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Washington Mutual

Welcome to the News View for "Washington Mutual".

Here, on these archive pages, you'll find all of the articles on Payments News for Washington Mutual 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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October 26, 2009

What Happened at WaMu?

Yesterday and today, the Seattle Times ran a two part series about its former home town bank Washington Mutual titled "Reckless Strategies Doomed WaMu". In a word (actually two words!), it was the: Option ARM.

September 30, 2009

The Evolution of WaMu's Credit Cards

In an article titled "Chase Cards Today: No Wamu DNA", Maria Aspan writes for the American Banker in Thursday's edition about how Chase Card Services has been handling the Washington Mutual credit card portfolio it acquired when Chase took over WaMu earlier this year. Bottom line: Chase is much more risk averse and decided to exit much of WaMu's higher risk cardholders.

Aspan notes: "If there is one issuer from which JPMorgan Chase is taking lessons these days, it is all the way at the other end of the spectrum from Wamu and Providian: American Express Co. ..."

January 12, 2009

Chase Shutters WaMu's Secured Credit Card Program

In an article titled "JPM to Drop Secured Card Despite Favorable Trends", Maria Aspan writes for the American Banker about JP Morgan Chase & Co.'s decision to shut down a secured credit card program it inherited when it acquired Washington Mutual a few months ago. Chase said that "the decision was part of JPMorgan Chase's conversion of Washington Mutual's credit card portfolio to Chase systems, policies and practices."

December 11, 2008

A Look at WaMu's Send Direct P2P Funds Transfer Service

Writing on the NetBanker blog, Jim Bruene takes a look at WaMu's new Send Direct funds transfer service powered by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based AliasWire. For a 2% fee, WaMu credit cardholders can send money to almost any other US bank account and can be initiated via the website, an SMS message to a specific short code, or a telephone call to a toll-free number. Bruene writes: "It's a cool service. It will be interesting to see if Chase continues the service as they assimilate the WaMu credit card portfolio. "

December 02, 2008

Chase to Take Washington Mutual's Card Business In House

TSYS has announced that an agreement with JPMorgan Chase with respect to the discontinuation of the servicing of Washington Mutual Bank's (WaMu's) consumer card portfolio by TSYS. Chase will pay TSYS fees for deconversion and termination which both parties have agreed not to disclose. The deconversion is expected to take place in March 2009 after which Chase will process the WaMu portfolio in house on the technology platform it licenses from TSYS. READ MORE »

September 25, 2008

Office of Thrift Supervision Comments on Washington Mutual

The Office of Thrift Supervision's press release tonight on the acquisition of Washington Mutual by JP Morgan Chase included the following: "An outflow of deposits began on September 15, 2008, totaling $16.7 billion. With insufficient liquidity to meet its obligations, WaMu was in an unsafe and unsound condition to transact business. The OTS closed the institution and appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. The FDIC held the bidding process that resulted in the acquisition by JPMorgan Chase."

As part of its announcement, the OTS provided a Fact Sheet on Washington Mutual icon_PDF_small.gif .

It's Official - JP Morgan Chase and Washington Mutual

In a press release titled "JPMORGAN CHASE ACQUIRES THE DEPOSITS, ASSETS AND CERTAIN LIABILITIES OF WASHINGTON MUTUAL’S BANKING OPERATIONS", JP Morgan Chase announced tonight that "it has acquired all deposits, assets and certain liabilities of Washington Mutual’s banking operations from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), effective immediately."

Included in the transaction is the card services segment of Washington Mutual - according to the presentation prepared by JP Morgan Chase, it will become the #1 US credit card issuer with $181 billion in receivables.

JP Morgan Chase Reportedly Acquiring WaMu Assets, Branches

The New York Times and the Wall St. Journal are reporting tonight that JP Morgan Chase is expected to announced this evening that it is acquiring "the bulk of Washington Mutual Inc.'s operations". JP Morgan Chase has scheduled a conference call for 9:15 PM EDT this evening.

