vPOS Integrates into the LOB Application

A new report has found that browser-based virtual point of sale
continues to offer value to MOTO and low-volume walk-up merchants. Also,
vPOS capability, software-based payment transactions, is optimal when
subsumed into a merchant’s line of business application. Mercator
Advisory Group says as a volume driving strategy for merchant acquirers
and processors, connecting up the line of business application’s sales
functions with payments capability makes sense. From small businesses
running Quickbooks to large enterprise users of Salesforce.com or SAP,
payment capability is now an embedded feature of core business
applications. Mercator notes that IP Commerce flips the application
add-in model by using a general purpose payments interface that speeds
payment-enablement for the LOB software developer and gives wider choice
for a processing partner to the merchant or LOB application user.
Additionally, mobile vPOS is following an evolutionary path similar to
PC-based approaches. Integrated LOP applications for very small
merchants, including payments, are available now on the iPhone.

Details

GEMALTO & MCHEK

Digital security provider Gemalto has partnered with mChek, a provider
of mobile security, banking and payment applications, to
bolster the range and choice of secured mobile banking solutions
available on Gemalto SIM cards to markets in South Asia. Since
September 2008, Gemalto and mChek have successfully deployed a
broad range of mobile banking services with telecom operators in India
and Sri Lanka on millions of SIM cards. This includes a mobile top-up
service where its customers can recharge anywhere, anytime for
themselves or others. mChek enables a broad range of services,
including mobile
banking, two-factor authentication, secure message delivery,
cross-border and domestic money transfer and mobile payments using SVA
wallets, direct debit and credit/debit card support.

Details

Card Activation Names a New CEO/President

Prepaid card technology provider Card Activation Technologies has
appointed Michael DeLaGarza, previously with Absolute Medical Software,
as President and Director. In accordance with the By-Laws of the
Corporation, Michael DeLaGarza also becomes Chief Executive Officer of
the Corporation. DeLaGarza has been the CEO of Absolute Medical Software
Systems, and PayMed USA. Card Activation Technologies owns proprietary
patented transaction technology which covers gift cards, phone cards and
debit cards used by thousands of retailers.

Details

VERSAPAY & H&L

Payment processor VersaPay has partnered with POS provider H&L Canada to
offer the “VersaOne Retail Management Suite” with H&L’s Integrated Touch Screen terminals as a complete package. VersaOne Retail Management Suite bundles financial transaction products with real-time reporting to enable more efficient merchant operations and deliver better top line results. VersaOne’s advanced features will enable retailers to automate payment and ordering capabilities directly within their POS systems. Manual inventory reviews and orders will now be replaced by simplified tally ordering, with orders and business-to-business payments posted through VersaPay’s proprietary VersaEFT or VersaCard platforms automatically.

Details

VISA PAYWAVE

Specialty coffee retailer Second Cup is now offering the “Visa payWave”
contactless payment method. Contactless payments deliver speed and
convenience to participating merchants and Visa cardholders while
offering the security benefits
inherent in chip technology and 360 Second Cup stores in Canada will be
equipped with “Visa payWave” enabled terminals by March 31, 2009. Second
Cup is Canada’s largest specialty coffee franchisor and operates more
than 360 cafés across Canada.

Details

WU Launches First Global Brand Initiative

For the first time in the company’s 150-year history,
Western Union has launched its first-ever comprehensive global brand initiative. The new “YES!” campaign, produced in conjunction with Publicis Hong Kong, features artists such as film director Antoine Bardou-Jacquet, photojournalist Steve McCurry and typographer David Carson. The television commercial features music by Moroccan musician Hindi Zahra. The creative behind Western Union’s campaign centers on the optimism and hope inherent in the word “YES!” and highlights tangible acts that bring the brand to life. The “YES!” brand campaign elements will be translated into 40 languages and includes print, broadcast and online advertising; online consumer engagement via a dedicated campaign microsite; a cause marketing promotion tied to The Western Union Foundation; street art, billboards and other out-of-home creative; and POS materials for more than 320,000 Western Union Agents in more than 200 countries and territories.

