Mars Sells-Off MEI Conlux

Bain Capital and Advantage Partners have announced they have entered into an agreement to acquire unattended payment systems provider MEI Conlux from Mars, Incorporated. MEI Conlux has the world’s largest installed base of unattended payment systems, handling over 1 billion cash transactions every week. The transaction is subject to normal regulatory approvals. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Financing for the transaction will be provided by Citigroup Japan and Nikko Citigroup. Mars Incorporated was advised by Goldman Sachs. Bain Capital is a global private investment firm with more than $35 billion in assets under management. Advantage Partners is a private equity investment firm and manages about $1 billion in funds.

Details

ExaDigm and JR’s POS Depot Team

ExaDigm and JR’s POS Depot have teamed to offer the “XD2000 Cellular Wireless Solution” to the merchant acquiring industry. his new partnership will see JR’s POS Depot offering the XD2000 Cellular Wireless Solution as the wireless point-of-sale solution of choice to their key channels, specifically the merchant acquiring industry. ExaDigm is the leading innovator of IP wireless, wired and modular point-of-sale (POS) terminal solutions.

Details

New Jersey Renews ACS Fare Contract

Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services has signed a $76 million contract renewal with NJ TRANSIT for an upgrade of its fare collection system. The contract includes the upgrade of New Jersey’s existing fare collection system, purchase and delivery of new equipment, and a customer enhancement program of NJ TRANSIT’s ticket vending machine fleet. Further, there are seven one-year options for continuing maintenance and services valued at $112 million for a potential total contract value of $188 million.

Details

Tranax and TIO Networks Partner

Tranax Technologies and TIO Networks have partnered to launch a joint hybrid ATM initiative. With this agreement, TIO financial services will be available on the new Tranax Mini-Bank 4000 series ATMs. TIO’s services include bill payment, stored value card dispensing and reloading, and prepaid services. TIO networks will process all transactions for financial applications, except for the traditional ATM services. TIO Networks Corp, a strategic investment of Hewlett Packard, is building a national multi-retailer network of financial services kiosks for the “cash preferred” consumer marketplace.

Details

Disaster No Worry to Business Owners

A new survey from MasterCard found that more than 84% of U.S. small business owners are not worried that a natural disaster will affect their business within the next 12 months. However, while most small business owners are not worried that a disaster will impact their business, 77% admit that their businesses are not fully prepared should one occur. When asked about their top concerns following a natural disaster, 25% of small business owners said that losing customers would be their top concern. The second most identified concern (20%) was the loss of financial records. Nearly 80% of small business owners said that they do back up their business’s financial records, including 52% who create CD or hard drive back-ups that they store off-site.

Details

Chockstone Adds Spice to a Taco Card

OR-based Chockstone reports that Taco Bueno nearly doubled its gift card volume last year with its card-based technology over the previous year’s paper-based solution. The company, which has locations in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas, unveiled the new offering in October 2005 in each of its 145 stores, including its first-ever franchise units. Chockstone’s “Single Swipe” technology enables a single payment terminal to process gift, loyalty, and credit cards, keeping transaction time to a minimum. Taco Bueno also leverages Chockstone’s “Gateway” technology, which seamlessly interfaces with the company’s real-time reporting tool to deliver data-rich information about customers and their purchasing preferences. The program is complimented by Chockstone’s retailer-branded Web site, which provides consumers an easy, online tool to purchase cards for themselves or others, reload and combine cards, and check current balances.

Details

NetSpend All-Access Card Takes-Off

Chicago-based PLS Financial Services has inked a deal with Texas-based NetSpend to sell NetSpend’s “All-Access Prepaid Cards” at PLS locations across the country. PLS has more than 200 stores in nine states. Previously, the company did not offer any prepaid, re-loadable debit cards. Under the card program cardholders can link their card to an interest-earning savings account. Cardholders can also choose to have their employer make a payroll deposit directly onto the card. The NetSpend “All-Access Prepaid Cards” are issued by Inter National Bank or MetaBank.

Details

Datacard Beefs-Up its Affina Card

Datacard Group has introduced a new, modular suite of “Affina” smart card software solutions designed to address the full range of card issuers’ needs through the complete lifecycle of their smart card programs. This new smart card issuance and management software suite enables card issuers to introduce smart cards into their existing Datacard production environment affordably for pilot and rollout program phases. The modular and scalable platform allows an issuer to reuse the same software and hardware resources as the size and needs of their program change over time. Additionally, a new “Affina One Step Issuance Software” configuration makes it simpler to integrate and operate the smart card issuance program.

Details

BofA Tops 15MM Online Customers

Bank of America rules online banking with 15 million subscribers and is now the king of the affinity credit card market with its recent acquisition of MBNA. Sales of products through its Web site hit 3.8 million last year, an increase of 69% which included 2.3 million online activations, 380,000 new savings accounts, 375,000 new credit card accounts and 298,000 new checking accounts. Additionally, BofA has launched online sales of more than 300 affinity credit cards. Javelin Strategy & Research ranked BofA #1 in its “Online Banking Safety Scorecard.” comScore says BofA online banking represents more than one-third of the market in the USA. Since 2001, BofA’s online customers have grown ten-fold, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

BOFA ONLINE USERS
2001: 1.4 million
2002: 4.7 million
2003: 7.2 million
2004: 12.4 million
2005: 14.7 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

Details