Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Best wishes !!
The picture below is an old, nicely designed, booklet with credit-transfer forms, issued by the Municipal Giro of Amsterdam in the 1920s. This municipal giro was the first in many innovations ranging from early automation of the booking process in the 1920s, the design of a photo-machine (1930s), introduction of communications networks, atm's and (almost) a credit card.
Posted by Simon on 11:39 AM | link
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
LG Card: a nice moral hazard case....
The case of LG Card (see also previous entries on this blog) is interesting now that speculations arise as to the intervention of Korean government (or the Korean central bank). It is a fine example of a possible moral hazard. Moral hazard occurs when organisations or individuals act upon the assumption that government or central banks may bail them out in case of trouble. It distorts the regular process of taking and assessing risks and may result in financial losses (to be borne by the tax-payer).
With the LG Card, the situation was that the government promoted and supported the use of the credit-card. So all issuing companies did not care for risk management and shifted the Korean society from cash to credit-card oriented. As a result, each Korean individual now has 4 credit-cards and the outstanding credit-card debt amounts to 14 % of Gross National Product.
So the big question is now how the credit-card industry in South-Korea will be restructured. If government is to bail the industry out, it creates a precedent in which other organisations or industries may also start taking risks with the idea that government will help them. So it appears unlikely that this will happen. But then again, it will be hard to find buyers for the South Korean credit-card issuers...
Or would the IMF be willing to intervene.... ? This article on their website suggest that IMF financing has not proved to induce moral hazard.
Posted by Simon on 12:47 PM | link
Sunday, December 28, 2003
PayPerMobile: all you need is your Mobile..
Posted by Simon on 1:19 PM | link
Saturday, December 27, 2003
E-commerce turnover in the Netherlands reaches 1,2 bilion euro...
Posted by Simon on 2:09 PM | link
Interview with van Rossum (Tootz)
Posted by Simon on 1:57 PM | link
Dutch Rail proceeds with chipcard
Posted by Simon on 1:53 PM | link
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
Interview with Stolwijk
Posted by Simon on 11:54 AM | link
Government representatives also still converting euro to guilder
Posted by Simon on 11:49 AM | link
LG Card crisis in Korea continues
Posted by Simon on 11:43 AM | link
Monday, December 22, 2003
Global Payments expands into EU-market
Posted by Simon on 1:56 PM | link
Stormy wheather for contactless card for public transport
Other news on the new chipcard (Automatiseringsgids) is that this Saturday the Minister of Transport started the new payment system in Amersfoort, meanwhile opening the new offices of TLS. Also, one of the participating companies, Connexxion, issued a press release to inform the public that it will start its trials with the new system at the end of 2004.
Most interesting link that I can provide is the discussion on the new system at Tweakers net. This provides a nice insight into consumer perception themes.
Posted by Simon on 1:08 PM | link
Peak in pin-transactions
Posted by Simon on 10:55 AM | link
Sunday, December 21, 2003
Central Bank president dislikes small eurocents..
Posted by Simon on 1:45 PM | link
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Webwereld reports launch of Tootz; mobile payment instrument by ING
The payment protocol is interesting in the sense that within three minutes after a purchase, the user needs to phone the number 0800-8668968 (TOOTZNU) to confirm payment. The phone won't be answered by voice response mechanisms; just calling is enough to effect the actual payment.
Posted by Simon on 2:11 PM | link
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Donate with Way2Pay
Test Way2Pay en doneer hier 1 euro / Test Way2Pay and donate your euro here:
Posted by Simon on 3:15 PM | link
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Credit-card procedure Postbank
- a letter arrives with an activation code,
- the postman rings the door on Saturday and delivers the card (signature/driving license needed),
- the card is activated (but with a voice response dialogue which vaguely states that the activation order has been received.. one must assume that as of that moment it is possible to use the card but that is not really confirmed),
- the customer is instructed to not only cut the old card in two, but also to send it back to the Postbank.
Posted by Simon on 2:42 PM | link
Monday, December 15, 2003
KPN renews prepaid-platform: chooses Alcatel
-8690 Open Service Platform (OSP)
-payment suite with Alcatel 8618 Rating Engine and 8698 Lite Service Creation Environment (SCE).
Essential is the open architecture of the system which allows easy addition of newer services to the network.
Posted by Simon on 4:18 PM | link
Dutch hold on to the guilder to determine price...
Posted by Simon on 3:59 PM | link
Friday, December 12, 2003
March 1, all contracts move to banks...
Posted by Simon on 2:36 PM | link
pre-Report of GTIAD meeting is out
Posted by Simon on 12:30 PM | link
Thursday, December 11, 2003
Moxmo and Idols
Posted by Simon on 11:53 AM | link
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
Rabobank launches micropayment-wallet for future use over GPRS
The product features are well designed; users may choose to define their own risk barriers. Standard setting is that all payments need to be validated by a password of the user (having pressed the Pay-button). But the user can also choose to set a limit of for example 5 euro. This means that all payment below 5 euro will be immediately paid without further authentication asked.
