MerchantPortfolios Goes Live Online

M & A broker MerchantPortfolios.com has debuted its online marketplace for buyers and sellers of merchant processing portfolios, ATM portfolios, residuals, and ISOs. Traditionally, sellers of ATM and merchant portfolios contact two to three `buyers’ and try to negotiate the best deal for themselves. By doing this they invariably miss out on a much larger marketplace of potential buyers including industry buyers, non-industry buyers, funds, and other sales and marketing organizations. MerchantPortfolios manages the process and the transaction for the sellers from start to finish, helping them to negotiate the best possible price and the best possible deal structure.

Details

HOLIDAY CONSUMERS

Given the high retail transaction volume of the holiday season, Citibank
has conducted research on Russian holiday consumer habits. The
research studied the habits of 100,000 credit card consumers for the
holiday season in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The findings demonstrate
that spending on telephone and Internet goods go up 24% for women, up
11% for men, spending on entertainment among men goes up 6%, among
women goes up 18%, average supermarket spending for men goes up
25%, goes down 6% for women and sports goods purchases increase 3.5%
for men and shows no change among women. Additional findings show that
purchases of leather goods among women increase by 20%, 30% among
men, households goods purchased decrease a total of between 30-40% and
purchases of clothes and footwear increase 4.5% among men and over 24%
among women. Citibank has issued over 350,000 cards in Russia, offer
discount programs with over 800 retail outlets, are available to
consumers older
than 22 and generate an average monthly income equal to or higher than RUB
9,000.

Details

HPS Opens a New Indiana Service Center

Card processor Heartland Payment Systems has announced the opening of its 96,000-square-foot service center in Jeffersonville, Indiana. The new service center features Class ‘A’ office space, training and conference rooms as well as call center workstations. As the central hub for Heartland’s servicing operations, the companyâ™s customer advocates there will field more than 100,000 customer calls every month. Future phases of the 35-acre campus – an additional 125,000 square feet to be completed in two phases during the next 18 months – will feature additional office space and conference rooms – as well as a full-service cafeteria, fitness center and on-site day care facility. The total project cost for the first phase of the new service center is $24 million. The total project cost for the complete campus is projected at $46 million.

Details

MODULO RISK MANAGER

VISA’s payment processing network, Visanet, has implemented the Modulo
“Risk Manager” to ensure 100% merchant PCI DSS compliance by the end
of 2009. The Modulo solution will provide the new standard to Visanet
with the intention of reducing fraud loss and improving transaction safety.
Research conducted by Visanet concluded that the “Risk Manager” provides
the highest degree of PCI compliance based on disclosure from similar
organizations in the data center and telecommunications industries.
Based on these findings, the technology will be used to assess
PCI
compliance in its network of 3,600 establishments. Visanet manages relations
between VISA and Brazilian establishments over its network, including 20
financial institutions and a network of 790,000 terminals, while
Modulo’s Risk
Manager Software provides security automation to address vulnerabilities and
regulatory compliance.

Details

VeriFone Restatements Draw Three Lawsuits

More shareholder lawsuits hit VeriFone. CA-based Girard Gibbs became the first securities litigation specialist to jump on VeriFone’s recently announced accounting problems. Also last week Philadelphia-based Roseman & Kodroff and PA-based Brian Felgoise filed suits in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of VeriFone between March 1, 2007 and November 30, 2007. The lawsuit alleges that VeriFone and certain of its present and former officers violated the “Securities Exchange Act of 1934.” VeriFone last week announced it was restating its financial statements for the first three fiscal quarters of 2007. VeriFone’s share price fell by 45% on nearly 35 times its average trading volume. VeriFone said pre-tax income for the first nine months of this year is likely to be nearly $30 million lower than what was previously reported. The restatement is principally due to errors in accounting related to the valuation of in-transit inventory and allocation of manufacturing and distribution overhead to inventory. VeriFone’s Board of Directors have also decided to delay its fourth quarter earnings report, due out last week, pending completion of the assessment of the errors and the restatements. (CF Library 12/4/07)

Details

NEW LOOK GIFTCARD

New Look and PrePay Technologies have partnered to launch the “New
Look gift card” to offer users prepaid increments of any amount from
GBP1 to GBP250. This development is in response to the recent growth
of gift card popularity just in time for the holidays. The “New Look
gift card”
is available for purchase either online or in stores, is projected to
provide the
retail organization with business extension opportunities and raise brand
awareness. Furthermore, with the PrePay Technologies partnership, the
solution will provide MasterCard certification, EMV Chip/PIN Compliance
and FSA regulation.

