CFSI Advocates Excluding Prepaid Cards from Interchange Rules

The Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) issued a statement on the specific language in the Financial Regulatory Reform bill that would regulate interchange fees, recommending prepaid cards – including government benefits cards, general purpose prepaid cards, payroll cards – be exempt from the fee determination set by the Federal Reserve Board under this bill. In letters to Chairmen Frank and Dodd, CFSI states that the prepaid cards and, more importantly, the underbanked consumers using these products would be substantially harmed if the products were subject to interchange fee limits. The product structure, which makes them a viable option for consumers to use and for providers to offer, distinguishes them from other debit card products.

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Wells Fargo Introduces Enhanced Identity Theft Protection

Wells Fargo has made available Enhanced Identity Theft Protection to offer an easy way to monitor credit for identity theft. The enhanced service includes monthly triple credit bureau reports and scores, online calculators, credit score tracker and credit score alerts and is available through Wells Fargo Insurance and provided by Trilegiant Corporation. The enhanced identity theft service offers online “Credit Score Simulator” that lets customers see how a credit score changes if they decide to reduce debt on credit cards, refinance a loan, apply for a credit card or consolidate debt into a new account. Filling in the different situations and then running the scenario gives an online picture of how financial decisions are tied to credit scores.

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WMS Names Amy Lipton Vice President of Marketing

Amy J. Lipton has been named Vice President of Marketing with WMS Industries. Bringing more than 25 years’ global marketing leadership and client knowledge to her new role, Amy will have direct oversight for all of WMS’ efforts related to market research, advertising, promotions, interactive, public and media relations and trade shows. She will oversee the strategies aimed at further increasing the awareness of the WMS brand and the Company’s games among slot players, as well as work closely with casino operators to ensure alignment between their future needs and the Company’s key strategic initiatives – including WMS’ Casino Evolved and product vision. She was previously with International Business Machines where she served in a progression of marketing and leadership roles since 1982, including Director of Global Marketing for Digital Media, Director of Global Marketing for Media and Entertainment and Director, Global Marketing for Business Process Management.

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PNC expands Florida ATM network with Cardtronics

PNC Bank and Cardtronics will expand ATM access for PNC customers at 230 Cardtronics-owned ATMs located in HESS Express stores across Florida. In doing so, Cardtronics will place the PNC brand on the ATMs, operate the machines on behalf of PNC and make them available on a surcharge-free basis to all PNC customers. By branding ATMs in all 230 HESS Express stores in Florida, PNC will be providing its customers with ready access to cash when and where they need it most. HESS Express has over 1,300 locations spanning the East coast, from Florida in the south to Massachusetts in the north.

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NA Bancard Launches Redesigned Website

North American Bancard has launched its fully redesigned corporate website, offering an improved user experience for both merchants and sales partners. The site can be found at www.nabancard.com and now contains 200+ pages of fresh content that provides valuable resources to merchants, sales partners, and 3rd party partners. The newly created Learning Center offers educational materials, including a FAQ, Glossary, Featured Articles, Terminal FAQ Blog, and Corporate Blog. MI-based North American Bancard is a multi-faceted payment solutions provider offering Credit, Debit, ATM, Online Payment and related products. It processes more than $8 billion in electronic transactions annually for over 100,000 merchants nationwide.

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Coinstar CFO to Keynote NIRI Investor Awards

The Seattle Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) announced J.Scott Di Valerio, Coinstar CFO, will be the keynote speaker for the NIRI-Seattle 2010 Investor Communications Awards Gala. The event will be held Thursday, June 24 at the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland, WA, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a hosted cocktail reception, followed by dinner and awards presentations. The judges are Neil Neroutsos, president, Puget Sound Public Relations Society of America and Jeffery L. Lippens, principal, Garde Capital, Inc.

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Cardlytics Named 2010 Red Herring Award Finalist

Cardlytics transaction marketing has been named among the 200 finalists for Red Herring’s North America 100 award, a list that honors the year’s most promising 100 private technology ventures from the North American business region. Red Herring’s editorial staff selected the 200 finalists according to their technological innovation, management strength, market size, investor record, customer acquisition and financial health. During the several months leading up to the announcement, hundreds of other companies in the telecommunications, security, Web 2.0, software, hardware, biotech, and clean tech industries applied for the award.

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CITI SHELL

Maxatec is launching its “RDT-150” all-in-one POS Terminal. A cost effective POS System solution with excellent functionality and reliability, as well as easy upgrade options, the “RDT-150” standardizes a 5-wire resistive touch panel but there are other options, including Capacitive, SAW and IR. The modular design allows the terminal to be upgraded with VFD customer display, MSR card reader, fingerprint scanner, 3-in-1 MSR+Smartcard+I-Button reader, a second LCD screen with or without touchscreen. Connectivity includes multiple external serial and USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 and Ethernet connection as well as 2 x RJ-12 cash drawer ports which can be powered with 12 or 24 volts and a VGA port.

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VALIDSOFT

London-based ValidSoft, a subsidiary of Amsterdam-based Elephant Talk Communications is introducing new software to helps banks overcome the current rate of 90% false-positive card fraud flagging. Lost revenues for the banks is felt when, for example, the 9 out of every 10 legitimate cross-border transactions are flagged as fraudulent. These cost banks up to $10 per case, as the bank’s fraud unit processes the transaction and calls the cardholder to try to verify its validity. In response, “VALid-POS” software determines the proximity of the card owner’s cell phone to the actual location of the transaction in less than half a second to verify if a transaction is fraudulent or legitimate.

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SELECTCORE & REGALOCARD

SelectCore prepaid telecom and financial solutions for the credit challenged and unbanked has signed distribution agreements with RegaloCard mobile payments. With this, SelectCore will make available to its customers RegaloCard’s free and instant replacement mpayment solution, the “micro money transfer.” RegaloCard allows consumers to send free and instant transfers of as little as $10, directed to specific uses. The RegaloCard service works with any mobile phone and carrier worldwide and is as easy to use as a prepaid calling card. This agreement is the first to expand RegaloCard’s distribution footprint outside the US.

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WU Appoints Executive VP, Alternative Channels

David G. Yates has been appointed executive vice president, alternative channels with Western Union. Yates joins Western Union from First Data, most recently as executive vice president and president of First Data’s International Division. He has served in executive roles with several major international corporations, including IBM, General Electric and American Management Systems. Subsequently, Yates brings to his new role extensive international information technology, banking and payment systems experience involving major systems projects throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He holds a master’s degree in law from Oxford University.

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Treasury Seeks Reducing Interchange Fees $42m

If you ask the National Retail Federation, the Senate hearing being held to discuss the $116 million in credit and debit card swipe fees paid annually by the federal government is evidence card fees need to be brought under control. Led by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., discussions will involve witnesses from the Treasury Department, Government Accountability Office, Amtrak, Visa, a convenience store owner and consumer group representatives. Durbin is expected to lead points based on a Treasury report released earlier in the week showing federal government agencies received more than 80 million credit and debit card payments for goods, services, fees and fines totaling $8.6 billion last year. The government paid more than $116 million in swipe fees, making plastic its single most-expensive form of collecting payment. Interchange fees average between 1 and 2% for debit cards and 2 % or more for credit cards, amounting to $48 billion in 2008 Visa and MasterCard banks charged retailers and other business. This equates to an estimated $427 charged annually to the average household. In response, the Treasury report proposes that the government negotiate with card companies for a single percentage to be charged for all credit card transactions; for a flat fee to be charged for all debit card transactions; and a $10,000 limit on the size of transactions that could be accepted via cards, all to reduce interchange costs between $35 million and $42 million annually.

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