POS terminal provider, Lipman, has opened a Canadian office in Mississauga, Ontario. Lipman Canada will be responsible for the sale and distribution of Lipmans full line of transaction solution products marketed under the “NURIT” brand name. Lipman says its wireless and wire-line products are well suited to support the various POS programs currently available to Interac Association Acquiring Members. Lipman’s “2085” and “3020” products have been deployed from coast-to-coast and very shortly additional EMV compliant and smart card ready devices will be rolled out. The “NURIT 8320” (both with and without internal secure PINpad), the “292SC PINpad” and soon to be released “8010” wireless handheld devices are also headed Canada’s way.Details
NACHA has formed a new industry program, the “Corporate Payments Council,” with the first meeting scheduled for November 13th and 14th. The Corporate Payments Council goal is to bring together stakeholders in the wholesale payments arena to develop solutions and best practices that will result in greater use of electronic B2B payments. The total number of business-to-business payments over the ACH Network grew by a respectable 12.4 percent in 2002 to 1.6 billion, and comprised 17.4 percent of all ACH payments. The dollar value of these B2B payments was $18.4 trillion, an average of $11,481 per payment, and 75 percent of all ACH dollars. NACHA is the leading organization in developing electronic solutions to improve the payments system. NACHA represents more than 11,000 financial institutions through direct memberships and a network of regional payments associations, and 650 organizations through its industry councils.Details
American Express released a survey yesterday that shows American travelers expect to spend $2,962 in 2004 compared to $2,163 for this year. American travelers say they plan to dig deeper into their wallets in 2004, spending more for longer vacations, motivated by an enhanced desire to unwind, according to the American Express Leisure Travel Index. The number of travelers planning to spend more than $5,000 will nearly double. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, investment products, insurance and international and online banking.Details
Bank One and the AARP have signed a five-year renewal to 13 year-old co-branding program. The companies have also added a rewards feature to the card program that offers cash back or gift certificates. The new and improved “AARP Rewards Platinum VISA” gives cardholders a full 1% back on card purchases starting with the first dollar in purchases charged. Every time cardholders accumulate 2,500 points, they may select their desired reward, either $25 cash back or a $25 gift certificate. Participating companies include Exxon, Red Lobster, Blockbuster, Chili’s, Olive Garden, Best Buy, Home Depot, Borders, Sunoco, Best Western, JCPenney, and Hertz. The no-annual-fee card offers a 0% fixed APR for the first 12 billing cycles following the opening of the account. Thereafter, a prime +6.99%, prime +8.99%, or prime +12.99%, depending on the cardholder’s credit score. The companies are also guaranteeing cardholders there will be no telemarketing after they sign-up. The AARP has more than 35 million members.Details
Delegates from 23 countries attended last week’s VISA International Government Services Conference in Edinburgh, being advised of new data on the operational efficiencies attained by using VISA products for government procurement and travel, including savings totaling US$1.4 billion per year for the U.S. federal government program, and Â£108 million cumulative for the relatively newer U.K. government program. VISA says total capital expenditures for the UK government are projected to be over US$685 billion USD in fiscal 2002-2003. Japan spent almost US$745 billion USD last year. The US will spend more than US$2 trillion dollars in 2003. Collectively, the delegates represented governments with more than US$5 trillion in government spending.
VISA also announced new VISA government programs including several new federal, state, and local initiatives in Brazil, a new state program in Costa Rica, and the adoption of VISA cards by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security making more than 75 percent of U.S. federal government card spending on a VISA product . Additionally, VISA announced the global launch of a new “Procure-to-Pay” toolkit that enables banks and governments to analyze best management practices, set realistic goals, and maximize cost savings for government procurement .
