Strategic Management Partners Hires Savant

Omaha-based Strategic Management Partners has hired Jamie Savant, former co-founder of Humboldt Merchant Services, to build a new specialty within the firm to assist clients with sales and pricing strategy, merchant pricing analysis and revenue enhancement strategies. Savant is a highly experienced payments professional who has worked with major processors, financial institutions, large merchants and ISO’s for the past 20 years. Savant was a co-founder of Humboldt Merchant Services (HMS) in 1997 and helped build HMS into a Top 50 merchant processing organization. Strategic Management Partners is a group of senior payments industry executives focused on the merchant acquiring business.

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Juniper Bank Lands Purzycki from Chase

Barclays’ Juniper Bank has hired Joe Purzycki, former EVP of new business development/sales for Chase Card Services, as Managing Director-Customer Care and Operations. Purzycki, a 16-year industry veteran, will also serve on the Juniper Management Committee. Juniper Financial Corporation, a member of the Barclays Group, is a full-service credit card issuer and provides co-branded credit cards and credit card services.

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AmEx Okays DW Fuel Pumps for ExpressPay

Austin, Texas-based Dresser Wayne has received “ExpressPay” certification for its contactless card reader option for use with the “Ovation” and “Vista” series fuel dispensers. ExpressPay features a secure computer chip powered by radio frequency technology, which provides end-to-end transaction security and adheres to ISO 14443. Dresser, Inc. designs, manufactures and markets engineered equipment and services sold primarily to customers in the flow control, measurement systems, and compression and power systems segments of the energy industry.

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GECF Intros Corp Meeting Planner Solution

GE Consumer Finance’s Corporate Payment Services unit has developed a suite of payment solutions for corporate meeting planners that include special purpose credit cards as well as “vPayment On-Demand,” an electronic settlement tool that uses virtual accounts without physical cards. The Corporate Payment Services’ Meeting Planning suite includes the Special Purpose Account (SPA), a high-limit credit card, a Controlled Value Card that caps the amount of funds available on the account and vPayment On-Demand, a virtual credit account with single-transaction limits. GE Consumer Finance, a unit of General Electric Company, with $150 billion in assets, is a leading provider of credit services to consumers, retailers and auto dealers in 47 countries around the world.

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Grocers Take Aim at MasterCard Interchange

Kroger and six other major merchants yesterday filed a federal lawsuit against MasterCard over its interchange fee practices. The lawsuit alleges that the network and its members have engaged in price fixing and restricting competition related to credit card transaction fees. The suit mirrors a lawsuit filed on July 14th against VISA by the same group. Joining Kroger in the lawsuit are Ahold, Albertson’s, Eckerd, Maxi Drug, Safeway, and Walgreen. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. Last week, the first major lawsuit by merchants to take on U.S. interchange fees charged by the VISA and MasterCard networks was thrown out of court for lack of standing under current antitrust laws. (CF Library 7/15/05; 7/27/05)

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HSBC North America Renews the CompUSA Store Card

HSBC North America has renewed its relationship with CompUSA to manage the company’s private label credit card program. CompUSA cardholders benefit from HSBC’s customized private label programs offering flexible payment plans, generous credit lines and financing promotions. CompUSA currently operates more than 240 CompUSA locations in more than 90 major metropolitan markets across the United States and Puerto Rico. HSBC – North America serves more than 60 million customers.

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Jack Henry Adds 60 Bank Clients Since 2Q/04

Missouri-based Jack Henry & Associates has added 60 new banks to its client roster over the past twelve months. In addition to the organic growth generated by the addition of 60 new core bank clients and strong cross sales of its complementary products and services, sales of the technology-driven solutions offered by the eight companies acquired during the year to support its focused diversification strategy also gained traction. New clients were added for each of Jack Henry’s core processing platforms including “SilverLake,” “CIF 20/20” and “Core Director.” Jack Henry also experienced significant gains in the de novo market.

