Attempted Holiday Online Fraud Jumps 40%

The online retail market experienced a staggering 40% increase in
attempted online fraud on “Black Friday.” Retail Decisions reports that
the value of fraudsters’ attempted transactions increased to an average
of $248, up on last year by 25%. The favorite items for the
would-be fraudster included Virtual Gift Cards, Givenchy Perfume,
Lancôme and Estee Lauder Cosmetics. According to ReD, the most fraud
prone U.S. shipping and billing states were Florida and New York.
“Black Friday” has its busiest hour between 1.00 pm and 2.00 pm with the
most popular selling gift being the “Garmin Nuvi 200 GPS Display
Screen.” ReD also found that online shopper’s busiest minute for its
retail customers was “Cyber Monday” at 1.48 pm.

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Harbortouch Touchscreen POS Gains Traction

Half Point Pub in Whippany, NJ is one of many
restaurants
and retail businesses that have recently decided to upgrade their old
cash register
and credit card equipment to an advanced all-in-one touchscreen
point-of-sale (POS)
system.

Business owner Robert Rinaldi had been researching various point-of-sale
systems to
find one that met all of his business needs. After comparing multiple
systems, he
found the perfect answer from a nationwide point-of-sale company known as
Harbortouch.

James Surber, Vice President of Harbortouch, explains “We designed the
Harbortouch
POS system with small and midsized businesses like Half Point Pub in
mind. By
customizing each system for both restaurants and retail businesses, we
are able to
provide substantial benefits for every merchant that uses Harbortouch.”

Rinaldi says that “upgrading to Harbortouch has really been a great
decision for my
business. Its many features have saved me time and money through more
efficient
operations.”

He points out that “one of the biggest advantages has been allowing our
servers to
spend more time on the floor instead of running back and forth to the
kitchen. This
has created much better service and our customers have definitely
noticed.” Rinaldi
has also been impressed with the system’s advanced reporting features
which “have
saved us countless hours and decreased bookkeeping expenses.”

“Another important benefit is that using this system ensures that all
items end up
on the check. In the past when things got busy, items were often
overlooked and did
not end up on the check or were priced incorrectly. I would estimate a
10% increase
in revenue just by fixing that problem alone. On top of everything else, the
support team has been outstanding in making sure that our system is working
properly and all our needs have been met. Overall, I couldn’t be happier
with the
Harbortouch POS System.”

About Half Point Pub

Half Point Pub is a casual family restaurant and bar that has become a local
favorite in northern New Jersey. Located at 29 Reynolds Ave in Whippany, the
restaurant can be reached at 973-887-5533.

About Harbortouch

Harbortouch is a leading supplier of point-of-sale (POS) solutions and
merchant
payment services and can accommodate the needs of any retail or hospitality
business by providing an easy to use, high performance POS system at an
affordable
price. It is the perfect tool to help make running your business easier
and more
profitable by combining the highest quality hardware with the most advanced
software. For more information about Harbortouch POS, visit
www.harbortouch.com or contact 866-563-3045.

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METAPASS & CUSTOMS

Access management provider MetaPass has integrated and deployed its
virtualization-based, universal single sign-on (SSO)
solution for up to 4,000 concurrent users at the Customs Department in
Taiwan. Single sign-on gives computer users the ability to log onto multiple
systems without having to authenticate with multiple passwords. Users
log on securely once and then access all other applications with a
single click, drastically increasing network security and user
productivity, while reducing user frustration and help desk costs.
Taiwan’s leading system integrator Kang Da took care of the deployment of the
software at five operations centers covering the entire island.

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Premier Purchasing Partners Picks NPS

MA-based Nationwide Payment Solutions will provide credit card services
to CA-based healthcare alliance Premier Purchasing Partners.
The 36-month agreements are available to acute care and continuum of
care members of the Premier healthcare
alliance. Premier operates healthcare purchasing networks and the
nation’s most
comprehensive repository of hospital clinical and financial information.

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JSC & AMEX

JSC Bank of Georgia has signed an agreement to become exclusive
partner of American Express for Credit Card Acquiring and Issuing
business in Georgia. With this agreement, the Bank
expects to strengthen its position as the leading retail bank in Georgia
by expanding its current range of retail products and further increasing
its penetration into mass affluent retail market. Bank of Georgia is the largest bank by assets, loans, deposits and
equity in Georgia, with 33% market share by total assets with 140
branches and over 904,000 retail and more than 133,000 corporate current
accounts.

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Business Outpaces Consumer Credit Card Growth

A new report finds that the compound annual growth rate for business credit card volume, since 2001, is 20.6%, while the corporate card CAGR is 12.0% and the purchasing card CAGR is 13.7% during the same period. The study also suggests that from a top line perspective, corporations are offered incentives by issuers through rebate programs based on a combination of factors including a company’s travel volume, spend per card, payment terms, average transaction size, and credit losses. However, Boston-based Mercator Advisory Group notes that the commercial card market has some very fundamental differences from a risk perspective. Issuers have a particular gap or blind spot in creating a comprehensive view of exposure to a corporation, encompassing both commercial loan and card relationships. Also, solutions providers are just beginning to develop segment specific scoring models and analytics to properly manage the corporate card segment in the context of the broader corporate lending relationships.

