Aftershock to Economy Has a Precedent That Holds Lessons
8/12/11 The New York Times
Like earthquakes, financial crises seem to be accompanied by aftershocks, like the one we’ve been living through this week. They can feel every bit as bad as the crisis itself. But economic history and academic research suggest they can set the stage for a sustainable recovery — and eventual sharp stock market gains. The events of the last few weeks — gridlock in Washington, bear an intriguing resemblance to some of the events of 1937-38, the so-called recession within the Depression, with a major caveat: it was a lot worse back then.
Consumer Sentiment Slumps as Retail Sales Jump
Consumer sentiment dropped to its lowest point in more than three decades as fears of a stalled recovery combined with despair over government policies, a survey showed. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary August reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment fell to 54.9, the lowest since May 1980, down from 63.7 in July. It was well below the median forecast of 63.0 among economists polled by Reuters.
Employment: Beyond the Sound Bites—Reading the Signals
8/11/11 Real Clear Markets
More than two years after the recession ended, the unemployment rate remains staggeringly high at 9.1 percent. The depth of employment losses, at 8.8 million jobs, has made for a lengthy recovery. Only 1.9 million jobs have been recouped, leaving employment 5 percent below its prerecession level. This has not only cost workers in wages, but in skills. Yet the headline unemployment rate does not fully capture the severity of the unemployment experience for millions of Americans.
First Data Releases July 2011 SpendTrend®
8/09/11 First Data
First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for the full month of July 2011 compared to July 2010. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations. Overall year-over-year dollar volume growth was 7.3% in July, a sharp slowdown from June’s 8.8% growth rate.
Demise Of Decoupled Debit Exaggerated
8/11/11 ISO & Agent
To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the demise of the decoupled-debit card may have been greatly exaggerated. National Payment Card Association offers a decoupled-debit card that has operated on a closed-loop model for convenience stores and other petroleum merchants for seven years. They have made a reasonable profit by charging merchants an average of 15 cents per transaction as a closed-loop card and will continue to prosper at the same merchant fee even with the addition of charges from Discover Financial Services to use the Pulse network
Consumers Trust Visa Over Apple For Mobile Payments, Few Trust Facebook
According to a recent survey, the public trust lies more with major credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express over tech brands like Apple, Google and Ebay. Allowed to pick any number of brands on a set list, survey respondents selected Facebook as the least-trusted brand, with only 12% expressing trust. The group was also more likely to trust the United States Postal Service with mobile payments than Apple, Microsoft or Google.
Click here for an illustration of the survey results.
New PCI Edict: Tokens Can Be Out-Of-Scope
The PCI Council on Friday (Aug. 12) issued for the first time, guidance on tokenization—guidance telling retailers most of their systems can, indeed, be considered out of PCI scope if they properly use tokens. But the Council stressed that if the token is ever reversed into card data on the retailer’s systems, everything is fully back in scope. “There has to be recognition by the merchant that reversing that [token] and being able to again see the primary account number (PAN) and be able to use and execute against account data brings those systems back into scope."
Merchant Group ‘Disappointed’ With Visa’s Solo EMV Move
Visa Inc.’s new U.S. EMV initiative will have far-reaching consequences for merchants and card issuers, but the other card networks may not follow it exactly in drawing their roadmaps for migrating to advanced chip card technologies, some observers say. Although U.S. merchants for years have clamored for more-secure payment card technology, Visa’s move falls far short of what they ultimately would like to see in the U.S., Dodd Roberts, president and CEO of the Irving, Texas-based Merchant Advisory Group, tells ISO&Agent Weekly.
How Visa Plans To Dominate Mobile Payments, Create The Digital Wallet And More
It’s no secret that credit card companies are shelling out big bucks and aggressively forming partnerships and deals to start cashing in on the mobile and digital payments innovations currently taking place. American Express, which recently debuted its own digital payments product Serve, has been particularly aggressive on the partnerships front, striking recent deals with both Foursquare and Facebook. Mastercard has bet on NFC with a partnership with Google for Google Wallet and bought online payments gateway DataCash for $520 million last fall.
