Smart Card Alliance IDC Announces Focus

Guiding the creation of strong identity management foundations for citizen and government identity programs is the focus for the coming year, the Smart Card Alliance Identity Council said recently. The Identity Council also announced new officers and a steering committee, and recently held a workshop on the Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Interoperable (PIV-I) card at its 9th Annual Smart Cards in Government: Identity, Security & Healthcare Conference in November in Washington D.C. The Identity Council is made up of more than 80 individuals from over 40 end user, chip vendor, systems integrator, card vendor, biometrics provider, identity system and software vendor organizations. With more than 800 registrants and 50 exhibitors and sponsors, the 9th Annual Smart Cards in Government: Identity, Security & Healthcare Conference is the largest annual event for the government identity and security sector.

Details

VoiceCash and mobilcom Launch Prepaid Mastercard

VoiceCash Group and mobilcom-debitel are announcing the “mobilcash Prepaid MasterCard.” The Prepaid MasterCard card twin card program lets users share money with relatives and friends all over the world. With the prepaid twin cards money can easily be assigned from one card to the partner card, whom have immediate access to the available balance. The cards can be managed online, via mobile phone SMS commands, or with the voice authentication system and can be used for payment at more than 30 million POS and withdrawal at more than 2 million ATMs. mobilcom-debitel is a telecom provider in the German market with about a 16 million customer base while VoiceCash is an international mobile remittance company with its own VoiceCash Bank, that is fully passported in all European countries.

Details

Card Payment Direct Promotes Sales Director

Daniel Diaz has been promoted Executive Sales Director at Card Payment Direct. Bringing a history of sales expertise in the industry, 6 years in the bankcard industry alone, he is seasoned in payment processing sales, project management and operations. He will leverage and develop the talents of a large team of sales professionals and work synergistically with them to develop new and existing markets for the company. Card Payment Direct is a leading provider of Wholesale Payment Processing Services to businesses nationwide and a source of credit, debit, check services, gift and loyalty cards, and business financial services.

Details

ASSA ABLOY to Acquire LaserCard

LaserCard secure ID solutions has entered into a definitive agreement whereby ASSA ABLOY AB will acquire its assets for $6.25 per share through a cash tender offer for a total of approximately $80 million. This per share price represents a premium of approximately 38% over the closing price of LaserCard shares on December 17, 2010 and a premium of 42% over the 20-day average of closing prices. LaserCard will become part of ASSA ABLOY’s HID Global business with LaserCard’s secure identity products, solutions and services complementing HID Global’s identity solution offering. A subsidiary of ASSA ABLOY will commence a cash tender offer to acquire LaserCard’s outstanding shares of common stock at $6.25 per share, net to each holder in cash. Upon satisfaction of the conditions to the tender offer and after such time as all shares tendered in the tender offer are accepted for payment, the agreement provides for the parties to effect, subject to customary closing conditions, a merger to be completed following completion of the tender offer which would result in all shares not tendered in the tender offer being converted into the right to receive $6.25 per share in cash.

Details

Vanilla Visa Awards Gift Cards to Schools

Vanilla Visa network-branded gift card is giving the Los Angeles Unified
School District (LAUSD) 100 Vanilla Visa Gift Cards valued at $100 each
for select teachers to use as needed. This is partly in response to
research from National School Supply and Equipment Association (NSSEA)
indicating 92% of teachers spend their personal money on school
supplies, and the average amount spent in 2009 was $170 per year.
Teachers at the selected schools were chosen because students showed
marked improvement in test scores during this year’s first periodic
assessment, often a strong indicator of how they will perform on the
annual California Standards Tests (CST).

Details

Amendment Puts $11.8B Debit Revenue at Stake

In the US banking industry, $11.8 BN of the current $16.2 BN generated in debit interchange revenue could possibly vanish. Based on the proposed draft rules announced by the Federal Reserve on December 16, 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. This, according to the latest Oliver Wyman report “The US debit Market and the Durbin Amendment: Worse than the worst case scenario,” indicates the economics of debit card programs will become significantly unprofitable. 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. Currently, card issuers generate an average of $87 of revenue per active consumer debit card per year, but starting on July 21st, for banks with at least $10 BN in assets, this figure will drop to $24 per year. 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) (CardFlash Library, 2010/12/22).

Details

Citi Cards Donates AT&T Phone Cards To Military

Citi Cards is helping American troops abroad stay in touch with family and friends during the holiday season through its long-standing relationship with AT&T and is donating 100,000 AT&T prepaid phone cards. With an approximate total retail value of $700,000, each phone card will provide military members with 20 minutes of free international talk time to the U.S. from AT&T military calling centers in areas like Iraq and Afghanistan. The USO will assist Citi with the distribution of 70,000 prepaid phone cards during their celebrity entertainment tours and special events while Citi’s Military Veteran’s Employee Network will coordinate the donation of 30,000 cards to military personnel in the 1st Marine Division stationed in Afghanistan.

Details

25Th Annual CARTES & IDentification a Success

The CARTES & IDentification global event show confirmed its influence with 432 exhibitors (427 in 2009), 79% of whom were international, 18,768 visitors, 72% of whom were international (68% in 2009) and 142 countries represented. Despite a slight dip in the number of French visitors due to the bad weather (18,768 in total compared to 19,883 in 2009), this anniversary edition once again lived up to the profession’s expectations. The Comexposium team invites you to the next show, to be held from 15 to 17 November 2011, where Turkey will be the special guest country. Over the three days, 1,252 participants (1,228 in 2009) attended 18 conferences. Among the participants, 83% were international, coming from 57 countries.

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

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.

Details

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

Details