First Data Clears the Hypercom T4205

First Data has given “Class B+” certification to Hypercom’s
Optimum T4205 with SPOS32 software. The PCI PED-approved 32-bit Optimum T4205 features a compact form
factor, clear and intuitive keypad, large 24MB memory and high speed
processor for fast transactions and multi-application support, all
secured by “HyperSafe32” RSA-based security
infrastructure. The certification opens an important sales channel for Hypercom’s entry-level dial device
through First Data’s large customer base of more than 5.4 million
merchant locations.

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OXFAM GIFT CARDS

Oxfam Canada and Shoppers Drug Mart have introduced a gift card can be
used to purchase goats, chickens,
donkeys and other essential supplies for families living in poverty
while honouring your friends and family too. The new card is a component
of Oxfam’s highly successful Oxfam Unwrapped
program where consumers can purchase gifts online to make a difference
for women and men living in poverty around the world. The Oxfam gift
card retails for $58 – the average cost of delivering a
goat to a needy family in the developing world. When the card recipient
goes online to redeem their gift card, they can choose from a wide range
of virtual gifts including: mosquito nets, literacy kits and even tools
to help farmers. Oxfam Canada is a non-governmental aid organization
that works with partner organizations in over 20 countries around the
world.

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FEB LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic
Index for the U.K. declined 0.6% in February to 92.1, following a 0.5% fall in January and a 0.7 percent
drop in December. Order book volume, stock prices and consumer
confidence made the largest negative contributions to the index, more
than offsetting a positive contribution from the yield spread. The LEI has declined for 16 consecutive
months, while the The Conference Board Coincident Economic
Index declined 0.1% in February, after remaining unchanged in January
and increasing 0.2%in December. The coincident economic index
now stands at 104.1 (2004 = 100).

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CROSS BORDER PAYMENTS

Payment processor Equens and the U.S. Federal Reserve Banks have signed
an MOU to begin processing payments between the U.S. and Europe.
Cross-border payments
can be characterised by relatively low transaction volumes and high
associated fixed costs. The strategic partnership between the Federal
Reserve Banks and Equens
is based on an increasing market demand for efficient processing of
low-value cross-border payments on a global level. Both organisations
are also members of the International Payments Framework and are a
collaborative effort among public and private payment groups in Africa,
Europe, North America and South America. The cross-border service offering
will support banks in further reducing their processing cost base, and
strengthen their competitive position in
the market. The Federal Reserve Banks are collectively the largest ACH
operator in
the United States, with almost 40 years of experience and ACH expertise.

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The Strawhecker Group Lands Houck

Merchant acquisition consultants The Strawhecker Group has hired Tara
Houck , previously with Noblett and Associates, as an Associate.
Houck was Vice President of M & A for Noblett
and Associates, where she led the development of 45 potential
acquisitions with over $500 million in bankcard assets. Previously, as
Vice President of ISO Channel Sales at Card Systems, Tara helped develop
and launch the sales effort to MSPs and ISOs. Prior to Card Systems,
Tara was Executive Vice President and owner of Meramak Bankcard, Inc for
10 years, which is still in operation today.

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TSYS CENTRESUITE

Payment outsource provider TSYS has introduced its card management tool
“CentreSuite” product to Europe.
“CentreSuite’s” flexible, Web-based platform provides unparalleled access,
insight and control to companies of all sizes using business cards,
corporate T&E cards, purchasing and fleet cards so they can better
manage organizational spending. Incorporating real-time account
management, online flexible reporting, statements and expense management
workflow”, CentreSuite” combines multiple levels of functionality in one
solution and enables greater access to current and historical data.

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I-Crime Complaint Center Releases Report

The Internet Crime Complaint Center has released its “2008
Annual Report” with 275,284 complaints and $265 million in fraud losses. The average
individual loss amounted to $931. Non-delivery
of merchandise and/or payment ranked number one at 32.9%, with auction fraud at 25.5% followed by
9% in credit/debit card fraud. The Internet Crime Complaint Center is a joint operation between
the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center.

