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Government Payments

Welcome to the News View for "Government Payments".

Here, on these archive pages, you'll find all of the articles on Payments News for Government Payments listed in date sequence beginning with the most recent article at the top of the page.

Click here for a complete listing of what's available in the Payments News Archive - organized by both posting date and subject category.

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September 28, 2015

Headline News from - September 28, 2015

It's Time to Register! Upcoming Payments Boot Camps

  • Glenbrook's fall season of payments education kicks off in October with two sessions of our Payments Boot Camp - one in the San Francisco Bay Area on October 13-14 and the other in New York City on October 20-21. Glenbrook's Russ Jones is now leading this important payments education curriculum - he'd love to meet you at one of these sessions. Contact Russ directly if you have any questions.

On the Web

  • The eGovernment – ePayment Conundrum - (Erin McCune) - "As we work with governments to build their electronic payment strategies we sometimes need to temper their expectations given this all-too-familiar challenge. There have to be enough digitally delivered government services to warrant digital payment infrastructure, but you also need scalable, robust digital payments to support digital delivery of government services. At Glenbrook we’ve started calling this the “eGovernment-ePayment Conundrum” – and only partly in jest."
  • Banks: Card Breach at Hilton Hotel Properties - Krebs on Security - "Multiple sources in the banking industry say they have traced a pattern of credit card fraud that suggests hackers have compromised point-of-sale registers in gift shops and restaurants at a large number of Hilton Hotel and franchise properties across the United States. Hilton says it is investigating the claims."
  • Interchange Evidence? - Credit Slips (Adam Levitin) - "The very weird survey response on surcharging and discounting makes me wonder about the overall representativeness and reliability of the survey."
  • With Bitcoin's Price Down, VCs Turning to Blockchain Technology - CoinDesk - "The rising interest in use cases for bitcoin's underlying distributed ledger, the blockchain, is influencing the investment strategies of venture capitalists..."

On the Wires

  • Samsung’s Groundbreaking Mobile Payment Service – Samsung Pay – Available Starting Today in the United States - “Samsung Pay works with almost any card terminal from day one and Galaxy owners can shop with a wallet they never knew was always in their hands,” said Injong Rhee, EVP of Samsung Electronics, Global Head of Samsung Pay. “As the leader in innovation, Samsung is proud to introduce the first mobile payment solution that allows you to pay almost anywhere you can swipe or tap your card today.” - To participate initially, consumers need to have a participating MasterCard, Visa or American Express card issued by Bank of America, Citi, American Express or U.S. Bank. Samsung Pay also offers merchant credit cards through its relationship with Synchrony Financial...
  • U.S. Bank and Elavon Bring More Mobile Payment Choices to Customers with Samsung Pay - “Being one of the first to offer our cardmembers and merchant customers Samsung Pay is a great example of our focus on our customers,” said Dominic Venturo, chief innovation officer at U.S. Bank. “This is an important step in the continuing evolution of payments and consistent with providing our customers the convenience of doing business with us how, when and where they want."
  • Synchrony Financial Takes the Lead in Enabling Private Label Credit Card Benefits for Samsung Pay - “Today’s announcement further highlights Synchrony Financial’s leadership in mobile payments technology,” said Margaret Keane, president and CEO of Synchrony Financial. “Through our innovation and strategic partnerships, we are helping shape the future of how private label credit cards work in mobile wallets. We are proud to offer our merchant partners and their customers the value and benefits of our private label credit cards in Samsung Pay’s secure, simple and widely accepted mobile wallet.”
  • First Data Strengthens Digital Wallet Leadership with Support of Samsung Pay - “First Data continues to lead the way in enabling mobile commerce globally,” said Barry McCarthy, Executive Vice President and Head of Network and Security Solutions at First Data. “With the launch of Samsung Pay, we are extending our innovative technology to ensure that, as consumers increasingly move to digital payments, First Data can enable any card in any digital wallet.”
  • ACI Worldwide Helps Define and Drive Industry Standards for Real-Time Payments - "The Scheme Management Board (SMB) of the European Payments Council (EPC) has recently invited ACI’s Barry Kislingbury, lead solution consultant, to participate in the EPC Scheme Technical Forum (ESTF). With the introduction of numerous international real-time, immediate payments initiatives, the focus on the formats used to process such messages has become critical—particularly within Europe."
  • UK Alternative Finance Market for Businesses Projected to Reach £10 Billion by 2020 Says Fiserv Research - Travers Clarke-Walker, Chief Marketing Officer, International Group, Fiserv said, “Our research suggests that improved and user-friendly technology is impelling the growth of alternative finance in the U.K. We have seen the P2B and crowd-funding sectors engaging in a concerted marketing push, which is likely to raise awareness significantly. The buzz around alternative finance for SMEs is giving alternative financers legitimacy and encouraging SMEs to try these alternative funding options.”

