Transaction Wireless & PowerPay Intro Terminal

CA-based mobile payment provider Transaction Wireless has partnered
with e-payment provider PowerPay
to offer TW’s “wCharge Credit Card Terminal” to its
customers. Through this partnership, PowerPay customers gain value by
combining
TW’s Point of Sale (POS) credit card terminal with a PowerPay account,
offering savings on processing fees which directly affect the bottom
line of any small business. Transaction Wireless’ safe and convenient
mobile POS solution will extend the functionality of a PowerPay merchant
account to any mobile phone making it easy for merchants to process
payments in real time at a trade show, at home, or anywhere business can
be conducted. PowerPay supports all major credit and debit cards,
electronic benefits
transfer (EBT), government purchase cards, petroleum cards, loyalty
cards, gift cards and recurring bill payments.

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Consumer Confidence Sags as the New Year Starts

A monthly tracking poll reveals consumers showed little
improvement in economic confidence in December and they grew slightly
more pessimistic about their finances. Despite concern over the economy
and their finances, consumers did not cut back on holiday spending as
much as they anticipated, a welcome sign for retailers. The Discover
“U.S. Spending Monitor” dropped 3.3 points in December to 83.0,
primarily driven by a big decrease in post- holiday spending intentions
from consumers. The Monitor’s findings were reflected in the National
Retail Federation’s report showing an increase in holiday sales from
last year. A majority of consumers also plan to cut discretionary
spending in all categories surveyed by the “Monitor,” a trend that
hasn’t changed since September. There was a 2-point increase to 10% in
the number of consumers planning to save and invest more. A big driver
in the increase in holiday sales may have come from middle-income
consumers ($40k-$75k). Heading into Christmas, only 6% of middle-income
consumers planned on spending more on holiday gifts. But after
Christmas, 18% said they actually spent more, a 12-point increase.

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Bancorp Solutions & Univision Launch MasterCard

The Bancorp Bank Payment Solutions Group has partnered with Univision Communications to offer the “Univision MasterCard Gift Card.”
The “Univision MasterCard Gift Card” reduces the inconvenience and cost related to cashing checks and enables consumers to better track and manage spending by
providing them with the ability to monitor when and where they make purchases with the card. The Univision MasterCard Gift Card can be used for purchases at more than 29 million locations worldwide where Debit MasterCard is accepted.
The Univision Gift Card will be issued by The Bancorp Bank.

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The Payments Summit brings together SCA & M-Payments

The Payments Summit, to be held February 23 to the 25th in Salt Lake City, brings together members of the Smart Card Alliance’s Contactless and Mobile Payments Council and its Transportation Council. This includes representatives from transportation authorities, issuing banks and payment brands, retailers, mobile technology suppliers, chip and card manufacturers, terminal manufacturers, payments processors, and transit and payment systems integrators. Speakers from U.S. and international card issuers, transport operators, mobile operators, and campus integrators have been invited to update attendees on implementations of advanced credit, debit, prepaid, and stored value payment systems used by millions of consumers. The Summit will include sessions on exciting new trends and projects within a broad range of topics, including: current U.S. and international transit programs, contactless payments, NFC/mobile payments technology, prepaid cards, payments industry fraud, EMV, and payments security technologies. In addition to sessions for both the transit and retail industry representatives, time is set aside in the agenda for separate breakout sessions focused on topics relevant to each market and for discussions about emerging developments. The Smart Card Alliance will also offer the second Certified Smart Card Industry Professional (CSCIP) Certification exam at the conclusion of the Summit conference portion of the event on February 24th as part of its new Leadership, Education and Advancement Program (LEAP) program aimed at individual professional development and training.

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CHINA UNIONPAY & ALTIGEN

China UnionPay has deployed AltiGen integrated Microsoft-based Unified Communications solutions. Specifically, China UnionPay Deployed AltiGen’s software-based call center and Voice-over-IP solution, implemented banks’ customer service across China. China UnionPay bankcard association was established under the approval of the State Council and the People’s Bank of China as the only national payment network in China with more than one billion cards issued on its network. In the fast growing and increasingly competitive credit card market, customer service is of paramount importance to financial institutions. The AltiGen call center system provides customers with both automated voice services and human agent services to achieve the most beneficial and cost effective service for each caller, fulfilling the requirements of branch offices and departments to carry out customer surveys, publicity, customer care services and the like.

