WINCOR 2Q/09

Wincor Nixdorf fiscal 2008/2009 year posted net sales of EUR1,729
million so far, a decline of 1% over the previous year, operating profit
(EBITA) fell by 9% to EUR138 million and 6% profit for the period to
EUR87 million. The worst of the first nine months was seen in the third
quarter with net sales of EUR496 million and an EBITA of EUR35 million
for a year-on-year decline of 11% and 31%, respectively. Although net
sales in Germany for the year soared 17% to EUR484 million, across the
rest of Europe, sales declined of 13% from the year ago period to EUR805
million, in Asia/Pacific/Africa declined by 1% and in the America
region increased only by 1% to EUR146 million. In response, Wincor
Nixdorf has launched its “ProFuture” program in an effort to realign its
performance, to position itself more sustainably for the post-crisis
market and complement measures for reducing cost levels.

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TELSTRA CARD FEES

Hiking existing credit card payment processing fee 1% of the payment
amount for MasterCard, VISA, and American Express and to 2% of the
payment amount for Diners Club, Telstra is set to introduce its new bill
payment fees. Starting September 14th, Telstra is focusing on
assessing residential and business customers using bill payment methods
accruing a higher cost with increased fees. The Organization is charging a
$2.20 administration fee for each bill payment sent by mail or made in
person at a Telstra Shop or Australia Post unless an exemption applies.
Millions of customers, however, will be offered exemptions from these
new fees.

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Bankrate Sells for $571MM as Profits Sink 54%

London-based Apax Partners, a major investor in financial services and media, has signed a deal to purchase Bankrate for about $571 million in cash. The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Savingforcollege.com, Fee Disclosure, InsureMe, CreditCardGuide.com and Bankaholic.com. Recent investments by the Apax Partners Media and Financial & Business Services division include: Trader Media, EMap, Cengage Learning, Travelex, Hub International, Global Refund and Azimut. Separately, Bankrate reported preliminary second quarter results which show that total revenue for the second quarter fell 23% year-on-year to $31 million. Net income is expected to be $1.9 million, compared to $4.1 million for 2Q/08. As of yesterday the Apax deal represented a premium of 15.8% over Tuesday’s closing stock price and 18.2% over the average closing price for the previous ten trading days.

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MasterCard and Starwood Launch a Promo

MasterCard Worldwide and Starwood Hotels & Resorts have inked a multi-year strategic partnership to provide MasterCard
cardholders discount packages for stays in Mexico and Latin America. MasterCard cardholders receive one night free when they purchase two nights or
receive 25% off on stays of 5 nights for hotels in Mexico and Latin America.
According to data from the American Society of Travel Agents, cities in
Latin America continue to be some of the most popular destinations for U.S. summer
vacationers traveling abroad this year. Cancun, Mexico is once again the
fourth most popular summer destination abroad, behind only London, Rome and
Paris. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic are also among the
top ten destinations outside the U.S. for American vacationers.

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Back-to-School Spending Heads Online

According to the results of a survey by alternative payment provider eBillme,
18 to 24 year olds and Hispanic consumers are more likely to shop online for back to school purchasing.
Eighteen- to 24-year-old consumers are
twice as likely to do their back to school shopping online as compared
to the overall consumer average of 12%. Hispanic consumers also
responded above average with 20 percent indicating they will shop online.
However, overall consumer sentiment towards credit card spending shows significant
decline this quarter, with 33% of consumers who anticipate their
credit card usage will decline over the next 90 days, an increase from
25% in Q3 2008. Exactly half of all consumers plan to permanently
reduce their use of credit cards because of changes in the economy and
the new credit card legislation. eBillme and Javelin Strategy & Research will be presenting a webinar to
discuss the research findings and consumer trends from the data Thursday, Aug. 6 at 1 p.m.

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3Delta Systems Hires a Platform Exec

Online payment solution provider 3Delta has hired Pete Hamel, previously
with PE Systems, as its new VP of platform delivery. Hamel’s background
ranges from product strategy and development, operations and interchange
management to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS)
compliance, disaster recovery and business continuity. Hamel also has
extensive
experience with change management, strategic planning, business and
project management.
Previously, Hamel served as vice president of operations and corporate
security
officer for PE Systems LLC in Spokane, Washington. While there, he
managed a staff of 19 financial analysts who investigated merchant
processing accounts
to achieve cost savings by improving credit card interchange
qualifications. As
corporate security officer, he ensured PCI compliance while managing all
security-related documents, policies and procedures. Hamel held senior
level product strategy and development
positions with ExaDigm, NBS Technologies, Concord EFSnet (First Data
Corporation),
eBill and Modular Data (Global Payments). Hamel holds a B.A. in speech
and business communications from California
State University in Fullerton, CA.

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FTC Sends Refund Checks Over Catalog Card Scam

The FTC sent out refund checks last week to consumers who
allegedly had been defrauded by Integrity Financial Enterprises over a catalog credit card. The checks average more than $200, which covered more than 85% of their losses. However, the checks must be cashed within 60 days. In 2008, the FTC sued Integrity Financial Enterprises, a/k/a Infinite Financial and National Benefits Exchange, alleging that they promised consumers a “credit card” that could be used like a Visa or MasterCard for an up-front fee of $200 to $300, but which actually could be used only to buy products from the defendants’ Web site or catalog.
Integrity was sued following the nationwide “Operation Tele-PHONEY” law enforcement sweep in May 2008. A monetary judgment of more than $2.4 million was imposed on Integrity.

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AmEx Introduces an OPEN Social Network

American Express OPEN has launched the “OPEN Forum” social networking
site for business owners. At the heart of the new OPEN Forum is the
“Connectodex”, a powerful tool for American Express OPEN Cardmembers
which enables them to market their
business, find vendors and build relationships. The Connectodex
differentiates OPEN Forum from other social media sites because it
allows members to navigate a virtual rolodex of credentialed businesses
to make meaningful business connections. Coming later this summer, OPEN
Forum will introduce “The Pulse”, an
innovative feature that can help business owners harness the vast
information and collective brainpower of the popular microblogging
website Twitter in one easy-to-follow location. The Pulse section
curates and filters small-business-focused updates and allows users to
sort by industry to help make it easier to follow conversations relevant
to their businesses. OPEN Forum also showcases some best practices in
entrepreneurship
through new content from the Next New Networks and BigThink video
series. Today’s leading thinkers and innovative entrepreneurs will
provide guidance to small business owners via streaming video.

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MAY LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for France increased
0.7% while The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI)
decreased .1% in May. With the 0.7% increase, the Conference Board LEI
for France now stands at 100.7 (2004=100), which increased 0.7% in April
and declined 0.5% in March, while the CEI now stands at 102.6
(2004=100), which decreased 0.3% in April and decreased 0.4% in March.
The positive contributors to the index include yield spread, the stock
price index, production expectations, the inverted new unemployment
claims, and building permits while negative contributors to the index
include industrial new orders and the ratio of the deflator of
manufacturing value added to unit labor cost for manufacturing.

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