When Will We Be Paying for Stuff With Our Smartphones?
You're in the checkout line ready to pay for the items in your shopping cart. Instead of fumbling with cash or pulling out a credit card, you whip out a smartphone. Inside the handset are chips that make nice with the store's register, and a digital wallet app holds virtual replicas of your plastic debit, credit and loyalty cards. You tap the screen to choose which one you want to use to pay for your purchases, then confirm the amount. An instant later, the transaction is complete.
Google Wallet and NFC Smartphones Spark Buzz Around Retail Contactless Technology, Says ABI Research
8/11/11 NFC Data
According to ABI Research,in 2010 only about 10% of total POS terminal shipments included some form of contactless technology. While the analyst firm does not agree with some of the wilder media predictions for contactless POS growth – for example that within 12 months,one third of all terminals in the US will accept contactless payments – it does forecast that 85% of terminals shipped worldwide will be contactless-enabled in 2016.
Heartland Payment Systems® Launches Mobuyle™ Mobile Payment Acceptance Solution
8/08/11 Heartland Payment Systems
Heartland Payment Systems launches Mobuyle (pronounced MO-buy-uhl), a comprehensive mobile solution that enables merchants to accept credit, debit and gift card payments through their smartphones or mobile devices. Mobuyle is the first mobile application fully designed and developed by a major payments processor, providing business owners the most comprehensive processing capabilities of any mobile payment application currently on the market.
A New Alphabet Soup, VARs and ISVs, Spells An Effective
8/10/11 Best Third-Party Gateway
Merchant acquirers once relied on independent agents, direct sales, and agent bank relationships to sign up merchants. Now, a new group has entered the picture and is accounting for a rapidly increasing share of new merchant accounts. Value-added resellers and independent software vendors will enroll 15% of all new merchants this year, on par with agent banks and up from 11% in 2009.
Inside PNC's Plans for RBC
8/11/11 American Banker
The changes will not be draconian, he said, but PNC's plans would measurably alter how the $25 billion-asset acquisition does business in its Southeastern territory. Davis, who has been the president of the Raleigh bank for roughly two years, said in an interview that PNC will immediately upgrade technology, accelerating a much-needed retooling that would have taken RBC at least five years to do on its own. PNC is also expected to bring treasury management and other fee-generating products.
HSBC Plays Its Cards While Citi Holds 'Em
8/11/11 Bank Investment Consultant
Their portfolios are comparable in size. They are in similar businesses. But HSBC Holdings Plc has a deal to sell its $30 billion of private-label credit cards assets to Capital One Financial Corp., while Citigroup Inc. has been holding the bag on $45 billion of retailers' credit card loans for more than two years. Citigroup sought to jettison its portfolio, which includes cards issued on behalf of Home Depot and Sears, along with other assets it tagged noncore after the crisis
Citi(R) Commercial Cards to Issue Chip & PIN Card Solution in U.S., a First in the Commercial Card Industry
Citi(R) today announced the launch of the Citi(R) Corporate Chip and PIN card, a compliant smart card designed for U.S. corporate cardholders traveling abroad, a first by any U.S. commercial card issuer. The cards, which include an embedded microprocessor, were developed in direct response to clients' needs to use their U.S. commercial cards while traveling to regions where merchants are more familiar with chip cards and for use at un-manned kiosks.
BankSimple Secures $10 Million Funding; Partners with Visa, Bancorp and CBW Bank
BankSimple founder Joshua Reich, says: "This financing allows us to shift gears from building BankSimple to launching BankSimple. Our business has many moving parts and this capital allows us to scale our engineering, operations, and customer service organizations in preparation for launch." BankSimple is seeking to take advantage of public disillusionment with financial services firms by building a streamlined, information-rich experience for customers.
New Austrian Rail Provider Selects VeriFone PAYware Mobile Enterprise
VeriFone Systems, Inc., today announced its PAYware Mobile Enterprise and managed services solution has been selected by WESTbahn Management GmbH for use as a mobile ticketing validation and payment service when its innovative rail service begins this December. WESTbahn is a private rail service that will operate on the Vienna-Salzburg line, offering passengers hourly on-time service in new double-decker trains.
