MasterCard PayPass Takes-Off in Canada

Staples announced plans to accept MasterCard “PayPass”-enabled
readers and chip card terminals in its 300 Staples Business Depot and Bureau en Gros stores across Canada beginning early next year. At mid-year, there were nearly 37 million “PayPass” cards and devices in use at more than 122,000 merchants worldwide. There are a number of “PayPass” trials and roll-outs currently underway in 25 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the U.K. and U.S.



Digital security provider Gemalto announced its entire range of “MagIC³”
POS terminals received certification by an independent certified
testing laboratory in accordance with MasterCard International “Payment
Terminal Security” program. This security evaluation applies to the
TCP/IP protocol suite. The product family incorporates the “MagIC
Open&Sec” technology running on Linux and offers very high-speed
transactions, as well as unrivalled flexibility of connection and
communication, without compromising security. The Open&Sec Linux-based
operating system leverages IP technology and accelerates the development
of new value-added solutions. The objective of the MasterCard
International Payment Terminal Security
program for IP-enabled POS devices is to ensure the necessary level of
protection for transaction and cardholder data at merchants that use
equipment that support the TCP/IP protocol suite. The security
evaluation verifies that POS devices meet the relevant MasterCard
requirements in terms of confidentiality, integrity and communicating
parties’ authentication, with a 3-year validity period.


Way Systems Dumps Fred Gumbel as President

Way Systems Inc., a Boston maker of mobile point of sale terminals,
promoted Eric Lecesne to president and chief operating officer.

Mr. Lecesne, whose promotion was announced Tuesday, had been the vice
president of manufacturing and supply chain since last year.

He succeeded Fred Gumbel, who will remain the chief executive.

Mr. Lecesne said Way Systems will continue to work with independent
sales organizations to reach merchants, especially those that have not
accepted cards in the past.


Moneris Buys Humboldt Merchant Services

Moneris Solutions has inked an agreement to acquire the assets of ISO
Humboldt Merchant Services. Humboldt has over 18,000 merchants in its
portfolio and processes nearly $2.5 billion in bankcard volume annually.
The acquisition will include Humboldt’s operations,
infrastructure and team members. The acquisition will substantially
increase Moneris Solutions’ U.S. business. It also strengthens Moneris
US’ presence on the West Coast and provides additional distribution,
products and sales expertise. Moneris Solutions serves more than 350,000
North American merchant locations.


Monthly Payment Rates Improve in August

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, took a turn north in August. The MPR rose 59 basis points between July and August. Among managed credit card outstandings, the MPR increased to 18.02% in August, compared to 17.43% in the prior month and 18.99% one-year ago. According to CardData (, the yield also rose in August to 13.95% from 13.83% in July, and was down 85 bps, compared to year-ago levels.

Aug 07: 14.80% 18.99%
Sep 07: 14.71% 18.86%
Oct 07: 14.82% 19.21%
Nov 07: 14.80% 18.89%
Dec 07: 14.63% 18.41%
Jan 08: 13.53% 18.11%
Feb 08: 13.33% 19.10%
Mar 08: 13.68% 18.33%
Apr 08: 13.89% 18.03%
May 08: 13.85% 17.54%
Jun 08: 13.77% 17.86%
Jul 08: 13.83% 17.43%
Aug 08: 13.95% 18.02%
Source: CardData (



Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank along with Indigosolutions have teamed to offer a Visa “Travelcard.” The new card can be loaded with either US Dollars or Euros. “Indigo Travelcards” work in the same way as a Visa debit card, allowing travellers easy and rapid access to their funds via ATMs, and the ability to make payments worldwide wherever the Visa brand mark is shown. The cards are not linked to a bank account and can be topped up with funds remotely through a dedicated website or via a SMS instruction. Users can request balance updates, block their card, and make card-to-card transfers – all via SMS alerts. They can also register for Daily Balance and Time for Top-up SMS alerts, ensuring they never run out of funds.


BillShrink Targets the Credit Card Market

Consumer service BillShrink has added credit cards to its list of
product offerings that can be compared by consumers to find the best
value. Consumers will be able to access a quantified,
dollar-for-dollar comparison of credit cards tailored to their personal
usage and spending behavior from more than 200 of the most
popular credit cards from major banks. By simply entering a few details
about their credit card usage and
preferences — including typical spending per month, whether or not one
carries a balance, and on what most money is spent — consumers can
quickly access a personalized ranking of recommended credit cards.
BillShrink’s patent-pending technology automatically monitors
millions of rate plan/feature combinations, and matches them against
individual consumers’ usage patterns, providing simple, apples to apples
comparisons and updated money saving recommendations on an ongoing basis as
changes occur.