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CO-OP Signs 80 New York CUs to its Network

The CO-OP Network reports that 80 New York area credit unions have joined its network since the end of last year. The most recent additions included Hudson Valley FCU and AmeriCU CU. Card Services has converted 66 of 80 credit union card programs from another processor to CO-OP Network. When completed later this year, CO-OP Network will have added more than 1 million new members and more than 300 ATMs to their network. Ontario, CA-based CO-OP Network, the largest credit union ATM network in the country, offers its nearly 2,000 members access to more than 20,000 surcharge-free machines across the U.S., including 1,100 ATMs in New York and New Jersey.

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MasterCard Sig USA Debit Volume Up 32% in Q2

MasterCard’s signature debit card business continues to expand rapidly as gross dollar volume jumped 32% in the second quarter compared to 2Q/04. During the most recent quarter, MasterCard added 1.4 million off-line debit cardholders in the USA to its network. Overall, MasterCard reported that its U.S. gross dollar volume for credit and debit cards for the second quarter increased 11.1% over 2Q/04 to $189.5 billion, compared to a 9.0% annual growth rate for the prior quarter. The number of U.S. credit cards grew by 3.4 million to 281.2 million since the first quarter. MasterCard ended the second quarter with 64.8 million off-line debit card accounts representing 70.5 million cards. In the prior quarter, MasterCard had 63.3 million signature debit card accounts representing 69.1 million cards. Credit card volume was up 5.4% year-on-year to $141.5 billion. During the second quarter, MasterCard processed 1.40 billion credit card purchase transactions and more than 694 million debit card purchase transactions in the USA. For complete details on MasterCard’s 2Q/05 results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

HISTORICAL DEBIT VOLUME
2Q/03: $31.2 billion
3Q/03: $30.4 billion
4Q/03: $31.4 billion
1Q/04: $30.8 billion
2Q/04: $34.5 billion
3Q/04: $37.0 billion
4Q/04: $41.7 billion
1Q/05: $42.9 billion
2Q/05: $48.0 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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U.S. ATM/Debit Card Fraud Nears $3B Annuall

A new report has found that ATM/debit card fraud in the U.S. generated losses of $2.75 billion, with an average loss of more than $900. The study suggest that banks have the ability to stop these attacks, but many have not taken the extra steps needed to prevent them. According to the Gartner report, banks can modify their ATM host systems to check for security data on a card’s magnetic strip. This data is unknown to bank customers and therefore cannot be phished. Thieves generally cannot duplicate this security data unless they have insider knowledge of the bank’s algorithms and security codes. Phishing occurs when a cyberthief sends an e-mail with a link to a false Web site. Gartner says the best defense is a transaction anomaly detection system that compares incoming transactions with profiles of what is expected from the user. Anomalies can be flagged for further investigation and/or subsequent interactive authentication of the user, perhaps through a phone call to the user.

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NACM July CMI Index Slips But Indicates Growth

The National Association of Credit Management “Credit Manager’s Index” for July stood at 56.7%, a decline of 1.1% from June, but still implies economic growth. The manufacturing sector continued its downward slide, ending the month of July at 56.9 percent, down 40 points from just one month ago. The Service CMI finished at 56.6 percent, a 180-point drop from June 2005. The National Association of Credit Management (NACM)supports more than 25,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with premier industry services, tools and information.

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EFMARK Introduces Premium ATM Cash Manager

Illinois-based EFMARK Premium Armored has introduced its “Premium Cash Manager” program for ATMs, which optimizes cash levels and improves profitability. The program is a fully automated currency management solution that performs the complex process of accurately predicting optimal ATM cash load levels. Most ATM service providers assess high fees for “emergency cash runs” when an ATM “runs dry” unexpectedly. However, EFMARK stands by the effectiveness of its “Premium Cash Manager Preferred” program by absorbing the cost of any emergency cash replenishments that arise. EFMARK’s cash management services include load forecasting, order calculation, reconciliation and Reg E claims. Other cash services include currency vaulting, currency cassette preparation and balancing, and secure currency transport, pick-up and delivery. Greater Iowa CU has already selected EFMARK to provide cash management services for its 400 ATMs.

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