Great Hill Partners Acquires Plimus for $115M USD
8/08/11 Great Hill Partners
Great Hill Partners announced today the acquisition of Plimus Inc., from a shareholder group including Susquehanna Growth Equity LLC, Plimus founders, key management members and employees. Plimus enables businesses to “take charge" and assume full control of selling digital goods and services online. A business can choose Plimus’ simple to implement, hosted and complete application that uniquely spans the entire e-Commerce lifecycle, or it can deploy the new Plimus Buy Anyware ™ API.
NYCE Inks Agreement with China’s UnionPay
NYCE® today announced that it has signed an agreement with UnionPay, China’s bankcard association, to allow cardholders reciprocal access to ATMs in both networks. NYCE Payments Network, LLC, is a leading U.S. electronic payments network and an FIS™ company. FIS is the world’s largest provider of banking and payments technology.
T-Mobile Payment System Leaves Users Vulnerable, Report Says
8/09/11 LA Times
T-Mobile's new smartphone-based payment system won't adequately protect users from mistakes, theft and fraud, according to Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. T-Mobile last week announced its so-called Direct Carrier Billing, which will let T-Mobile users buy content off the Web using a T-Mobile account, allowing users to avoid the hassle of entering credit card numbers every time they buy something online. The service will be available later this month, the company says.
ElectraCard Services Partners with Sutherland Global Services
8/11/11 Business Standard
City based ElectraCard Services (ECS), a provider of software solutions for electronic payment systems, has signed an agreement with Sutherland Global Services, a provider of Technology and analytics enabled business process services, to enhance its presence in the US and Americas market. As program partners, Sutherland Global Services will be authorised to market ECS’s entire electra suite of products and services to their banking and financial services customers.
FTNI Announces ETran Platform Enhancements to Significantly Reduce Check Fraud Risk
Financial Transmission Network Inc. (“FTNI”), a provider of industry leading receivable management solutions, today announced that it has enhanced its award winning ETran Receivables Platform to significantly reduce risk and fraud for our check processing customers. ETran’s enhanced Duplicate Check Detection feature is another example of how FTNI’s flexible technology is adding value to our customers.
ROAM Data Takes Number One Market Position for Secure Mobile Phone Card Reader Solutions
ROAM Data, the leading mCommerce platform provider that extends both physical POS and eCommerce to the mobile environment, today announced that it has become the #1 provider of secure mobile phone card readers in the world. ROAM Data has sold approximately 300,000 secure readers to leading merchant service providers (MSPs), making ROAM the largest supplier of encrypted mobile card readers by an order of magnitude. It expects to have shipped over 1 million units by this time next year.
W.net Announces Fall/Winter Mentoring Program
W.net announced it has opened the application period for the Fall 2011/Winter 2012 Gateway to Success Mentoring program. The application period is currently active and will conclude on August 26, 2011. The Gateway to Success Mentoring Program was created to enable W.net members to maximize their potential by aligning protégés with industry role models who serve as mentors.
Twitter, Square Limit Shareholder Selling
Twitter Inc., Square Inc. and LivingSocial.com are taking steps to bar investors from selling stock on secondary exchanges, an effort to cap the number of shareholders, said people familiar with the companies’ plans. Twitter asked investors in its recent funding round to refrain from sales on exchanges, according to two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the agreement is private.
AIG Sues Bank of America for $10 Billion over Mortgages
8/08/11 USA Today
American International Group said Monday it sued Bank of America for more than $10 billion, saying the bank cheated it by selling residential mortgage-backed securities that were overvalued. Bank of America denied the allegations, saying AIG "recklessly" chased investments with high returns, and was big and sophisticated enough to know the risks.
Cardtronics' Retail ATM Network Growing Along With Kroger Relationship
Cardtronics, Inc. the world's largest retail ATM owner, today announced that it has expanded its ATM management services agreement with The Kroger Co., the nation's largest traditional grocery retailer. Building on a 2010 agreement with Kroger, Cardtronics has added 350 ATMs to both its retail ATM footprint and Kroger relationship.