Thursday, May 29, 2008

NYCE Trend Developing Towards More PIN Debit Use

Typical debit card transaction machine, branded to McDonalds.Image via Wikipedia
According to a press release from Acxsys and NYCE, during the four month period from December through March 2008, Canadian shoppers spent record amounts and made significantly more cross-border purchases in the US than last year.

U.S. retailers experienced even more value from accepting Canadian PIN debit cards during the holiday, spring break and snowbird season through the Cross-Border Debit service. The service is offered through an alliance between NYCE Payments Network and Acxsys Corporation.

NYCE Payments Network, LLC, is a leading U.S. debit card payments network and a Metavante company. Metavante is a leading provider of banking and payments technology. Acxsys Corporation is the architect of the national INTERAC debit service in Canada.

During the period from December 2007 through March 2008, Canadian consumers spent an average of more than $68 per Cross-Border Debit transaction—a figure that is 45 percent more than the average U.S. debit purchase during the same months. Since the service launch, the Canadian average has outpaced the U.S. average by 33 percent.

“The higher per-transaction average, combined with the lower cost to process PIN debit transactions versus credit, saves our retailers money while giving Canadian consumers instant access to funds that reside in their Canadian bank accounts,” said Steve Rathgaber, president and chief operating officer at NYCE.

“As they do at home, Canadians are choosing PIN debit at all types of retailers that accept NYCE, giving NYCE a unique value proposition to offer our participants.”

While the three-year-old program continues to enjoy steady growth overall, transaction numbers increased dramatically for the November and December shopping season last year in the states of New York and Washington. The combined transaction number for these states jumped 94 percent. Growth remained strong in the months following this period, with those same states logging 92 and 102 percent increases respectively in March 2008 transactions alone over the past year.

“Canadians are among the highest users of debit compared to other countries around the world, so it’s not surprising that Canadians are increasingly choosing debit in the United States as their preferred payment method,” said Tina Romano, public relations manager, Acxsys Corporation.

NYCE is the first and only U.S. payments network to enable widespread PIN debit access at the point of sale for purchases initiated with debit cards issued by participating Canadian financial institutions.

MasterCard Investment Community Meeting

If you're interested in taking a look at the slide presentation from this morning's MasterCard Investment Community Meeting (it's in PDF format), simply click the link below:

On Global POS Interchange Fees

Image from a GAO report explaining how the interchange fee works.Image via Wikipedia
Global POS interchange fees increased 140% between 2000 and 2006, to $64 billion (€48 billion). This massive growth in POS interchange fees was mainly fuelled by a phenomenal increase in payment card purchase expenditure worldwide and increased interchange rates in the USA, and occurred despite reduced interchange rates in Australia, Europe and elsewhere.

A new study by Retail Banking Research (RBR) analyses the evolving and increasingly complex landscape for POS interchange fees. It forecasts major changes to POS interchange fee arrangements and fee levels around the world. The study argues that the future for POS interchange fees is uncertain, for five main reasons:

• Competition and other public authority interest in POS interchange fees is continually growing
• Authorities are taking increasingly tough stances on multilateral interchange fee (MIF) arrangements
• The European Commission’s actions and findings – such as the December 2007 ruling that MasterCard’s MIFs are restrictive business practices – influence those of National Competition Authorities
• Pressure from merchants and retailer associations towards reduced interchange fees (or even their removal) is increasing
• There is political and regulatory pressure to converge and standardise fees in the SEPA area.

The study predicts a decline in the levels of POS interchange fees, which in association with changes to interchange rate structures and payment scheme rules will have major strategic implications for payment card organisations, issuers, acquirers, merchants and consumers.

"The Future for POS Interchange Fees" describes the background to the current controversy and provides an independent analysis of recent actions by competition and other public authorities. It looks at trends in interchange rates worldwide, and makes strategic predictions on the future of POS interchange fees and related matters such as MasterCard and Visa's honour-all-cards and (no) price discrimination rules.

For more information, interested parties should visit:

Notes to editors

Retail Banking Research is a strategic research and consulting firm with three decades of experience in retail banking, banking automation and payment systems. RBR assists its clients by providing independent advice and intelligence through published reports, consulting and newsletters. RBR is recognised as the leading provider of premium research on payment cards and ATMs. Banking Automation Bulletin, a research newsletter founded in 1979, is published once a month by RBR.