Glenbrook's 2015 Payments Education

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:!

September 02, 2015

Headline News from - September 2, 2015

On the Web:

On the Wires:

  • Former Visa CEO Joins Kash - "I doubt there are more than a handful of people who know as much about payments in the US as Joe Saunders. He was the CEO of Fleet Credit Card Services, CEO of Providian, and President of Card Services at Washington Mutual. He is joining Kash as the Chairman of our Board."
  • FDIC-Insured Institutions Earn $43 Billion in Second Quarter 2015 - "Commercial banks and savings institutions insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) reported aggregate net income of $43.0 billion in the second quarter of 2015, up $2.9 billion (7.3 percent) from a year earlier and the highest quarterly income on record. The increase in earnings was mainly attributable to a $3.6 billion rise in net operating revenue (net interest income plus total noninterest income). Financial results for the second quarter of 2015 are included in the FDIC's latest Quarterly Banking Profile released today."
  • Banking with the “Bat of an Eye”: First Internet Bank Offers Eyeprint ID Technology for Mobile Banking Access - “Eyeprint ID is the latest demonstration of First Internet Bank’s commitment to customer-centric digital banking,” said David Becker, President and CEO. “Eyeprint ID comes quickly after our introduction of Touch ID authentication earlier this year, which enables customers to log in with a fingerprint. Biometric technology allows us to provide innovative solutions to our customers’ need for secure, convenient account access.”
  • Shopkick Blows Past 15 Million Users, Doubles in One Year - “If you stacked all of the gift cards that users have received from shopkick, the pile would be 18 Empire State Buildings, or over four miles, high. That’s 15 billion Kicks, or $60 million, that we’ve rewarded to shopkick users just for shopping how they want to shop,” said Cyriac Roeding, co-founder and CEO of shopkick.
  • Xoom Launches Money Transfer Service to Singapore - “We are so excited to offer our money transfer services to customers with family and friends in Singapore,” said Iain Allison, Vice President of Business Development at Xoom. “We look forward to delivering convenient, safe, and economic service to the Singapore market."

Glenbrook's 2015 Payments Education

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:!

February 19, 2015

Headline News from - February 19, 2015

Glenbrook Meetup in Chicago - Wednesday, Feb 25

On the Web:

