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« January 12, 2014 - January 18, 2014 | Main | January 26, 2014 - February 1, 2014 »

January 25, 2014

New Payment Card Compromise Reported at Michaels Stores

Earlier this afternoon, Brian Krebs broke the story on his Krebs on Security blog about a newly discovered pattern of payment card fraud on cards which had been used earlier to pay for purchases at Michaels Stores.

Subsequently, the company itself issued a press release: "Michaels Stores, Inc. (the “Company” or “Michaels”) recently learned of possible fraudulent activity on some U.S. payment cards that had been used at Michaels, suggesting that the Company may have experienced a data security attack."

CEO Chuck Rubin was quoted: “While we have not confirmed a compromise to our systems, we believe it is in the best interest of our customers to alert them to this potential issue so they can take steps to protect themselves, for example, by reviewing their payment card account statements for unauthorized charges.”

January 24, 2014

Discover Reports 4Q2013 Financial Results

Discover logo 140pxDiscover Financial Services yesterday reported financial results for the fourth quarter of 2013. Discover card sales volume increased 3% year over year while credit card loans resulting from card usage grew 4%. Net charge-off rate for credit card loans increased 4 basis points from the prior quarter to 2.09% and delinquencies over 30 days past due increased 5 basis points from the prior quarter to 1.72%.

The fourth quarter concluded a strong year for Discover, with record net income for 2013," said David Nelms, chairman and CEO of Discover. "Last year, we grew our card receivables faster than the industry and further established ourselves as a leading direct bank and payments company through expanded product offerings and new payments partnerships."

In Discover's Payment Services segment, revenue declined due to lower transaction processing revenue at its PULSE debit card unit.

Global Payments to Acquire PayPros for $420 MM

Globalpayments logo 140pxGlobal Payments has announced an agreement to acquire Payment Processing, Inc. (PayPros). PayPros, based in California, is a provider of fully-integrated payment solutions for 58,000 small-to-medium sized merchants in the United States. PayPros delivers its products and services through a network of over 1,000 technology-based enterprise software partners to vertical markets that are complementary to the markets served by Accelerated Payment Technologies, Inc., a Global Payments company since October 2012.

Global Payments' President and CEO Jeffrey S. Sloan said: "Our acquisition of PayPros will expand our direct distribution, add new vertical markets, accelerate growth in our largest geography and further enhance our existing integrated solutions business with the addition of PayPros' talented team."

Chuck Smith, Founder and CEO of PayPros, added, "I am very pleased to announce this partnership with Global Payments. This transaction is the culmination of nearly two decades of hard work and vision at PayPros. I am confident that Global Payments will be a fantastic partner for our customers and employees."

Under the terms of the agreement and pending regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions, Global Payments will pay $420 million in cash to acquire PayPros, inclusive of tax assets.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - January 24, 2014

Next Glenbrook Payments Boot Camps: Feb 4-5 in Palo Alto, CA; March 18-19 in New York City. Alternatively, you can request a private Payments Workshop held on-site at your location.

On Twitter:

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

January 23, 2014

Neiman Marcus Reports 1.1 MM Payment Cards Potentially Compromised

In a letter to customers on its website, Neiman Marcus President and CEO Karen Katz writes:
It appears that the malware actively attempted to collect or "scrape" payment card data from July 16, 2013 to October 30, 2013. During those months, approximately 1,100,000 customer payment cards could have been potentially visible to the malware. To date, Visa, MasterCard and Discover have notified us that approximately 2,400 unique customer payment cards used at Neiman Marcus and Last Call stores were subsequently used fraudulently.
She continues: "We are notifying ALL customers for whom we have addresses or email who shopped with us between January 2013 and January 2014, and offering one free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection."

Stripe Raises $80MM at $1.75 Billion Valuation

Stripe Logo 140pxSan Francisco-based Stripe has closed an $80 million Series C financing round at a reported $1.75 billion valuation. According to TechCrunch, the round was led by Founders Fund with Khosla also joining as a new investor and earlier investors also participating.

Founded by brothers Patrick and John Collison, Stripe set out to be a "developer-friendly way to accept payments online and in mobile apps" and differentiates itself from other payment service providers by emphasizing its "robust, clean APIs" that appeal to other developers needing to quickly implement payments solutions.

Last week Re/Code.net reported that " Stripe was nearing a deal with Twitter that would enable people to purchase products directly from tweets" - although to date there's been no official announcement of such a relationship.

As a reminder, Braintree was acquired by PayPal last month and was valued at $800 MM.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - January 23, 2014

Next Glenbrook Payments Boot Camps: Feb 4-5 in Palo Alto, CA; March 18-19 in New York City. Alternatively, you can request a private Payments Workshop held on-site at your location.

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

January 22, 2014

A Graphical Look at PayPal's Performance

At Glenbrook, we've been following PayPal for a long time.  Each quarter, we take the latest financial results and add them to our database - and then produce a series of charts.  Following eBay's latest earnings release today, we did that again - and thought we'd share with you some of the charts that help illustrate PayPal's performance over time.

