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January 23, 2012

January 19, 2012

American Express Releases Fourth Quarter 2011 Financial Results

Amex logo 140pxAmerican Express has reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2011. Net income of $1.2 billion, up 12 percent from $1.1 billion in the year-ago period. Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer, American Express commented:
“Cardmembers spent a record amount on their American Express cards, continuing a trend that has translated into overall share gains during the last two years. Billed business rose 11%, showing broad-based improvements from the strong levels of a year ago. Online spending was strong as we capitalized on the accelerating popularity of digital commerce. Revolving credit balances grew, but at a much slower rate than spending as Cardmembers continued to manage their debt and household finances more cautiously. Credit quality remained excellent, with past-due loans and write-offs at historically low levels.

Payments Views - The First Natural Law of Mobile Payments

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxOver on Payments Views, our sister site, Glenbrook's Russ Jones blogs about The First Natural Law of Mobile Payments. Here's a hint.
There are lots of different mobile payment domains, lots of different use cases, and lots of different solutions — but if they don’t involve a mobile device to some degree, we certainly can’t call them mobile payments!

Bank of America Reports 4Q2011 Financial Results

BankofAmerica logo 140pxBank of America has reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2011.
Card Services reported net income of $1.0 billion, compared to $1.3 billion in the year-ago quarter. The decrease in net income is due to lower revenue, partially offset by lower credit costs. Revenue declined 24 percent to $4.1 billion from the year-ago quarter, driven by a decrease in net interest income of $647 million from lower average loans and yields. Also contributing to the decline in revenue was lower noninterest income due to the implementation of new interchange fee rules in the fourth quarter of 2011 as a result of the Durbin Amendment, which reduced revenue by $430 million.
The number of new U.S. credit card accounts grew 53% in the fourth quarter of 2011 as compared to the year-ago quarter.

January 18, 2012

AmEx Partners with China’s Fast Growing Mobile Top Up Provider

Amex logo 140pxAmerican Express announced an operating agreement with Lianlian Group which will allow Lianlian Group to use Serve in products and services it develops for its consumer and business customers in China.
The Serve platform, which American Express will license to Lianlian Group, is expected to help power a new Lianlian Group digital wallet that consumers can use to top up mobile phone minutes, pay bills and purchase products or services. American Express has also made an equity investment in Lianlian Pay Inc., an overseas company of the Lianlian group of companies (collectively “Lianlian Group”).
Founded in 2004, Lianlian Group has served approximately 300 million mobile phone accounts.

A Look at PayPal's 4Q2011 Financial Results

PayPal logo 140pxPayPal's parent eBay announced financial results for 4Q2011.
PayPal ended the quarter with 106.3 million active registered accounts, a 13% increase year over year. On average, PayPal added a million new accounts every month in 2011. PayPal revenue for the quarter increased 28% year over year driven primarily by continued merchant and consumer adoption as well as increased penetration on eBay. In the fourth quarter, revenue from PayPal's international markets exceeded revenue from the U.S. for the first time, reflecting the company's strong global footprint and growth in emerging markets. PayPal's net total payment volume (TPV) grew 24% to $33.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011.

eBay reported that the PayPal 'take rate' fell slightly to 3.71% in 4Q2011.

Syncada Network Processed a Record $21 Billion in 2011

Syncada logo 140pxSyncada from Visa announced that its global financial supply chain network processed more than $21 billion in payments during 2011, a substantial increase from 2010 and a record in annual payments for the company.

BilltoMobile Launches One-Click Mobile Web

BilltoMobile logoBilltoMobile has announced the availability of one-click processing for Mobile Web transactions on its Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) platform.
BilltoMobile's deeper integration with US carrier networks enables it to identify a wireless subscriber's phone number when they make purchases through Mobile Web on their handsets. In a one-screen user flow, a user is asked to accept the Carrier's Terms of Use via an opt-in check box and then to opt in a second time on the same screen by confirming the exact amount to be charged to the network-identified phone number. BilltoMobile's proprietary risk and fraud system, which already processes billions of dollars in mobile payment transactions annually in the US and Korea, ensures the security of the purchase is maintained.

