OCC Looks Closer at Processor Monitoring

The OCC has issued an advisory regarding the relationships between banks and processors in which the processor uses its bank relationship to process payments for merchant clients. By implementing the appropriate controls over processors and their merchant clients, the OCC says a bank should be able to identify those processors that process for fraudulent telemarketers or other unscrupulous merchants and to ensure that the bank is not facilitating these transactions. In the event a bank identifies fraudulent or other improper activity with a processor or a specific merchant client of the processor, the bank should take immediate steps to address the problem, including filing a Suspicious Activity Report when appropriate, terminating the bank’s relationship with the processor, or requiring the processor to cease processing for that specific merchant.

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FTC Nails a Canadian Bogus Biller

The FTC has brought complaints against defendants for operating under bogus business names, charging the defendants with violating Section 5 of the FTC Act by misleading consumers into falsely believing they owed money for advertising and other products/services. In doing so, the accused included advertisements that U.S. businesses had placed in legitimate publications on their own bogus invoices to deceive consumers into paying bills, ranging anywhere from to a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, and charged organizations for supplies/services that had never been ordered/ received. Emma G. Wanjiku, among the accused, has been given $4 million judgment, and has been cited with injunctive to prohibit her from misrepresenting that consumers have a preexisting business relationship with her, prohibit her collecting on any invoices, prohibit her from making money by selling her customer lists and to cooperate with the FTC in its ongoing case against her ex-husband, Michael Robert Petreikis.

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PULSE Debit Study Coming Next Week8

ATM network PULSE will be releasing its “2008 PULSE Debit Issuer Study” next week. The study includes an in-depth look at debit issuer performance and debit card fraud trends, including continued double-digit debit transaction growth in 2007, coupled with slight increases in debit card penetration and activation rates; 50% better performance by best-in-class issuers in key metrics and an increase in debit card fraud loss rates, as well as shifts in points of compromise.

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Charge-Offs & Lower Spending Impact ROA

Bank credit card loss and less consumer spending resulting from the credit crunch will be responsible for a return on asset loss down 15% from the year prior during 2008, placing pressure on profitability. The recession of 1990 demonstrated card issuers focused efforts on current customers to keep the respective divisions afloat, as is the projected reaction to the current situation, given ROA from credit cards are a fundamental source of revenue for card-issuing organizations. The research report from MA-based TowerGroup, titled “Credit Crisis: What Card Issuers Can Learn from Previous Economic Downturns,” identifies effective options for generating profit despite the rigidity of the economy. TowerGroup says that by focusing their business strategies on customer retention and expansion rather than acquisition, credit card issuers can still tap profit opportunities this year.

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LaserCard Revenues Drop 20% in 1Q/08

LaserCard reported revenues for the first calendar quarter of $7.3 million, compared with $11.2 million in the prior quarter and $9.2 million in the same quarter a year ago. The net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 was $3.3 million, compared with a net loss of $1.1 million in the prior quarter, and a net loss of $6.9 million in the same quarter a year ago. Revenue from optical memory cards totaled $22.1 million annually, compared with $19 million in fiscal 2007. Revenue from specialty cards and printers totaled $13.2 million versus $11.8 million in fiscal 2007, with the remaining revenues coming from the enabling services and other products and services within the drive systems and services segment. For complete details on LaserCard’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Fiserv/SunTrust Team for a Green Initiative

Fiserv has teamed with SunTrust to donate one tree for every SunTrust customer that signs up for electronic bill activation. Customer must pay at least three bills online or via a mobile phone between April 14 and June 30th. Fiserv and SunTrust have set a goal of planting more than 10,000 trees as part of the campaign. According to a 2007 green banking study by Javelin Strategy and Research, if all U.S. households viewed and paid bills online, it would save 16.5 million trees each year.

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Obopay Picks-Up $20MM in Venture Funding

CA-based Obopay has secured $20 million in venture funding for the 4th round in conjunction with the addition to new members of its board. Funds were raised with investors including Essar Communications Holdings Limited, Alliance Bernstein, ONSET Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Citi, Qualcomm, and Promethean while K B Rajendran and Robert G. Hottensen were appointed to the organization’s board of directors. K B Rajendran is an engineering graduate from National Institute of Technology Calicut and has over 17 years experience in the telecom and payments businesses while Hottensen has experience as a managing director with Goldman Sachs.

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Air China and Airplus Ink a Deal

Air China and Airplus have signed partnership agreements for the introduction of the “Air China AirPlus Company Account” to provide customers with travel payment options on Air China flights and tariffs. The account provides corporate travel managers with a payment tool for air travel, access to aggregated data, allows comprehensive analysis of travel-related expenses, is designed to save time, recognize tangible cost reduction and provide access to corporate net rates. The offering will be made available in July of 2008, prior to the Olympic Games, and is being introduced in conjunction with the AirPlus Payment Management Co subsidiary based in Shanghai. AirPlus International has over 32,000 corporate customers worldwide and settles flight tickets from more than 260 airlines while Air China Limited operates 230 routes within 28 countries and regions, serves 71 cities in China and 43 international cities.

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ID Data Group Lands a Big Card Agreement

UK based card processor ID Data Group has won a contract to supply bank and co-branded cards to a large financial services company. The initial three year contract is expected to lead to further business as ID Data proves its skills and capabilities to the client that includes “touch and go” payment technology alongside its traditional technology which is used for chip and pin transactions. ID Data is one of the few “Multos” issuing partners in the world, where it can develop and deliver multi application technology using the Multos platform.

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ID DATA GROUP

UK based card processor ID Data Group has won a contract to supply bank and co-branded cards
to a large financial services company. The initial three year
contract is expected to lead to further business as ID Data proves its skills
and capabilities to the client that includes “touch and
go” payment technology alongside its traditional technology which is used for
chip and pin transactions. ID Data is one of the few “Multos” issuing partners in the world, where it
can develop and deliver multi application technology using the Multos platform.

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Aberdeen Releases an E-Payables White Paper

MN-based content management provider Metafile has underwritten a white paper by the Aberdeen Group that examines the value of accounts payable automation. The report, titled “E-Payables: Imaging and Workflow” is the first in a three-part series of Aberdeen benchmarks on AP automation, focuses on the initial stages of the accounts payable process, invoice receipt and workflow management. The study disseminates reasons why some enterprises have yet to completely eliminate paper from their financial processes while benchmarking data illustrating the bottom-line benefits of the move towards paperless workflow automation. The Aberdeen group discovered that integrating accounts payable automation solutions with existing IT systems poses the greatest challenge to paper removal. As a result, 44% of enterprises do not move to implement any e-invoicing solutions.

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GLOBALCOLLECT ASIA-PACIFIC

GlobalCollect now has an Asia-Pacific presence with the opening of its
newest branch in Singapore. This development is in response to expansion
opportunities due to a rise in demand for e-payment solutions across the
region. The new branch is to serve as regional headquarters, where
e-commerce is growing steadily, and to support such regional clients as
Air China, PC Tools, StrawberryNET and Nespresso Asia. GlobalCollect
e-payment service provides an online payment platform for local
e-payment methods and currencies in over 200 countries.

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