Travelex Cash Passport Card Takes-Off

The first prepaid foreign currency card in the U.S. is off to a flying start. Launched this month, the “Travelex Cash Passport MasterCard” enables cardholders to lock-in their rate for British Pounds or Euros. The new card is available at more than 100 Travelex retail locations in the U.S. Two cards can be purchased with different account numbers that can access the same pool of money so travelers can share cards or have a back-up card should one be lost or stolen. Travelex says that if the card is lost or stolen the balance is protected and can be replaced in as little as 20 minutes around the world. It also carries with it all of the buyer protections and guarantees that come with any “Debit MasterCard” and includes “Global Emergency Assistance.” Travelex is the world’s foreign exchange and business payments specialist.

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Nearly Half of Tenants Prefer Credit Cards

A new survey has found that 45% of tenants and 52% of landlords of those using checks would prefer to use a credit card or an e-check in place of paper checks. The survey by Investment Instruments discovered that 75% of tenants and 71% of landlords currently use bank checks. Additional findings show 71% of the landlords have less than 10 apartment units, 65% rely on property revenue as only a fraction of their income, around 25% rely solely on property revenue as their only income and 80% of tenants responded as having a decent landlord relationship, with 77% claiming problems are dealt with in a timely manner.

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Ifbyphone Unveils Verify-Me-Now

Phone platform provider Ifbyphone has introduced the “Verify-Me-Now” fraud prevention solution for ISPs and e-commerce sites to reduce fraud. “Verify-Me-Now” turns risk into a security feature with a simple process that validates that the person providing a credit card, banking information, or other form of payment is who they say they are by enabling ISPs to incorporate the hosted Verify-Me-Now application into their existing process that customers use to sign up for a Web hosting account or any other service. A telephone number is then collected as part of each registration or purchase transaction and a PIN of up to ten digits is displayed on the customer’s screen. The Verify-Me-Now service is then invoked, either transparently or via a user-pressed button, with an easy-to-use API that is compatible with most Web-programming environments. The Ifbyphone server instantly places a call to the customer at the number entered in step one and then asks the customer to enter the previously displayed PIN using their telephone keypad. Depending on whether the PIN entered matches the one provided in step two, the API returns a success or failure message.

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Credit Card PDV Rise 9% in 4Q/07

Purchase dollar volume (PDV) for VISA and MasterCard U.S. credit cards grew at a 9% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2007. There was a slight shift in market share between the two payment card network giants as VISA expanded from a 59.6% share of PDV in 4Q/06 to 59.7% in 4Q/07. In the fourth quarter VISA and MasterCard posted $365 billion in PDV compared to $334 billion in the year-ago quarter, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). Sequentially, credit card PDV rose 6%. VISA reported $218 billion in fourth quarter PDV while MasterCard posted $147 billion. In the first quarter MasterCard reported that its credit card PDV rose 6% to $131 billion. VISA’s first quarter data will be released in the third quarter. For complete statistics on VISA and MasterCard current and past performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][2])

VISA/MASTERCARD CREDIT CARD PDV
($ billions)
VISA MASTERCARD TOTAL
4Q/06 199 135 334
1Q/07 181 124 305
2Q/07 203 138 341
3Q/07 206 139 345
4Q/07 218 147 365
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com
[2]: http://www.carddata.com

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Citi Offers pre-sale Madonna Tickets

Citibank credit cardholders will be able to purchase pre-sale tickets this morning to Madonna’s new “STICKY & SWEET TOUR.” The pre-sale via Citi’s “Private Pass” program begins today at 10am, according to CardTrak (www.cardtrak.com). Madonna’s North American tour begins October 4th in New Jersey followed by New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and more before stopping at Miami’s Dolphin Stadium on November 26th. Today’s pre-sale covers the first five U.S. concerts including Oct 04-East Rutherford, NJ; Oct 06-New York, NY Madison Square Garden; Oct 07-New York, NY Madison Square Garden; Oct 15-Boston, MA; Oct 26-Chicago, IL United Center. Citi pre-sale must be purchased with a Citi Card. The Citi “Private Pass” program offers a wide variety of categories to choose from including golf, museum and gallery, restaurants, nightclub, wine and vineyard, retail, sporting events, wine tastings, and theater.

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Payment Data Systems Volume Up 47%

TX-based Payment Data Systems has announced a 1Q/08 credit card processing volume of 47% greater than that of the 1Q/07. Additionally, transaction volume grew 20% during this same period, collectively demonstrating a continued growth in operating performance for the quarter. The Company says it will release its earnings report later this week. PDS provides integrated payment solutions for merchants and billers, offering products to ensure payment acceptance for banks, service bureaus and card issuers through its tailored solutions.

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Navy FCU to Access KeyCorp ATMs

OH-based KeyCorp has signed an agreement to provide the Navy Federal Credit Union’s 3 million members with fee-free access to Key’s 1500 ATMs. Under this agreement, Navy Federal members can access Key’s ATMs for withdrawal, transfer, and inquiry transactions. Through Key’s agent bank program, credit unions and community banks can provide their members and customers surcharge-free access to an automated teller machine network without the significant financial investment required to build, operate and maintain their own individual ATM systems. Navy Federal Credit Union is the world’s largest credit union with over $35 billion in assets

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RDM E-CHECK CONVERSION

RDM specialized electronic payment processing software and hardware
corporation has teamed with BluePay Processing ISO to resell its
electronic check conversion software and products, specifically, its
“Image and Transaction Management System” (ITMS) suite of conversion
software products. With this, BluePay can provide remote deposit capture
capabilities to customers for electronically deposit checks using the
bank agnostic RDM software, allowing merchants to maintain existing
banking relationships. RDM provides specialized software and products
for electronic payment processing while BluePay Processing supplies
electronic payment solutions around the world to organizations in the
credit card processing industry.

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MerchantWARE Targets Security Breaches

Card processor Merchant Warehouse has rolled out the “MerchantWARE” card data encryption solution to meet PCI DSS standards. The “MerchantWARE” solution encrypts the data at the card reader, completely eliminating this threat. With MerchantWARE, merchants never actually store or transmit any unencrypted credit card information. By taking this one simple step, small- and mid-sized merchants will eliminate the sensitive data that five of the 12 most intensive and costly PCI DSS requirements seek to protect. As part of the regulations, PCI DSS mandates that sensitive personal data, including credit card numbers, be encrypted when stored or before being transmitted over public networks. Despite this, thieves have found ways to steal unencrypted card information while transmitted within the store’s internal networks or point-of-sale (POS) hardware – a vulnerability not addressed by the PCI DSS guidelines. An especially susceptible point in the process is when card data is sent from a card reader to the POS or POS to in-store database.

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OGONE EXPANSION

Ogone online payment processing organization has demonstrated a 40%
average annual growth over the past 5 years due to expansion in the
Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, in addition to 20
other countries, for over 14,000 clients. This expansion calls for
subsequent measures such as an increase in staff for the promotion of,
and service provided for, European expansion and the development of new
products. To ensure proper management of these developments, the payment
processor has also appointed Peter De Caluwe from COO to CEO.

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