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April 19, 2013

Blackhawk Network Holdings (HAWK) Completes Initial Public Offering

BlackhawkNetwork logo 140pxBlackhawk Network Holdings, a majority owned subsidiary of Safeway, completed its initial public offering and began trading earlier Friday on NASDAQ under the symbol HAWK.

Shares were priced at $23 with 10 million shares being offered by the company. In today's trading, the shares advanced 13% to close at $26.01 at the market close. At that price, the market valuation for the company would be about $1.4 billion.

Blackhawk distributes prepaid cards, including gift cards, and connects brands to consumers via partnerships with various retail distributors, such as grocery store chains.

How Do You Organize Your Payments Team?

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxGlenbrook's Jacqueline Chilton is conducting the third annual Glenbrook payments organization survey to learn how companies’ internal organizational structures are evolving to manage the ever-increasing complexity of payments:

We are eager to learn how your company manages payments, and how your payments organization is changing – whether you are a biller, eCommerce merchant, or retailer; whether you sell to consumers or businesses (or both).

And we’re also interested in learning how the payments function is managed within payment providers of all kinds. We want to understand the inter-relationship between finance and the payments function, and also how the balance between payments and risk management varies from company to company.

Please visit to participate.

Headline News - April 19, 2013

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

April 18, 2013

Chart of the Week: PayPal's Payment Volume (2001-2013)

PayPal logo 140x60pxHere's this week's chart of the week - PayPal's payment volume ($ Billions) by quarter from 2001 through its first quarter 2013 results reported earlier this week. The last two columns show a bit of seasonality - but, otherwise, a pretty impressive ramp "up and to the right"!

PayPal Payment Volume

Share your thoughts about PayPal's growth - and future growth prospects - by adding a comment below.

Have you seen an interesting chart recently that opened your eyes to new insights? Please tell me about it! Email it to me:

Headline News - April 18, 2013

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

April 17, 2013

Visa Europe Enhances Personal Payments Service

Visa logo 60pxhVisa Europe has announced two additions to its Visa Personal Payments mobile service that will enable consumers to make instant transactions from their mobile phone to any Visa cardholder in Europe, in any European currency.

The Multi-Currency feature, to be available by the end of 2013, allows payments to be sent and received across borders, bringing international money transfers to mobile devices. Immediate Payments, launching in the UK this week with other markets to follow later in the year, makes it possible for consumers to receive money sent via Visa Personal Payments in a matter of minutes.

Sandra Alzetta, Senior Vice President, Visa Europe, said:

"Mobile payments have the potential to fundamentally change the way that people pay and are paid. The new Multi-Currency and Immediate Payments features combine the convenience of mobile device use with the ability to send money to 460 million Visa cardholders across Europe, solving a problem that millions of consumers face every day – giving money to another individual easily and securely."

Visa Personal Payments is a person-to-person payments service that enables anyone with a Visa credit, debit or reloadable prepaid card to accept payments from another Visa card without needing to share any account details.

A Look at PayPal's 1Q2013 Financial Results

PayPal logo 140x60pxPayPal's parent eBay has announced financial results for 1Q2013.

The company's PayPal business delivered strong first quarter performance with revenue increasing 18% to $1.5 billion. PayPal gained 5 million active registered accounts in the period and ended the quarter with 128 million, a 16% increase.

PayPal's net total payment volume (TPV) grew 21% to $41 billion, driven by consumer and merchant use of PayPal both on and off eBay. PayPal continues to invest in growing its addressable market, product development, customer engagement and consumer awareness.

The company's mobile payment solution for small business, PayPal Here, became available for sale at more than 2,700 SoftBank locations across Japan and the iPad version of the product was launched in the U.S. PayPal also announced the chip and PIN version of PayPal Here in the U.K. which it plans to roll out this summer.

PayPal's offline initiatives are now live in almost 20,000 major retail locations in the U.S.

eBay reports that the PayPal 'take rate" was 3.77% in 1Q2013, up from 3.72% in the prior quarter and but down from the 3.87% reported a year earlier. Transaction expenses were 1.05%, up slightly from 1.03% in the prior quarter. The loss rate was 0.29%, up 1 basis point from the prior quarter.

