FTC Settles with Ace Group’s Credit Repair

A federal court order has been issued against Ace Group, d/b/a
American Credit Experts, Inc., The Ace Group, Inc., The Ace Group, and
ACE; Legal Credit Repair Center to enforce the FTC demands against false claims and fraud for credit repair.
The orders bar the defendants from violating the Credit Repair
Organizations Act by charging clients fees in advance and claiming that
a credit repair organization can permanently remove negative information
from credit reports, even when the information is accurate. They also
bar the defendants from making deceptive claims when marketing any
product or service, including credit repair services.
The order against the various companies and Michael Singer and Gerald Roth imposes a
$20,645,754 judgment that will be suspended if Singer and Roth pay
$5,000 each because of their inability to pay the full judgment. The
order against Melvin Kessler also imposes a $20,645,754 judgment, which
is suspended based on his inability to pay. If the defendants are found
to have misrepresented their financial condition, the full judgments
will become due immediately. The orders also contain record-keeping and
reporting provisions to allow the FTC to monitor compliance with the orders.

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Ezic Offers Discounted Stepdown Rebilling

Digital payment solution provider Ezic has introduced “Stepdown Rebilling” features to its “Recurring Billing” system. “Stepdown”
gives merchants the ability to set automatic retry schedules for failed recurring billing transactions and give merchants more control by allowing them to choose the number of retires for each transaction, the frequency of retries, and the discount amount attempted for each consecutive retry. Discounted retry amounts are determined by the merchant, and can be based on a percentage or fixed dollar amount. The rebilling is automatically reset to the original amount and date, before the next regular billing period. Merchants are able to review overall effectiveness of “Stepdown Rebilling” with Ezic’s “Stepdown Rebilling” reports that detail each retry attempt, the dollar amount attempted and actual amount recovered with each successful attempt to see exactly how much revenue was recovered from the original failed recurring billing transactions. Ezic is a private-label gateway provider and offers payment-processing platforms complete with multi-level security against fraud for all Internet-based transactions.

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PDS ACH Platform & Plug’n Pay Gateway Combine

E-payment provider Payment Data Systems has integrated the “Plug’n Pay” e-Commerce
gateway to the PDS ACH platform to provide e-Check service to its
customers.Through the integration of the PDS ACH platform to the Plug’n Pay
gateway, PDS’ services are fully available through the Plug’n Pay
gateway with no additional integration involved. The e-Check transaction
reporting is integrated into the industry leading Plug’n Pay reporting
so there is only one reporting interface that the merchant accesses for
both check and credit card sales information.
Plug’n Pay is a provider of payment and
digital fulfillment solutions for Internet merchants. Plug’n Pay’s
payment systems allow merchants to accept and manage both credit card
and electronic check payments in a secure environment.
Payment Data Systems is an integrated payment solutions provider to
merchants and billers.

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Comdata Names Enterprise Solutions Sales Exec

TN-based payment solution provider Comdata has promoted Greg Koren,
previously VP of Sales, to SVP of Sales for Enterprise Solutions Koren
is directly responsible for overseeing the sales efforts for Comdata’s
prepaid solutions, merchant solutions, and its new healthcare
initiative. He will assist with building and implementing the sales
strategy for each suite of payment. He has been with Comdata for 21
years and most recently served as the vice president of sales for
Corporate Payments, eastern region. Comdata Corporation is a
business-to-business issuer and a processor,
enabling millions of fleet card, credit card, pay card and virtual card
transactions annually.

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Fitch Ratings Takes More ABS Under Analysis

Fitch Ratings has designated 55 classes as ‘Under Analysis’ that indicate and intent to issue a rating action within 30 days. A rating action could include an affirmation, upgrade, downgrade or placement on the “Rating Watch”. The “HSBC Master Note Trust” is reviewed because the trust performance is outside of expectations. The “Discover Card Master Trust” and Discover Card Execution Note Trust have been placed ‘Under Analysis’ because they will be reviewed following the placement of classes B and C on Rating Watch Positive. Three hundred and ninety-three classes of U.S. credit card ABS transactions were designated with a SMARTView date of June 25th, indicating that performance has been reviewed and a rating action is not
anticipated within the next 30 days. Fitch’s analysts scrutinize the output to decide which deals need further review, which are noted as ‘Under Analysis’. A transaction may also be designated as ‘Under Analysis’ when a review is undertaken because of a material event affecting the transaction or when a regular, more in-depth periodic review is being performed.

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Banc of America Merchant Services is Created

Bank of America and First Data confirm plans to form a new company to offer a comprehensive suite of payments solutions including credit, debit and prepaid cards to merchant loyalty, check and eCommerce payments. Banc of America Merchant Services, LLC will be 46.5% owned by Bank of America and 48.5% by First Data, with the remaining stake held by Rockmount Investments. BofA will contribute approximately 240,000 merchant relationships and FDC will contribute approximately 140,000 merchant relationships to the new company. Following a transition period, FDC will provide the merchant processing and related services. Thomas Bell, chief strategy officer and president of First Data’s financial services business, was named chief executive officer of Banc of America Merchant Services. The combined entity will process over one billion transactions per month. Both firms said they will provide more details in July.

