Monday, December 20, 2010

Frank Puts in His 2 Cents...Says 12 cents Won't Cover It...

* Says it is unlikely to help consumers 
By Dave Clarke
WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve's proposal to limit debit card fees would not allow card companies to cover the full cost of transactions, U.S. House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank said in an interview on CNBC. The proposal released on Thursday would generally limit debit "interchange" fees at 12 cents per transaction. The average interchange fee for all debit transactions was 44 cents in 2009, the Fed said.
"I think the way it was written, the amount the credit card companies are allowed to charge is too low," said Frank. "It does not reflect the full cost of all that you have to do if you are running a credit card operation."

Value of Credit and Debit Card Transactions Fall for 12th Straight Month in November

Value of credit, debit cards transactions fall again

Published 1:11 PM, 20 Dec 2010

By a staff reporter
The value of credit and debit card transactions dropped for the 12th straight month in November, but retail broker CommSec says there's light at the end of the tunnel for retailers.
The Commonwealth Bank Business Sales Indicator (BSI) - which tracks transaction processed through the bank's merchant facilities, including spending on airlines, automobile and personal services - was down 0.1 per cent in trend terms.
But only six of the 20 industries recorded weaker sales, CommSec said, adding that excluding utilities, the BSI lifted 0.7 per cent in trend terms, which is the best reading in 15 months.
Retail fared particularly well, up 0.9 per cent which is its strongest growth rate in 14 months, CommSec said. Clothing also recorded 0.4 per cent trend growth, their best reading in 19 months.
"While down again in November, the size of the declines has consistently narrowed over the past six months," chief economist Craig James said in a statement.
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One-Third of Small Business Owners Use Smart Phones says Discover

Discover Finds One-Third of Small Business Owners Use Smart Phones

http://www.discoverfinancial.comMany Wish for More Mobile Applications to Help Them Run Their Businesses
RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A third of America’s small business owners are using smart phones these days, and most of them are putting the devices to work for business needs beyond e-mail and phone calls, according to a recent survey from Discover.
“Small business owners are clearly paying attention to mobile-driven consumer trends, and are looking for ways to adapt”
And while they may not be using smart phones themselves in great numbers, 19 percent of small business owners have taken or are currently taking actions to make it easier for mobile users to access their businesses.
“Small business owners are clearly paying attention to mobile-driven consumer trends, and are looking for ways to adapt,” said Ryan Scully, director of Discover’s business credit card, who has been commissioning monthly surveys of American small business owners for over four years. “Being flexible and adaptable to a changing economy has helped small business owners succeed through the years, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see new entrepreneurs push the limits when it comes to mobility.”
Thirty-four percent of small business owners indicated they use a smart phone device, compared to 26 percent of 3,000 consumers questioned in the survey. Among the business owners who use their smart phones for more than e-mail and phone calls, 33 percent of them said they use the devices “very much,” 41 percent said they use it “somewhat,” 21 percent said “not much,” and only 3 percent said “not at all.”
No Dominant Age Group Using Smart Phones
Age wasn’t a huge differentiator in smart phone usage among small business owners, with more people in their 30s using them than in other age groups. The following list shows the percentage of people in a designated age group that use smart phones:
   18-29  35 percent
30-3944 percent
40-4936 percent
50-6427 percent
65+16 percent
Forty-four percent of smart phone users said they wished there were better mobile applications available to small business owners, while 20 percent weren’t sure and 35 percent expressed no desire for more applications.
The survey indicated that younger small business owners are much more likely to use their devices for conducting business: 100 percent of small business owners ages 18 to 29 use their devices “somewhat” or “very much” for business, beyond phone calls and e-mail.
When it comes to holiday gift-giving, only 3 percent of small business owners said they planned to buy or expect to receive a smart phone this season.
The views and opinions expressed by small business owners and consumers who participate in the Small Business Watch survey are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Discover Financial Services or its affiliates.
About the Small Business Watch
The Discover Small Business Watch is a monthly index measuring the relative economic confidence of U.S. small business owners who have less than five employees, a segment that consists of 22 million businesses producing more than a trillion dollars in annual receipts. The Watch is based on a national random survey of 750 small business owners. It is commissioned by Discover Business card, which strives to offer the best business credit card for American small businesses, and is conducted by Rasmussen Reports, LLC (, an independent survey research firm. The numeric index is calculated by assigning values to responses to a set of five consistent questions. The base value of the Watch was established at 100.0 based on surveys conducted in August 2006. In addition to generating the index, the Small Business Watch surveys small business owners every month on key issues, and polls 3,000 consumers four times per year to gauge purchasing behavior and attitudes towards small businesses. For past results and survey data, visit For information on Discover Business card, visit
About Discover
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers personal and student loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its Discover Bank subsidiary. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visit
Smart Phone Usage Among Small Business Owners
Survey conducted Nov. 13-14, 2010, by Rasmussen Reports, LLC, for Discover
Age Group
18-29   30-39   40-49   50-64   65+
Do you use a smart phone?   Yes34%35%   44%   36%   27%   16%
Not sure4%5%4%4%4%7%
If “No,” do you plan to purchase or
expect to receive one during this
holiday season?
Not sure5%6%6%4%4%7%
If “Yes,” how much do you use it
for your business BEYOND
phone calls and email?
Very much33%32%38%41%22%41%
Not much21%0%23%25%31%23%
Not at all3%0%4%5%4%8%
Not sure1%0%0%0%3%0%
If “Yes,” do you wish there were
better mobile apps available to
small business owners?
Not sure20%16%21%23%22%9%
Have you taken, or are you currently
taking, actions to make it easier for mobile
users to access your business?
Not sure8%14%3%10%9%12%


