U.K.’s Faster Payments Takes-Off

In the first three days’ operation of the new “Faster Payments Service,” launched on May 27th, more than 315,000 payments with a value of GBP 200 million were processed. The “Faster Payments Service” enables banks to process one-off payments made over the Internet or by phone within a couple of hours. Customers are also able to make Internet and phone payments outside of banking hours even at the weekend. The service will also speed up standing order payments, enabling them to be cleared on the day they are sent on bank working days. Standing orders will begin processing through the “Faster Payments Service” on June 6th. Any payment that is not processed through the new service will continue to be made using the existing Bacs three-day service. There is a maximum limit placed on the value of each payment sent through the new service, with the maximum value for Internet and phone payments set at GBP 10,000 and standing orders to GBP 100,000.

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ONLINE SECURITY

CA Canada enterprise software company has conducted research concluding
7% of Canadians are ‘very confident’ their personal data is safe with
retailers, banks and governments while less than 36% of Canadian
security executives feel the same. Moreover, only .5 % of consumers are
very confident retailers can protect on-line personal information, less
than 10% are very confident in large financial
institutions’ information protection while 12% of the respondents are
very confident that Canadian governments can protect on-line
information. Addition information shows 86% of large Canadian
organizations have suffered an identified security attack over the past
12 months, 85% of Canadian consumers cite loss of trust and
confidence/damage to reputation/reduced customer satisfaction subsequent
to major security breaches experienced as a customer, 14% have
experienced personal information theft and 44% know someone who has had
their personal information stolen. Regarding institutional spending for
online security, 84% think retailers should spend more, 67% say the
governments should spend more and 62% disclosed financial institutions
should spend more.

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Marriott/Visa Launch a Summer Promo

Marriott is rewarding weekend travelers with a $25 Visa Gift Card. Guests who book either the weekend promotion rate or the “Stay for Breakfast” rate at participating Marriott and JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts in the U.S. and pay with a Visa card will receive a $25 pre-paid Visa Gift Card. The Visa Gift Cards can be used for shopping, dining or more and are valid anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

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MasterCard Holds its Annual Meeting

MasterCard “Annual Meeting of Stockholders” announced Board members and ratified the appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers as the company’s independent accounting firm for this year. MasterCard also announced that Tan Teong Hean, Class M Director and Chairman, Southern Capital Management, has retired from the Board of Directors. Class A stockholders reelected Bernard S.Y. Fung, Chairman and CEO, Aon Asia Pacific Region; Marc Olivie, CEO, MRO Management BVBA; and Mark Schwartz, Chairman, MissionPoint Capital Partners, and co-founder of New Silk Route Partners. Class M common stockholders reelected its Directors.

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SFNL’s VPS Subsidiary Gets Traction

Secured Financial Network’s Virtual Payment Solutions subsidiary revenue is on target with projections for the balance of 2008. The company expects revenues to continue to grow at a significant pace as they sign on resellers for the RedFin Network Payment Gateway and Blue Bamboo wireless processing terminals. Gross revenues generated from the payment gateway and equipment sales are expected to build each quarter with a run rate by year-end 2008 of $3 million, processing over 5 million transactions per month. VPS has completed a strategic partner relationship with Blue Bamboo as their premier distributor of the H-50 and P-25 wireless processing terminals, and will be featured on their website in the next several days. These wireless terminals allow merchants to process credit and debit transactions via GPRS and Bluetooth technology with exclusive integration and processing through our RedFin Network Payment Gateway. To date VPS has sold in excess of 130 H-50 terminals with projected sales reaching 300 units per month by year’s end.

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Consumer Debt Index Rises 22% in Q1

A newly launched quarterly index of the burden of debt on consumers has been launched by AZ-based Debt Settlement USA. In the first quarter, the new “Consumer Debt Index” stood at 11.76 – up 22% over the second quarter of 2007 when it was 9.60. The CDI is calculated based on a combination of the “CPI” and is calculated based on a combination of the “Consumer Price Index,” consumer credit outstandings, mortgage delinquency rate, and unsecured consumer loan delinquency rate. Since the second quarter of 2007, each CDI component has increased, and in some cases dramatically. As a result of this analysis, Debt Settlement USA expects to see a 40% increase in the number of consumers in 2008 who see debt settlement as the best solution.