If true, the combination would bring together the #2 US credit card issuer (JP Morgan Chase - by receivables) with the #6 issuer (Washington Mutual). Based upon year-end 2007 numbers, the combined company would have $177.7 billion in receivables vs. Bank of America, the current #1 US credit card issuer, with $158.1 billion in receivables. For more background on Washington Mutual's credit card business segment, see this Washington Mutual Card Services presentation from July 2008.

July 11, 2008

Consumer Understanding of Credit Scores Improves but Remains Poor

Although consumer understanding of credit scores has improved over the past year, it remains poor, according to the latest credit score survey commissioned by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu). Less than one-third of Americans (31%), for example, understand that credit scores indicate risk of not repaying a loan, rather than factors like knowledge of, or attitude toward, consumer credit.


July 09, 2008

WaMu Enhances Mobile Banking

Washington Mutual has announced that it has launched mobile banking capabilities, "delivering account information – anytime, anywhere wireless service is available, providing customers the ability to view real-time account balances, view and search real-time transaction history and locate a nearby branch/ATM." READ MORE »

May 20, 2008

WaMu Launches SMS-based Mobile Banking

Brandon McGee scoops the rest of us last night (from the beach - on vacation no less!) with news about WaMu's launch of SMS-based mobile banking. At this point, it appears the service is informational, not transactional, with the WaMu saying "you can review account balances and transaction history plus look for WaMu branches and ATMs" using your mobile phone. Jim Bruene takes a look on his Netbanker blog saying he believes WaMu's service is powered by New Zealand-based M-Com.

May 01, 2008

WaMu Launches Paperless Checking Account Openings on the Web

Washington Mutual has announced a new account opening experience that it says couples 100% online approval and opening, and eliminates the need to mail a traditional signature card. Rather than the signature card, the new customer 'uses the first check in their checkbook, which has been specially designed so that once written and processed, it is scanned and used to serve as the sample signature for the account.' READ MORE »

April 14, 2008

A Look at WaMu by the Hometown Paper

In an article title 'Where WaMu went wrong', Seattle Times business reporter Drew DeSilver takes a look at Washington Mutual before its annual shareholder meeting tomorrow in Seattle. He writes: 'Billions of dollars in tarnished debt sit festering on WaMu's books. The stock is down 71 percent over the past year, thousands of employees have been laid off, and just last week WaMu effectively sold half of itself to an investor group at a bargain-basement price.'

April 01, 2008

WaMu to Become Largest US Issuer of Debit Cards with MasterCard PayPass

Washington Mutual has announced that it 'expects to issue 12-15 million Debit MasterCard with PayPass cards in 2008, making it the nation’s largest issuer (as of Q42007). WaMu launched Debit MasterCard with PayPass nationwide in January, offering the card to new customers opening its signature WaMu Free Checking account, as well as to all WaMu Small Business customers. In March, the bank began issuing Debit MasterCard with PayPass to customers whose debit cards are renewing.'


November 07, 2007

Washington Mutual Investor Day

Washington Mutual held its 2007 Investor Day today - supporting materials are available online.

March 07, 2007

Washington Mutual Joins NACHA

Washington Mutual (WaMu) has joined NACHA as a direct financial institution member. According to the most recent NACHA Top 50 list, WaMu is the nation's fifth largest receiving financial institution of ACH payments.


December 16, 2006

A Look At WaMu - Washington Mutual

Ann Carrns reports for the Wall St. Journal about branch expansion plans being curtailed at Washington Mutual. According to Carrns, the "pace of openings has been scaled back, and it doesn't plan to enter new markets."

September 14, 2006

WaMu, ESPN Launch ESPN Total Access Visa Card

Washington Mutual and ESPN have launched the ESPN Total Access Visa Card and they're calling it "the most comprehensive affinity credit card for sports fans ever." The card allows fans to earn rewards tied to their enthusiasm for sports, and "provides unique access to a wide range of sporting events and VIP experiences that only ESPN can provide."


