HSI Canada Micros and Radiant Launch Pay@Table

HSI Canada Micros and Radiant Communications has teamed with Ingenico to launch a new integrated hospitality solution. The new solution features Ingenico’s “i7700” terminal range, a new
generation of short-range wireless transaction terminals that are part of Ingenico’s new “Pay@Table” solutions. The Micros suite of hospitality
systems provides the customers data to this terminal, which enables the
check details to be printed out. The server simply accesses the table number and all that the table has ordered by the touch of a button on the “i7770.” The Micros system then sends the data to the terminal for printing. All payment activity can take place at the table, therefore reducing the amount of time a server uses to check-out a customer by as much as one-third or more.

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Cardholder Fees May Top $23 Billion for 2004

Cardholder fees have more than doubled since 1996 following a Supreme Court decision that gave national bank credit card issuers federal preemption of state regulations. Last year, revenues generated from late payment fees, over-limit fees, annual fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, and, other user fees, grew 8.6% to $21.5 billion. Between 1996 and 1997, cardholders fees jumped 48%, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers estimates that penalty fee revenues were $11.7 billion last year. Other 2003 fee revenues include cash advance fees of $5.6 billion, annual fees of $3.4 billion, and fees from enhancements of $860 million. (CF Library 1/12/04)

Bank Credit Card Annual Credit Card Cardholder Fees
(VISA, MasterCard, Discover, American Express)
($ billions)
YEAR TOTAL
1980 $2.6
1985 3.9
1990 6.2
1995 8.3
2000 20.6
2003 21.5
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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50% of Americans Jittery About Online Shopping

According to a new survey, 58% of consumers say they may reduce their online shopping during the holiday season this year because of identity theft and other privacy concerns, compared t0 49% one-year ago. The second annual online shopping study conducted by TNS and TRUSTe indicates that 46% of Internet shoppers say they buy only from e-tailers that have a privacy statement or seal. The leading reasons cited by those reducing or halting online shopping include: identity theft concerns (52%); fear of credit card theft (44%); spyware potentially being downloaded onto one’s computer (44%); and, receiving spam after purchasing from a Web site (42%).

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Digital Duo Card Hits RadioShacks

Napster and Blockbuster have teamed to introduce the “Digital Duo Card” at 5,000 RadioShack stores, offering consumers one month of digital music and online DVD rentals for $20. The Digital Duo card enables consumers to enjoy unlimited access to Napster’s song library, two a la carte track downloads, and unlimited Blockbuster Online DVD rentals with up to three movies rented at a time along with two free in-store movie or game rentals for the duration of the card. DVDs rented online will be delivered to the customer’s mailbox and no late fees or return dates will be enforced. Two free in-store rental coupons per month for “gotta-have-it-now” rentals are also included in the service. Napster® is the world’s largest brand in digital music. Blockbuster, Inc. is a world-leading provider of in-home movies and game entertainment. The company has over 9,000 stores in the Americas, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

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Inspired Coins TV Ad Campaign Gets Underway

Coinstar launched its first TV advertising campaign yesterday with ads created by Publicis Seattle. The “Inspired Coins” campaign promotes Coinstar machines, which enable people to turn accumulated loose change into a “splurge.” In the commercial, coins are seen all over a house. They are then gathered up into the shape of a woman’s stylish, high-heeled shoe as a voice over asks viewers “What could your change be?” The campaign will air on cable TV for four weeks on networks such as MTV, TLC, USA, and Sci-Fi Channel. Coinstar, Inc. launched self-service coin counting to help consumers convert loose coins into cash. Publicis Seattle is a unit of Publicis USA and Publicis Worldwide, which represent part of the Publicis Groupe S.A., the 4th largest communications company, as well as one of the fastest-growing communications companies in the world.

