GlobalSTORE v3.1.1 Validated for VISA PABP

Fujitsu Transaction Solutions’ “GlobalSTORE version 3.1.1” POS software was validated by a security assessor to meet the VISA U.S.A. “Payment Application Best Practices.” VISA’s set of best practices includes principles that protect stored data; suggest the development of secure password features; and elimination of full magnetic stripe or CVV2 data retention.

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60% Favor Biometrics for Bank-Issued Cards

A new study has found that 64% of Americans support adding biometric data to credit cards while 62% support it for debit cards. However, only 27% want that information on a retail store loyalty card. TRUSTe says this correlates with other findings in the survey which showed 76% of respondents trusted banks and financial institutions “always” or “most of the time” as compared to 41% of respondents trusting retail stores “always” or “most of the time.” The survey also revealed that consumers don’t trust systems that use biometric identification as a payment method. Less than two percent of respondents have used a fingerprint payment system and 32% say that they “do not trust retail stores with this information.” Only 23% of respondents expressed a desire to use this kind of payment system. TRUSTe says 73% of Americans support the addition of biometric information to driver’s licenses and nearly as many support adding it to Social Security cards.

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Fee Income Plateaus After 10 Up Years

Growth in issuer revenues derived from cardholder fees and interchange fees have finally plateaued after a decade. Excluding fees from securitizations, card fees for the past two years comprise 38% of the total revenue stream. Ten years ago, fee income represented 16.1% of total revenue, during a period when annual fees were fairly common. The significant rise in late payment fees, over-limit fees, and cash advance fees, coupled with new fees such as balance transfer fees, foreign currency exchange surcharges, and expedited payment fees have driven the overall increase. Since 1994, average late payment fees increased from $12.52 to $35.05. Average over-limit fees increased from $12.74 to $34.55 between 1994 and 2006. Total industry revenues last year topped $145 billion with more than $55 billion flowing from cardholder and merchant fees.

FEE INCOME AS A PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL REVENUE
1994: 17.3%
1995: 16.4%
1996: 16.1%
1997: 21.8%
1998: 24.5%
1999: 26.2%
2000: 27.9%
2001: 29.3%
2002: 32.8%
2003: 33.4%
2004: 37.3%
2005: 38.0%
2006: 38.0%

Note: Fee income includes merchant and cardholders fees but does not include fees from securitization. Ratio is calculated by dividing credit card fee income for the industry by the sum of the credit card interest income for the industry and the total credit card fee income. Source: CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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ARM M&A Deal Value Hits Another Record

Merger and acquisition activity in the Accounts Receivable Management industry set a new deal value record for the third consecutive year in 2006. Kaulkin Ginsberg says deal value was $3.1 billion last year. The record was mostly driven by two major transactions in the fourth quarter. Key private equity transactions included the management-led buyout of NCO Group for $1.26 billion; and the recapitalization of West Corporation $4.1 billion. Kaulkin Ginsberg estimates the ARM-related deal value of these two transactions amounted to $1.625 billion. Kaulkin Ginsberg expects activity to remain high in 2007, but the key drivers of activity will shift from platform investments to strategic acquisitions. There are apparently several large deals pending that may close this quarter.

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VISA MOBILE

VISA has launched a broad initiative to bring mobile payments to consumers worldwide. The new platform includes technology tools, applications, security standards, and business models to bring together
VISA issuers and mobile operators for market trials to drive
product development and commercialization of mobile payment services.
The initial version of the platform offers solutions for contactless mobile payment, OTA personalization, coupons and direct marketing.
Recent VISA-led market activities leveraging NFC technology include the industry’s first large-scale mobile payment trial at Philips Arena in Atlanta last year. Partners included Atlanta Spirit, Chase, Cingular, Nokia, NXP Semiconductors, and ViVOtech. In Malaysia VISA partnered with Maybank, Maxis Communications, Nokia and ViVOtech to pilot a mobile payment program. Other partners VISA has worked with for the new mobile platform include: CASSIS International, Ecrio, Giesecke & Devrient, Venyon, IBM, VeriSign, INSIDE Contactless, and mFormation Technologies.

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ePayments Acquires Automated Check Recovery

ePayments has acquired AL-based Automated Check Recovery, which serves regional clients including school districts in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Under terms of the acquisition, Automated Check Recovery managing partner Sean Ros joins the ePayments organization. Ros will serve as National Sales Manager of Educational Financial Services. The division specializes in helping schools of all sizes – and the many organizations and activities associated with education – process and collect check payments.

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TNB Card Services Saves a VA CU Card Program

VA-based Freedom First FCU reports it changed processors to TNB Card Services and launched an overhaul of its card program that has paid off in 9.5% growth in outstanding balances and a 15% increase in credit lines over the pre-conversion portfolio average. Freedom First FCU also uses TNB for its card activation program, card reissuing, and other administrative functions. Freedom First FCU has more than $190 million in assets and 36,000 members.

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Tampa Electric Offers Metavante Card Options

Tampa Electric has expanded its Metavante relationship to include the “Just Pay It Convenience” solution, which offers credit and debit card payment options to Tampa Electric’s nearly 650,000 customers. The Just Pay It Convenience solution through Tampa Electric features one-time, expedited payments with same-day posting capability. In addition to credit and debit cards, Tampa Electric customers can initiate expedited payments with their checking account and make phone payments with optional bilingual support.

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BofA Banks & ATMs Located via GPS Systems

Bank of America has teamed up with Tele Atlas to make BofA ATM and branch locations available via digital maps and navigation/location solutions. Tele Atlas Brand Icons enhance Tele Atlas-powered navigation systems by visually representing the points of interest (POIs) of participating businesses as instantly recognizable logos to help mobile consumers to accurately identify specific brands of interest. Through the program, these branded icons are available for digital map application developers to incorporate into personal and in-car navigation systems and mobile, wireless and Internet map applications.

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