The information and data within this press release are the copyright of RBR, and may only be quoted with appropriate attribution to RBR. The information is provided free of charge and may not be resold to third parties.

For more information about this report, please visit or email Rob Walker (

Payments News Weekly Wrap

The Weekly Wrap is compiled by Glenbrook's "Payments News" blog.

Clicking any of the
links will bring you to their site:

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Upcoming Payments Related Events

June 5-6 2008 - Payments Conference: Payments Fraud: Perception Vs. Reality,
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, The Chicago Fed offices,

June 8-10
- 3rd Annual Underbanked Financial Services Forum,

Doral Resort & Spa, Miami,
The Cente
r for Financial Services Innovation/Source Media,

June 9-12
- Internet Retailer 2008 Conference & Exhibition,
McCormick Place, Chicago
Vertical Web Media LLC,

June 22-23
- Mobile Commerce Summit,
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nev.,

SourceMedia Conferences,

July 23-25 - MWAA Annual Conference,
Renaissance Grand Hotel, St. Louis,
MidWest Acquirers Association,

Aug. 11-13 - DRF 19th Annual Forum,
The Sheraton, San Diego,
The Direct Response Forum,

Aug. 19-21
- The Prepaid Press Expo,
Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nev.,
The Prepaid Press,

Sept. 7-10 - WesPay Payments Symposium & Operations Conference,
Harrah's Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nev.,
Western Payments Alliance,

Sept. 23-25 - WSAA Annual Conference,
Paradise Valley Resort, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Western States Acquirers Association,

Visa Extends Fraud-Recovery Process to PIN-Debit Transactions

(May 28, 2008) Visa Inc. is extending to PIN debit cards a process for reporting and recovering fraud losses from data breaches. In effect for credit cards and the Visa check cards since October 2006, the process, dubbed Account Data Compromise Recovery, will apply to Visa’s Interlink point-of-sale debit and Plus ATM networks beginning Nov. 1st.

The extension of ADCR’s provisions is not the result of any spike in PIN-debit fraud, according to Dave Van Horn, senior business leader, global fraud risk products. Rather, it’s an effort to streamline the fraud-recovery process for issuers and make it more it predictable for merchant acquirers, he says. “What we’re trying to do is align and simplify the process on behalf of our members,” Van Horn tells Digital Transactions News. “The process that used to exist for signature-based transactions exists for PIN-based ones.” Recently enhanced fraud-reporting systems for the debit networks make extending ADCR to Interlink and Plus transactions feasible, a Visa release says. (Continue Reading at Digital Transaction News)

High Shipping Fees #1 Cause of Shopper Abandonment

PayPal Inc.Image via WikipediaIt appears from the data gathered by a recent PayPal survey, that online consumers have been spoiled by web sites offering low cost shipping. A statistically significant 43% of abandoned their shopping carts because shipping costs were too high. Here's the press release from PayPal...

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A survey conducted by PayPal and comScore revealed that unexpectedly high shipping fees are the number one reason consumers abandon online purchases. Checkout abandonment is a significant challenge for online merchants, with an estimated two out of every three consumers failing to pay for items they put in their shopping carts.

In todays e-commerce climate, consumers expect their online-shopping experiences to mirror those found in the offline world, said Arturo Perez-Reyes, professor of e-commerce at the University of California, Berkeley. This survey shows that consumers are quick to walk away from online purchases when merchants dont fully disclose critical information, particularly related to cost.

The study also found that many consumers abandon their purchases for payment-related reasons. Of those surveyed, more than one in five shoppers didnt complete purchases because their preferred payment option was not offered on the merchants Web site. Many shoppers simply think it is too much of a hassle to search for their wallets or purses 21 percent did not complete online purchases because their wallets were not easily accessible.

Online comparison shopping is also a common reason for checkout abandonment. More than one in four indicated that they wanted to compare items at online and offline stores before making a purchase. However, more than one-third who abandon at checkout said they returned to the merchants Web site at a later time to complete the transaction.

