MOVERSA

Netherlands-based NXP and Japan’s Sony Corporation have teamed to create Austria-based Moversa, a joint venture that will drive global adoption of contactless smart card applications in mobile phones
using NFC. The new company will plan, develop, produce and market a secure chip, a “Universal Secure Access Module,” that incorporates both “MIFARE” and “FeliCa” operating systems and applications. First samples of the secure chip will be available by mid-2008 for solutions embedded in mobile phones. Initial commercial deployments are targeted for the end of next year. NXP and Sony will continue to offer chips and applications based on their respective technology platforms “MIFARE” and “FeliCa,” while developing NFC technologies jointly.

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Cardtronics Third Quarter Revenues Leap 45%

Houston-based off-premise ATM specialist Cardtronics posted third quarter revenues of $110.6 million, a 45% leap over the year-ago quarter and up 43% sequentially. The increase was primarily driven by the July acquisition of the financial services business of 7-Eleven, which added $30.1 million of revenues in the third quarter. However, the Company recorded a net loss for the quarter of $10.7 million, compared to a net loss of $0.3 million for the same period in 2006. The net loss was attributable to growth initiatives, in-house processing conversion efforts, higher vault cash costs, and expenses attributable to the 7-Eleven ATM acquisition. Average transacting ATMs for the third quarter totaled 29,880, which represents an increase of 16% over 3Q/06. Cash withdrawal transactions in the third quarter increased over 54% to 49.7 million. Average cash withdrawal transactions per ATM per month during the third quarter increased 33% to 555 compared to the same period in 2006, and average revenues per ATM per month in the quarter increased 26% to $1,185. During the quarter, Chase announced it will be placing its brand on over 400 ATMs in Walgreens drugstores throughout Texas and Washington Mutual announced an agreement with Cardtronics to place its brand on over 300 ATMs in CVS/pharmacy locations in Texas’ major metropolitan areas. For complete details on Cardtronics latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Holiday Gift Card Sales to Rise 6% This Year

New research shows that 57% of consumers plan to buy gift cards, while 88% said they will purchase two or more gift cards this holiday season. Nearly 19% said they would purchase more than six gift cards this holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation annual “Gift Card Survey,” sales will total $26.3 billion this holiday season, compared to $24.8 billion in 2006. Additionally, the average consumer will spend $156 on gift cards this year compared to $146 during the 2006 holiday season and $117 for the 2005 holiday season. More than 5% said they would spend more than $500 on gift cards this year. The NRF study also found that debit cards will be used for 40% of holiday purchases this year compared to 32% for credit cards, 22% for cash and 6% for checks. The survey, which polled 7,982 consumers, was conducted for NRF by BIGresearch from October 31st thru November 7th.

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USAA to Offer Firethorn Mobile Payments

Firethorn Holdings has announced that financial service provider USAA will offer the Firethorn mobile banking and payments solution to its 6 million members. The Firethorn mobile banking and payments solution is customizable and branded, enabling USAA to tailor the application to highlight specific products and services for its members. The mobile banking solution will be featured on AT&T and Verizon Wireless mobile handsets allowing wireless users to easily locate the application. USAA members, using their Firethorn-enabled mobile application, will be able to pay bills, check balances, view history and transfer funds from their USAA accounts. CheckFree Corporation provides USAA with bill payment and presentment capabilities which USAA members will now be able to extend to their mobile handsets. Firethorn is a mobile banking and payments enabler supported by financial institutions and wireless carriers.

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NCO Group Posts a Lackluster Third Quarter

PA-based NCO Group reported that third quarter revenue was up about 2% to $307.2 million. The Company also posted EBITDA of $44.5 million and a net loss of $3.1 million for the quarter. NCO noted that the ARM division operated slightly below its revenue and profitability targets primarily as a result of weaker than expected consumer payment patterns and lower than expected revenue derived from owned portfolio collections ARM generated $207.5 million in 3Q/07 revenues. During the third quarter, the CRM division also operated below its revenue and profitability targets primarily as a result of unanticipated client program changes and unanticipated ramp-up costs associated with several new client opportunities. CRM produced $83 million in revenues. During the quarter, the Portfolio Management division exceeded its revenue and profitability targets primarily due to ramp-up of newly acquired portfolios. Portfolio Management generated $45 million in third quarter revenues. For complete details on NCO Group’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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ACI Unveils Rules-Based Dispute Management

