U.S. Posts Stronger Job Gains Amid Fear
8/05/11 The New York Times
As the United States economy continued to wobble, employers added 117,000 jobs in July, staving off a panic that had threatened to engulf the financial markets. Though the government’s monthly snapshot of the labor market brought a sigh of relief to traders on Friday, the number of jobs created was not enough to provide much comfort to those who have been waiting for the recovery to kick into high gear. The unemployment rate slipped a notch to 9.1 percent, but that was mainly because some people had simply given up looking for work.
MasterCard Holds Fire in Post-Durbin Price War
8/03/11 American Banker
MasterCard said Wednesday that it does not plan any broad changes to the fees that merchants and their banks pay the network for processing card transactions. Last week Visa changed its fees across the board. "We're going to be very thoughtful and very surgical in how we approach the opportunities in PIN and signature debit as it unfolds under Durbin," Chris McWilton, the president of U.S. markets at MasterCard, said on an earnings conference call Wednesday. The Purchase, N.Y., payment network has no impetus to overhaul its pricing.
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New Fee to Bank Cash
8/05/11 The Wall Street Journal
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. on Thursday took the extraordinary step of telling large clients it will charge them to hold cash. The unusual move means some U.S. depositors will have to pay to keep big chunks of money in a bank, marking a stark new phase of the long-running global financial crisis. The shift is also emblematic of the strains plaguing the U.S. economy. Fearful corporations and investors have been socking away cash in their bank accounts rather than put it into even the safest investments.
Fed’s One-Cent Debit Card Fraud Allowance Likely Falls Short Of Cost, Analysts Suggest
Debit card issuers scrambling to ensure they have appropriate fraud-protection strategies in place before new debit-interchange rates kick in Oct. 1 appear likely to confront some dilemmas, some analysts suggest. Issuers with procedures “reasonably designed” to prevent debit card fraud may qualify for a one-cent upward adjustment in their debit interchange fees, the Federal Reserve Board said in its final rules issued in late June.
Authorization Costs Dropped by More Than 10% Since 2009; Transaction Processing Costs Dropped Over 20% Since 2007
Merchant acquirers are paying more than 10% less for authorization costs than they did in 2009, and back-end transaction processing services cost 20% less than they did in 2007, according to a new study by The Strawhecker Group (TSG). Not surprisingly, big acquirers get the best pricing and new clients of service providers are getting better deals from providers than are acquirers who are older customers of the same providers.
First Data Reports Second Quarter 2011 Financial Results
8/03/11 First Data
First Data Corporation today reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011. Consolidated revenue for the second quarter increased $135 million to $2.7 billion, up 5% compared to $2.6 billion a year ago. Revenue growth was primarily attributable to increases in debit network fees and favorable impacts of changes in foreign currency. Adjusted revenue, which excludes certain items including reimbursables, increased $35 million, or 2%, year-over-year to $1.7 billion.
MasterCard Profit Jumps 33 Percent
8/03/11 Yahoo! News
MasterCard Inc said second-quarter profit jumped 33 percent, as inflation in the United States lifted spending volume and more international consumers used debit and credit cards. Shares rose as much as 10.9 percent. The credit- and debit-card processor said signing up two big banks -- SunTrust Banks Inc and Banco Santander SA U.S. affiliate Sovereign Bank -- to offer MasterCard debit cards helped boost revenue in the second quarter, and should help next quarter too.
The DoJ Anoints Gores As the Designated Buyer of Hypercom’s U.S. Assets
8/04/11 Digital Transactions
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that it had reached a settlement with point-of-sale terminal makers VeriFone Holdings Inc. and Hypercom Corp. that calls for the sale of Hypercom’s U.S. assets to a unit of private-equity firm Gores Group LLC. The settlement removed an obstacle that held up VeriFone’s planned acquisition of Hypercom. The divesture will create a new player and preserve competition in the concentrated U.S. POS terminal market, the DoJ said.
Consumer Reports Finds Hidden Costs in Cell Phone and Digital-Wallet Payment Services
8/03/11 PR Newswire
While Americans are still using plenty of cash, checks, credit and debit cards to pay their bills, new electronic methods such as paying by cell phone or digital wallets are emerging. But before jumping in, consumers should be aware of disparities in loss liability and consumer protections, according to Consumer Reports. CR's latest investigation into new payment options finds that bank/tech companies are jostling for a greater share of the $50 billion a year in fees generated by everyday transactions.
