Spain-based Yoigo has selected Vesta electronic payment solutions to
create its automated recharge service, allowing its prepaid customers to
add value to their accounts using a payment card. This allows Yoigo
cardholders to recharge in a matter of seconds over the internet using
Vesta’s proprietary technology, which recharges, validates payments and
quickly adds the credit. Vesta also offers the operator full
indemnification from transaction fraud and manages all operations
surrounding the service. The Ireland-based electronic payment provider
offers prepaid mobile recharge services for numerous operators
throughout Europe, North America and Asia and has been providing
electronic payment solutions since 1995.


WorryIndex Points to a Long Recovery Ahead

Those in fear of being left out of the economic recovery has grown to 46%, compared to 31% the month-ago period, and are fearing a long recovery which will be slow to generate employment for the 15 million currently unemployed. With this, a great percentage of people feel their lives won’t improve until early or mid-2010. These findings, according to the most recent survey from Wealth Hazards and reflected on its “WorryIndex,” also show respondents feel a real recovery is still many months away and are suffering the ill-effects of the “great recession.” The Wealth Hazards “WorryIndex” was created to capture the sentiment of consumers by comparing the difference in survey responses to when the current recovery began vs. when it will begin over a one-month time interval.



The Western Union Foundation has pledged its series of initiatives
towards relief and reconstruction efforts in the Philippines, including
immediate direct financial support; agent fund matching for
reconstruction; employee giving; and charity drives. In conjunction with
World Vision, the foundation aims to provide immediate relief with
provisions, medical supplies and emergency bedding for 500 Filipino
families, valued at US$50,000, following recent tsunami flooding.
Charity drives are encouraging employees to donate money, supplies and
volunteer hours while Western Union employees financial donations to
World Vision are to be matched by the Western Union Foundation under the
Employee Giving Circles Program. The Western Union Foundation grant is
part of the five-year, US$50 million “Western Union Our World, Our
Family” initiative program.


Economic Recovery Train is Still in the Station

Low-to-moderate-income consumers aren’t jumping on the ‘economic recovery train’ just yet, with a watchful eye on groceries, travel/entertainment and utilities. With national spending trends showing groceries gained +7.75%, travel/entertainment gained +6.91% and personal and professional services gained +9.67%, people are eating at home more often instead of going out, which corresponds with a -1.5% decrease in dining out. The largest declines were seen in home, posting -3.12% gains, and finance with -4.64% growth, which corresponds with a significant decrease in ATM withdrawals. These findings, according to the “National Spending & Savings Index” produced and released by the NetSpend Corporation, are based on changes in consumer habits obtained from 900,000 NetSpend cardholders’ spending behavior.

Spending August 08 vs 09

Finance: -4.64%
Home: -3.12%
Auto: -1.64%
Food: -1.50%
Utilities: +1.53%
Travel: +6.91%
Groceries: +7.75%
Prof Services: +9.67%
Source: NetSpend


Synergistics Slates an Oct Webinar

Synergistics will present “Direct Banks: The Consumer’s Perspective” webinar on Thursday, October 22, 2009
While some industry analysts debate the direct banking model, their impact on
consumer financial relationships should not be overlooked. The Web seminar will provide information based on an extensive review of
industry information, original data from recent surveys of consumers,
and a strategic analysis of issues. This presentation will assist you in
assessing the competitive position of direct banks in today’s rapidly
changing financial market.


Direct Banks: The Consumer’s Perspective

Thursday, October 22, 2009

2:00 – 3:00 PM (EST)

Direct banks, such as ING Direct, HSBC Direct and others, have become
key players in today’s financial services industry and cannot be
ignored. These banks consistently rank among the top on the lists of
institutions offering the highest rates on savings accounts and CDs.
Internet only or direct banks operate primarily online with no or very
few branches. Because of their lack of or limited branch networks and
resulting lower operating costs, these providers can offer higher rates
on savings products. Some are also offering checking accounts. While
some industry analysts debate the direct banking model, their impact on
consumer financial relationships should not be overlooked.

Join Synergistics as it explores the direct banking phenomenon. This
Web seminar will provide information based on an extensive review of
industry information, original data from recent surveys of consumers,
and a strategic analysis of issues. This presentation will assist you in
assessing the competitive position of direct banks in today’s rapidly
changing financial market.


William O. Adcock — Co-Founder and Chairman

William H. McCracken — Chief Executive Officer

Genie M. Driskill — Chief Operating Officer

Registration fee $295 per line


CardVault White Paper Calls for Tokenization

A new white paper explains with great urgency how to better protect payment transactions from intruders by replacing sensitive credit card data with tokens that are useless to hackers. VA-based 3Delta Systems “CardVault” report says that while no payment system on earth is 100% hack-proof, safeguarding card data with the highest encryption standards, translating that data into ‘tokens’ so they’re useless to hackers if stolen, and remotely storing that data with a PCI-compliant service provider are several steps that B2B and B2G merchants can take to protect themselves and their customers from a security breach. According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, more than 263 million confidential data records in the U.S. – ranging from credit, debit and prepaid cards to SSN have been exposed to identity thieves since January 2005. Ponemon Institute found that data breaches cost companies an average of $202 per compromised record in 2008 – up from $197 in 2007. The cost of lost business accounted for $139, or 69 percent, of that total.


