JSC AMEX CARDS

JSC Bank of Georgia has launched its “American Express Card” and
“American Express Gold Card” across the Eastern European country. The
Bank currently issues Visa and MasterCard cards including the “Orange,”
“Magti” and “Poluli” cards. Bank of Georgia is an exclusive partner of
American Express for Credit Card Acquiring and Issuing in Georgia as per
agreement signed in December 2008. The Cards offer a range of benefits
that are new to the Georgian market. These benefits include automatic
inclusion in American Express’ world-wide “Membership Rewards” program,
allowing cardholders to earn points for redemption with travel partners,
retail partners, for discounts in hotels and many other types of
merchants. The Bank of Georgia holds a 33.6% market share by total
assets, has 140 branches to serve 880,000 retail accounts and more than
146,000 corporate accounts.

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NFC Transaction Volume to Grow at a 55% CAGR

A new report predicts that NFC global gross dollar volume will exceed $110 billion by 2014. This year about $8 billion is expected in NFC GDV, hitting at least $30 billion by 2012 and then nearly tripling three years later or at a 55% CAGR from 2009. Juniper Research says one in every six mobile subscribers globally will have an NFC enabled device by 2014. Currently adoption is centered on the Far East. NFC/Felica payments are already established in Japan, but by 2014 North America and Western Europe will be experiencing high growth. Retailing ARPU from NFC coupons and smart posters will exceed ARPU from NFC payment transactions. Juniper notes that its research found that both the business model and the roll-out of POS NFC readers at merchant locations are issues that need solving – depending on the country. As these are overcome NFC is poised to enter an operational build up phase culminating in mass service roll-outs across many countries, typically in metro areas driven by transport ticketing.

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INSIDE & TAGGO

INSIDE Contactless advanced open-standard contactless chip technologies
is to provide infrastructure components to Taggo card aggregator and
storefront. Using ID stickers based on INSIDE’s “PicoPass” 2KS
contactless memory chip, contactless readers based on INSIDE’s M210-2G
proximity coupler and INSIDE’s integration and adoption services, Taggo
has developed a way for mobile phone stickers to replace plastic loyalty
and membership cards from a variety of retail merchants. Putting various
loyalty cards on a mobile phone, where customers will always have them,
is a solution for eliminating the need for carrying numerous gift cards.
Companies that provide CRM systems and services can easily offer
retailers the ability to add their card programs to the Taggo
storefront, with little or no capital expenditure. Customers add the
“PicoPass”-based Taggo sticker to their mobile phone and join programs
through a simple SMS text message or by browsing the my-Taggo website.

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USA Technologies’ Q3 Transaction Volume Up 57%

PA-based unattended POS specialist USA Technologies reported the number of transactions processed during the third quarter rose by 57% to 7.4 million, compared to the year ago quarter. The dollar volume of transactions processed to increased 26% to $14.6 million. The Company’s installed base grew by 36%, with 57,000 devices now connected to its “USALive” network. USAT posted $3.8 million quarterly revenue the highest level in five quarters. The Company noted it added approximately 75 new “ePort” customers since June 30th for a total of approximately 600. USAT was recently awarded its 71st patent that covers a wireless system for communicating cashless vending transaction data and vending machine audit data to remote locations, adds confirmation to our industry leadership in developing cashless technologies. USA Technologies provides networked credit card and other non-cash systems in the vending, commercial laundry, hospitality and digital imaging industries. The Company has agreements with AT&T, Visa, MasterCard, First Data, Compass and others. For more details on USAT’s third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com)

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U.S. Merchants Experience $191B in Annual Fraud

A new study reveals U.S. merchants are dealing with $191 billion in fraud losses annually. The study also found that merchant fraud losses amounted to more than 20 times the total value of consumer fraud victim losses which totaled approximately $4.8 billion in 2008. The 2009 LexisNexis “True Cost of Fraud Benchmark Study” discovered merchants must absorb nearly 10 times the identity fraud cost incurred by financial institutions. About $100 billion in losses is solely attributed to identity fraud with $91 billion in lost and stolen merchandise. Other findings: “Friendly Fraud” (where a consumer makes an online purchase with their credit card, then issues a charge-back after receiving the purchase, claiming the purchase was never delivered) accounted for more than one-third of the total fraud for online merchants. LexisNexis noted that credit card crimes continued to rise sharply, but alternative payments (i.e. online and mobile payments) represented a troubling new source of losses for large merchants.