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CFIB & FEES

A poll commissioned in March for the Canadian Federation of Independent
Business indicates that 83% of Canadians with credit cards think they as
customers will ultimately pay for the higher fees charged to merchants on some of the
new premium cards issued to customers by companies such as MasterCard and
Visa. Catherine Swift, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent
Business said the credit card companies and banks have turned
confusion and a lack of clarity into a fine art. She said it’s more often the case
that customers who receive premium cards are completely unaware there will be
higher fees assessed to the merchants who accept them for payment.
Swift said it may be very convenient for the credit card companies and
banks to have the general public think it will be the merchants who pass
along the additional costs to customers, rather than for the spotlight to be
on the card firms and banks themselves for having come up with the extra fees
in the first place.

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Visa Makes NFC Payments a Reality in Malaysia

Visa has introduced the world’s first commercial Visa mobile payments
service for POS using NFC technology in Malaysia. Maxis, Nokia and
Maybank have teamed with Visa to offer “Visa payWave” on mobile devices.
Maxis is the largest wireless carrier in Malaysia with more than 11
million subscribers, Nokia is the world’s leading handset manufacturer
and Maybank is a top financial institution in Malaysia. Maybank Visa
account holders can download their “Visa payWave” credit account details
directly to their “Nokia 6212” classic handset over the Maxis wireless
network. Once the account has been personalized on the phone, account
holders can then begin to make purchases at any one of the 1,800
merchant outlets that currently accept “Visa payWave” in Malaysia. The
contactless chip embedded in the device will also power a number of
additional functions, including a contactless transit application that
enables Malaysian commuters to pay for charges while using metropolitan
transit systems, bus terminals, highway toll gates and car park
facilities at more than 3,000 contactless payment touch points
throughout Malaysia. Maxis has branded these mobile payment services
under the name Maxis “FastTap.”

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Card Monthly Payment Rates Continue to Sink

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt collapsed in March by 137 basis points, following a 35 basis points uptick in February. In November the MPR posted its largest one-month drop ever, descending 251 basis points. Rising in December, the MPR declined 178 basis points. In January 2008, the MPR declined 140 basis points from the prior month. Historically, the MPR declines slightly in January, but this has not been the case since the start of the current recession. Among managed credit card outstandings, the MPR declined to 15.66% in March. According to CardData, the MPR one-year ago stood at 18.64%. Fitch’s “Monthly Payment Rate Index” declined to 15.78% from 17.15% in February. Fitch says the drop was driven by seasonal factors as well as fundamental changes in cardholder payment trends.

MONTHLY PAYMENT RATES
Sep 08: 18.69%
Oct 08: 18.53%
Nov 08: 16.05%
Dec 08: 18.56%
Jan 09: 16.78%
Feb 09: 17.13%
Mar 09: 15.66%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Triton Exec to Address ATM ISOs Council

ATM provider Triton will be represented by Chuck Hayes, Product
Development Manager, at the National Association of ATM ISOs & Operators
Security Standards Council committee. Hayes will be working with other
members of NAAIO to advise the association board on ongoing decisions
related to PCI standards mandates. NAAIO is an independent ATM sales
organization association founded in 2007
to represent and promote the common business interests of domestic ATM
ISOs and operators, recently applied and was accepted to become a member
of the PCI Security Standards Council.

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Apple Mac Users Get Billeo Payment Option

Alternative payment provider Billeo is now available for Apple Mac users.
Billeo is the first product for the Mac that goes beyond one-dimensional
password and filing tools to focus on a way to make
the everyday tasks of filling passwords, paying bills and making
purchases online quicker. The browser plug-in allows users to set up a
“one stop shop” transaction center that includes
bill reminders, password management, form filling, bill pay and shopping
directories, auto-save of receipts, search of receipts saved, and
transaction charts and reports. Billeo for the Mac is Firefox native.

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