A summary of the surveys findings included:
  • 43 percent of consumers didnt pay for items in their shopping carts because shipping charges were too high
  • 36 percent of purchasers didnt pay for items because they felt the total cost of the purchase was more expensive than anticipated
  • 27 percent of shoppers didnt pay for items because they wanted to comparison shop at other Web sites before making a purchase
  • 16 percent of consumers didnt pay for items because they could not contact customer support to answer questions
  • 14 percent of shoppers didnt pay for items because they forgot their usernames and passwords for their store accounts created with the merchants

About the survey

The PayPal survey was conducted by comScore from March 25 to April 18, 2008. It surveyed online shoppers in the U.S. who recently abandoned the checkout flow on either a large or small merchant Web site. All respondents were asked about their most recent abandoned sessions.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

e-Commerce Growth Rate Rebounds After Soft March

RESTON, VA, May 23, 2008 – comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR), a leader in measuring the digital world, today released retail e-commerce data for April 2008, which showed that the year-over-year growth rate rebounded to 15 percent, following an increase of just 9 percent in March. Further details on April’s retail e-commerce are provided below and will be presented in greater depth by comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni and comScore CEO Magid Abraham during a free, public webinar on Friday, May 30, 2008 at 11:00 a.m. EST (webinar details below).

“While the e-commerce growth rates in 2008 are softer than what we saw last year, it’s encouraging that April’s growth rate represented an increase from what was obviously a soft March for online consumer spending,” said comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. “One hopes that April will emerge as the beginning of a turnaround in the consumer economy and that spending will continue to accelerate as we move through the year and as the impact of the government’s economic stimulus tax rebate program begins to be felt.”

comScore Q1 2008 E-Commerce Data Once Again Accurately Predicted Department of Commerce Numbers (click graph to enlarge)

comScore data showed $32.8 billion in online retail spending for Q1 2008 (including auction fees and autos but excluding event tickets, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Commerce definition of e-commerce), approximately one month prior to the U.S. Department of Commerce publishing its estimate of $32.4 billion.

comScore’s data has exhibited remarkable consistency with the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates during the past seven years. Dating back to Q1 2001, the past 29 quarters of comScore’s e-commerce estimates have accurately predicted the Department of Commerce data within an average margin of variation of less than 3 percent.

comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni and comScore CEO Magid Abraham will be presenting a complimentary review of the current trends in e-commerce and search marketing on Friday, May 30, 2008 at 11 a.m. EST. To register for the free webinar, please visit:

About comScore
comScore, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCOR) is a global leader in measuring the digital world. For more information, please visit

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Microsoft Launches Innovative Search Rewards Program

I'm posting about Microsoft's new Live Search Rewards program because of the relationship it has to both the Internet Retail space and because it seems to suggest the makings for a potential online payment platform. Considering that Microsoft is going to offer cash rebates to consumers who use their Live Search to "find" and "purchase" products...they would have the desire to complete the process by implementing a way for consumers to pay for them via the very same platform.

The numbers suggest huge potential. Here's an excerpt from The Empire Strikes Back" in the Washington Post:)

This (Live Search cashback) only applies to e-commerce related searches for now. But frankly that is all that matters. Only about a third of searches are commerce related, but those searches generate 80% of search revenue. Get the commerce searches and you've got the revenue. And here's another interesting statistic - 68% of online purchases begin at a search engine or shopping comparison site. Only about 30% are from direct navigation to the ecommerce site itself. Will it Work? Yes, it will work and it will almost certainly increase Microsoft's market share in search, particularly in commerce search. The question is, how well will it work? A year ago Microsoft basically did a trial run of Live Search CashBack with Live Search Club, which lured searchers to Microsoft with offers of prizes to users for using Live Search. Microsoft went from 10.3% to 13.2% market share in a month, a nearly 30% rise. Live Search CashBack, which gives a much more straightforward layout to users, should see significantly better results.
Here's Microsoft's announcement regarding Live Search cashback...

Microsoft Corp. announced it will offer ad-funded cash rebates to customers who find and purchase their favorite products through a new program called Microsoft Live Search cashback. Key partners (including eBay, Barnes &,, Sears,, and WPP) joined Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates at advance08, Microsoft’s annual advertising customer event, to announce their participation in the new program.

The complete Live Search cashback product portfolio includes more than 10 million product offers from more than 700 merchants, including more than 13 of the top 40 U.S. retailers.

