Consumer Spending Index Heads South Again

As economic conditions trend downward, consumer purchasing appears to be at an important turning point, the Deloitte Research “Leading Index of Consumer Spending” has found. The index comprises four components — tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices — that fell in January 2008 to 1.47% from a revised gain of 1.91% a month ago. This was the fourth consecutive fall in the index after September 2007.

Details

POLI SERVICE DISTRIBUTION

NETELLER and Centricom Ltd have signed agreements to jointly establish
“Centricom Europe” for the distribution of “POLi payment services”. “POLi
affords users a secure online payment method without being required to
disclose personal credit card information, extends online service/retail
access
to the under-banked and reduces the risk of fraud to both merchants and
customers. The “POLi” service solution accounts for 23% of total online
payment transactions across Australia and is operated by Centricom Europe
while NETELLER operates in 160 countries, providing an online payment
service that transfers billions of dollars per annum.

Details

Bankruptcy Filings Rise Sharply in Feb 08

Consumer bankruptcy filings in February rose to 76,000 compared to 66,000 in the prior month. Chapter 13 filings made up about 46% of all consumer cases, down slightly from last month. According to data provided by the National Bankruptcy Research Center and Lindquist Consulting, consumer bankruptcies hit 66,400 in December compared to 69,000 in September and 61,000 in March. Cumulatively, the 2007 bankruptcy filings totaled 802,000, a 40.5% increase from 2006.

CONSUMER FILINGS
Feb 07: 55,000
Mar 07: 61,000
Apr 07: 62,000
May 07: 70,000
Jun 07: 69,000
Jul 07: 64,000
Aug 07: 75,000
Sep 07: 69,000
Oct 07: 72,000
Nov 07: 77,000
Dec 07: 74,000
Jan 08: 66,000
Feb 08: 77,000
Source: National Bankruptcy Research Center/Lindquist Consulting

Details

STREAMLINE ONLINE QVSDC

INSIDE Contactless has deployed the VISA-certified “Streamline Online
“VSDC” for compatibility with “payWave”, VISA’s contactless payment
solution and the “MicroPass 4003” contactless payment card processor. The
microprocessor supports the VISA Contactless “V2.0.2 AC v3 specification”,
various contactless bank cards, contactless payments with multiple
certified
cards, fob products and pre-paid cards for secure, flexible support.
INSIDE also provides the “MicroPass SDK” for loyalty programs, transit,
access and simple ID applications onto a single MicroPass contactless bank
payment card. MicroPass provides its processing platform for card
manufacturers and issuers in the U.S. market with over 35 million MicroPass-
powered bank cards while INSIDE Contactless provide contactless, fabless
semiconductors to over 25 bank card issuers and has offices in France,
Shanghai, Singapore, Poland, San Francisco, and Boston.

Details

KOREAN LEADING INDEX

According to the Conference Board, the leading index in Korea was
down .2% in January, .7% for February and currently stands at 177.1.
In conjunction with these findings, the organization also shows growth
rate having slowed to 1.3 % between July 2007 to January 2008 and a
declining coincident index in January of 2008 which fell 1.2% for an
annual rate decline of 2.4% between July of 2007 to January of 2008.
Positive contributors to the leading index included machinery orders and
the yield of government public bonds while negative factors included
contributors such as falling stock prices and lagging volumes of private
construction orders. The Conference Board was founded in 1916 and
provides a research network for business forecasts, economic analysis
and objective indicators to help executives.

Details

PayByCash to Offer ReputationManager

Payment provider PayByCash and iovation have partnered to help online businesses combat payment and credit card fraud. Under the partnership, PayByCash will offer iovation’s “ReputationManager” device reputation fraud management service as a part of its online payment services to protect online players of games and merchants from all forms of payment fraud. iovation’s device-based fraud management service identifies devices that have been used for fraud and abuse in the past and creates a web of association that exposes hidden device and account relationships that exist within a network and across the Internet. Subscribers sharing iovation’s “Device Reputation Authority” network of more than 30 million unique device reputations are better equipped to stop financial fraud or prevent devices from acquiring new credit cards using false or stolen information.

