MC EUROPE 3Q/09

MasterCard Europe has announced its 3Q/09 operating results for the
Europe region with gross dollar volume having increased 0.2%; purchase
volume having grew 1.6%; purchase transactions increased
5.2%, and cash transactions decreased 2.7% since the year ago period.
From 1 July until 30 September, European cardholders made more than 1.7
billion purchase transactions with their MasterCard-branded cards, 197
million MasterCard cards had been issued by MasterCard customer
financial institutions across Europe (up 1.9 % since 3Q/08) and were
accepted for payment at 8.7 million locations in the region and 29.4
million locations worldwide. Achievements include Mastercard’s extended
partnership with the Royal Bank of Scotland, Citi, Egg (with the “Money
World MasterCard and Tesco Bank. MasterCard’s prepaid business continues
to gain ground in the Italian payments market with the the “Social Card
with Poste Italiane” and MasterCard’s pioneering work in the ‘lean card’
segment, with prepaid cards that work as an alternative to a current
account. Maestro acceptance reached an important milestone in Belgium
this summer with the debut of e-commerce acceptance in the country
through the support of KBC, CBC and Centea banks.

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U.S. House Votes to Speed Up Credit CARD Act

The U.S. House overwhelmingly approved legislation that
would push up the date of credit card reforms scheduled for next year to be effective immediately upon the signing of the bill. By a vote of 331-92 the H.R. 3639, the “Expedited CARD Reform for Consumers Act of 2009” was passed. The Senate has also taken up a similar measure but it appears, at this point, unlikely to pass. The “Credit CARD Act” had three staged implementation dates: August 2009, February, 2010, and August, 2010. “H.R. 3639” moves up the remaining dates by which banks and credit card issuers would have to comply and applies to the largest card issuers that control over 80% of the credit card market. The House also approved an amendment, offered by Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Betsy
Markey (D-CO), permitting card issuers that adopt a moratorium on interest rate increases on current balances and new balances incurred before Feb. 22 to be exempt from the earlier effective date for a provision that requires an issuer to apply customer payments to the highest rate balance. The bill exempts small credit card issuers and
gift card providers. However, both would have to comply with the later
deadlines previously laid out in the “Credit CARD Act.”

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U.S. Consumer Confidence Plunges in November

One year after the “Credit Crunch” and nearly two years from the start of the “Great Recession,” consumers are not keeping the faith.
A monthly consumer tracking poll reveals consumer confidence collapsed in November after a brief summer rally. The composite “RBC CASH” (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) Index for November stands at 30.2, a 21.6 point decrease from October’s reading. The RBC “Investment Index” dropped 21.4 points this month, to 36.6 from a 58.0 level in October. The RBC “Current Conditions Index” for November is standing at 28.8, down 21.5 points from the October reading of 50.3. The RBC “Jobs Index” for November fell less than the other indices, dropping 8.4 points to stand at 50.9, compared to 59.3 in October. The RBC “Expectations Index” for November plunged to 21.9, a 32.3 point drop from its 54.2 reading in October, which had been the strongest level of consumer expectations in 2009.

RBC CASH INDEX
Nov 08: 34.7
Dec 08: 15.3
Jan 09: 13.3
Feb 09: 1.6
Mar 09: 8.2
Apr 09: 38.3
May 09: 43.0
Jun 09: 34.3
Jul 09: 22.4
Aug 09: 37.5
Sep 09: 40.0
Oct 09: 51.8
Nov 09: 30.2
Source: RBC CASH

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GE Money Issues the Oreck Power Card

GE Money has entered into an agreement with TN-based Oreck for the “Oreck Power Card”
consumer financing program. “The Oreck Power Card” is
part of the “GE Money Home Design” revolving credit program, and enables
consumers to enjoy affordable monthly payments, special promotional
financing options and online account management. Oreck Corporation is a leading
manufacturer, distributor and retailer in the home cleaning industry,
offering a variety of vacuum, air purification, and other cleaning
products. Oreck sells its products through approximately 450 Oreck Clean
Home Centers. The card is managed by
GE Money’s Sales Finance unit, which provides billions of dollars of
consumer financing through more than 145,000 small and medium businesses
on Main Streets across the United States.

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ClairMail to Integrate Visa Mobile Services

CA-based mobile banking provider ClairMail has signed a development and deployment agreement with Visa
to integrate Visa mobile services into the ClairMail mobile banking and payments infrastructure.
ClairMail bank customers who are also Visa clients can take immediate advantage of Visa’s mobile services by adding them to an existing mobile
banking deployment and creating a more comprehensive mobile banking
offering. Visa mobile services include applications that support mobile
payments, tailored merchant offers, and near-real time transaction
alerts and notifications. The agreement adds new functionality to ClairMail’s best-of-breed mobile
banking and payments platform, and expands the value of ClairMail
services to its bank customers. The ClairMail platform provides end
users with comprehensive mobile banking and payments functionality,
optimizing user experience across any delivery method — SMS, email,
mobile web or Smart Client application with personalized and conversational alerting capabilities that
empower users to conduct transactions, and respond to or resolve account
activity within the mobile channel.

