GIFT CARD RETURN

A new website, www.bringbackourmallgiftcards.com has been launched for consumers to register their protests with the MLA and the Nova Scotia government and request that regulations be revised to allow gift cards to continue being sold by shopping centres in Nova Scotia. New regulations in the province, which came into effect on February 1, 2010, effectively eliminate the current shopping centre gift cards from the Nova Scotia marketplace. The gift card program offered at shopping centres before the regulations were applied charged no upfront fees and had no expiry date. The program only began to collect a small fee of $2.50 per month, 15 months after the card had been activated. 96% of all funds on mall gift cards were redeemed prior to the 15 months. For these consumers no fees where ever charged.

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CARTES Asia 2010 to Focus on Convergence in Motion

CARTES in Asia, the leading event for digital security and smart technologies, is set to focus on Convergence in Motion putting the whole world in the hands of individuals this year. Special focus will be on wireless and contactless technologies and IP in communications, complemented by a migration of smart card functions to SIM card technologies. Mobile devices such as phones, handhelds and notebooks, together with SIM cards is allowing anyone, regardless of location, to conduct business transactions via wireless networks. More than two billion wireless devices such as smart phones, PDAs and other mobile communications tools are already in consumers’ hands, design and production of which are lead by Japan, China and Taiwan. Convergence in Motion has already demonstrated its power to be all pervasive and deeply woven into our personal and professional lives as smart cards evolve beyond transportation, store purchase and facilities access based applications such as EZ Link in Singapore, Octopus in Hong Kong, and T-Money in South Korea.

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Javelin Research Shows 12% Increase in ID Fraud

Javelin Strategy and Research will release the results via webinar of
the “2010 Identity Fraud Survey Report” that finds a 12% uptick in
identity fraud. The report confirms that the number of identity fraud
victims in the United States increased 12 percent to 11.1 million adults
in 2009, while the total annual fraud amount increased by 12.5 percent
to $54 billion. During the February 10 webinar, a discussion will be
led by James Van Dyke, president and founder, Javelin Strategy&
Research as he focuses on the challenges consumers are facing. For
example, how can consumers prevent traditional criminal access to
personal information? How to prevent high tech access and how to resolve
identity fraud completely? What must consumers, businesses,& law
enforcement do now to improve safety& defend against the latest
criminal threats

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NFC Forum Partners with EMVCo, GSM and SCA

The NFC Forum non-profit industry association for the advancement of NFC technology has formed liaisons with EMVCo, the GSM Association and the Smart Card Alliance to broaden and strengthen associations and standards bodies across the NFC ecosystem. This includes an MOU with each organization to outline collaboration with further development of the NFC market and NFC-based solutions. EMVCo’s primary role is to manage, maintain and enhance the EMV™ Integrated Circuit Card Specifications to ensure interoperability and acceptance of payment system integrated circuit cards on a worldwide basis and make POS payments wherever such payments can be made with EMVCo contactless card products and act as POS devices within the EMVCo infrastructure. The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry by primarily commenting on technical specifications, certification and testing requirements while the Smart Card Alliance is teaming up with the NFC Forum on several joint marketing initiatives, including educational programs for vertical markets such as retail and transport.

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Encore Capital Posts 32% Increase in Gross Collections

As a reflection of the slowly recovering economy, debt collector Encore Capital Group posted a 32% increase in gross collections for the fourth quarter of $124.5 million, compared to a 29% increase to $125.7 million in the previous quarter. This is a 34% increase over the 92.8 million posted the year ago period, while net income was $33.0 million, compared to $9.0 million last quarter and $13.8 million in 2008. Total interest expense was $4.0 million, compared to $5.4 million in the same period of the prior year; Net income was $8.4 million compared to a net loss of $2.1 million during the corresponding quarter last year. For the 2009 fiscal year, Gross collections were $487.8 million, a 22% increase over the $398.6 million in 2008; total revenue was $316.4 million, a 24% increase over the $255.9 million in 2008; total operating expenses were $249.8 million, a 15% increase over the $216.9 million in 2008; Adjusted EBITDA was $264.6 million, a 27% increase over the $208.0 million in 2008; and net income was $33.0 million. For more details on Encore Capital’s third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com). (CF Library 10/29/09)

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ScanSource Division Appoints New Merchandising VP

Catalyst Telecom sales division of ScanSource POS solutions has named Mike Ferney VP, Merchandising. Bringing with him more than 13 years of distribution leadership, Ferney most recently served as Vice President of Sales for the ScanSource Communications sales unit. He was instrumental to the growth and success of ScanSource Communications, having spent more than eight years in management roles for sales, business development and technical services departments. He also oversaw the integration of the sales departments for the 2007 merger of Paracon and T2 Supply, now named ScanSource Communications, and served in sales for Paracon. Mike will now manage the strategic direction and management of Catalyst Telecom’s vendor relationships to enhance joint marketing efforts and overseeing the inventory management side of the business. ScanSource POS & Barcoding delivers AIDC and POS solutions.

