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April 24, 2014

How We Pay: Results from the Federal Reserve's Latest Payments Study

Atlanta fed logo 140x60pxIn an article in the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's EconSouth, managing editor Tom Heintjes highlights the preliminary results of the 2013 Federal Reserve Payment Study.

Since 2003, when Congress passed the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (commonly known as Check 21), the U.S. payments system has shifted dramatically. For instance, paper checks, which once comprised nearly half of noncash payments, accounted for only 15 percent in 2012. Checks are down, but not out, however. Although they made up a smaller share of the payments pie, they are declining from a dominant position, Heintjes wrote. "As check writing continued to decline, the number of checks that could be converted declined as well," he added. As a result, automated clearinghouse (ACH) transactions—many of which originate from the conversion of paper checks to ACH— decelerated, growing just 5.1 percent from 2009 to 2012, compared to 10.9 percent growth during the 2003 to 2012 period.

Meanwhile, payment cards continued to grow, accounting for two-thirds of consumer and business noncash payments in 2012. With annual growth of 15.8 percent, prepaid card payments grew the fastest of all noncash payments.

To learn more about key trends in the U.S. payments system, be sure to read the full article in the first 2014 issue of EconSouth.

Headline News from - April 24, 2014

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Updates from Glenbrook:

April 23, 2014

Headline News from - April 23, 2014

On the Web:

  • SATOSHI'S REVOLUTION: How The Creator Of Bitcoin May Have Stumbled Onto Something Much, Much Bigger - Business Insider - ""For the first time, two people can exchange a piece of digital property, without any prior relationship, and in a secure way, over the Internet," Jeff Garzik, one of Bitcoin's core developers..."
  • Africa’s Tech Edge - The Atlantic - "How the continent's many obstacles, from widespread poverty to failed states, allowed African entrepreneurs to beat the West at reinventing money for the mobile age..."
  • It's Time for the Industry to Embrace Phased-In, Same-Day ACH - American Banker BankThink (Pat Thelen) - "As an industry, we're at a crossroads on whether to evolve or be left behind. If we choose not to evolve, we risk becoming irrelevant."
  • Beyond their breach - BillGuard Blog - "At this point, we might as well walk around with our credit card numbers plastered on our foreheads."
  • The Mobile Security Journey at Wells Fargo - Bank Systems & Technology - "With mobile adoption growing so fast and providing a constant touchpoint with customers (Wells’ mobile customers log in an average of 13 times each day), embedding security, without hurting the customer experience, is a top priority for the bank, Ajami shares."

On the Wires:

  • IDC Financial Insights Unveils Results from 2014 Consumer Payments Survey - "After several years of growth, the market for 'alternative' payment methods is now entering a period where adoption gains may come more slowly and where simply providing an alternative isn't enough. Instead, providers need to offer products that add value beyond the payment," said James Wester, practice director for Worldwide Payment Strategies and the author of the report.
  • Domino's Pizza® Now Accepting Payment via Google Wallet - "Google Wallet is a great technology that allows customers even more flexibility and convenience when it comes to paying for their Domino's orders."
  • Digital River Extends Its SMB Payments Solution to U.K. Merchants - "The solution offers small and medium enterprises, commerce providers, systems integrators and developers turn-key access to credit card processing capabilities for Visa, MasterCard and Maestro cards in Euros and Pound Sterling."
  • 2Checkout Appoints Shawn Budde as CEO - "Mr. Budde has more than 25 years of experience in the finance industry including executive roles at Citibank and Capital One; data analytics experience at Sears Holdings; and as co-founder and President at ZestFinance, a VC-backed technology company."

