PCI Security Council Names Advisors

The PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) has released election
results for the PCI SSC Board of Advisors to represent 200 PCI SSC
Participating Organizations. These organizations will provide feedback
for the enhancement of security standards and more than 100 from across
the payment industry were nominated. Of those nominated, 14
organizations have been elected to serve on the board and they include
APACS, Bank of America, British Airways, Chase Paymentech,
First Data Corporation, JP Morgan Chase and Co., Microsoft, Moneris
Solutions Corporation, PayPal, Royal Bank of Scotland, Tesco Stores,
TSYS Acquiring Solutions, VeriFone Inc, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Over the next few months, an additional seven seats will be appointed
by the PCI SSC Executive Council to fill any gaps in representation,
including any under-represented stakeholder sector or geographic market.

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Body Shop to Deploy $$$ ON THE NET

Shift4 has signed Body Shop of America to offer its “$$$ ON THE NET” Web-based payment gateway. This agreement enables Body Shop of America to process credit card and mail-order/telephone order transactions quickly, accurately and securely using Shift4’s $$$ ON THE NET web-based payment gateway. $$$ ON THE NET provides high-speed and low-cost authorizations and settlements for credit, debit, check, private label and gift card transactions and also helps Body Shop of America with PCI compliance. Body Shop of America is a specialty retailer of apparel and accessories at value prices focusing on women in their teens and twenties. Shift4, is a developer of secure financial transaction processing software and services, provides web-based, real-time enterprise payment solutions for leaders in the hospitality, retail, foodservices, auto rental and e-commerce markets.

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EMV Means Expansion For Datacard

Datacard Group has announced that EMV’s end-to-end solution
is to thank for the company’s expansion in Asia-Pacific markets.
With the increasing demand for multi-application cards, enhanced EMV
cards incorporate new security features. The new Datacard solution allows
increasing security levels as needs change and as global identification
technology evolves. The equipment and software’s ability to handle any
card type is another advantage because card issuers have more
flexibility in selecting the most cost-effective chip platform. The
solutions
include systems and equipment to personalize cards, logical and physical
security with multiple ways to protect cardholder and production data,
and Datacard “Certified Supplies” and “Datacard Global Services”
give issuers access to premium systems for a variety of applications.
Datacard Group serves customers in more than 120 countries.

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Toys “R” Us Gift Cards Get Personal

Toys “R” Us,has announced a new online service that allows customers to purchase personalized gift cards from home. Online shoppers can choose from eight pre-designed gift cards or make their own personalized creation featuring a cherished photo, customized message or distinctive background art. Cards can be selected from a wide assortment of designs to fit any special occasion. Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us gift cards can be purchased in stores and redeemed online, or purchased online and redeemed in any Toys “R” Us or Babies “R” Us location nationwide. Toys “R” Us is the world’s leading specialty toy retailer with more than 1,500 stores.

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RDM Completes the Sale Of Xign

RDM Corporation has announced that the sale of Xign Corporation
has been complete and the company has received $8.6 million CD
for the transaction. RDM may receive up to an additional $1.2 million
CD currently held in escrow for a one year period and will be determined
by different factors, including the final purchase price adjustments. The
impact of the disposal on EPS, to be recognized in RDM’s 3Q07, is
$0.10 to $0.16.

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PR Wins Award Over the BMW MINI VISA

NY-based Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications has been honored by the Public Relations Society of America for its program with BMW and MINI Financial Services to launch the “MINI Platinum VISA” The CJP team strategically engaged MINI enthusiasts via high-traffic auto blogs and various online communities, starting hundreds of conversations about the pending release of the MINI Card three weeks before the official launch date. The 2007 New Media Campaign honor, the first given by the Awards committee, recognizes communications programs that utilize new media strategies and tactics as their primary source of outreach to generate awareness or influence behavior. Cubitt Jacobs & Prosek Communications services include media relations, financial public relations, investor relations, strategic consumer communications, corporate advisory, executive positioning, issues management, graphic design and publishing.

