Sage Payment Gives Insight on Durbin Amendment

Sage Payment Solutions payments division for Sage North America and a multinational payment processor to small and midsized businesses (SMBs) has responded to the Federal Reserve Board’s December 16 publication of proposed rules regarding debit card interchange fees and routing under Section 1075 (Durbin Amendment) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. In doing so, Sage disclosed regulatory impacts on payment networks can cause marketplace disruption from the potential for new bank fees placed on debit cards driving down debit card use and that it’s now most important small and midsized businesses look progressively at their payments environment for adaption to new marketplace environments. Sage Payment Solutions has been providing businesses and organizations with electronic payment systems for more than 20 years and provides electronic payment processing for more than 155,000 merchants.

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Evolution Benefits Names VP to General Counsel

Lynda Godkin has been appointed Vice President and General Counsel for Evolution Benefits electronic benefit card payment services. Since 2006 she has served as program manager for the “TeacherDollars” Program at Evolution Benefits, provided to over 800 teachers in the Hartford Public Schools to purchase much needed educational materials and teaching supplies. Godkin will also continue in her duties as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Women’s Health, USA business partner for physicians, which she joined in 2006. Women’s Health and Evolution Benefits share certain administrative and corporate services. She holds a B.A. Magna Cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College and a J.D. from Western New England College School of Law, where she was Editor of the Law Review.

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ClearPoint Credit Counseling Welcomes Board Addition

Dwight Prevo, vice president of Corporate Community Development at Wells Fargo, has been appointed to the board of directors for ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions to serve on its Governance Committee. Having served with Wells Fargo since 2003, Prevo has held key positions within the financial institution’s community development, government relations, and business development arenas. He developed and implemented policies, initiatives and revitalization strategies in underserved communities for the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development. Prevo holds a master of public administration degree from the University of Oregon and a doctorate of Policy, Planning and Development from the University of Southern California.

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Chase Credits Over $10b to Small Business in ’10

With its Card Services division having reported net income of $4.4
billion last year for a 23% increase over $3.6 billion in the year prior,
Chase has exceeded its goal of providing $10 billion of credit to
American small businesses in 2010. Having extended to more than 250,000
small businesses with annual sales of less than $20 million by Chase’s
Business Banking, Commercial Banking and Business Card businesses, the
Bank’s lending to small businesses is up more than 40% and now ranks #1
as the Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in America. This also
coincides with performance throughout last quarter demonstrating Chase
Card Services posted net income of $343 million compared to a loss of
$303 million last quarter and loss of $672 million loss the year ago
quarter; net revenue of $4.3million, compared to $4.2million last
quarter and 5.2million the year ago quarter; and a provision for credit
losses of $1.6 billion, compared with $5.0 billion in the prior year and
$2.2 billion in the prior quarter, thanks to lower net charge-offs and a
reduction of $1.5 billion to the allowance for loan losses due to lower
estimated losses. Complimenting its small business lending, Chase has
developed programs to hire 500 Business Bankers in the last 14 months;
Developing a Second Look credit review process for businesses that have
been turned down for a loan and seek further review, having approved
more than $250 million in additional loans since late 2009; and creating
a Loan for Hire program to reward small businesses for hiring new
employees(CardFlash Library, 2010/10/13).

CHASE NET INCOME
3Q/08 $292 million
4Q/08 -$371 million
1Q/09 -$547 million
2Q/09 -$672 million
3Q/09 -$700 million
4Q/09 -$306 million
1Q/10 -$303 million
2Q/10 $343 million
3Q/10 $735 million
Source: CardData.com

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AmEx Introduces the Year of the Rabbit Gift Card

For the Chinese Lunar New Year, American Express is launching its “Year
of the Rabbit Gift Card” for purchase online with a free-shipping offer
at americanexpress.com/gift. The card offers a gift option as an
alternative to the traditional cash placed in red envelopes. The “Year
of the Rabbit Gift Card” with its traditional paper-cut depiction of a
peaceful rabbit is available in denominations of $25, $50, $100, and
$200; is accepted at millions of locations in the United States where
American Express Cards are accepted; do not expire; charge no monthly
fees, not even for replacement, activation, checking a balance nor
monthly servicing. The online purchase price is $3.95 for all available
denominations.

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Oberthur Kicksoff New MasterCard Interface Platform

Oberthur Technologies smart card based solutions has unveiled the MasterCard “M/Chip Advance” on the “Cosmo Fly” v4 platform. Offering dual interface cards, the “Cosmo Fly v4 M/Chip Advance” dedicated JavaCard standard platform delivers both contact and ‘PayPass’ contactless payments to allow for new generation of payments for MasterCard and Oberthur Technologies customers. With this, “M/Chip Advance” offers Integrated Data Storage capabilities to address the demand for new solutions in sectors such as transit, loyalty, campus and government benefits. Oberthur Technologies secure technologies had sales of 904.6 million euros in 2009 and 6,160 employees worldwide.