  • American Express Loses Antitrust Suit Over Merchant Rules - Bloomberg - "AmEx failed to show that its so-called non-discrimination provisions, imposed on merchants who agree to accept its card, don’t harm competition, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn said in his ruling Thursday."
  • Visa Reaches Deal with Russia Over Payment System - Wall St. Journal - "Visa Inc. will transfer the processing of transactions made on its cards in Russia to a local payment system, Russia’s central bank and the company said Thursday."
  • Why Slow Electronic Payments Can Cause Cash Flow Problems - NPR Morning Edition - "In a recent speech to bankers, Richard Cordray, who heads the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said roughly half of all bank fees could be attributed to a slow payment system."
  • NPCI launches Unified Payments Interface - Livemint - "Any kind of payment, including for shopping and paying taxi fares, can be done using an application downloaded on a smartphone once all banks adopt the system. The pilot project will be launched in about four-five months, managing director and chief executive officer A.P. Hota said."
  • Stanford DFJ Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Series: Putting Startup Success in Perspective - John Collison (Stripe) - "John Collison, co-founder and president of the online payment system Stripe, explains how even the most celebrated startups repeatedly encountered uncertainty and failures along the way. In conversation with Stanford Professor of the Practice Tina Seelig, Collison shares his thoughts on how a venture's path can evolve after its early days, even as the vision holds constant."
  • Heartland’s Decision to Wind Down Leaf Throws Spotlight on Tablet Software - Digital Transactions - "Meanwhile, some observers say the decision to wind down Leaf could be an early indicator that the 5-year-old tablet point-of-sale market is undergoing a shakeout."
  • American Express Will Debut ‘Inspiring’ Celebrity Ads at Oscars - Wall St. Journal - "The credit card giant will debut four 30-second heart-felt ads, created by WPP-owned Ogilvy & Mather, that feature noteworthy people who have beaten the odds and happen to use American Express."
  • Dell Expands Bitcoin Payments to UK and Canada - CoinDesk - "In remarks, Walsh suggested that the decision was prompted by customer demand and the positive feedback the company had so far received for its US offering."
  • Transit Mobile Payments: Driving Consumer Experience and Adoption - Federal Reserve Bank of Boston - "The author conducted interviews with 16 executives representing transit agencies, transport system integrators and companies that provide digital security solutions, mobile ticketing platforms, and mobile marketing solutions, and conducted secondary industry research. The purpose of the research was to assess whether transit mobile payments can help drive adoption of mobile payments in the US..."
  • Lenovo accused of compromising user security by installing adware on new PCs - Guardian - "It leaves any Lenovo user permanently open to a “man in the middle” attack any time they use a public Wi-Fi network, letting an eavesdropper read users’ web browsing at will."

On the Wires:

  • American Express Plans To Appeal Federal Court Ruling In Government Lawsuit - “American Express is disappointed in the court’s ruling, which we believe will harm competition to the detriment of consumers and merchants. American Express intends to appeal the court’s ruling at the appropriate time.”
  • US Treasury announces partnership with digital wallet providers PayPal, Dwolla for online payments - "The goal of these partnerships is to expand the options customers have for transactions with the Federal Government, providing customers greater choice and a better customer experience. For example, customers required to submit a court filing fee at a U.S. Court, or citizens who wish to make a donation to the National Endowment of the Arts, will have similar payment options currently available to them on popular private sector websites."
  • NPCI initiates an ecosystem for Unified Payments Interface - "National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), the umbrella organization for all retail payment system in India, has taken up a new initiative of implementing “Unified Payment Interface” to simplify and provide a single interface across all systems. The new interface is designed to enable all account holders to send and receive money from their smartphones with a single identifier – Aadhaar number, mobile number, virtual payments address – without entering any bank account information."
  • Visa Extends Easy and Secure Online Payments to New Markets Through Roll-out of Visa Checkout - "Today consumers from ten countries can sign up for Visa Checkout at and start using the service. In the coming months, Visa will extend the service into new regions, so that by the end of 2015 Visa Checkout will be available in the following 16 markets: the U.S., Australia, and Canada ... as well as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Hong Kong, Peru, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and United Arab Emirates."
  • Branch Banking Remains Prevalent Despite the Growth of Online and Mobile Banking - "The study identifies four main factors that have influenced the number and distribution of banking offices over time: population growth, banking crises, legislative changes to branching laws, and technological innovation. In terms of technological change, there is little evidence that the emergence of new electronic channels for delivering banking services has substantially diminished the need for traditional branch offices where banking relationships are built."
  • FinTech Startup Azimo Shakes up Global Money Transfer Services to China - "The new service will provide Azimo’s potential 350 million European customers with the ability to send money direct to every personal bank account in China from just £/€1 for any amount sent."
  • FIS Demonstrates Caliber of Information Security with New ISO Certification - As FIS’ certification states with respect to meeting this standard: “The FIS ISMS supports the operations of strategic data centers by providing a secure and sustainable computing environment to support global financial institutions and commercial clients through the implementation of secure practices and work relationships with supporting functions.”