Details

CUNA Asks for More Time to Ponder TJX Offer

The Credit Union National Association has issued an appeal to VISA to extended the deadline for accepting the TJX settlement. CUNA says credit unions and other financial institutions need 30 days instead of 10 days to decide on accepting the “alternative recovery offer” in the recent settlement reached between TJX, VISA and Fifth Third Bank. CUNA says the offer is likely to have a major impact on card issuers, including smaller financial institutions. CUNA also notes that the insufficiency of the ten-day window is exacerbated by the fact that it falls during the holiday season. Additionally, compounding the importance of this decision for issuing financial institutions is the fact that acceptance of the alternative recovery offer effectively waives the right to any other recovery. Under terms of the settlement TJX will fund up to a maximum of $40.9 million pre-tax in alternative recovery payments. The settlement is contingent on the acceptance of the offer by December 19th by the issuers of at least 80% of the eligible VISA payment card accounts. Once the settlement is final, accepting issuers will be paid by December 27th. (CF Library 11/30/07)

Details

ICU M-PAYMENTS

Cyphermint’s Chairman has been named as project leader for Mobile Payments of the Information Communication Union of Russia.
Dr. Ivan Kuznetsov is currently Chairman at Bank Tavrichesky in Russia,
and was also appointed Project Leader for the GSM Mobile Payments Project. Cyphermint offers “PayCash” which facilitates bill payment, mobile banking, P2P transfers and retail payments worldwide.
PayCash is currently available in 16 countries with expansion into 6
additional countries under development.

Details

SAGEM ORGA EXEC

Sagem Orga has announced the promotion of Holm NeuhauBer from
VP of Manufacturing to Managing Director. In his new position,
NeuhauBer will oversee industrial engineering, materials management,
quality management, facilities management and security management.
The new Managing Director initially entered the field as a developer at
Dr. Neuhaus Telekommunikation, where he moved to the Production
and Service sector, then in 2001 to Managing Director. With Sagem
Orga, NeuhauBer started off as head to the development department
in 2001 then, in 2006, took over as Vice President of Manufacturing.
Holm NeuhauBer’s advanced education includes a degree in engineering.

Details

Cyber Monday Online Sales May Hit $1B Today

Online sales are expected to peak today and may approach $1 billion in sales. In prior years the Monday after Thanksgiving had been designated as “Cyber Monday,” or the peak Internet shopping day during the holiday season. However, transaction data show that peak online shopping days are now coming much later in the holiday season. Furthermore, some data now show that Tuesday and Wednesday are bigger shopping days on the Internet than Monday. Retail Decisions predicts that online purchasing activity will peak for major retailers today between 1:00PM and 2:00PM EST. The latest Chase Paymentech “Pulse Index,” which tracks e-merchants, found that overall online sales are running 30% above last year levels. On “Cyber Monday,” November 26th, sales volume for the 10 retail Web sites tracked by the “Index” hit $104.8 million. But, online sales volume rose to $134 million on Wednesday November 28th, an all-time high in the three-year history of the “Index.” MasterCard recently projected that transaction data for historical holiday online shopping data show that “Cyber Monday” fell on December 11th last year and December 5th in 2005. With Thanksgiving falling early in 2007 on November 22nd, this year’s “Cyber Monday” will likely be December 10th. comScore projected online sales of $700 million for November 26th, about 16% higher than 2006. (CF Library 10/26/07; 11/20/07; 11/26/07)

eMondays 2007
Nov 26: $705 million
Dec 3: $630 million
Dec 10: $980 million
Dec 17: $790 million
Dec 24: $340 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

SecurityMetrics Offers Low Cost PCI

UT-based PCI Data Security Standard security solution provider SecurityMetrics is offering merchants a quick start Site Certification program to meet the upcoming PCI DSS deadline. SecurityMetrics educates merchants to help them understand their PCI DSS obligations and provides a path to compliance based on standards set forth by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council as an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) and Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). Assessments, performed by SecurityMetrics’ authorized security consultants, are combined with SecurityMetrics’ comprehensive PCI technology solution. SecurityMetrics’ quick start Site Certification program is priced from $139.99 US for a single IP address for the first year.

Details