Payoneer to Offer MediaWhiz MasterCard

Online advertising portal MediaWhiz has enlisted Payoneer to pay its web publishers with a
reloadable prepaid MasterCard card. Payoneer’s service provides a global-friendly alternative to checks,
wire transfers and other online payment methods. Publishers benefit by
having immediate access to their money while avoiding the hassles
associated with lost or stolen checks, hold times and fees, and the lack
of availability of PayPal in certain countries. Additionally,
cardholders can spend and/or withdraw funds in their own currency
without the need for a bank account. This service allows MediaWhiz to turn the payment process into a
brand-affirmation opportunity. Cards bear the MediaWhiz logo, reminding
publishers of where their earnings came from with each use. MediaWhiz
also found that Payoneer was a significant cost-saving option
considering its large number of publishers, 40% of whom are located
outside the United States.

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NETELLER & TRANSEND

NETELLER online payments and TransSend Payment prepaid card solutions have signed agreements to launch its “Net+ Prepaid MasterCard,” allowing e-wallet customers to add the new cards to their existing accounts. Providing increased value, security, privacy and convenience, “Net+” is slated for availability by early October, making available both a ‘virtual’ “Net+ MasterCard” and a ‘physical’ “Net+” MasterCard.” The ‘virtual’ “Net+” MasterCard” enables users to pay online retailers accepting of MasterCard payments through a high-security platform while the ‘physical’ “Net+ MasterCard” will be accepted at 27.3 million locations around the world. NETELLER provides its payment solutions to merchants and consumers in 160 countries.

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ADS to Issue the Orchard Brands Card

Alliance Data loyalty and marketing solutions and Orchard Brands, a multi-channel apparel marketer have signed long term private label credit agreements. The private label credit services will be afforded specialty catalog brands, for which Alliance Data will provide a integrated credit services for catalog channels, online channels, receivables funding, card authorization, card issuance, statement generation, marketing services, remittance processing and customer service functions. Orchard Brands is a Golden Gate Capital portfolio company with over $1 billion in revenues.

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PSCU Launches Online Credit Education

FL-based credit union cooperative PSCU Financial Services has launched
“www.GiveMe20.com” to help parents educate children about budgeting,
credit/debit cards and other financial basics. The site name,
GiveMe20.com, is a reference to a common request: “Can I have $20 to…” and
provides tools and tips to help parents teach the concepts
of living within a budget, differentiating wants from needs, and saving
money for future purchases. Helpful tools include: a spending/savings
worksheet; interactive calculators that show growth of savings; loan
schedules that show monthly payments for big ticket items, and the
long-term cost of a credit card purchase with interest. Advice is
grouped by age: 12-15, 16-18 years, and 19-22 years.

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Payment Rates Hit a Four-Year Low in July

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit
card debt, took a turn south in July. The MPR declined 43 basis points
between June and July. Among managed credit card outstandings, the MPR
decreased to 17.43% in July, compared to 17.86% in the prior month and
18.30% one-year ago. The July MPR figure is the lowest in four years.
According to CardData (www.carddata.com), the yield rose in July to
13.83% from 13.77% in June, and was down 94 bps, compared to year-ago
levels.

U.S. PORTFOLIO METRICS
YIELD MPR
Jul 07: 14.77% 18.30%
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%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Consumer Confidence Improves in August

After having improved moderately in July to 51.9, The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index stands at 56.9 for the month of August, while the “Present Situation Index” decreased from 65.8 to 63.2 and the “Expectations Index” increased from 42.7 to 52.8 over the same period. This according to this month’s research conducted by TNS custom research company of a representative sample of 5,000 U.S. households, on behalf of the Conference Board, which also found consumers’ assessment of current conditions did not improve nor did perspectives on the labor market for the month. Assessment of current conditions increased to 33.2 percent from 32.6 percent and those saying jobs are “hard to get” rose to 32.0 percent from 30.2.

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William Blair Begins V/MC Coverage

William Blair & Company initiated research
coverage of Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) ($73.32) and MasterCard Incorporated
(NYSE:MA) ($234.20) with Outperform ratings and Core Growth company
profiles. Visa, based in San Francisco, operates the largest global
payment card network, while MasterCard Incorporated, based in Purchase,
New York, runs the second-largest global payment card network.