Details

eLUXURY to Offer Bill Me Later

Online boutique eLUXURY is now utilizing Bill Me Later’s online payment service. Bill Me Later is a payment service that allows consumers to make online purchases without a credit card. With Bill Me Later, eLUXURY.com can extend to its customers the additional convenience and flexibility of no payments for 90 days. eLUXURY.com is owned by Moët Hennessey Louis Vuitton (LVMH), the world’s leading luxury goods group. Bill Me Later’s payment solutions when shopping online, via phone and in-store are the first new payment methods since credit cards to be so broadly available within the United States.

Details

Emerging Credit Score Service Launched

Experian and MN-based predictive scoring solution provider eBureau have launched “Emerging Credit Score” to assist lenders in evaluating the creditworthiness of unbanked and underbanked consumers. “Emerging Credit Score” will rely on the aggregation of Experian’s traditional credit data and eBureau’s alternative consumer credit, payment and identity data. Using eBureau’s eScore technology, the score will evaluate the purchase and payment histories of consumers with little or no credit history, providing an increasingly granular view of the thin-file and no-file consumer segment. By scoring a higher percentage of consumers,” Emerging Credit Score” helps credit grantors grow their customer base by effectively qualifying more prospects within the underserved population.

Details

MAESTRO CARDS

MasterCard reported that usage of European “Maestro” debit cards for cross-border payments at retailers rose by 24% last year. In 2007, 42% of European “Maestro” debit card transactions were at merchant POS terminals, up from 37% in 2005. ATM cash withdrawals accounted for 58% of the transactions in 2007, down from 63% in 2005. Historically cardholders have tended to use their debit cards when on holiday in southern Europe. While “Maestro” debit card transactions by foreign cardholders in these traditional holiday countries has continued to increase in absolute terms, the overall share of transactions decreased relative to those conducted in both local border as well as global destinations.

Details

Well-Being Index Indicates U.S. Recession

More than 40% of American workers believe the U.S. economy is in a recession. The latest “Principal Financial Well-Being Index” also found that another 46% of workers believe the economy is headed for a recession. The index also revealed that more than two-thirds of workers are very concerned about their long-term financial future. Sixty percent of workers expressed concern about their ability to save for retirement, while nearly half expressed concern about even being able to cover monthly expenses and reduce credit card debt or pay off short-term debt.

Details

Satisfaction & CU Card Portfolio Sales

A recent survey of credit unions by Dallas-based TNB Card Services indicate a 72% satisfaction rate in selling their card portfolio. Among those credit unions who had sold their portfolio to TNB more than a year earlier and would sell it again if they had it to do over, 86% said they would definitely sell to TNB. Also among those on the program for more than a year, 72% indicated they would recommend TNB to their credit union peers. This is in sharp contrast to recent industry surveys suggesting that just 42% of credit unions that have sold their portfolios would recommend to their peers the companies that bought those portfolios.

Details

Payment Fraud Continues to Grow

According to a new survey from the Association for Financial Professionals, the incidence of payment fraud increased between 2006 and 2007 with nearly 71% of respondent organizations having indicated either attempted or successful acts of fraud throughout the year. Moreover, findings showed that large organizations were more likely to have been targets of payments fraud than were smaller organizations, with 81% of organizations of over $1 billion in annual revenue were victims while only 58% of organizations with annual revenues under $1 billion were victims, 94% of respondents indicated attempted or actual check fraud and of the establishments surveyed, the median financial loss to payment fraud was $13,900. In response to this, preventative efforts being taken include Segregating responsibilities among different employees, using multi-factor authentication tools, deleting online user IDs and assigning dual system administrators for online cash management services.

Details