nFinanSe to Offer AmEx Gift Cards

Prepaid card provider nFinanSe has entered into a partnership with American Express to offer branded gift cards.
The agreement appoints nFinanSe as American Express’ authorized representative to offer, sell and distribute American Express
Gift Cards on a consignment basis through American Express-approved participating third party retailers.
The term of the Agreement is three years.

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Western Union Adds a Visa Gift Card

The Western Union Company has launched “The Western Union Visa Gift Card”
prepaid gift card and greeting card offering. Consumers in the U.S. will now enjoy new ways to send the gift of money anytime of the year,
including this holiday season, using Western Union branded prepaid gift cards
available at www.WesternUnion.com. The Gift Card can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted
including online. The Western Union Visa Gift Card is covered by Visa’s zero
liability policy, which means cardholders are protected from unauthorized use.
Once received, the recipient simply calls a toll-free number to
activate the card; unlike other over the counter gift cards that are active when
purchased. If the card is lost or stolen the recipient can have the card replaced and access to card account activity is available online.
According to a Western Union consumer survey conducted by Gfk, Inc., 69%
percent of consumers in the U.S. are planning to give the gift of cash or a prepaid
gift card, this holiday season, to friends and family.

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INSIDE MICROPASS

INSIDE Contactless open-standard contactless chip technologies is
opening a representative office in Bangkok to coordinate engineering
support for its production subcontractors throughout Asia. These new
facilities will play an important role as INSIDE prepares to increase
its production capacity to handle an anticipated demand of up to 500
million “MicroPass” contactless payment microprocessors annually.
Approved by EMVCo, the new subcontracted probing facility will test
EMV-certified “MicroPass” contactless payment microprocessors
manufactured in Singapore and destined for INSIDE’s customers around the
world. Production subcontractors in that region include a new secured
semiconductor probing facility in Bangkok operated by United Test and
Assembly Center (UTAC).

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MoneyGram Q3 Money Transfer Volume Rises 6%

MN-based MoneyGram posted $304.5 million in revenue for the third quarter roughly unchanged from the year ago quarter, while the loss for the quarter was $18.3 million due to a number of significant charges. Money transfer transaction volume excluding bill payment increased 6%, and money transfer fee and other revenue increased 3% versus prior year. Global agent locations increase by 15% year-on-year to 186,000. During the third quarter, MoneyGram expanded its agreement with Carrefour in Romania; renewed a multi-year agreement with Brazil’s Itau Unibanco; and added 2,600 Union Bank of India locations. In the U.S., the Company signed CUNA Strategic Services to provide 7,900 credit unions with turnkey access to various services; added Citi Personal Loans and Citi Mortgage to the Company’s walk-in bill payment services; and expanded its prepaid business with the addition of First
Data, Metavante and TxVia. For complete details on MoneyGram’s third quarter results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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GIVEX & HARRIS/DECIMA

With 23% of Canadians opting to buy gift cards instead of personal gifts
or cash when gift giving, and 50% of consumers usually spending more
than the value of the card at the store through which it was issued,
retailers are relying on the gift cards to build brand loyalty and are
increasingly becoming a necessity to businesses. These findings,
available through Harris/Decima and Givex closed loop card technologies,
also show 62% of Canadian consumers are likely to provide their personal
information in exchange for an incentive; 21% are likely to register
online with merchants to protect their gift cards from theft or loss;
24% of consumers aged 18-34 are likely to provide their cell phone
number to register their gift card at the store for loyalty program
points, compared to the national average of 16%; and 55% of Canadians
would be willing to pay more for a gift card made from environmentally
friendly or recycled materials instead of plastic.

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Most Holiday Shoppers to Avoid Credit Cards

A new survey shows that 85% of consumers plan to use cash to make
holiday purchases this year. However, the results of the survey from
USAA reveal that 48% of respondents are feeling optimism towards the
upcoming holiday season. But, 56% of the consumers who plan to use cash
for holiday purchases have been saving either diligently or a little
here and there throughout the year and 62% plan to use more cash than
last year. Many shoppers appear to be leaving their credit cards
at home, with 55% of respondents planning to not charge holiday
purchases this year. However, 74% of those who will use a credit card to
make holiday purchases plan to pay off the balance immediately and 20%
say they will pay off the balance in a few months and 7% say they will
pay the minimum balance.

