Private Section Slowdown Heightens Recession Fears
Private sector business activity in Europe and China declined sharply this month, and new claims for U.S. jobless benefits remained high, underlining fears that the global economy could lapse back into recession. The euro zone's dominant service sector saw a shock contraction in September, its first in two years. Its manufacturing sector, which drove most of the bloc's recovery, shrank for the second month running, surveys showed on Thursday. "This just adds to the plethora of bad news in recent weeks, and it is not good for the outlook."
G20 Vows Support for the Global Economy
The Group of 20 leading economies pledged a “strong and co-ordinated” effort to stabilise the global economy in an attempt to calm tumbling equities markets spooked by fears of recession in the eurozone and a gloomy economic outlook in the US. Bowing to pressure from investors to take action, finance ministers from the G20 economies said in a communiqué issued late on Thursday that they would stop the European debt crisis from deluging banks and financial markets.
TSG Study Shows Decline in Net Revenue & Volume Growth Among Retained Accounts; Results Mixed Among Large & Small Merchants
TSG’s MPPS is Compiled of 30 Months of Data from Seven Portfolios With 400,000 Merchants
TSG Metrics, the research and analytics division of The Strawhecker Group (TSG), a leading management consulting company focused on the payments industry, today completed its 2nd Edition of its Merchant Portfolio Performance Study (MPPS). The MPPS has been prepared using merchant level data from seven different merchant acquirers representing both Bank and ISO participants, a variety of business models, and sales and marketing strategies. This highly exclusive and unparalleled 71 page study is proprietary to TSG and MPPS participants only.
New Offer for Business Owners: Open an Account, Get an AK-47
9/20/11 Opposing Views
It's an offer that sounds too good to pass up -- open an account and get a free AK-47 assault rifle. Unfortunately (fortunately?) you have to be a business owner with $1 million in sales. The Broward-Palm Beach New Times reports that a Sarasota, Florida company that processes credit card transactions is making the offer.
Don't be Fooled, too Big to Fail is Alive and Well
Is "too big to fail" just a distant memory? That's what Moody's seems to be telegraphing to the market after it slashed the credit ratings of Citigroup, Wells Fargo (WFC) and Bank of America on Wednesday. But while the government says it is no longer in the bailout business, it is hard to believe that moral hazard is dead. After all, the banks are bigger and more interconnected than ever before, making a potential failure far more devastating than when the government allowed Lehman Brothers to collapse in the fall of 2008.
Visa, MasterCard Risk ‘Mom and Pop’ Ire With Debit-Fee Increase
Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc., the world’s biggest payments networks, may face a merchant backlash by raising debit-card swipe fees on the smallest purchases to the maximum allowed under U.S. caps that take effect next week. MasterCard will impose the highest fees allowed on all debit transactions, including so-called small-ticket purchases, for cards issued by the biggest U.S. banks, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Visa will do the same, Thomas McCrohan, an analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC
PayPal: Future of Shopping [VIDEO]
The future is about creating real consumer choice, flexibility and control over how people shop and pay. The future of money is already happening with PayPal.
ConocoPhillips Passing Through Swipe Savings
Effective October 1, 2011, ConocoPhillips will pass through to its customers the debit-card rate savings that have resulted from the recently passed interchange-fee reforms. "The temporary card fee adjustment to PIN debit, MasterCard and Visa card fees will be reduced by at least 0.15% to 0.20%," the company said. recent CSP Daily News Poll asked, "Do you think that convenience retailers will pass swipe-fee savings onto their customers?" Of the approximately 175 responses, more than 44% said "no"; more than 22% said "yes"; 17% said "yes, most"; more than 12% said "a few"; and about 4% said "yes, all."
Mobile Payments 'Very Unimportant' to Consumers
9/21/11 American Banker
Banks and their partners could be wasting money developing mobile wallets and other ways for Americans to pay at the checkout counter with their smartphones, according to a survey published this month by Lightspeed Research. The ability to make mobile payments is "very unimportant" to about half of credit card customers with smartphones, Lightspeed found. Only about 15% of the customers surveyed said it was somewhat or very important to them to be able to pay with their smartphones.
No Cards, No Cash. Just a Phone.
Plenty of companies would love to get their hands on our wallets. But Google wants to go one step further: it wants to be our wallets. Its new phone software, called Google Wallet, is intended to replace the credit cards in our actual wallets. It does sound pretty spectacular, doesn't it? No fishing plastic cards out of wallets, no paper slips, no signatures. Everything is handled securely, instantly, conveniently, with one tap of your phone at the register.
