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February 23, 2012

AmEx Moves Ahead of MasterCard in U.S. Purchase Volume

Amex logo 140pxThe Nilson Report has announced that American Express overtook MasterCard to gain second place among credit card brands in the U.S., based on spending at merchants.
“This is the first time since MasterCard was known as MasterCharge back in the 1960s, that American Express has experienced more purchase volume,” said David Robertson, publisher of The Nilson Report. While purchase volume increased for all four card brands (Visa, Amex, MasterCard, and Discover), American Express credit cards had an increase of 13.4% to $540 billion dollars, vs. an increase 6.1% to $508 billion for MasterCard credit cards.

BOKU Launches Complete Mobile Payments Platform for Mobile Operators

Boku logo 140x60pxBOKU announced that it is expanding its payments technology to cover retail point-of-sale with BOKU Accounts.
“BOKU Accounts brings together the best parts of mobile payments and technology, leveraging NFC, smartphones and global payment networks for a better consumer experience.” Said Mark Britto, BOKU CEO. “We are leveraging the power of the device in your pocket to improve every transaction you make, anywhere in the world, and helping our MNO partners expand into the off-line world, while bringing tremendous value to their subscribers and merchants alike.”
In related news, MasterCard announced its partnership with BOKU in this endeavor.

TIO to Launch Cloud Wallet for North America’s Underbanked Population

Tio logo 140x60pxTIO Networks has announced it will launch a cloud-based wallet platform, TIO Wallet, designed to help the estimated 60 million Americans who have limited access to mainstream financial products.
“Finally, a Wallet designed from the ground up to meet the evolving needs of the underbanked consumer,” said Hamed Shahbazi, Chairman and CEO of TIO Networks. “The vast majority of TIO’s $1B worth of transactions per year, support the underbanked marketplace. We know what is important to this customer and are proud to serve them.”

PULSE and Obopay Collaborate to Provide Real-time Payment Solution

Pulse logo 140pxPULSE has announced an agreement with Obopay to enable real-time money transfer capabilities for PULSE financial institution participants.
“Combining our extensive debit network with Obopay’s broad range of mobile money solutions gives consumers a faster and more efficient way to pay with their debit card, while also enabling new revenue generating opportunities for our participants,” said Judith McGuire, Executive Vice President of Product Management at PULSE. “A growing number of mobility-minded consumers require instant payments and transfers. The agreement with Obopay is one way we can help facilitate that for our financial institutions and their account holders.”

Chase Invests in Mobile Payments Provider GoPago

Chase logo 140pxChase has announced that it has invested in GoPago, a provider of a mobile payments service that allows consumers to remotely browse, order, and pay for local goods and services.
“Chase is committed to giving consumers and businesses a great shopping experience, leveraging the latest advances in mobile payment technologies,” said Jack Stephenson, director of mobile, e-commerce and payments at Chase. “GoPago will allow us to create powerful new value propositions for businesses and consumers.”

MasterCard Launches Partnership Program for Mobile Money Services

MasterCard logo 140pxMasterCard has announced a global initiative called the MasterCard Mobile Money Partnership Program to help financially-underserved consumers gain access to financial services through their mobile phones.
“With about five billion mobile phone users worldwide, this program provides powerful, smart and convenient new payment options to people through a device that’s already in the palm of their hands today,” said Mung Ki Woo, Group Executive, Mobile, MasterCard Worldwide. “Our approach is to work with all leading players in the Mobile Money ecosystem to bring the benefits of electronic payments to those who otherwise wouldn’t have access to formal financial services. Comviva, Sybase 365 and Utiba are key strategic platform partners to help implement this vision.”

February 22, 2012

WorldPay Offers BOKU as a Mobile Payment Method

Boku logo 140x60pxBOKU announced that Payment Service Provider (PSP) WorldPay has selected BOKU as its global mobile payments partner, integrating BOKU’s payments platform into its payment network.
“WorldPay is a leading payment service provider with an outstanding network of merchants,” said James Patmore, SVP and Managing Director, BOKU. “Our technology helps do the hard work for our merchants, things like foreign exchange, granular price points, multiple currencies & languages, and more. We believe BOKU offers WorldPay merchants a powerful tool for the acquisition of new customers and an opportunity to enhance their purchase experience, leveraging the convenience of BOKU for all types of digital goods and services.”

Visa and Monitise to Introduce Mobile Payments Services in India

Visa logo 60pxh Movida, a mobile payments joint venture backed by Visa and Monitise, announced it has signed an agreement with HDFC Bank, India’s second-largest private bank, to introduce a new mobile payment service in India.
Naushad Contractor, Movida’s President and head of the Monitise and Visa joint venture in India, commented: “This is a service designed for Indians. As we rollout the service to other banks more Indians will be able to benefit from mobile payments. Wave goodbye to waiting in long queues or visiting post offices or payment machines to pay bills as you will now be able to do that right from your mobile phone. This service is going to drastically reduce the time & energy Indians waste every day waiting to pay bills.”