Updates from Glenbrook:

April 22, 2014

Headline News from - April 22, 2014

On the Web:

  • 10 Questions: Jeremy Allaire, founder and CEO, Circle - Fortune - "The company aims to make Bitcoin simpler, safer, and easier to use. In light of recent controversy around the virtual currency -- particularly around companies that have failed and lost clients' money -- Allaire is taking his time to make sure Circle will be legitimate and regulated."
  • Tokens and Traditionalists - Drop Labs (Cherian Abraham) - "However with HCE I would go beyond NFC – as finally there is a way to decouple the credential from the radio – and look beyond where the credential is stored, and even how it is presented – including other legitimate use-cases such as QR and BLE alongside of NFC."
  • Verizon Data Breach Report: Payment-Card Theft Can Be Avoided at Little Cost - Wall St. Journal - “It’s not necessarily about spending more money. It’s about doing the right things,” said Chris Porter, one of the report’s authors and a managing principal at Verizon’s Cyber Intelligence Center.
  • Facebook Now Powers More Than Half Of All Social Logins - "According to the latest data from social login service Gigya, Facebook remains the absolute market leader here and now powers more than 51 percent of all social logins in North America."
  • Review: Loop mobile wallet - Fortune - "Loop is a brilliant idea, and most importantly, it works. But the fob is better as a proof of concept than a daily companion, and for that reason, only enthusiasts will find today's system worth the expense."
  • Former Citi Executive Sanjiv Das to Join First Data - Wall St. Journal - "Sanjiv Das, who served as chief executive of CitiMortgage from 2008 to 2013, has taken the role as First Data's chief of staff and is joining the company's management committee,"

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Updates from Glenbrook:

April 21, 2014

American Express Expands Serve Distribution to Walmart

American Express announced that American Express Serve, its full service reloadable prepaid account, will be available for purchase at 4,100 Walmart stores nationwide. The Walmart stores will also become a part of Serve’s free cash reloading network - extending the network across 19,500 U.S. Walmart, CVS/pharmacy®, and participating 7-ELEVEN® locations.

By offering American Express Serve alongside Bluebird at Walmart, we’re expanding our portfolio of products to meet the needs of more Walmart shoppers,” said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth at American Express.

“Bluebird is a great option for the “unhappily banked” who are looking for a true alternative to the fees and hidden charges often associated with debit and checking. With Serve, our full service reloadable prepaid account, we can now provide the nearly 70 million Americans who are unbanked or underbanked1 a simple and affordable way to move and manage their money.”

According to Aite Group, the addition of 4,100 Walmart stores across the U.S. to the American Express Serve and InComm free cash reload network makes it the largest network in the U.S.

Headline News from - April 21, 2014

On the Web:

  • Mobile-Payments Startup Square Discusses Possible Sale - Wall St. Journal - "With losses widening and cash shrinking, representatives of mobile-payments startup Square Inc. have discussed a possible sale to several deeper-pocketed rivals, according to people familiar with the matter."
  • Facebook: Taking on PayPal with socially useful banking - The Independent (UK) - "As a new entrant to the financial-services marketplace, Facebook therefore has a huge advantage. It remains the go-to social network which gives it instant access to potentially millions of fed up UK bank customers."
  • The plot to kill the password - The Verge - "Since 2012, a group called the FIDO Alliance has been working on that standard, building a bridge between hardware projects like Samsung’s fingerprint reader and the online services they’re connecting to."
  • 8 Tools to Send Messages to Shoppers Based on In-Store Movements - StreetFight - "Here are eight tools that merchants can use to send offers or promotions based on their customers’ real-time indoor movements."
  • Using Bitcoin to Build a Better Common Law - The Umlaut - "The basic idea is to use multiple addresses per private key in order to make it harder to hijack your bitcoins."

On the Wires:

  • NetSpend, Western Union to Introduce Co-Branded Prepaid Card in the U.S. - “Combining the strengths of Western Union’s global brand and expertise in moving money with NetSpend’s deep prepaid knowledge and unique product capabilities, creates an incredible opportunity for us to better serve an underserved market,” said Dan Henry, chief executive officer of NetSpend.

Updates from Glenbrook:

April 18, 2014

Headline News from - April 18, 2014

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