THE GAME OF LIFE Literally Takes VISA

VISA and game maker Hasbro have signed a deal to add VISA cards to the latest version of “THE GAME OF LIFE.” Players of the new edition, due to be released in August, will receive a VISA card at the start of the game and will use an electronic banking unit to store each players’ financial data as well as their status in the game. The new electronic “LIFEPod” will replace the spin wheel from the classic game. In addition to including VISA cards, the new “Twists & Turns Edition” will allow players to choose four different non-linear paths while pursuing their life goals including an adventure track, family track, college track, and career track. Also, the new edition will feature elements of VISA’s “Practical Money Skills for Life” financial literacy program. Hasbro noted that the winner is no longer the person who accumulates the most money, but rather earns the most “life points,” which is a combination of wealth and life experiences. “THE GAME OF LIFE” was first launched in 1960 and is now produced in 20 languages.

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TSYS Appoints Director For Central and E. Europe

A new director of business development for Central and Eastern Europe
has been appointed for TSYS Europe. Ralf Mueller, a 14 year veteran of
the payment cards industry, was appointed to the position after being in
charge of sales of POS terminals at another company. Mueller, a Munich
native, is fundamental to the company’s strategic priority of European
expansion. He also has an extensive education background in economics
and mechanical engineering, attended Visa Bankcard Business School in
1993, and completed Kaufhof management training in 1999.

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Check Images Sets a New High in February

SVPCO-Electronic Clearing Services said that total number of check images transmitted in February set a new record and increased more than 600% compared to a year ago. In February, the Image Payments Network, reported the following highlights and volume that includes 143.4 million in total monthly items, a 638% increase compared to a year ago and $281.1 billion in total monthly dollar value an increase of 278% compared to a year ago; 7.5 million in daily average items, an increase of 12.25% over January 2007 and The Federal Reserve’s volume increased 11.76% to 24.1 million images. In February 2006, daily average items were 1.0 million, total monthly items were 19.4 million and monthly dollar volume was $74.4 billion. The Image Payments Network offers financial institutions a variety of connectivity options. The Clearing House Payments Company is a private-sector, global payment systems infrastructure that clears and settles 40 million payments for more than $1.6 trillion per day.

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NCR Hires a New Communications Exec

NCR Corporation has appointed Janet Brewer as vice president of corporate communications for the company. Brewer led the corporate communications team at LexisNexis and founded and led J. Brewer Communications, a strategic marketing and communications business, prior to joining NCR as director of community relations. Brewer previously served as director of community and public relations, at The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, a provider of automotive retailing technology solutions and held marketing and public information positions at Monarch Marking (now Paxar) and Mosier Industries.

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Mall Networks Inks Three Organizations

MA-based Mall Networks has created partnerships with the Massachusetts Organization of Realtors, the Massachusetts Dental Society and the Arizona Association of Realtors to offer each of their members a single shopping destination with exclusive promotions and discounts. Members can earn points that are redeemable for cash rebates each time they shop at leading merchants including Staples.com, Apple Store, Barnes & Noble.com, Brooks Brothers, circuitcity.com, Toys R’ us, Eastern Mountain Sports.com, eToys.com, Expedia.com, Lands’ End TM, Macys.com, Orbitz.com and many others. These partnerships are the result of a collaborative effort between Mall Networks and Affinity Marketing Group, a provider of affinity marketing and customer loyalty programs for financial institutions, insurance companies and internet-based marketing organizations. Mall Networks offers custom online malls for card issuers, loyalty programs, clubs, professional organizations and non-profit organizations.

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ShopRite Adds AmEx ExpressPay Option

Grocery chain Shoprite is now accepting “ExpressPay” from American Express at over 200 of its locations in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware, making it the largest deployment of ExpressPay in the supermarket category to date. “ExpressPay” is a contactless payment option that consists of a secure computer chip powered by radio frequency technology. Most purchases under $25 will not require the customer to sign the receipt. In addition, ShopRite will continue to accept traditional magnetic-stripe payment cards. American Express was the first issuer to launch contactless cards nationally with the rollout of “Blue” from American Express with the ExpressPay feature in June 2005. ShopRite supermarkets are members of Wakefern Food Corporation, a retailer-owned cooperative.

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iPayment Revenues Up 4.5% in 2006

iPayment, Inc. announced financial results for the fourth quarter and twelve months ended December 31, 2006. Revenues increased to $186,966,000 for the fourth quarter of 2006 from $183,035,000 for the fourth quarter of 2005. Revenues, net of interchange, were $79,286,000 for the fourth quarter of 2006 compared with $78,917,000 for the fourth quarter of 2005. Net loss was $285,000 for the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to net income of $10,657,000 for the same period last year. The Company today has filed its Form 10-K for the twelve months ended December 31, 2006, with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

iPayment, Inc. is a provider of credit and debit card-based payment processing services to over 140,000 small merchants across the United States. iPayment’s payment processing services enable merchants to process both traditional card-present, or “swipe,” transactions, as well as card-not-present transactions, including transactions over the internet or by mail, fax or telephone.

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Payment Data Systems Sets a New Record

Payment Data Systems announced the company’s operating performance in February 2007. On an unaudited basis, Payment Data’s credit card processing dollar-volume increased 121% in February from the comparable month one-year ago, while the corresponding transaction volume grew 78%, continuing a month-to-month growth trend in 2007. Payment Data Systems is an integrated payment solutions provider to merchants and billers.

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Take Home Pay Rises by 5%

The Voca take-home pay index reflects growth in take home pay by
4.2% in the month of February. This growth is the result of upward
pressure on private sector salaries as employees counteract the effects
of high inflation to current wages. Employees have been using pay
negotiations to reverse the downward trend seen in previous months to
increase the spending power of the average manufacturing salary. The
Voca take home pay index uses samples of 350 FTSE companies, using data
captured by Voca. Voca is a provider of payment services and is
responsible for the UK’s automated payment technology. The company has
processed 60 billion transactions in the last 38 years.

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AmEx Unveils an Integrated EIPP Solution

American Express unveiled the first fully integrated “Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment” solution. With “S2S eInvoice&Pay,” companies can now process 100% of their invoices and issue payments to their suppliers from a single online portal managed by American Express. Nestle USA, a longstanding AmEx commercial card client, will begin implementing the solution in its supply chain next month. Features of the new solution include: electronic capture of 100% of invoices; straight-through electronic processing from PO to payment for users of electronic procurement and the AmEx “Corporate Purchasing Card”; a large and fast-growing e-invoice enabled supplier networks, plus a dedicated enrollment team to provide service and support; reduced invoice exceptions and faster pay via automated review and dispute resolution; multiple payment options (including the AmEX “Corporate Purchasing Card” and ACH); and compatibility with all ERP systems, plus advanced SAP connectivity. AmEx noted it will unveil other products in the “S2S” product suite in coming months, addressing the areas of sourcing and ordering.

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Wincor Nixdorf Announces Asian Expansion

As a part of the company’s worldwide software-development network,
Wincor Nixdorf has announced the company will be opening an enlarged
production facility and software competence center near Shanghai, China.
These expanding production capacities reflect success in the Chinese
market and Wincor’s future expectations. The new facility will be 15,000
square meters in size and will produce banking and retail products
enhancing capacities for integrating and adapting international software
in Asia. 400 people are now employed at Wincor Nixdorf China, and
approximately 1,500 of the company’s 8,000 employees are based in Asia.

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