Friday, February 12, 2010

Microsoft to Take Another Stab at Mobile

Microsoft to Take Another Stab at MobilePeter Svensson writes for Tech News World that Microsoft is getting back into the mobile game with a "major revamp" of it's phone software, combined with the fact that Steve Ballmer will speak at Mobile World Congress.

If Microsoft unveils Zune-like software for mobile phones on Monday, it might attract some badly needed interest.  The company's efforts in the smartphone realm have paled next to the successful Apple and RIM models in recent years.

"This is kind of their last chance," said Forrester analyst Charles Golvin. "If Windows Mobile doesn't get it right this time around, they're probably toast."

Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) is expected to announce a major revamp of its phone software Monday, in an attempt to regain momentum in a crucial market where it's been overshadowed.
CEO Steve Ballmer will be speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, the world's largest cellphone trade show, and analysts expect him to reveal Windows Mobile 7. The software could be in phones by late this year.

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Western Union to Pay $94 Million in Settlement, No Wrongdoing

Western Union to Pay in Border-Crime Deal


Published: February 11, 2010

Western Union will pay $94 million to settle a long-running battle with Arizona over whether the company turned a blind eye to the use of its services in border-related crime.

Under the agreement, in which Western Union admitted no wrongdoing, as much as $50 million will go to support law enforcement agencies working to crack down on drug and human smuggling in Arizona and three other border states. The company also agreed to provide border state prosecutors access to wire transfer records, something the company had resisted but Arizona officials considered crucial to their cases.

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Mobile Remote Deposit Capture Will Eliminate Over 1.5 Billion Check Deposit Transactions From U.S. Bank Branches By 2014

Mercatus Study Indicates Strong Consumer Interest in Mobile Remote Deposit Capture, Creating Platform for 'Thin Branch' Expansion Strategies

BOSTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Strong consumer interest in Mobile Remote Deposit Capture (Mobile RDC) will dramatically alter the current deposit-taking activities of retail banks and provide a viable roadmap to banks pursuing 'thin branch' strategies, according to a study released today by Mercatus LLC, a strategic consulting and investing firm focused on retail financial services.

The Mercatus Mobile RDC Adoption Research Study was conducted in December 2009 as part of Mercatus' on-going Franchise Health study. The research queried more than 2,100 US consumers regarding their retail banking services needs, decision making, and behaviors.

"We expect consumers to significantly embrace mobile remote deposit capture and it will be the 'killer app,' said Bob Hedges, Mercatus managing partner. "With consumers placing a premium on convenience, mobile RDC has the potential to significantly change retail banking's business model by providing a way for people to do basic banking without branches. Retail financial service companies have the game-changing opportunity to provide both increased convenience and lower costs. Mobile RDC definitely levels the playing field across competitors."

According to the study, close to two thirds (59%) of today's mobile banking customers are likely to adopt mobile remote deposit capture if the technology is offered by their banks. At the segment level, 66% of mobile banking consumers age 26 to 34 and 69% of mobile banking users age 35 to 44 years old indicated they were likely to adopt mobile deposit capture.

Adoption potential was also strong among consumers not currently using mobile banking. Among consumers not currently utilizing mobile banking, 35% of consumers 18 to 34, and 25% of those age 35 to 44 indicated they were likely to adopt mobile RDC if it were offered by their bank.

Likely adopters pointed to several key factors driving interest in mobile remote deposit capture, including:

  • Convenience and accessibility of mobile phone-enabled deposits (52%)

  • Faster accessibility to funds (45%)

  • Lower time cost relative to other deposit options (39%).

Consumer reluctance to adopting mobile RDC was focused on a limited set of factors. In the Mercatus study, not surprisingly, potential security concerns were cited as the leading consumer factor in not being positively inclined to adopt mobile RDC. Reflecting the routine nature of deposit-making transaction, the next set of reasons cited by consumers for not using mobile RDC were the already convenient locations of branches and ATMs. Convenience is clearly the dominant consumer consideration.

