GoPin Changes Name

MD-based GoPin Inc., creators of the Bill Me Later network, have changed their name to I4 Commerce Inc. effective immediately. With the introduction of Bill Me Later this year, the company has taken the opportunity to change the corporate name to reflect their merchant-centric mission. The company currently has strategic relationships with the industry’s largest payment processors, including Paymentech and First Data Corporation.

Details

Personalized Holograms

Israeli firm SafeCard ID system 7 is introducing new technology enabling the creation of personalized holograms for ID cards and possibly payment cards. The hologram may contain the card bearer’s photograph which is embedded in the card and cannot be altered. The special process makes the card bearer’s face appear as a shiny face integrated within other holographic elements. SafeCard’s patented system can also be used as a platform for printed biometric data. The system can also handle smart cards. SafeCard can selectively metallize the card in any size and shape and in several colors. The company is currently moving its headquarters to Norfolk, VA from Caesaria, Israel.

Details

Wider Margins

The gap between the cost of funds and interest revenues continues to widen for credit card issuers this year. Meanwhile, average credit card interest rates have edged upward by 20 bps since the start of this year. Yesterday, Discover reported that its interest rate spread widened 123 basis points for the second quarter compared to 2Q/01, driven by a decline in cost of funds. Other top issuers are expected to report similar gains when second quarter reports come out next month. The Feds have not adjusted rates since December.

INTEREST RATE YIELDS
Jan 01: 8.71% Jun 01: 9.35% Nov 01: 10.14% Apr 02: 10.45%
Feb 01: 8.79% Jul 01: 9.43% Dec 01: 10.26%
Mar 01: 9.04% Aug 01: 9.68% Jan 02: 10.40%
Apr 01: 9.12% Sep 01: 9.80% Feb 02: 10.39%
May 01: 9.28% Oct 01: 9.96% Mar 02: 10.39%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

Sony & GlobalCollect

TPG N.V.’s GlobalCollect subsidiary has inked a contract with Sony Online Entertainment to provide the WebCollect global online payment service for Sony’s multiplayer online subscription-based gaming business which includes the EverQuest series with more than 430,000 subscribers. With WebCollect, Sony is no longer limited to only accepting credit card payments. The company can now process subscription-based orders anywhere in the world in the currency and payment method that customers choose.

Details

AB 865

A new law that is set to go into effect in California on July 1st which requires credit card issuers to show certain consumers the impact of making minimum payments may be blocked at the end of this month. A group of major credit card issuers, including Citibank, who had a hand in crafting the legislation last year, have filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court this month to block the new law. As a result, consumer groups are furious. The new law, AB 865, requires credit card companies to disclose on customer bills the total costs and length of time it will take to retire credit card debt of $1,000, $2,500, and $5,000 if a consumer makes just the minimum payment. Consumers who make the minimum payment for six months will receive this information based on their exact outstanding balance. Credit card companies are also required to maintain a toll-free telephone number to call a “live” customer service representative so that individualized minimum payment information can be obtained. The new disclosure requirement was a compromise proposal signed into law after the financial industry lobbied Governor Gray Davis in 2000 to veto a stronger version of the bill that would have required credit card issuers to send minimum payment warnings to all cardholders. Citigroup drafted the outline of the compromise that eventually watered-down the legislation. Consumers Union says no financial institutions opposed the compromise proposal when it was considered and adopted by the California legislature last year. The card issuers’ lawsuit claims that the new state law is preempted by the National Bank Act and that national banks cannot be required to abide by state laws that impede their business. It also alleges that the California law violates the commerce clause by significantly impeding interstate commerce. The case is scheduled for a hearing on June 28.

Details

Slot Machine ATM Access

FDC’s Global Cash Access and its QuickPlay Infonox subsidiary have inked a deal to deploy Infonox’s Active Payment Platform to enable casino customers to use their ATM cards at the slot machine. The Active Payment Platform has been extended to not only manage the EFT side of transactions but also to operate the entire monitoring and configuring of the transaction system. Key requirements in such a system, including message and data encryption, key management, POS and server configuration and management as well as back-end systems such as dispute resolution, transaction tracking and reporting, reconciliation, and settlement are all handled by the Infonox APP.

Details

ICE PocketChange

Kansas-based Wirca has introduced the first software application that allows consumers to complete mobile-phone-initiated, cashless payments at retail stores and restaurants equipped with Hypercom’s ICE card payment terminals. Wirca’s PocketChange application is running in test markets on Hypercom’s 5500 and ICE 5500/5700Plus terminals. The mobile payment functionality can be added to the Hypercom terminals via a simple software download. The Learning Tree store chain is currently testing PocketChange. Hypercom’s ICE 5500Plus and ICE 5700Plus are high performance, high speed, touch screen card payment terminals that incorporate Hypercom’s new SureLoad clamshell printing technology and ePOS-infocommerce framework.

Details

PayPal/UPS Shipping

UPS and PayPal have partnered to completely integrate the online payment process with digital shipping tools. This is the first time that UPS has integrated its shipping API into a third party’s branded product. The “PayPal Shipping With UPS” enables customer shipping information to be populated into the shipping label as a one-step process. Any PayPal user may utilize the new feature, enabling sellers to pay shipping charges via a PayPal virtual debit card. UPS bills sellers directly for shipping charges. As a result, sellers do not need to worry about collecting additional money for shipping and buyers are not overcharged. The PayPal service automatically sends payment to the seller at the close of a transaction. Since going public in February, PayPal has formed a number of strategic alliances and is in the process of switching its U.S. credit card processing services from InterCept’s Electronic Payment Exchange to Wells Fargo. PayPal also offers a co-branded MasterCard debit card which is linked to PayPal’s interest earning “Money Market Reserve Fund” which holds funds pending PayPal transactions. (CF Library 12/22/00; 6/13/02)

Details