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Cartera Commerce Debit Offers Give on Fed Fees

Cartera Commerce multi-channel shopping solutions and merchant-funded rewards, in light of the announcement from the Federal Reserve to create a 12-cent cap on the fees merchants must pay banks for processing debit card transactions, is touting its product as an alternative revenue stream and rewards funding model to offset said interchange fees. With this, Cartera Commerce is offering performance-based pricing with no fixed fees and no requirement for banks to fund offers; a world-class merchant network, including more than 1,000 national, regional and local merchants; support for statement credits, cash back, points, miles, coupons and POS discounts; web portals, email, mobile and browser apps marketing; and its Statement Offers solution for targeted, highly relevant discount and cash back offers within a consumer’s online banking statement. This comes after agreements were met in the spring with key conferees on the Wall Street reform bill regarding the Durbin amendment to regulate interchange fees, which passed the Senate 64-33. Modifications to the Durbin interchange amendment regulated interchange fees associated with debit or prepaid cards issued by large banks on behalf of government-administered payment programs; defines “interchange transaction fee” to include debit card fees that are established by a payment card network; and provides that the Fed cannot regulate network fees. It also provides card networks can no longer prevent merchants from offering customers a discount to use one card network vs. another and card networks cannot prevent merchants from offering a discount for one form of payment vs. another (cash vs. check vs. credit vs. debit). The law has been met with such scrutiny as that from ABA president/ CEO, having disclosed; “The American Bankers Association is very disappointed that the Senate voted in favor of the amendment that requires the Federal Reserve to promulgate rules limiting the fees merchants pay for accepting debit cards for payment…..The amendment completely upends the existing payment system, and retailers who benefit greatly from the system will pay almost nothing for the costs of maintaining and improving it. Retailers benefit greatly from debit and credit cards in increased consumer spending, lower personnel costs, and protection against fraud. Just picture a gas station where numerous customer transactions are taking place, are paid for with cards at the pump, and only one employee is needed to maintain the register inside the building. The so-called exemption for community banks and credit unions will be completely ineffectual, as both groups stated before the vote” (Cardflash Library, 2010/06/22, 2010/05/17).

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NCR to Provide NRT Self-Service Gaming Support

GA-based NCR Corporation and NRT Technology self-serve cash handling kiosk solutions for the casino industry have renewed an agreement for NCR to provide hardware support services for 1,300 NRT Ticket-in/Ticket-out (TITO) cash redemption devices across the United States. NCR was selected as service provider three years ago due to its ability to ensure maximum uptime for TITO devices, where usage rates can reach nearly triple those of ATMs. Other selection criteria included NCR’s ability to service and source parts for older, legacy machines, and to provide comprehensive nationwide coverage. NCR global technology assisted- and self-service solutions and comprehensive support services address the needs of retail, financial, travel, healthcare, hospitality, entertainment, gaming and public sector organizations in more than 100 countries.

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HYPERCOM

Hypercom has won contracts with the Bank of the Philippine Islands
(BPI), which will now offer Hypercom card payment through its more than
800 branches. BPI will begin deploying thousands of Hypercom Optimum
payment systems to merchants across the country over a three-year mass
rollout. Global payment technology leader Hypercom Corporation delivers
a full suite of high security, end-to-end electronic payment products,
software solutions and services to address the high security electronic
transaction needs of banks and other financial institutions, processors,
large scale retailers, smaller merchants, quick service restaurants, and
users in the transportation, petroleum, healthcare, prepaid,
self-service and many other markets. Hypercom is also a founding member
of the Secure POS Vendor Alliance (SPVA).

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Banco de Venezuela Selects FIS IST/Switch Platform

FIS banking and payments technology has expanded to Banco de Venezuela (BDV) with its IST/Switch, Clearing and DataNavigator solutions. The bank plans on upgrading their infrastructure to take advantage of the flexibility and scalability provided by IST/Switch that will support existing processing needs and future growth. FIS’ IST/Switch enables financial institutions to process transactions from any source including ATM, POS, Internet and mobile devices, managing interbank and internetwork processing gateways and multi-channel payment interfaces. FIS’ Clearing is a multi-card, multi-institution and multi-currency interchange solution that enables financial institutions to drive clearing operations for both issuers and acquirers, including transaction validation, editing, and qualification and clearing file generation. FIS’ DataNavigator is a comprehensive solution that collects and connects transactional data across the entire enterprise helping banks to improve customer service levels, track fraud patterns and understand customer behavior in order to manage the back-office.

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LEVEL 3 ADR

Citi Global Transaction Services has been appointed by
Sky-mobi Limited (Sky-mobi) as the depositary bank for its NASDAQ-listed
“Level 3” American Depositary Receipt (ADR) program. Sky-mobi’s ADR
program was established through a $58,000,000 offering, with an initial
offering price of $8.00 per ADR, each of which represents 8 ordinary
shares. Citi offers issuers of debt and equity local expertise and is
able to deliver specialized solutions for complex capital market
transactions across more than 70 countries. Meanwhile, its Global
Transaction Services division offers integrated cash managemen and fund
services to multinational corporations, financial institutions and
public sector organizations around the world.

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Provision Interactive Kicksoff VISA Reward

Provision Interactive Technologies will give away $100 VISA gift cards to grocery shoppers in KV Mart grocery stores starting this month. The coupon promotion from VISA is one of many offers on Provision’s 3D Rewards Center grocery network. Located at the front entrance of the store, the 3D Reward Centers offer shoppers promotions, sweepstakes or coupons for products and services. The 3D Reward Center utilizes Provision’s patented Holo 3D holographic video display technology which projects full-color, high-resolution videos into space without the need for any special glasses. The show-stopping, cutting-edge technology attracts shoppers and provides a powerful boost to its partner brands.

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