"Consumer interest in mobile RDC, and mobile financial services in general, suggests that a significant percentage of deposit volume is available for migration to those financial services institutions offering mobile RDC," said Hedges. "Despite the potential opportunity mobile RDC presents, only a limited set of competitors have launched mobile RDC applications today. A significant strategic opening exists for the early adopters in that they can gain new customers, as well as reduce bank branch operating expenses," he said.

Beyond the compelling convenience benefits for Mobile RDC to consumers, the adoption of Mobile RDC represents a significant opportunity to reduce traditional branch deposit transaction volume. The Mercatus study found that consumers likely to adopt mobile RDC, today, are responsible for approximately 30% of branch consumer deposit volume. "With only moderate adoption of Mobile RDC by consumers, banks can expect to see dramatic reductions in the volume of branch deposit transactions. The incredible convenience benefit to consumers is equally matched by the strategic cost structure benefit to banks," Hedges said. Mercatus forecasts that with Mobile RDC, more than 1.5 billion check deposit-making transactions will be eliminated from U.S. bank branches by 2014.

The Mercatus Mobile RDC Adoption Research Study builds on previous mobile financial services consumer research conducted by Mercatus. Among the findings of the December 2009 study, were:
  • Banks offering mobile financial services can increase new customer acquisition by as much as 60%

  • Nearly one-third of consumers are using, or considering using, mobile financial services in the next year

  • Consumer mobile financial services adoption will reach 53% by 2015, and exceed the use of online banking.

"Owing to its rapid pace of adoption, mobile is a market that offers a clear first-mover advantage. Banks that act soon, and aggressively deploy mobile financial services, will capture a clear market opportunity. Banks that delay will risk losing their best customers to the competition," said Hedges.


This Mercatus research study surveyed more than 2,100 consumers over the age of 18. The survey was fielded to an online panel managed by Market Tools in December 2009. The results are representative of the U.S. population. The Mercatus Mobile RDC Adoption Research study was part of the on-going Mercatus Franchise Health consumer research program.

About Mercatus LLC

Mercatus LLC is a strategic consulting and investing firm focused on the retail financial services. Mercatus works with industry executives and private equity investors to make investment and business growth decisions. Mercatus is dedicated to delivering the insights, innovative thinking, and information required to equip clients for success in today's fast-changing marketplace.


Fifth Third Bank and MasterCard to Provide Next-Generation Corporate Purchasing Solution

MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard inControl
Fifth Third Bank to use MasterCard's Innovative inControl(TM) Service to Enhance Control for Corporate Purchasing Programs

PURCHASE, N.Y. and CINCINNATI, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Fifth Third Bank and MasterCard Worldwide, a leading global payments solutions provider, today announced the availability of a solution that will change corporate purchasing for Fifth Third's commercial clients. Fifth Third Bank will utilize MasterCard's powerful inControl service to offer Purchase Control from MasterCard, a tool that provides a level of control and flexibility in payments management.

With MasterCard Purchase Control, Fifth Third Bank will offer corporate clients enhanced global controls and increased transaction security that combines an integrated preapproval process with secure virtual account numbers. Also, the seamless integration of the Purchase Control application into existing corporate financial infrastructures will enable improved transparency through spend controls, comprehensive administrative tools, as well as enhanced transaction reporting and reconciliation capabilities that may reduce supplier misuse and the risk of card fraud.

"Against the backdrop of an economy where corporations are seeking to find the best ways to efficiently track their spending while ensuring transparency, security and compliance, MasterCard's Purchase Control is the application that our commercial clients are looking for," said Jeff Ficke, senior vice president, Director of Treasury Management for Fifth Third Bank. "This product will allow our commercial clients enhanced transaction control and security with minimal investment and IT support required."

Furthermore, MasterCard Purchase Control provides a flexible solution that enables organizations to face competing strategic goals head on by allowing them to optimize their commercial payments programs in a way that provides employees with efficient tools, while also helping to effectively control spending, and promoting compliance for both employees and suppliers.

"As organizations seek new solutions that will help them to look ahead through the recovery and increase financial control, we are happy to work with Fifth Third Bank to offer a solution that helps meet these goals," said Joshua Peirez, Group Executive, Innovative Platforms, MasterCard Worldwide. "Leveraging our innovative inControl service, Fifth Third Bank will help its clients streamline complex processes, help decrease the number of payments made with cash and checks, and increase the number of secure transactions made with electronic payments."

