TX AG Takes on CVS for ID Theft Issues

The Texas Attorney General has charged CVS with violating the “2005 Identity Theft Enforcement and Protection Act,” and with violating “Chapter 35” of the “Business and Commerce Code,” which requires businesses to develop retention and disposal procedures for their clients’ personal information. Investigators with the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) discovered that a CVS store near Houston exposed hundreds of its customers to identity theft by failing to properly dispose of records that contained sensitive information. The investigation was launched after reports indicated that bulk customer records were tossed in a dumpster behind the store. The documents obtained by OAG investigators also contained hundreds of active debit and credit card numbers, complete with expiration dates. Under the law, the OAG has the authority to seek penalties of up to $50,000 per violation. AG investigators are also working to determine if any exposed data has been used illegally.

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GE Money Inks a Major Canadian Accord

Canada’s Desjardins Group this week announced an agreement with GE Money to serve merchants with integrated VISA and MasterCard solutions. The service includes same-day deposits, single account statements, debit card and POS terminal transactions, faster processing of merchant enrollment applications and one-stop customer service. Desjardins is a payment solutions provider with assets of more than $135 billion. More than 55,000 merchants throughout Canada, including more than 5,000 offering “Accord D Desjardins” financing, have chosen Desjardins Card Services as their provider of POS transaction management solutions.

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Givex Becomes PCI DSS Complaint

Prepaid card specialist Givex has completed verification in the AmbironTrustWave “Trusted Commerce” program. Completion of the program signifies Givex’s commitment to the security of client data and compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), the framework for both the prevention and detection of security breaches. Givex provides closed loop card processing in North America and Europe. AmbironTrustWave is a provider of information security and compliance management solutions to Fortune 2000 businesses and the public sector.

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First Data Q1 Revenues Rise 12% Y/Y

First Data reported that first quarter revenue grew 12% to $1.8 billion. However, operating profit declined 8% year-on-year and net income fell 59% from the year-ago quarter. For the first quarter, Commercial Services generated revenue of $1.0 billion, a growth rate of 9% or 5% excluding reimbursable debit network fees. Operating profit was $225 million, up 5%. Financial Institution Services generated revenue of $485 million, up 9% or 7% excluding reimbursables. Operating profit was $97 million, up 15%. First Data International generated revenue of $367 million, up 39%. Revenue growth on a constant currency basis, excluding acquisitions and divestitures, was 9%. Operating profit was $35 million, up 20% from 1Q/06. First Data recently entered into an agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts in a transaction with a total value of approximately $29 billion. For complete details on First Data’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

FDC REVENUE HISTORICAL
1Q/06: $1635.7 million
2Q/06: $1731.1 million
3Q/06: $1787.2 million
4Q/06: $1922.4 million
1Q/07: $1836.3 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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VeriFone’s ON THE SPOT Gets Traction

VeriFone reports its “ON THE SPOT” wireless card payment solutions for restaurants is now deployed in more than 30 locations. VeriFone’s pay-at-the-table products and services allow operators to accept lower-cost debit card payment, improve operational efficiency and provide consumers protection from card fraud. VeriFone is providing restaurant operators with three methods of deployment suited for just about any restaurant environment: stand-alone use, hosted managed services and integration with restaurant management systems. VeriFone is working with Independent Sales Organizations and acquirers to target the estimated 300,000 small chains and independent restaurants that represent a potential market of 1.5 million wireless payment systems suited either to a managed service offering or stand-alone use.

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JP Morgan Buys Xign Co.

RDM has announced its deal to sell Xign to JP Morgan Chase, from
which the company expects to net $9 million. Upon closing, subject to
approval, RDM expects to record a one-time after-tax gain of approximately
$2.6 million to $3.8 million, or $0.12 to $0.18 per share. This transaction
will cease all affiliation between Xign Co. and RDM, which is a provider
of specialized software and hardware for electronic payment processing.

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Infonox Partners with India’s PayMate

Infonox has partnered with PayMate to develop a suite of mobile payment products for the US market. With this alliance, the existing businesses on Infonox platform, which include major merchant acquirers, financial service aggregators and banks, will have the instant ability to offer their branded transaction services on cell phones. The initial multi-application set includes mobile/cellular phone versions of transactional services like bill payment, money transfer (cross border), and POS payments at merchant locations. The mobile applications will be based on industry standards like J2ME, BREW, Windows Mobile and will run over SMS, GPRS and CDMA based protocols. The applications have been developed to be compatible with major phone models offered by US providers and include BlackBerry, Treo, Motorola, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, LG and Windows Mobile based cellular devices. Infonox operates scalable infrastructure to deploy, aggregate and manage transaction services. PayMate is a wireless transactions platform provider which enables customers to pay conveniently and securely using their mobile phones.

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Desjardins & GE Money Team For Merchant Processing

Desjardins Group has announced its agreement with GE Money to serve
merchants with integrated VISA and MasterCard solutions. This service
includes benefits to the merchants such as same-day deposits, single account statement for their services, debit card and point-of-sale terminal transactions, faster processing of merchant enrollment applications and one-stop customer service. Desjardins is a payment solutions provider with assets of more than $135 billion that offer point-of-sale transactions to 55,000 merchants throughout Canada. GE Money offers credit services in 50 countries around the world and has over $163 billion in assets.

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Alliance Data Systems’ Q1 Revenue Up 15%

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems posted record first quarter revenue of $549.2 million, a 15% increase over the year-ago quarter. Net income rose 1% to $56.9 million driven by strong performance in its Marketing Services unit. Transaction Services revenue increased 1% in the quarter to $194.3 million, compared to the prior year. Credit Services revenue increased 8% in the first quarter to $215.3 million, compared to 1Q/06. Marketing Services revenue increased 32% in the quarter to $232.5 million compared to the year-ago period. During the first quarter, ADS signed a new agreement with The Sportsman’s Guide, an Internet and catalog retailer offering name-brand, outdoor gear and general merchandise. The Company also signed an expanded multi-year contract renewal with top-five client Redcats USA, one of the largest multi-channel retailers in North America, adding co-brand credit card services to its existing private label program. Additionally, the Company raised its guidance for 2007 cash earnings per share to at least $3.60 per share versus previous guidance of $3.55 per share. For complete details on ADS’ first quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ADS REVENUE HISTORICAL
1Q/06: $477.2 million
2Q/06: $490.5 million
3Q/06: $506.6 million
4Q/06: $524.5 million
1Q/07: $549.2 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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NCO Group Fourth Quarter Revenues Sink 3%

PA-based NCO Group reported a net loss of $17.5 million for the fourth quarter related to the Company’s going-private transaction. Overall revenue in the fourth quarter was $280.6 million, a decrease of 3.4%, or $9.7 million, from revenue of $290.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. For the fourth quarter, ARM’s revenue was $200.6 million as compared to $216.8 million for 4Q/05. Portfolio Management’s revenue was $33.9 million compared to $48.8 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. During the fourth quarter, the ARM division recorded approximately $13.9 million in revenues. On November 15th NCO was acquired by and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Collect Holdings. For complete details on NCO’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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IBA Ponders the Launch of a New Card Network

Considering that card payments are estimated to triple over the next five years, banks in India have considered the establishment of a global
payment network to rival that of VISA and Mastercard, either of whom
charge an interchange fee for every single EFT/POS transaction that
occurs in the country. These interchange fees amounted to $50 million
during 2005 and 2006. In response, the Indian Banks’ Association is
planning to design a gateway called ‘India Pay’. This network will be
designed to save money and to adapt to different infrastructures,
allowing connection and interaction with networks such as China
UnionPay when necessary.

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