January 17, 2012

January 16, 2012

JPMorgan Chase - Card Services 4Q2011 Financial Results

Chase logo 140pxJPMorgan Chase has reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2011.
  • For its Card Services unit, Chase reported net income of $1.1 billion, a decrease of $497 million, or 32%, compared with the prior year. The decrease was driven by a $1.7 billion lower reduction in the allowance compared with the prior year, predominantly offset by lower net charge-offs.
  • Excluding the Washington Mutual and Commercial Card portfolios, Card Services net revenue as a percentage of average loans was 11.64%, compared with 11.78% in the prior year and 11.68% in the prior quarter.
  • Excluding the Washington Mutual and Commercial Card portfolios, Credit Card sales volume was $91.0 billion, up 9% compared with the prior year and 7% compared with the prior quarter; excluding also the impact of the Kohl's portfolio sale, sales volume was up 14% compared with prior year.
Chase Paymentech merchant processing volume was $152.6 billion, up 20% from the prior year and 10% from the prior quarter; total transactions processed were 6.8 billion, up 21% from the prior year and 11% from the prior quarter.

Ingenico Launches New PayPal Payment Solution

Ingenico logo 140x60pxIngenico announced its relationship with PayPal, "which will enable merchants with Ingenico POS devices to accept PayPal payment options."
"PayPal's vision for the future of shopping includes people making purchases anytime, anywhere and over any device. Ingenico is helping PayPal realize this vision by putting PayPal in stores and at the point of sale," said Don Kingsborough, vice president of retail and pre-paid products. "Millions of PayPal users will soon have several innovative ways to make purchases at many of their favorite retailers, including using Ingenico terminals to swipe their PayPal payment cards or to enter the mobile phone number and pin associated with their PayPal accounts."
In related news, GigaOM had an interesting interview with Don Kingborough over the weekend, "…NFC is a feature, not a solution that solves problems. If your strategy is NFC today, you need a new strategy.”

Visa Recommended Practices for EMV Chip Implementation in the US

Visa logo 60pxh Based on its chip deployment experience in other parts of the world, Visa has released a set of recommended implementation practices customized for the U.S. market. Visa also clarified that its roadmap in the U.S. is about deploying the EMV chip, not mandating the use of PIN.
Visa will continue to support a range of cardholder verification methods (CVMs) with EMV chip, including signature, online PIN and no-signature for low-value, low-risk transactions. In the longer term, we expect the industry will reduce or even eliminate its use of static verification methods, such as signature and PIN in favor of new and dynamic forms of cardholder verification.

The blog post on the Visa guidance is here; the "Visa Recommended Practices for EMV Chip Implementation in the U.S." are here in PDF format.

Survey Says More than Half of Retailers Testing In-Store Tablets in 2012

Survey graphic 140pxIn its latest custom research report, RIS News looks at retailers’ incredible interest in tablets and finds that "While only 6% of respondents report that tablets are fully deployed in their stores today, another 28% are currently testing tablets in stores and an additional 31% plan to begin testing in 2012."

VeriFone Introduces New Mobile, Multimedia and Payment Solutions

Verifone logo 140pxVeriFone has announced a bevy of new products and services at the NRF 101st Annual Conference & Expo in New York, including the VeriFone MX 900 series of terminals (NFC enabled), VeriFone HQ (cloud-based terminal management and diagnostics), and VeriFone PAYware Mobile Enterprise for Tablet. VeriFone also indicated it would be doing more in digital payments and mobile wallets over the months and years to come, including support "PayPal PIN and PayPal NFC".

January 12, 2012

Ingenico Partners to Create Mobile Retail Platform (iMRP) for US Merchants

Ingenico logo 140x60pxIngenico and iMobile3 have announced a strategic partnership which will power the launch of Ingenico's new Mobile Retail Platform -- iMRP -- in the United States.
"Combining Ingenico's industry leading secure payment solutions with iMobile3's cutting-edge mobile products and professional development services allows us to create powerful mobile commerce solutions for merchants and consumers alike," said Thierry Denis, President of Ingenico North America. "Merchants are continuously seeking new ways to connect and interact with their loyal consumers, and consumers are looking for unique experiences with their preferred brands. "

Billeo's Active eWallet™ API Gives Card Issuers Access to eWallets

Billeo logo 140pxBilleo has announced its Active eWallet API, "a tool that allows card issuers to add their cards as a payment option in Billeo's Active Context platform.
By adding a credit, debit, prepaid or gift card to Billeo's platform, the issuer is instantly connected to the more than 1.5 million consumers who use Billeo's free iPad and browser apps to shop or pay bills online.

FICO Analysis Shows Counterfeit Card Fraud Has Fallen Sharply in Europe

Fico logo 140x60ps FICO has released its analysis of data showing that major shifts have occurred in European card fraud patterns.
Analysis done on 55 million active credit cards represented in the FICO Falcon Fraud Consortium for Europe showed that counterfeit fraud fell 60% between March 2009 and March 2011. FICO's data also shows that card-not-present fraud accounted for 69% of all accounts victimized by fraud and 72% of all fraud losses.

