Amex Spending & Saving Tracker Says Consumer Spending Will Hold Steady in Wavering Economy
9/16/11 American Express
Despite economic ups-and-downs, the majority of Americans will continue to spend, according to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker. The survey, conducted in the midst of news surrounding high unemployment rates, and unexpectedly robust retail sales, found that 21% of Americans plan to spend more, with 43% expecting to spend the same, in the next six months compared to the first half of 2011. This represents an increase of 6% and 4% respectively from 2010.
Consumer Sentiment Up, Expectations at 31-Year Low
Consumer sentiment inched up in early September, but Americans remained gloomy about the future with a gauge of expectations falling to the lowest level since 1980, a survey released on Friday showed."Overall, the data indicate that a renewed downturn in consumer spending is as likely as not in the year ahead," survey director Richard Curtin said in a statement. "Even without a downturn, consumer spending will not be strong enough to enable the rapid job growth that is needed to offset reduced long-term expectations."
The Dodd-Frank Layoffs
9/13/11 The Wall Street Journal
What is the cost of overregulation? Bank of America appears to have provided part of the answer by announcing yesterday that the nation's largest bank will cut 30,000 jobs between now and 2014. CEO Brian Moynihan said the bank's plan is to slash $5 billion in annual expenses from its consumer businesses. Mr. Moynihan didn't say this, but we will: These layoffs are part of the bill for the last two years of Washington's financial rule-writing.
A First Look at PayPal’s Strategy for Challenging Visa and MasterCard at the Register
PayPal demonstrated today, for the first time, how it intends to provide payments to physical retailers as the race heats up to make wallets and clunky metal registers obsolete. A sneak peek was offered to merchants today by the eBay-owned company, at a partner event in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and separately to me in one-on-one briefings by executives.
First Data Releases August 2011 SpendTrend®
9/12/11 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 August 2011 compared to August 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 up 9.0% in August compared to 7.3% in July. Credit dollar volume growth was up 12.4% and transaction growth increased 11.7% in August, both 13-month highs.
Non-Cash Payments Grew 8% Globally in 2010
A global payments report issued today by Capgemini and the Royal Bank of Scotland strikes a positive note: the use of e-payments is rising, while use of old-school checks and cash is fading. "One pleasant, surprising thing is if you look at the overall growth rate in non-cash payments in 2009 and 2010 in the context of global financial crisis, despite that economic environment, we still saw a 5% growth rate in '09, picking up to pre-crisis levels with an estimated growth rate of 7.8% in 2010, that's a pleasing finding of growth momentum, even in difficult economic conditions."
Most ISOs Blissfully Unaware Of B2B Potential
Most ISOs are turning their backs on a whole category of potential card-acceptance accounts, according to a payments-gateway provider. Why? Because they simply do not know about the category, says an expert in the field. ISOs tend to concentrate on merchants that sell to consumers and ignore business-to-business transactions, says Aaron Bills, chief operating officer of 3Delta Systems. His Chantilly, Va.-based payments gateway specializes in business-to-business and business-to-government trans.
American Express Seeks Acquisitions to Expand in Online, Mobile
American Express Co. (AXP) is looking at large international acquisitions that will help it benefit from booming demand for mobile payments and online commerce in emerging markets, said Executive Vice President David Messenger. The New York-based company, the biggest credit-card issuer by purchases, is considering deals in developing regions such as China, and investments in or purchases of smaller Silicon Valley startups with valuable technology, Messenger said in an interview this week.
What Does Visa's US EMV Push Mean?
9/12/11 The GreenSheet
We are all students in the payments industry. And Visa Inc. recently upped the ISO and merchant level salesperson (MLS) education ante by pushing the U.S. market to adopt Europay/MasterCard/Visa (EMV) contact and contactless chip technology. Visa stated this will "help prepare the U.S. payment infrastructure for the arrival of NFC-based mobile payments by building the necessary infrastructure to accept and process chip transactions that support either a signature or PIN at the point of sale."
Consumer Bureau Looking at Need for Overdraft Rules
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering whether to impose rules on bank overdraft programs to ensure they're being applied "in an even-handed way," said Raj Date, the adviser running the new agency. U.S. regulators including the Federal Reserve have imposed rules on overdraft programs, and that may lead to inconsistent supervision of different kinds of financial institutions, Date said today in a Philadelphia speech.
‘Electronic Pickpocketing’ Threat Worsened by Credit Card Industry Plan to Issue 1 Billion Contactless Payment Cards
“We now know the industry is moving toward one billion contactless payment cards by 2016, and that’s a scary prospect for the public, considering the serious security flaws in these cards that remain easily exploitable and inexplicably unaddressed,” said Walt Augustinowicz, founder and CEO of Identity Stronghold. “It’s very apparent that contactless cards are being pushed onto the cardholder without proper notification of the security risks."
LexisNexis® Study Finds Fraud Rates and Data Breaches Could Increase for Retailers Next Year
For every $100 in fraudulent transactions, retailers incurred a "true" cost of $230, according to a new study released by LexisNexis® Risk Solutions. According to the study, retail merchants and financial institutions reported an overall decline in fraud rates and transactions while total retail sales rose. The research suggests that this is not the time to lose focus on fraud mitigation, as fraudsters’ techniques continue to evolve as retailers enter new markets through international and mobile channels.
