Aliaswire Introduces PayVox Bill Pay

MA-based Aliaswire has introduced “PayVox”, a voice activated bill payment solution that allows users to pay bills over the phone or the web. “PayVox” users can provide bill payment instructions via user-defined commands as simple as “Pay utilities”, “Pay phone bill” or “Pay Comcast” using state-of-the-art voice recognition capabilities. Its multi-access platform is fully integrated with web and text messaging interfaces enabling bill payment from anywhere at anytime. The system has both English and Spanish voice recognition capabilities. Aliaswire offers card processors, financial institutions and wireless carriers a scalable platform that enables web, telephone and handheld devices the ability to initiate and complete payment transactions.

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SmartCentric to Power Etopup for PostPoint

AN Post, the Irish Postal Service, has chosen SmartCentric to produce
applications for “PostPoint”. “PostPoint” is the retail service network
of the Postal Service that allows customers to pay bills at retail
outlets and through “Etop-up” phone & Internet service. The applications
are being redeveloped to take advantage of advances in terminal and
security technologies. The redevelopment will be complete later this year.

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VISA USA’s Prepaid Network Expands Rapidly

VISA USA has landed 20 participants for its two-month old prepaid load network. VISA “ReadyLink” now has six bank issuers involved including: BankFirst, U.S. Bank, Bank of America, MetaBank, National City Bank and West Suburban Bank. Partners in the process of adopting the service include ADP Employer Services, FSV Payment Systems, Money Network, PreCash and Skylight Financial. “ReadyLink” processors include: Galileo, Metavante, Alliance Data and eFunds Prepaid Solutions. Acquiring financial institutions include Fifth Third and Fiserv. In December VISA announced an agreement with Blackhawk Network’s alliance partner stores, making Safeway the first in Blackhawk Network’s alliance of 60,000 stores in North America to implement “VISA ReadyLink.” The new prepaid network is currently being implemented at more than 1,550 retail locations nationwide, including participating Safeway, Carrs, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Pak ‘n Save, Pavilions, Randalls, Vons and Tom Thumb stores. The new “VISANet” service enables consumers, particularly unbanked consumers, to easily add funds to eligible VISA reloadable prepaid cards. (CF Library 12/4/06)

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Sig Debit Volume Tops $1 Trillion in 2006

Growth in off-line debit card volume in the U.S. continued to rebound in 2006, increasing 23% to more than $1 trillion. A new study has also found that issuers nationwide lost a total of $662 million to debit card fraud in 2005, a 21% increase over 2004. Of these losses, 60% resulted from ATM transactions, 37% from signature debit transactions and 3% from PIN POS transactions. Signature-based losses grew 28% in 2005, while PIN-based losses rose 17%. The study, commissioned by PULSE EFT Association by Dove Consulting, also found that debit card activation rates averaged 56% in 2006 for issuers that define “active” cards as those that have made one signature-based transaction in the last 30 days. On average, active cardholders performed 16.1 transactions per month — 10.6 signature-based and 5.5 PIN-based. More participating institutions offered debit card rewards in 2006 (37% compared to 33% in 2005). Of those participants that offer debit rewards, 37% reward cardholders for both PIN and signature transactions, compared to 29% in 2005. Survey participants expect to grow their debit card programs by an average 17% during 2007, representing 18% growth in PIN debit volume and 16% in signature debit.

VISA & MASTERCARD SIG DEBIT HISTORICAL
Year Volume Y/Y
2000: $ 301.8b +37.9%
2001: $ 420.7b +39.4%
2002: $ 496.4b +18.0%
2003: $ 576.6b +16.2%
2004: $ 686.0b +19.0%
2005: $ 823.5b +20.0%
2006: $1010.8b +22.8%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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U.S. Bank’s Elan PayCard Pilot Takes Shape

U.S. Bank’s Elan Financial Services has partnered with Sapphire Mobile Systems to conduct a mobile banking and payments pilot. Elan has integrated with the “Phire Mobile Debit Network” to provide customers with access to their “PayCard” accounts via any mobile handset. This initial pilot allows “Elan PayCard” customers to conduct balance inquiries, make person-to-person payments and card transfers from the convenience of their mobile phone. These transactions are referred to as “Phire Transactions” and act together as a mobile debit network to perform monetary transactions in real time. The pilot will be available to select “Elan PayCard” customers beginning this month.

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VASCO To Establish Headquarters In Zurich

VASCO Data Security has announced it will establish European
headquarters in Zurich. The company has found Switzerland
to offer a good market for their products and is centrally positioned in
Europe. For the new headquarters, the company will hire a number of
senior executives to oversee VASCO’s activity in all markets except for
North, Central and South America. Furthermore, VASCO does not expect the
opening of the office to have an impact on personnel currently located
in Brussels Belgium.

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Merchant Bill of Rights Picks Up Traction

Forty-six state associations now support “The Merchant Bill of Rights,” the five-month old initiative to help owners of small and mid-sized businesses manage the cost and complexity of credit and debit card acceptance. The initiative promotes fairness and transparency in credit and debit card processing and has 13 association supporters. NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems, the founding supporter of the initiative, says the associations, as well as business owners, all see the value in fair and equitable processing practices — and the significant impact controlling related costs can have on every organization’s bottom line.

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Edgar Dunn Names a New Atlanta Director

Edgar, Dunn & Company has appointed Hugh Gallagher as Director in its Atlanta office. Prior to joining EDC, Gallagher held senior management positions with eFunds Corporation and First Annapolis Consulting and also worked in the International Division of NBD Bank. He is a frequent author and speaker for various financial services industry publications and forums, including BAI Combating Payments & Check Fraud, ETA Strategic Leadership & Networking Forum and Merchant Risk Council Annual Conference. Gallagher holds an MBA in Finance and Statistics from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Edgar, Dunn & Company is an independent global financial services and payments consultancy.

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Card Express International Launches

Card Express is spinning off its technology and processing functions under a new name, Card Express International, reflecting the company’s focus on global transaction processing for financial institutions, independent sales organizations (ISOs) and other resellers. CardEx’s processing platform supports prepaid card ordering, fulfillment, tracking, transaction processing, reporting, risk management and customer service functions. Card Express and the remaining services, including the corporate direct sales of prepaid products, are now regrouped under Prepaid Direct. Card Express International is a global processor of prepaid debit card products and services utilizing the VISA and MasterCard platforms.

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Zebra Mobile Printers Meet PCI Standards

IL-based Zebra Technologies has announced that its mobile printers satisfy the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard Version 1.1 for wireless payment card processing. One of the biggest changes in Version 1.1, which was released in fall 2006, is required support for WPA or WPA2 wireless security standards. WPA and WPA2 security is supported throughout Zebra’s wireless product line, including the QL Plus, RW and MZ series of mobile printers, which are used by retailers worldwide for portable point-of-sale (POS), line-busting and many other customer service, pricing and shelf management applications. Merchants who accept cards issued by PCI members must comply with PCI Data Security Standards. Zebra Technologies Corporation is a provider of printing solutions for business improvement and security applications in 100 countries around the world.

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66% Use an ATM Not Owned by Their Bank

A recent survey of 403 Canadians reflected that two-thirds of consumers
use ATMs not owned by their bank at least once a month. If consumers
were given the option of paying an ATM fee or having less ATMs at their
disposal, 50% of those polled would choose the ATM fees and are not
interested in trading fees for convenience. Furthermore, according to the study conducted by Advanis, more than 25% of those polled use a competitive or out-of-network ATM three or more times a month.

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