July 26, 2006

$336 Million Settlement In Currency Conversion Litigation

Plaintiff law firms Berger & Montague and Lerach Coughlin have announced that a nationwide settlement agreement has been reached in a consolidated federal class action lawsuit about use of certain payment cards for foreign transactions. Defendants in the case include Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America, Bank One/First USA, Chase, Citibank, Diners Club, HSBC/Household, MBNA and Washington Mutual/Providian. MasterCard this morning has filed an 8-K with the SEC stating it "has agreed to pay $72.48 million, which constitutes its share of defendants' $336 million settlement." As an aside, MasterCard also reported that it had agreed to settle the "Schwartz Matter for $13.44 million, which is expected to be paid in 2007."


July 18, 2006

PayPal Outperforms Traditional Banks In Satisfaction Study

A new study from VocaLabs looks at the quality of telephone based customer service among five financial services companies -- Washington Mutual, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Citibank, and PayPal. And the winner is...

May 25, 2006

New PayPal Plus MasterCard Issued By GE Consumer Finance

Daniel Wolfe writes for the American Banker (subscription required) about PayPal's new PayPal Plus MasterCard issued by GE Consumer Finance.


May 11, 2006

WaMu Launches Paperless Checking Account Openings on the Web

Washington Mutual has introduced a new paperless account opening experience that couples 100% online approval and opening, and eliminates the need to mail a traditional signature card. The signature on the first paper check the consumer writes is scanned by the bank and becomes the sample signature for the account.


April 24, 2006

WaMu Promotes Free Outgoing Wire Transfers To Latinos

Washington Mutual is promoting its new free outgoing wire transfers to LA's Latino community. WaMu says it is "making the process of wiring money more affordable by introducing the new WaMu Free Checking account, which offers free foreign and domestic outgoing wire transfers."


March 14, 2006

Consumers With Debit Card Reissues Share Experiences

The Consumerist is collecting stories from consumers who have recently had their debit cards replaced by their banks - several of which involve Washington Mutual in what appears to be the routine migration of WaMu's debit cards from Visa to MasterCard and not the result of any debit card data compromises.

March 13, 2006

WaMu Launches New Free Checking Account Product

Washington Mutual has announced it is introducing a new free checking product that "combines an unprecedented bundle of features that all add up to convenience and value never before seen in any checking account." The new WaMu Free Checking account features include free checks for life, free ATM cash withdrawals, and a Gold Debit MasterCard with rewards of $0.03 per purchase transaction (either PIN or signature-based).


WaMu Launches Anti-Stodgy Banker Ad Campaign

Washington Mutual has announced the launch of a new national advertising campaign promoting its free checking account features that leverages consumer perceptions about stodgy bankers to differentiate its offering.


December 23, 2005

American Express Credit Card Issuer Partnerships

American Express announced two major bank credit card issuing partnership deals this week: Bank of America and HSBC.

In both deals the removal of each bank from the list of defendants in the litigation American Express is pursuing (re: damages associated with MasterCard and Visa losing the US antitrust case) may have been an important element.


November 22, 2005

Washington Mutual Launches New MasterCard Gift Card

WaMu Gift CardWashington Mutual has announced the launch of the Washington Mutual MasterCard Gift Card. The card costs $3.95 plus a $1.00 first class shipping and handling charge in addition to the value loaded onto the card.


June 06, 2005

Washington Mutual Buys Providian

[Update: As part of their investor call this morning, Washington Mutual and Providian have made available a presentation (PDF) on the acquisition.]


January 06, 2005

Washington Mutual Selects First Data for Debit Processing

First Data Corp. has announced that it has been selected by Washington Mutual to provide authorization and settlement processing for Washington Mutual's nine million card signature debit portfolio -- extending a previously announced relationship between Washington Mutual and First Data's STAR Network where STAR serves as the preferred brand and network for PIN-secured, online debit point-of-sale, and ATM processing.

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