Glenbrook's 2015 Payments Education Schedule Now Available!

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:!

February 04, 2014

Headline News from - February 4, 2014

The second edition of our book "Payments Systems in the U.S." has just been published. It's available in print from and in an ebook version for your iPad.

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:!

December 05, 2013

US Bank Introduces Community Card for Tax-Exempt Organizations

USBank logo 140pxUS Bank has announced a new Community Credit Card for non-profit organizations and small municipalities. The new card has fewer fees, a powerful online expense-management tool and other features crafted to their unique needs. The U.S. Bank Visa® Community Credit Card has no annual fees, no late fees and no over-limit fees and is now offered in all U.S. Bank branches.

The U.S. Bank Community Card is designed for non-profit organizations and municipalities where usual credit-underwriting standards sometimes aren’t appropriate,” said Cathi Stanton, senior vice president for U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions.

“For instance, instead of assigning liability to board members – which can be a tough ask for non-profits – the liability is held by the organization.”

"U.S. Bank’s free ScoreBoard tool lets tax-exempt organizations see, compare and control expenses more efficiently, giving staff more time to focus on the organization’s mission and needs,” Stanton said.

Examples of non-profits that can benefit include: religious organizations; cultural groups; foundations; social services; educational institutions; and other tax-exempt institutions. Municipal organizations that may qualify include: local, state, federal entities; schools; city or county offices; fire, police, and sheriff departments; and public housing administrations.

In October, U.S. Bank introduced another new specialty credit card: the U.S. Bank Visa Signature® Company credit card. Designed for companies with $1 million to $10 million in annual revenues, it offers unique advantages for businesses such as no personal guarantor and cash-back rewards.

July 22, 2013

Fed Reports on Government-Administered, General-Use Prepaid Cards

FedThe Federal Reserve has published its annual report to the Congress on the use of general-use prepaid cards in federal, state, and local government-administered payment programs and on the interchange fees and cardholder fees charged with respect to the use of those cards.
Government offices reported disbursing more than $1 trillion, 13 percent of which was disbursed through prepaid cards. Issuers reported collecting more than $504 million in fee revenue during 2012—62 percent from interchange fees and 38 percent from cardholder fees.

March 21, 2011

Official Payments Expands Tax Payment Options

Official payments logo 140pxOfficial Payments has announced that it has recently expanded its roster of payment partners to offer a total of eleven payment options for taxpayers -- American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa cards, debit cards participating in the NYCE, PULSE, STAR and ACCEL payment networks, and Bill Me Later. The company also enables American Express cardmembers to pay their taxes using Membership Rewards points.

February 01, 2010

Banking the Poor via G2P (Government to Person) Payments

More than 170 million poor people worldwide receive regular payments from their governments, but the potential to use these payments to increase financial inclusion is largely untapped, according to "Banking the Poor via G2P Payments," a new Focus Note from CGAP and the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Pioneering programs in Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Africa are providing financial services, such as savings accounts and electronic money transfers, to poor recipients of government transfers. But the Focus Note finds that worldwide fewer than one-quarter of government-to-person (G2P) payments to the poor land in a financially inclusive account—i.e., one that enables recipients to store funds, make or receive payments from other people in the financial system, and is accessible, in terms of cost and distance.

Some of us will remember that years ago in the US, it was G2P payments (for Social Security, etc.) that helped jump start the ACH system and helped make receiving funds via ACH nearly ubiquitous with banks.

