2012 Insights & Predictions from the Experts of TSG - Part 2
Cliff Gray: Mobile payments will gain traction slowly
Mobile payments will continue to expand, but not at the pace often predicted. NFC will certainly establish traction, but we’re still waiting for the carriers to deploy enabled devices in meaningful quantities. The dark horse could easily prove to be none other than the lowly bar-code. Starbucks’ program continues to grow, but slowly. Unlike NFC, which requires new equipment for most merchants, implementing bar-code is tactically viable, as readers are far more common at the point of sale than NFC readers. Recently released mobile wallet apps from Google and others will fuel the drive to mobile acceptance, but the hardware folks have got to figure out their side first.
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Bank of America, Big Banks Face Massive Credit Card Case
1/12/12 The Street
Private antitrust litigation pitting some five million retailers against Visa, MasterCard, and 13 large banks, including Bank of America, Citigroup, Capital One Financial, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bancorp, Wells Fargo, PNC Financial, Fifth Third Bancorp, SunTrust Banks, HSBC and Barclays Plc has slipped under the radar of many analysts and investors who follow those companies, but the case may deliver a multi-billion dollar shock to bank bulls in the coming months.
The Banks, They Are A-Changin'
1/13/12 Seeking Alpha
The banking system is going through massive changes. The morning papers are filled with stories about what is happening in the banking area, although they cover only a minor portion of what is going on in the industry. The WSJ trumpets, “Bank of America Ponders Retreat.” The current Bank of America (BAC) represents, perhaps as well as any organization, the excesses of the financial institutions over the past twenty years or so. Currently selling at 33 percent of book value, Bank of America can be potentially classified as one of the “Zombie” banks that now meander through the environment.
Invasion of the Star-Studded Debit Cards
1/12/12 The Wall Street Journal
Celebrities are pushing plastic—prepaid plastic, that is. The latest in the line of celebrities endorsing prepaid cards, which work like debit cards without a checking account, is Suze Orman. On Monday, the personal finance guru launched a prepaid card called the Approved card. Like other prepaid debit cars, Orman’s comes with some fees. There’s a $3 fee to buy it, a $3 monthly account fee to maintain it and a $2 fee to speak with a customer service representative.
PayPal Raises Mobile Payments Prediction to $7 Billion in 2012
One of the quickly growing trends in tech that didn’t have a very prominent showing at CES 2012 this week is mobile payments. PayPal also made a mark on the show with a very strong prediction for mobile payments usage in 2012. During a panel discussion on Tuesday, eBay CEO John Donahoe announced that PayPal is projecting $7 billion in mobile payments volume for the digital wallet company in 2012.
Retail Sales in U.S. Increase Less Than Forecast: Economy
Sales at U.S. retailers rose less than projected in December, confirming forecasts for a slowdown in consumer spending at the start of 2012. The 0.1 percent gain in purchases last month followed a 0.4 percent increase in November, according to figures from the Commerce Department released today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey called for a 0.3 percent rise. Another report showed more Americans than projected filed claims for jobless benefits last week.
First Data Releases December 2011 SpendTrend®
1/10/12 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 December 2011 compared to December 2010. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations. Dollar volume growth on cards overall was a healthy 6.9% in December. However, strong auto sales, driven by low interest rates, likely diverted consumer spending to car sales from other retail areas. Auto sales are not captured in SpendTrend figures.
Inside the Fed in 2006: A Coming Crisis, and Banter
1/12/12 The New York Times
As the housing bubble entered its waning hours in 2006, top Federal Reserve officials marveled at the desperate antics of home builders seeking to lure buyers. The officials laughed about the cars that builders were offering as signing bonuses, and about efforts to make empty homes look occupied. But the officials, meeting every six weeks to discuss the health of the nation’s economy, gave little credence to the possibility that the faltering housing market would weigh on the broader economy, according to transcripts that the Fed released Thursday.
Amex and eBay Belly Up to the Barcode
American Express and RedLaser have entered into an arrangement in which the information RedLaser's scanners pick up from product barcodes is paired with personalized information on that consumer and his or her participation in American Express' merchant rewards programs. "There are multi-pronged benefits for financial institutions to offer barcode readers to consumers. It allows banks to deliver customized offers to customers through mobile wallets, or it can help track and identify mobile shopping activity, so the bank can [team with retailers] to match offers."
How PayPal Plans to Scale its In-Store Payment System
PayPal’s first retail tests of its in-store payment system is happening at Home Depot, the payment company acknowledged last week. But the bigger test will be ensuring that many more retailers and merchants are in a position to easily integrate PayPal’s system as it looks to roll out its offering this year. PayPal is taking a big step forward by partnering with AJB Software Designs, which helps connect the point of sale terminals at many tier-one retailers to payment processors and financial institutions.
Intuit Plants GoPayment’s Flag in Canada and Upgrades Its Card Reader
1/10/12 Digital Transactions
Intuit Inc. plans to export its GoPayment service to Canada in the next few months, beating out rival Square Inc. as both companies prepare for international expansion of their smart-phone-based payment services aimed at the smallest of merchants. Intuit also is rolling out a new card reader for mobile devices, one that it says will function better than its existing swipe. “Canada was kind of a natural first stop for us,” Trevor Dryer, product manager for mobile payments and point of sale said.
