American Express has officially announced all finalists of its âMy Movie Pitchâ contest launched earlier this year. The first five finalists selected earlier this fall, along with four newly announced finalists from Round Two, submitted fun, quirky and unique movie pitch ideas via amexfilm.com in hopes of seeing their idea brought to life by an independent film director. The American Express panel of Tribeca Film directors, along with thousands of film enthusiasts who voted online, selected the final pitches to advance to the Grand Prize Judging period. The winning pitch, selected from one of the nine finalists (five from Round One and four from Round Two), along with the Tribeca Film director who will be creating the film, will be announced in December. All finalists will receive a Filmmaker Toolkit, featuring a laptop computer, movie editing software package and portable video camera. The grand-prize winner will receive a trip for two to New York City to attend the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival as a VIP and the ultimate grand prize: to see his/her story made into an independent short film. The second set of finalists from Round Two and their ideas include âPlacebo 56â – In this sci-fi thriller, mankind’s only hope against a global plague rests in one man who soon finds himself fighting for his own survival. âBeyond The Graveâ – A paranormal investigator is aided by the spirit of a young man, only to find himself ensnared in the twisted games of a serial killer who canât even be stopped by death. âThe Auctionâ – A distraught man tries to start anew by selling his entire life to the highest bidder, but it seems the buyers have even more to run from. âLetâs Have Churchâ – A documentary about the role of the theater of worship in America across religious denominations.Details
Gary Kearns is MasterCard as Group Executive, Information Services to directly monetize MasterCardâs differentiated data assets, drive growth within core target areas and identify new revenue opportunities in emerging segments. Previously with Experian, where he spent the last five years as President, Decision Analytics North America, Kearns was responsible for managing the companyâs B2B software and predictive analytics businesses, serving financial institutions, government agencies, asset managers, retailers, utilities and telecom companies. Prior to this, he was a Managing Director and Global Leader for Risk Solutions at Standard & Poorâs and prior to that spent twenty years in the banking industry. His education includes a B.S. in International Finance from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service.Details
With consumers now allowed to conduct 24/7 online commerce, holiday shopping hours are longer than ever, as indicated with a 37% increase in transactions and a 30% increase in sales since the year ago period. Overall, transactions are up 35% and sales are up 23% while the average ticket value is down 8.6% thanks to increasing sales of digital goods and of discounting early in the season. For the five-day period beginning on Black Friday, according to the Chase Paymentech “Cyber Holiday Pulse Index,” shows sales and transactions for 50 top e-retailers on the Tuesday immediately following Cyber-Monday set a single-day record for both transactions and settled sales. Meanwhile, the Mastercard “SpendingPulse” for the corresponding period indicated Black Friday represents 5-6% of total retail sales for the month of November. Year-over-year Total Apparel sales in November hit 9.6% for the largest growth in 2010 for that sector while, for the second consecutive month, the Consumer Electronics and Appliances segment posted a year-over-year decline at -1.1%. The Consumer Electronics sub-category was down by 1% while the Appliance sub-sector fell by 1.6% year-over-year. This, compared to the month as of November 13, Total Apparel sales were up 9.7% against the same period last year, compared to the year-over-year increase of 8.2% last month; the Luxury category was up 6.7%, compared to the year ago figure which was down 9.2%; eCommerce was up on the 7%-plus gains of August, September and October by 11.4% year-over year while Electronics and Appliances category was back up by 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively.Details
U.S. Bank is using FISâ mobile platform to launch mobile financial services for the “U.S. Bank AccelaPay” Visa prepaid card program. This will allow “AccelaPay” cardholders to use their mobile phones, including BlackBerrys and iPhones, to check their account balance, pay bills, receive account alerts and view mini-statements. The “AccelaPay” card functions as a traditional bank account allowing users to make deposits and pay bills. Adding mobile access to the platform allows U.S. Bank to tap the underbanked segment. Cardholders can use the AccelaPay VisaÂ® card everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted worldwide. FIS is provides its banking and payments technologies to more than 14,000 institutions in over 100 countries.Details
Verint Systems is continuing to implement its end-to-end encryption in its “Impact 360 Workforce Optimization” software suite, which helps customers enhance PCI-DSS compliance. It comprises capabilities to help customers address a critical requirement inherent in PCI compliance with the ability to initiate a halt of recording to avoid the capture of what the PCI Security Standards Council calls Sensitive Authentication Data (SAD)-data for which storage is prohibited by the PCI DSS-and automatically resume that recording again, via agent desktop events. With strong key management for compliance and security, as delivered by Verint through the “RSA Key Manager” users get the ability to securely move, archive and store data.Details
Citi kicked-off several special programs to help customers enjoy the holidays while spending smartly and contributing to the spirit of giving. With this, all eligible Citi credit cardmembers and Citibank Debit MasterCard customers have the chance to win a Citi Prepaid Card from $10 to $10,000. Additionally, Citi has introduced “Citi Specials” shopping portal, giving deals on shopping for discounts up to 60% off the MSRP for selected merchandise. Through the Citi “Bonus Cash Center,” eligible cardmembers earn on average an extra 5% cash back for every dollar spent with no cap while at the Citi “ThankYou Bonus Center,” Members earn on average four extra points for every dollar spent.Details
The CFO of NetSpend Holdings general-purpose reloadable prepaid debit cards and related financial services to underbanked consumers is set to present at the William Blair Global Services Growth Stock Conference in Arizona on December 8th. TX-based NetSpend targets the 60 million underbanked consumers in the U.S. who do not have a traditional bank account or who rely on alternative financial services with products and services for a smarter way to spend, save and manage their money.Details
Wincor Nixdorf Inc. : , one of the worldâs leading providers of IT solutions and services to retailers and retail banks, revealed the results of its first annual consumer survey.
