U.S. Banks are Laggards in Fraud Detection

A new report found that at least a third of large U.S. financial institutions won’t have an advanced fraud detection and transaction monitoring solution in place by the end of the year. At least a third won’t have a stronger user authentication solution fully rolled out by the end of 2006, either. The Aite Group study also says that financial institutions will need to better secure the phone channel and ensure that fraud attempts don’t successfully trickle down to their weakest link — their employees. Aite interviewed Bharosa, Corillian, EMC’s RSA Security, Entrust, and Verisign for the report.

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GEMPLUS 3Q/06

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). (CF Library 9/13/06)

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Pay Rent, Build Credit Names a New CEO

MD-based Pay Rent, Build Credit, Inc. has hired Corey Stone, formerly VP/Business Development at CheckFree and EVP of American Payment Systems, as CEO. Corey Stone joined CheckFree in 2004 when it acquired American Payment Systems, which at that point was the country’s largest processor of in-person bill payments for telephone and utility customers. As Executive Vice President, Stone spearheaded APS’ revenue growth through expansion of its retail footprint, introduction of new products, and acquisitions. He previously worked for more than a decade at Easton Consultants serving financial institutions such as Citigroup, MasterCard and Wachovia. PRBC accumulates, scores, and reports bill payment data such as rent, mortgage, auto loans, utilities, phone, insurance and other recurring payments, operating as a credit reporting agency as defined under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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BofA to Launch a Caremark VISA this Quarter

TN-based Caremark Rx and Bank of America have partnered to launch a credit card program offering cardholders incentives for managing their prescription drug costs. The new “Caremark VISA” will offer “WorldPoints” to cardholders for all retail purchases plus bonus points for choosing generic and preferred drugs. Points also will be awarded to cardholders who refill existing prescription orders using Caremark’s Web site or automated phone system. In addition, cardholders will receive reward points for registering online or updating an existing profile on Caremark.com with their credit card account number. The new, no-annual-fee credit card will be available to all individuals covered by a Caremark administered prescription drug plan or enrolled in one of Caremark’s discount card programs. The card will launch in the fourth quarter.

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Americans Feel They Are Credit Responsible

A new survey reveals that 89% of Americans feel they use credit, but, 43% admitted that credit does not become a concern until there is a problem. According to the Fair Isaac/myFICO.com and Opinion Research Corporation survey, it’s not due to lack of information. Nearly two-thirds of consumers said they received information about their credit score or credit rating, but only one-third of respondents said they are very likely to act on personal financial information provided to them about topics such as retirement, household spending and investing. Also, while 58% of women believe they do a better job of managing credit, only 43% of men agreed that women do better. However, men and women equally felt that they use credit responsibly. Fair Isaac also found that 73% of Americans claim they understand what goes into a credit score, such as a “FICO” score.

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FIS’ Transaction Processing Revenues Up 14%

Jacksonville, FL-based Fidelity National Information Services, f/k/a/ Certegy, reported that its “Transaction Processing Services” unit generated revenue of $650.4 million in the third quarter, up 14.1% over the prior-year period. “Lender Processing Services” revenue increased 4.7% to $432.9 million. Overall, FIS posted consolidated revenue of $1.08 billion and net earnings for the third quarter of $78.6 million. FIS and Certegy merged on February 1st. During the third quarter, BB&T Bankcard signed a multi-year consumer and commercial credit card processing agreement with FIS’ Card Services division. Also, the Company settled a dispute over an ATM patent with Global Cash Access. The Company says it expects revenue growth of 7% to 8% for full year 2006. For complete details on FIS’ third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 9/5/06; 9/28/06)

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

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Bankrate 3Q/06 Revenues Rise 58%

Bankrate reported that third quarter revenue increased by 58% to $19.5 million, but, net income sunk to $1.2 million from $2.7 million one-year ago. The quarter included a $3 million legal settlement, $1.7 million in a stock compensation expense and $675,000 in legal expense. Online publishing revenue was up 41% to $15.8 million. Graphic advertising increased 39% to $9.2 million. Hyperlink revenue grew 58% to $6.6 million. Print publishing and licensing revenue for the third quarter was $3.7 million, compared to the $1.2 million for the third quarter of last year. Page views for third payment were 126.7 million, up 17% compared to 107.8 million in 3Q/05. For complete details on Bankrate’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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HSBC to Issue the Petland Credit Card

Petland, with 190 stores nationwide, has signed a private label credit card deal with HSBC Retail Services. The new credit card offers Petland customers a convenient way to purchase pets, food and accessories, grooming supplies and more. Cardholders will receive a complimentary membership in Petland’s ClubPet customer loyalty program, as well as an exclusive 5% discount on all regularly-priced merchandise every time they use their Petland credit card to make purchases. Petland, Inc. is a franchise operation with more than 190 quality, full service, retail pet centers across the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Chile and South Africa. HSBC Retail Services is a leading issuer of private label (merchant branded) credit cards in the United States.

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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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