Bankruptcy Filings Pick Up Steam in Q3

Bankruptcy filings continue to pick up steam as the number of filings in the third quarter rose 12% over the second quarter and soared 55% over the first quarter. However, year-on-year the number of filings has fallen to 160,198 for the third quarter, compared with 542,002 for 3Q/05. Lundquist Consulting reports that on an annualized basis, 1 in every 170 households filed bankruptcy in the third quarter of 2006 as opposed to 1 in every 53 households in the third quarter of 2005. Third quarter Chapter 7 consumer filings, are 77% lower than Chapter 7 filings in the third quarter of last year. Third quarter Chapter 13 consumer filings are 36% lower than Chapter 13 filings in the third quarter of 2005. The number of Chapter 13 filings in the third quarter 42.5% of total filings as opposed to historic rates prior to the enactment of the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act” of 29%. Lundquist says the largest volume of third quarter filings occurred in Georgia, followed by California and Ohio.

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HP Adopts PayPal for Online Payments

HP is now offering PayPal as a payment option at the HP Home & Home Office Store. The most comprehensive selection of HP technology products and supplies will now be available to PayPal’s more than 122 million accounts. PayPal customers can customize desktop and notebook PCs based on their personal preferences and select from HP’s new line of high-definition products, including a 17-inch widescreen diagonal HD-DVD notebook and an HD-DVD Media Center TV PC. PayPal enables any individual or business with an email address to send and receive payments online securely and easily using a bank account, credit card or stored balance. HP is a technology solutions provider to consumers, businesses and institutions globally.

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Coinstar Introduces Direct Coin Deposit

WA-based Coinstar has launched a new service that will enable bank and credit union customers to electronically transfer coins into personal accounts. The new Coinstar “Direct Coin Deposit” service is expected to be available to banks and credit unions in the first half of next year. Customers simply pour their loose change into the Coinstar kiosk, swipe their bank-issued debit card, and enter their PIN number to have the value of the change deposited into their account. A voucher will be dispensed verifying the amount of the transaction. The process is completely self-service and no teller interaction is required. Banks and credit unions offering the service will determine if a fee will be charged to the customer for the transaction. The new service incorporates Coinstar’s new “Madison” coin-counting kiosk specifically designed for retail financial institution branches.

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Affinion Launches Next Gen ID Theft Fighter

CT-based Affinion Group has launched a new tool to fight ID theft. The new “ID Secure” solution combines personal information monitoring, public records management control and ID scoring technology from MyPublicInfo with credit card monitoring from CardCops, and SSN and synthetic ID monitoring from Edentify. “ID Secure” delivers a comprehensive report of consumersâ™ public records, so they can detect potential public record manipulation as well as proactive personal data, social security number and credit card monitoring. It also includes ID theft resolution & insurance plus ID scoring, education & awareness. Affinion Group was the first to develop a membership credit monitoring product in 1992, and has about 4,500 marketing partners and customers across multiple industries.

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EURONET 3Q/06

KS-based Euronet Worldwide’s reported that for the first time that
the number of “Prepaid Processing” transactions processed exceeded the
number of its EFT transactions. The Company posted third quarter
revenues of $161.7 million, an 18% increase over 3Q/05. Net income also
rose 17% to $10.4 million, compared to the third quarter 2005. “EFT
Processing” posted revenues of $33.2 million, compared to $26.3 million
for 3Q/05. Transactions processed were 119.1 million, compared to 94.4
million transactions in the same period last year. The EFT Segment
completed the quarter with 8,419 ATMs owned or operated. “Prepaid
Processing” reported revenues of $121.2 million, compared to $107.7
million for the third quarter of last year. Transactions processed were
121.9 million, compared to 94.6 million transactions in the third
quarter 2005. The “Software Solutions” segment produced revenues of $7.3
million for the quarter. Combining all segments, transactions processed
in the third quarter 2006 were 241.0 million compared to 189.0 million
processed in the third quarter of 2005. For complete details on
Euronet’s latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Arriva Casino Card Adds Instant Credit

Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access reports that its new “Arriva Card,” the first credit card specifically for use in casinos, now offers instant underwriting of credit up to $20,000. The customer has immediate access to the full credit line at the casino. Arriva cards give responsible gaming patrons with strong credit and in-casino cash advance histories more access to cash – and at better terms – than they’d typically have with traditional credit cards. Global Cash Access, Inc. (GCA), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Global Cash Access Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: GCA), is a leading provider of cash access products and related services to approximately 1060 gaming properties and other clients in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada and the Caribbean.

