SIA Applauds President Focus on Innovation

The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) U.S. leadership in semiconductor manufacturing and design is encouraged and bolstered by President Obama’s recent State of the Union address. The President’s focus and attention on science and engineering education, basic research investments, visa reform and comprehensive tax reform as the path to lead our economy toward full recovery and long-term growth is admirable and, representing the Country’s top export industry, the SIA pledges to work with Congress and the Administration to achieve these goals. The State of the Union addressed basic research investments helped create and fuel the computer chip industry. The Semiconductor Industry Association subsequently is encouraging Congress and the Administration to work together to provide long-term federal funding commitments for research and education as well as reform of U.S. tax, regulatory, and workforce policies to bolster economic recovery and ensure future American prosperity.

Details

Consumers Increasingly Cost-Conscious

Canadians are more focused on primarily cost and quality subsequent to a new type of consumer behavior in which they seek products and services that are in line with their personal values. With this, consumers are Supporting Local Economies Through Direct Spending, shifting their habits towards those of rural neighbors, seeking more local, home-grown and community-focused interactions. With this, 36% want to be a greater part of the local community, therefore they buy from local brands and vendors; 47% say the availability of locally-sourced or locally-made products affects their spending; and 46% say they were more aware of their environmental impact as consumers. This, according to a new American Express study; “American Express: Consumer Spending Futures: The New Era of Pause and Purchase,” also shows Canadians are shopping less, are choosing products that represent value for money and expect value from brands that align with their own desire for simplicity and ethical living with 76% describing themselves as cost-conscious and 62% describe themselves as quality-driven. Additionally, 87% of 55 to 64-year-olds make luxury purchases; 48% think very carefully about what they buy; and 32% think long and hard before spending money.

Details

U.S. Bank mBanking App Wins Paybefore Award

Paybefore has decided on the U.S. Bank “AccelaPay” mobile banking application as a 2011 Paybefore Awards winner in the “Best Virtual or Mobile Prepaid Application” category. Presented annually by Prepaid Media, the U.S. Bank “AccelaPay” mobile banking application was selected by a panel of five industry experts who served as judges. The “AccelaPay” Visa is a reloadable prepaid card designed to replace costly paper checks for businesses with recurring cash disbursement activities, such as payroll, commissions, etc., while the “AccelaPay” mobile banking application lets users check their balance, pay bills, receive account alerts and view mini-statements on-the-go. U.S. Bank is working in partnership with Monitise Americas and FIS to implement financial management technology for the application.

Details

U.S. Fund for UNICEF Deploys Mobilescape mPayment

The U.S. Fund for UNICEF selected BankServ’s “Mobilescape” mobile payment devices to process transactions at a variety of events over the past year and make a donation using a credit or debit card. A receipt is also provided to donors and the record of the donation is immediately accessible to accounting staff through Mobilescape’s web portal. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports child survival, protection and development worldwide through education, advocacy and fundraising. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF first introduced the Mobilescape solution in December 2009 at its annual Snowflake Ball, and noted an immediate improvement in the ease of collecting and accounting for donations made at the events.

Details

Internet Pioneers Launch Online mPayment Service

Jumio announced part of its high profile advisory board, to which the founder and CEO invited Internet pioneers Zain Khan (former Google executive), Mark Britto (former Amazon executive) and Maarten Linthorst (former NASA partner). Zain Khan is a former Google executive known as the “Ops guy,” built Google’s impressive infrastructure from scratch in 1999. Board member of Bill Me Later (acquired by eBay) and founder of Accept.com (acquired by Amazon), Mark Britto was responsible for building the main payment infrastructure for Amazon. Working with NASA back in 1969, Maarten Linthorst paved the way for the Internet as we know it, interconnecting the first two servers to become the ARPANET.

Details

Cubic Signs $220mm Contract to Design Smart Card Faregate

TransLink, the Greater Vancouver transit authority, has awarded Cubic Transportation Systems a contract valued at $220 million to deliver and operate a new smart card fare payment and revenue management system for the region’s rail, bus, ferry and paratransit services. The base contract for $84 million includes the design, build and installation of the system, which will include new faregates, to be delivered by 2013. Following delivery, a 10-year services contract valued at approximately $13 million per year, plus a one-time $6 million transition cost, will begin. The contract includes an option for five additional years of services. TransLink’s new system will be built on Cubic’s “Nextfare” technology, giving transit operators better reliability, revenue recovery from fare evasion and valuable business data to support planning and transit services.