Discover Financial Services
Jon Drummond, 224-405-1888
Jessica Douglas, 312-596-3441
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MasterCard Worldwide and PerkStreet Financial Partner to Offer Innovative Financial Solutions to MasterCard Cardholders

MasterCardImage via Wikipedia

PerkStreet to convert debit card program to MasterCard early next year

WILMINGTON, Del. & PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PerkStreet Financial, the progressive online financial services company, and MasterCard Worldwide, today announced an exclusive partnership to offer innovative financial products to MasterCard cardholders as part of PerkStreet’s checking account rewards program. As part of the agreement, PerkStreet will convert its debit card program to MasterCard early next year.
“PerkStreet’s rapid growth is proof that now, more than ever, consumers are looking for cutting edge payments products that make their lives easier and reward them for their loyalty,” said John Ainsworth, Group Head, U.S. Markets, MasterCard Worldwide. “Our partnership with PerkStreet provides MasterCard cardholders with both, while encouraging a responsible approach to spending.”“We chose MasterCard as our exclusive card partner because of our companies’ shared commitment to innovation and helping consumers get more from their financial relationships,” said Dan O’Malley, Chief Executive Officer of PerkStreet Financial. “With MasterCard, we’re excited to be able to provide even more value to our account holders through enhanced debit rewards, security and worldwide card acceptance.”
In addition to benefiting from PerkStreet’s unique cash rewards program, PerkStreet debit account holders will now also have access to thousands of merchant offers and exclusive discounts through MasterCard Marketplace simply by having a MasterCard. The MasterCard debit product platform also includes enhanced benefits such as Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty and Satisfaction Guaranty to give PerkStreet customers greater peace of mind when using their debit card.
About PerkStreet Financial
PerkStreet Financial is the progressive online financial services company that offers the most valuable online rewards checking account in the U.S. PerkStreet sets itself apart from other online bank accounts by taking the $80 billion that the big branch banks spend on building and maintaining branches every year and passing that savings on to its customers in the form of better rewards. PerkStreet offers the most fully featured checking account in the U.S., a checking account with the most rewards and access to the largest network of FREE ATMs in the country. For more information about PerkStreet Financial, visit Banking services are provided by The Bancorp Bank. Member FDIC.
About MasterCard Worldwide
As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Worldwide prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere. MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide. In 2009, $2.5 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 22 billion transactions each year, has the capacity to handle 140 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 140 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability. MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass™ and MasterCard inControl™. MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at Follow us on Twitter: @mastercardnews.


PerkStreet Financial
Kyle Psaty, 646-326-1144
MasterCard Worldwide
Dwain Schenck, 914-249-4199
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