TNS’ Financial Services Q1 Revenue Rises 16%

VA-based TNS reported that first quarter revenue rose 10% to $72.7 million, a record first quarter for the Company. The first quarter GAAP net loss was $3.2 million which included a pre-tax charge of $900,000 for executive severance and a $700,000 pre-tax charge for its litigation reserve and special legal expenses. Revenue from the Financial Services Division increased 16.4% to $9.7 million, compared to 1Q/06 driven by increases in new endpoint installations, increases in connectivity between existing customer and increased demand for greater bandwidth connectivity. Revenue from the POS Division increased 5.4% to $19.8 million on 1.4 billion transactions. TNS expects total revenue growth of 2% to 6% to $74 to $77 million for the second quarter. For complete details on TNS’ first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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ID Data Acquires CredEcard

ID Data has inked acquisition agreements with CredEcard prepaid card
solutions
for GBP 725,000 in cash and shares, stipulating performance objectives
over the
next 2 years. This acquisition allows CredEcard to run independently and
become
an integrated solutions provider utilizing its MasterCard and VISA
platforms, resulting
in a stronger relationship between MasterCard and ID Data. This
development will
also increase ID Data’s value, allowing the company to provide broader
financial
services. MasterCard has estimated that the European market for prepaid
cards
will reach 360 million by 2010. The partnership will allow earlier
development of the prepaid business considering that CredEcard made an operating loss of 351,167GBP on turnover of 567,347 GBP in 1Q06 and an operating loss of 571,170 GBP on turnover of 173,335GBP in the 6 months ended 3Q06.

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VISA PAYWAVE

VISA’s new “payWave” contactless card payments will see a commercial roll-out as early as September throughout London. HSBC, HBOS, Lloyds TSB, and Barclays all indicated they will launch contactless payments by year’s end. September will see the commercial roll-out of the new “Barclaycard VISA” credit card, developed with Transport for London and Transys and featuring “payWave” technology combined on the same card with the “Oyster” transit function. VISA is now introducing contactless facilities at retailers in Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, Fenchurch Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross and Waterloo Stations. At this initial stage, it is expected around 200,000 consumers and about 2,000 retailers will participate in a trial. Further “VISA payWave” launches are expected throughout Europe, and the
next one has just been announced in Turkey. Denizbank’s “Sea&Miles” cards will feature “payWave” that can be used on Istanbul Seabuses and a number of retailers. Other “VISA payWave” plans are already well developed in France, Spain and Switzerland.

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Pay By Touch Adds a Card Option to SmartShop

San Francisco-based Pay By Touch has added a card-based option to its biometric “SmartShop” service. The service gives shoppers customized offers on the products they buy most when they enter a store. The biometric “SmartShop” service was launched in January. Card-based SmartShop has been implemented by Shop ‘n Save stores in the Pittsburgh, as well as Foodtown stores in New York and New Jersey. The product is targeted at consumer packaged goods companies as well as merchants. Pay By Touch says early results shows an 8% to 12% sales lift among customers using “SmartShop.” More than 3.7 million consumers are using Pay By Touch services to identify themselves, make purchases, cash checks and get personalized savings using their finger.

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CardinalCommerce to Utilize Green Dot MoneyPak

CardinalCommerce is deploying Green Dot’s “MoneyPak” cash payment product through “Cardinal Centinel,” its universal platform for eCommerce merchants to reach non-banked consumers. Through “MoneyPak”, underserved consumers will be able to purchase goods and services previously out of their reach. MoneyPak is available at tens of thousands of retailers nationwide and allows consumers to easily and conveniently convert cash into a digital form of payment. The MoneyPak is located in stores where other prepaid products are displayed. Consumers select the Green Dot MoneyPak, pay the $4.95 access fee at the register and have the cashier load their cash — from $20 to $500 — onto the MoneyPak. Consumers can then use the number on the MoneyPak to make online purchases wherever they see the MoneyPak payment logo. Green Dot Corporation is a provider of retail-based financial services for America’s underserved community. CardinalCommerce Corporation is a provider of authentication services for banks, merchants, processors and financial service providers.