Details

American Express Presents CFDA/Vogue Fashion Show

American Express now offers Cardmembers this fashion season access to the fashion industry with the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF) Cardmember Only Show in the Theatre at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center. American Express is further connecting Cardmembers to the fashion community this February with first-ever access to a variety of runway shows, presentations and unique industry experiences through a groundbreaking partnership with MAC & Milk. Packages are available now at americanexpress.com/entertainment. Also, Platinum and Centurion Card Members that buy packages to sit front-row will be able to join industry notables for an exclusive backstage cocktail reception following the runway show.

Details

Cypress Reports 4Q/FY/10 Results

Cypress Semiconductors posted 4Q/10 revenue of $226.6 million, down 2.3% from $231.9 million for the prior quarter, and up 16.8% from $194.0 million for the year-ago period. Meanwhile, net income for the quarter totaled $50.6 million. For the 2010 fiscal year, Cypress revenue totaled $883.8 million, an increase of 32.3% from fiscal year 2009 revenue of $667.8 million. Cypress’s fourth-quarter revenue decreased 2% sequentially thanks to its CCD division which grew 10% sequentially due to very strong “TrueTouch” touchscreen revenues, which drove the overall mobile handset revenues up 27%. Meanwhile FY 2010 revenue grew 32% year-over-year, rebounding strongly from a tough 2009 thanks to the Company’s “PSoC” and “TrueTouch” products having achieved record revenue and design wins.

Details

Amex President & CEO Addresses Economic Club

American Express is driving new card products, new member experiences, new ways to communicate with members, and new markets to help our customers realize their potential. Having addressed this and the Company’s other initiatives was Howard Grosfield, president & CEO / president & GM Amex Bank of Canada / Amex Canada to the Economic Club of Canada with “It’s All About the Customer” in Toronto.

Details

Spartanics Makes Available 2011 Laser Die Guide

Plastic card manufacturers seeking comprehensive information on technology updates to combination laser cutting and rotary die cutters, interchangeable sheet-fed and roll-fed laser cutting systems, and bar-code enabled rapid changeovers with combinations of digital printers and digital die cutters are recommended to read the 2011 Edition of the SPARTANICS TECHNICAL GUIDE: HOW TO MATCH TODAY’S LASER CUTTING TECHNOLOGY TO APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS. This expanded edition includes reports on laser die cutting technology improvements since the Guide was first released in 2008 and enables readers to make a more informed assessment of how to find best match cutting technologies given the proliferation of versatile cutting options since this Laser Cutting Technical Guide was first released.

Details

Cintas and NFCC Issue Top 11 Tips for Protecting ID

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that more than 9 million Americans fall victim to identity fraud each year, to which Cintas Corporation and the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) responded with its list of top 11 data protection tips to help consumers avoid identity theft in recognition to Data Privacy Day. The Companies’ top 11 tips to consumers for protecting personal information include shredding important documents; guarding their Social Security card; monitoring accounts online; keeping personal information private; imposing a “shred-all” policy at work; checking credit reports regularly; using unique passwords; practicing safe online habits, especially with social networking sites; protecting personal information while on vacation; explain cautions to children; and using a secure mailbox.

Details

Interchange Rule Structure Historically Bad

This latest piece of legislation being proposed upon banking is by no means “Dead-on-Arrival.” Yet, we suspect that it may face some pretty severe head winds when all the facts and balanced points of view come out between now and the end of the public comment period, April 21st. For example, Regulators seem to focus on banks costs alone as the driver of what banks may charge for Interchange is lost in 1980’s strategies, when “cost-based” pricing was in vogue. That appears to many to be out of touch with the realities of today’s commerce. Consumers today want choices, they want value. Savvy banks have been refocused on what we term “value based” pricing strategies, charging appropriate amounts based upon the set of value propositions that consumers demand, which banks supply, that goes far beyond costs as the sole or major component of pricing. The similar Australian experience clearly shows that if government mandates lower interchange, that does not mean the savings will automatically flow to consumers in lower costs at POS for their purchases. The unintended consequence of this latest proposed law: it actually reduces competition; consumers respond as anyone would, by doing what is in their best interest. If enacted into law as is, R.K. Hammer sees this legislation hitting the top line revenues for banks by over $15.2 Billion per year. In the R.K. Hammer model, that is $26.2 Billion every year in lost revenue from recent/proposed regs. RK Hammer is hopeful that sufficient compelling evidence will be presented in the next few months to the Federal Reserve which will warrant them to rethink this latest anti-competitive effort.

Details