The company also announced it has delivered a new Live Search travel destination, Live Search Farecast, making it easy for searchers to find the best travel deals on the Web.

“We believe search can offer much more value to consumers and advertisers than it does today, and we see Live Search cashback as an important opportunity to deliver additional value,” Gates said.

“Our goal is to make Live Search the most rewarding commercial search destination on the Web. Live Search cashback will help advertisers drive more online sales while giving consumers a new way to stretch their dollars.”
During his keynote address, Gates outlined three areas of focus for the company’s broad search vision:

** Delivering the best search results by continuing to focus on relevancy and selection

** Expanding the role of search around the set of tasks that searchers are most often working to accomplish - including commerce, entertainment, navigation and reference - through improvements in its user experience, intelligent tools and access across devices

** Innovating in the economic model that today powers the search business by rewarding both advertisers and consumers for engagement

Today’s announcements of Live Search cashback and Live Search Farecast signify that commerce queries will be the first of the four tasks on which the company will focus.

As part of this “Commercial Search” strategy, Microsoft aims to make Live Search the premier search engine for the growing category of search queries that help consumers conduct research and "purchase goods or services", and which are critical to merchants aiming to drive online sales of their products.

New Business Opportunity for Search Advertisers

The opportunity to reach consumers via search advertising is enormous and growing. According to eMarketer Inc., U.S. online retail is projected to grow to $335 billion by 2012, and today 68 percent of all those retail transactions begin at a search engine. (This translates to 3.7 billion commerce-related queries per month).

The primary choice for advertisers to reach these search customers is the cost-per-click (CPC) model, where merchants pay a fee each time a searcher clicks on their ad, whether or not the potential customer makes a purchase.

The cost-per-action (CPA) model, where advertisers pay only when a customer makes a purchase, or completes a specific transaction, gives advertisers a more precise return on their advertising investment, and is currently being deployed on a relatively limited basis. The CPC and CPA search advertising models represent the most targeted advertising approaches available today, but there is still room for improvement.
With Live Search cashback, Microsoft helps merchants maximize their advertising investments and drive more sales by providing consumers with an added incentive to buy - a cash rebate.

Participating merchants choose to pay Microsoft a CPA fee each time a customer completes a sale through Live Search cashback. The fee is a percentage of the retail price, and when that transaction is complete, Microsoft returns that fee to the consumer in the form of a cash rebate.

“Our business is to connect consumers with brands in the most effective and efficient ways. Microsoft’s Live Search cashback creates a real incentive for consumers to connect with our clients,” said Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP. “We believe this is a major development in the evolution of search marketing and look forward to participating and measuring the results.”

Key partners participating in the Live Search cashback offering include Abe’s of Maine, B&H,, Barnes &, Circuit City,, Crutchfield, eBags, eBay, Foot Locker,, The Home Depot, HP, Jockey, J&R,, OfficeMax,, PetSmart, QVC, Sears, Spiegel,, Vitamin Shoppe, & A complete list of Live Search cashback partners can be found at

“We’re happy to be partnering with Microsoft on this innovative program,” said John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay Inc. “By combining eBay’s marketing expertise and incredible volume and velocity of trade, PayPal’s leadership in online payments, and Microsoft’s cashback program, we see a great opportunity to deliver more value in the eBay marketplace.”

Live Search Farecast

Also available is the new Live Search Farecast, which includes technology acquired through Microsoft’s April 2008 acquisition of Farecast Inc., the award-winning travel site known for helping users find the lowest airfares by predicting when to buy.

Starting today, Live Search Farecast results can be found at and via Instant Answers in the main Live Search results page. Microsoft will explore the possibility of also incorporating an ad-funded rebate option for travel services in the future. The keynote address from advance08 will be available for Web video playback at

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More on Alternative Payments

Alternative ways to pay for goods online are on the rise, driven by online merchants looking for more consumer-friendly options and consumers looking for greater security and choice. New research from TowerGroup notes that the alternative payment method known as the "nonbank wallet" is one area to watch in 2008.

