US Retailers Developing Own M-Payments System
A group of American retailers, including Wal-Mart and Target, is developing its own mobile payments system, joining an already crowded field of banks, card companies, technology vendors and telcos, according to the Wall Street Journal. Around two dozen merchants are involved in the project says the WSJ, citing people familiar with the plans. However, the details are sketchy, with the identity of most participants, how the system will work, when it will launch and its name all unknown.
Details Trickle In On Network-Routing Pricing
2/29/12 ISO & Agent
The few details gleaned so far about the new monthly network-participation fees Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide plan to charge merchant acquirers hint at complex negotiations behind the scenes. Visa has the most to lose when the new debit network-routing rule goes into effect April 1 because it has a larger share of issuers that process debit transactions exclusively through Visa or its Interlink PIN-debit network.
Big Bank Weighs Fee Revamp
3/01/12 The Wall Street Journal
Bank of America Corp. is working on sweeping changes that would require many users of basic checking accounts to pay a monthly fee unless they agree to bank online, buy more products or maintain certain balances. The plan by the nation's second-largest bank by assets is the latest sign of stresses in the banking industry at a time of low interest rates, slow economic growth and new rules limiting many types of service charges. Many other big banks have rolled out plans that aim to raise fee revenue or push customers to do more business with the bank.
Durbin Blasts B of A Over Checking Fees
3/01/12 American Banker
Sen. Richard Durbin on Thursday blasted Bank of America following a report that the firm is weighing new fees for certain checking account holders. The monthly fees would apply to customers who do not bank online, maintain a specified minimum balance or buy other products, according to a Wall Street Journal story. "Here we go again. Four months to the day after Bank of America rolled back plans to squeeze their customers instead of serving them, they are at it again," Durbin said in a press release.
Elefant, Kerkstra, Perry, and Philbin Join The Strawhecker Group As ‘Of Counsel Team’
TSG, a management consulting company focused on the electronic payments industry, announces new Of Counsel Team. TSG’s Of Counsel industry experts include: Steve Elefant, formerly CIO at Heartland Payment Systems; Gerritt Kerkstra, formerly Senior VP of acquirer relations at MasterCard; Linda Perry, formerly Senior VP of acquirer and processor sales at Visa; and Bob Philbin, formerly President of TSYS Merchant Services.
New Report Shows Acquiring Portfolios Experiencing Healthy Growth
Summary of Payments Section Key Findings -
Acquiring portfolios have experienced healthy growth since Q1 2010, losing less to attrition, seeing improvements in retained accounts and strong growth in net new accounts and volume (new less closed) added from sales forces. Click here to see page.
Merchant account characteristics vary by region; in Q3 2011, the plains region had the highest net processing revenue per account (indexed at 1.14) while the northeast has the largest average account size (indexed at 1.10). Click here to see page.
Continued increased in bankcard volumes and improvement in acquiring portfolio economics seems to have created above average fundamental financial results and have been captured in value of public payments entities stock prices and valuation metrics. Click here to see page.
Click here for the full report.
Home Depot Broadens PayPal Acceptance to All 2,000 Stores
2/28/12 Internet Retailer
Six weeks after The Home Depot Inc. began testing in-store PayPal acceptance, the national hardware chain has set a schedule to make the payment method an option in nearly all of its 2,000 stores, PayPal says. The test started in the East Bay area of San Francisco. Broader deployment began this week in Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans. It will spread to Denver, Phoenix and other cities next week. Other areas on the schedule include Cleveland, D.C., Chicago, and the Carolinas in coming weeks.
PayPal Casts Doubt on NFC Mobile Payments Systems
2/28/12 The Guardian
NFC is the most high profile of the array of new mobile payment technologies, but it requires complex alliances between banks, mobile phone operators, software developers and handset makers. Shops and restaurants must install new equipment at tills, and customers need NFC enabled phones. PayPal's head of mobile, David Marcus, is sceptical: "For NFC to succeed you need consumers to have the handsets, and merchants to install the terminals.By the time NFC catches up, we'll be in a world that will move away from the point-of-sales terminal."
Isis Announces Its First Issuers As It Readies for Two-City Pilot This Summer
2/27/12 Digital Transactions
In a move that could indicate a thaw in the long cold war between banks and wireless carriers in the mobile-payments business, the carrier-controlled Isis venture on Monday announced a trio of major banks are the first to sign on as issuers on its platform. Indeed, with the Isis wallet set to launch this summer in two test cities, company executives say more banks will climb onboard before long. “The demand to participate in this capability is much broader than these three issuers,” Jim Stapleton, chief sales officer for the venture, tells Digital Transactions News.
Why Two Big Banks Let Carriers Control the Mobile Wallet
Banks have been loath to cede any ground to carriers and handset makers in designing mobile wallets, so it seems out of character for two major issuers to support Isis, the carrier-controlled entrant in the mobile payments race. And yet JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Capital One Financial Corp. said Monday that they have signed on with Isis, the mobile wallet venture of AT&T Inc., T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless. But if the bank is not in control of the mobile wallet technology, it has less control over how — or whether — its brand is displayed.
We Were Promised Mobile Payments
At last year’s Mobile World Congress, everyone from hardware makers to chip designers to start-ups hailed mobile payments as the future. They promised that before long, people would be able to pay for anything simply by waving their smartphones. But this year, the momentum seems to have slowed. In fact, it seems to have stalled. What little news there is around mobile payments seems incremental at best.
Modest Economic Growth, Here We Come
2/29/12 The Atlantic Wire
The U.S. economy is destined for a modest year of growth, according to economic experts and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The assessment follows two market-moving events today: A Commerce Department report revising fourth-quarter GDP growth and a House Committee on Financial Services hearing featuring a testimony by the Fed chief. The report, which showed that the economy grew at a 3 percent rate at the end of 2011 rather than 2.8 percent, was the genuine surprise.