If you have questions or comments, please send them along to me: scott@glenbrook.com or on Twitter: @sjl. READ MORE »

PayPal Grows Revenues 19% in Q4, Adds 5.2 MM Users - 4Q2013 Financial Results

PayPal logo 140x60pxPayPal's parent eBay has announced financial results for 4Q2013 which included strong growth numbers for its PayPal business unit.

PayPal delivered a strong fourth quarter performance with accelerating momentum in its merchant services business. Revenue increased 19% in both the quarter and the full year, resulting in $6.6 billion in 2013. PayPal gained 5.2 million active registered accounts in the quarter and ended the year with 143 million, a 16% increase.

PayPal's net total payment volume (TPV) grew 25% in the quarter with 3 billion transactions generating $180 billion in net TPV for the full year. On-eBay payment volume grew 14% in both the quarter and for the full year, producing $54 billion in net TPV for the year. Merchant Services net TPV increased 31% in the quarter and 29% for the full year, resulting in $125 billion in net TPV for the year.

Mobile was a key catalyst, with payments volume off eBay growing 128% for the year. Total mobile payment volume for the year was $27 billion.

eBay reports that PayPal's 'take rate" was 3.53%, down 3.72% in the same quarter last year. As compared to the prior quarter, PayPal's transaction expense declined to 0.97% while the loss rate increased slightly to 0.32%.

Separately, eBay announced that "it has received a notice from Carl Icahn indicating that he has nominated two of his employees to its Board of Directors and submitted a non-binding proposal for a spinoff of its PayPal business into a separate company. The notice stated that companies controlled by Mr. Icahn had, earlier this month, acquired shares and derivative securities that give him an economic interest of approximately 0.82% in the company."

eBay commented that "eBay's Board of Directors routinely assesses the company's strategic direction and has explored in depth a spinoff or separation of PayPal. eBay's Board of Directors has concluded that the company and its shareholders are best served by the current strategic direction of the company and does not believe that breaking up the company is the best way to maximize shareholder value."

Managing Cardholder Data Security Risks

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxLast week, Glenbrook's Bryan Derman participated in a webinar titled "Managing Cardholder Data Security Risks in an Evolving Payments Landscape" along with colleagues Craig A. Hoffman of BakerHostetler and Marshall Heilman of Mandiant.

A recording of the webinar along with the slides that were presented are now available online.

Visa Europe Publishes 2013 Annual Report

Visa logo 60pxhVisa Europe has announced its results for 2013. Visa Europe CEO Nicolas Huss writes in a blog post discussing the results and his priorities for the future:

The results demonstrate that I've joined a very successful business. We have huge scale – as many Visa cards as people in Europe (500m) and €1 in every €6.50 spent in Europe is now on a Visa card."

The Visa Europe Annual Report is available for either viewing or downloading from the Visa Europe web site.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - January 22, 2014

Next Glenbrook Payments Boot Camps: Feb 4-5 in Palo Alto, CA; March 18-19 in New York City. Alternatively, you can request a private Payments Workshop held on-site at your location.

On the Web:

  • The Value of PayPal and eBay Together - PayPal Forward Blog - "No other payments competitor has achieved PayPal’s success – because no other competitor has a commerce platform like eBay. PayPal is successful precisely because we are part of eBay Inc., not in spite of it."
  • Gang Rigged Pumps With Bluetooth Skimmers - Krebs on Security - "This blog has featured several stories about gas-pump skimmers that were Bluetooth enabled. What’s remarkable is how common these attacks have become."
  • A new way to pay: Dash rolls out more mobile payment tools at restaurants - Macworld - "If you have Dash installed on your phone, the Bluetooth-enabled Dashboard pushes you an alert when you walk into a venue where you can use the app to pay."
  • EBay Says Icahn Proposes PayPal Spinoff - Bloomberg - "The investor is proposing to spin off online payments unit PayPal, one of EBay’s faster-growing businesses."
  • LG Reveals Fingerprint ID Coming to their Smartphones this Year - "LG Electronics has revealed that they'll be integrating fingerprint recognition functionality into their premium smartphones ... later this year..."
  • Argentina restricts online shopping as foreign reserves drop - BBC - "Argentina has introduced new restrictions on online shopping as part of efforts to stop foreign currency reserves from falling any further."
  • Bitcoin Targets Payments Business of Giants Visa to JPMorgan - Bloomberg BusinessWeek - “Perhaps the rise of Bitcoin will put pressure on big banks to get us a more modern payment system,” said Jennifer Tescher, president of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, a Chicago-based research group.
  • Card-Theft Software Grew in Internet's Dark Alleys - Wall St. Journal - "The Reedum malware worked like a Trojan horse by hiding its malicious nature and compromising systems from inside."
  • Priorities for the future - Visa Europe (Nicolas Huss) - "As a membership organisation focused on European solutions for the best interests of all parties in our four‐party model, our continued success is good for the European economy because electronic payments fuel commerce, replace inefficient and expensive cash and fight the shadow economy."
  • Visa to step up marketing of V.me - Marketing Week (UK) - "Jonathan Vaux, V.me commercial director, says it will use “assets” such as its World Cup sponsorship to raise awareness of the service. Ads will push the convenience and security of V.me."
  • T-Mobile Hopes to Shake Up the Check-Cashing Industry, Too - Re/code.net - "Through the combination of a smartphone and a prepaid Visa debit card, T-Mobile (and its banking partner, Bancorp) aims to offer many of the services typically offered through a bank, including check cashing, direct deposit and bill pay."
  • T-Mobile wants to be your next bank The Verge - "T-Mobile's chief marketing officer Mike Sievert says the service could save the "typical household" using a check casher to cash their paychecks "about $1,500 per year.""
  • On the Matter of Why Bitcoin Matters - Medium (Glenn Fleishman) - "As a currency, I have little faith that it will become a replacement for dollars, euros, or renminbi. As a model for a future payment and transaction system, I believe it’s already shown its value."
  • B2B e-commerce gets its own publication - Internet Retailer - "B2Bec News, a weekly e-mail newsletter, will cover technology and strategies that manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors are using to sell online to businesses, government agencies and nonprofits, including universities and hospitals."

