Barclays Launches DIRECTV Co-Branded VISA

The nation’s top satellite television service provider, with more than 16.3 million U.S. customers, has launched a co-branded credit card offering lifetime reward experiences at attractive redemption levels. The new “DIRECTV Rewards VISA” enables cardholders to earn a trip to the “Sundance Film Festival”; lunch at the “Playboy Mansion”; backstage tour of “The Tyra Banks Show”; and trackside passes and tour of the “DIRECTV NASCAR HotPass Broadcast Booth.” Hundreds of other reward options are available, including DIRECTV programming and hardware, merchandise and memorabilia, starting at 2,000 points. Cardholders earn one point per dollar spent and 1,000 bonus points when they enroll in “Auto Bill Pay” with their “DIRECTV Rewards VISA” for their monthly DIRECTV service charges. Barclay’s U.S. card business, which acquired Juniper Bank in 2004, has more than 50 card partnerships and more than 3.5 million U.S. card accounts. (CF Library 8/21/07)

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Discover Inks a Deal with Chase Paymentech

Discover Network card acceptance got a big boost to access small- to mid-sized merchants after inking an integration deal with Chase Paymentech. Chase Paymentech has already integrated 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. Chase Paymentech is the world’s largest merchant acquirer, with a customer base of more than 600,000 merchants in almost 1 million locations. In December, RBS Lynk completed integration and roll-out of direct Discover Network card processing. Also last year, First National Merchant Solutions agreed to offer it customers Discover card acquiring services. U.S. Bancorp’s NOVA Information Systems signed a merchant acquiring agreement to add Discover Network card acceptance. Additionally, Global Payments and TSYS Acquiring Solutions agreed to expand the card’s acceptance. (CF Library 10/10/06; 12/5/06; 12/18/06)

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Bill Me Later Credit Card Adds a Client

Online retailer Home Decor Products is now offering customers the “Bill Me Later” private label credit card. This branded program offers shoppers a dedicated line of credit towards the purchase of thousands of items on “HomeClick.com,” Home Decor’s flagship online destination for home improvement and decor items. Home Decor Products also offers the Bill Me Later service, which allows consumers to make online purchases at a variety of merchants without using a credit card. The Home Decor Preferred Account program gives customers increased buying power at Home Decor Products where they can purchase everything from bath and kitchen fixtures to appliances and accessories.

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Mint Online Money Service Offers Savings

Mountain View, CA-based startup Mint reports that its new online money management service produces savings worth an average of $1,000 within minutes of setup. The new free service enables consumers to manage all their checking, savings, and credit accounts in one place. Each night, Mint downloads transaction data from more than 3,500 banks, credit unions and credit card providers, giving users a unified view of all account activity in a single interface. Users register anonymously using only a valid email address, and then add their log-ins for online bank, credit union and credit card accounts. Mint also utilizes a patent-pending categorization technology that automatically identifies and organizes transactions, showing users with precision where and how much they spending. An alerting system proactively lets users know about unusual activity, low balances, unwanted fees and charges, and upcoming bills. Mint also searches through a proprietary database of thousands of up-to-date offers from hundreds of providers to help users automatically find better deals like a higher savings rate or a lower loan rate.

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AmbironTrustWave Becomes TrustWave

Chicago-based AmbironTrustWave has changed its brand name to Trustwave. Trustwave better represents the value provided to customers and accurately reflects the company’s evolution from a provider of compliance services to that of a total information security and compliance management solutions provider. Trustwave’s solutions — including compliance management services, managed security services and SSL certificates, create a secure environment for consumers and businesses. their partners, employees and customers. Trustwave is a global provider of information security and compliance management solutions to businesses and the public sector.

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Strawhecker Group to Consult on C-Stores

Omaha-based The Strawhecker Group, the largest consulting firm focused exclusively on the merchant acquiring and ISO community, announced it is expanding its consulting services to include the oil and convenience store verticals. Heading this new division is industry expert and TSG associate Rich Eyberg. Eyberg has extensive experience in this area, including five years managing a variety of functions at Alliance Data Systems, viewed as one of the top providers of processing services to the oil/convenience store marketplace.

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FTC Plans a Debt Collection Workshop

The FTC is hosting a workshop on October 10-11, to explore changes in the debt collection industry. Open to the public at no charge, the two-day workshop will be held in the FTC’s Satellite Building Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. Consumer advocates, industry representatives, state and federal regulators, and others with relevant expertise will provide information on a range of issues, including the effects of technological, economic, and legal changes on the industry and whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other laws have kept pace with developments.

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Cash Systems Signs Suquamish Tribe Casino

Cash Systems has signed a new multi-year contract with the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort to provide it’s “casinopc” for cash advance services and “all-in-1 atm” processing. “casinopc” is an exclusive product of Cash Systems that offers the full range of services for processing and completing transactions at the casino cage, all residing on one system. By having all the functionality on one system, the casino cage experiences transactions at a much faster pace, saving time and increasing customer satisfaction. Cash Systems all-in-1atm offers patrons an ATM with multifunction capability. Patrons can select an ATM cash withdrawal or select a POS Debit or Credit Card transaction all from the same ATM. Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort operates in over 33,000 square feet of gaming space with 1300 video gaming devices as well as over 40 tables offering blackjack, craps, Pai Gow, Roulette, poker, keno and other games.

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NASDAQ Cites TRM Corp for Noncompliance

TRM Corporation announced that it received a notice of noncompliance from NASDAQ indicating that the Company failed to comply with the minimum bid price requirement for continued listing as set forth in Marketplace Rule 4450(a)(5) because the bid price of its common stock closed under $1.00 for the last 30 consecutive business days. The letter also stated that in accordance with NASDAQ Marketplace Rule 4450(e)(2), TRM Corporation will be provided 180 calendar days, or until March 10, 2008 to regain compliance. The NASDAQ letter has no effect on the listing of the Company’s common stock at this time. To regain compliance, the closing bid price of the Company’s common stock must remain at or above $1.00 per share for a minimum of 10 consecutive business days. If this occurs, NASDAQ will provide written notification that the Company has achieved compliance with the rule. TRM Corporation is a consumer services company that provides convenience ATM services in high-traffic consumer environments.

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New Cash Flow Trends Favor Payment Cards

A new VISA-commissioned white paper says there has been an increase in the sophistication of cash flow forecasting processes due to recent improvements in information technology and advances in forecasting techniques and that the problems facing forecasters have grown more challenging as a result of increased exports and the heavier use of debt in financing. VISA says several of the cash flow forecasting trends favor electronic payments and payment cards because they provide direct access to easily categorized revenue and spending data. According to the paper, tougher regulations favor electronic payments and cards because they provide control over incoming funds and allow companies to limit access to these funds to authorized parties. In addition, limiting corporate purchases to electronic payments and cards makes it easier for firms to monitor cash outflows and prevent unauthorized expenditures, because these payments are easier to document and provide an audit trail. Also, centralization favors electronic payments and cards for receivables and payables, because of the direct access to information on future promised cash flows that is provided.

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Chase Launches its Mobile Banking Service

Chase this week launched a mobile banking service using text messaging that offers account access to credit cards, checking, savings, CDs, mortgages, investments, and most other consumer loans. Enrollees can view balances for all their accounts; the last five transactions of their checking, savings or credit card; and additional credit card information including outstanding balances and available credit. The new “Chase Mobile” service is available through all cell phone carriers and doesn’t require a software download. Chase notes that recent statistics posted online show 18.7 billion text messages were sent during the month of December 2006, which represents an increase of 92% from the 9.7 billion messages sent in December 2005.

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