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January 17, 2013

American Express Releases Fourth Quarter 2012 Financial Results

American Express has reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2012, including net income of $637 million, down 47% from $1.2 billion a year ago. Net income from the quarter included the restructuring charge, rewards expense and cardmember reimbursements that were previously announced.
“With higher fourth quarter revenues and cardmember spending, we ended 2012 in strong shape,” said Kenneth I. Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer. “Against the backdrop of an uneven economy, we capitalized on opportunities and continued to stay ahead of the trends that are reshaping our industry."

AmEx announced earlier that it would be eliminating 5,400 jobs, mainly from its travel business unit.

January 16, 2013

Payments Views - Green Dot’s New Mobile-Optimized Bank Account

Glenbrook PartnersOver on Payments Views, Glenbrook's Allen Weinberg has a post about "Green Dot's New Mobile-Optimized Bank Account". Allen went to the product launch event and came away thinking that GoBank is not only a new brand almost a new product category. "What I found most interesting was Green Dot’s focus on the 'unhappily banked' and those new to the banking system, like my two teenage sons."

A Look at PayPal's 4Q2012 Financial Results

PayPal logo 140x60pxPayPal's parent eBay announced financial results for 4Q2012.
PayPal's active account growth accelerated to 15% and ended the year with approximately 123 million registered accounts. PayPal added nearly 2 million accounts a month in the fourth quarter, representing the company's fastest active account growth rate in years. Net total payment volume (TPV) increased 24%, producing revenue growth of 24%.

eBay reported that the PayPal 'take rate' was 3.72% in 4Q2012, down from the prior quarter, but up 1 basis point from a year earlier. Transaction expenses were 1.03%, down 1 basis points from a year earlier. The loss rate was 0.28%, up 1 basis point from a year earlier.

Zipmark Announces Mobile Secure Digital Check Platform

ZZipmark logo 140x60pxipmark has announced the national availability of its secure digital check payment platform, the first online and mobile payment system designed to deposit guaranteed funds into a business's operating account on the morning of the next business day.
"Zipmark secure digital checks improve the way small businesses send and collect money from their customers by bringing check payments into the 21st century," said Jay Bhattacharya, CEO and co-founder of Zipmark. "Zipmark is as much a risk management platform as it is a payment platform. We take on the risk of the transaction and guarantee funds to billers."

Zipmark's transaction fee is only 1% with a $5 cap.

JPMorgan Chase - Card Services 4Q2012 Financial Results

Chase logo 140pxJPMorgan Chase has reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2012. Highlights for Card Services include:
  • Net income was $840 million, a decrease of $211 million, or 20%, compared with the prior year. The decrease was driven by higher provision for credit losses and higher noninterest expense.

  • Net revenue was $4.8 billion, flat compared with the prior year. Net interest income was $3.5 billion, down $45 million, or 1%, from the prior year.

  • Credit Card sales volume (excluding commercial cards) was $101.6 billion, up 9% compared with the prior year and 5% compared with the prior quarter; Card Services general purpose credit card sales volume growth has outperformed the industry since the first quarter of 2008.

Merchant processing volume was $178.6 billion, up 17% from the prior year and 9% from the prior quarter; total transactions processed were 8.2 billion, up 21% from the prior year and 11% from the prior quarter.

January 15, 2013

Green Dot Launches Mobile Bank Account for Smartphone Generation

Gobank logo 140pxGreen Dot has announced GoBank, "the first bank account designed from scratch to be opened and used on a mobile device. Launching in limited release, with general availability to come later this year, GoBank is fast, fair and feature-rich, allowing consumers to interact with their money in a way that’s immediate, intuitive and intimate. In addition to GoBank’s consumer-friendly pricing model of no overdraft fees or penalty fees and no minimum balance requirements, GoBank makes it easy to send and deposit money, build a budget and find an ATM, with a massive network of more than 40,000 fee-free ATMs." And don't forget the FDIC insurance.

