AIR MILES

The enactment of the voluntary Code of Conduct for the Credit and Debit Card Industry in highlights the need for issuer strategies to change. As forces such as the growth of Internet commerce transform the industry, a new report from Deloitte, “Charting a new course for the credit card industry”
suggests that the concept of a credit card and the form it might take are likely to change significantly over time and assume both a physical and virtual dimension.
According to Deloitte, there are eight emerging changes to the payments landscape which include: the merging of credit cards and bank accounts; mobile phones used as payment devices; loyalty programs will increase significantly between card issuers and retailers; a rise in the use of prepaid cards for recurring payments; credit card holders will see an increase in security features that prevent fraud and consumers will be educated on responsible debt management. Deloitte anticipates that some credit cards will be cancelled, but there will be new ones to choose from – Given the significant challenges and future uncertainties facing the credit card industry, some issuers will exit the credit card business entirely, while others will choose to remain in the credit card business, but retrench by eliminating product lines and redefining operating models. However, there will also be new entrants in this market, particularly well-known retailers and e-wallet providers.

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Visa and MasterCard to Respond to Pending SmartMetric Lawsuit

SmartMetric announced that both MasterCard and
Visa have contacted SmartMetric concerning its patent infringement
lawsuit and have requested time to respond.
According to SmartMetric, MasterCard
alone admits in a press release on its corporate website that it has
issued more than 50 million cards that use a technology that SmartMetric
claims breaches its patent.

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BB&T Reports Q1 Net Income of $194 Million

NC-based BB&T Corporation has reported its net income totaled $194
million compared with $318 million earned during the first quarter of
2009. Net charge-offs totaled 1.84% for the quarter, up 1 basis point compared
to the fourth quarter of 2009. The provision for credit losses totaled
$575 million, exceeding net charge-offs by $100 million. The growth
results from loans acquired through the Colonial acquisition,
loans originated by BB&T’s specialized lending group, which increased
15.2% in the first quarter and revolving credit loans, which increased 12.7%
Commercial loans decreased 2.5% reflecting a $2.1 billion decrease in
residential acquisition, development and construction loans compared to
the first quarter last year and slower overall commercial loan demand
Excluding the Colonial acquisition, average total loans decreased 4.3%
The provision for credit losses increased the allowance for loan and
lease losses as a percentage of loans and leases held for investment to
2.65% at March 31 compared to 2.51% at Dec. 31, 2009
The outlook for net charge-offs remains unchanged for 2010 at 1.80%.

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TrustCash Begins Testing of WAP iPhone Technology

Trustcash Holdings and its client Fluidcast has begun testing a
Wireless Access Protocol (WAP) enabled version of the TrustCash payment technology. WAP
is an open international standard for application-layer network
communications in a wireless-communication environment. Most use of WAP
involves accessing the mobile web from a mobile phone or from a PDA.
A WAP browser provides all of the basic services of a computer-based web
browser but simplified to operate within the restrictions of a mobile
phone, such as its smaller view screen. Users can connect to WAP sites:
websites written in, or dynamically converted to, WML (Wireless Markup
Language) and accessed via the WAP browser. Once testing is successfully
completed the TrustCash checkout process will be compatible with100’s of
WAP enabled phones.

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Fiserv Ranks in FORTUNE 500 for Fourth Straight Year

Fiserv financial services technology solutions has ranked 491 on the 2010 FORTUNE 500, an annual ranking of all U.S. companies by revenue. This marks the fourth consecutive year that Fiserv placed on the FORTUNE 500. Additionally, nearly one in four companies named in the Fortune 500 are Fiserv clients. This ranking follows the March 22 issue of FORTUNE in which Fiserv ranked fifth of the World’s Most Admired Companies in the Financial Data Services category for the second year in a row. It is based on votes from businesspeople, based on the companies that they admire most. Fiserv electronic commerce systems for the financial services celebrated its 25th year in 2009.

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Dresser Wayne Installs 11,000th Nucleus POS

Dresser Wayne fuel dispenser technologies has announced its 11,000th installation of the “Nucleus” POS, available on the retail-hardened IBM platform. Available for installation with Dresser Wayne, Gilbarco and other dispensers, “Nucleus” POS is designed specifically to endure the daily rigors of the busy C-store environment. The touch screen enables fast, accurate transactions allowing retailers to serve their customers efficiently. The system has been certified as PCI compliant providing retailers the peace of mind that they are PCI compliant, now and in the future. More than 25 percent of all Nucleus POS systems installed today interface with non-Dresser Wayne dispensers.