Within the last two years, the nonbank wallet category has seen a flood of new entrants. TowerGroup defines a nonbank wallet as an Internet-based storage service of consumer financial data, which helps facilitates online purchases without exposing consumers' financial information directly to the online merchant. These nonbank wallets do not replace traditional payment processes, but rather provide merchants and consumers with a secure integration layer that connects multiple payment methods and processes.

TowerGroup projects overall U.S. e-commerce retail sales reached $232 billion in 2007, though they remain a relatively small percentage of total retail sales at 5.6 percent. A graphic on these statistics is below, on the left.

Despite the fact that nonbank wallets process, settle, and fund transactions made by consumers through existing payment infrastructures, the banking industry continues to express concern over their growth and acceptance. TowerGroup believes that the concern nonbank wallets engender among financial institutions is warranted, yet more on an individual bank or provider basis than as a macro financial services industry "threat."

The challenge that nonbank wallets present to the traditional payments system will ultimately be countered by the overall value that they will provide to the financial services industry as both clients and partners. This is in addition to the value they will drive among consumers, by continuing to build confidence around and drive transaction volume of e-commerce.

The TowerGroup research report is titled "Online E-Commerce Nonbank Wallet Payment Alternatives: Bankers' Friends or Foes?" and is authored by Jennifer Roth, a senior analyst in the TowerGroup Global Payments practice. It reviews four nonbank wallet providers currently facilitating purchases over the Internet and analyzes the impact and potential threat of these offerings for bank-driven traditional payment methods.

Accenture Payments Innovation Showcase

Accenture today announced it has opened a new facility at its research and development technology lab in Sophia Antipolis, France, dedicated to innovation in the rapidly growing global payments industry.

The facility, called the
Accenture Payments Innovation Showcase, focuses on original research and development in all facets of the payments business, including mobile communications and other point-of-sale technology, bank-to-corporate connectivity, processing, process models, biometrics, regulation such as the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) initiative, and security. The Accenture Payments Innovation Showcase, combining Accenture's deep industry experience and leading technology capabilities, will demonstrate how businesses can drive innovation, reduce costs and improve the quality of products and services to their customers by using cutting-edge technologies

Technology innovation is a key driver of high performance, said Martin Illsley, director of research at Accenture Technology Labs in Sophia Antipolis, France. In combining technology expertise with business acumen, our researchers apply new and emerging technologies to create prototypes and cutting-edge solutions that help clients maximize future performance.

Every year, 150 leading global organizations attend technology workshops hosted by Accenture at its four technology Labs, in Sophia Antipolis, France, San Jose and Chicago in the United States, and Bangalore, India. The Payments Innovation Showcase will tap into this program, hosting payments executives for one- and two-day applied-technology programs that immerse participants in the payments business and current technology, as well as foster discussion of how their businesses and customers can benefit.

The payments business faces massive change driven by increased competition, disruptive regulation, declining margins and revenues in traditional lines, rising transaction volume, and greater need for technology, scale and actionable information, said Antonio Iglesias, an Accenture Financial Services senior executive who leads the payments business in Europe and Latin America. Now is the time for Accenture to devote even more resources to helping clients better understand and benefit from this change. And it makes sense to base this work in Europe, where so much innovation is taking place.

The Showcase currently includes industry prototypes that draw on a number of new and emerging technologies including:
  • Mobile payments provisioning
  • Accenture Near Field Communications Wallet, which enables mobile payments with ATMs
  • Biometric identification
  • Point-of-sale scenarios
  • Mobile banking, including in-branch applications
  • Accenture High Performance Bank Business Process tool, which can be used to design the most appropriate and efficient processes for specific tasks
  • SAP Payment Engine, a high-scaling payment processing solution for banks, shared-service centers and automated clearinghouses

About Accenture

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the worlds most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With 178,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$19.70 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2007. Its home page is

Editors note

  • Accenture will host journalists and industry analysts for programs at the Payments Innovation Showcase. The programs will include payments researchers and business experts. For more information, please contact one of the Accenture representatives listed below.

Francois Luu, + 33 1 53 23 68 55 Financial Services or: Accenture Technology Ed Trapasso, +1 917 452 3555

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Alternative e-Payment Systems Expected to Reach $156 Billion by 2012

New York, May 15, 2008 -- Today's tech savvy and possibly even eco-conscious lifestyles have led to paperless shopping and bill pay. Consumers are enjoying the ease of alternative online payment systems that offer greater privacy and security features than traditional payment systems as well as multiple checkout options.

