U.S. Jobless Rate Falls to 3-Year Low, Report Shows
2/03/12 The New York Times
The United States economy gained momentum in January, adding 243,000 jobs, the second straight month of better-than-expected gains. The unemployment rate fell to 8.3 percent, giving a cause for optimism as the economy shapes up as the central issue in the presidential election. Measured by both the unemployment rate and the number of jobless — which fell to 12,758,000 — it was the strongest signal yet that an economic recovery was spreading to the jobs market.
Economists React: Jobs Report ‘Positive in Every Way’
2/03/12 The Wall Street Journal
Economists and others weigh in on the increase in jobs and drop in the unemployment rate. This is a game-changer. Right on cue, with both jobless claims and small business activity back close to their Jan 11 level, payrolls have surged to the same pace recorded Feb-Apr 11… Downside is that if these numbers continue, unemployment will fall much further/faster than the Fed expects, so the chance of rates staying at zero through the end of 2014 is much smaller than they think.
MasterCard Sees Durbin Gains But Draws the Line at Credit Card Interchange Cuts
2/02/12 Digital Transactions
MasterCard Inc. posted strong debit card growth in 2011’s fourth quarter, and the No. 2 card network’s top executive told analysts on Thursday that MasterCard is picking up some new business because of the Durbin Amendment. At the same time, however, MasterCard president and chief executive Ajay Banga said the network, which along with Visa Inc. and several big banks is embroiled in litigation over credit card interchange, won’t budge on credit interchange.
Facebook IPO Filing Puts High Value on Social Network
2/02/12 USA Today
Facebook on Wednesday filed to go public and raise $5 billion in what could be the largest-ever Internet IPO. The mammoth initial public stock offering values the social-networking giant at $75 billion to $100 billion and has been eagerly anticipated as a defining moment for the latest Web-investing boom. In the proposed stock offering filing, which details the 8-year-old company's financials for the first time ever, Facebook said it rang up $3.7 billion in revenue and a $1 billion profit last year.
In Payments, Facebook Isn't Friending Banks; Payments Business Made $557M in 2011
Facebook Inc. is known globally for taking the social media world by storm. What's gotten far less attention is how its payments revenues have been growing gangbusters and how its digital currency could soon threaten banks as it moves into traditional channels. Facebook generated about $557 million, or roughly 15% of its revenues, from "payments and other fees" last year, according to the S-1 it filed Wednesday in advance of a planned initial public offering.
New Guidance on Payments Processing
2/01/12 Bank Info Security
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has issued revised guidance describing potential risks linked to relationships with third-party entities that process payments for merchants. The key message: The onus is on banks to perform due diligence and ongoing monitoring of these relationships. In its revised guidance for payment processor relationships, the FDIC says certain deposit accounts with payment processors pose unusual risks.
Exclusive Look Inside The MTA-MasterCard PayPass Pilot: 17,000 NYC Customers In Six Months
2/02/12 Fast Company
For the first time ever, the results of the pilot have been provided, offering insight into just how much traction this technology is seeing among consumers--and how far it is from entering the mainstream. From June to December of 2010, the MTA, or Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, ran a pilot program with MasterCard for tap-and-go payments. The pilot system allowed commuters to enter 26 MTA subway stations and board eight MTA bus lines simply by tapping their credit cards at MasterCard PayPass-enabled terminals.
First Data Sees An Energized Star Emerging In Durbin Routing Rule
First Data Corp. expects to benefit this year when the last measure of the new debit-interchange legislation under the Durbin amendment takes hold on April 1, requiring financial institutions with more than $10 billion in assets to have at least two processing networks on their debit cards. “As expected, the Star network (First Data’s PIN-debit network) is winning in the market with more than 20 commitments in various stages of contracting,” Ray Winborne, First Data chief financial officer, told analysts Feb. 1 during a fourth quarter earnings conference call.
Pivotal Payments Reports Results for Fiscal Year 2011
2/01/12 Pivotal Payments
Pivotal Payments, one of North America's fastest growing payment processing companies today announced results for its fiscal year ending December 31st, 2011. The company posted increases in credit volume, recurring revenue, active accounts and overall transaction count over the same period in 2010. "We're extremely pleased by the tremendous growth we experienced in 2011 and have worked diligently in order to provide meaningful results that benefit our merchants and sales partners," said Philip Fayer, President and CEO, Pivotal Payments.
The Never-Ending Dance Of Contactless Security
For quite a few years now, the contactless payment world has enjoyed an endless-loop of defend-and-repel games when dealing with contactless security. The game starts with bank assurances that the data being transmitted wirelessly couldn’t possibly be enough for a thief to perform a transaction. Next is some public demo of a security researcher wirelessly grabbing data and completing a transaction.
iPhone 5 Could Be Game-Changer For Mobile Payments
An app developer showcasing wares at MacWorld told 9to5mac that Apple's iOS engineers are "heavy into NFC." The developer also noted that he's so confident in Apple's plans to add NFC to the next version of the iPhone that he's willing "to bet the app development on it." In other words, this developer is going to spend money creating apps that will work with an unannounced feature of an unannounced device. That's either incredible confidence or insanity, depending on your point of view.