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New Haven Loves the Parcxmart Card

Parcxmart Technologies says its card deployment in New Haven, CT’s 2,500 parking meters showed its transactions represented a 10% market share of the total value collected. The “Parcxmart Card” is a fully functional parking and local merchant smart card payment system. There are about 50 New Haven merchants currently participating, with 75 to join by year’s Parcxmart says it expects to penetrate 50% of the payment volume in New Haven by the end of first quarter. Because of the new smart card solution the City of New Haven raised its rates for the first time in twenty years from 75 cents an hour to $1.25.

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TNS to Power FASTLANE’s U.S. VPN

VA-based Transaction Network Services has signed a deal to provide network services for FASTLANE’s U.S. “Virtual Payment Network”. FASTLANE benefits both consumers and merchants by offering consumers convenience and merchants a secure and enhanced point of sale product offering. With a single swipe of a driver’s license or state issued ID card, the consumer’s identity is verified and access is gained into FASTLANE’s VPN, offering consumers access to checking account debit services, loyalty and gift card services. Transaction Network Services is one of the leading providers of business-critical, cost-effective data communications services for transaction-oriented applications. The FASTLANE payment network is leveraging a piece of plastic that is in virtually every consumer’s wallet.

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Aloha QuickService POS Enters BK

Atlanta-based Radiant Systems has inked an agreement with Strategic Restaurant Acquisitions to implement “Aloha QuickService POS” running on Radiant hardware in Strategic’s 240 Burger King locations. n addition to Aloha POS software, the Strategic solution includes Radiant P1220 POS terminals with C500 Graphical Customer Displays, Aloha Kitchen Display Systems, Aloha Credit Card Processing and Aloha Central Database Management (CDM). Rdiant Systems, Inc. (www.radiantsystems.com) is a leader in providing innovative technology to the hospitality and retail industries. Strategic Restaurant Acquisitions Corporation is currently the second largest Burger King franchisee.

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Indiana Grocery Chain Goes Pay By Touch

IN-based Scott’s Food & Pharmacy has launched the Pay By Touch biometric payment solutions. The Pay By Touch system uses a secure finger scan to debit a shopper’s checking account just like using a check or debit card. Finger scans are more secure than paper checks or debit cards because the account numbers are not exposed to anyone — not even to the store associate. Pay By Touch ( http://www.paybytouch.com ) is wowing the world one touch at a time as the leader in biometric authentication, personalized marketing and payment solutions. Scott’s Food & Pharmacy is Fort Wayne’s oldest grocery store chain, with 18 full-service stores in northeast Indiana.

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Gemplus’ Third Quarter Revenue Drops 11%

Smart card specialist Gemplus International reported that third quarter sales dropped more than 11% primarily due to strong price pressure in the wireless segment. Third quarter revenues came in at $278 million, compared to $313 million in the prior quarter and $314 million for 3Q/05. Gemplus shipped 20.8 million units of payment microprocessor cards during the quarter, down 6% year-on-year, reflecting maturity of the U.K., France, Turkey markets and delays in EMV roll-outs in Southern Europe and in some emerging countries. Payment microprocessor card revenue was down 17% year-on-year, due to price pressure in mature markets and a greater share of modules in emerging countries. Last month, Gemplus announced that it no longer expects to meet its financial performance outlook for 2006 due market conditions that will remain challenging, and uncertainties in the global economic environment. Gemplus is currently merging with Axalto to create Gemalto. For complete details on Gemplus’ third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 9/13/06)

GEMPLUS NET SALES HISTORICAL
($ Millions)
3Q/05: $313.9
4Q/05: $331.7
1Q/06: $291.5
2Q/06: $313.3
3Q/06: $277.6
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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TransFirst and the Discover Network Partner

Dallas-based TransFirst and Discover Financial Services have teamed to integrate Discover Network card acceptance into TransFirst’s line of services for its financial institutions, independent sales partners and merchant customers. The agreement allows Discover Network to reach TransFirst customers and merchants, who will benefit from the integrated processing solutions made possible by the partnership. TransFirst customers include traditional and non-traditional merchants, healthcare, card-not-present and government or public entities-all of which will have Discover Network card acceptance integrated into TransFirst’s customized and flexible credit card processing programs and 24/7 in-house customer support. Discover Financial Services LLC, a business unit of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), operates the Discover Card with more than 50 million Cardmembers, and the Discover Network, with more than 4 million merchant and cash access locations. TransFirst offers a first-rate suite of products and services and customized processing programs uniquely tailored for the special business needs of financial institutions, independent sales organizations and agents and its referral and reseller partners.

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