American Teens Spend $170 Billion Per Year

American teens are spending about $264 per month of their income that is mostly earned through part-time jobs. They also represent the fastest growing consumer segment, spending more than $170 billion per year. Interestingly, at the end of each month, teens end up with approximately $14 per month in loose change. The findings come from a survey conducted by Coinstar. The “Teens Talk Poll” found that 73% earn money from doing odd jobs, while more than one-third say they hold down either a regular or part-time job. The average monthly allowance for the majority of youth between 12 – 14 years of age is between $30 and $50; while teens between the ages of 15 – 17 receive either between $20 and $30 per month; or $50 and $100 per month. On average the Coinstar poll found that nearly half of young Americans surveyed receive an average allowance of $42 per month. The majority of teens spend at least some of the money they earn or receive, while six percent save it all. The remaining 18% say they save up their money in order to buy specific items or make special purchases.

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Concord EFS and Diebold Partner

Concord EFS and Diebold have teamed to provide turnkey ATM outsourcing solutions to customers. The two companies will offer packaged programs that include ATM processing, hardware, software, maintenance services, support and financing. Diebold will provide the ATM hardware, software and services including its “Opteva” and “ix Series” ATMs and its new terminal-resident “Agilis” software. Diebold Credit Corporation will provide financing options. Concord EFS will provide ATM/POS driving, network switching and gateways to VISA and MasterCard, reporting and settlement for switched transactions, call-center helpdesk, around-the-clock ATM monitoring, and incident management and problem resolution services.

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Lynk Systems Signs Processing Deal with Missouri Oil Company

Atlanta-based Lynk Systems has inked a long-term processing agreement with MO-based MFA Oil Company to use its “LynkPak” upgrade to VeriFone’s “Ruby SuperSystem,” at 450 MFA company-owned and dealer locations. In addition to credit, debit, prepaid and EBT card processing, MFA Oil will use Lynk’s proprietary FuelLynk fleet program to accommodate its Preferred and Petro-Card 24 cards. Lynk is a proven leader in electronic payment, cash dispensing and e-commerce services. The company processes transactions initiated by credit and debit cards, checks, and other access cards from merchant POS terminals, ATMs and web sites. MFA Oil owns and operates, or supplies products to, about 450 fuel dispensing sites in Missouri and surrounding states.

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Detachable Card Carrier Packages Patent Changes Hands

OK-based SSI Technologies has transferred ownership of its patents for detachable card carrier packages to NY-based Advanced Card Technologies LLC. SSI is widely recognized as the leading technology based plastic card manufacturer in the world. Advanced Card Technologies LLC, is a joint venture between SSI Technologies, General Patent Corporation International, and IP Holdings LLC. ACT was formed for the purpose of licensing and enforcing U.S. Patents Nos. 5,720,158 and 5,921,584.

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Do Not Call Registry Enforcement is Hazy

As of this morning it is unclear whether or not the new, national “Do Not Call Registry” is enforceable. The Federal Trade Commission is in the process of shutting down its role in the registry after it was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge. However, the Federal Communications Commission maintains it has control of the list and will enforce it, beginning today, despite a ruling by federal District Judge Edward Nottingham last week which barred the FTC from enforcing it. It appears that many telemarketing firms will honor the registry to be safe, but access to the list has been cut-off due to the recent court rulings.

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Cubic Hires Harlow for Parking and Access Markets

San Diego-based Cubic Transportation Systems has snagged Michael Harlow, former international sales and marketing manager for SAS Access Systems, as manager of sales for the parking and access markets. Harlow joins Cubic after having served as international sales and marketing manager for building and parking access specialist SAS Access Systems in San Diego, where he was named “Salesman of the Year” three consecutive years. Cubic has designed and installed some of the world’s most sophisticated automatic fare collection systems using smart card technology.

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First Data Adds Two Independent Directors to its Board

First Data has named Daniel Burnham, chairman of the Board of Directors for Raytheon, and Jack Greenberg, retired chairman and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation, to its board of directors.Burnham joined Raytheon as president and chief operating officer in 1998 and was appointed chief executive officer later that year. He served as CEO through June 2003. Greenberg served in leadership positions at McDonald’s for 21 years. First Data serves approximately 3 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment.

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BofA’s SafeSend Offers POS Option in Mexico

Santander Serfin and Bank of America have added the “VISA Electron” symbol to their “SafeSend” ATM transfer card. The upgrade will enable cardholders to now use “SafeSend” cards in more than 120,000 stores in Mexico. The two banks also announced that customers in the U.S will now be able to view the exact amount of money available in pesos at the time funds are added to the card, since the exchange rate is applied when funds are loaded to the card. Bank of America introduced the “SafeSend” product in April 2002 to enable Hispanic U.S. customers to make money available to friends and family in Mexico through ATMs. Fees for ATM transactions are waived when customers use any of Santander Serfin’s 1,800 ATMs within Mexico. Bank of America Corporation acquired 24.9% of Grupo Financiero Santander Serfin in March.

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FCC Takes Over Do-Not-Call Registry

The battle over the enforcement of the new national “Do-Not-Call Registry” took another turn yesterday as the Federal Communications Commission was given the green light to take over the registry. On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver denied a request by telemarketers to block the FCC from assuming control of the list. Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget approved for three years the FCC’s telemarketing rules. As a result, the national do-not-call rules and the call abandonment rules will become effective tomorrow, and the caller ID requirements will go into effect on January 29, 2004. Last week, Congress passed legislation giving the FTC the authority to establish the registry while another U.S. District Court ruled the registry was unconstitutional. On Friday, the FTC filed an appeal and a motion for an emergency stay of the portion of the court’s order that enjoins the FTC. Yesterday, the President signed the bill into law.

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Rental Payments on Cards Jumps 43%

VISA USA said yesterday that payment card acceptance among rental properties has soared 43% over the past twelve months and now reaches all 50 states. More than 350,000 rental units nationwide, among 1,000+ properties, now offer the VISA debit or credit card option on a monthly basis. With the success of the rental property market, VISA’s bill payment initiative may explore capturing other lease payments. To-date, the majority of the rental property transactions have been on VISA’s debit card, and most have been one-time or monthly-authorized payments. However, a growing percentage of property management companies have been investing in the software to set-up recurring VISA payments for tenants. The American National Standards Institute has also established a separate “Merchant Category Code” for tracking transactions at property management companies, which enables issuers to categorize rent payments on cardholders’ year-end statements. A survey conducted last year by Downall Research for VISA found that 83% of apartment community managers said the use of payment cards increases on-time payments and 81% said the payment card option makes apartment homes easier to rent. VISA transactions for property management companies is currently under the “Card-Not-Present” interchange rate.

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Advanta Issues Affinity Card for Businesswomen

The Women Impacting Public Policy organization has teamed with Advanta in a broad alliance. Under terms of the deal, Advanta will issue a “WIPP Platinum Business Card” women business owners/members. Advanta will also provide its marketing and analytical capabilities to assist WIPP in increasing its membership. Furthermore, Advanta will be the exclusive provider of financial services to WIPP members as well as providing other business solutions. WIPP is a national, bipartisan public policy organization that advocates for, and on behalf of, women in business. There are a estimated 10.1 million women business owners in the USA. At mid-year, Advanta had $2.8 billion in business credit card outstandings, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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