A new report from Packaged Facts, "The Alternative Payment Systems Industry in the U.S.," estimates total dollar volume of online alternative payments rose 33% over the 2006 level of $28.1 billion to $37.3 billion in 2007.

When paper payments began declining in 2003, the card and electronic payment segments of the industry increased 14% and 13%, respectively. By 2012 Packaged Facts forecasts the marketplace will see an even split for payment options: paper forms are expected to slide to 32% while electronic forms will capture 35% of the market and cards will keep at a steady 33%.

The battle between credit cards and alternative payments may end in stalemate, but the battle among alternative payment systems providers is just getting started. eBay, a long-time PayPal checkout endorser, recently banned Google Checkout from its online auction site. According to eBay, the ban is due to insufficient evidence of reliability.

"Though the market is dominated by PayPal, new alternative payment options are becoming increasingly popular," said Tatjana Meerman, Publisher of Packaged Facts. "Companies such as Amazon and Google have seen the future growth and opportunities in the marketplace and are coming on board.

Others, as diverse as Bill Me Later, OboPay, Verizon, Chase and Wachovia are all getting into the mix. Packaged Facts' all-new report, "The Alternative Payment Systems Industry in the U.S." provides an in-depth analysis of both the business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce market and the consumer payments market. The report presents the size and growth of the market using several key metrics, including paper payments, card payments and electronic payments, as well as trends and factors that affect the industry. Special regard is given to the activity of top players and the varied upstarts, particularly in mobile payments, hoping to steal share and further alter the old school payments paradigm. Major key competitors are profiled, along with a focused analysis of consumer payment demographics and preferences.

For further information on this report from Packaged Facts visit:

Company press release.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Interchange has Hearing...But Is Visa/MC even Listening?

In one ear and out the other?

It will be interesting to see what develops out of yesterday's hearing. On the one side the merchants are livid about the fees they pay, on the other side, people don't want the government to step in and essentially "price fix" an industry as that lays a bad precedent.

So what to do? Well, if you're an Internet Retailer, the solution is simple! You can lower your Interchange by 100 Basis Points by switching to HomeATM's patented Web PIN Debit platform. No Government Price Fixing Involved!!!

Oh, and did I mention PIN Debit is about 10 times more secure, has no chargebacks and it's consumers preferred method of payment? I did. Here are some of the press releases regarding this issue from the National Retail Federation, the National Association of Convenience Stores and others...

Merchants Welcome Judiciary Committee Hearing on Interchange Fees

In a press release, the Merchants Payments Coalition says that "merchants welcome encouragement from Democrats and Republicans alike in support of HR 5546, the Credit Card Fair Fee Act, bi-partisan legislation that would end credit card industry price fixing, which is the subject of a hearing today by the House Judiciary Committee Antitrust Task Force."

NACS Comments on Interchange Fees at Yesterday's Hearing

The National Association of Convenience Stores has issued a press release on today's House Judiciary Committee hearing on interchange fees. Tom Robinson, president of San Jose, California-based Robinson Oil Corporation testified today at the hearing...

NRF Says Interchange Fees Cost Families Over $400 This Year

The National Retail Federation in a press release urged the House Judiciary Committee to support antitrust legislation that would require Visa and MasterCard to negotiate with merchants over credit card processing fees. The NRF said "a hidden fee charged by the two card giants is projected to cost the average U.S. family more than $400 this year."

MasterCard Comments at Today's Interchange Fee Hearing

In a press release, MasterCard commented that "merchants do not need price control legislation or an antitrust exemption to lower costs for payment card acceptance, as they already have real opportunities to negotiate fees." Joshua Peirez, Chief Payment System Integrity Officer at MasterCard Worldwide, gave his testimony at the hearing..

House Judiciary Committee Interchange Hearing Testimony

The testimony of several of the witnesses at today's heading on interchange fees by the US House Judiciary Committee is now available online in PDF format. Included is testimony from: Thomas L. Robinson (Vice President of Regulations, National Association of Convenience Stores), Joshua R. Floum (General Counsel and Corporate Sec., Visa Inc.), Steve Cannon (Chairman, Constantine Cannon, LLP), Joshua Peirez (Chief Payment System Integrity Officer, MasterCard Worldwide), John Blum (Vice President of Operations, Chartway FCU), and Edward Mierzwinski (Consumer Program Director U.S. PIRG).