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C$ cMoney Acquires Bonfire Productions

TX-based Mobile technology developer C$ cMoney has acquired majority stock ownership of Bonfire Productions, Inc. The previously announced intention of C$ cMoney to merge with Bonfire is currently pending. Bonfire will continue to be a legally independent and publicly listed stock corporation until such time as the merger is complete.
C$ cMoney has developed a new and innovative way to send money and pay for goods and services using a cell phone. The mobile application, scheduled to launch this summer, will enable consumers to download and use it with virtually any mobile device, and will eliminate identity and credit card theft. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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RBR RESEARCH

Mobile payment solution provider Mobibucks reports a significant increase in demand for its products in the last six months in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Mobibucks offers unique payment and incentive products for making purchases using a mobile phone number. Mobibucks is a patented cashless, cardless, and contactless solution that targets everyday purchases made by consumers looking for the convenience of virtual payments and by merchants looking to attract the millennium generation utilizing a mobile commerce offering. It allows banks to provide customers convenient and affordable access to their money from any mobile phone. Some of Mobibucks key features include:secure and instant opening of accounts; cost effective marketing; conversion of cash into electronic payments with a cell phone without the cell phone present;no need for consumers to purchase a new cell phone or merchants to set up a new payment system; builds loyalty to business or brand and limitation of critical issues such as cell phones running out of power or operating in unsafe or unreliable conditions.

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RTG Ventures and IFS Ink JV for iPayu Mobile Payments

RTG Ventures has announced a joint venture with London-based International Financial Systems Limited (IFS) that will develop and roll out the iPayu mobile payments technology. IFS invented the iPayu platform and RTG Ventures had an existing agreement to license the technology to roll out and embed into its portfolio of products. This agreement sees both sides making a larger commitment to support continuing development of the intellectual property rights and enables the new joint venture to exploit opportunities faster. The joint venture will officially launch on May 31st and will combine the technical, banking and payments expertise of IFS with the sales, marketing and operations muscle of RTG Ventures. IFS provide core banking, Internet banking, mobile phone banking and compliance solutions. RTGV is targeting niche markets in the areas of Web-TV with embedded internet and mobile payment solutions.

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U.S. Bancorp Names Vice Chairmen

Terrance R. Dolan has been appointed as vice chairman of Wealth Management and Securities Services while Jeffry H. von Gillern has been appointed as vice chairman of Technology and Operations Services for U.S. Bancorp. Dolan is currently executive vice president and controller of U.S. Bancorp where he has been for 11 years while Von Gillern is currently chief information officer of U.S. Bancorp, where he has been for nine years. Dolan and von Gillern will join the U.S. Bancorp managing committee, which consists of the 14 most senior executives in the company. Dolan has a bachelor’s of arts degree in accounting from the University of St. Thomas and is a CPA and Von Gillern has a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Arizona.

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NRF Testifies in Favor of Vermont Credit Card Swipe Fee Bill

The National Retail Federation is urging the Vermont legislature to
give final approval to legislation that would address credit card
“swipe” fees. The NRF insists merchants should be able to give a discount to
customers who pay by cash, check or debit card. If enacted, the bill
would allow Vermont retailers to set both minimum and maximum credit
card purchases without interference from Visa and MasterCard banks,
which currently bar the practice in their contracts with merchants. The
two companies would also be prohibited from dictating how merchants
price items or blocking a merchant from giving a discount for cash,
checks, debit cards or credit cards with lower-than-usual swipe fees.
Visa and MasterCard also could not force a retailer to accept cards at
all store locations if the retailer only wanted to accept them at one
location. Officially known as interchange, swipe fees average about 2
percent of the purchase price and are charged to merchants by Visa and
MasterCard banks each time one of their cards is swiped to pay for a
purchase. Collections totaled $48 billion nationwide in 2008, triple the
$16 billion collected when NRF began tracking the fees in 2001.
The bill is based in part on the Credit Card Interchange Act, federal
legislation addressing fees charged to merchants sponsored by U.S.
Representative Peter Welch, D-Vt., that is awaiting action in Washington.

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WU & MARTIN MCCOLL

The Western Union Company has signed an agreement with a major distribution network wit C-store chain Martin McColl. The agreement with Martin McColl represents an excellent opportunity for Western Union to expand its distribution network in the U.K., adding 700 new locations to the existing network of more than 11,000 Agent locations, consisting mainly of high-street retailers and banks and represents a significant step in Western Union’s strategy to expand its network, diversify its customer base, attract mainstream customers to its money transfer service and promote such relatively new services as European and domestic money transfers. As of September 2010, Western Union national and international money transfer services will be offered at 700 Martin McColl stores throughout the country.

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