Netrust To Offer Sellers New Payment Service

Netrust, of Yahoo Japan, has announced the availability of new payment
services for sellers on Yahoo’s shopping site. For no additional fees,
sellers can
use Suica-Net Service if they already use a card payment service.
Convenience
Store Payment Service and Pay-Easy Payment Service, however, require a
monthly fee of 2000 yen monthly for service and charge an additional 150
yen
per transaction. These 3 new services can be managed and monitored in
real-time.

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Cardtronics Fourth Quarter Revenues Climb 7%

Houston-based Cardtronics posted fourth quarter revenues of $74.8 million, a 7.2% increase over 4Q/05. Net income for the quarter was $2.4 million, compared to a net loss of $1.6 million for the same period in 2005. The fourth quarter included the recognition of $4.8 million in other income primarily related to settlement proceeds received from Winn-Dixie Stores, as part of Winn-Dixie’s successful emergence from bankruptcy. Average transacting ATMs for the fourth quarter totaled 25,417, which represents a decrease of 3.7% when compared to the same period in 2005. Cash withdrawal transactions increased 1.9% to 31.3 million during the quarter. Average cash withdrawal transactions per ATM per month during the fourth quarter of 2006 increased 5.9% to 411 from 4Q/05. This increase was primarily due to increased activity in the Company’s U.K. operations, which have higher average transaction volumes than the Company’s domestic operations. Average revenues per ATM per month in the fourth quarter increased 10.4% to $937 from the year ago quarter. For complete details on CardTronics’ latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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TARJETA NARANJA & AMEX

Tarjeta Naranja and American Express have teamed to introduce the “Tarjeta Naranja American Express Card.” The new card will be issued in pesos and U.S. dollar denominations by Tarjeta Naranja. The card will be available as a standard card as well as a “Gold” card. In 1995, Banco Galicia bought an interest in Tarjeta Naranja also known as “The Orange Card.” Today Tarjeta Naranja is a clear leader in the country’s credit card market. There are over 2.8 million cards in use that generate over 35.5 million transactions a year at 100,000 establishments. American Express has now established nearly 110 card-issuing partnership arrangements in 120 markets; in Latin America, American Express has 28 alliances in 21 markets.

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FDC/KKR Deal to Enable Systems Consolidation

Analysts believe that the proposed acquisition of First Data by KKR for $29 billion is surprising in its size, but not in its logic. NY-based TowerGroup says the largest questions gather around the U.S. issuer-side processing business and FDC’s extensive global network of acquisitions, joint ventures and alliances. Only time will tell how the latter are dealt with, governed or sold. The former, once the company’s crown jewel and now shrinking, could provide more than one network, bank or other payment processor with a commanding position among tier two credit card issuers. Boston-based Celent says FDC has been a prime acquisition target for sometime, particularly for large private equity firms attracted to its low growth, yet steady annuity stream. Over the past two years, First Data has been in the unenviable position of releasing its most profitable operation, Western Union, in a spin-off, contending with slowing domestic transaction growth as large card issuers take their operations in house and navigating the global payments landscape without a CEO successor. Under the FDC/KKR deal, First Data has 50 days to shop for a better deal.

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Svobodnaya Kassa Signs a Major Ingenico Deal

Ingenico has signed agreements with Svobodnaya Kassa for 17,000
electronic payment terminals allowing customers to reload cell phones
online. Ingenico’s presence in Russia over the past 11 years has seen a
growing population driving demand for this market, currently offering only 1
terminal for every 1,000 citizens. In contrast, Western countries, on
average,
have 1 terminal for every 75 citizens. Svobodnaya Kassa processes
payments for 112 operators today and plans to implement this solution using
Ingenico “i7910 terminals” over the next year, into the beginning of 2008.

