Rising interest rates and declining house prices may likely push consumer bankruptcy filings to pre-reform levels by 2007. The uptick is already being felt by consumer bankruptcy attorneys who report filings have increased significantly in the third quarter and will likely remain strong through the fourth quarter. A recent survey of 700 members of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys found that more than two-thirds reported that bankruptcy filings were up in the third quarter, compared to the first half of the year. But, the NACBA says the new bankruptcy laws are creating more paperwork hassles and higher expenses for already cash-strapped consumers. More than three quarters of bankruptcy attorneys said that the time involved in preparing a bankruptcy filing has gone up by 50% or more. The NACBA also noted that contrary to what proponents of the law projected, fewer than a third of bankruptcy attorneys are seeing an increase in forced Chapter 13 repayment filings.Details
U.S. Bancorp’s NOVA Information Systems has become the fourth major player to recently sign a merchant acquiring agreement to add Discover Network card acceptance. NOVA, the third largest U.S. credit card processor, joins Global Payments, RBS Lynk and TSYS Acquiring Solutions in expanding the card’s acceptance. Under the terms of today’s deal, NOVA will provide consolidated pricing, underwriting, risk management, processing, settlement, support and reporting to its merchants, simplifying payments processing.Last month, Discover signed merchant acquiring deals with Global Payments, RBS Lynk and TSYS Acquiring Solutions. Discover Network has more than 4 million merchant and cash access locations in the USA.(CF Library 9/12/06; 9/27/06)Details
St. Louis-based American Express Incentive Services has teamed with Centive to offer prepaid AEIS cards in its “Compel” on-demand sales compensation solution. Unlike cash, cards may be customized and personalized, and can direct recipients’ spending options to ensure that the reward is memorable. AEIS, a joint venture between American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc. and Maritz Inc., provides business-to-business reward solutions including prepaid cards, American Express Gift Cheques and a Web-based reward management tool. Centive, headquartered in Burlington, Mass., is the recognized leader in on-demand strategic sales compensation management.Details
Montreal-based Optimal Group says its majority-owned FireOne Group has ceased to process settlement for transactions originating from U.S. consumers that may be viewed as related to online gambling. FireOne Group also announced that as a consequence of the anticipated significant negative impact on its business and results of operations, it has embarked upon a restructuring of its operations and cost base. FireOne Group further stated that it will continue to offer its multi-currency credit and debit card and FirePay electronic wallet processing to the online gambling industry originating from non-U.S. consumers and not prohibited by the Act, and will consider card-not-present payment processing opportunities outside of online gambling.Details
China Merchants Bank and AirPlus have signed a corporate agreement to offer a new corporate card. The product will be released this month. The new corporate card is based on the “CMB Gold Card” and carries enhanced functionalities. Billing and settlement currencies are both the Chinese Yuan and the U.S. Dollar – local transactions are billed and settled in CNY/RMB, international transactions are billed in USD, and can be settled either in CNY/RMB or USD. The corporate card can be used to access funds at ATMs within China as well as abroad.
Additionally, China Merchants Bank will offer a customer loyalty
program, tailored specifically to the needs of the business traveler.
Frost & Sullivan has selected Cubic Transportation Systems as the recipient of the “2006 Industry Innovation & Advancement of the Year Award” in the smart card mass transit market. Cubic Transportation Systems (Cubic) is a turnkey solution provider for the automated fare collection system used in public transit systems including bus, rail, ferry, and even ticketing for parking applications. Its ability to translate customer requirements into innovative and reliable solutions that are both convenient and state-of-the-art has translated into a large customer base of operators who count on Cubic to provide regular technology upgrades that keep their mass transit systems operating in the most efficient manner.Details
Telenor and the banking industry have teamed to bring banking and payment services via a mobile phone, anytime and anywhere. The Norwegian banking industry, through the Norwegian Savings Banks
Association and the Norwegian Financial Services Association, is
behind the “BankID Samarbeidet.” The “BankID Partnership” has developed “BankID,” an electronic proof of identity which can be used for identification and signing agreements on the Internet. “BankID” for mobile phones will be available in 2008 and all banks participating in the “BankID Partnership” may offer “BankID” to their customers. When that happens, 2.3 million Internet bank customers and 2.7 million Telenor subscribers will be able to identify themselves and
sign agreements using a mobile phone.
For the eighth consecutive year, the North American Region leads the world in the total number of cards manufactured but Europe continues to be the most lucrative market as measured in dollars. The “Annual Card Manufacturing Global Market Survey” by the International Card Manufacturers Association found that globally there were approximately 14.7 billion cards manufactured last year, an 11.4% gain over 2004. The global card marketing measure in U.S. dollars increased 11.5% to $9.1 billion, compared to a 33% growth rate the prior year. The ICMA survey also found that chip card units grew robustly to 2.6 billion units for a 13.5% increase, while dollars grew to $7.45 billion, influenced by transit card growth, national IDs and EMV migration.Details
Fundtech has introduced “Pan-European PAYplus,” a new application component of its “Global PAYplus” payments solution. The new solution will help banks to meet the upcoming processing demands of the “SEPA” and “Target 2.” “Pan-European PAYplus” takes full advantage of the “Global PAYplus” multi-entity rules-engine which increases “STP” and
provides flexible charging schemes to address the complexities that “SEPA” imposes. Key “Pan-European PAYplus” features include processing for: “SEPA Direct Debit” and “Direct Credit” payments and “Directory Services,” “Target 2” payments via “SWIFT,” “STEP 2 ACH” batched payments, and “Target 2” related liquidity management.
Contactless specialist, ViVOtech, has teamed with mobile payment specialist, Obopay, to expand NFC mobile phone payment options. Under the deal Obopay users will have access to the “ViVOwallet” to pay for retail goods by waving their NFC mobile devices in front of the more than 160,000 retail outlets equipped with a ViVOtech POS device. The companies plan to offer “ViVOwallet” and Obopay as a single integrated application in 2007. Obopay accounts can be managed from the mobile handset, allowing users to check balances, request payments from other mobile users and view transaction histories. The service also allows e-commerce sites to accept payments directly from Obopay accounts, eliminating the awkward process of inputting credit card information.Details
For the eighth consecutive year, the North American Region leads the world in the total number of cards manufactured but Europe continues to be the most lucrative market as measured in dollars. The “Annual Card Manufacturing Global Market Survey” by the International Card Manufacturers Association found that globally there were approximately 14.7 billion cards manufactured last year, an 11.4% gain over 2004. The global card marketing measure in U.S. dollars increased 11.5% to $9.1 billion, compared to 33% growth rate the prior year. The ICMA survey also found that chip card units grew robustly to 2.6 billion units for a 13.5% increase, while dollars grew to $7.45 billion, influenced by transit card growth, national IDs and EMV migration.Details