Zong mPayment Spending up 37% Y/Y, Industry to Boom

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Zong Payment Index (ZPI), which tracks the spending patterns of Zong’s global user base and is broken down by its top 40 markets, indicated average monthly spend per Zong user is up 37% in the last 12 months. This comes at a time the m-payment audience is projected move from…

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MasterCard Worldwide Names Deputy General Counsel

Michael F. McEneney has been named MasterCard Worldwide Deputy General Counsel, to lead the Global Public Policy, Regulatory Advocacy, Litigation, and the Product and Advisors legal teams. McEneney was previously a partner at Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, D.C., where he spent more than a decade advising global payment system and banking clients, including MasterCard, on the full range of legal issues affecting the financial services industry. His areas of expertise include privacy, data protection, e-Commerce, anti-money laundering, debit and credit regulation and consumer bankruptcy issues. McEneney is a frequent speaker and writer on financial services issues and has testified before Congress on behalf of a diverse group of financial services organizations. He also represented major payment card systems clients on federal legislative and regulatory policy matters and counseled financial institutions on federal regulations. McEneney received a Bachelor of Science degree from Manhattan College and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from the Boston University School of Law.

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NRF Pushes for Card Fee Legislation

Advocating for the timely implementation of the Durbin Amendment, the National Retail Federation welcomed a letter from a coalition of consumer groups opposed to legislation that would delay the swipe fee reform scheduled to go into effect this summer. Americans for Financial Reform asked Congress Wednesday to reject proposals to delay swipe fee reform. When the card and banking industry is pushing for passage of legislation to delay the swipe fee reform, requiring more study of the issue for a clearer picture of repercussions from the bill, the NRF wants to gloss over any further research and put it in place as soon as possible. The Amendment regulations proposed by the Fed in December would lower debit card swipe fees from their current level of 1 to 2% of each transaction to a flat fee of no more than 12 cents per transaction for large banks that adhere to fees set by the card companies. It will cost banks with assets of over $10 billion millions of dollars annually.

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MoneyGram Appoints Regional VP, Sales

George Zelinski has joined MoneyGram International as vice president of Central America, South America and the Caribbean regions to develop and direct sales strategies. Bringing to MoneyGram more than 25 years’ experience working in the financial services industry, including leadership positions in banks in Mexico City, Zelinski just spent 10 years with Arlington, Texas-based money transfer company DolEx Dollar Express where he served in various capacities including CEO, CFO, and vice president of sales. In addition to its commitment to the Central and South American and Caribbean markets, MoneyGram also has a concerted effort to strengthen its business across the Americas and is intensifying its focus on Mexico, specifically, under Robert Burford.

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Wright Express Acquires rapid! PayCard Prepaid Cards

Wright Express Corporation payment processing has acquired the assets of rapid! PayCard, a privately held provider of payroll debit cards, e-paystubs and e-W2s in an all cash deal that includes additional considerations for performance milestones. rapid! PayCard is an emerging provider of prepaid products focusing on small and medium sized businesses. Established in 2004, rapid! PayCard has been focused on employer payroll card programs to help clients achieve a legally compliant 100% electronic payroll with a more sustainable environmental model for payroll delivery.

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VIVOTECH APPROACHES VERIFONE TO ACQUIRE HYPERCOM ASSETS

ViVOtech NFC software and systems company has approached VeriFone Systems to acquire the U.S. assets of Hypercom Corporation, of which VeriFone is expected to close acquisition in 2H/11. Through its direct and OEM channels, VIVOtech has 80% share of U.S. deployments, including nearly 100% of VeriFone’s current U.S. contactless NFC reader deployments. ViVOtech believes the current payment and merchant ecosystem in the U.S. – including the customers and partners of the three leading providers, and emerging participants in the electronic and mobile payment market – will support ViVOtech’s acquisition of the Hypercom assets. Hypercom approved merger agreements with VeriFone Systems by more than 99% of the shares voted back in February. The proposed merger was announced on November 17, 2010, pending the satisfaction of applicable regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions(Cardflash Library 2010-12-25).

