ETA Seeks Delay in Visa Fixed Acquirer Network Fee
The Electronic Transactions Association has asked Visa to delay implementation of its Fixed Acquirer Network Fee until 90 days after complete information on its implementation is available to merchant acquirers, processors, and merchants. In a letter to Visa on behalf of the association’s 450 members, ETA informed Visa about the effects of lack of advance notice regarding this new fee structure, the severely short time frame for implementation, and the complexity of the FANF requirement, calling it "a trifecta of negative impact to the acquiring, processing, and merchant communities"
Solid Jobs Growth Bolsters Recovery Hopes
Employment grew solidly for a third straight month in February, a sign the economic recovery was strengthening and in less need of further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve. Employers added 227,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, the Labor Department said on Friday, while the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent even as people flooded back into the labor force to hunt for jobs. "It looks like the economy is starting the year with some positive news for consumers and households," said Gary Thayer, chief macro strategist at Wells Fargo Advisors.
Beyond Credit Cards: Q&A with Dan Schulman of American Express
3/07/12 Technology Review
American Express started out in the 19th Century delivering money by horseback. It issued the first widely accepted plastic charge card in 1959, and has more or less stayed the course since. But an expected global boom in payments made on mobile phones and tablets—their dollar value will surge 76 percent to $86 billion in 2012, Gartner predicts—now leaves the third-largest U.S. credit card issuer preparing for a future without plastic. Enter Serve, a prepaid, reloadable spending account Amex launched last March.
Bankrupt Bitcoin Exchange Tradehill Suing Red Hot Payment Start Up Dwolla for $2M
One of the reasons that small startup are loathe to announce big funding rounds is that plaintifs and patent trolls always come out of the woodwork. Payment startup Dwolla, is now defending itself against a $2 million lawsuit from defunct Bitcoin exchange Tradehill, as first reported yesterday by Betabeat. Tradehill alleges that it went out of business in large part because of “chargebacks”, payments that Dwolla cleared and then took back.
Interchange Under Attack
Following a formidable ascent, debit cards may be falling out of favor with the U.S. buying public - a casualty of debit card interchange price caps instituted in accordance with the Durbin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. In addition, any increases to credit card interchange could be short-lived if banks and the card companies fail to prevail against a new legal challenge to interchange. That challenge, on anti-trust grounds, comes from a group that includes 5 million merchants, the National Retail Federation and the National Restaurant Association.
Apple's NFC Patent Gives Clues to a Future Apple Wallet
The competition to turn mobile phones into wallets has turned up lots of options as handset manufacturers, telecoms and other stakeholders battle to control how the phone is used to execute payments. Apple's new near-field communication (NFC) patent is an attempt to seize that control by forging a direct automated connection between consumers, merchants and card companies, enabling Apple to ply its popular iPhone and iTunes Store into a mobile transaction machine.
First Data Releases February 2012 SpendTrend®
3/09/12 First Data
First Data Corporation, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for the full month of February 2012 compared to February 2011. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations. February’s overall year-over-year dollar volume growth was 8.9%, a healthy increase from January’s growth of 7.0%. Overall dollar volume growth continued its positive upward trend in February. Improving economic conditions provided consumers with more confidence and income to spend.
Durbin Doomsday Never Came
Every now and then some doomsday cultist predicts the end of the world, but it doesn't occur. No big news. Same in banking. The first-ever restriction on card interchange — a 50% cut for debit cards — was predicted by banking cultists to have cataclysmic consequences. It would put community banks out of business. Enrage millions of consumers who would be deprived of cherished "free" checking. Slash debit card activity. Remember the choral yelling and finger pointing? None of that happened.
@AmericanExpress Tries #Deals via Twitter
3/07/12 The Wall Street Journal
American Express Co.'s cardholders will be able to sign up for merchant deals through Twitter, in the lender's latest move to tap social media to spur spending. The New York-based company said Tuesday that the program will allow cardholders to sync their American Express business and consumer cards to their Twitter accounts. When they tweet using special offer "hashtags," or codes used to categorize
Consumers Want Banks -- Not Google or PayPal -- As Primary Providers of Digital Wallets
3/07/12 Bank Systems & Technology
A majority of customers would trust their bank as the primary provider of a mobile wallet over nonbank entities and telecommunications companies, a new survey found. The results were issued in a whitepaper titled "The Mobile Shopping Revolution, How Mobile is Redefining Shopping and Payments," released by business advisory firm AlixPartners. Seventy percent of consumers surveyed rate their primary bank as safeguarding their personal information "extremely well" or "very well."
ISIS Partners with VeriFone, Ingenico, ViVOtech and Equinox, Prepares to Take Over the World
So, you've got the carriers on board, and the banks and even the handset makers. Problem is, without compatible registers and point of sale terminals, your mobile payment tech is worthless. Thankfully Isis, the NFC wallet system that aims to crush Google's buzzed-about platform, just scored a host of partners including VeriFone and Equinox that make a pretty large chunk of world's payment terminals. Those companies, along with Ingenico and ViVOtech have agreed to support Isis.
Green Dot to Buy Loopt
Green Dot, the US prepaid card outfit with designs on entering the retail banking market, has agreed a deal to buy Loopt, a location-based mobile rewards marketing specialist, in a cash deal worth $43.4 million. Green Dot says the acquisition will help it improve customer acquisition and retention of pre-paid debit card products; drive the adoption of new banking and payment products; and become a player in mobile wallets, rewards and payments at retailers nationwide.
eBay Playing, And Losing, The Retail Prediction Game
In Donahoe’s case, he has been trying to predict what major retail chains will do. Back in July 2011, he confidently told investors that eBay would announce a major retail trial by the end of 2011—that was Home Depot, which wasn’t announced until January 2012—and that 2012 would bring 20 national retail trials. Last week, Donahoe slashed that figure almost in half, now saying that 10 to 15 retailers will be offering PayPal in-store this year. Asked to explain the different numbers, he told a TV interviewer: “We tend to under-promise and over-deliver."