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Wincor Nixdorf Offers 7-year warranty

POS equipment provider Wincor Nixdorf is now offering a 7-year depot warranty on standard “BEETLE POS” models. The long life of BEETLE systems, coupled with low maintenance costs, reduces annual operating costs and ensures the longevity of a retailer’s mission-critical store systems. The warranty covers parts and labor on standard BEETLE models, and guaranteed spare parts availability for additional 7 years following product end-of-life further extends the life of BEETLE systems. In addition to the standard 7-year depot warranty, retailers can select from an extensive range of other service options, including on-site maintenance as well as a wide range of managed services. Wincor Nixdorf’s BEETLE POS is one of the retail industry’s most proven hardware platforms, with more than 1.4 million systems installed worldwide. BEETLEs are engineered for long life and maximum performance, with a retail-hardened design that can withstand the harshest operating environments. Optional solid-state drives completely eliminate all moving parts, further reducing the risk and high cost of POS failure.

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PIVOTAL & VISION

Pivotal Payments has acquired POS Card Systems and National Credit Card Processing from Vision Bankcard. Increasing Pivotal Payments’ merchant portfolio to 40,000 merchants to add over 30 independent sales agents and 120 agent bank branches to its expanding sales channels, the acquisition is the Company’s sixth for a subsequent growth of 280 employees and 600 sales agents. The company now services over 40,000 merchants in both the U.S. and Canada and processes over $7 billion in annual transaction volume. Pivotal Payments is a privately held merchant services provider with offices across North America.

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SINOPAY GPP V 2.0

Sino Payments has completed version 2.0 of the core Sino Payments Global Payment Processing platform “SinoPay GPP” for processing payment cards from point of sale terminals widely used by most retailers. The new version received system updates, installation and testing at PowerE2E’s headquarter location in Shanghai, China and has been designed to be used by most global retailers for regional retailers with large numbers of stores across the Asia Pacific and European regions. With full international card processing capabilities for all major card types, and for features and needs of international retailers in China and Japan, the “Sino Payments GPP” processes transactions from traditional POS terminals to convert into IP output.

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Javelin Examines New Trends in Banking

Javelin Strategy has released “10 Trends that will Shape Banking, Payments and Security in 2010 report and will hold a free webinar to discuss the forecast.
Javelin’s forecast for 2010 includes such topics as: regulators force bankers to rethink essential customer value; financial systems open up to more third parties; tough times call for new methods of prioritizing investments;
P2P to get a growth boost as more individuals transact with one another; merchants continue to call for more power, pressuring payments providers; cloud computing will reinvigorate interest in federated identity solutions; mobile banking will drive interest in underlying real-time banking systems; data breaches and PCI will drive costs of security higher; ATM and PIN threats will continue – how must security specialists respond; social webs fall into a security stranglehold.

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PSCU Financial Posts 17% Y/Y Growth

PSCU Financial Services posted 31% growth in processing net income and
9% growth in processing revenue for 2009 with 1.1 billion in payment
card transactions, up by 17% since the end of 2008. The cooperative
achieved 20% growth in debit and online bill payment transactions, with
credit transactions and contact center call volumes each up by 6%. The
cooperative issued a $14.7-million payout in December 2009 for
redemption of 1999 and 2000 revolving funds and helped member-owners
grow their core debit/credit/bill payment business by providing
promotional materials, consultative services, and 24/7 Contact Center
support. PSCU Financial credit union service organization serves more
than 1,300 financial institutions nationwide.

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Accor Launches Commuter MasterCard

Allowing commuters to save over $2,000 per year and employers over $400
per employee in taxes, Accor Services USA employee benefits solutions
has made available its new “Commuter Check Card” Prepaid MasterCard. For
use in accordance with the Qualified Transportation Fringe Benefit (IRS
Tax Code Section 132(f)) to pay for commuting and commute-related
parking expenses, the Accor Mastercard makes paying for commuting and
commute-related parking easier and more convenient than ever before.
Employers that administer commuter benefits in-house can benefit from
anonymous prepaid cards that are not specific to an employee, intended
to be distributed, used and disposed of every month or quarter. The
anonymous version of the Commuter Check card is not reloadable, is to be
loaded with funds once and used until the funds run out.

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