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Shielded Contactless Card Mailers Unveiled

NY-based National Envelope Corporation has unveiled card sleeves and mailing envelopes to help shield contactless payment cards in transit. The new “Smart Card Guard” uses a thin protective metallic barrier that is incorporated into a specially produced, easy-to-print substrate. The new product was developed late last year and tested early this year by InfoGard Laboratories. The Company said the new product was developed in response to a 2006 study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The test of 20 smart cards showed encryption levels were not nearly strict enough to prevent easy interception of personal information. National Envelope manufactures approximately 50 billion envelopes a year via 21 manufacturing facilities in the U.S. and Canada. A report released last week by Packaged Facts projects that total contactless credit and debit cards in the U.S. will reach 109 million by 2011 from the current 27 million. (CF Library 5/2/07)

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CSG Launches the Care Express Retail Kiosk

The “CSG Care Express” solution provides an automated, alternative means to the traditional manual processes carried out by customer service representatives when taking orders and upgrading services. Care Express offers convenience for the consumer and saves expense for the operator as these customers do not have to contact the call center for routine business such as billing and account inquiries. The solution gives consumers the ability to access statement summaries, make payments via credit card, debit card, checks, and cash as well as order new services, manage bundles and configure personal preferences and services. More than 5 million consumers have registered to manage their accounts, view and pay bills from cable and DBS providers nationwide, powered by CSG Care Express. CSG Systems International is a provider of outsourced billing, customer care and print and mail solutions and services supporting the North American cable and direct broadcast satellite markets.

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Aruba Networks Intros Secure Enterprise Mesh

CA-based Aruba Networks has launched “Secure Enterprise Mesh” PCI-compliant technology that can be overlaid on any legacy network, defend against network breaches, and provides retailers with client-to-core secure networking of point-of-sale devices. With Aruba’s solution, security policies are centrally managed from Aruba Mobility Controllers in data centers, allowing central IT staff to manage large and widely dispersed enterprises. The controller features a built-in, ICSA-certified firewall for tight policy control and enforcement and a centralized cryptographic architecture to ensure that encryption and authentication keys are securely managed and never stored in access points. Aruba Networks provides an enterprise mobility solution that enables secure access to data, voice and video applications across wireless and wireline enterprise networks.

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Reward Credit Cards Issuance Rises 23%

There has been a 23% increase over the past five years in the number of credit cardholders who use cards that accumulate points for merchandise and/or airline tickets. The new study also shows that debit card usage has decreased from 55% in 2003 to 44% in 2007. The research by Maryland-based Vertis found that the use of general-purpose credit cards containing no benefits has decreased from 38% to 31% since 2003. Other findings: credit cards issuing “cash back” incentives were among the most commonly used in 2007 by 30% of all credit card holders; store or gas credit cards are used by 25% of all credit card holders; only 11% use charge cards that require a balance paid in full each month; and specially endorsed cards from a university or other organization are only appealing to a mere 7% of all credit card holders. Vertis also noted that 16% of total adults use three or more credit cards each month, compared to 10% of total adults surveyed in 2003.

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Mass Bank Launches a Debit Rewards Program

MA-based Salem Five Bank has introduced “Cash-Back Debit Rewards” program offering 0.25% back for PIN debit transactions and 0.50% back for signature debit transactions. For each debit card transaction, Salem awards customers a percentage of their monthly debit card purchases. The percentage paid is doubled for signature-based transactions when the customer chooses “credit” at the point of sale. The cash rewards appear automatically on customers’ monthly statements. The “Salem Five Cash-Back Debit Rewards” program requires either a Star Checking or Gold Star Checking account. New accounts and existing Star Checking and Gold Star Checking customers are automatically enrolled. The Bank has also enhanced its ATM Reimbursement offering. Through the Bank’s new Unlimited ATM Reimbursement program, customers can use any ATM in the world and Salem Five will reimburse the fees charged by the bank that owns the ATM. There is no limit to the amount or the number of ATM reimbursements. Salem Five operates 17 branches in Massachusetts with $2.4 billion in assets.

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World of Warcraft VISA Cards Introduced

Irvine, CA-based Blizzard Entertainment and First National Bank Omaha have teamed to launch a series of VISA credit cards for the very popular “World of Warcraft” online game. The thirteen cards will be marketed to the more than 8.5 million players worldwide including 2 million players in North America. The “World of Warcraft VISA” cards each feature a different character from the game. Cardholders earn a 1% credit on each $1 in spend volume towards the monthly $15 subscription fee. New cardholders receive 1500 bonus points, enough to redeem for one month of gametime. There is no limit to the amount of points cardholders can earn and points expire five years from the date on which they were posted to the account. First National is offering a 0% intro APR on all purchases and balance transfers for the first twelve billing cycles and variable rates thereafter starting at 9.99%. Blizzard Entertainment is a division of Vivendi Games. “World of Warcraft” debuted in November 2004 and has become the most popular MMORPG around the world. In addition to North America, there are more than 1.5 million players in Europe, and more than 3.5 million players in China.

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