Citibank launched “Citi Identity Theft Solutions” to provide personal assistance to its credit cardholders who become victims of identity theft. A key component of Citi’s free comprehensive support program is the trained team of Identity Theft Specialists who will personally provide immediate support and assistance to cardmembers who are victims of identity theft through each step of resolving fraudulent activity and restoring credit standing. Citi Cards is part of Citigroup, the preeminent global financial services company with some 200 million customer accounts in more than 100 countries, providing consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, insurance, securities brokerage, and asset management.Details
OH-based NCR said yesterday that its SVP/CFO Earl Shanks is resigning November 9th and will be replaced, on an interim basis, by VP/Finance Pete Bocian. In Pete Bocian’s current role, he is responsible for financial planning and decision support for NCR, all finance re-engineering efforts and operational accountability for the company’s shared service centers. Previously, he was CFO of NCR’s Retail and Financial Group and was responsible for the combined financial and administrative functions for the four business units comprising that group.Details
PKO Bank Polski SA has become the first financial services provider in Eastern Europe to utilize Fair Isaac’s “TRIAD” adaptive control technology. Under the multi-year agreement, Poland’s largest bank will use “Netsourced TRIAD” to measure risk and assess opportunities for more than five million current credit accounts. The bank services 4.8 million personal accounts and more than 417,000 corporate accounts. “Netsourced TRIAD” enables lenders of any size to send customer data over a secure network via the Web and returns recommended actions overnight for immediate implementation in account management and billing systems. Behavior risk models included in the system will give PKO BP an accurate assessment of its customer accounts, even where portfolio volumes are low or historical data conditions would prohibit custom model development. PKO plans to utilize “Netsourced TRIAD” to implement customer-specific strategies in the credit line management decision area, which will allow the lender to increase overdraft facility while carefully monitoring risk and debt.Details
MD-based MICROS Systems and TN-based Stored Value Systems announced the integration of SVS gift cards with the “MICROS 3700” point-of-sale system. SVS processes more than 45 percent of all gift cards in the U.S. Its cash card program facilitates electronic gift, loyalty and employee payroll services for retail and restaurant merchants, both online and at the point of sale. MICROS Systems, Inc. provides enterprise applications for the hospitality industry worldwide. Over 140,000 MICROS systems are currently installed in table and quick service restaurants, hotels, motels, casinos, and leisure and entertainment operations in more than 130 countries. Stored Value Systems, Inc. (SVS) is one of the world’s leading providers of electronic gift certificate and card-based transaction programs. International retailers rely on SVS to create customer loyalty, increase sales and strengthen their competitive position in the retailer marketplace, via both traditional sales channels and on the Internet.Details
Corillian announced this week that SunTrust Bank has upgraded to the “Voyager 3.0” platform and that PA-based Sterling Financial has added small business banking into its “Voyager” solution. Corillian Small Business, which is deployed on the industry-leading Corillian Voyager 3.0 platform, allows Sterling Financial the ability to leverage feature-rich capabilities key to small business customers. Corillian also announced that SunTrust Bank has successfully upgraded to the Corillian Voyager 3.0 platform to improve online banking performance and client satisfaction. Corillian is a premier provider of enterprise software and services for the financial services industry.Details
Concord EFS reported third quarter revenue of $588.5 million, an increase of 14% over 3Q/02. However, net income declined 2% to $92.6 million, compared to one year ago. Concord pointed out that it had its best quarter ever in new quick service restaurant locations, which grew a net 2,700 restaurants and represented approximately 21% of merchant location growth. The processor also noted that year-over-year growth in cost of operations, exclusive of interchange, was kept to its lowest level since first quarter 2002, and selling, general and administrative costs declined as a percentage of revenue for the third quarter in a row. Network Services revenue increased 9% to $169.2 million on transaction volume growth of 9% in the third quarter.There are approximately 132 million debit cards that display the “STAR” brand and that may be used at approximately 1,257,000 ATM and POS locations. Concord currently provides processing for 20.6 million debit cards and approximately 94,100 ATMs. Payment Services revenue was $419.3 million in the third quarter, up 17% on transaction volume growth of 23%. Payment Services revenue includes interchange fees of $268.6 million in third quarter, up 22% as compared to $220.1 million in third quarter 2002. Payment Services currently provides payment-processing services for approximately 446,000 merchant locations, including 20,300 quick service restaurant locations. For complete details on Concord’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Certegy reported net income of $26.3 million on revenues of $255.8 million for the third quarter, an increase of 19.8% and 0.5%, respectively. Card Services generated revenue of $164.0 million in the third quarter, 2.1% below 3Q/02. Certegy says strong 15.6% revenue growth in its North American card issuing operation was offset by declines in South American card issuing revenue and domestic merchant processing revenue. Card Services’ operating income of $36.6 million increased $2.0 million, or 5.7%, compared to $34.7 million in 3Q/02. Check Services generated revenue of $91.7 million in the third quarter, an increase of 5.6% over 3Q/02, driven by improved check guarantee volumes. Check Services’ operating income of $11.9 million increased by $3.7 million, or 46.1%, compared to $8.1 million in the corresponding 2002 quarter. For complete details on Certegy’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).