July 21, 2009

An Update on the Direct Express Debit MasterCard for Social Security

DirectExpress_logo-140px.jpgOne year after introducing a low-cost prepaid debit card option for Social Security check recipients, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS) reports that more than half a million Americans have signed up for the Direct Express Debit MasterCard. According to a new survey of cardholders, 95 percent say they are satisfied with the card and 86 percent say they would recommend it to family members or friends who receive a federal benefit payment. READ MORE »

June 10, 2009

A Clunker Card for the Clunker Bill?

IMG_2026.jpgThe US House of Representatives passed a bill on Monday that sets aside $4 billion to subsidize new car purchases by consumers who scrap their old clunkers. The legislation is now moving to the Senate and, according to CNN, is supported by President Obama.

Maybe what this country needs is a Clunker Card to go with this "clunker bill". When you make your purchase, the dealer uses the Clunker Card to authorize the subsidy, allowing the Federal government to track usage, etc.? Think of the psychological power that card will exert on consumers who receive it - they'll just have to spend it!

Reminds me of the American Gift Card that Dan Newman first proposed in an op-ed in the Washington Post earlier this year!

March 31, 2009

Link2Gov Launches for Tax Payments

Link2Gov has announced the availability of, Link2Gov’s new consolidated business tax payment site. At, businesses can use credit and debit cards to pay the federal business tax types — multiple variations of Forms 940, 941, 943, 944 and 945 — that have been designated by the Internal Revenue Service as eligible for card-based payments. READ MORE »

February 06, 2009

J.P. Morgan Helps Deliver Early Food Stamp Benefits in Kentucky

J.P. Morgan has announced that it has "helped the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) deliver early food stamp benefits to Kentuckians recovering from the state’s recent devastating ice storm."

"CHFS’ Department for Community Based Services usually issues electronic monthly food benefits on a staggered schedule during the first ten days of each month. Due to the storm, nearly 252,000 food stamp recipients who typically receive funds between the third and tenth of the month were given early access to benefits on February 2nd. These benefits are delivered via J.P. Morgan-issued Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards."


June 10, 2008

Social Security Direct Express Debit Cards Now Available

Lori Montgomery writes for the Washington Post about the US Treasury Department's rollout of Direct Express MasterCard debit cards for the 2.1 million Social Security recipients who don't have bank accounts and can't receive electronic payment of their benefits. The card issuer is Comerica Bank. The program was originally announced earlier this year. Here's today's full press release on the rollout now underway.

May 29, 2008

U.S. Bank to Provide Purchasing Cards to U.S. Postal Service

The U.S. Postal Service has selected U.S. Bank to provide purchasing cards and Voyager fleet cards under the new General Services Administration (GSA) SmartPay2 contract. READ MORE »

May 12, 2008

Colorado Labor Department Launches Automated Payment Card

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment has partnered with Chase to change the way benefit payments are issued by the state’s Unemployment Insurance Program. Recipients will be issued a Visa debit card called a Colorado Automated Payment (CAP) Card and benefits will automatically be deposited into their CAP Card account. The CAP Card can be used for purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. An FAQ on the CAP Card is available on the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment's web site. READ MORE »

May 08, 2008

JPMorgan Selected by US Dept. of Commerce for Charge Cards

The U.S. Department of the Commerce (DOC) has selected JPMorgan as its provider for charge card services. The order is part of the U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) SmartPay 2 program, the largest government charge card program in the world. READ MORE »

April 10, 2008

Issues with Usage Controls on US Government Purchasing Cards

The US Government Accountability Office has published a report titled "Governmentwide Purchase Cards - Actions Needed to Strengthen Internal Controls to Reduce Fraudulent, Improper, and Abusive Purchases" icon_PDF_small.gif concluding that 'internal control weaknesses in agency purchase card programs exposed the federal government to fraud, waste, abuse, and loss of assets. When testing internal controls, GAO asked agencies to provide documentation on selected transactions to prove that the purchase of goods or services had been properly authorized and that when the good or service was delivered, an individual other than the cardholder received and signed for it. Using a statistical sample of purchase card transactions from July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2006, GAO estimated that nearly 41 percent of the transactions failed to meet either of these basic internal control standards.'

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