The first “Infrared Financial Messaging” “Point and Pay” “BeamFest” is scheduled for next month at Waseda University in Tokyo. The Infrared Data Association is producing the event in an effort to support the recent release of its “IrFM” specification and the rapid adoption of the specification by Korean and Japanese OEMs. “IrFM” qualification, using authorized “IrDA” test tools, is a pre-requisite for entry into VISA’s certification test and final approval process. The purpose of the “Beamfest” is to allow “IrFM” product manufacturers to test interoperability with other “IrFM” enabled devices.Details
The FTC, IRS and state regulators yesterday issued a consumer alert in regard to tax-exempt credit counseling organizations. They said that some credit counseling organizations are using questionable practices and have sought a tax-exempt status in order to circumvent state and federal consumer protection laws. State and federal statutes regulating credit counseling agencies often do not apply to Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. The IRS said it is stepping up its enforcement efforts to ensure that existing tax exempt organizations are complying with the applicable rules and regulations.Details
Manchester-based Burns e-Commerce Solutions and MasterCard International are gearing-up to introduce a new pan-European
business-to-business payment solution. “MasterCard e-P3” fully automates the financial and information supply chain for private and public
sector organizations and simplifies the fragmented and costly processes associated with business-to-business payments. Under terms of the agreement,
the MasterCard “Corporate Purchasing Card” will be integrated into the Burns “Business Exchange Service,” enabling buyers and suppliers to automatically link electronic purchase orders, invoices and receipt confirmation with purchasing card transactions. Burns says it currently has more than 32,000 trading partners across Europe using the “beX” service and are processing over 5 million transactions with a value of Ã8 billion per year.
TSYS reported that net income for the third quarter increased 8.2% to $35.5 million from the same period last year. Gross revenue for the quarter was $266.1 million, an increase of 11.1%. Electronic payment processing revenues for the third quarter were $179.4 million, an increase of 13.8%. At the end of 3Q/03, TSYS had 267.9 million accounts on file, a 13.6% gain over the prior year. Gross accounts on file include 142.2 million consumer accounts, 83.7 million retail accounts, 21.0 million commercial accounts, 7.9 million debit/stored value accounts, and, 13.1 million government service/EBT accounts. Of the 267.9 million gross accounts on file, 46.0 million are international accounts. For complete details on TSYS third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Standard Chartered Bank has teamed with Air Sahara to issue a co-branded “VISA Gold” card. The new “Air Sahara Standard Chartered VISA Gold Credit Card” offers one free companion ticket per year or two free tickets for children when travelling with spouse, per year. The card also offers three complimentary upgrades to business class, each year, as well as a 5% discount throughout the year on all Air Sahara tickets purchased with the card. For every Rs. 125/- spend on the card, users will earn 1.5 “Cosmos” miles. Cardholders are automatically enrolled in Air Sahara’s “Cosmos – Power Flier Programme.” The card carries an annual fee of Rs. 3000/-. Standard Chartered Bank and Air Sahara have had a relationship for two years.Details
Wal-Mart is beefing-up its private label credit card in response to the demands of its 11 million cardholders, and following its contract renewal with GE Consumer Finance. Under the new card program, cardholders will be able to choose their own payment due date, receive a 3-cents-per-gallon discount on Wal-Mart gasoline purchases, and receive $20 cash back at time of purchase with no additional fees. Wal-Mart is also offering the option to purchase AT&T pre-paid long distance minutes at a deeply discounted rate, and to make in-store payments at any Wal-Mart register. Existing customers will automatically receive their new cards in the mail by the end of this month. New customers can apply by logging on to the gift registry at any Wal-Mart store, and receive “express credit” for immediate use. GE Consumer Finance issues the Wal-Mart private label credit card and Chase issues the co-branded “Wal-Mart MasterCard.” GE and Wal-Mart have renewed their partnership through 2009. GE and Wal-Mart recently inked a separate deal to launch the first private-label credit card programs for Wal-Mart and SAM’s CLUB stores in Canada. Wal-Mart operates more than 2,936 discount stores, and more than 532 warehouse clubs in the USA. (CF Library 10/3/03)Details
Vancouver-based EWI Prepaid and San Diego-based Info Touch Technologies have teamed to deliver a PIN-based line of prepaid products on retail kiosk networks across North America. Info Touch has integrated EWI’s “PinXpress” payment processing solution into its proprietary kiosk security
and management platform, “Surfnet Premiere.” The kiosks will offer prepaid long distance; prepaid wireless top-up; prepaid local dial-tone; prepaid mobile content; prepaid Wi-Fi access; and, prepaid directory assistance.
The Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman reported they handled nearly 1,400 complaints about credit cards over the past year, a slight decrease from the previous year. The most common complaint about credit cards pertained to unauthorized transactions and incorrect debits. Through the end of June, the number of overall cases dealt with by the Ombudsman declined by 13.3%. During the year, BFSO officers still answered a total of 44,304 calls, and received a total of 6,930 written complaints. The BFSO said disputes about consumer finance (29%), housing finance (21%) and deposit accounts (18%) represented the majority of cases received by the service during the year in review.Details
Retailer EDCON is deploying VeriFone “SC 5000” programmable POS PINpads nationwide in an initial deal worth $1.7 million. Prism Holdings and First National Bank have implemented the sophisticated programmable POS technology into Edgars, CNA and United Retail (Jet, Sales House, Cuthberts and Smileys) stores throughout South Africa.
Apart from supplying the initial 700 “SC 5000” PINpads, Prism has developed an integrated payment application for the terminals into Edcon’s existing POS system. Prism Holdings transaction switching entity, Prism TranSwitch Services, provides the links to the banking sector and to other systems POS infrastructure. With Edcon as a client, PTSS now switches card payment and other value-added service transactions to over 600 stores.
MYOB has selected Electronic Exchange Systems as the credit card
processing engine for its “AccountEdge” software solution. The new
merchant services features are also fully integrated with MYOB’s small
business management and accounting software, “MYOB Plus” and “AccountEdge
2004.” MYOB has worked with more than 450,000 small businesses worldwide.
Electronic Exchange Systems, based in California, has a national network of
over 150 affiliated offices.
Dublin-based CardBASE Technologies and Taiwan-based CyberSoft have integrated card systems to support the issuance of EMV cards. The combining of CyberSoft’s “CardPac” credit card system and CardBASE’s “MASCOT” smart card management system, provides card issuing banks with an out-of-the-box solution that protects their current investment in card infrastructure while also complying with EMV. “MASCOT” is an integrated solution aimed at the bulk issuance and lifecycle management of smart cards in a single or multi application environment. The integration was completed in six weeks using the “MASCOT Integration Toolkit.Details
First Data this morning reported that third quarter profits increased 5% to $360 million, as revenue grew 10% to $2.14 billion. However, Wall Street punished the firm as its stock dropped more than 5% in early trading for producing a lackluster quarter. The Payment Services unit produced third quarter revenue of $935 million, up 14% from the same period last year. Operating profits for Payment Services grew 14% to $324 million. Western Union, which comprises more than 80% of Payment Services’ revenue, reported that its Mexico money transfer revenue grew 16% on 20% transaction growth. Merchant Services’ revenue grew 12% for 3Q/03 to $785 million, and operating profits grew 10% to $215 million. Total transactions processed in the third quarter grew 26%. Card Issuing Services posted third quarter revenue of $492 million, up 1%. Operating profits of $73 million declined as a result of decreasing sub-prime business, pricing adjustments and the deconversion of Citi’s bankcard portfolio. During the quarter, the company converted more than 15 million accounts, bringing the total for the year to 24 million. The pipeline of accounts to be converted is approximately 75 million; 11 million of which are scheduled to be converted by year-end. The accounts on file at September 30th stood at 332 million. Emerging Payments, First Data’s eONE Global business, reported $39 million in revenue for the quarter. For complete details on First Data’s 3Q/03 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).