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Smaller Average Tickets for Online Shoppers

In the 17-day period ending November 28th, online transactions were up 24% while sales dollar value was up 8.4%, resulting in the average ticket declining 12.8%. Online transactions for “Black Friday,” increased 34% with sales volume increasing 18% versus last year. The “Cyber Holiday Pulse Index” from Chase Paymentech also reports that sales volume for “Cyber Monday” increased less than half a percent from last year, but the transaction count was ahead of 2007 by 14.5%. This resulted in the average ticket size, or average dollar spent per transaction, decreasing 12% below last year. For the entire holiday season, transaction count has increased 25%, while sales volume has increased 11%. The average ticket is 12% below last year. The “Cyber Holiday Pulse Index” monitors the daily activity of 25 of the largest 150 Internet retailers.

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eCommLink is Certified on PCI DSS v1.2

Prepaid processor eCommLink has passed its PCI DSS audit and is an early
adopter of the version 1.2 PCI guidelines. Completing the audit was
the firm RSM McGladrey whose Qualified Security Assessors (QSAs) were
onsite for five days delving into the specifics of
eCommLink’s systems and infrastructure. In addition to being PCI DSS
compliant, eCommLink is SAS 70 Type II
certified and TG-3 compliant and has successfully completed FDIC, FFIEC
and Federal
Reserve Board audits. eCommLink enables program managers and
financial institutions to maximize revenue from their prepaid debit
programs.

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CRYPTOCARD

Ottawa-based CRYPTOCard has launched its first combined two-factor authentication payment card. The “CD-1 Credit Card Display” token secures online and telephone transactions and address issues card-not-present issues. “CD-1” is the next generation of “2FA” solutions that will improve security for businesses and consumers making on-line or telephone financial transactions through a simple integration with a banks’ channel strategy and it will mitigate concerns relating to identity fraud during “CNP” based transactions. Available January 1st, “CD-1” is also available with CRYPTOCard’s managed “CRYPTO-MAS” service.
The “CD-1 Credit Card Display” card is currently being piloted at a number of multinational financial institutions.

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MasterCard’s Easy Savings Adds Two Partners

The popular “MasterCard Easy Savings” program has added two new partners. Microsoft will now offer discounts on customer relationship management solutions and McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant will now offer rebates on dining charges. All MasterCard small business credit and signature debit cardholders enrolled in the “Easy Savings Program” receive automatic savings on purchases. Microsoft is offering a 10% rebate on “Microsoft CRM Online Pro” monthly fees via “Easy Savings.” McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant is offering small business MasterCardholders a 5% savings on total dining charges and gift card purchases. Other “Easy Savings” partners include Avis, Budget, DHL, Microsoft adCenter, Monster, Administaff, HRTools.com, Midwest Airlines, Maggiano’s Little Italy, Mimeo.com, SurePayroll, Web.com, and Wyndham Hotels.

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Visa and M&I Bank Ink a Seven-Year Extension

Visa has confirmed the signing of a seven-year agreement to renew its partnership with Wisconsin-based M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank.
Under the terms of the agreement, Visa will provide payment programs for credit, debit, prepaid and commercials cards, as well as merchant acquiring services. Visa and M&I Bank have had a 30-year partnership. M&I is the largest Wisconsin-based bank, with offices throughout Wisconsin, Arizona, Indiana, Florida, Missouri, Minnesota and Nevada.
Earlier this week, Visa announced that it has renewed a brand partnership agreement with M&T Bank that provides customers with branded consumer and small business debit, commercial credit, and prepaid cards. M&T Bank is one of the top 20 largest U.S. commercial bank holding companies, with 680 offices and 1600 ATMs in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey and the District of Columbia. (CF Library 12/2/08)

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Bankruptcy Filings Run 39% Higher in November

U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings rose 39% year-over-year in November. However, sequentially the total of 99,925 represented a slight decrease from the October total of 106,266. The American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Bankruptcy Research Center reports that “Chapter 13” filings constituted 33% percent of all consumer cases in November, a slight increase from October. ABI and NBKRC projects total bankruptcies for 2008 to approach 1.1 million, the highest figure since Congress changed the bankruptcy laws in 2005. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, filings in the 12-month period ending June 30th neared the one million mark. The 967,831 bankruptcy cases filed represent a 29% increase over the prior 12-month period. Of the total filings 64% were Chapter 7 filings. Consumer filings for the same 12-month period, totaled 934,009, up 28% from the 727,167 bankruptcies filed in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2007.

BANKRUPTCY FILINGS
Jan 08: 66,050
Feb 08: 76,120
Mar 08: 86,165
Apr 08: 92,291
May 08: 91,214
Jun 08: 82,770
Jul 08: 94,124
Aug 08: 96,413
Sep 08: 88,663
Oct 08: 106,266
Nov 08: 99,925
Source: ABI/NBKRC

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