PayPal Debuts in Bars, Restaurants with Tabbedout Integration
PayPal, the online payment giant, has been working its way into physical stores and is now rolling out as a payment option in more than 2,000 Home Depot locations. The eBay division isn’t just targeting retail, however. It’s also making its debut in restaurants and bars with a new partnership with Tabbedout, an Austin, Texas start-up that lets people pay their tabs using an app. Tabbedout users will be able to add PayPal as a payment option alongside existing choices for credit and debit cards.
New Square App Turns iPad Into Cash Register
Mobile payment company Square, which makes a plastic dongle that can be used to accept credit card payments using a cell phone or tablet, is now aiming to help brick-and-mortar retailers replace their cash registers with iPads. The company on Monday released a new iPad app called Square Register, which provides a number of features meant to allow merchants to do anything they could on a conventional cash register, with their iPad. The app lets merchants easily set up a library of the items they sell, and assign a photo and price to each item, according to Square.
VeriFone Isn’t Losing Sleep Over Competition From Upstart Square
3/05/12 Digital Transactions
Competition from Square? No problem, according to VeriFone Systems Inc. chief executive Douglas G. Bergeron. “We’ve had competitors for 30 years,” Bergeron said in response to an analyst’s inquiry about how he sees the competitive risk to VeriFone, from Square Inc., the headline-grabbing mobile-payments merchant processor headed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. “We’ve had lots of competitors that we’ve taken care of … we will have competitors for the next 20 years.”
American Express Testing Prepaid Cards In Some Wal-Mart Stores
American Express Co., which is trying to expand beyond the affluent customers it normally lends to, is testing the sale of prepaid cards in some Wal-Mart stores. The New York-based lender is marketing the reloadable cards, which can be used wherever American Express is accepted, under the name "bluebird" in about 180 of the discount retailer's stores on the West Coast, Laura Kelly, an executive helping spearhead the company's push into prepaid cards, said in an interview Monday.
Heartland Payment Systems(R) Delivers More Than $100 Million in Durbin Debit Reform Savings to Merchants
3/06/12 Heartland Payment Systems
Heartland Payment Systems has delivered more than $100 million of signature debit savings to business owners throughout the United States since the implementation of the Durbin Amendment swipe fee reform on October 1, 2011. "This $100 million Durbin Dollars savings milestone, in only five months, showcases the magnitude of the reform's effects on the merchant marketplace and on business owners at large," said Bob Carr, Heartland's chairman and CEO.
Global Payments Named One of Fortune Magazine's Most Admired Companies
3/06/12 The Sacramento Bee
Global Payments Inc, announced that Fortune magazine has recognized Global Payments as one of the most admired American companies of 2012. "It is an honor to be recognized by our peers in the business community and I'm delighted to see the hard work of my colleagues acknowledged by such a prestigious publication," said Global Payments Chairman and CEO Paul R. Garcia.
Encore Payment Systems: Choose a Partner, Not Just a Provider
Every business is different in its own way, and therefore it can be hard for merchants to fit into the “one size fits all” programs that many credit card processors offer. Encore Payment Systems is now offering business owners customized programs that are as unique as the businesses they run. This No-Cost Evaluation is the first step for these businesses to be able to take control of what they want from their payment processing company, and have an opportunity to grow their businesses in the way they choose.
Sterling Payment Technologies Taps Staub for Sales/Marketing
3/08/12 Sterling Payment Technologies
Sterling Payment Technologies’ President and CEO Paul Hunter today announced that Gary T. Staub has joined Sterling as Chief Sales and Marketing Officer. Founded in 2001, Sterling Payment Technologies is one of the most innovative, customer-focused processors in the electronic payment industry today. “Gary will bring his extensive knowledge of the industry, as well as his keen marketing and sales skills, to help set the course for Sterling’s next level of growth,” said Hunter.
Planet Payment in Global Processing Deal with China UnionPay
3/05/12 Proactive Investors
Multi-currency payment and data processor Planet Payment said that bankcard association China UnionPay has registered Planet Payment as a worldwide third party service provider. Through this registration, Planet Payment can provide processing support for China UnionPay's credit and debit cards directly to banks and acquirers on a worldwide basis. Launched in 2002, China UnionPay has over 2.8 billion cards issued worldwide.
ISOs Encouraged To Leverage Small Business Saturday
American Express Co. is encouraging ISOs and agents to use Small Business Saturday to stimulate transactions, increase charge volume and differentiate themselves from competitors. ISOs see it as an opportunity to share the success of the small business outreach effort and position themselves as an advocate for small to midsize merchants. Doing so, they say, will likely pay off in profits down the road, even if the actual return on investment is hard to quantify.
First Year in Decades Without New US Bank
May require subscription. There were no new banks created in the US in 2011, making it the first year in decades that the country has gone without the establishment of a single start-up lender. The lack of new or de novo banks underscores the rapidly shifting business environment for US financials and changed attitudes towards the industry after the recent crisis. A de novo bank is a freshly chartered bank that has not been created through the takeover of an existing institution.
With Mobile Internet, Money Is Up for Grabs
Ben Milne, a 29-year-old college dropout with a furry goatee and no background in finance, is on his second and third meetings with some of the world's biggest banks. He thinks he has convinced them he's "not full of it." This is no small thing. The startup company he founded, Dwolla, has introduced an Internet-based payment system that aims to bypass credit card companies. Not only that, but to work properly, it will require rewiring a crucial hub of the U.S. financial system known as the Automated Clearing House, a network banks use to transfer payments electronically.