Website is located at

Payments Council Sets Launch Date for UK Mobile P2P Service

Payments council logo 140pxThe UK Payments Council has announced that the countdown has started for the launch of a new country-wide mobile P2P payments service in the UK. Specifics include:
  • Financial institutions representing 90% of UK current accounts commit to spring 2014 launch of first industry-wide mobile payment service.
  • Sending security-protected payments by mobile will be as easy as texting, without the need to disclose account details.
  • Customers will be able to send and receive payments straight from their account after simple sign-up process with their provider.

The new mobile payments service will move money directly between accounts using the Faster Payments service and the LINK network.

Where Social Networks, Payments and Banking Intersect

Kansas city fed logo 140x60px Terri Bradford of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City has recently published an Payments System Research Brief entitled, "Where Social Networks, Payments and Banking Intersect".
This article reviews the extent of social network adoption, describes ways in which commerce and banking services are arising, discusses payment methods, and highlights some of the potential risks of these various interactions.

The full article is downloadable here.

NCR and PayPal To Collaborate On Mobile-Enhanced Consumer Shopping

PayPal logo 140px NCR logo 140px NCR and PayPal announced an agreement to integrate NCR’s innovative mobile solutions for hospitality and retail with PayPal’s leading digital payment technology. NCR and PayPal will:
  • Integrate PayPal mobile payment options into the recently announced NCR Mobile Pay application and NCR Aloha Online Ordering.
  • Integrate PayPal mobile payment options into NCR’s Convenience-Go (C-Go) application for petroleum and convenience stores.
  • Integrate NCR’s Advanced Marketing Solution (AMS) loyalty and offer management system with the PayPal digital wallet.

NCR’s customer base includes 8 of the 10 fastest-growing Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) and fast casual restaurant chains, 1.2 million retail POS systems and more than 100,000 self-checkout units. PayPal’s global customer base includes 117 million accounts, and has forecasted it will process $10 billion in mobile payment volume in 2012.

January 14, 2013

Revel Systems Adds EMV Processing to iPad Point-Of-Sale System

Revel systems logo 140x60px Revel Systems announced it has become the first iPad point-of-sale (POS) system to provide EMV compatibility in the United States.
“The industry at large is faced with a major need to reduce credit card fraud and increase security. Revel Systems is the first to anticipate impending changes for industry standards for point-of-sale,” said Revel’s co-founder and CTO Chris Ciabarra. “Integrating directly with EMV readers is the logical next step for us to provide the most innovative technology solutions to our customers and also give them the surest and most secure means to reach EMV certification by the 2016 deadline.”

Medagate Launches Dual Network Healthcare Payment Card

Otc network logo 140x60pxMedagate, a wholly owned subsidiary of InComm, announced the launch of the MasterCard Dual Value Health Card, the first dual network healthcare spending card.
With the Dual Health Value Card, administrators can designate spending for certain items, such as flu shots, prenatal vitamins or smoking cessation products. Retailers and benefit providers can also offer coupons or special promotions to specific populations (for example, allergy sufferers on the first day of hay fever season). Funds and items on defined contribution and controlled spend lists can be reloaded and redefined at any time. The Dual Value Health Card’s functionality allows plan administrators to give access to flexible benefits, and the distinct tracking allows health program providers to restrict the cards from being used to purchase items such as alcohol, tobacco and other non-approved items.

The Dual Value Health Card enables employers and health plans to combine a member/employee healthcare funding purse with a restricted-spend purse for targeted items and incentives.

First Data Releases December 2012 SpendTrend

First data logo 140x60pxFirst Data has released its First Data SpendTrend analysis for the full month of December 2012 compared to December 2011.
Consumers stepped back from spending in December as the fiscal cliff debate continued, lingering effects of Superstorm Sandy persisted, and the initially less aggressive retail discounting environment for most of the month dampened shopping. Dollar volume growth was 4%, the lowest monthly growth in three years and a steep slowdown from the typical range between 6% and 10%.

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


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