U.S. Credit Card Charge-Offs May Soar in Q4

Credit card charge-offs are on track to hit the 14% to 15% level by the end of this year based on historical performance. The August ABS and managed credit card loan statistics are all showing double digit charge-offs for the first time during a seasonally down period. Fitch Ratings says the increase in charge-offs was widespread across the industry and reversed the one-month respite in the prior period. Index results also show late stage delinquencies improving for the third consecutive month and higher portfolio yields helping to offset the charge-off deterioration and maintain excess spread levels. As a result, charge-offs will remain elevated until there is an improvement in the unemployment rate and more meaningful declines in delinquencies. According to Moody’s “Credit Card Index” for U.S. ABS, the overall delinquency rate increased to 5.79% in August from 5.73% in July, and compared to the March peak of 6.40%. Charge-offs increased to 11.49% in August from 10.52% in July. CardData reports that managed charge-offs hit 10.49% for the first time in August.

Fitch Moody’s CardData*
Jan 7.40% 7.74% 6.95%
Feb 8.41% 8.24% 7.11%
Mar 8.89% 9.30% 8.67%
Apr 9.66% 9.97% 8.78%
May 10.44% 10.62% 9.51%
Jun 10.79% 10.76% 9.71%
Jul 10.55% 10.52% 9.59%
Aug 11.52% 11.40% 10.49%
*excludes American Express and Discover


U.S. Bank and Firethorn Unveil an M-Wallet

U.S. Bank has collaborated with Firethorn Holdings and launched “Mobile Wallet” free downloadable mobile banking application. The Mobile Wallet allows U.S. Bank customers to check balances, review transaction history, transfer funds between accounts, check rewards balances and view special offers from U.S. Bank. The downloadable application is optimized and certified for a variety of the most popular mobile devices, and U.S. Bank and Firethorn are adding new supported devices each week.



ACI Worldwide international electronic payment software and solutions
has made available its next version of “BASE24-eps” online payment
processing software. “BASE24-eps” manages electronic payment devices,
acquires transactions across many different channels, and performs
high-volume switching, routing and authorization services. This latest
version addresses customer globalization needs with new features to
support for multi-byte character sets as used in Asia and the Middle
East and enable users to store, display and print data in local
language. The new version also enhances the automated installation
process with more pre-authorization scripts for easier installation and.
“BASE24-eps” delivers a single view of account activity and balances,
and is deployed in productions systems handling both ATM and POS issuing
and acquiring of private label and international card scheme traffic.


American Express Drops Monthly Gift Card Fees

Feeling the breath of federal lawmakers, American Express says it is eliminating monthly fees on all of its gift cards, including those now in stores, those headed to market for the coming holidays, and those already purchased that are in consumers’ wallets and purses. With this announcement, American Express is the only major issuer of universal, or “general purpose,” gift cards to eliminate all fees after purchase. Unlike other gift cards, AmEx Gift Cards have no fees after purchase — no fees for activation, no fees for checking a balance, no fees for monthly servicing, no fees for card replacement, and the funds on the cards never expire. In addition, AmEx and Simon Property announced a new, expanded relationship that makes AmEx the primary provider of Simon gift cards, unseating Visa. AmEx Gift Cards are available at more than 70,000 outlets.



Sino Payments has concluded its reseller agreement with eNETS for credit
and debit card ecommerce processing in Asia. The company will utilize
eNETS to process ecommerce transactions from its customers in Asia in
multiple currencies. NV-based Sino Payments has offices in Hong Kong and
Macau. Sino Payments proprietary IP transaction processing system was
designed to convert transaction processing systems from old type dial up
POS systems connected to sophisticated check out terminals to a modern
seamless IP transaction process. eNETS Pte Ltd is a wholly owned
subsidiary of NETS, a company that in turn is owned by Singapore’s local


ABA Says Q2 Delinquencies Hit a New Record

The ABA reports that bank card delinquencies rose 26 basis points to a record 5.01% of all accounts for the second quarter. Delinquency rates hit record quarterly highs in three key loan categories: home equity loans, home equity lines of credit, and bank cards. The composite ratio, which tracks eight closed-end installment loan categories, also hit a record high at 3.35% of all accounts (seasonally adjusted) compared to 3.23% of all accounts in the previous quarter. The ABA report defines a delinquency as a late payment that is 30 days or more overdue.