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SmartPay and China Unicom Introduce Agent Toll Stations

SmartPay and China Unicom have announced a partnership for the
implementation
of electronic payment services including SMS, web, IVR based top-up
services
and “Agent Toll Stations”, in a trial phase since June of 2005. These
“Toll Stations”,
using SmartPay’s mobile technology, will consist of a network of retail
and recharging
sales points. This will allow agents to add money to any Unicom user’s
mobile phone
using SmartPay’s technology and bank relationships. SmartPay provides a
variety of
mobile payment services throughout China.

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Discover Renames Platinum & Gas Credit Cards

Discover has renamed two of its most popular credit cards. The “Discover Platinum Card” is now the “Discover More Card” and and the “Discover Gas Card” is now the “Discover Open Road Card.” The redesigned cards offer different rewards accelerators. The “Discover More Card” offers the “Cashback Bonus” program plus the “5% Cashback Bonus Get More” program, which allows cardholders to earn more rewards in popular categories that change four times a year like gas, travel, home, apparel, restaurants, movies and more. The “Discover Open Road Card” carries the same core benefits plus cardholders receive a full “5% Cashback Bonus” on their first $1,200 in annual gas and auto maintenance purchases and up to 1% unlimited “Cashback Bonus” on all other purchases. Both cards remain annual fee free.

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Commission Drops Action Against HSBC

The Commerce Commission, composed of seven retailers, has dropped
allegations against HSBC for price fixing and credit card interchange fees.
These are fees charged by credit card companies to retailers as part of
the fees
they pay to banks that result in higher retail prices. Proceedings
against the
bank were initiated in November, however the Commission recently agreed
with the banks’ claim that it had limited involvement and released the
institution
of the allegations, seeking no financial penalty. The seven retailers
that make
the Commission include Foodstuffs and Progressive Enterprises plus Dick
Smith Electronics, Farmers, Noel Leeming, Whitcoulls and Mississippi.
The Commerce Act provides for penalties for price-fixing of up to $NZ10
million ($A8.89 million) per breach, three times the commercial gain
resulting from the breach, or 10 per cent of a company’s turnover.

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Prepaid FSA Cards Produce High Satisfaction

A recent survey commissioned by the Network Branded Prepaid Card Association found that 81% of consumers with prepaid health care cards were far more satisfied with being able to pay for eligible health care expenses from their flexible spending account (FSA). An FSA is an IRS-approved employee benefit provided by an employer. It allows employees to set aside part of their pre-tax wages to pay for eligible medical expenses not covered by insurance such as co-payments, eyeglasses and dental care. Prepaid health care cards carry a major brand logo (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or VISA). The funds are automatically deducted from the FSA and paid to the health care provider or store. The NBPCA is a non-profit, inter-industry trade association created in 2005 to advance the success of network branded prepaid cards.

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Innova Card Announces EMV Level 1 Approval

Innova Card’s USIP platform solution has been given EMV Level 1
type approval by T-Systems. T-Systems has given the solution a rating
certifying it to meet the requirements needed to comply with PCI PED
security standards. In doing so, Innova offers debugging and support
services to
customers who seek easy design and are concerned with quickly
receiving the EMV Level 1 Type Approval of their terminals. The company
also offers software development tools, security, and professional
services for PCI
PED and EMV certifications.

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BofA Warms Up to Promote Extra Bases Cards

Bank of America is launching its first full season of the “MLB Extra Bases” credit card program. Under the program, cardholders can redeem rewards points for tickets to regular season games as well as Major League Baseball “Jewel Events” including the “2007 All-Star Game” and 2007 post-season games, VIP all-access tours of select ballparks or a spectrum of unique rewards that only MLB and its 30 Clubs can deliver, many of which are exclusive to this program. Cardholders can choose a card design bearing the Major League Baseball silhouetted batter or the logo of their favorite Club. Each time they use their card, fans earn one point for every net retail dollar spent. BofA has national sponsorship agreements with the Major League Baseball, Minor League Baseball, Little League Baseball and Softball and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. The “MLB Extra Bases MasterCard” was launched in conjunction with the “2006 All-Star Week” in Pittsburgh last summer. (CF Library 7/10/06)

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