Beyond Cell Phone Wallets, Biometrics Promise Truly Wallet-Free Future
8/03/11 MIT Review
Ever since Google announced that its Android phones would be equipped with a "digital wallet" that allows users to pay for things simply by touching their phone to a pad, interest in our wallet-free future has taken off. Long in use in Asia and especially Japan, the enabling technology, Near Field Communication, has allowed users to more or less completely replace credit cards with phones—yet the technology has languished in the U.S
Foursquare Says Merchant Services Will Provide Bulk of Revenue
Foursquare Labs Inc. plans to get most of its future sales from software that helps merchants track the behavior of potential customers, Chief Executive Officer Dennis Crowley said. Foursquare, a Web service that lets users share their whereabouts, already offers free tools to 500,000 businesses. The New York-based company will eventually begin charging for additional services that help monitor shoppers, Crowley said yesterday in a televised interview with “Bloomberg West.”
More Banks Weigh In on Impact of Durbin Amendment on Retail Banking Perks
Here’s a list of some more national banks and their plans for either their debit rewards programs, free checking programs and other retail services, where applicable: TCF National: According to a representative for the bank, TCF National ended its free checking program back in the second quarter of 2010 and replaced it with no balance checking. The banks is still reviewing what the final impact of the new rule will be on its debit rewards program.
Debit Rewards Value Doubted by Study
Programs that reward consumers when they use their debit cards have been largely considered one of the important casualties of the Durbin amendment's cap on debit interchange. But a recent study conducted found that 47% of consumers surveyed who participate in a debit rewards program have never actually redeemed their rewards points.
Square Now Processing $4 Million In Mobile Payments Per Day
8/1/11 Washington Post
Flush with $100 million in new funding, Square is continuing to grow like a weed in the mobile payments space. After passing the $3 million mark at the end of May, Square is now processing $4 million in mobile payments daily, and is on track to reach over $100 million in transactions in July. And COO Keith Rabois tells us that he expects the company to double this volume by October.
NXP Lowers Projection for 2011 NFC Phone Shipments
8/01/11 NFC Times
CEO Richard Clemmer, speaking late yesterday to financial analysts on a conference call following release of NXP’s second quarter results, said orders for NFC chips from handset makers for the second quarter had come in lower than expected, meaning the “ramp” of NFC phone shipments by handset makers projected for the third and fourth quarters of 2011 would be delayed. “We expected NFC to have an initial ramp in Q3 and a strong ramp in Q4, and we clearly see that pushed out a quarter or two,” Clemmer said.
Verizon Joins with American Express for Mobile Payments
American Express and Verizon are integrating Serve, a next-generation digital payment and commerce platform, on Verizon phones and tablets. In a few months, the partnership will give Verizon customers the option of setting up Serve accounts that pave the way for mobile payments, as well as to redeem offers for goods and services directly from mobile phones and tablets. "Serve provides a quick and intuitive way for our customers to use their mobile service in a refreshingly convenient way."
Level 3 Merchants Hit PCI Compliance at 60 Percent, Visa Confirms Numbers for the First Time
Visa’s latest PCI compliance stats report Level 3 compliance for the first time, and it opened at a discomforting 60 percent. The 3,024 retailers in Level 3—which reflects those processing 20,000 to 1 million Visa E-Commerce transactions annually—had before only had their compliance level marked as “moderate.” The 377 Level 1 merchants (processing more than 6 million Visa transactions annually) saw their compliance inch up from 96 percent six months earlier to 97 percent as of June 30.
MasterCard to Launch PayPass Payment System in Georgia
MasterCard , the global payment solution company, is working actively with Georgian banks to launch MasterCard Mobile Payments to the local market in the next year, according to Mr. Kemal Uyan, Regional Business Development Director for MasterCard South East Europe. “MasterCard has focused on mobile payments as we believe in the very near future mobile-based card payments will increase rapidly. The banks will be issuing card-based mobile payments using mobile phones,” said Mr. Uyan.
