WV AG Takes on Internet Payday Loan Scammers

The West Virginia AG is seeking to crack down on collection scammers
that prey on consumers with threats to collect on unpaid payday loans.
The AG warned the public about a band of scam artists making threats to
consumers who allegedly obtained Internet payday loans across the
nation. The consumers they threaten never obtained a loan
at all or paid it off years ago. The scam artists have used names like
“U.S. National Bank,” “Federal Investigation Bureau,” “United
Legal Processing” and other phony names. The allegedly threatened
consumers that they will be arrested for “bank fraud” or other
fictitious crimes unless money is wired immediately. The scammers have
also used abusive and illegal collection tactics.

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PaySimple Integrates Varien’s Magento

On demand e-payment provider PaySimple has implemented technology by
e-commerce provider Varien and integrated its
credit card processing services with the “Magento” open source shopping
cart platform. PaySimple customers can download the free software and
install it on
their Web server along with a PaySimple module that will integrate the
Magento platform with their PaySimple Solution. Once installed,
PaySimple merchants can provide a professional looking
shopping cart system for their customers to make purchases without
ever leaving the merchant’s website. The merchants receive multiple
fraud prevention functions such as AVS and CVV2 validation for credit
card transactions, check verification for ACH transactions, and ensures
they will be operating in a PCI compliant manner.

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American CEO Pessimism Levels-Off

According to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “Trendsetter Barometer”
survey, optimism in the U.S. economy among CEOs of the nation’s
fastest-growing private companies dropped two points for 2Q/08 with 24%
of CEOs surveyed reporting a positive outlook on the economy over the
next twelve months. This is a drop from the 1Q/08 figure which showed
26% had a positive outlook and the 4Q/07 figure with 29% optimism.
Pessimism has leveled off at 36% in correlation with the slowing of
sharp quarterly drop-offs. These findings are thanks to figures showing
gross margins tightened slightly while remaining negative, 41% having
disclosed higher costs and prices having increased 25% among the
Trendsetter companies. Subsequently, 2% more organizations have
disclosed plans to reduce spending than in 1Q/08.

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MONITISE 2008

Monitise mobile banking & payments has released its financials for the
year ended 30 June 2008, during which time, the group raised
GBP11.8million in new capital through a subscription for shares by new
and existing investors. Additional figures show an annual revenue of
1.5million and development costs of GBP8million. THe mostly positive
news was in part due to the strong progress in existing operations and
expanding service coverage of over 50% of all current account customers
and 100% increase in Americas service just since January 2008.

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ADS Inks Southern Pipe Card Deal

Loyalty marketer Alliance Data Systems has
signed a multi-year agreement with MS-based Southern Pipe & Supply
Company to provide a turnkey commercial private label credit
card program. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide a
full suite of services for Southern Pipe including account acquisition
and activation, receivables funding, card authorization, card issuance,
statement generation, marketing services, remittance processing, and
customer service functions. Each contractor applicant will be reviewed
by a unique group within Alliance Data using its own proprietary
business credit underwriting practices. The program will be offered to
contractors who meet Alliance
Data’s traditional credit quality standards and provides a vehicle for
them to purchase materials and supplies using a one-stop solution that
also includes incentives toward rewards.

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Lenovo Selects Paymetric Solutions

TX-based payment card solution provider Paymetric has been selected by
computer manufacture Lenovo to provide integrated and secure payment
card processing in Lenovo’s global instance of SAP. Paymetric’s
on-demand service for Lenovo’s global SAP environment allows
the company to accelerate and expand their payment security and
compliance measures, reduce maintenance and IT expense, and consolidate
credit card processing requests through a single SAP-certified
interface. The solution also links to clearinghouses for processing and
integrates Lenovo’s global payment processes with SAP’s full suite of
system solutions.

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Arizona Renews its JPMorgan Contract

JPMorgan has renewed its contract with the State of Arizona for the
electronic banking transfer services (EBT) distribution of benefit
payments to the more than 250,000 households that receive food stamps
and cash assistance. Program participants are
able to access their benefits through convenient, easy-to-use debit
cards. The EBT services enable state governments to cut the time and
costs associated with the delivery of benefit payments. An alternative
to expensive and cumbersome paper-based
systems like checks or vouchers, debit cards reduce the significant
costs of check delivery, administrative security and fraud, while
enabling governments to enhance their paperless environmental
initiatives. Each month, the company is responsible for processing over
70,000,000 transactions and handling over $2 billion in funds in the
U.S., the large majority relating to government programs. JPMorgan
recently announced the renewal of similar programs with
the States of Alaska and Colorado.

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99BILL INSTALLMENT

The 99Bill Corporation independent electronic payment service has
launched its new installment credit service enabling consumers to buy
goods using installment payments through any of the organization’s
partners. With an application easily processed within minutes, consumers
need only enter their credit card information for approval, at which
point consumers can take advantage of no-interest financing on the
purchase of numerous items. With research showing more than 87.5 million
credit cards issued to consumers across China throughout 2007 and that
76% of Chinese youths are interested in installment credit, 99Bill’s
projections of a prosperous product offering are well-based. 99Bill has
26 million registered users for payment at 150,000 merchants and is in
the process of introducing email and mobile number based payment
services geared toward 210 millions internet and 500 millions mobile users.

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Charge-Offs Finally Reach Bottom in July

Charge-offs on managed U.S. credit card loans dipped 5.88% in July, the lowest level in three months. Sequentially, charge-offs dropped 16 basis points and year-on-year charge-offs dropped 126 basis points. According to CardData (www.carddata.com) charge-offs peaked at 7.57% in April of 2002, following the 2001 recession. This week, Capital One reported that charge-offs settled down in July, dipping 34 basis points from the prior month, but up 193 basis points over July 2007.

JULY CHARGE-OFFS
2004: 6.65%
2005: 5.99%
2006: 3.39%
2007: 4.62%
2008: 5.88%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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HSBC VIETNAM

HSBC has announced its will install its 108th ATM cash machine in
Vietnam to become the foreign bank with the most ATMs installed
nationwide and intends to invest $28.6 million on developing the
machines to advance service. Amid these developments, it was reported 32
different banks provided ATM 8.3 million cards across the country last
year, 4,300 ATMs were installed and 23,000 new points of sale accepting
of payment cards were introduced.

HSBC is the first foreign bank to set up a wholly foreign-owned
subsidiary in Viet Nam in line with the country’s commitments to the
World Trade Organization and is the first foreign bank to issue
certificates for dollar deposits in Viet Nam. The company began
operations in Viet Nam in 2005.

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Visa and Chase Launch a SMS U.S. Pilot

Visa has teamed with Chase to launch a consumer pilot that delivers SMS
text for merchant offers directly to mobile devices of Phoenix area
Chase cardholders. Visa is delivering merchant offers
to mobile devices via short message service. The trial takes
advantage of the widespread adoption of “texting” as an everyday
activity by younger consumers aged 18 to 34, who are the primary group
selected for the program. The offers – from merchant discounts to
specials – are tailored to match the personal interests selected by
Chase cardholders and will be redeemable at the POS or the web site of
more than 50 participating merchants.

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