About MasterCard inControl

MasterCard inControl is an innovative, flexible service which enables issuers to easily introduce payment products that offer unparalleled controls and real-time alerts to both consumer and commercial cardholders. The suite of inControl offerings satisfies strong end-user needs for security and controlled access to spending accounts, while providing cost-efficiencies and speed-to-market for issuers and no need for any changes in the payment process at the merchant. MasterCard inControl builds on MasterCard's unparalleled global processing platform.

About MasterCard Purchase Control

With MasterCard Purchase Control, corporations can gain transaction security, increased operational efficiency, reduced fraud exposure and expert tools for budget control. MasterCard Purchase Control provides corporations with the ability to:
  • Set authorization controls that enable managers to define specific spending parameters for their employees while allowing flexibility for emergencies;

  • Receive real-time alerts to safeguard against over-spending and maverick spending;

  • Establish pre-purchase compliance with corporate spending policies at the front-end in combination with optimized MIS reporting on the back-end;

  • Gain efficiencies by simplifying the reconciliation process through the use of Virtual Numbers and Limited Use Numbers to uniquely identify each transaction.

About MasterCard

MasterCard Worldwide advances global commerce by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, businesses, cardholders and merchants worldwide. As a franchisor, processor and advisor, MasterCard develops and markets payment solutions, processes approximately 22 billion transactions each year, and provides industry-leading analysis and consulting services to financial-institution customers and merchants. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network and through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus®, MasterCard serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information go to

About Fifth Third Bank

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Company has $113 billion in assets, operates 16 affiliates with 1,309 full-service Banking Centers, including 103 Bank Mart® locations open seven days a week inside select grocery stores and 2,358 ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Georgia and North Carolina. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Investment Advisors. Fifth Third also has a 49% interest in Fifth Third Processing Solutions, LLC. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of December 31, 2009, has $187 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $25 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at Fifth Third's common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® National Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Member FDIC

Visa Inc. to Present at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference

Visa Debit logoImage via Wikipedia
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) announced today that Byron Pollitt, Chief Financial Officer, will present at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco on Thursday, February 25, 2010. The fireside chat will begin at 9:40 a.m. Pacific Time and last for approximately 40 minutes.

A listen-only audio webcast and replay will be accessible for 30 days on the Investor Relations web site at

About Visa Inc.

Visa operates the world's largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries. For more information, visit

Discover settles Morgan Stanley suit for $775 million

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Discover Financial Services (DFS.N) paid Morgan Stanley (MS.N) $775 million to settle claims related to sharing proceeds from an antitrust suit against credit card networks Visa Inc (V.N) and MasterCard Inc (MA.N), according to a regulatory filing on Friday.

The settlement came after Discover won $2.75 billion in a separate suit which accused the rival card networks of harming its business by preventing banks that issue MasterCard and Visa cards from also issuing Discover cards.

Taiwantrade Collaborates with PayPal to Start Online Electronic Transactions

Image representing PayPal as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase
 TaiwantradeTAIPEI, Taiwan--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Starting from March 2010, Taiwantrade--Taiwan’s national e-commerce trade portal--will collaborate with PayPal, the largest international online payment provider, to offer online electronic transaction service to Taiwantrade’s domestic paid members. Overseas buyers will be able to purchase sample products from the Taiwanese suppliers through PayPal payment system.

A business-to-business online trade platform and operated by Taiwan’s biggest trade promotion organization--Taiwan External Trade Development Council, Taiwantrade carries the most abundant amount of sourcing information on Taiwan’s local suppliers. It is anticipated that beginning from March after the PayPal online payment system is introduced, overseas buyers can directly select the sample products displayed by the Taiwanese manufacturers on Taiwantrade and make transnational payments online. At the same time, PayPal will provide complete online order tracking and complaint functions, allowing parties in disagreement a window to resolve their disputes.