Retail Payments Risk Forum Publishes Discussion Paper on Peer-to-Peer Payments
9/12/11 Portals and Rails
Peer-to-peer (P2P) payment products are some of the most innovative developments from the payments industry in the past decade. Consumers have never had so many payment choices. Alongside a host of recent entrants like PayPal and CashEdge, longstanding industry players like Fiserv, Visa, and MasterCard all offer P2P products. Additionally, three major banks have announced a collaborative P2P initiative called ClearXchange.
Citigroup Raises Fees, 'Simplifies' Accounts
Citigroup raised its monthly service fee on basic checking and savings accounts, joining the wave of banks looking for offsets from lost revenues following new banking regulations. Customers would have to pay a flat $10 monthly service fee for the "Basic Banking" package, up from $8 currently. Citigroup will not charge additional fees for debit card usage or online banking payments
Global Payments Releases Innovative eCommerce Solution for Small to Mid-Sized Business Segment
Global Payments Inc, a leader in electronic transaction payment processing, and CRE Secure, the industry's leading cloud-based, secure payment solution for merchants, today announce an agreement to incorporate CRE Secure's HTML Clone® technology within Global Payments' award-winning Global Transport® Secure eCommerce solution. The solution addresses the small to mid-sized business (SMB) eCommerce segment.
Visa Inc. and U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Boost Small Businesses with Extended Partnership
Visa Inc. and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) today announced a three-year extension of their partnership that provides Hispanic-owned merchants with customized access to Visa's suite of small business solutions, including an array of tools to help them improve cash flow, manage payment acceptance costs, streamline operations and grow their businesses.
Accumulate, PayPal to Co-Operate on Mobile Solutions
9/14/11 Total Telecom
Accumulate today announced that they have started a partnership with PayPal, based on Accumulate’s award winning security platform Mobile Everywhere. The companies will work jointly on mobile services projects for the Swedish local market. ”The agreement is great news and we look forward to partnering with PayPal and to support the innovative mobile services based on our technology."
Fiserv to Produce Personalized EMV Cards
Fiserv, Inc, the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, announced today that it will begin personalizing chip payment cards based on the Europay MasterCard Visa (EMV) standard. The EMV card features a micro-processing chip that stores cardholder data securely, helping reduce the number of fraudulent transactions resulting from counterfeit, lost and stolen cards.
Wells Fargo And U.S. Bancorp: The Best Of The Banks
9/12/11 Seeking Alpha
Wells Fargo (WFC) and U.S. Bancorp (USB) are far and away two of the best, if not the best, banks in the space right now. Despite their impressive balance sheets, lack of negative press, lesser mortgage exposure, and solid dividend yields, both banks are trading at P/E ratios well under 10 based on next year's consensus estimates. They are trading at a very slight premium to their riskier, less capitalized competitors.
CoCard Expands Member Ownership and Voting Rights
On September 13th, the overwhelming majority of equity members of COCARD voted to enact a new operating agreement allowing for a single class of ownership and thus eliminating A, B and Partner class of participation. All member offices will be issued “ownership units” in the operating company based on current contributions. Going forward, offices will be issued additional new ownership units correlating to future production.
HSBC Merchant Services Helps Retailers in Fight Against Fraudsters
HSBC Merchant Services LLP, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Global Payments and one of the largest independent payment processors in the UK, has launched a new service to help businesses ensure that their customers’ transactions are secure against fraud. In order to simplify the often complex processes merchants need to follow, HSBC Merchant Services has launched Global Fortress – a one-stop shop for merchants seeking to become PCI compliant.
PaySimple Changes the Game by Launching Mobile Payments & Customer Management for Small Business
Getting paid just got easier and more affordable for small businesses. For the first time ever small businesses can collect payment any way their customers want to pay including: on their mobile phone, on their website, over the phone, by the mail, through recurring billing, or via e-mail invoicing all with one integrated solution. “Our customers tell us immediate cash flow and payment flexibility is critical to their success, and are looking for ways to eliminate the typical delay in collecting payments.”
Mobile Interactive Group Acquires Mobile Payments Startup Zaypay
Mobile Interactive Group (MIG) this morning announced that it has acquired global mobile payments business Zaypay, a startup based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. MIG says it will continue to operate Zaypay as a standalone business, but declined to disclose financial terms of the agreement, other than to reveal that it was an all-cash deal. Zaypay enables third-party developers to process international micropayments through SMS, phone calls, in-app and other alternative payment methods.
Point-to-Point Encryption Guidance Arrives: Device Testing and Possible Surprises for Early Adopters
The PCI Council on Thursday is releasing a guidance document on point-to-point encryption (P2PE). This technology—properly implemented—has the potential to reduce PCI scope greatly, and several retailers have already implemented it. But one issue may have early adopters digging up their vendor agreements: Are they sure their implementations—particularly the encrypting POS devices—will pass the Council’s new Secure Card Reader testing program?