Marathon Oil and Visa Add 4,000 Prepaid Card Reload Spots

Visa and Marathon Oil are planning to rollout the Visa “ReadyLink”
prepaid network in 4,000 Marathon Brand retail
stations. The Visa ReadyLink service helps Visa’s client financial institutions
and merchant partners better meet the needs of financially underserved
consumers. According to Visa estimates, there are approximately 80
million underserved consumers in the U.S. — those who lack access to a
payment card or are without a traditional banking relationship.
By introducing Visa ReadyLink, Marathon will enable consumers to load
funds to their eligible Visa Prepaid cards at thousands of convenient
locations. Nearly 45,000 merchant locations nationwide have introduced
or are in the process of implementing Visa ReadyLink, further extending
the convenience and security of reload services to Visa prepaid
cardholders in more convenient, everyday shopping locations.

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ALIBABA DONATIONS

E-commerce provider Alibaba Group will earmark 0.3% of annual revenues to fund efforts designed to spur environmental awareness and conservation in China and around the world. The focus of Alibaba Group’s conservation strategy will be on clean water and better air. This financial commitment is part of a comprehensive plan to drive greater understanding of environmental issues and to mobilize Alibaba Group’s customers, partners and employees toward actions that will lead to a cleaner environment for generations to come. Today’s announcement is the first step toward mobilizing hundreds of millions of people to get involved by spreading the word through Alibaba Group’s user bases and platforms.
Other member companies of Alibaba Group, including Taobao, Alipay, China Yahoo! and Alibaba Cloud Computing, will all take up their pro rata share of this commitment. The revenue contributions will be paid into a dedicated environmental fund annually and the fund will be administered internally by a team of dedicated employees of Alibaba Group. In addition to creating a fund to finance environmental projects, the Group is also devoting significant human resources, focus and attention to this effort.

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U.S. Bank Partners With Diebold for ATM Software

U.S. Bank is partnering with Diebold to provide a multi-vendor custom software for its “ProdigyATM” ATM terminals. Built on the Diebold cross-vendor “Agilis EmPower” application, the Diebold software will offers U.S. Bank operational efficiency and brand differentiation on a platform for enhanced ATM services, such as deposit automation. Designed to limit disruption to U.S. Bank customers as new services, Diebold’s software solution provides integration required across the U.S. Bank network and compatibility across all retail delivery channels, from mobile to online. Diebold’s framework provides U.S. Bank the flexibility to modify the application based on its business needs. As the market changes and U.S. Bank explores new possibilities for its ATM channel, it retains the option to call on Diebold’s Professional Services team for assistance.

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First Data Reports 1Q/10 Adjusted Revenue Up 3%

First Data Corporation has reported its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010 with revenue up 16% to $2.4 billion. Thanks in part to its partnership with the Bank of America Merchant Services, adjusted revenue increased 3% for the quarter due mainly to growth in the Retail and Alliance Services segment. EBITDA was $424 million, compared with $472 million for the first quarter of 2009. Retail and Alliance Services segment revenue for the first quarter was $737 million, up 7%. Favorable drivers of segment revenue included transaction growth of 9% and growth in the prepaid and point-of-sale equipment lines of business. Segment EBITDA was $249 million compared with $265 million for the first quarter of 2009.

FIRST DATA REVENUE
1Q/09:$2.1 billion
2Q/09:$2.2 billion
3Q/09:$2.4 billion
4Q/09:$2.6 billion
1Q/10:$2.4 billion
SOURCE:Carddata.com

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Citibank Donates $100,000 to Restore NY Parks

Citibank will donate $100,000 to restore Long Island State Park services and programs cancelled during fiscal year 2009/2010, and also fund summer programs in Westchester and Rockland Counties. Citibank’s donation will enable the Zach’s Bay swimming area, a popular location for families with young children, to extend its operating season through Labor Day; restore the historic Long Island Mosaic in the Central Mall area of the park, supplementing donations from the Jones Beach Rescue Organization; and restore the operating schedule of the historic Carousel at Hempstead Lake State Park, which has turned in the same place for 79 years and was donated in 1931 by the philanthropist August Heckscher. Citibank will also sponsor the park’s annual one-day co-ed volleyball tournament, which it has hosted for 32 consecutive years. The four-player and six-player divisions will both take place simultaneously on Saturday, July 17, beginning at 9:00 a.m. (rain date: Sunday, July 18).

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Capital One Bank Appoints Mid-Atlantic Regional President

James Jackson has been appointed Mid-Atlantic Regional President for Capital One Bank to oversee strategic efforts to meet market and community needs, including philanthropy, volunteerism, and exceptional banking products and services. To continue in his role as Executive VP, Branch Distribution for 1,000 Capital One branches and the Brokerage, Trust and Asset Management businesses, James will also remain a member of the bank’s senior leadership team. He has served in a variety of executive level positions, prior to having joined Capital One Bank in 2009, after more than 25 years at Bank of America.