PayPal is a leader in international online payment systems, offering a variety of payment methods for buyers to choose, such as credit card, debit card and bank account transfer, which is currently being used in 190 markets and 24 currencies around the world. PayPal’s collaboration with Taiwantrade has successfully opened the company’s door to the Taiwan market and is strongly supported by the Taiwan government. The alliance is predicted to bring a 14% growth in sales value for Taiwan’s small and medium enterprises.

Mobile and Online to Drive What’s Next In Payments

PayPal’s Scott Thompson and Wells Fargo’s Mike McCoy discuss the changing POS experiences driven by new channels, in exclusive interviews

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In its continuing series of exclusive interviews with CEO’s from leading payments industry players, captured insights from Scott Thompson, PayPal and Mike McCoy, Wells Fargo, both predict mobile as the industry game changer. Thompson, CEO of Paypal, predicts that “mobile is going to happen in a huge way… [and that it’s] a pretty interesting paradigm change if the point of sale is actually in your hand, not in the merchant’s hand.” Mike McCoy, President of Wells Fargo Card Services agrees saying, “there will be a lot of developments in the mobile channels as well as online.”

“mobile is going to happen in a huge way… [and that it’s] a pretty interesting paradigm change if the point of sale is actually in your hand, not in the merchant’s hand.”

Editor's Note:  The "paradigm shift" that Mr. McCoy speaks of, namely, placing the point of sale in the consumers hand, first happened with an eCommerce transaction.

Unfortunately, the forces that be decided to teach those "hands" to "type" instead of "swipe."  Thus our credit/debit card numbers were were "handed" right over to hackers. The good news is that according to all reports, unlike a dog, you CAN teach an old hand new tricks.  The great news is that there is a PCI 2.0 Certified PIN Entry Device handily available from HomeATM.

Rounding out this week’s interviews, profiled Moneris’ (processor of more than 2.5 billion credit and debit card transactions a year, for over 350,000 merchant locations) President, Greg Cohen and InstaMed’s (the industry leading healthcare payments network and platform) CEO, Bill Marvin, the full interviews can be found here:;;; promotes the companies, products and people that drive "what's next" in payments, worldwide. is a joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway's Business Wire and Market Platform Dynamics. In the two months since its launch, has assembled a very large and highly engaged community of relevant (and senior) industry executives and opinion makers across the payments ecosystem who regularly click on its newsletter, visit the site, and spend a lot of time there. has become the "hub" for payments innovation for those whose core business is payments and for those who view payments as central to their own commerce capabilities.

For information on contact You can also follow on Twitter at and join the PYMNTS Linked In group.

About Market Platform Dynamics (MPD):

MPD is a management consulting firm that ignites catalyst businesses by leveraging new technologies, business models and pricing strategies. MPD has a wealth of experience within industries that are characterized by complex platform-centered ecosystems, including payments, mobile/telecoms, digital and advertising-supported media, and software-based businesses.

MPD works with both incumbents and new entrants, offering a unique lens into the dynamics that shape the competitive playing field. In addition to traditional consulting-based services, MPD’s Catalyst Ventures provides intellectual and human capital to new firms. MPD’s experts include economists, econometricians, product development specialists, and strategic marketers who apply cutting-edge business theory and statistical methods to the practical problems of building and growing a profitable catalyst business. MPD is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, and has offices in London and Hong Kong.

For more information visit

About Business Wire

Business Wire, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is utilized by tens of thousands of member companies and organizations worldwide to functionally enhance and communicate investor relations and public relations content to target audiences. As a recognized disclosure service in the United States, Canada and a dozen European countries, Business Wire facilitates the simultaneous flow of market-moving press releases from corporations to financial markets and their audiences, including regulatory authorities, media, investors, financial information systems and consumer news services. Business Wire also handles XBRL tagging, document formatting and regulatory filing into EDGAR, SEDAR, FSA and other systems.

Founded in 1961, Business Wire has dual headquarters in San Francisco and New York, with 30 bureaus in cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Paris, Frankfurt, London, Brussels, Tokyo, Toronto and Sydney and reciprocal offices throughout the world. Business Wire's patented NX data platform supports XML, XHTML and XBRL code that enhances news release interactivity, social media sharing and search engine optimization. More information about Business Wire and its services is located on its website at

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