ACI Worldwide has released a rules-based solution that automates the resolution of cardholder disputes and processing of chargebacks. The new “ACI Dispute Management System” provides visibility to disputes at any stage during the lifecycle and enables the identification of repetitive cardholder disputes, multiple transactions associated with a cardholder dispute, and multiple transactions associated with a specific dispute arising from a particular fraud attack. ACI says its new system is unique in the marketplace in its singular focus on case management. Exception and dispute processing are based on electronic folders that represent individual customer cases. Multiple disputed transactions and the associated processing can be combined in each case, providing queue management via parameterized processes. The new ACI system also enables customers to generate comprehensive audit trails and stores all due dates and required customer notifications to maintain a complete historical file on each case.

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VISA Renews the RentPayment Contract

CA-based electronic payment processor RentPayment has renewed its agreement with VISA to offer an integrated payment solution to apartment landlords for their resident’s automatic monthly rent payments and for one-time rent and security deposit payments. By accepting VISA products through RentPayment, property managers benefit from reduced administrative expenses from software integration of the electronic payments and increased closing ratios when prospective residents can use their VISA card for security deposits for RentPayment’s over 2.5 million apartment units under management.

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Green Dot Hires a Chief Product Officer

Green Dot has announced that Chris Britt, previously manager of VISA’s General Purpose Prepaid Card product line, has joined the company as Chief Product Officer. In his new position, Britt is responsible for the product strategy, development and management of all Green Dot consumer-facing products and services including prepaid debit cards, credit cards, gift cards and Green Dot Network cash acceptance. Previously, Britt developed and managed VISA’s relationships with key prepaid issuers, processors and partners. His other achievements at Visa include co-developing and managing Visa ReadyLink and authorizing multiple patent-pending applications for the prepaid category. Britt began his career in strategy consulting with Accenture after graduating from Tulane University.

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GE Money Renews Thomasville Furniture Card

GE Money has renewed its consumer financing agreement with Thomasville Furniture. The no-annual fee Thomasville credit program provides various financing options that include the EasyPay, a low fixed interest program. With purchases of $1,500 or more, consumers can select a pre-payment plan for a period of 12, 24, 36, 48 or 60 months. In addition, the program provides dealers with a wide variety of revolving promotional offers to help meet the needs of their customers. Thomasville furniture is sold through more than 150 independently owned Thomasville Home Furnishings Stores as well as more than 400 leading independent retail stores.

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JCB & SERVICE BANK

JCB has signed agreements with Austria’s Service Bank to enhance its card
acceptance offering across the country, mostly to merchants in the
travel and
entertainment industries. This will provide Japanese nationals throughout
Austria with access to their JCB funds and accounts through its expanding
acceptance network. These developments are in conjunction with the
celebrations of the 140th year anniversary of diplomatic ties between
the two
countries to be marked by events, cultural and economic
interaction. Card complete Service Bank AG has over 1,000,000 card-
members with a network of nearly 100,000 merchants while JCB’s merchant
network includes 13.5 million merchants throughout 190 countries with 55.75
million cardmembers.

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Hypercom Unveils a New Multi-Lane Terminal

Hypercom has unveiled a new global payment terminal for multi-lane retailers that offers bandwidth-intensive interactive advertising at the POS. The new “Optimum L4150” also features a 64K color glass capacitive touch screen and a 200 MHz processor that can handle high-end graphics and animations as well as transactions without compromising performance. The new terminal is also “PCI PED”-approved. Other features include: an exclusive bi-directional, dual-sided magnetic stripe reader; configurable payment choices including an optional contactless RF reader for contactless payment cards, plus an optional integrated “EMV 1” and “EMV 2” approved smart card readers for global markets and “WIC” card acceptance in the U.S.; and is backward compatible with the “Optimum L4100,” Hypercom’s first-generation multi-lane color terminal. Hypercom says the “L4150” is now available for shipment globally.

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RBC & VISA

The Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) expects gains of nearly $325 million
before taxes for 4Q07. Experts say the bank has the VISA restructuring
of RBC’s membership interest exchange to thank for the reevaluation
and projected revenue gain. Additional sources of income expected to
come to fruition from 4Q07 includes $120 million, pre-tax, from
increased consumer credit card spending, due to increases and
improvements on card loyalty reward programs, and from RBC’s Capital
Markets segment. The Capital Markets segment is expected to generate
$360 million, pre-tax, based on subprime collateralized debt obligations
(CDOs) and subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).

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