As the year draws to a close, Finextra takes a look back at our most-read news stories for each month of 2008. We also list the most popular blog posts on the Finextra Community, and the most popular video interviews over the course of the year.
Top news stories of 2008
January: Sepa goes live
The first stage implementation of the single euro payments area (Sepa) - which aims to make cross-border payments as cheap as domestic transactions - has gone live with the official launch of the Sepa payment instrument for credit transfers.
February: Cheque volumes continue to fall - Apacs
Cheque volumes declined at a record rate in 2007 as customers reached instead for plastic debit cards to make payments, according to stats released by UK payments association Apacs.
March: Man tries to pay water bill with toilet paper cheque
A US man, disgruntled by a hike in the cost of his water rates, yesterday tried to pay off his outstanding bill with a cheque written on toilet paper.
April: HSBC e-payments system falls over again
HSBC's online Secure ePayments application crashed again earlier this week leaving retailers unable to process card transactions for the second time in a fortnight.
May: HSBC calls in police to probe alleged EUR90m fraud
UK banking giant HSBC has called in police to investigate an alleged attempted EUR90 million fraud at its securities services division, which is rumoured to have been perpetrated by operations staff at the bank.
June: Merchants fuming over PayPal glitch
Glitches with the PayPal service has left merchants unable to accept some international payments for almost two weeks. The bug has also prevented merchants from charging some customers for handling costs.
July: Citi hires Lippert to overhaul IT operations
Citi has hired Marty Lippert, formerly of the Royal Bank of Canada, as its new chief information officer, as it bids to turn around its business and develop a new integrated technology infrastructure.
August: Former Abbey workers pinch £120,000 in ATM scam
Two former workers at an Abbey branch in London managed to steal more than £120,000 from cash machines by stuffing wads of notes down their trousers.
September: Barclaycard chief predicts death of plastic cards
Plastic cards could be set to go the way of cheques and become virtually obsolete as customers take up mobile and biometric systems to pay for purchases, according to Barclaycard which is ramping up its investment in contactless payment technology.
October: Excel error leaves Barclays with unwanted Lehman assets
Barclays Capital has been forced to file a legal relief motion relating to its acquisition of Lehman Brothers' US assets after a reformatting error with an Excel spreadsheet resulted in 179 contracts being mistakenly included in the purchase agreement.
November: State Street to cut IT spend
State Street CEO Ron Logue says the firm has developed an "aggressive" set of policies to manage headcount and related IT expenses over the coming year.
December: Black Thursday for financial markets as job losses mount
Financial markets have been rocked by a further series of massive job reductions at top firms, including Credit Suisse, Nomura, Commerzbank/Dresdner Kleinwort, State Street, and Jefferies.
Top 5 blogs posts of 2008
Top Gear host left red-faced over bank ID theft stunt
January - Paul Penrose comments on Jeremy Clarkson's invitation to fraudsters
DTCC and LCH Clearnet merger
April - Gary Wright takes a prescient look at the impact of the clearing infrastructures' merger
User friendly' does not compute with mobile makers
July - Dean Proctor vents some frustration at the poor design of contacts handling on mobile devices
Massive ATM fraud in the US - who is to blame?
July - Elton Cane takes a look at where responsibility might lie for the 7-11/Citibank ATM fraud case in the US
Aggregators are not 'Independent'
August - Amit Sharma looks at the commercial biases of comparison websites
Top videos of 2008
e-Invoicing in Europe
Finextra talks to Bo Harald, chairman, EC Expert Group on e-Invoicing
Trends in mobile financial services
Finextra talks to Willem da Jager, VP Mobile at Rabobank, and Emmett Higdon, senior analyst at Forrester
Can banks stay ahead of the fraud game?
Finextra talks to Elliot Castro, independent consultant and former credit card fraudster