UK Payments Council reports 11% increase in account switching

The number of UK consumers who switched their current account during the last month increased by 11% compared to the same period last year, giving hope to the UK Payments Council that its new seven-day account switching service which launched on 16 September may be beginning to work.

Banco Itaú Suisse installs ERI private banking platform

Banco Itaú Suisse, the Swiss business of Latin American bank Itaú Unibanco, has chosen a private banking business system from software vendor ERI as part of a drive to make the Swiss unit a central hub for the Group’s European private banking business.

Google is banks’ biggest fear finds innovation survey

The average bank now typically views web portals such as Google as the biggest threat to its business, according to a new report by French retail banking association Efma and business IT firm Infosys. Yet banks also report rising levels of innovation within their firms.

Wonga Bolsters Payments Business by Nabbing German Provider (Oct. 21, 2013)

U.K.-based e-loan provider Wonga Group has struck a deal to acquire German online payments provider BillPay. The deal, financial terms of which were not disclosed, will create what Wonga called “one of Europe’s leading digital finance and payment systems businesses.” In addition to its home country of Germany, BillPay also operates its PayPal-like service in […]

NYC Commuters Can Pay Taxis with Amex Reward Points (Oct. 21, 2013)

American Express cardholders traveling by taxi in New York City now are able to pay their fares using membership reward points. The technology enabling this payment method began rolling out today to the more than 7,000 VeriFone Systems in-taxi devices. When customers reach their destination and choose to pay with credit, they will be prompted […]

Pan Am-Branded Travel Card to Take Flight (Oct. 21, 2013)

Payments processor and program manager TransCard will release a new prepaid travel card branded by Pan Am Brands, a division of Pan American World Airways. The card will feature the iconic name and logo of Pan Am, one of the largest international air carriers in the U.S. between 1927 and 1991. “We are excited to […]

ACI Worldwide targets “fragmented” retail bank payment systems

Large retail banks sometimes find it hard to change because they have assimilated many smaller banks through acquisition, each of which is running on a payments engine that has different features and may be very old. That can make it difficult to offer new services, but there is a solution according to Paul Thomalla, head of EMEA at US-based payments and technology firm ACI Worldwide.

KPMG calls time on the universal banking model

Geopolitical shifts and increasing protectionism among nations will mean that the universal banking model is no longer sustainable – and there is little that anyone can do, according to Bill Michael, EMA head of financial services at KPMG. “The future shape of banking is beyond the control of boards, individual regulators or countries alone,” Michael […]

UK account switching a “complete waste of time” claims bank panellist

The UK Payments Council’s seven-day account switching service has been attacked as a “complete waste of time” by participants at a panel discussion in London on Wednesday – an allegation that was vigorously denied by representatives of the Council and the UK retail banking sector.

Squawker completes European launch

Sell-side only block trading network Squawker has completed its pan-European rollout, connecting 70 sell-side firms to the new venue, which promises ‘algorithm-free’ trading in 13 European countries.

China’s Alipay Reboots Digital Wallet, Heads to Taiwan (Oct. 17, 2013)

China’s giant retail payments operator Alibaba Group this week announced plans to expand its Alipay online payment service to Taiwan and simultaneously unveiled key upgrades to Alipay’s digital wallet, significantly increasing customers’ options for online and offline purchases.

New Payment Method on Tap for Salt Lake City Commuters (Oct. 17, 2013)

Commuters in the Salt Lake City metropolitan area starting this week have a new way to pay for fares on buses, trains and streetcars serviced by the Utah Transit Authority. The UTA, in partnership with Atlanta-based InComm, have launched the FAREPAY card, a contactless, closed-loop card that can be loaded with funds from $5 to […]

Virtual Currency Exchange Kraken Reaches into Europe (Oct. 17, 2013)

U.S.-based digital currency exchange Kraken is set to be released into Europe. San Francisco’s Payward—the company behind Kraken, which exited beta last month—has inked a deal with Fidor Bank, a German financial services provider that combines traditional banking with Internet-based payments. Under terms of the deal, Kraken will become Fidor’s “exclusive digital currency trading platform” […]

Western Union Strikes Deal for Italian Remittance, Prepaid Card (Oct. 17, 2013)

Western Union is set to launch a new reloadable prepaid card in Italy in partnership with Lottomatica, a gaming technology solutions company that provides payment, reload and e-money services. The deal brings Western Union’s Paybefore Award-winning MyWU Prepaid Card to Italy, where it is targeted to serve more than 4 million migrant workers who can […]

‘Square Cash’ Joins Crowded P2P Field (Oct. 16, 2013)

Square Inc. is wading into the crowded U.S. P2P field this week with Square Cash, taking a somewhat unique debit card-based approach versus competitors by enabling Visa and MasterCard debit cardholders to send funds to each other free of charge via email.

PFS Expands Reload Network with Ukash (Oct. 16, 2013)

Prepaid Financial Services (PFS), a London-based provider of global prepaid solutions, announced that its cardholders throughout Europe now can load their prepaid cards using the Ukash e-money service. Ukash codes can be purchased with cash from thousands of retail outlets, and the 19-digit code can be used to transfer funds by logging into the cardholder’s […]

System Glitch Leads to EBT Shopping Spree (Oct. 16, 2013)

A system disruption last weekend enabled public assistance recipients in 17 states to make purchases using Electronic Benefits Transfer cards with no spending limits. Xerox, one of three companies that operate the payment system for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), said a routine test of a backup generator on Saturday caused the company’s EBT […]

Mobile payments success needs complete ecosystem

The public is ready to adopt mobile payments in many aspects of their lives, but service providers need to have a defined role in the ecosystem and an understanding of how they interact with other players and the consumer.

Bitcoin Loses Dwolla Support; Feds Shut Down Silk Road (Oct. 15, 2013)

In the latest setback to the Bitcoin craze, Dwolla announced it will phase out all Bitcoin-related operations by the end of this month, citing “uncertainty and confusion” around the virtual currency. Bitcoin accounted for only 0.1 percent of its merchants, according to Dwolla, which specializes in P2P transactions. The move comes on the heels of […]

Venture Capital Flows into Payments Industry (Oct. 15, 2013)

Oct. 15, 2013 Several companies in the prepaid and emerging payments industry recently have received investor funding, including CardFlight, Carta Solutions Holding Corp., Gyft Inc., Leaf and Tabbedout. CardFlight, a New York-based firm that enables developers to integrate in-person card payments into their own apps, has raised $1.6 million in seed-round funding, led by New […]