Chase Paymentech Inks a Verifi Deal

CA-based transaction risk management service Verifi has a preferred
partner agreement with Chase Paymentech.
Verifi will recommend Chase Paymentech as a preferred merchant account
provider to its merchant customers, and will provide its transaction
risk management services, including chargeback prevention and
management, to Chase Paymentech’s card-not-present merchants.
Verifi is a provider of electronic payment and risk management
solutions for card-not-present merchants. Verifi’s highly customizable
payment gateway serves as a foundation for its suite of risk management
services. Verifi has a proven track record of reducing risk and
increasing profitability for its clients by offering transaction risk
management and mitigation, business optimization strategies, cardholder
authentication, and chargeback representment for all major card brands.

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AFFLUENT SPENDING

A study released by American Express, “Inside the Affluent Space”
shows that Canada’s most wealthy individuals are going through a re-evaluation of
their lifestyles and attitudes. Excess and gratuitous consumption are out,
says the study, replaced by a more introverted and
new ‘individualist’ mindset, a wealthy consumer who is more selective, less impulsive, and in many respects
much more discerning and consequently harder to serve from a business
perspective. They are interested in products, services and experiences that are more personalized
and unique. They are interested in relationships rather than transactions.
Acquiring knowledge and a greater depth of appreciation for the luxuries
their wealth can afford them is more meaningful than merely acquiring possessions.
While fueled by the current economic environment the study reveals an underlying trend has emerged over the past few years that has affluent
Canadians asking themselves “What is it that is really important to me?”
For many, the answer seems to be, authenticity and life enhancing experiences.

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CashStar Gains Traction & Funding

ME-based CashStar has introduced an interactive gift card platform and has picked up more funding. Uno Chicago Grill, Travelocity Incentives and Gorham Bike & Ski, are already offering Interactive Gift Cards via the CashStar platform. The company also disclosed that it has secured more than $4 million in funding. CashStar utilizes Coupons, Inc.’s print barcode technology foundation to provide a secure payment technology platform. The company also leverages Coupons, Inc.’s extensive network to promote its offerings. The CashStar senior management team includes executives from American Express, Blackhawk Network, inComm, Coinstar, Wright Express, IBM, Hewlett-Packard and L.L. Bean.

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Cumberland Farms to Upgrade its VSAT

VA-based Spacenet will provide the upgraded data network for c-store Cumberland Farms.
Spacenet is deploying an innovative hybrid VSAT and DSL/Cable/EV-DO
network that provides optimized support for Cumberland Farms’ expanding
retail applications. Satellite networks combined with wireline services
provide cost-effective redundant communications and a diverse network
path to protect against network downtime. Spacenet is upgrading
Cumberland Farms’ existing VSAT network to the industry-leading SkyEdge
VSAT platform for faster speeds and advanced functionality. The network
supports improved performance for web-based and back-office applications
including credit/debit card authorization, POS polling, HR software and
inventory tracking. Spacenet’s services include its custom
satellite and hybrid network solutions for enterprise and government;
“Connexstar” VSAT services for primary, backup and disaster recovery.
Convenience store and petroleum marketer
Cumberland Farms’ network of retail stores, gas
stations,dairy and grocery
distribution operations spans 11 states across the Northeast and
Florida.

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OPTELIO CARD

Digital security provider Gemalto will provide Banco Santander with the
“Optelio” card for universities. As part of the program,
students use their card as a Banco Santander EMV
debit card. Spain, and many countries around the world, are migrating
payment systems to the more secure EMV standard. Students can also use
their card for a wide variety of services and applications. The new
digital signature functionality allows students and professors to
conveniently sign documents electronically, while at the same time
helping universities comply with new laws requiring their use.
The contactless features on the Gemalto card enables secure access to
buildings such as libraries, dormitories and gymnasiums. Students also
use the card for secure access to the campus electronic networks, to pay
in cafeterias, take out books from the library, store grades and
personal documents, pay for laundry and photocopies, and for other
student expenses. The university card is also used for students to gain
access to public transportation in the cities of Burgos, Lerida, Malaga
and Santander. In addition, Gemalto
delivers its strong authentication software solution to enable digital
signature applications. These are implemented and supported by Acotec, a
Gemalto Value Added Reseller (VAR) in Spain. University Politecnica
Catalunya (UPC) is first to rollout out this technology in the country.
In addition to Spain, Banco Santander is currently running its
university identity card program in Latin America, Morocco, Portugal and
the United Kingdom. Santander manages several million cards in use at
200 universities, 48 of which are in Spain.

