Stradafee Expands High Risk Services

Travel industry solution provider Stradafee has expanded its travel
merchant processing portfolio. Stradafee has banks in the US and
offshore that provides travel
merchants a merchant account for their credit card processing needs
which includes: credit card & debit card acceptance; fraud protection
daily/weekly funding schedules; MOTO, retail & online credit card
processing; multi-currency acceptance, real-time processing with online
reporting and uncapped merchant accounts with no sales volume restrictions.

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2008 LOSSES

Fraud for all types of payment cards increased from A$127 million in
2007 to A$147 million for 2008. While Australia’s total rate of fraud
remains low compared to global averages, the total rate of fraud (cheque
and payment cards) has risen from 5.9 cents (2007) to 7.2 cents for
every $1,000 of payments. Debit card fraud increased slightly from 7.1
cents to 7.4 cents in every $1,000. Credit and charge card fraud
increased from 38.6 cents to 50.2 cents in every $1,000. At 31 cents in
every $1,000, Australia’s payment card fraud rate is well below
the global equivalent, which is 47 cents in every $1,000.
Card-not-present (CNP) is the most common type of payment card fraud
accounting for 48% of the fraud value on Australian issued credit and
charge cards. The findings were based on data gathered by the Australian
Payments Clearing Association for the 12 month period ending June 30th,
2008.

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GBC POS

GIRO Bankkártya Zrt (GBC) has launched new POS terminal services for all
acquirer banks and merchants present in the domestic market. GBC
extends its portfolio with new POS-related services that
include software development, terminal installation, service and
maintenance, merchant management, a 24hr help desk and terminal
handling, transaction processing and
clearing. The SIA-SSB subsidiary operates its own terminal management
system with substantial cost saving implications for the clients by
providing remote
software and parameter download options into the POS terminals. In
addition, the in-house POS software development activity covers the
banking, mobile top-up and other value-added functions as well.
GBC’s comprehensive solution will be provided to current and prospective
clients in Hungary and will be extended, in the near future, also to
other Central and Eastern European countries, among which Romania,
Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Czech Republic.

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CUP & BEA

China UnionPay Data Services has signed a long-term credit card
processing agreement with the Bank of East Asia. BEA is the first
foreign bank to independently launch its own credit
card program in China and is the largest independent
local bank in Hong Kong, with total consolidated assets of HK$396.6
billion (US$50.85 billion) as of 30th June, 2008. CUP Data is China’s
largest third-party processor of electronic
payments, providing transaction processing, disaster recovery and other
services for issuing banks in China. CUP Data was established in 2003,
and has signed more than 61 credit, debit and prepaid processing client
banks at year-end 2008.

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Gas City Installs Radiant POS

Fuel retailer Gas City has signed an agreement with Atlanta-based
Radiant Systems to deploy the “Radiant POS technology at 50 Mid and
Southwestern locations. The Radiant solution includes “Radiant POS”
software, P1560 hardware
terminals with Order Confirmation Displays, S4600 site servers, Radiant
Electronic Payment Controllers and Tiger Fuel Controllers. The Radiant
solution will integrate to Gas City’s “ADD Systems” back office solution
using the industry-standard PCATS NAXML POS-to-back office interface.
Additionally, Gas City will deploy “Radiant Loyalty Manager”, allowing the
retailer to interface its POS with its existing customer loyalty program
from KickBack Points.

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CTIA WIRELESS

International CTIA WIRELESS 2009 is accepting submissions for the 4th Annual “E-Tech” awards with a new “Green” category. The E-Tech Awards will be judged online based on their innovation, functionality, creativity, and vision. The judging process will be handled by a panel of industry analysts, journalists and technology experts. Categories for the 4th Annual E-Tech Awards include: 4G; Enterprise & Vertical Market Solutions; Green; Mobile Applications & Widgets; Mobile Consumer Electronics; Network Infrastructure; In-Building/Local Area Network Solution and Wide Area Network. The application deadline is February 20. Winners will be announced onsite at the International CTIA WIRELESS at the Las Vegas Convention Center on April 2, 2009.

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CREDIT CARDS & YOU

The Financial Consumer
Agency of Canada (FCAC) has released the most recent update of its
Credit Cards and You comparison tool. The interactive tool, which
includes more than 200 credit cards, helps consumers choose the credit
card best suited to their needs by enabling them to compare annual fees,
interest rates and other features. Updated twice a year, the Credit
Cards and You interactive tool helps
consumers choose the card that best suits their needs by enabling them
to compare annual fees, interest rates and other characteristics. The
tool is available on FCAC’s Web site at moneytools.ca. Consumers can
also refresh their credit card knowledge by answering FCAC’s credit card
quiz. FCAC provides consumers with accurate, objective information about
financial products and services, and informs Canadians of their rights
and responsibilities when dealing with federally-regulated financial
institutions. FCAC ensures compliance with the consumer protection laws,
and monitors codes of conduct and public commitments that apply to banks
and federally incorporated trust, loan and insurance companies.

