A monthly survey reveals that consumer spending confidence is stuck in the mud, even though gas and food prices have eased a bit. The poll also found that more than 69% of consumers have cut back on entertainment expenses and 62% have changed their vacation plans during July. The latest “Discover U.S. Spending Monitor” rose a mere one-tenth of a point to 86.1 for August. The Monitor revealed for the first time that declining home values and investment portfolios are affecting consumer spending. Nearly half of consumers who expressed concern over decreasing home values said theyâve reduced spending. And 52% of consumers concerned over decreasing investment portfolios also cut back on their spending. Major purchases like a new car, vacations, computers or appliances were the first spending area to cut by consumers concerned about decreasing home values (42%) and decreasing investment assets (41%). Discover also noted that its “Monitor” would have declined to new low had it not been for the late drop in oil prices.Details
VASCO Data Security International software security company has launched
its Japanese website, www.vasco.co.jp, focusing on content relevant to
the local market. The website features VASCO’s “Identikey Server” to
secure web applications, “DIGIPASS Packs,” “DIGIPASS” range and the
“VACMAN” authentication platform to allow Japanese consumers to find
information on authentication solutions for e-banking, healthcare,
enterprise security applications and corporate information such as press
releases. VASCO authentication and e-signature solutions bring banking
level security to over 50 different industry sectors with a customer
base of over 7,600 companies in more than 100 countries.
Consumer economic sentiment has settled down, ending its downward spiral this year. However, the ongoing decline in house prices, continued tight credit conditions, and soft jobs market indicate that while sentiment might be in the process of bottoming at a very depressed level, it has not likely begun an upward trend. The latest “RBC CASH Index” (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) rose 19.2 points in August to 33.8, compared to 14.6 in July, which was an all-time low
since inception of the “CASH Index” in 2002. RBC noted that although still in negative territory for the eighth consecutive month, the “RBC Expectations Index” increased 50 points to -4.7 in August. The shift in the index is due largely to an improvement in Americans’ expectations for personal finances and the economy as a whole. This month, nearly one in three consumers believes their personal financial situation will be stronger six months from now (compared to 25% in July). In addition, nearly one in four believe their local economy will be stronger six months from now (compared to 18% last month).
KS-based loyalty marketer Visible Results has enabled the United States
Naval Academy “Yard Card” program to be expanded to include more
locations at the Academy. The cards will be
initialized and customized for each Midshipman, plus a $5 bonus will be
added to the card as part of the Yard Card program expansion
celebration. Approximately 25% of the
student base signed up for the program last year and with the expansion
of the participating locations, an increase in enrollments is expected.
All incoming Midshipmen will be given a new Yard Card. Parents will now
have the ability to visit http://www.navyonline.com to
start a new Yard Card account for their Midshipman, refresh the balances
on their Midshipmen’s card, as well as request notifications of when
their Midshipmen’s card balance falls below a certain dollar amount.
Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air have confirmed that customer credit
data was recently compromised. The two airlines, subsidiaries of Alaska
Air Group say that a former call center employee misused the payment
card information provided by some customers between August 2006 and June
2008. The airlines notified about 1,500 customers this week.
Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air together serve 95 cities through an
expansive network throughout Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and
VA-based e-payment processor Tier Technologies has appointed Philip G.
Heasley, President and CEO of ACI Worldwide, to its Board of Directors.
Heasley has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of ACI
Worldwide, Inc., a developer of electronic payment software products,
since March 2005. He previously served as Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of PayPower LLC, an acquisition and consulting firm
specializing in financial services and payment services, from October
2003 to March 2005. Mr. Heasley has also served as Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of First USA Bank from October 2000 to November 2003.
From 1996 until November
2003, Heasley served as Chairman of the Board of Visa USA and a
member of the board of Visa International.
FL-based ATM specialist Global Axcess reported a 4% increase in second quarter revenues to $5.8 million. The increase was due to surcharge/convenience fees on selected ATMs beginning in the first quarter. The Company says this represented an increase of approximately 4.4% over 2Q/07. The Company recorded net income for the second quarter was $450,300, compared to $170,900 for the year ago period. Through its Nationwide Money Services subsidiary, the Company owns and operates approximately 4,300 ATMs in its national network spanning 44 states. For complete details on Global Axcess’ second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).Details
Obopay inked a major partnership with global micropayment specialist
Grameen Solutions. Working initially in Mumbai, India and in Bangladesh,
The “Grameen-Obopay Bank A Billion Initiative” will get underway in
October. The first-of-its-kind alliance plans to use mobile technology
to deliver banking services to a billion of the world’s poorest people
by 2018. Grameen was founded by Professor Muhammad Yunus, the founding
father of the microfinance movement and recipient of the 2006 Nobel
Peace Prize. Obopay works on any phone and any carrier to empower
consumers and businesses with the convenience of mobile payments.
New research is projecting that globally more than two billion consumers will be paying by the mobile phone by 2013. It is also projected that Western Europe and Far East & China will account for over 50% of the total digital goods gross transaction market value by 2013.
The report by Juniper Research also projects that today’s teenagers will be the drivers of mobile payments. Typical transaction sizes will
remain in the $3-$5 bracket, but a sufficient number of users will be using their mobiles to buy music, games, tickets, infotainment and the other digital goods sufficiently often to see gross transaction value grow nearly seven fold by 2013.
A new report from ATM
Marketplace, “ATM Software: Trends Analysis for 2007-2008” indicates
that ATM deployers are relying more heavily on
innovative software solutions to manage their networks. Many ATMs now
have features like envelope-free deposits, as well as
enhanced advertising and personalized transactions. Rather than using
proprietary software, ATM deployers are increasingly
moving to multivendor programs that can run across any Windows-based ATM
network, regardless of the type or brand of hardware.
Targeting the 60% of U.S. cardholders that routinely carry credit
balances, Commerce Bank is launching a new line of “Simply Flexible”
cards allowing cardholders greater control over their credit to turn
everyday purchases into rewards with the “Easy Rewards Platinum” and
“Cash Rewards Platinum” credit cards. The “Simply Flexible” and “Simply
Flexible Business Visa” credit cards offer lower interest rates as a
reward for financial responsibility, ultimately for greater financial
control with the option of selecting their standard APR based on their
monthly payment. These include a competitive standard APR of 7.99% when
10% or more of their monthly balance is paid. The cards provide
consumers no reward limits, no travel blackout dates and no travel
restrictions. Commerce Bancorp, acquired by TD Bank on March 31, 2008,
has over $119 billion in assets providing customers a full range of
financial products and services at nearly 1,100 locations across the
U.S. Bank has named Ralph Bernstein, previously with Exante Financial
Services, as SVP of healthcare solutions.
Bernstein will manage U.S. Bankâs new healthcare solutions business
that includes savings and payment products and services for
consumers, healthcare providers, and health insurers. Bernstein rejoins
U.S. Bank where he served as vice president of emerging
products and markets for the Corporate Payment Systems group from 1996
to 1999. He has also held leadership positions with LumenSoft USA,
Gelco Expense Network, and Electronic Data Systems. His background
includes management positions in credit and debit card issuing, product
development and management, sales, operations, and finance.