First Data Reports Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2011 Financial Results
2/01/12 First Data
First Data Corporation today reported its financial results for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2011. Consolidated revenue for the fourth quarter was $2.69 billion, down $43 million or 2%, compared to a year ago on a $115 million decline in debit network fees. These fees are passed directly to customers and therefore did not impact operating income. Adjusted revenue, which excludes certain items including debit network fees, increased $47 million, or 3% year-over-year to $1.73 billion.
MasterCard Introduces U.S. Roadmap to Enable Next Generation of Electronic Payments
MasterCard today introduced a comprehensive roadmap focused on advancing the U.S. electronic payments system. The roadmap, which includes the path for migration from magnetic stripe to EMV technology currently available on “chip” cards, will serve as the foundation for the next generation of products and services developed to enhance the way consumers pay. As payments continue to evolve to include new devices and new channels, such as mobile and eCommerce, the roadmap takes steps to address how consumers really shop.
Terminal Makers Starting to Get a Kick from EMV Efforts
2/02/12 ETA Daily Scoop
This week’s announcement of a comprehensive EMV roadmap from Mastercard and Visa’s similar announcement a few months back have given a significant boost to the prospects of the firms that make and sell point of sale terminals and other card-reading equipment. As it became clear that EMV, at long last, is going to be a reality in the U.S., investors appear to have realized one of the implications: nearly every POS terminal will have to be replaced or upgraded to accommodate the EMV Chip and PIN technology.
MasterCard and KeyBank Extend and Enhance Long-Standing Debit Relationship
MasterCard today announced a new multi-year contract with KeyBank to deliver industry-leading debit payment solutions and processing capabilities. As a result, Key will continue to provide its consumer and business customers with a safe, simple and secure experience every time they use their debit card online, in stores or at the ATM. KeyBank’s Debit MasterCard program will add the capability for PIN transactions to the long-standing signature purchases and ATM withdrawal functionalities.
TransFirst President Knutson elected W.Net President
1/31/12 The GreenSheet
TransFirst®, is pleased to announce that Marla Knutson, president of the company’s Financial Institutions division, has been elected president of the Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions (W.net), the leading professional organization for women in the electronic transactions industry. Knutson will serve as president for the organization’s 2012 operational year, working with a 14-member board of directors that oversees the group’s networking and outreach activities.
Vantiv Introduces Next Generation Mobile Payment Solution
Vantiv LLC, announced that its customers will be the first to use an innovative point-of-sale device and system that will help merchants more effectively conduct business. Vantiv is conducting a field trial of a new mobile payment solution developed in collaboration with Verizon. The new solution is architected on the Android operating system and features end-to-end, secure point-of-sale payment capabilities and business applications using Verizon’s Private Application Store for Business.
Square Readers Coming to T-Mobile Stores
Today, T-Mobile USA, Inc. reiterated its commitment to small business as the first wireless carrier to offer Square credit card readers from San Francisco-based Square, Inc. in select retail stores. When T-Mobile's fastest 4G smartphones running on America's Largest 4G Network(R) are combined with Square, small businesses can accept credit card payments in the U.S. nearly anywhere, anytime, with the money from transactions sent for deposit into their bank accounts the next business day.
ACCEL/Exchange Payments Network from Fiserv Again Breaks Transaction and Growth Records for the Year
Fiserv, Inc., announced today that its ACCEL/Exchange® payments network had another record-setting year, processing more than 1.5 billion transactions in 2011, an increase of nearly 29 percent over 2010. ACCEL/Exchange payments network from Fiserv is one of the fastest-growing payments networks in the industry, supplying the infrastructure for financial institutions to give cardholders around-the-clock access to their demand deposit account funds at ATMs and the point of sale.
FTC Evaluates Mobile Payment Tools
Will mobile payments become common, and what will the impact of that technology be? Those are but a couple of the burning questions the Federal Trade Commission hopes to glean answers to at a workshop the agency said it will hold in April where consumers, industry experts and technologists will convene to discuss a wide range of mobile payment issues.
New Study by Experian Data Breach Resolution and Ponemon Institute Examines the Aftermath of Data Breaches
Nearly everyday consumers willingly provide their personal information to organizations online with no hesitation, neglecting to realize how that information can be exposed due to employee negligence, insider maliciousness, system glitches or attacks by cyber criminals. Experian Data Breach Resolution and the Ponemon Institute released survey findings from more than 500 IT professionals who have experienced a data breach at their company.
WePay: The Online Payment Start-Up Behind Occupy Wall Street
In early September, start-up WePay noticed an unusual new account on its online payments site. Called “September 17 Event”, the account’s webpage said it was raising funds to buy food for an upcoming “Wall Street occupation event” and assured contributors “any amount…would be most appreciated.” WePay emailed the account’s creator, who explained crowds were planning to convene on Wall Street to protest corporate greed — and would need sandwiches to eat.