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

January 21, 2014

Now Available: Glenbrook's Payments Systems in the U.S. - Second Edition

The second edition of our book, “Payments Systems in the U.S. - Second Edition” is now available in both print and iBook editions. Updated to reflect recent changes in the industry, the book, described by many as “the new Bible for the Payments Industry”, provides a succinct and entertaining view of payments in the United States.

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The book provides a comprehensive, unbiased, and lively description of the industry”, says Carol Coye Benson, co-author and founding partner at Glenbrook. “It covers what payments systems are and how they work – providing insight into the marketing, economics, operations, technology, risk management and regulatory aspects of each system.

“Like the first edition, the second edition is the companion to our highly popular Payments Boot Camp workshop”, says Scott Loftesness, co-author and founding partner at Glenbrook. “The second edition adds the perspectives of consumers and merchants - the key users of payments systems, as well as that of many payment providers – the networks, banks, processors and service providers.”

Payments Systems in the U.S. - Second Edition is available for order on Amazon.com and as an iBook at the Apple iTunes store. Purchases of the first iBook edition can download an free update to the second edition.

Glenbrook clients may place bulk orders for the book, at a discount, directly with Glenbrook by contacting books@glenbrook.com. Registrants to Glenbrook’s Payment Boot Camp also get a copy of the book when they attend the two-day educational workshop.

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - January 21, 2014

Next Glenbrook Payments Boot Camps: Feb 4-5 in Palo Alto, CA; March 18-19 in New York City. Alternatively, you can request a private Payments Workshop held on-site at your location.

On the Web:

On the Wires:

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

January 20, 2014

GlobalPlatform Announces Board of Directors for 2014

Globalplatform 240pxGlobalPlatform, the organization which standardizes the management of applications on secure chip technology, has announced its Board of Directors for fiscal year 2014.

For the fourth year, Marc Kekicheff – Senior Business Leader of Chip Innovation at Visa Inc. retains his position as Chairman. Uwe Wittig – Group Vice-President within the Mobile Security Business Unit at Giesecke & Devrient continues as GlobalPlatform Vice-Chairman; and Yves Moulart – Director of Development and Innovation within STMicroelectronics' Secure MCUs Division, Integrated Secure Solutions, is again confirmed as GlobalPlatform’s Secretary / Treasurer.

The GlobalPlatform Board of Directors, in its entirety, consists of the following GlobalPlatform Members:


  • Marc Kekicheff, Senior Business Leader of Chip Innovation – Visa Inc.
  • Uwe Wittig, Group Vice-President within the Mobile Security Business Unit – Giesecke & Devrient
  • Yves Moulart, Director of Development and Innovation, Secure MCUs Division, Integrated Secure Solutions – STMicroelectronics
  • Simon Moore, Director of Engineering of the Secure Services Division – ARM
  • Rémi de Fouchier, Vice-President, Marketing Communication – Gemalto
  • Arnaud du Chéné, Vice President, Head of Product Quality within Global Chip & Contactless Solutions – MasterCard Worldwide
  • Eikazu Niwano, Producer in the R&D Planning Department – NTT Corporation
  • Andreas Muehlberger, Senior Director Engineering – NXP Semiconductors Business Unit Identification
  • Sebastian Hans, Senior Standardization Manager – Oracle
  • Jeppe Dorff, Head of Transaction Services – Rogers Communication
  • Jon Geater, Chief Technology Officer – Trustonic

Headline News from PaymentsNews.com - January 20, 2014

Next Glenbrook Payments Boot Camps: Feb 4-5 in Palo Alto, CA; March 18-19 in New York City. Alternatively, you can request a private Payments Workshop held on-site at your location.

On the Web:

On the Wires:

  • McDonald’s Launches McD App for Smartphones Throughout Northern Nevada Area - "McD App utilizes location-based services to provide consumers with deals and offers accessible direct from their mobile device and has the ability to tailor future offers and deals based on a user’s preferences and purchasing behaviors."

Updates from Glenbrook:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated. Do you have news to share? Tell us here: gotnews@paymentsnews.com!

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