PCI Compliance Plateaus, With Level 3s Still Dangerously Low
The latest PCI compliance stats—which were released by Visa on Friday (Feb. 24)—show almost no meaningful change from the prior report (released last September), with Level 1s holding at 98 percent, Level 2s holding at 91 percent, Level 3s growing slightly from 57 percent to 58 percent and Level 4s still secretly holding at “moderate.” The Level 3 figures are somewhat interesting, in that Visa only started to report those figures as of last summer.
eGift Cards Drive Revenue Growth According to New Retailer Survey
eGift Cards continue to be a source of growth for retailers according to a survey of CashStar’s retailer network prior to eTail West that will be held this week in Palm Desert, Calif. The survey also found that of those retailers that have finished planning, 70 percent will expand their mobile shopping capabilities and 75 percent will invest more of their marketing budgets to promote eGifts in 2012.
WorldPay to Become the Largest China UnionPay Online Acquirer Outside of China
WorldPay, the global leader in payment processing, and China UnionPay, the fastest growing card scheme in the world, have today announced a partnership which will see WorldPay become the biggest acquirer outside of China for eCommerce UnionPay transactions. The agreement will see WorldPay become the first UnionPay Online Payment acquirer in the US and the vast majority of Europe1, to enable merchants to sell directly to consumers in China, as well as UnionPay cardholders outside of China.
MasterCard Sets Sights on the Next Billion Consumers as It Unleashes the Future of Mobile Payments
At a press conference at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona led by its global head of mobile Mung Ki Woo, MasterCard and leading mobile partners Comviva, Intel, iZettle, Santander and Turkcell unveiled a vision for the future of mobile payments. Together, they outlined their shared vision that the future of reaching the next billion consumers through the mobile channel is fueled by collaboration and innovation in a collective effort by all the players in the ecosystem including technology providers, mobile network operators and financial institutions.
Serve from American Express Unveils Send, Receive and Request Money App for Facebook
2/29/12 American Express
"The way people exchange money is evolving, and so is Serve," said Dan Schulman, group president, Enterprise Growth, American Express. "We're constantly working to bring our customers a seamless and consistent payment experience -- one that makes sense for our increasingly social lives, whether that's paying a friend back for movie tickets or sending someone money for your share of the vacation house -- it can now be sent on Facebook."
First Data Launches OfferWise Solution to Streamline Offer Redemption Process at the Point of Sale and Enhance Consumer Experience
2/28/12 First Data
First Data Corporation, announced the availability of the First DataSM OfferWiseSM solution, a new open platform that dramatically simplifies the offer redemption process for consumers and merchants as a part of First Data’s vision to deliver universal commerce. The First Data OfferWise solution allows offer publishers to electronically attach offers such as deals, eCoupons and loyalty programs to one or more of a consumer’s payment cards or mobile wallet.
Fiserv Advances Person-to-Person Payments Capability with Combined Popmoney and ZashPay Network
Fiserv, Inc. announced that it will combine the Popmoney® and ZashPay® person-to-person (P2P) payment networks, and market the enhanced service as Popmoney. The resulting network will connect 1,400 financial institutions and reach 35 million consumers through their existing online and mobile banking relationships. ZashPay was launched by Fiserv in 2009 as a convenient P2P payment product that leveraged the company's industry-leading bill payment network.
Visa and Intel Form Strategic Alliance to Advance Mobile Commerce
Visa Inc. and Intel Corporation announced a strategic agreement to develop mobile commerce solutions tailored to consumers in developed and developing countries. During a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the companies outlined plans to collaborate to ensure consumers enjoy a consistent, streamlined, secure mobile commerce experience across Intel® Atom™-based smartphones and tablets.
Visa and Samsung Reveal Mobile Payments Application for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games
Visa (NYSE: V) and Samsung today revealed the official mobile payments application of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Samsung and Visa will debut the mobile payment application at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain from February 27th to March 1st. This marks the first step to realising the partnership between the two Olympic and Paralympic Games sponsors to bring mobile contactless payments to London as part of their support of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Merchants Accepting Square’s Card Case Doubles In Four Months To 40,000
Nearly a year ago, Square introduced us to the next evolution of its payments product—Card Case. For anyone who has used and witnessed the app being used to actually purchase something (I have), the experience is pretty awesome. Back in November, Square told us that 20,000 merchants had signed up for Card Case, and four months later that number has more than doubled to over 40,000 businesses using the loyalty and mobile wallet platform.
Nelnet Reports Fourth Quarter 2011 Results
Nelnet today reported base net income of $60.5 million, or $1.29 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with $80.0 million, or $1.66 per share, for the same quarter a year ago. Base net income excludes a $26.6 million impairment charge recognized in the fourth quarter of 2010. We are excited by our financial performance in 2011 and the opportunities we have in front of us in 2012 to add value to our customers," said Mike Dunlap, Nelnet Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
QR Codes Versus NFC: Cheaper, but Worth the Risk?
2/27/12 Portals and Rails
As this burgeoning industry takes shape and the costs and barriers become more apparent, some interim and quite disruptive technological alternatives are gaining attention—namely QR (short for "quick response") codes. In fact, many merchants today are touting QR codes as the near-term alternative to a more costly deployment of contact and contactless chip-based payments using NFC and EMV interoperability and security technology standards.
Google Once Considered Making Its Own Currency
2/28/12 SF Gate
Google once considered its own digital money system called Google Bucks, but scrapped it because of regulatory concerns. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt is delivering a keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. A questioner asked him if he'd like to take a look at an alternate currency system he'd devised. Schimdt answered by noting that most alternate currency systems are illegal, but other than that they're a great idea.