Advent to Buy Oberthur Smart Card Arm
Advent International, the US private equity group founded by Peter Brooke 27 years ago, has agreed to buy 90 per cent of the smart card and identity businesses of France’s Oberthur in a deal worth €1.15bn. The move will leave Oberthur’s owners, the Savare family of France, with enough cash to potentially revive its swoop on UK banknote printer De La Rue, which it had abandoned earlier this year after shareholder opposition.
PayPal: 12M Monthly Users are Paying for Virtual Goods
More than 12 million unique users pay for virtual goods each month, according to data released for the first time today by digital payments vendor PayPal.The figure comes from research by Inside Network, and dates to mid-2010. It applies to the entire online audience in the U.S., not just Facebook, according to Inside Network’s Justin Smith. For comparison, 12 million is only about 1.6 percent of the 750 million users on Facebook, but it’s enough to create a big social game industry capable of supporting giants.
First Data Bets on Mobile Commerce
8/04/11 Omaha World Herald
Officials at First Data are banking on the company's involvement with a new mobile payment and deals platform, the Google Wallet, to create a new and stable revenue source for the payment processing titan. "This mobile commerce technology is real and it's here today," Judge said. "It's already working in more than 140,000 merchant locations throughout the United States. Mobile is the next evolution of payments."
FIS Ditches Misys Bid, Opts to Buy Back Shares Instead
FIS gave no reason for walking away from the deal, which would have valued Misys at around $2.4 billion, but the financial industry-focused UK firm said it rejected a revised offer which it felt undervalued the company. FIS Chief Executive Frank Martire said buying up the shares would be "a very attractive" use of capital at this time. The Jacksonville, Florida-based firm has about 13.6 million shares available for repurchase under a buyback program approved in February last year.
Elavon and China UnionPay Reach Processing Agreement
Elavon, a leading global payments provider and wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, and China UnionPay, the bankcard association in China, have signed a binding agreement to enable acceptance for UnionPay's debit and credit cards at Elavon's merchants in the United States and Europe. The deal also extends credit card acceptance to Elavon's Canadian merchants and will expand to include Latin America in the future.
BBVA Compass Adds P2P Payment Option with ZashPay
8/02/11 The Sacramento Bee
BBVA Compass announced that it is offering the ZashPay® person-to-person (P2P) payment service from Fiserv, Inc., a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions. "BBVA Compass is excited to be able to offer ZashPay to our customers," said Andy Hernandez, director of channel development for BBVA Compass. "We are committed to offering solutions that match the way our customers live today, providing them with increased ease and convenience in managing their money."
HSBC to Cut 30,000 Jobs; Plans to Sell Half the Retail Bank Branches in the US
8/01/11 Christian Post
HSBC announced on Monday its plans to cut 30,000 jobs worldwide by 2013 and sell about half the retail bank branches in the United States. According to the bank, these cuts are part of a plan to grow its business in fast-emerging markets. HSBC, who reported a three percent increase in pretax profits to $11.5 billion, up from the $11.1 billion a year ago, has already made 5,000 job cuts this year.
Street Savings Supports SMS Compliance Standard
Street Savings today announced its support for the CTIA’s industry monitoring program designed to assess text messaging (short code, SMS) campaign compliance with established consumer best practices developed by the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA). CTIA-The Wireless Association® is an international nonprofit membership organization representing the wireless telecommunications industry.
Top 4 Debit Fraud Risks
8/02/11 Bank Info Security
Debit fraud in the U.S. continues to grow as transaction volume increases. As international markets move away from mag-stripe and toward chip & PIN card technology, fraud experts say U.S. card issuers can expect to see fraud continue to escalate. Fraudsters are targeting smaller merchants and institutions at an alarming rate, says Mike Urban, senior director of global fraud solutions for FICO.
Two Thieves Busted for Using Doctored Dunkin' Donuts Gift Cards to Steal from ATM
8/02/11 NY Daily News
America may run on Dunkin' but two clever thieves were stopped dead in their tracks from using doctored gift cards from the donut chain to milk thousands out of a Queens ATM. Daniel Gheorghe and Ionel Cristian Popa, both 33, were busted back in March at a Chase bank branch with $17,700, mostly in $20 bills, plus 66 counterfeited coupons. The deceitful duo coded the blank gift cards - which can be picked up at many Dunkin' Donuts counters - with account information stolen using a skimmer device.