Consumer Confidence Sinks to a New Low

Consumer economic sentiment has fallen to the dismal level of the early 1980s as the full effects of a recession take hold. High gasoline and food prices, a falling stock market, weakening housing values and a shaky job market do not a happy consumer make. The latest “RBC CASH Index” (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) dropped to 14.6, a new all-time low since its inception in 2002, compared to 22.5 in June. RBC says that bleak economic times appear to have become self-reinforcing as fewer than one in five Americans think their local economy will strengthen in the next six months, compared to 20 last month. Also, 37% of respondents rate their personal finances as weak, up from 30% last month. Additionally, 71% believe the next 30 days will be a bad time to invest in the stock market, versus 66% in June.

Details

BOFA EUROPE

Bank of America has appointed Ian O’Doherty Europe card services
executive to oversee card services businesses in Ireland, United
Kingdom, Spain and expansion efforts into other European markets. Ian
graduated from University College Dublin with a major in Civil
Engineering, the University of Missouri with a master’s degree in
Structural Engineering and Boston College with a master’s degree in
Business Administration. O’Doherty comes to the position from the role
of Ireland Country Executive to manage expansion of MBNA Ireland card
operations, the brand under which Europe Card Services operates.
Moreover, Europe Card Services was established in 1993, provides credit
cards for over 900 organizations across Europe and employs 5,000
associates while Bank of America serves over 59 million consumers and
small businesses.

Details

DISCOVER SHANGHAI

Discover has opened its Discover Information Technology operations
center in Shanghai, China to strengthen its data analysis and modeling
operations. Opened in the city’s Huangpu District, the new facility will
initially employ 45 analysts-a number Discover plans to double by 2009,
follows the May 2007 opening of Discover Financial Services
Representative Office in Shanghai and further strengthens the
organization’s presence in the country. Discover is a U.S.-based credit
card issuer that oversees its global Discover Network, which handles
millions of merchant transactions for and cash access locations around
the world.

Details

JCM & KIC

The KICTeam, manufacture of cleaning cards, has made available its “Bill
Validator Cleaning Product” for JCM Global international customers.
Having previously developed “JCM Waffletechnology” cleaning card
solutions for JCM domestic customers, the KICTeam has built on this
success to provide international customers the same. In doing so, the
organization has incorporated a larger waffle pattern to accommodate
international currency validators, which was developed specifically for
the international marketplace. KICTeam Waffletechnology-based products
are designed for magnetic card readers, bill acceptors, optical readers,
smart card readers, thermal printers, ID card printers, ATMs and POS
thermal readers while JCM provides automated transaction handling
systems to consumers and merchants alike.

Details

EQUIFAX & GPCS

Equifax has acquired 28% of the Russian Global Payments Credit Services
LLC (GPCS) credit information company. Acquiring the interest from
Global Payments Europe, s.r.o. and Home Credit & Finance Bank of Russia,
Equifax will assume responsibility for GPCS’ operations and will
re-brand the organization as “Equifax.” Equifax is headquartered in
Atlanta and employs 7,000 in 14 countries around the world while Global
Payments Inc. provides electronic transaction processing services and
remittance to consumers and merchants around the world.

Details

NORDEA & WINCOR

Nordea has announced it will be deploying 500 Wincor Nixdorf payment
ATMs across Finland throughout 2009. The machines will provide Nordea’s
nearly 400,000 concerned customers a secure alternative for paying bills
with the acceptance euro-denominated SEPA payments and chip cards,
rather than magnetic strip cards. Wincor Nixdorf Oy will not only supply
the ATMs, will be responsible for servicing and maintenance as well.

Details

DCS & MULTICARD

DCS Europe ID Solutions has disclosed its intentions to adopt the name
of “Multicard,” changing its legal name to “Multicard GmbH.” Announced
at a reception attended by mostly German and Swiss employees and
customers, the name change is being executed with the hopes of
increasing brand awareness among national corporate customers. Multicard
AG provides printing, programming and issuance of consumer
identification cards and multifunctional smart card solutions for secure
identification programs.

Details

FUTURESHOP & RIM

Futureshop.ca consumer electronics provider has embarked on the mobile
commerce market with Research In Motion (RIM) to provide an application
allowing users to shop futureshop.ca on BlackBerry Smartphones.
Consumers can now shop Future Shop products, which millions of Canadians
do every week, using the Futureshop.ca’s navigation directly integrated
with their BlackBerry Browser. Furthermore, the new shopping solution
ensures shipping, reward program and credit card information are
securely stored on the smartphone. BC-based Future Shop has 133 stores
across Canada and employs 10,000 associates providing consumers
home/entertainment technology.

Details

LCM v1.7

Trintech has launched “Lifecycle Management Payments Version 1.7” for
account reconciliation and positive pay. Providing integrated web
capability for real-time positive pay decisioning, image enablement and
flexible reconciliation reporting, “LCM Payments Version 1.7” is .NET
browser-based, provides clients a range of real-time capabilities and
integrates with existing IT and payment system infrastructures as an
effective deterrent to fraud. LCM Payments allows financial institutions
to provide their clients customized workflows for exceptions, statuses,
and payment actions to increase relations value between available
solutions and features/functionality.

Details

ABROAD ATM USAGE

ATMs have proven a favorite over travelers’ checks for British travelers
according to a survey conducted by Level Four Software of 2015 consumers
and carried out by ICM Research. The survey demonstrates 30% of British
travelers make the ATM the most popular form of accessing cash abroad
when they run out of funds as a result of 69% not budgeting wisely.
Additional findings show 17% prefer using debit/credit cards, 12% prefer
travelers’ checks and 39% of those between 18 and 24 prefer the ATM
while only 23% of those surveyed over the age of 65 prefer ATM use.
Among those who prefer ATMs, 58% cite the convenience factor while a
mere 14% are charged favorable foreign exchange rates over those who use
travelers’ checks or bureau de changes.

Details

ROSETTA STONE & GLOBALCOLLECT

Rosetta Stone Inc language-learning software provider has expanded
payment service agreements with GlobalCollect for e-commerce
transactions on its flagship website. With existing agreements for
Rosetta Stone European and Japanese e-commerce, GlobalCollect is now the
preferred global e-commerce payment service provider and is among the
various other payment options available to those who conduct business on
the website. Providing local e-payments service for Card-Non-Present
(CNP) businesses, GlobalCollect’s online payment platform provides
e-payment methods to consumers in over 200 countries while Rosetta Stone
teaches 31 languages to consumers in over 150 countries throughout the
world and is among the 500 fastest-growing companies in the United States.

Details

PAYPASS MOMENTUM

The number of “MasterCard PayPass”-enabled cards and devices has doubled over the past year while the number of merchants accepting the contactless payment option has topped 100,000. Between now and the end of the year the number of “PayPass” cards is set to make a bigger leap with the signing of several key deals in the U.S. and abroad. In April 2008, Washington Mutual announced its decision to issue 12 to 15 million debit MasterCard cards enabled with “PayPass”; in February, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NJ Transit announced that it would implement an eight-month trial that will allow customers to use
“PayPass” contactless cards, key fobs, cell phones and other devices to pay for their transit fares at PATH stations and select bus routes; and also in February, MasterCard and USA Technologies announced the expansion of ePort cashless payment terminals to 17,500 vending machines nationwide, adding another 4,000 new locations that accept contactless payments. There are “PayPass” trials and roll-outs currently underway in 24 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, France, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and the UK.
As of March 31st, there are over 28 million “MasterCard PayPass” cards and devices in use at over 109,000 merchants worldwide, including new acceptance environments such as vending, taxis, tollbooths and transit.

Details