PayPal Invites Developers to Discuss the ‘Way We Pay’

PayPal is set to host its second annual “Innovate conference” Oct. 26-27 in San Francisco. Inviting experts and developers to explore the growth of mobile payments, the rise of social commerce and the move to Internet-enabled local payments, the three main areas that are changing the way we pay, the Conference will address the future of commerce and payments and how to best capitalize on it. Attendees are invited to explore the capabilities of mobile and social activities, such as The Mobile Payments Opportunity in Emerging Markets; Attracting Gen Y’ers: Mobile Banking, Social Media and New Technologies for Financial Institutions; How to Integrate PayPal for Digital Goods; and Replacing Checks and Cash with PayPal.

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Celerant Technology Awarded POS Software Perfect Score

Celerant Technology retail software has been recognized in CPA Advisor’s “2010 Retail/POS Review” for the second year in a row. This year the CPA Advisor focused on specific features and functionality that are important for maintaining a successful retail business. Celerant Command Retail received top scores in all areas. Celerant Command Retail provides retailers with a complete software solution that fully integrates the point of sale with back office functionality, inventory control, accounting, warehouse, distribution, allocation, advanced reporting and E-Commerce.

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RSR Research Shows Top eGift Cards

RSR Research revealed its “The Digital Divide: Digital Gifting Among Top Internet Retailers,” studying a list of the top 100 online retailers, and rated each on their digital gift card offering, using 20 critical criteria. The criteria focused on the comprehensiveness of the offering and the selection, purchase and recipient experience, focusing on digital gift card purchases made in July 2010. It concluded the retailers with the highest overall scores and therefore the most comprehensive digital gift card offering are The Home Depot; CVS Caremark; Amazon.com; American Eagle Outfitters; Sears Holding Corp.

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Open Solutions Selects Allison & Partners Thought Leadership Program

Allison & Partners will support Open Solutions’ “Too Small to Fail: How the Financial Industry Crisis Changed the World’s Perceptions.” Featuring a thought leadership program exposing the issues that arose with the bailout of the world’s largest financial institutions, the book draws attention to the fact that the “too big to fail” bailout of the world’s largest banks has not provided the desired lift to the economy, while community banks have been left to unfairly bear the burden. The Allison & Partners team will work to create a national call to action for community-based financial institutions to overcome the current challenges facing the banking industry, its customers and members, and the economy overall.

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CyberSource Launches eCommerce Security

CyberSource, a Visa company, has linked payment security with fraud management allowing merchants to screen orders and keep payment data out of their systems. When consumers order online from organizations employing CyberSource’s payment security and fraud management technologies, sensitive payment data (credit card number, security code, etc.) is captured through fields that are hosted by CyberSource, concurrent with the collection of necessary fraud detection data. Payment data is placed directly onto the CyberSource Level 1 PCI DSS-validated payment network, without coming into contact with merchant systems.

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USAA Bank mBanking Named Best-in-Class

USAA Federal Savings Bank was named “Best in Class” for mobile banking for the second year in a row by Javelin Strategy & Research. USAA Bank received this rating for excelling in meeting the needs of its members. USAA was the first bank in the nation to offer remote-deposit capture capability, USAA “Deposit@Mobile®,” which allows members to deposit checks with their smartphones. In August 2010, USAA launched its Auto Circle™ and Home Circle™ programs, which feature mobile applications that are designed to help USAA members conveniently find, finance and insure their vehicles and homes through one source.

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Citi to Deploy Zale Credit Card Program

Zale Corporation has selected Citibank to provide its private label credit card program. For use at Zales, Zales Outlet and Gordon’s brands in the United States, effective October 1, for a term of five years with automatic renewals for successive two-year terms. This agreement replaces the Company’s agreement with Citi which was scheduled to expire in March 2011. In connection with the agreement, payment of the merchant fee differential, due September 22, 2010, will no longer be required. Under the new agreement, the yearly minimum volume of net credit card sales has been reduced from $600 million to $315 million. Additionally, Citi will provide financial support of the Company’s marketing activities during the initial five-year term of the contract.

