Study Shows Mass Consumer Ignorance To ATM Fees

USwitch.com has released findings on their study regarding the consumer
and ATM fees. Findings show that nearly 1 million Britons are unaware
their credit cards are charged upon cash withdrawals. Furthermore, 80%
of those polled are unclear on ATM charges on credit cards overseas.
Cash rates have increased since May of 2005 from 20.8% APR to 27.06%
APR. Experts say that credit card providers are now charging up to
31.23% on cash withdrawals.

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Hypercom P4100 PIN Pad is PCI PED Approved

Hypercom’s new “P4100 PIN Pad”, the first PIN entry device that includes a choice of contactless, EMV smart card or magnetic stripe payments, a touchscreen display, and multiple vendor protocol support enabling integration with Hypercom and other card payment terminals as well as leading cash register systems, has been “PCI PED” approved. Hypercom is also offering a WiFi option for use with wireless and IP-enabled payment terminals.

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Amtrak Deploys ExaDigm XD2000 Nationwide

Amtrak is deploying ExaDigm’s wireless payment solution on all Amtrak trains offering food and beverage service throughout the U.S. beginning April 1st. Last year Amtrak and Santa Ana, CA-based ExaDigm conducted extensive trials of the solution on passenger trains operating in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. ExaDigm’s “XD2000” features “VISA CISP PABP” validation and 256-bit SSL encryption at the time of card swipe; true modularity delivering the flexibility to easily change wireless connectivity through a simple swap of a modem; and a PC-based architecture and Linux operating system. The “XD2000” also offers item/price lookup for all food and beverage service items, detailed sales report generation and an inventory control feature. Amtrak says it expects full deployment to be completed by April 30th.

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Arthur Blank Unveils the MirrorCard

Boston-based Arthur Blank has unveiled the “MirrorCard.” The company says the high gloss metallized finish is suitable for membership, loyalty, hotel key cards, casino players cards, gift cards and direct mail programs. It can also be used for signs and point of purchase displays. The “MirrorCard” is available in all of Arthur Blank’s standard products. Arthur Blank also recently introduced the “Scratch ‘N’ Sniff Card,” the “AB RecycledCard,” “CornCard USA,” “DualKard;” and the “Dura7 Card.”

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CellTrust WALLET Enables Account Management

AZ-based CellTrust has introduced an automated, secure software and subscription service for cell phones that enables users to manage their bank, credit card accounts, and other personal information in real-time. The new “CellTrust WALLET” also proactively monitors travel information such as flight delays, gate changes, and cancellations and enables the secure purchase of goods and services. Initial participating companies include: Wells Fargo, BofA, Citi, Chase, Discover, US Airways, Delta Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Marriott, Starwood, Avis, and Hertz. The “CellTrust WALLET” is available as a free beta download at the Company’s Web site.

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EverBright Bank Aims To Expand Card Operations

EverBright Bank is planning a major expansion of its credit card operations, according to the Shanghai Daily. The bank has issued
over one million cards and in the next year is looking to add up to
1.5 million more. In an effort to spur further growth, the bank is
promoting credit card products to compete against rivals, including
China’s big four state-owned lenders. For example, the company began
offering the country’s first credit card for baby products, including
promotions and catering to the new-family demographic. Also, they have
signed agreements with bank card system operator, China UnionPay Co, to
establish more cooperating merchants, enhance branding, develop dynamic
products and customer service operations. In doing so, EverBright hopes
to expand by adding up to 20 million new card customers in three to five
years.

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Evolution Lands a FSA Transaction Patent

CT-based Evolution Benefits has received a US Patent for its health benefit card technology system to substantiate transactions. The company’s patent, U.S. Patent 7,174,302 titled “System and Method for Processing Flexible Spending Account Transactions,” refers to the system and method EB developed for real time substantiation of card transactions prior to authorizing payment. This patented process ensures that payment is made only for qualified items and eliminates the need to request documentation from the cardholder. The system is widely used by EB’s clients and permits 100 percent electronic substantiation of transactions like prescription drug claims. Evolution Benefits’ primary product, the Benny Prepaid Benefits Card, applies advanced payment and patented auto-substantiation technologies to FSAs, HRAs and HSAs.

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Keycorp Tops 35MM EMV Smart Card Chips

Sydney-based Keycorp has renewed its global alliance with
MasterCard into 2009 to guarantee competitive module and card prices to
all MasterCard customers. The electronic transactions specialist also reported its has delivered more than 35 million EMV smartcard chips to-date. The Company says it expects sales of its EMV chips to pass the 50 million mark this year. Keycorp solutions range from smartcards and POS transaction systems to managed services. The Company has customers in over 30 countries including: Citibank in the UK, Credit
Mutuel in France, Kookmin Bank in Korea, Banrisul in Brazil, Kreditkort
in Iceland, Banka Koper in Slovenia, Banamex in Mexico, Cosmos Bank and
the award-winning Kaohsiung City Government contactless EMV transit card
in Taiwan.

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H&R Block Cuts Card Fees for Taxpayers

H&R Block has lowered the convenience fee to 1.99% for taxpayers making their payments with MC, VISA or Discover cards. The standard fee is 2.49%. Taxes paid by credit or debit card at H&R Block are processed by LINK2GOV, an IRS-approved payment processor and a Metavante company. The payments are processed immediately and taxpayers are issued a confirmation number upon receipt. The IRS reports that approximately 22 percent of American taxpayers owed the IRS in 2006, and nearly 2 million of them paid with a credit card, a 36 percent increase over 2005. H&R Block is a provider of tax, financial, mortgage, accounting and business consulting services and products and generated revenues of $4.9 billion and net income of $490 million in fiscal year 2006.

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Credit Cards Scramble To Recover Lost Revenue

The Office of Fair Trading’s imposed capping of penalty fees is to said to blame for recent money lost by credit card companies. Moneyfacts.co.uk says as a means to recover this lost revenue, many companies have resorted to “small print tactics” including interest rate hikes, some as high as 10% on cash transactions, to the shortening of interest-free promotional periods. Ironically, because of the fee caps, the OFT may be responsible for generating more high interest credit card debt.

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Pep Boys to Accept Wright Express Cards

Wright Express has expanded its accepting network to include automotive aftermarket retailer Pep Boys. The agreement with Pep Boys continues to increase the services available through the Wright Express Service Network, part of a program that offers fleets an easy way to manage both fuel and service costs using a one-card solution. Pep Boys has 593 stores and over 6,000 service bays in 36 states and Puerto Rico. Wright Express is a leading provider of payment processing and information management services to the U.S. commercial and government vehicle fleet industry.

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