DSR Falling

The Debt Service Ratio (DSR) of American consumers has finally fallen into single digits for the first time since 1980. According to the Federal Reserve the DSR declined to 9.89% in the second quarter of this year. RAM Research predicts the DSR will decline to at least 9.79% in the fourth quarter. The household DSR is an estimate of the ratio of debt payments to disposable personal income. Debt payments consist of the estimated required payments on outstanding mortgage and consumer debt. The slowdown in credit card debt, the migration to more debit card use and very low mortgage rates, are major factors in the DSR decline. The Federal Reserve is expected to release the third quarter DSR within the next week.

Positive Impact on Credit Outstanding Fleeting

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] With the total outstanding revolving US consumer credit up 7% in October from last year to an adjusted $856B from $846B, any positive momentum achieved in 2013 is a fading memory. Continuing to grow, October revolving credit outstanding is still not as high as the 2008 figure of $1trillion and is…

Gen Y Consumers Paying Their Bills

The 2013 Billing Household Survey from Fiserv, Inc. has found consumers are paying their bills in more ways than ever before, with the number of consumers paying bills from smartphones and tablets growing significantly. Gen Y in particular prefers a variety of channels and immediate payment options, and uses the mobile channel to manage billing and payment more than other generations. As more of these young consumers take on bill payment responsibility, a growing Gen Y effect will influence how billers are innovating and offering services based on changing consumer preferences.

Employment Front Sees Big Gains

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Total nonfarm payroll employment rose 203,000 in November, and the unemployment rate dropped from 7.3 to 7.0%, having declined 0.6 percentage point since June. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed persons, at 10.9 million, saw vast improvement as layoffs decreased by 377,000 over the past month, according to the U.S. Bureau of…

Evolve Money Adds Debit Cards

Evolve Money™, the first online and mobile app that makes it easy for people to track and quickly pay more than 10,000 bills using cash, now offers people more choices of how to pay with the addition of debit and prepaid cards. Launched this summer by PreCash, Evolve Money is gaining traction as a fast, affordable and secure way to pay bills from one place and is an alternative to bank bill payment services. Evolve Money is available as a free Android mobile app from Google Play, and other smartphone, tablet and computer users can use Evolve Money by visiting www.evolvemoney.com.

Square redesigns Register POS

Square launched a new design for Square Registe POS solution. The design’s refined aesthetic introduces a smoother, more intuitive experience for both merchants and their customers, and optimizes for efficiency, simple customization and ease-of-use. It also provides a consistent experience across Android and iOS 7, and with Square web dashboard, Square’s back office solution. For many businesses, speed and efficiency at the counter is critical. Square Register’s new navigation is intuitive and ergonomic for a faster workflow that keeps the line moving. Design details improve the interaction between buyer and seller; for example, the timing of how Register screens change is designed to correspond with how customers naturally order during a lunch rush.

PlayPhone Announces Vivo Partnership

PlayPhone mobile social gaming partnered Vivo to expand its social game store and global gaming network to its customers. This partnership is the latest in a rapidly expanding list of key carrier partners including Verizon, Claro Brazil, SingTel and Sprint, to adopt PlayPhone’s turnkey social gaming platform. With the addition of Vivo, PlayPhone now reaches over 870 million mobile customers. PlayPhone Games enables Vivo customers to discover, download and play a wide variety of the latest popular games with friends from around the world in a single app. It’s the first aggregated mobile games store for Vivo customers that offers secure direct carrier billing, and it provides gamers with a unique, deeply social set of gaming features. PlayPhone Games is personalized to each player’s gaming habits, their friend network and the games their friends are playing, exposing players to very targeted content and making it easy for players to instantly connect with friends to play and share favorite games together.

Consumers Unleashed

The U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures Index has fallen to 2.8% in the third quarter of 2013 from 5.1% in the third quarter of 2006. Consumers are still sitting on their wallets and not sure sure what retailers are up to, as aggressive holiday sales are very early and very sluggish. January may be the bright spot for retailers, but “Baby Boomers” are watching closely and will close in during the first quarter.

adMarketplace Taps Microsoft and AOL Veterans

adMarketplace search advertising technology named Lou Severine as its Chief Revenue Officer and James Domenick as Vice President of Ad Operations. Severine and Domenick bring extensive industry experience to adMarketplace’s rapidly expanding sales and operations teams. Severine joins adMarketplace after serving as Chief Revenue Officer for Adknowledge, where he managed revenue, business development, and marketing efforts. Severine also served as Senior Vice President of Global Sales for AOL/ADTECH, where he was responsible for domestic and international sales for numerous AOL Networks platforms. Domenick comes to adMarketplace from Microsoft, where he served as Chief of Staff for Global Accounts & Agencies. He joined Microsoft in 2007 and managed a range of cross-group initiatives for Microsoft’s Global Creative Solutions team. Prior to Microsoft, Domenick served as Director of Product Solutions for Experian CheetahMail.

TigerDirect.com Integrates V.me by Visa

Technology retail giant TigerDirect.com announced it has begun accepting V.me by Visa to help simplify online payments at its Internet Retailer Top-25 ranked TigerDirect.com e-commerce site, as well as its mobile and tablet web sites at M.tigerdirect.com and T.tigerdirect.com. V.me is a simple, secure way for people to pay online, letting consumers checkout by simply entering a username and password. Once enrolled, consumers can more easily manage online shopping payments anywhere that accepts V.me. The marketing and technology integration between TigerDirect.com and Visa is one of many strides TigerDirect.com has taken to minimize payment friction, giving customers one more reason to complete their purchases with TigerDirect.com. Because customers can complete their purchases in fewer steps and without ever leaving the TigerDirect.com web or mobile site, V.me helps reduce the likelihood of cart abandonment. V.me by Visa digital wallet lets consumers checkout securely using any major credit or debit card, without re-entering card number and shipping preferences.

The Clearing House Whitepaper Examines US payments system

The Clearing House (TCH) issued a working paper entitled U.S. Payment System: Recommendations for Safe Evolution and Future Improvements that offers recommendations on how best to evolve the existing payments system. The working paper focuses on the need to ensure the safety, soundness and sustainable economics of the U.S. payment system and to continue to deliver superior payment services to consumers and businesses. The working paper is part of TCH’s ongoing discussions regarding the future of the U.S. payment system and serves as its response the Federal Reserve Banks’ Payments System Improvement – Public Consultation Paper published in September. The paper also sets forth TCH’s own recommendations regarding optimal payment system evolution and outcomes.

Western Union and Moat Housing Association pilot pre-paid card

Western Union is piloting a prepaid card that enables tenants of Moat Housing Association to receive their housing benefit and automatically pay the Registered Social Landlord (RSL). The trial is part of a scheme to evaluate the role of prepaid cards in supporting automatic rent payments, which would meet many of the challenges RSLs face when implementing Universal Credit. Western Union is currently providing tenants with MasterCard prepaid cards. The cards allow RSLs to automatically draw money from the tenant’s card, preventing rent arrears and giving both tenants and the housing association a record that the rent has been paid. The cards have no credit facilities, so the tenants cannot spend more than the value on the card, once the rent has been paid to the landlord, the cards can be used to pay for goods and services wherever MasterCard is accepted.