Vodafone, ICICI Bank Launch M-Pesa in India

M Pesa logo 140pxVodafone India and ICICI Bank have announced the launch of M-Pesa - a mobile money transfer and payment service - in India saying it is "a move to help approximately 700 million of the country's population who previously had no access to conventional banking."

Following a successful trial, the service will be offered initially through more than 8,300 specially trained and authorized M-Pesa agents in eastern areas of India, including Kolkata, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand, covering a population of around 220 million people. The service will be rolled out across the rest of India in a phased approach.

Marten Pieters, Managing Director and CEO of Vodafone India, said:

For millions of people in India, a mobile phone is a bank account, a front door to a micro-business or a lifeline to people in the remotest areas. Research shows that M-Pesa brings real benefits to users in their daily lives, saving three hours a week of their time and around $3 in money transfer costs - a significant amount to people in some areas.

M-Pesa was originally launched by Vodafone in 2007 and is now available in eight countries, including Kenya, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The service allows customers to send and receive small amounts of money via their mobile phones as securely and simply as sending a text message. Prior to M-Pesa, many people in developing markets had no choice but to move cash around in person or by public transport, exposing them to delays, personal risk and loss of money in certain cases.

China CITIC Bank, MasterCard to Cooperate on Virtual Payments

MasterCard logo 140pxMasterCard has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with China CITIC Bank for "strategic cooperation in the virtual payments space within and outside China. The two parties aim to jointly develop and promote innovative products and services including Quick Response” (QR) code services, and collaborate to provide a safe and efficient payment experience for domestic and overseas cardholders and merchants."

This collaboration with MasterCard, a technology company in the global payments industry, will build a solid foundation for China CITIC Bank to become China’s global bank card, expanding its footprint worldwide, driving cross-border settlements and improving the cardholder shopping experience outside of China.

Headline News - April 17, 2013

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

April 16, 2013

Fiserv Simplifies: ACCEL/Exchange Becomes Accel

Fiserv logo 60pxhFiserv this morning announced that its debit payments network, formerly known as ACCEL/Exchange®, has a new name - Accel™. According to the company, "the new name reflects the network’s ability to accelerate funds transfers across retail, biller and social person-to-person payments, and positions the network within the Fiserv portfolio of payments capabilities to create the world’s leading real-time network."

Fiserv updated the network’s name to reflect the 24x7-always-connected world we’re living in,” said David Keenan, general manager, Network Solutions, Fiserv. “Accel helps consumers move money when and how they want. Our real-time payments platform, developed over the last 40 years, has expanded from ATM and retail payments to enabling social payments, as we demonstrated last year with the integration of Accel with our person-to-person payments service, Popmoney®.”

Headline News - April 16, 2013

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

April 15, 2013

American Express Names Edward P. Gilligan President

Amex logo 140pxAmerican Express has announced the promotion of Edward P. Gilligan to president, effective immediately. The company’s global consumer, small business, merchant, network, risk and banking groups will continue to report to him.

Mr. Gilligan, 53, has served as vice chairman of American Express since 2007 when he was named head of a Business-to-Business group responsible for the company’s relationships with merchants, corporations and bank partners globally. He took on his current responsibilities in 2009.

Mr. Gilligan continues to report to Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer. Also continuing to report to Mr. Chenault are Daniel H. Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth; Stephen J. Squeri, group president, Global Services; and the executive officers who head the company’s staff groups.

Citigroup - 1Q2013 Financial Results

Citi logo 140pxThis morning Citigroup reported financial results for the first quarter 2013. Its card-related business in North America reported flat results for its combined Citi-branded and Citi retail services businesses.

"Citi-branded cards revenues declined 1% to $2.0 billion, reflecting lower average loan balances as Citi-branded cards loans declined 5% partially offset by an improvement in net interest spreads."

Headline News - April 15, 2013

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


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