Given that the margins asked by Minitix from m-merchants will be considerably lower than those asked by telecom-operators, it appears there is a rather gloomy future for the current telecom issuers of e-money. Also, those regulators/scientists that are worried about insufficient innovation might want to reconsider their assessments.
Needless to say that I immediately signed up and was pleasantly surprised with the seamless opening procedure.
Posted by Simon on 4:11 PM | link
Tuesday, December 09, 2003
IM4U: integration of SMS and ICQ ; towards e-money
Actually, the software has been developed by Trees.nl under the name IM4U and is distributed by the four partners under their own brand name. It will also be possible to use premium SMS or 0900-numbers to buy credits. These can be used to purchase ringtones etc. So, only if Trees.nl (re)sell all these goodies itself, will it not be an electronic money institution. Otherwise we can welcome another new player in the e-money market.
Interesting news is that, given the expected large volume of SMS, a price will be charged to the user of 14 eurocent (as opposed to the regular 22 eurocent now charged in the netherlands). So if only for this reason we may expect IM4U to be an immediate succes.
Posted by Simon on 5:07 PM | link
Dexia and Base realize mobile payments in Belgium
Yesterdays De Morgen contained an interesting commentary (in Dutch, registration required) by Leo van Hove on the Belgium discussion on 'free' payment transfers. He argues that the call for free-basic banking services stands in the way of achieving more efficient payment systems. So he sees the urgent demand for legislation to make Fortis withdraw its new fee structure for demand deposit accounts, as counter-productive.
Posted by Simon on 2:15 PM | link
Monday, December 08, 2003
Fees for mobile phone calls and for payments....
What's interesting is that in this discussion no-one expects the fee to be 0 cents, while in similar discussions in the banking sector, that is sort of the baseline. Fortis Belgium recently introduced payment fees for getting cash at the Fortis ATM, for a small subset of its customers. While the fee is as low as 0,06 euro and while Fortis allows alternative pricing packages, this action caused considerable public debate. It's an interesting world.
Posted by Simon on 12:22 PM | link
Petty thieves on the lookout for your pincode !
In the same period, also somewhere in the South of the Netherlands, a shop owner tried to get his piece of the debit-card-fraud-cake. He copies his customers' debit-card and overlopoked them entering the pin. The net result was 10.000 euro and an arrrest (this weekend) by the policy.
The main lesson: be very careful with your pincode, especially in this shopping season. A union of German banks therefore warns customers (see this press release) to take care during their shopping spree.
Posted by Simon on 11:42 AM | link
Friday, December 05, 2003
Snail-mail from Sinterklaas
Sinterklaas for grown-ups means a party of giving and receiving gifts, much like on Christmas, but now the presents are called "surprises" (pronounce as "sir-preeze-us"). A surprise is a gift hidden within a product of tinkering, aimed at giving the gift the appearance of something completely different, accompanied by a poem. It serves to embarrass the addressee by reminding him/her of some embarrassing moments in the past year, or to point out a general failure of character in a mocking way.
Now, in the regular mail today, I've received a poem from Sinterklaas about the issue of redeemability of e-money for mobile phone operators. In it Sinterklaas succeeds in convincing the competent supervisory authority AFM (Autoriteit FinanciŽle Markten) to ensure that as of today, if so desired, customers get their pre-paid money back from mobile operators.
Now that would really be a 'surprise' !
Posted by Simon on 2:14 PM | link
Strohalm : Blade of Straw
Strohalm is a research and development institute that supports the creation of new monetary and economic systems to provide new opportunities and advantages to businesses and individuals to move towards a sustainable economy.
Posted by Simon on 9:04 AM | link
WebWereld poll on internet payments
- 36 %, acceptgiro (inpayment),
- 36 %, credit card
- 14 %, cash on delivery
- 8 %, I never buy on the web,
- 5 %, different mechanisms,
- 1 %, switchpoint.
2230 respondents also filled in additional questions, which show the following usage of alternative payment mechanisms:
- 21 %, paypal,
- 13 %, rabo direct
- 4 %, way2pay,
- 1 %, www-bon
- 1 %, wallie-card,
- 0 %, moxmo,
- 64 % none of the above.
What we learn is that the first movers Paypal and Rabo have apparently succeeded best in finding their niche as a payment mechanism. Way2Pay's 4 % and Wallie-cards 1 % are encouraging, given their recent start. But where these end up, no one knows.
