EFTA Launches Information Portal on Debit Card Rules

The Electronic Funds Transfer Association launched its website to provide public information on the Federal Reserve’s proposed new regulations governing debit card interchange fees, mandated by the Durbin Interchange Amendment and part of The 2010 Consumer Protection Act.

Available at www.durbininterchangeamendment.org, the informational site provides news, opinions and analysis issues surrounding the changes from the law. Among these is the Fed’s effort to cap debit card interchange fees, for which the site provides access to a library of information a blog and commentary. The Electronic Funds Transfer Association holds its mission is to inform and educate the public on issues of importance to the electronic payments industry and to objectively promote the adoption of electronic payments and commerce. Some claim this debit interchange revenue for regulated card issuers will decline by 73%, from an average of $0.44 per transaction to $0.12 per transaction by July 21, according to the latest Oliver Wyman report “The US debit Market and the Durbin Amendment: Worse than the worst case scenario.”

Boston Consulting Group, for one, is projecting the new card regulations could cost U.S. card issuers up to $25 billion a year, 29% of the revenue that U.S. issuers, mostly retail banks, collect from retail card transactions. After having grown between 2000-2009 at an average annual rate of 18% to become the most commonly used non-cash method of payment, debit card transactions totaled 37.9 billion in the US in 2009 alone to account for 35% of total non-cash retail payments.
(CardFlash Library, 2010/12/23)


Tieto and Balancion Improve on Finance Tools

Tieto and Finnish Balancion partnership will focus on finance sector companies and improving their online customer service. Balancion’s online personal finance management solution (PFM) can be branded and embedded seamlessly to bank’s online services, enabling banks to transform and differentiate their offerings to private customers to a new level. Tieto’s offering for financial industry includes banking services, internet banking and payment, card and capital market services to development, application management and outsourcing. Balancion Oy is a Finnish company that develops and provides innovative digital personal finance management (PFM) services. The Balancion service solution has been developed since 2008 in close cooperation with service design agency Idean Enterprises Oy and software development company Mysema Oy, with a high focus on consumer needs and user experience.


mBanking Sees Strong ROI for Banks

In our ever-“advancing” world, mobile technologies are becoming increasingly prevalent in the minds of consumers. Undoubtedly a mainstay, banks providing mobile banking to their customers for checking balances, conducting remittance, paying bills, applying for credit and managing finances are slated to see an investment return of around 300%.

For example, a Middle-Eastern financial institution has achieved a return on investment of at least 300% through customer education by showing its two million mobile banking customers how to access and use services and offering ways to pay bills online using their mobile devices.

This, according to a study commissioned by Accenture, also shows an Asia-Pacific bank has achieved a return on investment of 230% since launching mobile banking in 2007, which is focusing on engaging staff at branches. Meanwhile, a European bank whose customers can check balances and transfer money between accounts with their mobile phones has achieved 60% annual growth of its mobile banking customers.


Bling Nation’s Debuts Social Network Payment

The primary reason businesses are incorporating more social media in their business is because more consumers are using it as their primary shopping vehicle. Facilitating more effective promotions and marketing efforts, Bling Nation is launching its “FanConnect” platform to allow businesses to connect with consumers on social networks. When customers tap the Bling Nation “BlingTag” microchip at checkout for NFC payment, consumers can opt-in to “like” a business- an very important feature in the Facebook world-, post select rewards to their Facebook page, and redeem discounts and promotions targeted toward them. The “FanConnect” solution ultimately lets businesses grow their customer base, save money and tap into a powerful automatic viral marketing system with a built-in loyalty program. With this, businesses can leverage social media to enrich their customer relationships by connecting with them via Facebook and Foursquare.


YESpay Hitches Wagon to mPayments and eCommerce

YESpay International is increasing its presence in mobile payments, online commerce and virtual card services. With live payment services operations in UK, Ireland, other parts of the EU as well as USA and Canada, the Company has sights set on offering a multi-channel for its merchants and launching “YESpay-Wallets” mobile payments products and “YESpay-V-Cards” card payment programs. The “YESpay-V-Cards” pre-paid accounts will be used as novel payment methods for mobile and fixed Internet goods and services. YESpay processes millions of cardholder payments for its merchants and predicts mobile payment will attract customers and merchants alike looking to experience the speed, ease and convenience of paying with their mobile phone.