Experian and AmEx Announce International Payment Partnership

Experian logo 140pxExperian and American Express have announced a partnership to offer international payment processing and foreign exchange services to Experian’s UK clients.
The partnership adds a global payment processing capability to Experian’s existing range of services, which already includes international bank account validation and domestic payment processing. A direct link to American Express’s Foreign Exchange International Payments product will be included within the Experian Payments Gateway, the most widely used Bacstel-IP service available in the UK.

January 11, 2012

Payments Views - Verizon's $2 Bill Pay Convenience Fee

GP Logo Horizontal 140px Over on Payments Views, our sister site, Glenbrook's Russ Jones blogs about Verizon's $2.00 bill payment convenience fee, and asks whether the whole exercise was crazy... or not.
There are three broad things that most billers care about — presentment method, payment channel, and payment method. Not all billers have the same goals and objectives, but I would argue that all billers frame their ‘funds collection’ strategy along these lines.

Headline News - January 11, 2012

On the web:

On the wires:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated.

January 10, 2012

Visa and Better ATM Services Debut First ATM-Dispensed Visa Gift Cards

Visa logo 60pxh Visa and Better ATM Services have announced the ability to dispense Visa Gift cards in addition to cash at existing ATMs.
With this introduction, ATM menu screens now include a “Purchase Visa Gift Card” option and prompt to designate the value to load on each card. Cards are available with no activation fee in $25 denominations during the pilot. The new ATM-dispensed Visa Gift card is made of a durable yet thinner material, which allows cards to easily pass through the cash mechanisms of ATMs.

An in-market pilot program is currently underway offering Visa Gift cards at walk-up and drive-through ATMs in select locations throughout Arizona.

GoPayment Goes Global – First Stop Canada

Intuit logo 140pxIntuit has announced that it plans to take its free GoPayment mobile credit card app and card reader hardware global, with the first implementation in Canada. In addition, Intuit will soon begin shipping a free, newly-designed GoPayment Card Reader in both the U.S. and Canada.
This innovative card reader is a compact, cylinder-shaped device that helps maximize sales with new features that increase the accuracy of each card swipe. Providing greater security than available on other devices, it includes best-in-class, end-to-end encryption that protects a customer’s sensitive credit card data from the moment a card is swiped.

GoPayment for Canada and the new GoPayment card reader will both be available in early 2012.

Benchmarking Level 4 Merchant PCI Compliance – The Acquirer’s Perspective

Survey graphic 140pxControlScan has released the results of a study it recently completed with acquirers on Level 4 Merchant PCI Compliance.
94% percent of acquirers have a PCI program in place for their Level 4 merchants with 57% saying their merchants see value in their PCI program. More importantly, 70% of acquirer respondents believe their PCI program reduces small merchant data breaches.

The survey was completed in October 2011 by 146 banks, processors and ISOs with Level 4 merchant portfolios ranging from less than 1,000 accounts to more than 50,000.

ThreatMetrix Acquires TrustDefender

ThreatMetrix logo 140pxThreatMetrix has announced that it has acquired the Australian-based company TrustDefender, a "recognized leader of secure browsing technology to stop man-in-the-browser (MitB) attacks and provide malware protection." The combined companies will operate under the ThreatMetrix name with global operations in the United States, Australia and Europe. The corporate headquarters will be located in San Jose, California.

Regions Bank Joins the Secure Vault Payments Network

Svp logo 140x60px Secure Vault Payments announced it has added Regions Financial Corporation to the Secure Vault Payments (SVP) Network. Regions will offer the online payment option to customers in 16 states across the South, Midwest and Texas.
“Merchants and consumers alike are increasingly seeking convenient and secure online payment options, particularly for large dollar transactions,” said James Hicks, head of Treasury Services for Regions Financial. “Regions’ participation in Secure Vault Payments will allow us to provide additional payment choices and benefits to our customers.”

Secure Vault Payments is the only online payment method that links consumers directly to their bank account without a middleman. Secure Vault was developed by NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association and eWise, a provider of online and mobile payment solutions.

First Data Releases December 2011 SpendTrend

First data logo 140x60pxFirst Data has released its First Data SpendTrend analysis for the full month of December 2011 compared to December 2010.
Dollar volume growth on cards overall was a healthy 6.9% in December. However, strong auto sales, driven by low interest rates, likely diverted consumer spending to car sales from other retail areas. Auto sales are not captured in SpendTrend figures. Overall year-over-year average tickets declined 0.1% in December, the first negative reading since January 2011. Merchants resorted to steep discounting to spur holiday traffic. Consumers responded favorably to bargain pricing, as overall transaction growth was up 7.0% in December.

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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