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Fans Pony Up for Super Bowl Parties

Survey results from Visa indicate that 62% of Americans plan to
hold a Super Bowl party and expect to spend an average of $172 on the
festivities. Washington, D.C. (71%), Pittsburgh, PA (70%) and San
Antonio, TX (70%) topped the list of areas with the highest number of
respondents saying they will host Super Bowl parties, while San
Francisco, CA (58%), New York City (57%) and the state of Vermont (52%)
represent areas of the country with the fewest number of respondents
holding a celebration. Visa, the NFL and NFL PLAYERS have created an
educational video game called “Financial Football” which can be played
online for free at www.financialfootball.com. Visa has reached
agreements with nineteen state governments to donate
the “Financial Football” game and accompanying financial education
curriculum to every high school in those states.

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NEOVIA BOARD

NEOVIA Financial Plc (formerly NETELLER Plc) has named John Bateson and Jonathan Comerford as new non-executive directors. Formerly with the corporate finance department of NCB, an Irish stockbroker, and KPMG, Bateson holds a number of other directorships including Barchester Healthcare Limited, Datalex and Mid-States. Formerly with McKinsey & Co, Comerford holds a number of other directorships including acting as Chairman of Mountain Province Diamonds. NEOVIA Financial provides online payment services to consumers and merchants in over 160 countries.

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Less Time Spent on Bank Web Sites

A new report finds that rising unemployment, the credit crisis and the overall poor health of the U.S. economy have taken their toll on consumer bank accounts. comScore says it is seeing shifts in the way consumers manage their finances online, such as less frequent and shorter visits to their banking Web site, which has significant implications for marketers trying to reach new and existing customers.
Four out of the top 5 online banking sites experienced declines in the average number of minutes spent per visitor in the third quarter versus year ago, with Wachovia down 12% and Chase down 8%. BofA was down 6% and Wells declined 7% during the same period. ComScore concludes that this new competitive landscape, along with banks’ thirst for capital in today’s economic environment, has prompted many to adjust their marketing budgets and their strategies. Larger banks are launching aggressive customer-acquisition campaigns, offering significant monetary incentives, often in the amount of $75, $100 and even $200, to customers willing to open an account with the bank. The study findings will be discussed in greater detail during a comScore webinar presentation on Tuesday, January 27th.

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Fifth Third’s EPP Slips 2% Sequentially

Fifth Third Bancorp reports that fourth quarter electronic payment processing revenue of $230 million declined 2% sequentially and increased 3% from a year ago. Merchant processing revenue was relatively flat sequentially and compared to the previous year, as the benefit of continued account acquisition was offset by a decline in average dollar amount per credit card transaction due to lower consumer spending. Card issuer interchange revenue declined 2% sequentially, driven primarily by a decline in the average dollar amount per debit and credit card transaction. Interchange revenue increased 7% from the previous year, driven by higher credit card transactions as a result of the Bancorp’s credit card growth initiative, partially offset by a lower dollar amount per transaction. Financial institutions revenue decreased 3% compared with the previous quarter, relating to lower transaction volume in a weaker economic environment, and grew 4% from the fourth quarter of 2007 on higher transaction volumes as card use continues to replace cash at the point of transaction. For complete details on Fifth Third’s fourth quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

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HSBC & GPN

Euronet Worldwide’s prepaid subsidiary e-pay Australia has entered into
an exclusive long-term prepaid distribution agreement with Vodafone
Australia. Vodafone has appointed e-pay as its exclusive agent in
Australia to distribute Vodafone Prepaid Recharge products through
retail channels. e-pay shares a long-standing partnership with Vodafone
and the exclusive agreement will offer retailers
greater certainty and long-term reliability for the supply of Vodafone
Prepaid Recharge products. Euronet’s global payment network includes
10,384 ATMs
and approximately 55,000 EFT POS terminals which are under management in
21 countries; a growing portfolio of outsourced debit and credit card
services and card software solutions; a prepaid processing network of
approximately 409,000 point-of-sale terminals across approximately
212,000 retailer locations in 14 countries; and a consumer-to-consumer
money transfer network of approximately 73,000 locations serving
approximately 100 countries.

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