AMEX

American Express has struck agreements with major payment processing providers, Chase Paymentech, Global Payments and Moneris Solutions to rollout American Express Chip & PIN services for Canadian merchants and Cardmembers. American Express has been investing in Chip & PIN capability for more than a decade and has participated in multilateral industry efforts for the migration of card payments to Chip technology over the last few years. American Express Chip Cards are currently issued in over 25 international markets and introduced the Chip to make an already secure payments system even safer, with a seamless transition for Cardmembers and merchants.

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FreedomPay Launches Real Time POS Data Gateway

FreedomPay intelligent transaction management solutions launched its “FreeWay” scalable transaction and payment gateway with “Level 4 Data.” Providing its users visibility in the transactions that power global business, “Level 4 Data” provides intelligent business information to analyze the real business drivers behind every transaction. It includes specific details about the product sold, such as manufacturer, make, model, model year, part number, serial number, stock keeping unit (SKU), promotional or loyalty rewards, and other critical information. This allows companies to precisely identify the specific products, promotions, and loyalty programs that are driving sales increases; track service enhancements for preventative maintenance programs; analyze field service and repair efforts; plan for changes in inventory demand; and evaluate supply and demand chain analytics to the individual part number.

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FX CARDS

With 30% of businesses planning on international growth within the next one-to-two years, most do not have the payment systems in place to properly support European customers. This is due in part, according to the 79% of finance directors indicating their payment systems were not ready, significant challenges in handling multiple currencies and foreign cards. This, according to Chase Paymentech Europe research, also shows Western European online retail sales are projected to grow 11% to reach GBP153 billion by 2014; and the UK’s growth of 160% follows Spain’s 199% and France’s 181% and Italy’s 181%. The lack of investment was not confined to domestic organisations looking to expand, with 77% of companies indicating their payment systems were not set up to meet the demands of European customers, compared to 86% of organisations who had expanded internationally via a merger or acquisition.

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Consumer Confidence Index Drops 10 Points

The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index took a sharp drop in June to 52.9 (1985=100) from 62.7 in May. Meanwhile, the Present Situation Index decreased to 25.5 from 29.8 and the Expectations Index declined to 71.2 from 84.6 last month. Consumers saying conditions are “good” decreased to 8.0% from 9.7%, while those saying business conditions are “bad” increased to 42.4% from 39.5%. Those who determined jobs are “hard to get” increased to 44.8% from 43.9%, while those saying jobs are “plentiful” decreased to 4.3% from 4.6%. Additionally, those anticipating an improvement in business conditions over the next six months decreased to 17.2% from 22.8%; those expecting conditions will worsen rose to 14.9% from 11.9%; the percentage of consumers anticipating more jobs in the months ahead decreased to 16.0% from 20.2%; those anticipating fewer jobs increased to 20.8% from 17.8%; and the proportion of consumers anticipating an increase in their incomes declined to 10.6% from 11.4%.

2010 CONFIDENCE
JUN: 52.9
MAY: 62.7
APR: 57.7
MAR: 52.3
FEB: 46.0
JAN: 56.5
SOURCE: Conference Board

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49.6 Million Smart Cards to Ship in 2010

South Korea’s smart cards unit shipment is expected to rise 6.2% in 2010 for an estimated 49.6 million units shipped by the conclusion of 4Q/10, up from 46.7 million in 2009. Frost & Sullivan expects shipment growth rates to continue rising till 2015 given the nation’s appetite for newer and better technology. South Korea Smart Cards Market, forecasts the market to grow at a CAGR of 5.6% (2009-2015), capping the year 2015 at 7.1% year-on-year growth and total smart card shipments of 68.7 million units. The banking sector is the biggest user of smart cards accounting for 40% (18.7 million units) in 2009; SIM application is the second largest smart card usage at 33% (15.4 million) of card shipments; while pure transit application accounted for 19% (8.9 million) of cards shipped.

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Barclaycard Launches Balance Transfer Scheme

Barclaycard has announced the launch of Barclaycard Platinum Purchase, the all in one solution for balance transfers and purchases, which allows customers to take advantage of twelve months interest free on credit card balance transfers, for a fee of just 2.9%. In addition to this, they will enjoy twelve months interest free on purchases, making the card a solution for customers who want to pay off an existing balance without being penalised by high charges on purchases. At the end of the twelve month period, interest will be charged at 16.9% APR. Barclaycard Freedom allows customers to earn and redeem reward money in pounds and pence in thousands of retailers across the UK without the need to carry additional cards or vouchers.