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Jack Henry Acquires NC-based Optinfo

Jack Henry & Associates has purchased NC-based Optinfo, a provider of software products and services that help financial institutions mitigate the risks associated with their financial and operational data. Optinfo’s products and services are used by some of the No. 1 banks and brokerage firms around the world. Optinfo is used for reconciliation, exception processing, and management of data elements. According to Kevin D. Williams, CFO of Jack Henry, the acquisition is expected to generate $1.5 to $2 million in gross revenues for the rest of the current fiscal year. Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. provides integrated computer systems and processes ATM/debit card/ACH transactions for banks and credit unions.

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V/MC Purchase Transactions to Hit 24 Billion

Quarterly purchase transactions on VISA- and MasterCard-branded cards topped 6 billion for the first time during the third quarter. Based on the current 12% growth rate, purchase transactions on credit card and signature debit cards could approach 6.5 billion for the fourth quarter. There were 23.2 billion total purchase transactions during the past four quarters. The 2004 figure will likely approach 24 billion. The average VISA purchase transaction is now $59.19 compared to MasterCard’s $76.77. The lower VISA figure is due to its dominance in the signature or off-line debit card market wherein it holds a 79% market share. The average off-line debit purchase transaction is $39.78 while the average credit card purchase transaction is $84.63, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

VISA and MasterCard Purchase Transactions
3Q/03: 5.43 billion
4Q/03: 5.79 billion
1Q/04: 5.42 billion
2Q/04: 5.90 billion
3Q/04: 6.08 billion
4Q/04: 6.48 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Two-Thirds of Women to Buy Something Online

WomensWallStreet.com’s “2004 Holiday Spending Survey” shows that most women will spend $500-$1000 on gifts this year with 66% saying they will buy something online. Women with children expect to spend approximately $200 on each child. 44% of woman said that they will spend less money on gifts this year than they did last year. The results of the survey are based on 1,400 surveys that were completed online at WomensWallStreet.com. WomensWallStreet.com is a source of expert information about finances. The goal of the site is to encourage women to better manage their money.

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Coutts Unveils Purple Card for British Snoots

British private bank, Coutts, has launched an upscale MasterCard with exclusive offers including a round-the-world trip by private jet, the chance to have one’s biography written by a top author, and hospitality packages for Wimbledon, Cannes Film Festival and the Monaco Grand Prix. The new purple “Coutts World MasterCard” also offers “AirMiles” and an array of concierge services. The card carries an annual fee of $650 that is waived if the cardholder charges at least $95,000 per year, according to CardFlash International. Coutts is an international private bank owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Coutts manages the wealth of 90,000 high net worth clients worldwide through a network of 50 offices globally.

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13,000 Digital River Sites use SecureCode

MN-based Digital River says 13,000 of its hosted e-commerce sites are currently using MasterCard’s “SecureCode” and VISA’s “Verified by Visa.” MasterCard SecureCode provides an extra layer of protection that can lower payment card losses for Digital River’s online merchants. It can also increase a consumer’s confidence in the security of their accounts. Digital River’s e-commerce platform can also support Verified by Visa, a leading anti-fraud technology program on the Internet. Online merchants that use Digital River as their host can use Verified by Visa to assist in the verification of cardholder identity, prevent fraud, and decrease payment card losses. Verified by Visa is the top standard for safe and confidential authentication of Internet transactions using passwords that are selected by cardholders. Digital River, Inc. is a global leader in e-commerce outsourcing that builds and manages online businesses for over 40,000 software publishers, manufacturers, distributors, and online retailers.

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Nationwide Free Credit Reports Starts Dec 1

Beginning December 1st, consumers in 13 Western states will be able to obtain a free annual credit report from the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. The program will expand nationwide over a nine-month period. The free reports will be available from www.annualcreditreport.com, or via a toll-free number, or by mailing a standardized form to a post office box in Atlanta. The first 13 states include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. After September 1st, all U.S. consumers will be eligible to request a free report. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion created the service to comply with the “Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.”

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