ThreatMetrix Launches TrustDefender Mobile

ThreatMetrix logo 140pxThreatMetrix announced the launch of a new mobile software development kit (SDK) that helps identify fraudulent transactions originating from mobile applications. "The new product, called TrustDefender Mobile, expands on ThreatMetrix’s already established malware detection and cookieless device identification technology for laptops and desktop computers. The same risk-based fraud screening capability that is available to browser-based transactions is now available to mobile applications."

U.S. Credit Card Delinquencies Fall Nearly 5% in 2011

TransUnion logo 140pxTransUnion has announced that "the national credit card delinquency rate (the ratio of borrowers 90 or more days past due) reached 0.78% in the fourth quarter of 2011, a drop of almost 5% from the same period one year ago and continuing well below historical norms. Average credit card debt per borrower increased $239 from the same period last year to $5,204, though it too remains near record-low levels."

February 21, 2012

UK Payments Council To Build Mobile Payments Platform

Payments council logo 140pxThe Payments Council has announced it is funding the development of a centralized database to facilitate mobile payments innovation in the UK.
The Payments Council is building a central database that will allow customers to link their mobile phone number to their account details, regardless of who they bank with. It will be available to UK banks and building societies before the end of this year as a platform for them to build their own competitive service for their customers. VocaLink has been appointed to build the central database.

Elavon Introduces Global E-commerce Gateway Solution

Elavon logo 140pxElavon announced that it has partnered with DataCash, a MasterCard Company, to launch Elavon’s Global E-commerce Gateway solution in Europe.
“The combination of Elavon’s acquiring experience, processing reach, and financial stability, with DataCash’s gateway expertise, fraud controls and unmatched connectivity results in a win-win for our customers,” said Simon Haslam, president of International Markets, Elavon. “We are pleased to be able to provide one point of service and support to our clients as their global commerce needs evolve.”

PaymentOne Introduces HTML5 Mobile Payments API for Direct Carrier Billing

PaymentOne logo 140pxPaymentOne announced its support for the emerging HTML5 standard and the immediate availability of the PayOne HTML5 API. "The PayOne HTML5 API provides an HTML5-compliant Web-based payment flow for developers of mobile games and applications looking to monetize their offerings across all platforms and devices with a highly secure and frictionless 'charge it to my mobile phone bill' payment method."

PreCash Adds Savings Account to Its Vision Visa Prepaid Cards

Precash logo 140x60pxPreCash has announced that it has added three features to its Vision Visa Prepaid Cards.
"Like Americans with banking relationships, prepaid customers want optional services associated with their cards. PreCash developed these features: a savings account for people to plan for the future, roadside assistance to provide them with comfort in the case of car emergencies, and cash back on gas purchases to reward them for using the card," remarked Mia Mends.

Americans Owe Less on Their Credit Cards

Equifax logo 140pxEquifax reported today that nearly 60 of the top 100 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) hardest hit by credit card debt realized double-digit declines in the percentage of income owed to credit card companies -- up to 24% in some areas.
The reduction in U.S. consumer credit card debt began a steady decline in the fourth quarter of 2010 that continued through the end of 2011, as consumers remained cautious of their spending and focused on deleveraging debt. Consumers owed up to 17% of their income to credit card companies in 2010, according to Equifax's analysis.

February 20, 2012

Glenbrook Virtual Currency Report

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxGlenbrook has released a new research report on virtual currencies fundamentals.
Our focus is on describing what virtual currencies are, how they work, who uses them, and why. We describe the general characteristics and key attributes of a typical virtual currency program, demonstrating the strategic choices facing online sites as they contemplate whether or not a virtual currency is an attractive addition to their monetization strategy.

The specific currencies covered include Facebook Credits, Microsoft Point, PlaySpan Ultimate Points, Tencent Q Coin, Second Life Linden Dollars, World of Warcraft Gold, various Zynga currencies, and the experimental BitCoin digital currency.

TransUnion Acquired by Advent International and GS Capital Partners

TransUnion logo 140pxTransUnion announced today that "Advent International and GS Capital Partners VI Fund, LP and certain of its affiliates (the "Sponsors") have signed a definitive merger agreement to acquire TransUnion from its current stockholders, including Madison Dearborn Partners and the Pritzker family business interests. The transaction, which is expected to close late first quarter or early second quarter of 2012, values TransUnion at over $3 billion. TransUnion President and Chief Executive Officer Bobby Mehta and the rest of the company's leadership team will remain with TransUnion."

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