Most Candidates Pass Acquiring Industry’s First Certification Test
A strong majority of candidates passed the first examination for the acquiring industry’s new Certified Payments Professional credential. Of 221 who took the test in November, 180, or 81%, earned passing marks, according to the Electronic Transactions Association, which administered the test in locations throughout North America. “The announcement of this first class of Certified Payments Professionals is a historic milestone for ETA and the payments industry,” Pamela Furneaux, the association’s interim CEO, said in a Jan. 10 press release.
Fitzsimmons leaves First Data for Cynergy Data
1/12/12 The GreenSheet
In what she said was a surprise to many of her peers in the payments industry, Kimberly Fitzsimmons, the well-known President of Independent Sales for First Data Corp. Commercial Services, left First Data in January 2012 to become the new Chief Executive Officer at Cynergy Data LLC. "After 25 years it was an emotional and very personal decision to leave, but Cynergy Data has a great foundation of people, many of whom I've known and worked with over the years."
Visa Certifies Smartphones for Use as Visa Mobile Payment Devices
Visa Inc. and Visa Europe today announced that NFC-enabled smartphones from Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Research In Motion (RIM) have been certified for use with Visa's mobile application for payments at the point-of-sale, Visa payWave. The Samsung Galaxy SII, LG Optimus NET NFC, BlackBerry(R) Bold(TM) 9790 & 9900, BlackBerry(R) Curve(TM) 9360 and BlackBerry Curve 9380 have been added to the list of Visa compliant payment products available for commercial deployment by FIs
Visa and Better ATM Services® Debut First ATM-Dispensed Visa Gift Cards
Visa Inc. and Better ATM Services®, a technology innovator in the ATM industry, today announced the ability to dispense Visa Gift cards in addition to cash at existing ATMs, expanding the value and services delivered by ATMs. An in-market pilot program is currently underway offering Visa Gift cards at walk-up and drive-through ATMs in select locations throughout Arizona.
Global Payments, Revenues Rising, Seeks Growth with CyberSource Deal
1/06/12 American Banker
Global Payments Inc. stayed true to its name in targeting the acquisition of merchant portfolios from banks in Russia and Malta during its fiscal second quarter, but it also solidified its North American activities with a deal to purchase CyberSource's U.S. merchant-acquiring portfolio from Visa Inc. Global Payments executives revealed the three deals Jan. 5 during an earnings conference call with analysts, calling the moves key to the Atlanta-based merchant processor's continued planned expansion this year.
BluePay, a Provider of Merchant Processing Services, Offers New Plugin for QuickBooks Point of Sale
BluePay, a top merchant account provider, offers a new QuickBooks Point of Sale plugin for seamless accounting software integration. Now, in addition to integrating with any workstation running QuickBooks accounting software, BluePay’s secure credit card processing gateway integrates with QuickBooks point of sale (POS) systems. “The new BluePay plugin allows merchants using QuickBooks Point of Sale to accept credit card payments through their BluePay gateway account,” said BluePay CEO John Rante.
TSYS Signs Payment Services Agreement With Pivotal Payments
TSYS announced today that it has signed an agreement with Pivotal Payments to serve as the preferred provider of authorization, settlement and dispute resolution services for the North America-based company. With more than 60,000 merchants and processing in excess of $10 billion in credit card payments annually, Pivotal Payments will leverage TSYS’ proven payment solutions to enable the capture of additional market share.
Payvment Hits One Million Monthly Active Shoppers, Adds Senior Talent
1/10/12 Yahoo! Finance
Payvment, the number one Facebook e-commerce platform, today announced that the company reached one million monthly active shoppers in December 2011, and saw a 3X year-over-year increase in transactions by its network of over 100,000 sellers during 2011. The company also announced the appointment of Craig Walsey as VP of Business Development, and Jennifer Silverstein as Senior Director of Data Insights.
Results Released from First Industry Survey of Acquirers: Benchmarking Level 4 Merchant PCI Compliance – The Acquirer's Perspective
Despite the payments industry's frustration with a perceived lack of progress with PCI compliance adoption among small merchants, a recent survey finds a growing number of acquirers see value in having a PCI program to reduce data breaches and overall portfolio risk with success coming to those who actively engage their merchants in PCI education and support.This conclusion is just one of the major findings from a survey, Benchmarking Level 4 Merchant PCI Compliance.
PCI Security Standards in the Dock
A legal challenge to the payment card industry's PCI security standards is brewing in the US, as a Utah-based restaurant chain cries foul over the apparently "arbitrary" nature of the system and the level of fines imposed by Visa and MasterCard following an alleged breach of security. the owners of Cisero's Ristorante and Nightclub in Park City, Utah, have filed a lawsuit against their merchant acquirer US Bank, which is pursuing the business for $90,000 in fines levied by Visa and MasterCard.
Contactless Payments: Fast Food Fans Get an Appetite for Quicker Way to Pay
1/10/12 The Guardian
The roll-out of new technology in McDonald's in the UK has led to a surge in contactless payments for fast food, with a third of cardholders using the system to pay for food in the last three months of 2011. This compares to 12% the previous quarter, according to figures collated by Visa. The contactless system allows customers to scan their credit card over a special terminal (like that used for Oyster on London Underground) to make payments up to £15. The aim is to reduce the time it takes to pay.