The survey polled consumers on their knowledge, preferences and trends regarding ATM usage. The majority of consumers indicated
they would prefer to conduct banking transactions at their ATM, with more than 74 percent of respondents citing they hope one day their ATM will offer all of the functionality and services as their teller. Additionally, the majority of respondents said they prefer depositing money at their ATM, as opposed to traditional face-to-face interaction with the teller.
âAs the retail banking industry continues to struggle with making up for the loss of overdraft revenue, automation is no longer a ânice to haveâ â it is a necessity,â said David Hadesty, VP of Product Management for Wincor Nixdorfâs U.S. Banking Division. âWith results of this survey showing consumers crave more features and functionality at their ATM, the opportunity for banks is obvious â invest in more sophisticated ATM technology that is proven to dramatically reduce cash handling costs at the branch, while freeing up valuable associate time for more critical tasks.â
– Banks that offer envelope-less cash/check deposit have a competitive advantage: 63% of the entire sample agreed that, if all else was equal, and one bank offered envelope-less cash and check deposit and another didnât, theyâd prefer the bank with this functionality
– Consumers go out of their way to use ATMs located on the premises of a retail bank because they want to avoid fees and feel that this is a more secure ATM environment
– 86% of respondents agreed that ATMs features and functionality are important to choosing their bank
– Respondents want all of the service and features currently at a teller to be available at the ATM and the majority would visit the ATM more often if they could purchase other items such as stamps
– 73% of consumers who do not have intelligent deposit at their bank are interested in this feature â and would use it about three times a month if it was offered to them
About Wincor Nixdorf
Wincor Nixdorf is one of the worldâs leading providers of IT solutions and services to retailers and retail banking. In the retail banking market, the company provides services and solutions to 20 of the worldâs top 25 banks, among others. Wincorâs portfolio of hardware, software, maintenance, services and consulting solutions is directed toward continual refinement, automation, and monetization of the retail banking process, while also focusing on enhancement of the customer experience.
In January 2010, Wincor Nixdorf introduced its new, technologically advanced CINEO family of solutions. CINEOâs hardware, software, services and consulting offerings comprise the worldâs first integrated technology solution, from any manufacturer, that is designed to provide unprecedented levels of security and cost savings while giving financial institutions and retailers comprehensive cash auditing capabilities across diverse business sectors.
Wincor Nixdorf has a presence in more than 100 countries and annual sales revenue of more than $3 billion. Headquartered in Paderborn, Germany, with manufacturing plants there and in Singapore, the companyâs U.S. operations are based in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit www.wincor-nixdorf.com/usa : .Details
Hypercom is expanding it payment data encryption to the other side of the world, with more than 1,200 retail branches in Indonesia making available its “HyperSafe Secure” “EFTSec” Server point-to-point payment data encryption system. The Hypercom “HyperSafe Secure” suite encrypts cardholder data during transaction processing with “EFTSec” starting at the payment terminal and ending at a trusted point where the data is decrypted. The “EFTSec” server is used by major banks with combined assets of nearly US$200 billion, and is licensed to and implemented by several major terminal manufacturers in Asia and protects an estimated 3.4 million card payment transactions every month while the “HyperSafe Secure” suite uses the proven industry standard Triple DES DUKPT algorithm and incorporates Hypercom’s full X509 public key infrastructure HyperSafe security layer in every Hypercom Optimum payment terminal.Details
The Western Union Company is further expanding its global reach to offer Account-Based Money Transfer services to Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDBank) accountholders in China and Banca Transilvania accountholders in Romania. This will let SPDBank accountholders send Western Union Money Transfers directly from their accounts via online banking or their mobile phones for cash payout at Western Union Agent locations in more than 200 countries and territories and access the funds via the Internet, ATMs and their mobile phones. Meanwhile, Banca Transilvania accountholders are now able to send money directly from their bank accounts via ATM money transfer for cash payout at 386,000 Western Union Agent locations in 200 countries and territories and receive money from senders around the world for funds access through the Bank’s network of 780 ATMs around the country.Details
Gemalto digital security has been selected to migrate the PKO Bank Polski portfolio of Visa debit cards for individual clients from magnetic stripe technology straight to EMV contactless. PKO Bank Polski S.A. is the largest financial institution in Poland serving more than 8.5 million customers, and with the largest sales network – 1,211 branches and 1,938 agencies across the country. Mass deployment started in September 2010 and the bank plans to issue around 6.5 million Visa payWave cards to its customers by the end of 2011. The card provides a new and simple way to pay for purchases up to 50 Polish Zloty (Ã¢ÂÂ¬12.5, USD17), giving customers the convenience of faster payments.Details
American Express and TakePart announced its 5 “Members Project” organization winners. Chosen by the public through online voting, these five organizations, whom will collectively receive $1 million in funding from American Express to advance their missions of serving communities around the country, include Arts & Culture: Sundance Institute; Community Development: KaBOOM! ; Education: FIRST; Environment & Wildlife: Best Friends Animal Society; and Health & Wellness: American Heart Association. American Express kicked off its fourth voting round for Members Project and unveiled plans to expand the program with a new Facebook application. As American Express begins its fourth voting cycle, the “Members Project” Facebook page will feature the âShare My Storyâ application, inspiring Facebook fans to share their story of how they have made a difference, and get inspired by the stories of others.Details