Most small business indicate the recent federal stimulus has been of no help, with 70% disclosing no impact whatsoever, 17% saying it has actually hurt their businesses and 10% reporting positive revenue thanks to the stimulus. Additionally, 66% are unlikely to hire new workers with the proposed $5,000 tax credit. This, according to the Discover Small Business Watch, which fell less than a point to 84.9 in February from 85.5 in January and is up 13 points over the 71.9 the year ago period, also showed 49% of owners have experienced cash flow issues in the past 90 days, down from 51% in January; The number of small business owners who think the economy is getting better is unchanged in February at 31%; and 44% see the economy getting worse, down from 46% in January. Additional findings show 25% of small business owners see conditions for their own businesses getting better in the next six months, down from 29 percent in January; 37 % see conditions getting worse, down from 43% in January; 34% expect things to stay the same, up from 23% in January; 21% of owners plan to increase business development spending on activities such as advertising, inventories and capital expenditures over the next six months, down from 25% in January; 34% plan to make no changes, while 43% will decrease spending, down from 45 % in January.Details
Gemalto has launched the “UpTeq Device Service Link” which gives users the freedom to use their PC for on-the-go Internet access. Once the card is inserted in the mobile Internet device, it loads the operator’s visual identity and proposed services, and ensures security of its mobile applications in the PC world. With ‘Device Service Link’, users enjoy an instant mobile broadband experience from their computer; which, when renewing it, they can immediately retrieve their operator customized environment, their preferences, personal content and settings. The multimedia SIM card retains its original functions of authentication, portability and security for mobile applications in the PC world, while offering service continuity when users switch networks (from 3G to WiFi, for example) to provide an “always on”, seamless connection.Details
Digital security provider Gemalto’s Protiva smart card security solutions are now fully
integrated with IBM’s leading enterprise single sign-on solution. Protiva is certified for
use with IBM Tivoli Access Manager for e-business and IBM Tivoli Access
Manager for Enterprise Single Sign-On. A range of Gemalto strong authentication devices are now available and
certified under the IBM Ready for Tivoli program, including Personal
Identity Verification (PIV) cards for U.S. federal government agencies,
PIV-I for U.S. government contractors, and .NET smart cards and USB
devices for enterprises in the private sector. Smart cards or USB devices for two-factor authentication are
increasingly a customer requirement, such as in the government market as
a result of the HSPD 12 program, critical infrastructure programs
concerned with cyber security, and other industries facing increasing
privacy and security regulations such as healthcare and financial services.
MBNA Ireland Credit Cards is offering all Halifax customers 0% APR for 10 months on balance transfers, for anyone
who will have to switch from their current Halifax credit card. Existing Halifax customers can benefit from
MBNA’s 0% APR on balance transfers, money transfers and credit card
cheques for 10 months with a highly competitive rate of 14.9% APR
(variable) thereafter and on card purchases. MBNA Europe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation
(NYSE: BAC), is the recognized leader in affinity marketing. MBNA credit
cards and related products and services are endorsed by more than 5,000
Among employed consumers, 25% would work every day of the year, 35% would work on holidays and 19% would agree to give up all of their vacation days to receive twice their monthly salary. Additional findings from a recent Capital One Direct Banking survey show 27% of respondents would keep any amount of money that they found on the ground outside their workplace and 15% have secretly withdrawn money from a joint savings account shared with a spouse or partner. In response, Capital One has disclosed more desirable ways to increase savings, such as automatically transferring money from your paycheck to your savings account every month (a practice in which 25% do not partake) and comparison shopping to find a savings account that works for you. In response, Capital One has introduced its “InterestPlus Online Savings,” which encourages customers to keep more money in the bank by rewarding an average monthly balance of at least $15,000 with an extra 10% quarterly bonus on interest earned. The account also offers no fees; free online transfers to and from existing external bank accounts and up to six withdrawals by online transfer per calendar month.Details
Gemalto has introduced the world’s first implementation of a transport application compliant with the DESFire specifications in a SIM or UICC card enabling commuters to use their mobile phones as e- tickets in MIFARE DESFire infrastructures. This innovation will enable commuters to use their NFC mobile phone as an e-ticket, as simply as any other contactless travelcard. A high level of security is ensured, as the tickets are stored in the SIM card and the application meets the stringent security requirements of the DESFire specifications.
NFC technology in transport dramatically enriches the commuter experience by adding the mobile phone’s keypad and screen to the travelcard and by connecting it to the online world. NFC-based services are part of Gemalto’s Trusted Services Management (TSM) dedicated offering of solutions and services. It enables transport operators to offer travelers the ability to purchase and recharge their transport tickets, with the convenience of the mobile phone.
