Online Holiday Shopping to Surge This Year

A new survey reveals that the percent of consumers who expect to complete either a portion or all of their holiday gift purchasing online this year has surged to more than half (50.7%), up from 37.6% in 2006. According to Burst Media holiday spending is likely to decline from 2006 levels for many consumers. Among survey respondents, one-quarter (25.6%) expect to reduce spending, 36.1% will spend the same amount as the prior year and only 16.8% expect spending to increase. Security concerns are the biggest impediment to online shopping, but logistical concerns also factor into the decision: Seven out of ten online shoppers (70.7%) cite credit card security as their greatest concern when shopping online.

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PCI Council Accepts Sourcefire

Open source provider Sourcefire has been accepted as a participating organization in the PCI Security Standards Council. The Sourcefire 3D System enables users to comply with PCI requirements, including monitoring and enforcing compliance with configuration policies, identifying and remediating vulnerabilities, monitoring and analyzing events, and incident response and reporting. Sourcefire integrates all four Enterprise Threat Management (ETM) components under the same management console, affording customers with both efficient and effective means for defending complex networks against today’s most costly threats. The mission of the PCI Security Standards Council is to enhance payment account security by fostering broad adoption of the PCI Data Security Standard and other standards that increase payment data security.

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VALID Systems Partners with Tranax Tech

Check cashing provider VALID Systems has partnered with Tranax Technologies to provide check cashing solutions for the Tranax customer base. VALID Systems’ application has been used by such financial institutions as Key Bank and US Bank over the past 3 years. Customers enroll with the cashier, but receive funds via ATM. Enrollment using VALID’s application averages 70 seconds with repeat transactions averaging 27 seconds.

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Oasis Online to Acquire TranSend Intl

Oasis Online Technologies has entered a LOI with TranSend International to acquire 100% of TranSend’s outstanding shares. TranSend is a privately held corporation that holds 9 patents and numerous provisional patents for software that secures personal information and transactions while making those transactions more convenient for users. Under the terms of the Letter of Intent, Oasis will issue one share of its common stock for each of the 15 million outstanding shares of TranSend’s common stock. Closing of this transaction is subject to customary conditions which will include, among other things, the completion of an audit of TranSend for at least the past two years. Management expects this process will be completed within 60 to 90 days. Upon closing of the transaction, TranSend will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Oasis. Oasis Online Technologies acquires operating companies that create and/or market software and products that make the Internet more secure and more convenient for online users.

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Total Card Picks Enterprise Configuration Manager

System management provider Configuresoft has announced Total Card has selected Configuresoft’s “Enterprise Configuration Manager” for PCI DSS compliance. ECM addresses all six PCI security areas, through a continuous process which assures PCI DSS compliance 24 x 7. ECM quickly discovers, analyzes and automatically eliminates PCI compliance deficiencies such as password policy violations and vulnerable machine configurations. Rapid deployment across the enterprise enables customers to reduce the time to prepare and the cost of PCI audit by over 70%. Total Card is a third party credit card servicer.

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Citi Warns of a Kitchen Sink Third Quarter

Citigroup announced that dislocations in the mortgage-backed securities and credit markets, and deterioration in the consumer credit environment are expected to have an adverse impact on third quarter financial results. Citi currently estimates that it will report a decline in net income in the range of 60% from the prior-year quarter, subject to finalizing third quarter results. Citi says its expected third quarter results are a clear disappointment. The decline in income was driven primarily by weak performance in fixed income credit market activities, write-downs in leveraged loan commitments, and increases in consumer credit costs. However, Citi says it expects to return to a normal earnings environment in the fourth quarter.

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Small Business Owners Trim Jobs This Fall

A semi-annual survey of business owners finds that hiring plans among business owners have dropped, with three in ten business owners reporting plans to hire full and/or part-time staff in the next six-months. That is down from 34% in fall 2006, 37% in fall 2005, 35% in fall 2004, 34% in fall 2003 and 26% in fall 2002. The “OPEN from American Express Small Business Monitor” also found that healthcare is cited by one in five small business owners as the issue that will most sway their decision on the next president of the United States, followed closely by homeland security. More business owners believe the downturn in the housing market and rising interest rates have negatively impacted their business. The survey found a 5% rise in the number of business owners who believe that the downturn in the housing market has had a negative affect on their business, compared to this spring.

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Delinquency Edges-Up for the Third Month

Delinquencies for managed credit card outstandings headed north in August after falling for three consecutive months. Despite the recent credit meltdown, credit card delinquency has remained steady this year but will likely rise through the fourth quarter as more consumers get squeezed with higher interest rates. According to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]), delinquency (30+ days) for August inched up to 4.70% of managed outstandings, versus 4.64% in the prior month and 4.22% one-year ago. Chase reported that the second quarter 30-day managed delinquency rate was 3.00%, down from 3.14% in the prior year and 3.07% in the prior quarter. BofA said its managed 30+ day delinquency ratio for the second quarter declined to 5.24%, compared to 5.44% in the first quarter and 4.73% for 2Q/06. Citi reported that overall delinquency (90+ days) declined slightly from 1.57% for 1Q/07 to 1.47% for the second quarter 2007.

DELINQUENCY
Aug 06: 4.22%
Sep 06: 4.27%
Oct 06: 4.32%
Nov 06: 4.40%
Dec 06: 4.44%
Jan 07: 4.56%
Feb 07: 4.63%
Mar 07: 4.66%
Apr 07: 4.72%
May 07: 4.67%
Jun 07: 4.62%
Jul 07: 4.64%
Aug 07: 4.70%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Chase Releases an Alternative Payments Forecast

Chase Paymentech’s Future Payments Now forum has presented a new report titled “Alternative Payments Forecast 2007-2012” The report indicates that U.S. online transaction volume will reach $355 billion in 2012, and that payments alternatives will represent 30% of this volume. Traditional methods will grow by 14% in the same period, with credit card volume expected to reach $156 billion (44% of total online volume) and debit almost $94 billion (26%) by 2012. While traditional payment options such as credit and debit cards continue to be of primary significance, alternatives provide payment options, some of which are aimed at under-banked consumers and to address premature abandonment of the online shopping cart. Chase Paymentech Solutions is a global payments firm and the world’s largest merchant acquirer that processed approximately 18.2 billion payment transactions, with more than $660.6 billion in annual bankcard and debit volume in 2006.

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CheckFree Announces Two New Services

CheckFree Corporation has announced a new service for financial services organizations and corporations, “CheckFree Reconciliation and Exception Management Hosted Service”. CheckFree’s “Hosted Service” provides low-cost access to CheckFree’s leading reconciliation and exception management solution, “Accurate NXG”. An intuitive, web-based interface enables easy access by any authorized user. CheckFree Electronic Commerce solutions enable financial services providers to offer the convenience of online banking, and along with billers, to offer the convenience of receiving and paying household bills online, via phone or in person through retail outlets.

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