On the web:
- Cordray Confirmed as Head of Financial Watchdog, After Long Wait - New York Times - “There’s no doubt that the consumer agency will survive beyond the crib. There is now no doubt that the American people will have a strong watchdog in Washington.”
- Europe to curb cost of paying with plastic - Reuters - "Competition between card schemes appears ... to be largely aimed at convincing as many ... providers as possible to issue their cards, which usually leads to higher rather than lower fees," officials write in the document."
- EU Plans Card Fee Caps to Build on MasterCard, Visa Probe - Bloomberg - "In addition to driving up the costs of goods and services, the EU’s complaints against the fees include that they make it more difficult for other payment card offerings to enter the market, and that they act as a brake on innovation in areas such as mobile payments…"
- Card-transaction fees to be capped under EU proposal - CNBC/FT.com - "Lucrative fees to process card transactions are to be capped under a proposal by the European Union's executive arm aiming to draw a line under a decade-long battle with payment groups such as Visa Europe and MasterCard."
- Bitcoin Transactions Rise As Economic Unrest Hits Argentina - TechCrunch - "It’s a fascinating example of how the currency is taking on a life of its own and, more importantly, becoming a viable investment alternative."
- Inside Butterfly Labs: The challenges of producing bitcoin mining hardware - CoinDesk - “Bitcoin has grown from a forum realm to a business realm…"
- Bitcoin will prosper — until governments or banks decide to crush it overnight
- The real threat to gold is digital, like bitcoin - "Why? Because as a rival to paper money, gold has had the market to itself. Now it will have competition, and that always drives down the price of any product."
- Getting Skimpy With ATM Skimmers - Krebs on Security - "Cybercrooks can be notoriously cheap, considering how much they typically get for nothing." - GigaOm - "As economists study the attributes of digital money, they are discovering that Bitcoin is, in many ways, a better currency..."
On the wires:
- American Express Second Quarter EPS Up 10% to $1.27; Revenues, Cardmember Spending and Loan Portfolio Grow; Total Expenses Up 1%
- US Should Follow EU's Lead: Lower Credit Card Swipe Fees To Lower Costs For Merchants & Consumers - "Credit card swipe fees, which can be as high as four percent of the transaction, are now the second highest expense for merchants and are especially burdensome for small businesses at a time when many are still trying to recover from the recession. "
- American Express Statement on European Commission Proposals - "Given the potential impact on consumers and competition within the European payments sector, American Express has been in touch with senior policy makers at the Commission and will continue to represent its positions vigorously throughout the process."
- New Purchase and Pick-up Options Provide Office Depot Customers with Even More Ways to Shop - "Beginning July 28, Office Depot is enabling its associates with new mobile hand-held devices across all stores to provide instant access to extended product information, availability, customer reviews and on-the-spot checkout from anywhere in the store."
- ECB report shows fall in card fraud - "Card fraud has been on a declining trend since 2007, thanks to technological advances that are making transactions safer. This is the main conclusion of the second report on card fraud published today by the European Central Bank (ECB). However, fraud is migrating to countries where the technology remains less developed."
- Mercury Strengthens Executive Team with Sales and Human Resources Leadership - "Mercury … added Brett Narlinger, a former Bank of America Merchant Services and First Data executive, to head up its sales team. The company also added Pattie Money as senior vice president of human resources."
Updates from Glenbrook:
- Glenbrook's Payments Boot Camp! - A special summer session of our popular Payments Boot Camp - in Half Moon Bay on August 6th and 7th... Also, an optional half day course on Data In Payments - August 8th, also in Half Moon Bay. Join Carol, Scott and Russ for lively, interactive sessions - register now!
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