Consumers will get relief from predatory credit card lending practices starting on February 22 when the Credit CARD Act of 2009 goes into effect. With this, card issuers will have to abide by a new set of rules that aim to rein in unfair interest rate hikes and fees, following big interest rate hikes in recent months. The Bill will limit interest rate hikes on the existing balance and can never go up on an existing balance unless it’s a variable rate card, a promotional rate has expired, or the cardholder is more than 60 days late on payment. The Credit CARD Act will also restrict how long penalty interest rates can last after late payments to six months if on time payments are made; credit card companies can’t move the due date to try to trick the cardholder into making a late payment; can’t charge an over-the-limit fee unless you have asked your credit card company to allow transactions that exceed your credit limit; and any amount paid above the minimum payment must be applied first to your balance with the highest interest rate.Details
MoneySolve reports that with a growing debt problem and an ever increasing reliance on credit, experts are forecasting a substantial increase in those seeking credit card debt consolidation or restructuring or some sort. Personal insolvencies are already at their highest since records began and it is feared that our consumer society’s plastic habits could lead to even higher figures over the coming years. Recently released statistics from Credit Action include APACS figures indicate that as of 2008 there were more credit cards in the UK than people. Credit card debt continues to soar, with a collective personal credit card debt in the UK now sitting at Pounds Sterling 54.5 billion! This equates to Pounds Sterling 5,129 per person.Details
Network system payment processor TxVia will process gift and general
purpose reloadable cards for Univision Communications.
The Univision Prepaid MasterCard CardÂ® (Tarjeta Univision MasterCard
Prepagada, which will be available nationally in 2010, and the
Univision MasterCard Gift CardÂ® (Tarjeta de Regalo Univision
MasterCard), which is available at www.Univision.com/TarjetaDeRegalo,
are issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to license from MasterCard
International Incorporated. The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC. .
TxVia offers the most advanced processing technology for network-based
payment systems. The solutions encompass fully integrated, end-to-end
issuing, acquiring and network processing for a range of payment
products including prepaid, debit, credit and hybrids.
Payment outsourcer TSYS announced that Ashim Banerjee and Mark
OâLeary are set to appear at the upcoming 2010 Prepaid Card Expo in
Las Vegas on Feb. 23. Banerjee, chief information officer of TSYS Acquiring Solutions,
will serve on a panel, titled âState of the Market: Mobile, Virtual&
Next Generation Products and Customers,â on Tuesday, February 23. Mr.
Banerjee will speak to the promise and potential of the mobile channel
to enable the consumer to interact with each component of their personal
commerce experience when and where they choose â online or in the
physical world. OâLeary, senior vice president of business development of TSYS
Healthcare, will serve on a panel, titled âHealthcare Electronic Payment
Systems’ Approach to Fraud,â on Tuesday, February 23. Mr. OâLeary will
be joined on the panel by Ralph Bernstein of U.S. Bank Healthcare
Payment Solutions and William Short of AmeriFlex. They will discuss the
advancement of technology in healthcare payment processing and how the
structure, tools and standardization of payment cards allow participants
to authorize and confirm a payment in seconds while mitigating fraud
from the beginning of the transaction.
GSMA, Samsung, TelefÃ³nica, and Visa, together with Giesecke& Devrient,
Ingenico, ITN International and La Caixa have announced the arrival of
contactless mobile payments. The partnership has brought the first ever
SIM-based NFC payments pilot to Mobile World
Congress in Barcelona. The participating companies have provided more
than 400 NFC handsets to guests for use at the Congress. The Samsung Star NFC handsets contain
TelefÃ³nica SIM cards from O2 pre-loaded with EUR60 airtime credit as well
as a La Caixa Visa Mobile Payment Application. Participants can use
their NFC phones to pay up yo EUR75 at over
30 merchant locations around the Congress by holding their Samsung NFC mobile phone against the contactless
terminal for purchases under EUR10. Purchases over EUR10, however, require a passcode which the participant keys into
the handset before presenting it to the terminal, deducted from their La Caixa Visa account.
TX-based Complex Community Credit Union has been working with card processor TNB Card Services, resulting
in a 13% increase in new card accounts.
The credit union developed and implemented a company-wide card product
training program. It created materials that compared the Complex
Community card to national cards and other local issuers. The training
materials also contained sales tips and hints on how to initiate
conversations about the card with members. The credit union initiated an incentive program designed to motivate and
reward employees to sell the card. Incentives were offered for three
months, with an overall goal of doubling the number of new cardholders
from 18 to 36 each month. The credit union more than tripled the target
of 120, adding more than 350 new card accounts in the three-month period.
Complex Community Credit Union serves 11 counties in
west Texas with assets of more than $240 million.