eBillme Teams with Affinion Group

MODASolutions has partnered with Affinion Group to offer eBillme customers the enhanced features of “Price Protection” and a “Return Guarantee”. It offers the highest possible protection for online cash shopping, including a return and lowest price guarantee, as well as fraud and shipping coverage. The new Buyer Protection Program, which costs nothing to use, takes the fear out of using cash online. It’s the same protection offered by premium credit cards but it covers cash. All new merchants who add eBillme to their online checkout payment options will be automatically equipped with the Buyer Protection Program as an offering for every eBillme customer. Merchants can benefit by becoming a part of the eBillme network of retailers offering consumers the safest way to pay cash online. Affinion Group is an affinity direct marketer of value-added membership, insurance, programs, package enhancement programs, and services to consumers. MODASolutions is a provider of payment solutions that extend the convenience of online banking to the merchant’s checkout.

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RBC Centura Banks Inks Fintura for Cards

Atlanta-based Fintura has signed an agreement with RBC Centura Banks to use Fintura’s “New Account Origination” solution to help the bank grow its credit card accounts in the U.S. The “New Account Origination” solution accelerates portfolio growth by devising innovative and timely credit card offerings designed to motivate consumer response in this highly competitive environment. The company applies its proven targeting methodology to identify the right product for the right consumer. From there, Fintura manages the entire direct marketing campaign from strategy and offer development to printing, postage and mailing. The company has developed a “pay-for-performance” compensation model. This custom compensation structure shifts the marketing investment risk from the financial institution to Fintura, while accommodating each financial institution’s budget parameters. RBC Centura Banks, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. Fintura is an account origination and portfolio management company.

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A New High-End Credit Card is Coming

WY-based ThinkTank Holdings says it will introduce a high-end credit card utilizing a patent pending credit card concept that includes carbon and/or carbon based material. The code name for the company is “Next Card.” The actual name of the company will not be announced until its release date. The new card will be available to individuals and corporations for an estimated annual fee of $495. It is expected to come with a 24-hour concierge service, a points and rewards incentive package as well as many other benefits.

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MPC Releases a Merchants View of Interchange

The Washington, DC-based Merchants Payments Coalition delivered a detailed report about interchange fees to Rep. Ric Keller, R-Fla. The report suggests that VISA and MasterCard both only post excerpts from their interchange rules on their Web sites. VISA offers to show merchants a fuller set of the rules, but only if they sign a non-disclosure agreement prohibiting discussion of what they see. The MPC report also says VISA has attempted to characterize some cash discounts as a prohibited surcharge on credit card use and has threatened some merchants with fines of $5,000 a day for offering cash discounts. Also, merchants say interchange rates are non-negotiable, while VISA and MasterCard say they can be negotiated.

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Discover’s PULSE Rolls-Out DebitProtect

Discover Financial Services “PULSE” has launched its new neural network based fraud detection system across its entire network, following a three-month beta development program involving several financial institutions. “DebitProtect” provides risk scoring for all “PULSE PIN,” signature and “PINless” debit transactions on the “PULSE” network and notifies designated financial institution personnel via e-mail of possible fraudulent transactions. “DebitProtect” is the latest addition to the suite of anti-fraud solutions “PULSE” offers its more than 4,400 financial institution participants. These products include card security code checking services and targeted authorization blocking. Debit transactions in the USA have tripled since 2000, and reported debit card fraud has increased. PULSE’s “2007 Debit Issuer Study” revealed that U.S. financial institutions lost an estimated $662 million to debit card fraud in 2005.

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BBVA & HYPERCOM

BBVA Bancomer will deploy more than 13,000 “Optimum T2100” countertop and “M2100” Bluetooth-enabled mobile payment terminals. With the order, Bancomer BBVA has purchased more than 21,300 “Optimum” terminals this year. Hypercom’s “Optimum T2100” is a high-speed 32-bit device with an integrated EMV-compliant smart card reader, built-in printer, large memory to accommodate multiple applications, support for multiple languages and currencies, hand-over countertop design and graphical interface that guides customers through transactions with clear prompts. The wireless “Optimum M2100” is a compact, high-speed, battery-operated device that facilitates fast, secure point-of-sale transactions for restaurants, car rental companies, sports stadiums, medical facilities and other businesses that require non-stationary payment systems.

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Americans Mixed About Financial Future

A new Harris Poll of 1,214 adults conducted in September found that American attitudes towards their own finances are just as mixed as these leading indicators. When compared to a year ago, two in five (39%) say their household’s financial condition has improved while almost the same number (38%) say it has gotten worse and one-quarter (23%) say it has remained the same. Regionally, there are some differences in household finances. Those in the West are most likely to think things are going well as 45% say things have improved and just three in ten (31%) say things have worsened. They are followed by those in the East and South where four in ten (40%) in each region say their household’s finances have improved and 36% each say their finances have gotten worse. The Midwest is the region where things seem to have hit hardest as just three in ten (30%) say their household’s finances have improved while almost half (48%) say their financial conditions have gotten worse compared to last year.

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Merrick Bank to Deploy Solex’s Solution

ID-based online lender Solex has announced that UT-based Merrick Bank will use Solex’s lending solution to streamline the loan process with RV and Marine industry dealers. The Solex system is designed specifically for the RV and marine marketplace and connects lenders and dealers through the Web, providing instant financing options and loan documents. The system also reduces the time banks spend processing loans and gathering required information. As a result, Solex enables lenders and dealers to make each sales transaction as time- and cost-effective as possible. Merrick Bank is a CardWorks company, issuer of VISA credit cards and nationwide lender to the RV, marine and motorcycle industry.

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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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