Total Compliance Group Targets ATMs

California-based Total Compliance Group, an associate of Commercial Business Intelligence, has launched a complete federal and VISA/MC compliance program for the ownership and operations of ATMs. The company offers their services to financial institutions that allow their agents or third parties (including the merchant) to own the ATMs and to bring solutions to review and assess risk exposure within their portfolios.

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VISA & FIFA

VISA International has inked a major partnership with FIFA to sponsor the “World Cup” of international football. The partnership will begin in January 2007 and will run through 2014. MasterCard currently has a partnership with FIFA. However, as one of six “FIFA Partners,” VISA says it will have a higher level of association with FIFA than previous sponsors in the “Financial Services” category. VISA notes that the partnership builds on the highly successful marketing programs with global properties including the “Olympic Games/Paralympic Games,” “Disney” and “Rugby World Cup.”

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VISA Tops the Customer Respect Index

A new survey shows that VISA scored best in “Business Principles” and in “Privacy.” The Customer Respect Group says VISA scored 9.6 versus an industry average of 4.7 for “Business Principles” and in “Privacy,” VISA topped the list with a 9.4 versus a 5.3 industry average. The highest scoring firm in “Simplicity” was TD BankNorth (9.6 vs. industry average of 7.2). For “Attitude,” Wells Fargo topped the group (8.5 vs. 5.7). In “Responsiveness,” World Savings Bank was first (8.8 vs. 4.8). The “Customer Respect Index” is a qualitative and quantitative in-depth analysis and independent measure of a customer’s experience when interacting with companies via the Internet.

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HPS Breaks New Ground in Indiana

New Jersey-based Heartland Payment Systems has broken ground on a new service center in Jeffersonville, Indiana with a staff of 320. The Service Center will be open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to manage all merchant servicing requirements, including enrollment, installation, equipment supply, repair and downloading, fraud monitoring, and chargeback dispute resolution assistance. Heartland’s 98,000 monthly sales and customer calls will also be serviced at the new center.

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Discover Cards Get a Stronger PULSE

Discover Financial Services has added “Discover Card” acceptance at “PULSE” ATMs nationwide. “Discover Cards” are now accepted at approximately 350,000 ATMs and cash access locations. Discover acquired the PULSE ATM/debit network in January 2005. The expanded acceptance was made possible by Discover Bank joining the “PULSE” network, which links cardholders with almost 250,000 ATMs and approximately 3.4 million POS terminals at retail locations nationwide. The new “Discover Debit” product is the result of its acquisition of the PULSE ATM/debit network in January 2005. In February, Discover launched two forms of signature debit card programs. (CF Library 2/13/06)

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Fiserv Teams with PassMark Security

Fiserv has chosen PassMark Security as a partner in providing multifactor authentication technology to its banking and credit union clients. Each of the Fiserv core processors will offer two options for implementing PassMark’s multifactor authentication technology as part of its Internet banking solution. A baseline option will provide a cost-effective way for financial institutions to comply with FFIEC requirements, while a more advanced solution will be available for clients who believe their risks warrant a more aggressive approach.

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New Travel VISA Card Targets Students

Los Angeles-based Tripplus has launched a prepaid “Travel VISA Card” for youth and student travel. The new card has five key features and starts at $25 per card. Features include different levels of “Emergency Medical Transportation”; international calls as low as 3 cents per minute; ATM/debit card functionality, travel and concierge assistance services; and document & information storage. The card was issued in partnership with Travel Guard, ekit, and Ecount.

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Canadians Embrace Electronic Payments

A new report suggests that Canada represents one of the largest markets for electronic payments in the world. More than 50% of $600 billion in annual consumer spending takes place on bank credit cards, debit cards and retail cards. Boston-based Mercator Advisory Group says its research shows that political and economic stability, as well as a robust telecom infrastructure and consumer credit data, contribute to the high per capita use of plastic payments cards. As a result, the size and maturity of the electronic payments market has been drawing a number of U.S. banks to get serious about the market.

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NACM CMI Shows a Healthy March

The National Association of Credit Management’s “March Credit Manager’s Index” shows a healthy economic picture. NACM says the bulk of the gains in its “Index” was in four favorable areas: sales, new credit applications, dollar collections and credit extended. Despite seasonal factors NACM says the underlying strength of the economy demonstrated in the first quarter continues to provide solid support for the CMI and its components. However, significant headwinds may be in store for the U.S. economy in the quarters to come. NACM notes that the Fed is expected to continue raising rates through perhaps even May.

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VISA Intl Becomes a Major FIFA Partner

VISA International has inked a major partnership with FIFA to sponsor the “World Cup” of international football. The partnership will begin in January 2007 and will run through 2014. MasterCard currently has a partnership with FIFA. However, as one of six “FIFA Partners,” VISA says it will have a higher level of association with FIFA than previous sponsors in the “Financial Services” category. VISA notes that the partnership builds on the highly successful marketing programs with global properties including the “Olympic Games/Paralympic Games,” “Disney” and “Rugby World Cup.”

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VeriFone to Acquire Lipman for $793MM

VeriFone has signed an agreement to acquire Lipman Electronic Engineering for $793 million in cash and stock. The deal will make VeriFone the largest global provider of electronic payment solutions and services with annual revenues of nearly $750 million. Lipman, an Israeli-based provider of electronic payment systems founded in 1974, produced more than $235 million in sales during 2005. Lipman’s revenues grew 30.4% last year. VeriFone recently reported that net revenues for the quarter ending January 31st rose 21% to $134.6 million as profits more than doubled. Terminal manufacturer Lipman Electronic Engineering reported fourth quarter revenues of $68.8 million, an increase of 5% over the prior year and a 27% increase over the prior quarter. Closing is expected to occur by the end of October. Lehman Brothers acted as financial advisor to VeriFone on the acquisition. Merrill Lynch acted as financial advisor to Lipman. For complete details on VeriFone’s or Lipman’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 2/8/06; 3/3/06)

REVENUE HISTORICAL
($ millions)
Lipman VeriFone
4Q/04: $65.7 $111.3
1Q/05: $54.2 $117.9
2Q/05: $58.3 $125.7
3Q/05: $54.1 $130.5
4Q/05: $68.8 $134.6
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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