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MC’s Top IPS Executive is Honored

MasterCard’s SVP of Global Debit Operations has received InfoWorld’s “CTO 25 Award” for his work in spearheading the technical development of MasterCard’s “Integrated Processing Solutions.” Spies is based at the MasterCard Global Technology and Operations headquarters in O’Fallon, MO. “IPS” is a new debit and prepaid processing platform that MasterCard introduced in April. Through a single connection, MasterCard “IPS” provides banks and other financial institutions with a suite of branded debit network and payment card issuer processing services including PIN, signature, and ATM.

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EVERLINK & MONTISE

Everlink Payment Services electronic transactions has signed agreements
with Monitise Americas to provide a first-of its-kind commercially
available mobile banking and payments service to financial institutions
throughout Canada. This will provide access to the Monitise Americas
platform through the Everlink network architecture for switching
services for banks and most of the national credit union systems with a
mobile banking/payments service compatible with multiple wireless
carriers. Among the institutions to implement the solution are 375
credit unions, several subsidiary banks and various ISOs. Monitise
Americas was launched in 2007 and serves over 30 financial institutions
and prepaid card issuers while Everlink Payment Services formed in 2003
to provide the delivery of electronic transaction switching services in
the Canadian Financial Services marketplace and eventually plans to
provide bill and person-to-person payment solutions through its new
mobile solution.

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FTC Halts Deceptive Calling Card Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission has stopped advertising claims by prepaid phone card provider Alternatel, claiming deceptive practices have been used to misrepresent the number of minutes available for use. The cards are marketed under a wide variety of names, including “Alo Mama,” “Coffee Time,” “Rey de Florida,” “Tree Monkey,” and “Voz do Brasil.” The ads make bold claims about the number of minutes the cards will provide for calls to a wide range of international locations but FTC alleges that consumers don’t receive the number of minutes advertised. For example, while a poster advertised that a calling card would deliver 360 minutes to Panama, the card delivered only 23 minutes of calling time. In fact, in 87 tests of the defendants’ cards, the cards delivered an average of only 50 percent of the advertised minutes. In addition, the FTC alleges the cards carry hidden fees. The defendants’ ads for their cards often boast that there are “no connection fees,” but fail to clearly disclose there are other random fees, such as “hang-up” and “maintenance” fees and “destination surcharges” that can wipe out the value of the card after even one short call. Such fees are disclosed in tiny font and in vague terms that are mostly incomprehensible in any language. A U. S. District Court has ordered a temporary halt to the deceptive advertising claims used to promote prepaid phone cards marketed by Alternatel, Inc.; G.F.G. Enterprises, LLC, also d/b/a Mystic Prepaid; Voice Prepaid, Inc.; Voice Distributors, Inc.; Telecom Express, Inc.; and their principals, pending trial.

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FASTER PAYMENTS

In the first three days’ operation of the new “Faster Payments
Service,” launched on May 27th, more than 315,000 payments with a value of GBP 200 million were processed. The “Faster Payments Service” enables banks to process one-off payments made over the Internet or by phone within a couple of hours. Customers are also able to make Internet and phone payments outside of banking hours even at the weekend. The service will also speed up standing order payments, enabling them to be cleared on the day they are sent on bank working days. Standing orders will start to be processed through the “Faster Payments Service” on June 6th.
Any payment that is not processed through the new service will continue to be made using the existing Bacs three-day service. There is a maximum limit placed on the value of each payment sent through the new service, with the maximum value for Internet and phone payments set at GBP 10,000 and standing orders to GBP 100,000.

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U.S. Bank Expands Visa payWave in the West

U.S. Bank is introducing the Visa “payWave” to existing debit cardholders in California, Colorado, Missouri, and Utah. The bank is working with USA Technologies to install 400 contactless vending machines in the Denver area to increase the market for the “payWave” solution. U.S. Bank has designated Denver one of its “PowerBank” markets. In September Visa reported that “payWave” had 41 issuers in 11 countries, including seven of the top ten Visa issuers in the USA. National merchants already accepting “VISA payWave” in the U.S. include BP, 7 Eleven, CVS Pharmacy, McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Jack in the Box. National merchants in the process of upgrading POS terminals to “payWave” include Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Circle K, Office Depot, and PETCO. (CF Library 9/20/07)

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