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Bank of America Names International Card and Affinity Head

Ralph J. Andretta has been named Global Affinity Products and International Card executive, Bank of America. With this, he will oversee the bank’s affinity credit card and deposit products portfolio as well as its international credit card businesses. Most recently with American Express as executive VP and GM of Card Member Services, which he initially joined in 1993, Andretta managed the company’s Membership Rewards program and has had extensive experience in its global operations, including serving as the chief financial officer for the company’s European business. He began his career as the director of finance for Clarkstown, New York in 1983, after which he joined Ernst & Young in 1986.

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Discretionary Spending Way up Since Last Year

American Express “Business Insights” launched its series of Q2 2010 Business Insights Spend Trends reports, which analyze changing patterns in spending across various categories, US cities and consumer groups. The four “Business Insights Spend Trends” compare regional; travel; luxury retail; and dining & entertainment performance to the year ago period. It shows luxury retail spending was up by at least 9% in each luxury retail category analyzed; dining increased by 24%, compared to a 12% increase for this group in fine dining spending; travel spending saw an overall 63% increase in spending by US consumers, with the ultra-affluent group spending 114%; and several cities saw spending increases year-over-year for the second quarter. Namely, San Francisco as a whole increased overall spend by 36% across all categories while New York City posted a slight decrease in overall spend at -3%.

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US August Economic Index Up 0.3%

A major economic index moved up again in August for the second
consecutive month. The obscure intensity and pattern of the building
recovery is becoming increasingly clouded, with the Conference Board
“Leading Economic Index” for the U.S. having increased 0.3% in August to
now sit at 110.2. 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
rising since April 2009 and its gains have become very widespread. Five
of the ten indicators that make up The Conference Board LEI for the U.S.
increased in August. The Conference Board “Coincident Economic Index”
for the U.S. was unchanged in August, following a 0.1% increase in July,
and no change in June. The Conference Board “Lagging Economic Index”
increased 0.2% in August, following a 0.4% increase in July, and a 0.1%
increase in June.

CB LEI % +/(-)
AUG: 0.3
JUL: 0.1
JUN: (0.2)
MAY: 0.4
APR: N/A
MAR: 1.4
FEB: 0.1
JAN: 0.3
DEC: 1.2
NOV: 0.9
OCT: 0.3
SEP: 1.2
AUG: 0.4
SOURCE: Conference Board

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MoneyGram International Moves Headquarters to Dallas

MoneyGram International global payments is set to move its corporate headquarters to Dallas TX from Minneapolis MN as part of its global initiative to reduce costs and streamline global operations. Effective Nov. 1, the move will initially involve about 75 positions, growing to about 150 positions by mid-2012, to grow its current workforce of 2,600 global employees. Throughout Texas, MoneyGram has more than 3,350 agent locations. MoneyGram International has a global network of 203,000 agent locations in more than 190 countries and territories.

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Overstock.com Introduces MasterCard with Customer Rewards

Overstock.com, First National Bank of Omaha and MasterCard Worldwide have made available the “Overstock.com MasterCard” credit card. Offering enhanced rewards for Overstock.com customers, the card offers customers additional savings on Overstock.com online purchases, as well as reward dollars on other purchases made when using the card. Customers who sign up for the “Overstock.com MasterCard” credit card will receive a free membership to “Club O Rewards” customer rewards program, giving customers access to shopping events; sweepstakes; free shipping and 5% back in “Club O Rewards Dollars” on Overstock.com purchases. The “Overstock.com MasterCard,” with an additional 3% back in Club O Rewards Dollars on Overstock.com purchases, gives users a total of 8% back in rewards dollars on qualified Overstock.com purchases, plus an additional $10 Club O Rewards Dollars credit the first time the card is used.

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