Heavy Holiday Shopping Push Black

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.


FIS & U.S. Bank Launch Prepaid mBanking

U.S. Bank is using FIS’ 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 Visa® 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.


Verint to Deploy PCI-Supporting Software

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.


Citi Rolls Out Spending Incentive Programs

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.


NetSpend to Present at Global Conference

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.


Consumers Prefer ATMs Over Live Tellers

Wincor Nixdorf Inc. : , one of the world’s 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.

“As the retail banking industry continues to struggle with making up for the loss of overdraft revenue, automation is no longer a ‘nice to have’ – it is a necessity,” said David Hadesty, VP of Product Management for Wincor Nixdorf’s U.S. Banking Division. “With results of this survey showing consumers crave more features and functionality at their ATM, the opportunity for banks is obvious – 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.”

Key findings.

– 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 didn’t, they’d 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 – and would use it about three times a month if it was offered to them

About Wincor Nixdorf

Wincor Nixdorf is one of the world’s 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 world’s top 25 banks, among others. Wincor’s 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. CINEO’s hardware, software, services and consulting offerings comprise the world’s 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 company’s U.S. operations are based in Austin, Texas. For more information, visit www.wincor-nixdorf.com/usa : .


Hypercom Takes P2P Encryption Global

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.



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 (€12.5, USD17), giving customers the convenience of faster payments.


American Express Announces Members Project Winners

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 “Share My Story” application, inspiring Facebook fans to share their story of how they have made a difference, and get inspired by the stories of others.



Reward programs influence purchasing decisions for nearly 60% of Canadian credit card holders; 66% feel reward programs offer value; 89% own at least one credit card, of which 75% have at least one reward program; and 62% having only one or two credit cards. Also, 20% cited earning reward points as a big motivator for using credit cards in the first place while purchasing convenience was cited by 51%. Meanwhile, according to new Chase Canada survey, only 9% say using a credit card is as an easy way to borrow money; 45% select their credit cards based on the rewards program; 59% prefer to make purchases at stores where they collect rewards points; 44% are more likely to make purchases when they know they are earning reward points; and 66% feel reward points offer additional value when making purchases. Additional findings show 52% use credit cards at least once a week; 32% redeem points annually; an additional 32% redeem less often than that; 20% have never redeemed their rewards points; and men are more likely to use their card at least once a week than are women at 60% and 45%, respectively.


US Economic Index Up for 4th Consecutive Month

A major economic index moved up again in October for the fourth consecutive month. The recovery is slow but sure, with the Conference Board “Leading Economic Index” for the U.S. having increased 0.5% in October to 111.3 (2004=100), following a 0.5% increase in September and a 0.1 percent% in August. This follows an increase of 0.1% in July to 109.8 and a decrease of 0.2% in June to 109.8. The overall US LEI has been on the rise since April 2009 and its gains have become very widespread, most recently with five of the ten indicators that make up The Conference Board LEI for the U.S. having increased in October. The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for the U.S. increased 0.1% in October to 101.5 (2004=100), following no change in September, and no change in August. Meanwhile, the Conference Board Lagging Economic Index (LAG) increased 0.1% in October to 108.7 (2004=100), following a 0.5% increase in September and a 0.1% increase in August.

CB LEI % +/(-)
OCT: 0.5
SEP: 0.5
AUG: 0.1
JUL: 0.1
JUN: (0.2)
MAY: 0.4
MAR: 1.4
FEB: 0.1
JAN: 0.3
DEC: 1.2
NOV: 0.9
SOURCE: CardData.com