Details

MONEYBOOKERS & EBAY

Moneybookers has inked a deal to integrate on eBay as an official payment provider beginning in February. Moneybookers USA will charge between 1.9% + $0.29 per transaction and 2.9% + $0.29 per transaction based on monthly domestic sales. For eBay sales under $3,000 the rate is 2.9% + $0.29; between $3,001 and $10,000 the rate is 2.4% + $0.29; between $10,001 and $100,000 the rate is 2.1% +$0.29 and for monthly sales above $100,000 the rate is 1.9% + $0.29. Last year, Moneybookers had 6.2 million accounts and total transaction volume of 3 billion euros. Over 30,000 partners including global brands such as Skype, AOL and Ricardo are on its network. Items totaling almost $60 billion in value were traded on eBay globally in 2007 and the auction site currently has over 86 million active users worldwide.

Details

Mobile Money Research Service is Unveiled

ABI Research has launched “Mobile Money Research Service.” It provides market data, analysis, and forecasts relevant to all the major stakeholders in this market: banks, financial services organizations, credit card processors, chip manufacturers, mobile device OEMs, Near Field Communications (NFC) suppliers, mobile network operators, system integrators, merchants and more. The new service provides a comprehensive view of the technologies, infrastructure, services, devices, supply chain participants, ecosystem partnerships, verticals, and customer interests/preferences driving the market for mobile commerce and banking services using the mobile phone. The new “Mobile Money” service will include many of the research components common to other ABI Research Services: full-length Research Reports, shorter Research Briefs, Market Data products, ABI Insights, and analyst inquiry support.

Details

SINNAD

For the first time during a holiday season, credit card outstandings for December declined from the prior month by GBP 86 million. Year-on-year growth for credit card outstandings has been slowing, from an 8.6% rate in November to 7.8% for December. According to the The Bank of England, net credit card lending edged down to GBP 52.8 billion in December from GBP 52.9 billion in the prior month and compared to GBP 49.0 billion one-year ago. The increase in total net lending to individuals in December of GBP 2.2 billion was higher than the November increase, but below the previous six-month average. The twelve-month growth rate slowed further, to 3.6%, and the three-month annualized growth rate ticked up by 20 basis points to 1.5%. The increase in net consumer credit in December of GBP 300 million was below the increase in November and the previous six-month average. While net credit card lending decreased, net other loans and advances rose by GBP 400 million. The annual growth rate of consumer credit continued to slow, to 5.0%; the three-month annualized growth rate ticked up by 10 basis points, to 2.9%.

NOTE: Chart does not include about GBP10 billion from specialist lenders, retailers, and insurance companies. SOURCE: Bank of England

Details

12% Advanta Charge-Offs Spur a 37%+ APR

While some top issuers have pulled back on the marketing of business
cards, the performance metrics of a business card specialist reveals the
rapid meltdown during the current 15-month old recession. Advanta, with
one million business credit card accounts and about $5 billion in
outstandings, has progressed in four quarters from an issuer with
charge-off ratios below industry averages to an issuer plagued with
charge-offs about twice the industry average. As a matter of fact
compared to the fourth quarter of 2007, Advanta’s charge-offs have
nearly tripled. According to CardData (www.carddata.com), Advanta’s
quarterly charge-offs for 2007 hovered between 3.3% and 4.1%. In 2008
charges-off exploded from 6% in Q1, to 8% in Q2, to 10% in Q3 and to 12%
in Q4. During the same period in 2008 average charge-offs for the
industry increased from 4.6% to 6.0%. In response, the issuer has
tightened underwriting, closed accounts more than 30 days past due and
is now charging interest rates as high as 37.18%, (the highest APR ever
charged by a non sub-prime issuer.) Among sub-prime issuers, CompuCredit
has charged rates above 40% for some of its card products, according to
CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com](http://www.cardtrak.com)). For complete details on Advanta’s latest
performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

Advanta Industry
4Q/06: 3.4% 3.8%
1Q/07: 3.3% 3.9%
2Q/07: 3.5% 3.7%
3Q/07: 3.9% 4.1%
4Q/07: 4.1% 4.2%
1Q/08: 6.4% 4.6%
2Q/08: 8.4% 5.3%
3Q/08: 10.0% 5.5%
4Q/08: 12.0% 6.0%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

CASHBOX GROWTH

ATM provider Cashbox plc reports that the installed base of
transacting machines was 2,838 on 31 December 2008,compared to 2,045 at
30 June 2008, with sufficient ATM stock in
warehouse to meet installation requirements for the remainder of the
financial year. The increase in machine numbers is essentially
attributable to the acquisitions that took place during the second half
of 2008. The Group expects to announce its Interim Results for the six
months ended 31 December 2008 during March 2009.

Details