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ABNOTE NA

Arthur Blank & Co., American Bank Note Company, and Keystone Plastics of Canada, three subsidiaries of ABnote Group, announced they are consolidating under a new brand, “ABnote North America.” The newly branded firm will be led by CEO Joe Caffarella. The Company has a corporate history dating back to 1795. ABnote North America will offer plastic commercial cards, financial cards, secure access cards, identification cards, secure documents, and related secure personalization, warehousing, distribution, and fulfillment services. While the Arthur Blank & Co, American Bank Note Company, and Keystone names will remain for an interim period, the brands will be phased out as marketing is transitioned over to the new brand.

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New 1World ATM/Debit Card Targets Payroll

One World Ventures has launched its “1World Card” ATM/ Debit solution,
targeting customers seeking payment solutions for payroll or sales
compensation. As a bank issued, PIN-based ATM/Debit card in 140
countries, “1World Card” requires no qualifying process, no credit
checks or applications, no credit fees, overdraft charges, late fees,
interest charges, offers a secure way to store money and allows access
only to the amount of money stored on the card. One World Ventures
invests in technologies, communities and systems that facilitate trade,
finance, communication and travel across international boundaries,
cultures and languages.

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CoreCard White Paper Analyzes Prepaid Card Risks

A new white paper says it is a mistaken belief that prepaid cards carry
less risk than credit cards because the card requires a deposit before
funds can be withdrawn. Many transactions are not authorized by the
merchant or authorized for an amount less than the actual transaction
amount (gasoline stations and restaurants are good examples). CoreCard
Software says even though the card issuer does have the right to charge
back the transaction for insufficient funds in such cases, the cost of
handling a charge back is not trivial. Merchant fraud may also increase
the risk of loss to the card issuer. However, velocity limits are
available and used to reduce the likelihood of fraudulent transactions.
Single,daily and monthly (count and amount) purchase and cash advance
limits are also available at the product level. CoreCard also notes that
it is also possible to assign an account a “shadow credit limit”, which
can be used to determine the amount of overdraft available to an
individual customer. The customer does not know the
amount of the shadow credit limit and may be charged an overdraft fee if
the transactions posted exceeds the account available balance.

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Bad Economy Creates Bad Personal Health Issues

A recent poll reveals that 40% of Americans’ finances have kept them
from achieving the things they want in life, while another 50% say they
have recently spent less time or money on enjoyable activities because
of money concerns. However, 61% are maintaining an optimistic outlook.
The “Solid Index” survey from SunTrust found that 48% of Americans have
scaled back their summer travel plans because of finances; 42% are
considering not leaving home for vacation this summer; 25% of Americans
have no system in place for budgeting; and nearly 60% have either tried
to sleep off financial concerns, made poor food choices, made
unnecessary purchases, have skipped work or consumed alcohol to deal
with financial pressures. Nevertheless, SunTrust also found that 46% of
people are looking for more financial education resources for their
families and themselves.

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CLEAR2PAY BEIJING

Clear2Pay next generation payment solutions is opening its “Clear2Pay
Beijing” office through its 100% share acquisition of ETH Tech Limited.
The second of offices opened in China to its Shenzhen office, “Clear2Pay
Beijing” will dispatch assistance from the former to develop, integrate
and implement payments solutions within Chinese financial institutions
and will employ around 20 staff. Internationally Clear2Pay operates out
of 11 offices and employs over 450 staff in total to offer payments
origination, reporting, linking with back-office processing systems,
clearing, netting and settlement functions for such institutions as ING,
Banco Santander, Crédit Agricole, VISA, MasterCard, ABN AMRO, Nordea,
Abbey National, Fortis Bank, ANZ and Commonwealth Bank while ETH Tech
Limited was founded in 2004 to provide Business Intelligence (BI) for
banks, financial institutions, government agencies and large corporates.

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Consumers Shun Credit Cards, Loans and Spending

A survey, conducted in mid-May, has found that 33% of consumers are
using their credit card less often than before. About 41% of those
earning $75,000 or more have used their credit cards less. The finding
come from the results of The Harris Poll which also found that 45% of
40-49 year olds and 41% of 50-64 year olds say they have used their
credit cards less in the past six months. Almost two-thirds of Americans
saying they are spending less overall and 64% saying they are less
likely to take out a loan. Harris noted that in spite of this fiscal
restraint, many Americans have no cushion to weather a downturn, now or
in their retirement years. Almost one-quarter of Americans say they have
no personal savings and 30% have no retirement savings.

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