U.S. Consumers Prune Cards from Wallets

A new survey shows that more consumers are shedding payment products compared to two years ago. Nearly half of those trimming their wallets have canceled or reduced their usage of standard credit cards. The “PaymentDynamics 2007 Preferred Payments Study” by TransUnion and Edgar, Dunn & Company reveals that 20% of consumers said they shed payment products in 2006 compared to 16% in 2004. Of those that have canceled or reduced their usage of payment product in the past 12 months, about 14% have done so with either a store credit card, debit card or a rewards credit card. Only 10% have canceled or dropped a co-branded or affinity credit card. In contrast, 31% of respondents added a new payment device to their wallet this past year versus 56% in 2004. The study also revealed that more consumers prefer debit cards than any other type of payment for point-of-sale purchases.

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Fiserv Financial Unit Q1 Sales Up 10%

WI-based Fiserv reported that total revenues for the first quarter increased 11% to $1.22 billion. The company’s Financial operating segment generated revenues of $767.3 million for the first quarter, a year-on-year increase of 9.6%. Driving the internal revenue growth rate were increased sales of the company’s banking and payment products and services to existing and new clients, as well as growth within the output solutions division. Financial segment operating income increased $29.8 million to $159.9 million, up 22.9% compared with the first quarter of 2006. During the quarter, Fiserv Electronic Funds Transfer completed 55 new sales and now has more than 2,700 clients. The company’s BillMatrix business unit increased transactions by 45%, compared with the first quarter of 2006, to 10.2 million. Fiserv also signed 52 new clients for its electronic bill payment services and now has more than 500 electronic bill pay clients. For complete details on Fiserv’s first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Cerner to Offer the FDC/UMB Healthcare Card

Healthcare info technolopy provider Cerner has selected First Data Healthcare Services and UMB Healthcare Services to launch the industry’s first combined health plan ID and payment cards with a fully integrated line of credit for healthcare consumers. First Data currently provides Cerner with healthcare payment card processing services for Cerner’s Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HFSA), Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) and Health Savings Account (HSA) benefit plan offerings. First Data’s transaction card processing solution includes a fully integrated line of credit and real-time auto-substantiation solutions at various retail and online merchants. UMB Healthcare Services will serve as the financial custodian, supporting debit card access and HSA services. UMB has in excess of $80 million in HSA assets with insurance carriers, Third Party Administrators, software providers and businesses nationwide. First Data Healthcare Services provides end-to-end payment solutions that streamline the healthcare experience for patients, providers and payers.

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Harley-Davidson Dealers to Use $$$ ON THE NET

Shift4 Corporation has entered into an agreement with Harley-Davidson Dealer Systems to provide secure credit card payment processing with its “$$$ ON THE NET” payment gateway. “$$$ ON THE NET” with Tokenization technology allows Harley-Davidson dealers to choose any bank and processor to achieve the best rates and service and provides both high speed and low cost authorizations and settlements for credit, debit, check, private label and gift card transactions. In addition, Harley-Davidson’s DMS is fully integrated with Shift4’s gift card processing partners to allow users to swipe, charge, report, and process balance inquiries from the same place they charge credit cards. Shift4 is a developer of secure financial transaction processing software and services.

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New England TJX Lawsuit Seeks $10M+

The Massachusetts Bankers Association this week filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Boston against TJX Companies over the recent TJX credit and debit card data breach. The suit will seek to recover damages in the tens of millions of dollar since more than 45 million cards may have been compromised. The suit was joined by the Connecticut Bankers Association, the Maine Association of Community Banks, and individual banks. The three bankers associations represent nearly 300 banks. Representing the New England plaintiffs in the new class action suit is the law firm of Tyler Cooper based in Hartford, which is also general counsel to the Connecticut Bankers Association.

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Wells Fargo to Air a Small Biz Webcast

Wells Fargo is airing the “Protecting Your Business” interactive webcast on May 1st as part the Company’s “Small Business Appreciation Month”. The Protecting Your Business webcast will focus on insurance, online security and legal advice. Small business owners will receive tips from leading industry experts on securing their physical assets including property and virtual assets such as customer data. Panel experts include Neal Aton, head of Wells Fargo Insurance Inc.; Richard Weeks, head of Wells Fargo Business Internet Services; Gary Morse, CEO and founder of New York-based Razor Point Security; and Alysa Zeltzer, lawyer at Kelly Drye & Warren LLP in Washington DC. Viewers will be able to submit questions throughout the broadcast for the interactive Q&A segments. Wells Fargo plans to produce a series of webcasts covering specific topics of concern for small business owners and in February 2007, Wells Fargo pre- launched the series with Financing Strategies For Your Business, which offered tips on obtaining and managing credit. Wells Fargo & Company is a diversified financial services company with $486 billion in assets, providing banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer finance.

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Record Collections for Asset Acceptance

MI-based Asset Acceptance Capital reported that first quarter revenues were essentially flat compared to one-year ago at $67.3 million. The purchaser and collector of charged-off consumer debt also reports that net income for the quarter dropped 21% to $9.9 million. However, first quarter cash collections of $95.9 million was the highest single-quarter cash collections in the 45 year history of the Company. Purchased receivable revenues declined by $0.5 million due to higher amortization rates on 2006 purchases and a $4.5 million net impairment charge on purchased receivables. During the first quarter, the Company invested $36.6 million to purchase charged-off consumer debt portfolios with a face value of $772.0 million, representing a blended rate of 4.74% of face value. This compares to the prior-year first quarter, when the Company invested $26.3 million to purchase consumer debt portfolios with a face value of $723.9 million, representing a blended rate of 3.63% of face value. All purchase data is adjusted for buybacks. For complete details on Asset Acceptance Capital’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

AACC REVENUES
1Q/06: $67.4 million
2Q/06: $66.8 million
3Q/06: $59.2 million
4Q/06: $61.5 million
1Q/07: $67.3 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Passion Drives Most Business Owners

The first major survey on “Gen Y” and “Baby Boomer” entrepreneurs reveals that both generations feel that America is worse off now than when they were kids. The “OPEN Ages” survey from American Express also found that passion, rather than money, fuels the success and entrepreneurial drive of both generations. However, in the area of risk, 72% “Gen Y” entrepreneurs say they like to take risks compared to just over half of “Baby Boomers.” The research found that on average both groups spend 10 hours per day working on business, and typically conduct some type of business activity 6 out of 7 days.The generations differ on America’s leadership in technology innovation with only 38% of “Gen Y” believing that the U.S. is the most technologically advanced country in the world compared to 57% of “Baby Boomers.” Surprisingly, the majority of both generations agree that raising minimum wage would not hurt small businesses.

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PartsCards GE Business MasterCard is Promoted

ATCO Parts PartsCards is promoting commercial credit cards to their business customers through a relationship with GE Money – Corporate Payment Services. Under the agreement, PartsCard is promoting a co-branded version of the “CPS Productivity MasterCard” to middle market and small business customers nationwide. PartsCard provides the option to purchase parts, tools, paint, body, and equipment and other business-related items from any vendor accepting MasterCard. The Productivity Card’s suite of features helps companies streamline their purchasing and payment processes and control costs. PartsCard, a division of ATCO Parts, was created to support the national sales of the co-branded “Productivity Business Card”. GE Money – Corporate Payment Services, the commercial card unit of GE Money – Americas, develops and markets corporate bank cards and e-settlement tools designed for small-, medium- and large-sized companies and organizations. Cards are issued by GE Capital Financial Inc.

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