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December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays from Glenbrook Partners

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxSeason's Greetings and a Happy New Year from Glenbrook Partners. Thank you for reading Payments News throughout 2012. We'll be on holiday the rest of the year and will return to industry news coverage on January 2nd, 2013.

Chase to Acquire Merchant Offer Provider

Chase logo 140pxChase and Bloomspot have announced that they have signed an agreement and plan of merger whereby Chase will acquire Bloomspot, a provider of targeted merchant offers.
“Chase has millions of strong relationships with consumers and merchants, and we are committed to building value in those relationships,” said Jeff Kinder, president of Chase Offers. “Merchant partners are continually looking for ways to engage the right customers, and consumers have shown a clear interest in receiving offers from their favorite merchants. We believe Chase has a unique set of assets to bring these customers together and deliver highly targeted, relevant merchant offers at scale.”

Discover Reports Financial Results for 4Q2012

Discover logo 140pxDiscover Financial Services has reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2012. "The company said card sales volume grew 6% from the prior year to $26.5 billion. Credit card loans ended the quarter at $49.6 billion, up 6%, from the prior year. The delinquency rate for credit card loans over 30 days past due was 1.86%, an improvement of 53 basis points from the prior year, and a seasonal increase of 5 basis points from the prior quarter. The credit card net charge-off rate improved to 2.29% for the fourth quarter of 2012, down 95 basis points from the prior year, and 14 basis points from the prior quarter."

Payza Launches New Service to Facilitate Money Transfers to Bangladesh

Payza logo 140x60px Payza has announced a new service, SimplySendBD, to facilitate money transfers to Bangladesh.
This new low-cost, convenient and fast online service will enable Payza members to send money to friends and family in Bangladesh, regardless of whether or not they have a Payza account. Earlier this year, Payza became the first online payment processor to be licensed by the country’s central bank, Bangladesh Bank. According to the bank’s estimate, there was more than $14 billion in remittances that entered the country in 2012.

Why Don’t Most Merchants Use Price Discounts to Steer Payment Choice?

Boston fed logo 140px The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has published a public policy discussion document entitled, "Why Don’t Most Merchants Use Price Discounts to Steer Consumer Payment Choice?"
We find that steering consumers to debit and cash via price discounts reduces some merchants’ card costs. However, this cost reduction may be insufficient to offset the cost increase of administering price menus that vary by payment instrument. In addition, rewards buyers receive on credit card transactions may exceed the price discounts that merchants can provide. These factors may explain why steering via price discounts is not widely observed.

The full paper is here.

December 20, 2012

December 19, 2012

December 18, 2012

Swipely Expands Service to Reveal the Customer Behind Every Transaction

Swipely logo 150px Swipely has announced new payment acceptance functionality to help its merchants understand the customer behind every transaction.
Swipely brings the very first Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that updates automatically with every card swipe to Main Street. Swipely builds a profile for each card-paying customer to help merchants remember spending recency, frequency and lifetime value - automatically. Merchants can add notes about customer preferences or edit contact information to quickly save insights and re-engage customers online after they leave the store.

QSecure Announces IMAGO Powered Payment Card

QSecure logo 140pxQSecure has announced IMAGO (pronounced ee-ma-go), a new powered payment card and mobile app for iPhone, Android, and Windows mobile devices.
"The war of the wallets is on between big players like Visa, MasterCard, Google, Square, and Apple, but merchants and consumers are waiting to see which of these platforms will become predominant," explains QSecure CEO Mike Cummings, "Because our solution uses the phone’s display to communicate with the card, it can be used with any smartphone running our IMAGO App. There is no need for consumers to wait for the next generation smartphone or for merchants to change their credit card terminals to take advantage of mobile wallets."

Users load their existing cards by swiping them through a dongle, sync their IMAGO card with their smartphone screen, and then use their IMAGO card at existing card terminals. Visit www.qsecure.com to see a video that demonstrates how the whole thing works.

Heartland Payment Systems Acquires ECSI

HeartlandPayments logo 140px Heartland Payment Systems announced that it has expanded its Campus Solutions division by acquiring ECSI, "a leading provider of cost-effective, customized payments processing solutions for the higher education industry."
“As the Heartland Campus Solutions division grows to become a more significant portion of Heartland’s business, we’re confident that acquisitions such as ECSI will better position us for faster growth,” said Michael A. Lawler, president, strategic markets group, Heartland Payment Systems. “Our combined suite of products, services and solutions offers higher education institutions opportunities to streamline processes and increase operational efficiency while providing enhanced convenience and value to students.”

VeriFone to Exit Mobile POS Acquiring Business

Verifone logo 140pxDuring the fourth-quarter teleconference with analysts, VeriFone announced that it is stepping back from its role as an direct acquirer for SAIL merchants.
Earlier this year, we launched SAIL as a way to bridge the gap between the way our traditional channel partners conduct business and the specific needs of very small micro-merchants. Our experience through 2012 with tens of thousands of these micro-merchants tells us that the standalone economics of micro-merchant acquiring is fundamentally unprofitable and destined to be a negative gross margin business. Customer acquisition costs either through search engines or TV advertising cannot and will never justify the razor-thin margins produced by merchants with infrequent volume and extremely high attrition.
The company will continue to market SAIL products through banking partners and ISOs. Digital Transactions has a good story on the strategy shift.

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