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BET’s UTB to Offer FDC Prepaid Cards

FL-based Urban Trust Bank will offer First Data’s “Money Network”
payroll card. Urban Trust Bank and First Data will provide prepaid products
and services to employers, retailers and consumers that allow consumers
to better manage their cash and expenses while providing them flexibility.
Payroll cards can be used in a variety of merchant locations and
reloaded by both consumers and their employers offering a compelling
combination of security, value and convenience. The cards provide
immediate access to funds on payday, without fee or discount, and access
to cash at thousands of surcharge-free ATMs across the country. Plus,
cards can be replaced if they are lost or stolen.

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ICMA Membership Rose 14% in 2008

The NJ-based non-profit International Card Manufacturers Association has
achieved record 14% in membership growth in 2008. The association
enables members to network with other industry professionals, address
industry concerns and participate in new initiatives. In 2008, the
association introduced a corporate member
category which was developed to expand the needs of larger
multi-location manufacturing companies. Other membership categories
include suppliers, issuers, manufacturer representatives, personalizers
and affiliated companies. Members come from around the world, including
North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East. The ICMA
acts as a clearinghouse for industry issues, including the production,
technology, application, security and environmental issues of plastic
cards.

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TNS Fourth Quarter Revenues Decline 9%

Payments communications leader TNS reported that total revenue for the fourth quarter decreased 8.9% to $81.1 million. The fourth quarter net loss was $1.0 million, compared to $0.5 million for 4Q/07.
Revenue from the Financial Services Division increased 10.7% to $11.8 million as customers continued to upgrade bandwidth. Revenue from the POS Division decreased 8.4% to $18.2 million on 1.24 billion transactions. The decrease in POS division revenue was primarily attributable to a decrease in transaction volumes and a slight decrease in revenue per transaction. Revenue from the International Services Division decreased 13.3% to $35.0 million but on a constant dollar basis, ISD revenue increased 6.3% primarily through higher revenue from sales of card-not-present services. Revenue from the Telecommunication Services Division decreased 11.2% to $16.0 million. For complete details on TNS’ fourth quarter report visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

TNS REVENUE HISTORICAL
4Q/07: $89.0 million
1Q/08: $84.1 million
2Q/08: $90.1 million
3Q/08: $88.6 million
4Q/08: $81.1 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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VISA CAMPAIGN

Visa has launched its first global advertising campaign to lower its marketing costs. The new “More people go with Visa” campaign will promote migrating consumer and business spending from cash and checks to a better form of electronic payment. The campaign opened today globally.
In the U.S., two national television spots – “Let’s go” and “Aquarium” – will premier on March 4th during “American Idol” on FOX. Visa’s international markets will launch with a television commercial named “Gofesto.” In the coming weeks, Visa will roll out a series of print advertisements focusing on the benefits of the “Visa Check Card.” Visa noted that the campaign is well suited for traditional and new media, and will strongly support Visa’s global sponsorship properties and merchant marketing programs.

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ONE-TOUCH

The Zitelman Group has raised Series B funding for
eBIZ.mobility’s “OneTouch solution” online payment processing
solution for digital content downloads. eBIZ.mobility’s “OneTouch Online Purchasing” service, currently live in
26 countries, enables consumers to buy digital content online without a
credit card or fear of identity theft. The system facilitates real-time
user authentication and payment authorization, and allows consumers to
charge downloads to existing accounts at phone companies, ISPs, prepaid
cards, and banks. Consumers do not need to open and fund a separate account as is the case
with other online payment mechanisms. The “Federated Payment” technology
enables third party online payments using patent-pending ciphering and
securing methods that eliminate the need to expose any consumer’s
personal or financial information online.

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Elavon to Offer AmEx OnePoint Program

U.S. Bank’s Elavon is the first acquirer to commercially market the American Express’ new “OnePoint” program. Through the program Elavon and its third-party sales channels will have the ability to offer American Express card acceptance to small and mid-size U.S. merchants meeting defined processing parameters. Elavon performs all set up, processing, settlement, funding, customer support and reporting for eligible American Express acceptance, thereby providing merchants with one processing relationship for all major card brands. Elavon also offers “OnePoint” to merchants in its direct sales and alliance bank referral channels.

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