Analyst David Long estimated that Visa would earn $2.24 per share in
fiscal 2008, $2.75 per share in fiscal 2009, and $3.40 per share in
fiscal 2010. Long expects MasterCard to achieve earnings per share of
$8.85 in 2008, $11.20 in 2009, and $13.75 in 2010.

“We believe payment card volume is poised for attractive growth as a
result of the continued move toward card-based payments, the development
of new payment solutions and categories, the modernization of payment
infrastructures in developing nations, and the increase in cross-border
travel,” Long said. “In our opinion, Visa and MasterCard are positioned
to capitalize on these positive trends to produce robust growth and
strong financial results.”

“We expect Visa to produce attractive top- and bottom-line growth
relative to other large-cap companies and believe the company will
benefit from positive industry trends and expense rationalization
opportunities as it integrates its global franchise. We forecast revenue
growth of 14% per year and EPS growth of 23% per year over the next five
years,” Long said. “We expect MasterCard to uniquely benefit from
opportunities in Europe (particularly as a result of SEPA), and forecast
revenue growth of 13% per year and EPS growth of 22% per year over the
next five years.”

Long concluded, “We view Visa and MasterCard as compelling investment
opportunities in the financial services sector. They have unique growth
opportunities; are less exposed to the weak U.S. economy, which has been
negatively affected by deteriorating housing market conditions; and have
significant operating leverage.”

William Blair & Company, L.L.C. intends to seek or expects to receive
compensation for investment banking services from Visa Inc. and
MasterCard Incorporated in the next 3 months.

William Blair & Company, L.L.C. is a market maker in the security of
Visa Inc. and MasterCard Incorporated and may have a long or short position.

William Blair & Company, L.L.C. (www.williamblair.com) is a
Chicago-based investment firm offering investment banking, asset
management, equity research, institutional and private brokerage, and
private capital to individual, institutional, and issuing clients. Since
1935, we have been committed to helping clients achieve their financial
objectives. As an independent, employee-owned firm, our philosophy is to
serve our clients’ interests first and foremost.

For important disclosures and information regarding the firm’s rating
system, valuation methods and potential conflicts of interest, please
visit:
http://www.williamblair.com/Pages/news_story_dept.asp?uid=1408&depID=4

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Low Limit Credit Cards Help Credit Building

A new report has found that nearly 35% of consumers with low limit cards improved their credit scores and more than 60% of consumers with an increase of 40 or more points in their credit score “graduated” to higher limit cards over a two-year period. The two-year study by TransUnion, on behalf of Citizens for Equal Access to Credit, found that of those that improved their credit score, 20%-24% of consumers opened prime credit cards with at least a $1,000 credit limit and 58% of consumers received prime promotional credit offers providing important opportunities to access credit. The study was based upon a sample of 360,000 consumers.

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Syntellect’s Voiyager is Recognized

Contact center management solution provider Syntellect was recognized by Speech
Technology magazine for its “Voiyager Dynamic Application Discovery”. The Voiyager solution
focuses on defects in
applications that negatively impact customer service. Its VoiceXML testing solution
provides 100% analysis to uncover bugs in the application before
customers do. Voiyager enables the automation of test-driven development
processes and allows for testing and validation in a fraction of the
time typically needed for VoiceXML applications.

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Pilot Travel Centers Expand PaySpot

Prepaid payment processor PaySpot has teamed with TN-based Pilot Travel Centers for an exclusive
agreement to expand Pilot’s in-store prepaid services.
PaySpot will introduce its extensive bill payment service into Pilot
stores. Through the bill payment program, Pilot can quickly and easily
accept cash payment for hundreds of utility, telecom, cable, satellite,
and other service providers. PaySpot went live in 304 Pilot locations mid-July, integrating its
electronic prepaid product delivery system with Pilot’s existing
point-of-sale (POS) system, enabling Pilot to expand its prepaid product
portfolio to include PaySpot’s industry-leading products and services.

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