Electronic Payments Coalition Comments on Interchange Hearing

In a press release, the Electronic Payments Coalition commented on today's hearing before the House Judiciary Committee Antitrust Task Force on H.R. 5546: "The Electronic Payments Coalition is pleased that the House Judiciary Committee Antitrust Task Force is holding a hearing today to take a closer look at H.R. 5546, the "Credit Card Fair Fee Act." Members of the Task Force will be given an opportunity to learn quite explicitly that this ill-conceived legislation is nothing short of price controls -- action that would result in less competition, fewer consumer choices, and reduced access to affordable credit and debit options."

UK Payments Data Q1 from APACS

APACS has published its latest quarterly Statistical Release icon_PDF_small.gif covering the first quarter of 2008.

"In the first quarter of 2008 there were 1.8 billion plastic card purchases made in the UK totalling £91.1 billion. The number of purchases was 8.9% higher than in the first quarter of 2007, and spending was 8.9% higher. Debit cards accounted for 72.8% of all plastic card purchases compared with 71.1% in the first quarter of 2007."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Introducing Pariter Solutions...Country's Largest ACH Processor

To give you an idea how quickly the landscape of the payments industry can change, the biggest ACH Processor in the nation didn't exist until just now.

Introducing Pariter Solutions...
our nation's biggest ACH Processor...

Wells Fargo and Bank of America said Thursday they are forming a joint venture to operate a single, combined automated clearinghouse (ACH) platform for both companies and their clients. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The joint venture, Pariter Solutions LLC, will be the country's largest processor of ACH payments, the banking giants said.

Through joint venture, the two companies will combine their strengths in advanced processing technology and high payment volumes to create a single, more efficient platform. It will also facilitate greater investment in innovation to deliver added value to clients through increased speed, broader product capability and capacity for higher volumes of cross-border payments.

An ACH payment is a mechanism for electronic funds transfers such as direct deposit, direct payment, business-to-business payments, e-checks, e-commerce payments and tax payments. Annual electronic payment volume doubles every five years, according to NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association. In 2007, nearly 14 billion ACH payments were made.

Payment processing operations are expected to begin in late 2009. The company will have offices in San Francisco and Charlotte.

Ownership of Pariter Solutions will initially reside with Wells Fargo and BofA. Stephanie Sturgis-Griffin, a senior vice president at Wells Fargo, will be chief executive of Pariter Solutions, and Walter Taylor, a senior vice president at Bank of America, will be chief operating officer.

The company's board will consist of the CEO and one executive representative from Wells Fargo and one from Bank of America.
Shares of Wells Fargo rose a penny to $28.91, wile Bank of America shares fell 45 cents $36.35.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

UK's Payment Council Unveils National Payments Plan

The UK's Payments Council has unveiled the first national plan for UK payments - calling it "a strategic framework for payments innovation and change over the next decade."

The National Payments Plan icon_PDF_small.gif was developed after extensive consultation with the payments industry and users and includes statements of principle, specific actions and a number of focused reviews of key issues. The document covers current payment methods such as plastic cards, cash and cheques and also reviews the next wave of innovation in payments, fraud and security, and consumer education about payments.

The Payments Council have published the first national plan for UK payments, providing a strategic framework for payments innovation and change over the next decade. The National Payments Plan - Setting the strategic vision for UK payments also summarises the results of the public consultation which closed on 4th February 2008.

From their website:

Why a National Payments Plan?

In payments, unlike many other sectors, there may need to be co-operation between participants if users are to have full benefit of new developments. The Plan outlines those areas where collaboration can deliver such an outcome.

The Plan will be periodically revised and updated, and is intended to provide a framework for the development of payments in the UK over the next five to ten years.
Co-operative action can be needed:
  • to introduce common standards so that business is made easier to transact;
  • to create a network between participants which maximises the reach of payment services; and
  • to address market inefficiencies.

HomeATM Headline Payments News

This list was compiled by Glenbrooks Payments News. Clicking on any of the links will redirect you to Payments News website.

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