Sears to Offer the eBillme Option

Sears Holdings is now offering alternative payment option eBillme for
online purchases.
eBillme is a payment option that enables consumers to
use online banking to pay now, pay securely, and use available funds,
will be offered as a payment option for online shoppers. When shoppers
choose the option at checkout, their order is confirmed with an eBill
sent to their e-mail address. Consumers simply pay the eBill the same
way they pay utilities, loans, insurance, and other bills, either
through their online bank account or at one of over 75,000 walk-in
locations. The transaction occurs securely, with no personal or
financial information required during check out.
In addition to Sears.com, eBillme can now also be used on Sears
Holdings’ subsidiary
sites including Kmart.com and Kenmore.com. Sears Holdings Corporation
is the nation’s fourth largest broadline
retailer with approximately 3,900 full-line and specialty retail stores
in the United States and Canada.

Details

ACI FRAUD SURVEY

Regarding how banks handle fraudulent payment card transactions, 74% are
happy with the treatment they received from their financial institution
after becoming a victim while 26% were somewhat unhappy or very unhappy.
With the speed of reimbursement being the most important factor to
ensure customers were happy with their bank’s service, in Dubai only 16%
of respondents surveyed were ‘very happy.’ However, 62% of UK were ‘very
happy’ with the treatment received while 55% of U.S. consumers were
happy as well as 40% of Singapore customers with their post-fraud
service. This, according to a recent ACI Worldwide global consumer fraud
survey, also showed fraud could influence consumers to revert back to
cash with 18% saying they would definitely use cash over cards following
fraud while 59% would do so ‘in some situations.’ Conducted in July
2009, the survey fielded responses from a total of 2,408 respondents
across the globe.

Details

Card Fraud Victims Want Reimbursed Quickly

A new survey on global card fraud incidents finds the most important
factor for victims is how quickly any stolen money was
reimbursed. However, 30% judged their bank’s customer service by how
quickly they identified a fraudulent transaction. The ACI Worldwide
research on fraud was conducted in Australia, Brazil, China, Dubai,
Germany, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S. in July and found that
overall, 74% of respondents were happy with the treatment they received
from their financial institution after becoming a victim of card fraud.
However, there are wide differences geographically. In Singapore, for
example, consumers felt the speed at which their bank identified the
fraud far outweighed the importance of the speed of reimbursement at 45%
versus 15% of respondents. U.K. customers are the most satisfied with
their bank’s customer service, with 62% saying they were ‘very happy’
with the treatment received. About 55% of U.S. bank customers were happy
with the post-fraud service offered by their banks. The survey also
found fraud could influence consumers to revert back to cash, with 18%
saying they would definitely use cash over cards following a fraud incident.

Details

Third Party Sites Offer BillMyParents

Socialwise’s alternative payment system “BillMyParents” is going live with Artix Entertainment’s AdventureQuest
Worlds and Gala-Net’s gPotato online games portal. This marks the first time BillMyParents is available
on third party sites. The BillMyParents payment system makes
purchasing items an extremely simple process. Once a player has made
their selection, BillMyParents sends an email notification to their
parent, requesting approval of the purchase and completion of the
transaction. The parent then has the option to deny their child’s
request or to use a built-in chat function to ask for more information
before making a final decision. To complete the transaction, the parent
simply enters their payment information. The whole process can be
completed within minutes without the teen ever gaining access to
sensitive credit card details or other personal information.
BillMyParents also expects to launch with Habbo,
Outspark, and other yet-to-be announced online youth gaming sites in the
near future. This launch with two significant youth gaming partners
marks the beginning of the company’s multi-phased plan to quickly build
a user base across multiple markets and establish BillMyParents as the
leading youth payment system.

Details

FCAC DATABASE

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) has updated its “Credit
Cards and You” guide, reminding consumers when it comes to finding the
right credit card, knowing what questions to ask will help stay in
control of finances. FCAC updates “Credit Cards and You” interactive
twice a year, summarizing the costs, benefits and rewards of most credit
cards now on the market across the Country to help consumers answer
questions about credit cards. Simple questions establishing the needs
and features that matter most to consumers helps the FCAC Web tool
narrow their search to find a list of credit cards that fit their needs.
FCAC most recommends consumers know know their needs and wants; shop
around; pick the card that suits them best; and thoroughly understand
the terms and conditions.