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PYDS Updates on Performance

Payment Data Systems integrated electronic payments solutions provider is updating shareholders and other stakeholders, as it will be filing its 10K on or before April 15, in compliance with the guidelines for a normal extension as granted by the SEC. Conjunctively, the Company will report it’s debt free with an ending cash balance of over $1MM at the close of 2010. With its December processing volumes the highest of any month in 2010, up 22% over November 2010, total 4Q/10 processing volumes were the best of any quarter in 2010, up 31% over 3Q/10.

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Mocapay Named Best in Category at Paybefore Awards

Paybefore has announced that Mocapay mobile consumer platform as the Best in Category winner for the Business-to-Consumer or -Employee category. The award recognizes Mocapay’s partnership with “Wow Bao,” a restaurant concept from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. Paybefore Awards, now in its fifth year, is the most prestigious recognition of excellence in the worldwide prepaid and stored value card industry. Mocapay received the honor during the Paybefore Awards ceremony at Prepaid Expo USA in Orlando, Florida. The “Wow Bao” solution partnered with Mocapay in 2010 to implement a mobile marketing solution within its Chicago-based restaurants.

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Prepaid Card Market Primed to Explode in 2011

China is already the world’s largest payment card market, based on the number of credit and debit cards in circulation, with a tremendous prepaid card market. In 2009, prepaid cards across 11 categories recorded about CNY1, 370B (US$207.6B) in sales/loads in China. The prepaid card market in China might offer significant opportunities for members of the global payments industry who have been waiting anxiously to get a bigger piece of the local market. Mercator’s latest research provides the most comprehensive overview of the prepaid card market in China on general-purpose (open- and semi-open) and private-label/closed- loop prepaid card markets.

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Cardtronics & Banorte Providing Largest ATM Network

Cardtronics Mexico retail ATM owner forged agreements with Grupo Financiero Banorte to prominently display advertising at 2,000 Cardtronics Mexico ATMs. With this, Banorte will provide its customers with Mexico’s largest ATM network, complete with ubiquitous fee-free access to their cash. In addition to offering its customers more than 1,300 nationwide banking offices in Mexico, a Banorte ATM footprint – enhanced by Cardtronics Mexico-owned machines in up to 2,000 OXXO locations – creates a Banorte-branded network of more than 7,000 ATMs in Mexico. The Banorte-branding of these Cardtronics Mexico-owned ATMs has already begun, with up to 2,000 machines targeted to feature the Banorte brand by early 2012.

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Western Union Facilitates mMoney Transfers To M-PESA Subscribers

Western Union now lets users send to “wallets” of Safaricom M-PESA subscribers in Kenya from 45 countries and territories. The expansion of the service to more than 80,000 Western Union Agent locations worldwide follows the successful debut of the offering from Western Union Agent locations and the westernunion.com website in the U.K. The service rides on Western Union’s worldwide network and trusted global “hub” for processing cross-border remittances. It also builds on the unprecedented success of M-PESA, a domestic mobile money transfer service in Kenya offered by Safaricom that has attracted more than 13.5 million customers since its launch in 2007. The service will allow people to visit one of more than 80,000 Western Union Agent locations in 45 countries and territories across the globe, including the U.S., Canada, Italy and the U.K., and send funds directly to the mobile “wallets” of M-PESA’s 13.5 million subscribers. Funds are delivered generally in minutes.

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FeeFighters Expands International Footprint

FeeFighters online comparison shopping engine has expanded its money-saving service into Canada. The free comparison site at www.feefighters.ca helps merchants cut through the murky waters of notoriously inflated rates, confusing contract terms and hidden costs to find the absolute best deal on credit card processing fees. FeeFighters brings transparency to the pricing structure of processing fees and maintains merchant-friendly rules for its processor marketplace. All processors featured on the site have been vetted and must adhere to strict rules and transparent pricing, which ensures business owners won’t get ripped off or hit with hidden costs.

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