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Starbucks Intros Comprehensive Loyalty Plan

Starbucks has piloted a combined mobile payments and
loyalty program in the United States. With the Starbucks Card Mobile
application for Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch, users can check their
balance, reload their card and view transactions. In 16 select
Starbucks stores in Silicon Valley and Seattle and at any U.S. Target
Starbucks store—they can actually pay with their Starbucks Card using
their iPhone or iPod touch. Starbucks initially launched the Starbucks
Card Mobile application along with the MyStarbucks application, which
offers a store locator, nutrition information and an interactive drink
builder, in the App Store on September 23, 2009. Consumers who download
the Starbucks Card Mobile application can participate by visiting the
Payment Trial portal within the application and touching ‘Get Started’
to activate Touch to Pay. In participating stores, customers can pay
with their Starbucks Card using only their iPhone or iPod touch and the
Starbucks Card Mobile application. The iPhone or iPod touch will
display a bar code that customers use just like your Starbucks Card to
make purchases, scanning it at the point of sale.

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NRF Welcomes Amendment Requiring ‘Reasonable’ Debit Card Fees

The National Retail Federation is welcoming Senate approval of an amendment to financial services reform legislation that would direct the Federal Reserve to determine “reasonable and proportional” transaction fees for debit cards. The fee for debit cards currently averages about 1% and is charged to merchants each time a card is swiped to pay for a purchase, whom pay at least $10 billion a year, subsequently driving up costs for consumers. The amendment would require the Federal Reserve to establish “reasonable and proportional” interchange fees for debit transactions, considering both the actual cost of processing the transactions and the fact that paper checks are paid at face value. The Senate voted 64-33 to approve an amendment to S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010, to exempt an estimated 99 percent of credit unions and banks by applying only to financial institutions with $10 billion or more in assets.

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Fiserv to Present at the 38th Annual J.P. Morgan Conference

Fiserv’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Jeffery Yabuki will present at the 38th Annual J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference on Monday, May 17 at 2:30 p.m. EDT at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston. The format of the presentation will be an analyst-led discussion with Yabuki followed by a question and answer session. Fiserv is ranked No. 1 on the FinTech 100 survey of top technology partners to the financial services industry.

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Heartland to Participate in Three Upcoming Conferences

Heartland Payment Systems payments processor will be participating at three upcoming investor conferences. These include the 38th Annual J. P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference on Wednesday, May 19 at 8:40 A.M. Eastern Time at the Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA; The Stephens Spring Investment Conference at the New York Palace Hotel in New York, NY on Wednesday May 26 at 11:00 A.M. Eastern Time; and the Keefe, Bruyette & Woods 2010 Diversified Financial Services Conference being held at The St. Regis Hotel, New York, NY on Wednesday June 2 at 4:30 P.M. Eastern Time.

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Prepaid Palm Desert MasterCard Offers Cardholders Chubb INS

The Palm Desert National Bank “PR1MACARD” Prepaid MasterCard,
distributed through program manager Branded Marketing, now offers select
accidental death and accident hospital benefits to all active
cardholders through Chubb Insurance. This builds on the existing
value-added services offered with the PR1MACARD, further enhancing the
card’s relevance and appeal to the unbanked community. All PR1MACARD
Prepaid MasterCard cardholders will be automatically insured through
Chubb for up to $25,000 against accidental loss of life, limb, sight,
speech or hearing. In addition, they will receive insurance benefits
that will cover hospitalization stays due to an accident for up to 14
days, subject to a per diem maximum. PR1MACARD also provides a discount
prescription drug program that gives 15% to 40% off brand name or
generic prescription drugs at any U.S. pharmacy.

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First Data Shows Consumer Card Transactions up 9% Y/Y

Same-store dollar spending volume growth for April 2010 was 10.2% (8.8% excluding Gasoline Stations) and transaction growth was 9.0% (8.4% excluding Gasoline Stations), following 11.5% and 10.1%, respectively, compared to the year ago period. April 2010 year-over-year same-store transaction growth was 9.0%, according to the First Data “SpendTrend” analysis, which tracks same-store credit, signature debit, PIN debit and EBT card consumer spending at U.S. merchants. The data concluded leisure transaction growth dropped to 7.7% from 16.0% in March, which mostly thanks to spring break and holiday travel. Food Services/Drinking Places maintained steady transaction growth month-over-month of 9.8% in April compared to 10.2% in March. PIN debit same-store transaction growth was 12.2% and dollar volume growth was highest of all at 16.3%. This marks the second consecutive month of double digit dollar volume growth, average tickets were up 1.1% and average ticket growth was 0.4%.

APRIL TRANSACTIONS CHANGE
CREDIT: +2.1%
SIG DEBIT: +12.2%
PIN DEBIT: +12.2%
EBT: +3.7%
TOTAL: +9.0%
SOURCE: First Data

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