Continental Prison Systems Deploys Kiosks

Continental Prison Systems EZ kiosk has successfully completed
the installation of two kiosks, the debit card program and online
money services systems. CPSZ offers Prison Systems financial products
and proprietary kiosk
technology that streamlines the inmate release process and provides for
significant cost reducing processes of loading funds to an inmate’s
account over the internet or through a kiosk. Bail can also be
processed through a kiosk placed in the booking room or online.


Synovus Names a New Top Credit Team

GA-based Synovus has appointed Mark G. Holladay to Chief Risk
Officer, Kevin J.Howard as Chief Credit Officer and Roy Dallis “D”
Copeland, Jr. to Chief Commercial Officer. Holladay was promoted to the
position of Executive Vice President and
Chief Credit Officer of Synovus in 2000. He was appointed Executive Vice
President of Banking/Client Delivery in 1994 and previously served as
Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending. Holladay began his career
with Synovus in 1974 with Columbus Bank and Trust Company (CB&T).
Holladay is a graduate of Columbus State University with a Bachelor of
Science Degree in Biology. Howard was named Senior Vice President and
Credit Manager of Synovus in
2004. In 2000, he was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President
of commercial real estate, correspondent and affiliate lending. He
joined CB&T as a Vice President in 1993, after five years in commercial
banking. Howard is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a
Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance. Copeland most recently served as
the President and CEO of Citizens First
Bank in Rome, Georgia. He has led various banking departments from
Retail and Commercial Banking to Senior Manager of the Financial
Services Group at CB&T. Copeland began his career with CB&T in 1992. He
is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of
Science Degree in Management.



Card personalization provider Matica reported solid revenue growth and a
return to profitability in
the first half of 2008. This was driven by a raft of new client wins
that have increased the company’s international footprint. Since the
period end, Matica has announced an exciting joint venture with a US
partner that aims to increase the group’s penetration into the US; the
world’s largest single market for card issuance solutions. Matica will
incur additional costs as it establishes the JV in the current year.
Interim sales grew by more than 10% to EUR7.5m driven by strong growth in
Europe and the
Americas. EBITDA increased more than fourfold to EUR1.1m. Coupled with a
reduction in the
company’s central cost base, Matica recorded profit before tax of EUR0.51m
following a loss of
EUR0.13m in H1 2007. Matica’s return to form was underpinned by a series
of new client wins including contracts to
supply international customers such as Eurobank, Oberthur, SAETIC and
Gemalto with a
range of card issuance and embossing machines. These new contracts
expanded Matica’s
presence into territories including Spain, Poland and Ukraine.
Since the period end, Matica has also established a joint venture with a
US partner in order to
continue its penetration of the huge US market. This operation provides
complete sales,
servicing, spare parts supply and customer support from a dedicated
location in Minnesota.
Based on Matica’s 2009 earnings, the company is trading at a
considerable discount to its
international competitors. However, we believe that the growth of
personalised card
issuance across a raft of commercial sectors is correlated directly with
increased concerns
over security. As such, we have compared Matica to a UK peer group of
security hardware
suppliers and manufacturers. In this context, Matica also trades at a
discount to the sector; a
disparity which we believe is undeserved given the group’s rapid return
to profitability.
Matica designs, manufactures and markets card personalization systems
and card mailing systems for customers around the world in a range of
industries. Matica offers a broad range of complementary products
together with industry expertise resulting in the ability to distribute
around the world one of the most complete ranges of card personalization


AARP Survey Finds Credit Crisis Widespread

A new survey of older Americans has found that 684,000 aged 50 and over
were either in foreclosure or were delinquent in mortgage payments. The
AARP Public Policy Institute notes that is more than a quarter of all
foreclosures or delinquencies (28.1%). The AARP study also showed that
African-Americans and Hispanics are disproportionately affected in
comparison with whites in their age group. Among mortgage
holders aged 50 and over, African American and Hispanic borrowers both
have foreclosure rates of 0.51%, compared to a rate of 0.19% for
Caucasians. Older holders of subprime first mortgages are 17 times more
likely to be in foreclosure than are older holders of prime loans.
Additionally, older Americans are clearly vulnerable to the continuing
mortgage crisis, the foreclosure rate at the end of last year for people
aged 50 and over was 0.24%, compared with a total all-age U.S. average
of 0.39%.


Pendum Expands its Contract with Coinstar

ATM and armored services provider Pendum has expanded its contract with
Coinstar to provide coin transportation services to 900 Coinstar units.
The agreement expands an existing service relationship between the two
companies that began in 2001. Pendum supplies coin and currency
transportation services to Coinstar machines in an even broader national
footprint, including 30 major U.S. cities. Pendum services 42 states and
maintains more than 70 armored branches.