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Orlandi Valuta & Vigo Implement Remittance

Orlandi Valuta and Vigo have announced the implementation of
remittance services in 215 Soriana and Mercado Soriana grocery stores
throughout Mexico. With this development, consumers can send funds
from Vigo and Orlandi Valuta Agent locations to the 215 Soriana and
Mercado Soriana locations in Mexico to be disbursed on loyalty cards
issued on location. Orlandi Valuta is a subsidiary of The Western Union
Company offering money transfers to Central America and has more than
12,000 locations worldwide, approximately 7,000 of which that offer both
Orlandi Valuta and Western Union services. Vigo Remittance Corp is also
a subsidiary of The Western Union Company and has over 4,000 agents in
45 states in the U.S. and more than 30,000 locations worldwide. Soriana
currently has 234 stores in 108 cities and 29 states in Mexico and six
distribution centers.

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Q1 Debit Card PDV Bucks Historical Trends

U.S. debit card purchase dollar volume continued to march upward in the first quarter besting the prior quarter by $3 billion. Historically, there is a slight dip in debit card PDV during the first three months of the year. According to CardData, debit card volume hit $189.1 billion in the first quarter, compared to $186.1 billion in the prior quarter. VISA’s consumer signature debit purchase volume rose 8.4% to $119 billion for the first quarter. MasterCard’s first quarter debit purchase volume, which now includes all PIN debit data and online debit, rose 45.3% to $63 billion. MasterCard began including online debit in the second quarter of last year. At the end of the first quarter VISA had 208 million consumer debit cards in force while MasterCard reported 103 million debit cards.

U.S. VISA/MC DEBIT CARD PURCHASE VOLUME
2Q/06: $177.1 billion
3Q/06: $179.5 billion
4Q/06: $186.1 billion
1Q/07: $189.1 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Co-Branded/Affinity Cards Up 51% Since 03

A new study estimates that between 30 and 60 million U.S. consumers carried over 320 million co-branded and affinity credit cards last year. Market research publisher Packaged Facts says the figure is up 51% compared to 2003. The report also estimates that consumers used co-branded and affinity cards in at least 9.4 billion transactions worth at least $849 billion. The research found that the co-branded and affinity card market is thoroughly saturated and that most of the deals involving big customer lists have been thoroughly mined. However, the report suggests that co-branded debit cards are just in their infancy pointing to strong growth potential for co-branding.

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Debt Eliminator Scam Settles with the FTC

Debt Solutions, DSI Financial, DSI Direct, and Pacific Consolidation Services have agreed to settle FTC charges that their debt elimination program violated federal and state laws. Under the scam, consumers were told that a financial consultant with special relationships with the consumers’ creditors would negotiate substantially lower interest rates for them, resulting in reduced monthly payments and elimination of debt with guaranteed savings of at least $2,500. Consumers paid $399 to $629 for the program. However, the FTC charged that the promised savings were based on projected savings that would result from simply paying more than the monthly minimum on their credit card debts over an extended period of time and not from reduced interest rates on the credit card debts. Kenneth Schwartz and Jennifer Whalen owned the four entities. .

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IndyMac Joins AmEx Mortgage Rewards

American Express announced that IndyMac Bank has become the second lender to offer the “Express Rewards Mortgage” program wherein monthly mortgage payments can be charged to an AmEx card and earn “Membership Rewards”. The Express Rewards Mortgage program, designed for the consumer seeking a new or refinanced prime loan, provides cardmembers with the ability to pay recurring monthly mortgage payments on the American Express Card. The program is open to all American Express consumer cardmembers and applies to new or refinanced qualifying prime loans offered by Indymac. To be eligible for the program, the cardmember must qualify for, and close on, a participating prime loan under Indymac’s underwriting standards and must be pre-authorized by the issuer to make the anticipated monthly payment.

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MobiClear Names a New Top Executive

MobiClear has hired Anders Ericsson, previously with Global Connexion, as its new CEO. Ericsson served for five years as the CEO of Zurich-based Global Connexion, a IT venture and consulting firm. Ericsson served in various upper management positions with Ericsson Group, Ltd., the Swedish provider of telecommunications equipment. MobiClear specializes in electronic Personal Identification Verification (PIV) solutions in connection with credit/debit card transactions.

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