U.S. Online Retail Sales to Grow by 17% in 2008

AZ-based Shop.org/Forrester research projects online retail sales to grow by 17% to $204 billion for 2008, despite economic conditions. According to 125 different retailers, online sales for apparel is expected to reach $26.6 billion, computer sales will reach around $23.9 billion and auto sales are expected to reach $19.3 billion, the three categories to net the most revenue for the year. Given these findings, retailers are expected to allocate 53% of marketing budgets to online customer acquisition while 21% of the budget will fund online customer retention. Additionally, 65% of online retailers intend to focus fund allocation to social network advertisements and 55% of retailers will increase focus on widget advertising. Shop.org is digital membership retail community with 700 members while Forrester Research, Inc. is an independent technology and market research company.

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CardWorks to Power HumanaAdvance VISA

CardWorks Servicing and E-duction have partnered to service the new HumanaAdvance VISA card. The HumanaAdvance Visa Card is an interest free credit card that allows consumers to charge medical co-pays, deductibles and other health-related expenses that are not covered by insurance. HumanaAdvance card users have a fixed 0% APR on all purchases. The card can be used only at hospitals, doctor and dentist offices, drug stores and other locations that provide health related products and services. Payments are automatically deducted from employee paychecks over a six month period. Humana is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health benefits companies. E-Duction offers general-purpose and healthcare-specific credit solutions that help employers save money and attract, motivate and retain talent and that help employees better manage healthcare and other everyday expenses.

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CrossCheck and RBS Lynk Re-Team

CA-based check guarantor CrossCheck and RBS Lynk have renewed their partnership to continue to provide check guarantee and conversion services to RBS Lynk merchants. RBS Lynk is a single-source provider of electronic payment processing services that credit, debit, EBT, checks, gift cards, e-commerce, customer loyalty cards, fleet cards, prepaid cards, ATM processing and cash management services. CrossCheck processes and approves billions of dollars worth of check transactions annually for retail and dealer outlets throughout the U.S.

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U.S. Bank to Supply GSA SmartPay2 P-Cards

U.S. Bank announced it will supply The US Air Force and Defense Agencies with purchasing cards under the “GSA SmartPay2” program. Under the “GSA SmartPay2” master contract, government agencies issue task order awards to qualified “GSA SmartPay2” issuers. U.S. Bank has served federal agencies since the inception of the purchase card program in 1986. Earlier this year, U.S. Bank earned the purchasing card business for the Department of Transportation. The USAF and DA combined consist of 27 agencies with an estimated annual charge volume of $2.2 billion.

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Hypercom’s SmartPayments Server Earns Certification

Hypercom’s “SmartPayments Server” software has become the first electronic payment processing solution to earn “Windows Server 2008” software certification. Last June, it became the first payment processing software product to earn the “Certified for Windows Vista” designation from Microsoft. “SmartPayments Server” is an electronic payment processing solution for PC-based point-of-sale systems and enterprises seeking to integrate payments into their accounting and back office operations. “SPS” can run as a low end in-store controller, at corporate headquarters or in a datacenter as a payment gateway. “SPS” has a built-in web browser based virtual terminal for end user and merchant management console for retailers, ISOs and resellers.

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Triton Promotes an Engineering Manager

DE-based ATM manufacturer Triton Systems has promoted Scott Hoelzel to Manager, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Hoelzel leads the manufacturing engineering group and is responsible for managing the development of new products. The Manufacturing Engineering Group is responsible for laying out production lines, creating line testing methodology and creating test-bed hardware, creating work instructions, troubleshooting issues on the production line and doing design changes to resolve issues. Prior to joining Triton in 1997, he worked for seven years at Boeing on the Space Station and military programs.

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JAN DEBT

Credit card debt seasonally slipped in January to A$42.3 billion. However, credit card volume rose 12% year-on-year to A$17.1 billion after hitting a record in December of A$19.2 billion. Year-on-year credit card debt has increased 13%, compared to January 2007. Credit card limits also reached a new high at A$115.3 billion, marking the 17th consecutive month of A$100+ billion. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia there are currently 14.0 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 13.3 million one-year ago.

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BofA Tops Card Issuers’ ID Safety Scorecard

Javelin Strategy & Research have released its annual “Card Issuers Identity Safety Scorecard” which evaluates 25 of the nation’s top credit card issuers against a benchmark of highly-specific safety criteria in the areas of “Prevention”, “Detection” and “Resolution”. The benchmark is based on extensive surveys of both fraud victims and institution practices. Javelin ranked the nation’s top credit card issuers on the services and measures they have implemented in partnership with consumers to protect against identity fraud. It analyzed data supplied by the issuers’ customer service representatives and consulted information available on card issuers’ websites. Javelin researchers validated the process with firsthand reviews of actual features in selected cases. Overall, Bank of America achieved top honors in Javelin’s 2008 Card Issuers’ “Identity Safety Scorecard”; second place went to Discover, followed by FNB Omaha and U.S. Bank. In the “Prevention” category, the top three card issuers were Bank of America, followed by FNB Omaha and then Discover. Within the “Detection” category, American Express leads, then U.S. Bank with Bank of America in third place. For the “Resolution” category the top honor is equally shared by American Express, Bank of America, Discover, JPMorgan Chase, State Farm Bank, Wachovia, and WaMu.

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PNB CREDIT CARD

In response to rejected proposals for joint credit card partnerships,
Punjab National Bank has announced its will be launching its own credit
card by fall of 2008. Hoping to have deployed the card before the end
of October, officials at PNB have disclosed the card will have its own
division, rather than a subsidiary, and while mark the end of its
co-branded card with HSBC Bank.

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Magensa Joins the PCI Council

Authentication provider Magensa has joined the PCI Security Standards Council. As a Participating Organization, Magensa will now have access to the latest payment card security standards from the Council, be able to provide feedback on the standards and become part of a growing community that now includes more than 400 organizations. Magensa is an application service provider of decryption and authentication services that allows retailers to quickly implement PCI-DSS compliant payment systems at both POS retail locations and e-commerce websites. Magensa’s solutions utilize secure magstripe readers that encrypt data at the point of swipe to protect cardholder personal information, and MagnePrint, a card authentication technology that detects the use of counterfeit (skimmed) cards. By joining as a Participating Organization, Magensa will contribute its experience and expertise developing secure, speedy and convenient payment transaction solutions that benefit consumers, merchants, acquirers, associations and issuers.

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