Google Wallet,Isis Spark ‘Land-Grab’ Among Major Card Brands
9/20/11 NFC Data
The convergence of the major card brands within various evolving Near Field Communication-based mobile payment schemes could inspire more merchants to prepare for contactless-payment acceptance. But the path to individual banks’ participation remains hazy,observers say.Google Inc. on Sept. 19 said as part of its official launch of Google Wallet it would license the payment technology of all the major card brands to include them eventually in its mobile-payment scheme.
Intuit Showcases Mobile Payments Innovation, Introduces Dongle-to-Debit Card
Financial management system Intuit had an event in Mountain View this evening to show off its next generation of mobile payment solutions. From its dongle-based Square competitor, GoPayment, to the ability to deposit a check by taking a picture of it with your smartphone, Intuit looks to align itself with the rest of the mobile payments industry and put itself on track to eclipse the competition. The purpose of the dongle-to-debit system is to simplify the lives of small and medium business owners.
IRS Revises 1099K Form
The Internal Revenue Service has revised the form 1099K that merchant acquirers must use when reporting merchant card transactions, beginning in January 2012. The new form includes a box for each merchant's IRS merchant category code (MCC). The newly required code is an IRS code and is not the MCC codes used by card companies to classify merchants.
Payments System Board Annual Report
9/22/11 Reserve Bank of Australia
The Payment Systems Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia has published its Annual Report 2011. The report contains lots of interested data and graphs on payments behavior, interchange fees, merchant service fees, etc. in Australia.
Guest Column–Time To Sell That Merchant-Services Portfolio?
The volatile financial markets are driving down the value of many assets, such as stocks and housing. However, some assets, including gold, actually have increased in value as of late. The prices investors are willing to pay for portfolios of merchants-services accounts are rising, too. To some extent, the value of portfolios followed the price of real estate for most of the past decade.
Financial Institutions Have What it Takes to Win in Mobile Payments Says Fiserv White Paper
Fiserv, Inc., the leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, announced today the publication of a white paper that outlines the reasons banks and credit unions are ideally suited to support mobile payments and provides insights on how they can enter the space. In the paper, titled "Beyond Mobile Banking: It's Time to Stake the Claim for Mobile Payments," Fiserv argues that financial institutions are uniquely positioned to offer mobile payments for five reasons.
Wobbly Economy Notwithstandng, Discover Posts Strong Results
9/22/11 Digital Transactions
Newspapers, television, and the Web are full of bleak assessments about the U.S. economy, but you wouldn’t know that from the latest financial and operating results reported by Discover Financial Services, the credit card issuer and student-loan provider that’s also the fourth-largest general-purpose credit card network. Discover card sales volume jumped 9% from a year earlier to a record $26.3 billion for the company’s third fiscal 2011 quarter ended Aug. 31.
Amex Plays Viritual-Currency-Catchup by Acquiring Sometrics
American Express (Amex) announced today it has acquired virtual currency company Sometrics, for $30 million, according to Tech Crunch. Sometrics, with 450 games and an audience of 225 million gamers in 200 countries, is a smart acquisition for Amex. Sometrics has moved more than 3.3 trillion units of virtual currency through its payments platform. The company has a virtual currency exchange with Facebook as well as partnerships with many of the world’s largest game publishers.
Commerce Bank Adds First Data TransArmor Solution to Merchant Product Suite
9/21/11 First Data
First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today announced that Commerce Bank, a subsidiary of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., will begin offering the First Data® TransArmor® solution to its business customers. The data security service is the latest innovation added to the bank’s enhanced suite of payment products and services available to U.S. merchants.
First National Bank Of Omaha Expands Relationship with FIS Through TouchPoint Teller
9/20/11 The Street
“The benefits of deploying an effective teller platform are visible in all areas of the institution,” said Anthony Jabbour, executive vice president, FIS Financial Solutions Group. “The TouchPoint Teller platform will enable First National Bank of Omaha to increase its teller productivity and efficiency – improving their customer service. In addition, an area where people may not expect to see an impact from replacing their teller solution is increased revenue.
Cartera and TransFirst Join Forces to Accelerate Local Business Adoption of Card-Linked Offers
Cartera Commerce, the leading provider of card-linked marketing solutions, and TransFirst today announced a strategic marketing agreement to accelerate adoption of card-linked offers among small businesses across the United States. TransFirst will market and sell Cartera's card-linked advertising network to over 175K small businesses that use its leading payment processing services and technologies.
W.net Career & Leadership Summit Showcases Top Talent at Atlanta Conference
More than 150 executives from the electronic payments industry came together from across the United States for the Women’s Network in Electronic Transactions (W.net) Career and Leadership Summit in Atlanta on September 12-13, 2011. The theme, Sharpening Your Leadership Style – Staying Relevant in Today’s Workforce focused on the ways in which women can successfully navigate personal and professional growth in today’s competitive work environment.