Panini Markets RDC Solution for Mac-based Business

Panini global payments processing has made available the Mac interface for its check scanners designed for RDC, offering Mac-based small businesses MICR capture. Having grown to 11.41% of all desktop deployed operating systems, Apple Macintosh market share in the United States has experienced steady increases. Panini is targeting this segment with its interface that includes native support in the Mac OS X operating system, is based on Vision API version 3.6 and supports their industry leading check scanning products, Vision X ® and I:Deal. Panini is currently involved in many strategic initiatives surrounding these new Mac OS X capabilities and will be making additional announcements, including new customers, partnerships and channels.


Elavon Certifies Hypercom Optimum Payment

Elavon has Class-B certified Hypercom’s “SPOS32 EMV” and PA-DSS approved payment software on the PTS approved Optimum T4200 and M4200 mobile product family, among the first leading payment acquirers in Canada to do so. This lets Elavon process credit card transactions originating from these devices in Canada. Hypercom’s high security PTS approved and Interac certified Optimum T4200 and M4200 product family for North America consists of six powerful 32-bit multi-application systems that share the same platform, user interface, and software toolkit to maximize efficiency, application portability, and offer customers a broad range of options to serve any market need.


eLayaway Improves its User Experience

Slated for full deployment by the end of the first quarter, eLayaway made available the latest version of its “eLayaway 2.0 Private Beta” layaway payment processor. This offers users additional and expansive payment options beyond ACH, an enhanced payment flexibility solution and an updated account management interface. For merchants, the “eLayaway 2.0 Private Beta” offers an improved and scalable reporting system, a fully robust user interface with an enhanced inventory management and control functionalities. This provides the foundation for systematic upgrades that will provide merchants and ecommerce payment solutions with an open-source layaway payment platform from which to develop complimentary applications and solutions.


VeriFone Integrates Taxi Card Payment & Media

VeriFone Systems taxi card payment and digital media solutions are now available in the UK for free to London’s licensed black cabs to modernize the taxi payments infrastructure. Using its “PAYware” payment gateway, the VeriFone system has been approved for TX model taxis by Transport for London’s Taxi and Private Hire – the taxi licensing authority – and recruitment for drivers to use the system is underway. The system was initially available in a pilot program beginning in December and is now available for a wider release. It integrates with taxi meters and allows drivers to easily accept credit, debit and contactless cards, while also streaming digital content to passengers. The card payment system comprises a driver-side payment device with receipt printer, a fixed passenger-facing secure PIN entry device and a full color display screen for safety information, advertisements and streaming media.


Wells Fargo Appoints CAO its New CFO

Timothy J. Sloan has been named Wells Fargo CFO. Having served as the Bank’s chief administrative officer and a senior executive vice president, Sloan played role as head of Commercial Banking, Real Estate and Specialized Financial Services where he oversaw more than 25 lines of businesses. In his new role he will lead financial management functions, its investment portfolios and its corporate properties functions. Atkins joined Wells Fargo in 2001 after having served as EVP and CFO of New York Life Insurance Company after he was CFO at Midlantic Corporation before its merger with PNCBank and Chase Bank.


Visa Encourages Merchant Adoption of EMV

Visa announced a new PCI DSS compliance program that will fuel dynamic data authentication through the continued merchant deployment of EMV-compatible chip terminals capable of processing either contact or both contact and contactless payments. Visa’s Technology Innovation Program (TIP), will eliminate the requirement that eligible merchants annually validate their compliance with the PCI DSS for any year in which at least 75 percent of the merchant’s Visa transactions originate from chip-enabled terminals. To qualify, terminals must be enabled for contact or dual contact and contactless interface chip acceptance. All merchants outside of the United States are eligible and may begin qualifying for the new program from March 31, 2011. Visa Europe has announced a similar program. Visa will provide technical guidance over the coming months to further support merchants, acquirers, processors and issuers as they consider adopting EMV chip technology.


Citi Expands With New Branches

Citibank Colombia expanded its branch network in different cities Colombia, including in Envigado and Calima. This will allow Citi Colombia to increase its distribution network to 48 branches, 12 mini branches and 18 offices. In addition, there are currently 27 Citi Express centers in operation, which are part of the 130 that are planned to begin operation in April 2011. The branches will let customers conduct all traditional banking, such as opening and managing their accounts, paying public and private services bills, send remittance and access financial advisors.