Secured Financial Network Acquires EFT Services

FL-based Secured Financial Network has signed a LOI with FL-based EFT Services to purchase certain of that Company’s strategic assets and acquire a number of established customer contracts including Tafacil and Cyphermint. The company wants to position itself to gain access to 11,000 retail, money transfer, and bill payment locations throughout the USA to integrate its payment gateway and a host of other financial payment services. In addition, the company wants to utilize EFT Services international senior level relationships, in the private and public sector of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean to implement an electronic funds transfer program that allows an individual remitting monies to one of those regions to be able to direct payment through a proprietary POS money transfer program.

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GE Money Expands its Affinity Card Programs

The largest college in the California State University system has selected GE Money for an alumni affinity credit card. GE Money will provide San Diego State University with a MasterCard product offering two designs – an alumni card or an athletics card. Cardholders will earn one point for every $1 spent and points may be redeemed for SDSU merchandise, season tickets and luxury boxes at sporting events, travel and gift cards, and more. Last week, GE Money signed a credit card renewal and expansion agreement with Gap Inc. GE Money will now issue co-branded VISA cards to customers of the Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy. GE Money also will continue to provide private label credit card programs for Gap Inc. through 2013. In June GE Money and eBay announced plans to launch an “eBay MasterCard.” Also last month, GE Money and Green Dot teamed with Wal-Mart to launch a reloadable prepaid VISA card. (CF Library 6/15/07; 6/20/07; 7/2/07)

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SCM E-HEALTH CARD

SCM Microsystems has announced that its “eHealth 100” health card
terminal has received approval from the electronic health card program
of Germany. The program plans to deploy 82 million electronic health
insurance cards and thousands of health provider cards over the next
few years. The terminal was designed for the German electronic
health card industry and is compliant with SICCT (Secure Interoperable
Chip Card Terminal) specification V1.03. The SICCT specification is a
catalogue of requirements for smart card terminals used in the German
eHealth program’s secure network, or “telematics” infrastructure, and was
developed by the IT industry organization, TeleTrusT e.V. SCM
Microsystems supplies digital solutions for content access and services.

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FDC Finally Names CEO Duques Successor

First Data reports that Michael Capellas will become CEO after Kohlberg Kravis Roberts completes its acquisition of the Company. A successor to current CEO Ric Duques has been a major issue for the payment card processor. Duques served as Chairman and CEO since November 2005, and previously served as Chairman from 1989 to 2003 and CEO from 1989 to 2002. Duques made it clear that he wanted to retire this year when he returned to FDC. Capellas recently served as CEO MCI, f/k/a Worldcom, from 2002 until its acquisition by Verizon in 2006, and Chairman from 2002 to 2004. He also served as CEO of Compaq Computer from 1999 to 2002, and Chairman from 2000 to 2002. He subsequently served as President of Hewlett-Packard Company following the acquisition of Compaq by Hewlett-Packard. In April FDC signed a deal to be acquired by an affiliate of KKR for about $29 billion. FDC expects the deal to close at the end of the third quarter. (CF Library 4/2/07; 1/25/07; 5/23/07)

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MOBILE PAYMENTS

Juniper Research has conducted research suggesting that, by 2011,
mobile payments will have conducted 22 billion dollars in transactions
and will have attracted 204 million users. The commercialization of
NFC devices, secure applications, the support of credit card
organizations and financial institution funding are all contributing
factors
to expansion of the industry. Research conducted by Juniper includes
interviewing experts in the industry, conducting case studies, and
analysis from representatives of the mobile payment industry.

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Green Dot Net Offers MasterCard rePower

MasterCard has inked a strategic agreement with a major player in prepaid reloadable cards. Under the deal, MasterCard and Maestro prepaid cards with “MasterCard rePower” functionality can be loaded through the “Green Dot Network” and “Green Dot MoneyPak” at over 40,000 retail locations nationwide, including Wal-Mart, CVS/Pharmacy, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and Radio Shack. The “MasterCard rePower” POS network was launched last December as a solution to enable MasterCard prepaid cardholders to easily add money to their eligible prepaid accounts. As part of the agreement, “MasterCard rePower”-enabled cards will be reloadable through the “Green Dot Network’s MoneyPak” product as well as through a one swipe technology via electronic POS device at select Green Dot retailers. In addition, Green Dot will provide management services for “MasterCard rePower” including merchant relationships and processing services. Full implementation of the program across the Green Dot Network is expected to be completed later this year.

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SMART DEBIT CARD

TD Canada Trust has completed Canada’s first transaction with a smart debit card and becomes the first organization in the country to be able to conduct a transaction using a chip debit card at a
chip-enabled ABM that adheres to EMV standards. Over the next several years, TD will issue millions of chip-enabled “TD VISA” cards and TD Canada “Trust Access Cards” to its customers. TD Merchant Services has already deployed tens of thousands of chip-enabled POS terminals to merchants in preparation of chip cards entering the market. The first transaction was made at a “Green Machine” ABM located in TD’s Creekside
Corporate Office in Mississauga, Ontario. TD Bank Financial Group has more than 4.5 million online customers.

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Payment Data Systems Logs a June TX Record

San Antonio-based Payment Data Systems reported that its credit card dollar volume processed in June was its highest for any month to date and that the volume processed in the second quarter was also the highest for any quarter in the history of the company. On an unaudited basis, June’s dollar volume rose 54% from the June 2006 level. For the second quarter of 2007, dollar volume leaped 79% from the comparable period last year. Payment Data Systems is an integrated payment solutions provider to merchants and billers

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Checksmart Switches to Western Union Services

Western Union is now offering its services at 263 Checksmart locations in 11 states nationwide. Checksmart Financial, which formerly offered a competitor’s services, joins Western Union’s network of more than 305,000 Agent locations, including subsidiaries Orlandi Valuta and Vigo, in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. Checksmart Financial offers financial services such as payroll advances, check cashing, bill-pay services, wire transfers, money orders, prepaid debit cards and phone cards.

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Jack Henry Acquires Gladiator Technology

MO-based Jack Henry has acquired Atlanta-based Gladiator Technology Services for an undisclosed amount. Gladiator is a provider of technology security services that enable financial institutions to proactively safeguard their information and transaction processing infrastructures, and to comply with the related regulatory standards mandated by the federal government. Gladiator services include network intrusion prevention, firewalls, server intrusion prevention and event logging, risk assessments, compliance and regulatory solutions, and e-mail filtering and encryption services. The services are currently supporting more than 500 banks and credit unions nationwide. The acquisition closed on July 1st.

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Consumer Online Travel Bookings Wane

A new survey shows that online travel bookings have declined over the past few years, even though consumers using the Internet to research travel continue to outnumber those booking online. The research by The Conference Board and TNS shows that the ability to book airfares online garnered the highest level of satisfaction, with 48% of customers claiming they are “extremely” satisfied. The ability to make car rental arrangements online also received high marks with nearly 42% of customers saying they are extremely satisfied. Two out of every ten consumers say they have used the Internet more this year than last to research travel arrangements, while 18% have increased their online bookings. The proportion of consumers planning to use the Internet in the next three months to research travel continues to outnumber those intending to book online by nearly two to one. Overall activity, however, has declined over the past three years.

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