Of the total $2.45 trillion in outstanding US consumer debt, total outstanding revolving credit dropped in September from $790.2 billion in August to $789.6 billion for a second consecutive month of decline. This compares to the year ago figure of 805.6 and is consistent with trends over the past 2 and half years showing revolving…
American Express introduced its “American Express for Target” reloadable prepaid card with no monthly or maintenance fees. Available at more than 1,000 U.S. Target stores, the Card provides user access to a consumer-friendly payment solution. Funds can be loaded at the register using multiple loading options with the ability to reload in-store, online or by phone. Additionally, the “American Express for Target Card” can be used at any U.S. merchants that accept American Express Cards. Costs include a $3 initial load fee and each subsequent in-store reload at participating Target stores and a $3 per ATM withdrawal with the first ATM withdrawal per month free, but no fees for monthly usage, balance inquiries, alerts or Card replacement. Also, online tools let users view real-time transaction history and monitor spending; receive email or text alerts about low funds; and disable/enable ATM access.
Visa launched its new “Visa Developer Center” at https://developer.visa.com to provide approved application developers easy access to tools needed for the rapid creation and deployment of payment applications. The “Visa Developer Center” offers eCommerce and mobile application developers a pathway to create a seamless online purchase experience for consumers. Whether enabling the purchase of small in-game digital goods, or the latest appliance from a big-box retailer, to enabling purchases with Visa’s new digital wallet, developers now have access to application programming interfaces (APIs), simplified documentation, and software development kits needed to make online shopping with Visa fast, simple, and secure. Providing access to the payment expertise, open APIs, and development tools offered by Visa and its subsidiaries, this ultimately allows eCommerce merchants, financial institutions, mobile network operators, and gaming developers to integrate Visa payment functionality into their product offerings, such as mpayments and P2P payment.
Shoppers expect to spend approximately $748 this season compared to plans of spending $730 at this time last year while 23% indicated they intend to spend more in 2011, up from 13% that planned to spend more in 2010. Meanwhile, 50% intend to spend the same or more as they did last year; up from 43%. This, according to the Discover 2011 Annual Holiday Shopping Survey, which examines holiday spending intentions and trends for the upcoming holiday season, also indicated 6% said they had purchased a gift through a group-buying site, which more than tripled in 2011 to 20 percent. Moreover, 66% plan to spend within their budget and more than 25% would spend between $500 and $1,000 on holiday shopping in 2011.
Chase Paymentech merchant acquirer and payment processor launched the sixth annual edition of its “Cyber Holiday Pulse Index,” offering an inside look at consumer online shopping trends for the key shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year it indicates ecommerce shoppers are already diving in, with the first two weeks of November showing online sales up over 25% from the year ago period. Average ticket value, however, are currently down over 9% but 2011 annual online sales so far are up an estimated 17% in the first half. Given this, the 2011 shopping season is shaping up to be quite the performer.
The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), PIN Transaction Security (PTS) requirements and the Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) announced the results of the PCI Council election for Special Interest Groups (SIGS). Special Interest Groups (SIG) leverage the expertise of more than 600 PCI SSC Participating Organizations and provide a vehicle for incorporating their ideas and input into the work of the Council. The three elected groups will focus on Cloud; eCommerce Security; and Risk Assessment. Allowed three votes on a shortlist of seven topics that were the result of 13 proposals by the community, the project proposals represent a cross section of the PCI SSC community from around the globe. Participants include CyberSource, HyTrust, Sense of Security Pty Ltd., SISA Information Security, The UK Cards Association, Trend Micro and TSYS.
Fiserv financial services technology solutions announced its executive VP of Sales and Operations for Bank Intelligence Solutions at Fiserv, Kevin Tweddle, was elected president of the Association for Financial Technology (AFT). AFT is a technology-focused association of volunteers and collectively serves more than 85% of the core processing services for America’s banks, thrifts and credit unions and includes some of the most recognized names in financial technology. These companies come together twice a year to discuss industry trends and promote high standards of professionalism in the planning, development, implementation and applications of technology in the financial services industry.
TransFirst transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies is set to offer the Epson “TM-T20” thermal receipt printer with its “Transaction Express” virtual terminal payment gateway solution. This offers “Transaction Express” for a complete, secure online payment processing through any Internet-connected device, with Epson’s “TM-T20” printer. The combined solution offers TransFirst merchants a cost-effective, easy, out-of-the-box transaction processing and receipt printing solution ideally suited for a variety of industries, including retail, e-commerce, government, utilities and healthcare. The solution is immediately available to TransFirst’s acquiring partners.
CashStar digital gifting and incentives company will implement its platform to offer eGift Cards with Aéropostale retail locations. This will let customers electronically send personalized eGift Cards that can be redeemed at both Aéropostale and p.s. from Aéropostale brands – either in-store or online.
ISIS mCommerce JV from AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile USA, will commence pilot programs in Salt Lake City, Utah and Austin, Texas, in 2012. While less than 1 million NFC-enabled phones will be involved in this early test phase, ISIS is counting on a national rollout by early 2013, hoping by then an increasing number of phones will have the mobile wallet installed. JPMorgan Chase, Capital One and U.S. Bank are three payment issuers expected to be involved. Chase will likely be issuing the first credit product, with Capital One providing the prepaid card.
Evolution1 electronic payment, on-premise and cloud computing healthcare solution that administers reimbursement accounts, including HSAs, HRAs, FSAs, VEBAs, Wellness and Transit Plans, recently earned recognition on two prestigious technology lists: Deloitte’s 2011 Technology Fast 500™ and the 2011 Marcum Tech Top 40. Evolution1 ranked number 317 on Deloitte’s 2011 Technology Fast 500 list, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences and clean technology companies in North America.
Western Union is appealing to consumers to use caution when sending money to people who claim to be family members and friends for emergencies without first confirming that the person is actually in trouble. The most common of these scams are the Grandparent Scam and the Social Networking Scam. Grandparents across the country are falling victim to a surprisingly effective scam in which they receive phone calls from people who claim to be their grandchildren and frantically ask for money. The telephone calls often come late at night with the callers saying they’re in an emergency situation from scammers posing as grandchildren to ask them to send money through a money transfer service as quickly as possible. Another version of an emergency scam involves hacking into social networking sites such as Facebook and then targeting friends in the victim’s account.