BOFA SAFESEND

Bank of America has adopted a flat price structure of $10 to send money to Mexico using its “SafeSend” service. The reduced transfer fee is available for all existing “SafeSend” account holders and new customers. The $10 fee also is valid for anyone who is not a Bank of America customer. To register for a “SafeSend” account, individuals need to have a VISA or MasterCard debit or credit card available as well as the Mexican “Matricula ID” card. Once a customer is registered, Bank of America will send the “SafeSend” card to their loved one in Mexico. Upon receipt of the card, his/her loved one can withdraw available cash at any of
the approximately 20,000 ATMs in Mexico.

Details

Cards Asia

In view of the current Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) situation in Asia, Terrapinn has decided to postpone the Cards Asia 2003 exhibition and conference.

We believe that the welfare of our sponsors, exhibitors, speakers, delegates and our staff is paramount and do not wish to place anyone under the risk of a potential infection. I’m sure you will agree with our decision.

Details

FREESTAR DEAL

Dublin-based FreeStar Technology says that one of its Finnish subsidiaries, FreeStar Processing Oy, had entered into a processing agreement with Florida-based Vacation Showroom. Freestar says the contract will produce a minimum volume of $1 million per month transaction, rising to $6 million per month within 9 months. FreeStar’s gross margin on the transaction volume is estimated to be 3.5%. Processing will begin April 15th.

Details

Concord & FDC

First Data and Concord EFS announced a definitive agreement to merge in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $7 billion. Rumors of the impending merger sent Concord’s stock up by 26% yesterday. Concord has been struggling with the contract renewals of its large bank customers such as Bank One, Wells Fargo, Wachovia, and National City. VISA and its “Interlink” network have been aggressively bidding against Concord in some of these major contract renewals. Three weeks ago Concord reportedly hired Goldman Sachs to find a buyer at a potential price of $6 billion. The combination of FDC and Concord will create a payments behemoth. FDC is also majority owner of the NYCE ATM network, which is dominant in the northeast. Concord’s STAR ATM network is nationwide. Concord also controls more than half of the POS debit processing market. First Data controls nearly half of the merchant acquiring market. Therefore, it is widely believed that any potential deal between FDC and Concord will draw close regulatory scrutiny. (CF Library 2/13/03; 2/19/03; 3/11/03)

Details

CARDS ASIA

The Cards Asia conference, originally scheduled for this month, has been moved to July. The outbreak of SARS has forced many firms to cancel plans to travel to Asia, notably to destinations such as Singapore and Hong Kong. The 8th annual “Cards Asia 2003” event will now be held July 23-25 at Suntec in Singapore. Speakers scheduled to appear include Alexander Rittweger, CEO, Loyalty Partner GmbH, Germany; Cindy Cheng, Director of Sales and Marketing, Octopus Cards Ltd, Hong Kong; Rohit Bhargava, General Manager, Personal Financial Services, HSBC Bank, Malaysia; Chang Hong-Jen, President, Bureau of National Health Insurance, Taiwan; Wang Zhong Lin, President of Dalian Pearl Card Co., China; and Jean-Phillip Betoin, Chairman of the Board, SIMalliance. The program includes sessions on “RETAIL PAYMENTS AND TRANSACTIONS”; “CARD MARKETING & LOYALTY”; “e-GOVERNMENT & SECURITY”; and “SIM 2003”. For more information visit http://www.cards-worldwide.com.

Details

Allpoint Network

Washington, DC-based ATM National this morning announced the launch of the “Allpoint” surcharge-free ATM network. Pentagon Federal Credit Union, with more than 500,000 members, is among the first to join the network. “Allpoint” offers surcharge-free access to more than 23,000 ATMs nationwide and is targeted at credit unions, community banks, Internet banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies, and payroll companies. The new network is comprised of E*TRADE and Cardtronics ATMs. Other “Allpoint” clients include Atlanta-based Skylight Financial and OBA Bank, a Washington, DC metro area community bank. ATM National has also partnered with Fiserv EFT/CNS.

Details

QSR Volume

Americans charged more than $6 billion worth of fast food to their credit cards last year compared to $3.7 billion in 2001, and $1.7 billion in 2000, according to CardTrak ([www.cardtrak.com][1]). Since 2000, fast food sales on credit card have more than tripled even though slightly less than 15% of quick service restaurants currently accept cards. Recent studies by VISA on QSR activity show the average transaction for credit customers is 20% to 30% higher than for cash customers. More than half of fast food transactions on credit cards, are VISA transactions.

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

Details

ECHO SCAN

eFunds Corporation, a leading provider of electronic payments, risk management and business process outsourcing solutions, announced a strategic reseller agreement between its wholly-owned subsidiary Deposit Payment Protection Services, Inc., and ECHO, a leading provider of electronic payment and transaction processing services. ECHO will offer the SCAN OnLine service in conjunction with their extended services, providing customers with a seamless check management system across both paper and electronic transactions.

Details

Hypercom & Abanco

IL-based ABANCO International has awarded Hypercom a $16 million contract for payment technology and terminals. ABANCO is an ISO and a registered agent of EFS National Bank and Fleet National Bank. The contract is for Hypercom card payment terminals and technology with the “HyperSafe” operating system security and Hypercom “Electronic Receipt Capture” signature capture software. Earlier this week, NJ-based MSI Merchant Services signed a one-year contract for 10,000 Hypercom “ICE” card payment terminals. MSI provides services to more than 25,000 businesses in the retail, hospitality and emerging market sectors.

Details