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Whitefish Credit Union Deploys Jack Henry Data Processing

Montana-based Whitefish Credit Union Association has selected Symitar as its technology partner and Episys as its technology platform, according to Jack Henry data processing services’ . The credit union, which has approximately $1.2 billion in assets and is the largest in the state of Montana, will install Episys in-house. Symitar is a division of Jack Henry & Associates, the leading provider of integrated computer systems for credit unions of all sizes. Symitar currently serves more than 700 credit unions as a single source for integrated, enterprise-wide automation and as a single point of contact and support. Jack Henry & Associates computer systems and ATM/debit card/ACH transaction processing services primarily for financial services organizations serves more than 11,800 customers nationwide.

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iMergent Reports Fiscal 4Q/09 Financial Results

iMergent eCommerce software, site development, web hosting and search engine optimization reported net income for its 4Q/09 of $613,000, compared to a net loss of $10,130,000 in the comparable quarter last year. Income before income tax provision for the 4Q/09 was $868,000 compared to a loss of $5,680,000 in the comparable quarter last year. Product and other revenues for the fourth calendar quarter of 2009 decreased 34% to $13,202,000, compared to $20,080,000 for the comparable quarter last year. Total operating expenses decreased 45% to $18,648,000 for the fourth calendar quarter of 2009, compared to $33,780,000 for the comparable quarter in 2008, primarily as a result of the continuing impact of cost savings initiated in the March 2009 quarter as well as reduced costs due to conducting fewer workshop events. Meanwhile, revenues for the six month transition period ended December 31, 2009 were $35,716,000 compared to $54,120,000 for the comparable period last year. Total operating expenses were $36,239,000, compared to $64,309,000 for the comparable period last year.

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Mintel Projects 5 Changes for Debit Card Issuing Banks

Mintel Comperemedia has seen direct mail decline across financial
services categories, but debit card volume remains strong at nearly 67
million offers in 2009. In 2009, fewer than half of checking
direct mail offers promoted free checking, down from three-quarters in
2007-2008. Susan Wolfe explains: “With pending regulations on overdraft
fees, banks risk losing a major revenue source. Mintel Comperemedia expects
an increase in rewards checking
and more specifically, rewards banking, as free checking will fade. As financial institutions look
for ways to appeal to new clients and make current customers more loyal
and profitable, they’ll start offering rewards for more than just debit
use. Capital One, for example, introduced reward checking in late 2009,
linking to its credit card rewards program so customers could earn
points faster. Another way banks will try to increase revenue in 2010
is by creating automatic account builder products that boost deposits.
Deposit-building accounts get
customers invested in multiple products, while helping banks secure more
deposits. In 2010, cash incentives
will grow even more enticing. Mintel Comperemedia has already seen $200
and higher from Capital One and Key Bank.

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GiftCardRescue.com & Amazon.com Offer Gift Card Exchange

GiftCardRescue.com gift card exchange Web site has made available Amazon.com Gift Cards, allowing customers to exchange gift cards to Amazon. GiftCardRescue.com, which sells unused gift cards for cash and purchases discounted gift cards, allows for a stremlined exchange with Amazon.com. Customers provide the requested information regarding the gift card they would like to exchange, to which GiftCardRescue.com assigns a value, and ship the gift card. Once the value is verified, customers receive an Amazon.com Gift Card claim code within 48 hours via email.
Amazon.com Gift Cards never expire and can be used to purchase millions of items in over 40 product categories at http://www.amazon.com.

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TSYS to Provide Card and Payment Sevices to Cedacri

TSYS to Provide Card and Payment Sevices to banking outsourcer Cedacri.
Cedacri will utilize “TS Prime”, TSYS’ fully outsourced processing
solution.
The agreement marks TSYS’ entry into the Italian market while also
providing full
connectivity to the domestic bank network and local clearing houses.
Terms of the agreement were not
disclosed but include the complete, end-to-end card
processing solution for consumer, commercial and prepaid cards, as well
as 3D Secure services
and TSYS fraud solutions. This relationship aligns with
TSYS’ strategy to expand its capabilities across Europe as an
established pan-European
processor.

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TRANSFORMERS CARD

In-application billing and mobile software license management solution provider Tanla will be launching it’s “On-device payments and preloaded content distribution partner program” to coincide with the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on 16 February 2010. Tanla’s partner program will be launched at a special event at the “Mercat de le Flors Theatre” in Barcelona on 16th February. The developers program will be announced by Tanla and will be supported by presentations from Carphone Warehouse, Sony Ericsson, Accumulate and a panel session hosted by Tim Green, Editor, Mobile Entertainment Magazine.
Tanla already has over 200 application developers using their payments and license management solution. With the launch of the Tanla distribution partner program they aim to expand the list of content providers and distribution partners.

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