Details

Americans Likely to Shun Credit Card Surcharges

As the credit card industry embarks on value building in its reward
programs, American Express has beefed up its “Membership Rewards” with
two new features, one enabling cardholders to redeem points for
“everyday” type charges and the other for “special,” frequently changing
redemptions. The “everyday” redemptions start at 1,000 points and may be
used for groceries, gas, electric, phone, bills, office supplies,
transit, mailing/shipping bills, etc. Cardholders can redeem by clicking
on the “Use Points for Everyday Charges” link on their online statement.
The new “Membership Rewards Specials” program offers limited time or
limited supplies great deals. For example, 50% more transferred points
to Starpoints through September 22nd and 40% when they redeem for a
Garmin “nuvi 550,” while supplies last. AmEx also added new program
partners to the “Membership Rewards” including Zappos.com, Chili’s Grill
& Bar, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Bonefish Grill.

Details

Merchant Focus Processing and GoECart Team

CT-based e-commerce software provider GoECart has
signed the R3 Reseller agreement with
merchant account provider Merchant Focus Processing.
Under the agreement, GoECart will offer its clients two distinct
programs. The first offers competitive fixed-rate pricing for new
merchants or those processing less than $250,000 per year in
Visa/MasterCard transactions. The second program, which features
“Interchange-Plus” pricing with no monthly fees of any kind, is for
established merchants currently processing more than $250,000 per year.
Both of these programs provide unparalleled service and support for the
delivery of e-commerce credit card transactions. Payment gateway
services will be provided by Authorize.Net. The R3 Recurring Revenue
Reseller program is Merchant Focus Processing’s
co-branded referral program.

Details

JULY DEBT

The recovery that appeared to be underway in June fizzled in July as credit card gross dollar volume rose a mere 105 basis points and credit card outstandings edged up by only 159 basis points, compared to one-year ago. Despite setting a new high in June, credit card loan growth has been sluggish in 2009. Annual growth in June was 2.0%, compared to May at 2.1%, 2.3% for April and 4.4% for March. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia credit card balances posted at A$44.6 billion for July versus A$43.9 billion one-year ago. Credit card volume came in at A$19.2 billion, compared to A$19.4 billion in June and and A$19.0 billion for July 2008. Credit limits now stand at A$124.8 billion, compared to A$102.0 billion in July 2008. According to the RBA there are currently 14.3 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 14.0 million one-year ago.

Details

Higher APRs Drive Discover Q3 U.S. Card Profits

Discover’s U.S. Card unit reported that pretax income for the quarter ending August 31st nearly quadrupled, compared to one-year ago, and more than doubled from the prior quarter, due largely to income from its antitrust settlement with Visa and MasterCard. However, U.S. credit card sales volume declined 7% year-on-year, but rose 6% sequentially. Managed card loans also declined 1% from 3Q/08 and were flat, compared to the prior quarter. The managed net charge-off rate increased to 8.39% for the quarter, up 319 basis points and 60 basis points from the prior year and the prior quarter, respectively. The over 30 days delinquency rate on managed loans was 5.10%, up 125 basis points and up two basis points from the prior quarter. Discover expects the managed net U.S. credit card charge-off rate for the fourth quarter to be between 8.5% and 9.0%. Proceeds from the Visa and MasterCard settlement were $472 million pretax for the quarter. Managed loans ended the quarter at $50.9 billion, as lower cardholder payments and growth in both student and personal loans were largely offset by lower balance transfer activity and sales volume. Sales volume declined to $22.8 billion, reflecting lower gas prices and a general decline in consumer spending, but increased 6% from the prior quarter, primarily as a result of seasonal growth. Balance transfer volume declined 84% and 76% from the prior year and prior quarter. Net yield on loan receivables rose to 9.90%, an increase of 95 basis points from the prior year and 64 basis points from the prior quarter. The Third-Party Payments segment transaction volume of $36 billion was up 2% from the prior year. For complete details on Discover’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

U.S. CARD PRE-TAX PROFITS
3Q/08: $245.2 million
4Q/08: $646.4 million
1Q/09: $167.0 million
2Q/09: $387.9 million
3Q/09: $912.8 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

Mocapay Picks Up $3MM in New Funding

Denver-based loyalty marketer Mocapay has closed $3.0 million
in funding from Spartan Mobile, Lacuna and other investors.
Texas-based Spartan Mobile is an investment fund that has invested
in the mobile space since 2005, specializing in mobile marketing,
information and promotions.The Lacuna Venture Fund is a pioneer in the
concept of Gap Capital,
which helps early-stage companies negotiate the gap between product
innovation and marketplace adoption. Proceeds from the funding will go
towards supporting new customer
implementations, expanding business development efforts, and developing
additional enhancements to the mobile commerce platform, for both
payments and marketing services.

Details