. Credit card loans increased, ending the quarter at $46.6 billion, up $1.5 billion or 3% from the prior year. The delinquency rate for credit card loans over 30 days past due continued to improve, declining to 2.39%. The credit card net charge-off rate declined to 3.24%.

PXTMoney Launches Mobile Payment App With Viral Adoption Incentives

Pxt money logo 140px PXTMoney has announced the launch of a mobile payment app that lets consumers "forget the plastic" and instantly load money from PayPal, credit or debit/checking accounts onto their phone. Consumers make payments by using their phone number and PIN.

Whenever you sign up a friend, you earn $1. Every time your friend purchases something using PXTMoney, you get a percentage of that purchase. That money can add up over time, giving you spending money and even tuition money. This offer is ongoing, all a part of using new mobile money.

The initial launch is targeted at local merchants in Brookline, MA. More info can be found at www.pxtmoney.com.

December 14, 2011

Payments Views - Square… It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again!

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxOver on Payments Views, Glenbrook's Russ Jones blogs about the parallels between Square and PayPal.

We’re in the midst of another disruption cycle on the acquiring side of the card payments business in the US. You can almost feel it happening. And, if you’re paying close attention to the data, you can see it happening. If you’re not – if you’re into incumbent thinking – you’re not seeing what’s happening.

PayByPhone Adds NFC to Mobile Payments for San Francisco

Paybyphone logo 140x60pxPayByPhone has announced "one of the largest deployments of near field communications (NFC) payment solutions in the world. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA), which selected the PayByPhone mobile payment system for parking, is currently adding NFC-enabled stickers to the city’s 30,800 parking spaces to give drivers the option to pay for parking with NFC-enabled mobile phones in addition to mobile apps and mobile web for regular phones."

Payments Views - It’s A Decoupled World

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxOver on Payments Views, Glenbrook's Carol Coye Benson blogs about her recent experience at the annual conference of the 'Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion' at U.C. Irvine.

IMTFI is building a network of researchers, often from smaller universities in the developing countries, who are doing a wide range of projects. It won’t surprise anyone to hear that a lot of the research revolves around the use of mobile phones for financial services. Mobile wallets are, in a variety of different configurations, providing access to bank account-like features (savings, transfers) to previously unbanked people.

December 13, 2011

Recent Developments in Account-to-Account Electronic Money Transfers

Boston fed logo 140pxThe Boston Fed has published a Public Policy Discussion Paper entitled "Account-to-Account Electronic Money Transfers: Recent Developments in the United States".

The paper analyzes the emerging decentralized market in which A2A money transfers are becoming available in the United States and compares it with the A2A market in other countries. The paper constructs analytical examples to explain and evaluate the structure of the emerging U.S. market and discusses possible policy actions that may enhance the use of A2A money transfers in the United States.

Survey Says Banks Plan to Expand in Mobile, but Remain Split on NFC

Fiserv logo 60pxhFiserv announced the results of a survey of the mobile banking and payment plans of top-tier financial institutions.

The in-depth survey, conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Fiserv in September 2011, evaluated the plans of 10 banks and credit unions that in total hold more than one-third of all U.S. deposit accounts. The results revealed that these financial institutions are moving beyond the basics to deliver increasingly sophisticated mobile capabilities. Transactional services such as remote deposit capture and mobile person-to-person payments will account for the bulk of mobile investment in 2012. However, despite a nearly unanimous commitment to expand overall mobile functionality, institutions remain split on plans to support mobile point-of-sale payments.

A white paper detailing the survey results can be downloaded from the Fiserv website.

Study Finds 8% Increase of Unencrypted Cards Since 2010

Security metrics logo 140pxA study recently published by SecurityMetrics shows 71% of merchants who entered the study were found to store unencrypted payment card data in 2011, which is an increase of 8% since 2010.

"There's so much going on in the security industry that it's sometimes difficult to target the most important things," said SecurityMetrics CEO Brad Caldwell. "We think these findings are a game changer for the security industry, and will help focus priorities on the bigger problem plaguing merchants today. After all, criminals can't steal card data merchants don't have."

LightSpeed Introduces 'Show & Tell' Interactive POS for iPad

Lightspeed logo 140x60px LightSpeed has announced 'Show & Tell" support for the iPad, which "allows retailers to offer a next-level personalized selling experience combined with inventory scanning, wireless payments and the powerful retail workflows of LightSpeed, all on the world's most popular tablet." The LightSpeed website has more details and nice screen shots.

Survey Says Consumers Consider Direct Carrier Billing Safer Than Cards

PaymentOne logo 140pxPaymentOne has announced the results of a recent survey that found "4 out of 5 consumers would spend more online if offered an easier and more secure way to pay. The survey also found that by a margin of almost 4 to 1, consumers believe direct carrier billed mobile payments are more secure than using credit and debit cards for online digital purchases."

December 12, 2011

American Express Launches Payment SDKs

Amex logo 140pxAmerican Express has announced a new suite of Payment Software Development Kits (SDKs) to support direct processing of payments from vendors and merchants across the globe.

“We built our Payment SDKs with a relentless focus on improving the developer experience to help ensure that our direct connectivity partners can easily develop and integrate to American Express payment processing services,” said Patricia Partelow, Vice President, Innovative Payment Solutions at American Express. “We expect this improved experience to greatly reduce the time and complexity of certification projects and accelerate the digital payments revolution for our merchants and cardmembers.”

MoneyGram Introduces Cash-to-Account Service in China

MoneyGram logo 140pxMoneyGram International has announced a cash-to-account service with Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), one of China’s largest banks. "With the new service, consumers can now send money directly into ICBC bank accounts in China. ICBC has locations across China and manages more than 269 million personal banking customers."

eBillme, a Western Union Company

EBillme logo 140px Judging from its website, eBillme has apparently become "a Western Union Company". Google date range searches indicate this happened sometime in the last six weeks. Things look like business as normal for eBillme buyers and sellers.

First Data Releases November 2011 SpendTrend

First data logo 140x60px First Data has released its First Data SpendTrend analysis for the full month of November 2011 compared to November 2010.

Overall year-over-year dollar volume growth was up 7.3% in November, down from October’s 9.4% growth. November 2011 had tough comparables as November 2010 was a particularly strong month, with dollar volume growth up 8.1%. November 2011 transaction growth was 6.1%.

SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

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