Posted by Simon on 8:43 AM | link
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Louis Lathouwers explains his Guilder-LETS to Radio Bergeijk
In his explanation he noted that with the introduction of the Euro, the people in Bergeijk became twice as poor. In order to resolve this he suggested the introduction of a new fictitious trading unit, with the name Guilder (our former money unit here in the Netherlands). Then, on-air, he tried to exchange his invented fictitious Guilder for a cup of coffee and a repair of the bike. The conversation really got out of hand when it came to fictitious banks, a fictitious Rabo-bank, with fictitious bank accounts, debit-cards and fictitious pin-code's, including fictitious robbery of fictitious money in the accounts. And also fictitiously rich people.
Essentially, the show was a satire on LETS, Local Exchange Trading Systems. These are a payment-unit to be used in communities that do not want to use money, but want to exchange services. See this site for more information on LETS and this site for the Dutch variation: Noppes.
Posted by Simon on 10:56 AM | link
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
Letter about payments issues to parliament
- increased attention will be paid to the falsifications of the euro; the central bank will do a renewed campaign to make sure the public knows and uses the safetu features of bank notes,
- the change-over of contracts between retailers and Interpay to the retailers and their banks will take effect on March 1, 2004.
Posted by Simon on 11:21 PM | link
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
Mrs. A. Jorritsma to be the independent chairman of supervisory board of Interpay
Posted by Simon on 4:44 PM | link
Banks hold mini-conference / press meeting on account-transfer-service
This afternoon, the Dutch Bankers Association held a meeting on the "Overstapservice", which sort of translates as account-transfer service. The service helps consumer who want to move their bank account by providing them with all information on periodic payments, passing on direct debits etcetera (see my previous blog-entry).
Both the website and the meeting show a change in approach by the Dutch banks. The NVB-website is filled with all the information that one needs in order to understand the subject. It also has a form that consumers may use when they want to move their bank accounts. So it definitely looks as if the old days of a more introvert banking sector have made way for a new approach in which Dutch banks are more open and communicative.
Of course the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but as I'm really happy with my bank (which is the case for at least 80 % of the Dutch bank customers) I won't try the service. But anyone who does try it, is invited to send in his or her experience to: email@example.com.
Posted by Simon on 4:13 PM | link
The Communication on the New Legal Framework
Now let's read it and see what the differences are with the previous, undisclosed version.
Posted by Simon on 3:39 PM | link
ING Direct and Rabobank.be: successful Dutch internetbanks
Meanwhile Rabo has succeeded to attract 275 million euro of savings from the Belgium market, where its Rabobank.be active for one year now. On average, the 13.500 customers save an amount of Ä 21.000. Rabobank wishes to reach a number of 32.000 customers at the end of 2004 and hopes to reach break even in 2005. Also, expansion to other Eu-countries is on the agenda. Technically, Rabobank uses the digipas-technology of Vasco for authentication.
Posted by Simon on 3:07 PM | link
Corporate segment not always profitable
Posted by Simon on 12:25 PM | link
Monday, December 01, 2003
Europe is not acting European
Cross-border business-to-consumer sales have stagnated in the EU despite large price divergences. A Eurobarometer poll published today shows that consumers are not confident enough to shop cross-border. Only 12% of EU citizens have actually bought any goods or services across borders over the last twelve months. "A competitive European economy needs consumers who are willing to shop across national borders. This poll confirms the need to continue to strengthen the EU's consumer policy." said Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner David Byrne.
Basically, this shows that people shop and buy in the country were they live, or where they travel through. And no European Commission policy may be able to change that. It's a similar misconception as the one about the single payment area. It's not the creation of a single payments area that makes a consumer pay internationally, it's the other way around. As soon as consumers are paying internationally, there is a single payments area. But it may take some 10 more years for policy makers to acknowledge that.
Posted by Simon on 5:49 PM | link
GTIAD-meeting on pre-paid telco-services
The next steps in the process will be that the GTIAD will make up its mind on this subject and send an advice to the Banking Advisory Council. Then, a consultation may take place on how to further proceed and make sure that the legislation will be applied in a proportional and adequate way to the telecom organisations.
See also the article in todays Volkskrant (registration required).
Posted by Simon on 1:23 PM | link
Banksys lowers its fees
- replacing individual contracts by standard contracts with better general conditions,
- lowering the monthly fee with 15 %,
- lowering the Proton commission from 0,7 to 0,55 %,
- waiving terminal installation fees in the first half year of 2004.
The cost of these measures is estimated to be 13,4 million euro.
The changes are the result of a satisfaction enquiry as well as an agreement with the Independent Union of Entrepreneurs. And Dirk Syx, delegated official of Banksys, formally commits himself to the implementation results.
Posted by Simon on 12:50 PM | link
5.685.517 pin-transactions for Sinterklaas: 1,13 billion over 2003
If we use the number to estimate the total number of this years transactions we may expect 1131 million (1,131 billion) debit-card transactions in 2003, which is still a 6,75 % rise over last year. As for the number of transactions on the Saturday before Christmas, this will probably be 5,98 million (give or take a few).
Posted by Simon on 10:25 AM | link
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