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Datacard Does Instant Issuance with a CU

Card personalization provider Datacard Group has piloted a
instant issuance program with Mountain America Credit Union.
Working with Problem Solved, Datacard developed, implemented and
supported instant card issuance software that is integrated with MACU’s
existing Symitar host system, and is also interfaced with Pemco, a
payment solutions company, for card activation.
For card production, MACU utilizes the “Datacard RP90i” financial card
printer, which offers security features that meet established
specifications for the instant issuance of Visa cards. The RP90i card
printer delivers brilliant, full-color retransfer printing with
over-the-edge coverage, enabling the production of unique designs to
help build member loyalty.

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ABA – Expedited CARD Act is Impossible to Meet

The American Bankers Association says speeding up the “CARD Act” will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for card issuers, requiring the complete reworking of internal operations, risk management models, funding calculations, employee training and computer coding that cannot turn on a dime. The ABA says this will create significant confusion for consumers and will further restrict access to credit for both consumers and small businesses, all to the detriment of the broader economy. The ABA also noted the various amendments to “H.R. 3639” merely compound the problems of rate increases and credit pullbacks and do not address the vast majority of problems associated with complying with the entirety of the “CARD Act.” The ABA previously noted that the new statutory requirements and prohibitions limit lenders’ ability to manage risk and exacerbate the need to price for risk on the front end since lenders cannot do so on the back end. (CF Library 10/8/09)

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CardFlex Debit MasterCard is Introduced

Tax accounting publisher ClientWhys has launched the “CardFlex MasterCard Debit Card” program targeted to
independent tax accountants. The “CardFlex Prepaid MasterCard” is issued by Palm Desert Bank and provides
independent tax accountants with a product for unbanked and underbanked clients to eliminate costly check
cashing fees, international transfers and cash dependence. ClientWhys will compensate the tax professional a marketing fee based on
the net revenue produced by each card. The compensation will vary based
on the volume of users. Upon approval of the tax practice, ClientWhys
will ship a set of CardFlex debit cards to the tax professional’s
facility. A simple web portal allows them to activate the card while the
client is in the office. This allows the tax professional to load their
client’s refund as a direct deposit on the card.

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NCR Expands Two-Sided Thermal Printing

NCR has made the two-sided thermal printing technology for no-envelope intelligent deposits standard on all
“NCR SelfServ” 20- and 30-series ATMs. Through intelligent deposit, check images are printed on the ATM receipt
to validate the deposit – a valuable option for providing consumers
confidence in their transaction. However, those check images can at
least double the normal length of a receipt with just one check image,
creating a cumbersome takeaway for consumers and requiring additional
service visits by the financial institution to replace paper rolls.
NCR’s patented 2ST printing technology improves the efficiency of the
printing process by allowing simultaneous printing on both the front and
back side of a receipt, label or other media. By printing on both the
front and back side, 2ST printing also provides significant
environmental benefit, using as much as 45 percent less paper. ATMs with
2ST printers also can print intelligent deposit receipts up to 73
percent faster than competing technology. NCR recently added 2ST
printing in combination with a dual-roll printing feature, further
reducing paper use and increasing cost savings to the ATM deployer.

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TRUSTCASH & ASIA DEBIT

Trustcash Holdings is beginning development to further expand the
methods for purchasing Trustcash to include a debit product for China
and “Asia Debit”. The Asia Debit card services will cover China, Korea,
Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan and will provide our merchants the
opportunity to increase their sales by accepting Debit and ATM cards
that are not processed by the Visa/MasterCard network. With more than
3.7 billion people, debit card usage is substantial in Asia while Asia
Debit service will allow merchants to convert their Asian traffic into
sales. The Trustcash brand and website offers anonymous payment systems
for the internet while the Trustcash payment card is sold in
denominations ranging from $10 to $200 online.

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SMART LUMIERE

The first commercialized light-emitting payment card has hit the world stage. The new “Smart Lumiere” card from Oberthur Technologies is available as both dual contactless-EMV or pure contactless card. The card emits light when it is entered in the field of a contactless reader to inform the cardholder when a transaction is taking place. “Smart Lumiere” offers issuers major applications in the payment, loyalty, prepaid and transport markets. The color and sequence of the light
sources, like the design of the card itself, is decided by the issuer, while the versatility of either pure or dual EMV-contactless configurations enables “Smart Lumiere” to be deployed in major geographic markets at any level of contactless migration. Oberthur says the new card provides a visual cue to the cardholder that their contactless payment transaction has taken place and helps issuers to reinforce trust in contactless payments.

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AUTOGRAF

Todos has developed “Autograf” to allow banks to set up a secure session
with a smart card via the internet, a user’s PC and the Todos “C400”
connectible smart card reader. The “Autograf” secure virtual private
network between the bank and the smart card reader is immune to computer
viruses and hackers. With internet crime continuing to grow, SSL links
on web browsers look increasingly vulnerable because of computer
viruses, spoofing and man-in-the-middle attacks. “Autograf” ensures
secure data entry against modification or theft from hackers, ideal for
protecting PIN numbers and bank account details. Additionally,
“Autograf” enhances existing Todos transaction authentication
functionality such as “Dynamic Signatures” and “Sign-What-You-See 2.0.”

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