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U.S. Bank to Issue OfficeMax Visa Cards

OfficeMax has entered into a strategic alliance and partnership with U.S. Bank to issue a new “OfficeMax Visa
Signature” and “Visa Rewards” credit card. OfficeMax customers can earn 8% or more in rewards on
OfficeMax purchases when they use their “OfficeMax Visa Card” along with
their “MaxPerks” Rewards membership. Cardmembers can also earn reward
points everywhere Visa is accepted. All cardmembers are able to choose
from a variety of rewards, including an OfficeMax gift card, cash back,
merchandise and unique travel opportunities. U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions is one of the nation’s leading
providers of payment processing, issuing and advisory services. RPS
offers credit, debit, and prepaid payment solutions to consumers and
small businesses through U.S. Bank and in partnership with financial
institutions, businesses, governments and employers.

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Advanta Corp. Files a Chapter 11 Reorganization

Former business credit card leader Advanta Corp. has filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy or reorganization. The Company says its capital is below regulatory capital requirements and over time Advanta Bank Corp. may be turned over to an FDIC receivership. Advanta Bank Corp. is not included in the Chapter 11 filing. The parent corporation consciously decided not to fund the capital deficiency in order to preserve value for the senior retail note holders and other Advanta Corp. stakeholders. Advanta Corp. has about $138 million of senior retail investment notes outstanding. Advanta Corp. also has close to $100 million in cash and equivalents on hand. Advanta Bank Corp is currently collecting its $2.7 billion portfolio of managed receivables from 360,000 customers but the cards are not open to new charges. The “Chapter 11” proceeding will not have any impact on outstanding credit card balances and customer payment obligations will continue on normal schedules. For more details on Advanta’s current and past performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Heartland Renews its transmodus Contract

Payment provider Heartland Payment Systems is extending its contract with
remote deposit automation provider transmodus through 2015. “Express Funds” is powered by transmodus and encompasses the
scale and features to serve businesses of all sizes. “Express Funds” also
supports banks looking to increase their adoption of remote deposit
capture particularly in the small and mid-sized business market as
well as software partners who want to deliver remote deposit capture
through their own user interfaces. Heartland Payment Systems is the 5th largest payments
processor in the United States, delivers credit/debit/prepaid card
processing, payroll, check management and payments solutions to more
than 250,000 business locations nationwide.

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Western Union Names a New COO for 2010

The Western Union Company has promoted Hikmet Ersek from EVP and managing director for Europe to chief
operating officer. In his new role, Ersek will have responsibility for all of Western Union’s
business units around the world, as well the company’s operations and
marketing functions. Ersek is currently the executive vice president and managing director
for Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific region, based
in Vienna. A native of Turkey, Ersek joined First Data Corporation,
Western Union’s former parent, in September 1999, and held executive
positions at GE Capital and Europay / Mastercard. He holds a degree in
Economics and Business Administration from the University of Economics
in Vienna.

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AMEX & E1

American Express has announced the details of its upcoming gala
screening of The Twilight Saga: New Moon on Thursday, November 19th at
Toronto’s Winter Garden Theatre. Providing attendees with Canada’s first
showing of the movie, the screening is to feature guest appearances by
cast members and live performances by the Band of Skulls soundtrack
artists. The movie is to open the next day on November 20th. The event
is invitation-only and all seats will be given away by American Express
through a variety of promotions. American Express in Canada operates as
Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada and employs 3,700 Canadians
coast-to-coast while E1 Entertainment entertainment content owner
acquires film, television and music rights in more than 190 countries.

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