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GLOBAL RECOVERY

Sixty-eight percent of corporate representatives expect China to lead
business travel recovery with investment by global companies and local
companies to increase over the next 12 months while 89% anticipate their
own companies to invest in China. Additionally, 79% expect their company
to invest in India over the next year and 46% anticipate China as a top
priority for international expansion in the short term. This, according
to two American Express Business Travel surveys conducted among its
Global Business Partnership (GBP) clients and with 180 client
organizations for its annual China Business Travel Survey(The
Barometer), shows China will be the first country to emerge from the
current economic cycle according to indications from 72% of firms.
Additional GBP findings show 50% of respondents say their company will
decrease travel spending over the next year by more than 10%; 25% stated
T&E spend will stay the same over the coming year; 25% predicted they
would be hiring again come 1Q/10; and 36% will continue to hold off on
hiring until 2011. Additional Barometer findings show 80% of
organizations have formal T&E policies in place; 68% have attained more
than 50% policy compliance (up 17% Y/Y); and 78% of Chinese
organizations have negotiated rates with airlines and 79% with hotels.

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Dynamic Card Solutions Up 93% in Q3

Instant issuer Dynamic Card Solutions announced a positive end to Q3 2009 with
revenue exceeding $18.5 million, a 93%increase in revenue compared to the prior year.
DCS continues to sustain its significant market share as the preferred
vendor-of-choice for instant card issuance, PIN-selection and PIN-change
with the addition of new customers, as well as expanding existing
customers’ deployments of the company’s instant issue software and
associated hardware. DCS’ patented software “CardWizard” currently runs
in thousands of individual branches/stores producing personalized ATM
and Visa/MasterCard plastic cards on demand with private and secure
PIN selection.

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IAPP & INTERPLX

International Accounts Payable Professionals plans to identify the top
trends in travel and entertainment reporting, along with ways
organizations can streamline this part of their operations, for release
in 2010 in a book about the role of accounts payable in T&E reporting.
With the results of a survey e-mailed to about 12,000 finance
professionals and sponsored by InterplX Expense Management, the research
will identify the top trends in travel and entertainment reporting. In
doing so, the surveys ask participants whether their companies issue
credit cards to employees, which brands of cards they use, whether the
bills are paid by the company or reimbursed to the employees, what types
of systems they use for reporting, whether the corporate data is fed
into the expense reporting system electronically, and how expense
reports are reviewed, among other questions. MN-based InterplX signed on
as a silver partner with IAPP/IARP and sponsored the survey because of
its commitment to improving T&E expense management and provides its
proprietary ExpenseNet expense reporting software and back-office
services for Fortune 500 clients and other customers.

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USAA FSB to Deploy MasterCard Debit Card IPS

USAA Federal Savings Bank will implement the “MasterCard
Integrated Processing Solutions” debit processing platform. USAA will employ the full capabilities of the platform’s branded network and issuer processing services in support of signature and PIN debit, and ATM driving. “MasterCard IPS” is designed to help financial institutions create differentiated products and services and expand their payment portfolios across multiple business channels with efficient administration and minimal infrastructure investment. Issuers will be able to save considerable time and resources when designing and deploying new products and services by simply providing data for the platform’s pre-determined parameters. With its proprietary “Portfolio Viewer” tool, “IPS” delivers a 360-degree view of aggregated cardholder intelligence across debit and prepaid products that can help issuers customize their offerings. USAA Federal Savings Bank is the 23rd largest bank in the nation with more than $31 billion in deposits.

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GLOBAL UNBANKED

Research shows 2.5 billion adults worldwide do not have a savings or
credit account with either a traditional (regulated bank) or alternative
financial institution (such as a microfinance institution), 90% of which
live in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America. This, published
in The Financial Access Initiative’s (FAI) “Half the World is Unbanked,”
has determined countries can improve levels of financial inclusion by
creating effective policy and regulatory environments by enabling
actions of individual financial service providers. More than 800 million
of those using financial services live on less than $5 per day, proving
these services can be provided to very low-income communities, but there
are still nearly 2 billion to reach.

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Jack Henry Acquires CU Specialist Pemco Tech

Jack Henry & Associates has acquired WA-based credit union payment technology provider Pemco Technologies for an undisclosed amount. Pemco products and services include credit signature processing; debit signature processing; PIN-based processing; ATM services; cardholder awards programs; fraud management, detection, and prevention solutions; personalized cards; and prepaid card programs. These payment-related products and services are currently supporting approximately 235 financial institution customers. PEMCO Corporation elected to divest this business line in order to strategically focus on its primary insurance business which encompasses life, home, auto, and boat insurance offerings. Jack Henry & Associates is a provider of
computer systems and ATM/debit card/ACH transaction processing services
primarily for financial services organizations.

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