Roundup: Visa, MasterCard offer more payment options; U.S. housing construction down 16 percent; more
Visa, MasterCard offer more phone payment options
Visa and MasterCard are introducing Internet-based technologies to make it easier for shoppers to buy things at retail stores without pulling out a credit card. The two technologies were announced separately on Wednesday. They will give merchants and banks more options for incorporating so-called contact-less payment systems into their mobile apps. The customer uses the app to make purchases by tapping the phone to a store's card reader. The technologies tap a new feature in Google's Android operating system. Before, card information had to be stored on a secured part of the phone. Now, it can be stored remotely instead. A retail or banking app on the phone then retrieves what's needed to complete the transaction.
Producer price index rises slight 0.2%
The cost of producing goods and services in the United States rose slightly in January, with higher food prices partly offset by cheaper gas. Overall, inflation remains mild. The Labor Department said Wednesday that the producer price index, which tracks prices before they reach consumers, rose 0.2 percent in January. That followed a 0.1 percent increase in December and a flat reading in November. In the past year, producer prices have risen just 1.2 percent, below the Federal Reserve's preferred target rate. Excluding the cost of food, energy and markups by wholesalers and retailers, so-called core prices ticked up just 0.1 percent.Housing construction down 16% in January
Home construction fell in January for a second month but the weakness in both months reflected severe winter weather in many parts of the country. The expectation is that housing will deliver another year of solid gains, helped by an improving economy. Builders started work at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000, down 16 percent from December, the Commerce Department reported on Wednesday.
Other business news
• Profit iWabtec Corp. boosted profit by 13 percent in the fourth quarter on record sales, the Wilmerding-based supplier of rail products said. Wabtec reported net income of $74 million, or 76 cents a share, in the October-December quarter, compared with $64.8 million, or 67 cents a share, in the same period the prior year. Sales rise to $681.5 million from $610.4 million. Wabtec said it expects to earn $3.45 a share this year, up from $3.01 in 2013.
• Calgon Carbon Corp.'s profit increased in the fourth quarter despite lower sales. The Robinson-based maker of carbon products used to purify water and air reported net income of $11 million, or 20 cents a share, in the October-December quarter, compared with $9.1 million, or 16 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Sales fell to $133.1 million from $141.8 million, a decline the company attributed to reduced sales in Asia.
• Duolingo Inc. received $20 million from investors in a fundraising round led by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the Shadyside technology company said. Duolingo, which has more than 10 million active users of its free language-learning app, previously raised $3.3 million in 2011 and $15 million in 2012.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Shift in what powers the grid raises concerns about fuel diversity
- Protesters refuse to pay back education loans
- Women encouraged to become engineers
- Free-market thinker Hall to lead Congressional Budget Office
- Unruly photo collection? Get it under control with organizing program
- Economist Hubbard says GOP should grow number of workers
- ‘Shark Tank’ companies have change of heart
- Highmark lays off nearly 100 workers, mostly in IT, as membership declines
- Top residential, commercial deals of the week — March 1
- Tech sector’s stocks strong
- Severance tax on natural gas drilling backed by Pa. voters