Zebra Unveils a Low-Cost Card Printer

Card printing solution provider Zebra Technologies has introduced the Zebra “P100i”, a single-sided, single-card color printer. The P100i lets such customers print monochrome or color employee and student ID cards, loyalty, gift and membership cards, or travel and leisure passes in a single card feed on varied types of cards and technologies, including those that are pre-printed. Besides providing both magnetic stripe and smart card encoding, the P100i offers both USB and Ethernet connectivity so that customers can deploy and manage card printers on an enterprise-wide basis.

Details

P-Card Acceptance Rules Hindering Growth

A new report concludes that rewriting p-card acceptance rules might be the key to opening up bigger revenue opportunities for issuers. The study by Boston-based Aite Group argues that issuer strategies to increase p-card usage for large-ticket items may actually be hindering p-card growth in the USA. Currently, card issuers and networks seek to expand p-card usage from low-ticket, high-volume payments, to high-ticket, low-volume transactions, in which profits appear greater. However, because p-cards are the only payment vehicle priced as a percentage of a transaction in B2B transactions, high-ticket items translate to higher costs of acceptance for suppliers, which has resulted in only a small number of suppliers accepting p-cards. The report encourages card networks and issuers to consider allowing suppliers to accept p-cards for low-ticket items only and discriminate against their use for high-ticket items.

Details

Merchant Fee Consulting Firm is Launched

A California payment systems executive has formed a new entity to help businesses cut payment card processing fees. Adam Pflaumer, who spent 15 years in the merchant services industry including president of a top merchant service provider, has created EP Consulting. Pflaumer says businesses that have retained its services have experienced anywhere from $150 to $1,500 per month in savings. EP will pinpoint a processor’s break even cost; identify attainable target savings; renegotiate with existing processor; provide specific information on future best pricing; and deliver expert advice with no out-of-pocket expense.

Details

Discover Signs First American Payment Systems

TX-based First American Payment Systems has signed a merchant acquiring agreement with Discover Financial Services, providing an integrated processing package that includes Discover Network card transactions. First American provides electronic transaction processing services for more than 90,000 U.S. merchants. The Company expects to be certified and processing Discover transactions during the first quarter. Last week Metavante inked an agreement to offer its merchant clients full-service processing for all Discover Network card transactions. In November Global Payments activated the first of its ISOs relationships to acquire Discover Network merchants. In October, TSYS signed an issuer processor agreement with Discover. In September, Chase Paymentech began integrating the Discover Network into the merchant boarding process as the first step towards full integration and expects to rollout the full processing package to its existing merchant customers starting early next year. In December 2006, RBS Lynk completed integration and roll-out of direct Discover Network card processing. Also last year, First National Merchant Solutions agreed to offer its customers Discover card acquiring services. Additionally, U.S. Bancorp’s NOVA Information Systems signed a merchant acquiring agreement to add Discover Network card acceptance. (CF Library 10/10/06; 12/5/06; 12/18/06; 9/20/07; 10/9/07; 10/18/07; 11/27/07; 12/6/07)

Details

SSH & PCI

SSH Communications has joined the PCI Security Standards Council
for the compliance of its encryption and network security. Endorsed by
American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard
Worldwide and VISA Inc, the PCI DS Standard requires merchants
and service providers to follow card security guidelines for the protection
of customer data integrity. This will protect against ID data criminals,
provide the organization with SSH Communication Security, access to
payment card security standards and the ability to provide feedback and
input regarding the standards. The PCI Council was established to enhance
payment account security through the input of a wide range of organizations
while SSH Communications Security provides security solutions around the
world to various organizations, financial institutions and government
agencies.
Among these clients, included is over 100 of the current Global Fortune
500 companies.

Details

Gift Cards Re-Sell at a 15% Discount

Research from Loyola Marymount University found gift cards from certain stores fetch consistently lower sale prices than others. The research suggests gift cards are less valuable to recipients when given for stores that offer less product variety and fewer locations. Ranked according to their resale value, the ten “best” gift cards are Home Depot, Lowe’s, Office Max, Circuit City, Starbucks, Old Navy, Wal-Mart, Target, Staples and Best Buy, all selling for above 86% of their original value (a 14% maximum discount). The five “worst” gift cards are Tiffany & Co, Victoria’s Secret, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, with Express coming in last at 74% (a 26% discount). LMU is the largest Catholic institution of higher education in Southern California with nearly 5,500 undergraduate students and more than 3,000 graduate and law students.

Details

OTI & WARSAW

The On Track Innovations (OTI) Polish subsidiary, ASEC, reportedly
will be providing the Transport Department of the City of Warsaw with
contactless tickets. The tickets will generate revenue at over $500,000
per and will be applicable to all methods of transportation including buses,
tramways, metros and street parking meters. OTI implements contactless
smart card technology for a variety of different markets.

Details

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