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AmeriCredit Stock Ranks Lowest in Consumer Finance

Measured by lowest relative performance are the top five companies in the Consumer Finance industry. Based on trading activity as search for stocks that could be relative bargains, these include AmeriCredit, which ranks first with a loss of 1.13%; Discover Financial Services ranks second with a loss of 0.57%; and Capital One Financial ranks third with a loss of 0.35%; American Express follows with a loss of 0.15% and SLM rounds out the top five with a gain of 0.29%. SmarTrend stock has fallen 22.1% since the alert was issued.

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Kena Kai Intros Wallet to Protect Contactless Cards

California-based Kena Kai is launching a new line of colorful “high gloss” faux patent-leather wallets specifically designed to fight credit card theft and identity theft. These patent-pending and stylish DataSafe wallets utilize exclusive radio-frequency (RF) shielding material to protect the millions of new “contactless” credit cards that have been issued this year. With the recent introduction of credit cards, passports, and now driver’s licenses that contain an electronic wireless chip, sometimes referred to as an RFID (radio-frequency identification) chip, these critical and very personal tools in our daily life are now even more at risk. This is designed to protect the susceptible contactless cards from skimming or copying of personal information stored on these cards from a distance. The new DataSafe “Gloss” Collection will have a suggested retail of $70. The Collection will be available in five vibrant colors with contrasting accents and shiny gold zippers.

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Canadian Payment Processors Now Support AmEx Chip Cards

American Express has struck agreements with major payment processing providers, Chase Paymentech, Global Payments and Moneris Solutions to rollout American Express Chip & PIN services for Canadian merchants and Cardmembers. American Express has been investing in Chip & PIN capability for more than a decade and has participated in multilateral industry efforts for the migration of card payments to Chip technology over the last few years. American Express Chip Cards are currently issued in over 25 international markets and introduced the Chip to make an already secure payments system even safer, with a seamless transition for Cardmembers and merchants.

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U.S. Bankcards Services Offers CUP Acceptance

Appealing to the Chinese US tourist market, forecasted to reach 579,000 Chinese travelers by 2011, U.S. Bankcard Services is now formally cooperating with China UnionPay in the United States to offer its merchants the option of accepting China UnionPay debit/credit cards. The number of Chinese travelers for the purposes of leisure, holidays, and vacations has increased 4% between 2007 and 2008, each of whom spend an average of $6,000 USD per visit. With increased disposable income, averaging $4,500 a year in major Chinese cities, has made travel a luxury, often viewed as a status symbol. Accepting CUP debit/credit cards is being marketed by US Bankcard as a great opportunity to increase revenue. U.S. Bankcard Services helps merchants accept CUP cards with minimal transaction fee and set-up costs for secure, electronic processing at the POS.

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Foreign Cards Hinder International Expanse

With 30% of businesses planning on international growth within the next one-to-two years, most do not
have the payment systems in place to properly support European customers. This is due in part, according
to the 79% of finance directors indicating their payment systems were not ready, significant challenges in
handling multiple currencies and foreign cards. This, according to Chase Paymentech Europe research, also
shows Western European online retail sales are projected to grow 11% to reach GBP153 billion by 2014; and the
UK’s growth of 160% follows Spain’s 199% and France’s 181% and Italy’s 181%. The lack of investment was not confined to domestic organisations looking to expand, with 77% of companies indicating their payment systems were not set up to meet the demands of European customers, compared to 86% of organisations who had expanded internationally via a merger or acquisition.

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Failsafe Payment Partners With AOneBill For mPayments

Failsafe Payments Certo Payment Gateway has partnered with AOneBill to add it to theCerto Payment Gateways Mobile. Adding the AOneBill “PREMIUM SMS” solution as an alternative payment option to Failsafe Payments with the Certo Payment Gateway will increase online merchants revenue by an estimated 30%. Both Merchants and Merchant Service Providers (MSP`s) have access to one stop integration platform on the Certo Payment Gateway.

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