Better ATM Partners with Advanced Network

Better ATM Services announced it has finalized a reseller agreement with Advanced Network Inc. As a result of the agreement, ANI becomes a member of Better ATM Services’ reseller network and will offer Better ATM Services’ patented technology and ATM-issued Visa gift cards to more than 60 financial institutions and their 600 ATMs in California. ANI has been providing California financial institutions with state-of-the-art ATM services since 1979. The company offers clients 1st and 2nd service, cash delivery, cash management, image and envelope deposit processing, ATM cleaning, AB244 light surveys, and call center services. In addition, ANI is an authorized NCR sales and service provider.

Payment Alliance International and BECU Partner

Payment Alliance International and BECU jointly announced today that they have entered into an agreement to brand 138 ATMs located at Rite Aid stores in Washington state. PAI will own and operate all of the ATMs inside Rite Aid stores. BECU members will enjoy surcharge-free access and convenience at BECU-branded ATMs in Rite Aid stores for cash-only transactions. The agreement creates one of the largest ATM networks in the area with more than 300 BECU-branded ATMs in the Puget Sound region and 350 plus BECU-branded ATMs in the state of Washington. PAI operates one of the largest ATM networks in the United States, with equipment at more than 60,000 retail locations across the country. As part of the network, the company provides ATM services for approximately 1,500 Rite Aid locations nationwide.

Holiday Retail Sales Increase for 2013

Severe winter weather did not dampen December retail sales as shoppers took advantage of heavy promotions and last-minute deals. According to the National Retail Federation, December retail sales, which excludes automobiles, gas stations and restaurants, increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 4.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year. Total holiday retail sales, which includes November and December sales, increased 3.8 percent to $601.8 billion, which was in line with NRF’s projected forecast of 3.9 percent and $602.1 billion. In addition, non-store holiday sales, which is an indicator of online and e-commerce sales, grew 9.3 percent to $95.7 billion. December retail sales, released today by the U.S. Census Bureau, which include categories such as automobiles, gasoline stations, and restaurants, increased 0.2 percent seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 4.1 percent adjusted year-over-year.

Chase Earnings Drop As Expected

JPMorgan Chase & Co reported net income for the 4th Quarter 2013 at $5.3 billion. This was a slight increase from 4th Q 2012 which was reported at $5.2 billion. Revenue for the quarter was down 1% to $24 billion compared to the same period in 2012. Legal costs associated with a number of issues was noted as a reason for the drop in profits. Adjusted for the significant items disclosed in our earnings press releases this quarter and in the fourth quarter of 2012, EPS would have been $1.40 this year compared with $1.35 in the prior year and ROTCE would have been 15% this year, flat compared with the prior year.

Jones Group Selects VeriFone

VeriFone Systems, Inc. announced that The Jones Group Inc. has selected VeriFone solutions to enable mobile payment acceptance and enhance customer experience for its internationally recognized brands, including Jones New York and Nine West. VeriFone will upgrade the brands’ payment environments with its PAYware Mobile e210 mobile point-of-sale (mPOS) solution and the MX 915, an NFC-enabled, multi-media payment terminal.

Card Metrics

U.S. credit card margins and yields have largely been holding steady over the past year. However, Citibank reported that its net credit margin for credit cards rose 89 basis points in the third quarter to 11.16%. Net credit margin is total revenues, net of interest expense, less net credit losses and policy benefits and claims. Chase reports its total net revenue for credit cards declined slightly from 12.46% one-year ago to 12.22% in the third quarter of this year. Total net revenue is a percentage of average loans.

Neiman Marcus Reports Breach

As the credit card industry is still digesting the Target breach, what it means for customers, and how much it will cost, it looks like there was another victim over the holidays. Neiman Marcus confirmed over the weekend that it appears some of their credit card information from customers was breached and then used fraudulently . There is no official release of specific data compromised or how many people it may have affected.

First Data Announces Latest SpendTrend Analysis

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] First Data released its “SpendTrend” analysis for Dec. 3, 2013, through Dec. 30, 2013, compared to Dec. 4, 2012, through Dec. 31, 2012, tracking same-store POS data by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks from nearly four million client U.S. merchants. Dollar volume growth of 6.1%…

Visa Launches Heritage-Based Corporate Platform

Visa launched “Everywhere you want to be” multi-stakeholder communications platform designed to deliver universal access to Visa’s secure digital payments. In the 21st century, “everywhere” transcends card usage at physical locations. It’s about realizing potential and achieving dreams. “Everywhere” now is relevant for a farmer in Rwanda paying school fees on his mobile phone, a jewelry designer in California selling to a global online customer base or a government official in Brazil rebuilding a village using a Visa prepaid card. With a new tagline, as well as a refreshed brand logo, Visa is introducing a new visual identity for one of the most recognized and powerful brands in the world. Visa’s first new spot under the “Everywhere you want to be” tagline is entitled “Flying,” and features U.S. Olympic women’s ski jumping hopeful and Team Visa athlete, Sarah Hendrickson.

American Express Discount Rate

The average discount rate for merchants accepting American Express cards hit a new low in the second and third quarters of 2013. Over the past seven years the worldwide average discount rate has declined from 2.57% to 2.52%. American Express says there are many factors that will likely result in more erosion. The mix of spending by location and industry, volume-related pricing discounts, strategic investments, and certain pricing initiatives are major factors in the erosion. Despite the decrease in the average discount rate, discount revenue increased 5% in the third quarter as billed business volume rose 7%. American Express notes faster growth in Global Network Services’ billings than overall American Express billings had an impact on discount revenues too. The average discount rate reflects pricing at merchants accepting general purpose American Express cards. It represents the percentage of billed business (both proprietary and Global Network Services) retained by the American Express from merchants it acquires, prior to payments to third parties unrelated to merchant acceptance.

NCR Announces Latest POS Innovation

NCR announced its fully integrated POS solution and an all-imaging bi-optic scanner. Both solutions are designed to provide retailers with innovative technology that helps provide competitive differentiation by enabling exceptional in-store shopping experiences. NCR is the leader in consumer transaction technologies including retail self-checkout technology and POS terminals with more than a million touchpoints in service. NCR POS solutions handle more than 125,000 transactions per minute. The new imagers and POS solutions are designed to improve operations and fit within the existing footprint of previous NCR devices.The NCR “RealScan” Imager reads 1D, 2D and Mobile bar codes fast and efficiently, provides high-performance imaging with the largest scan zone in its class and enables the ability to improve store security, provide real-time scanner feedback to managers, simplify cashier training and stream live images and videos.The “RealPOS XR7″ features a stylish all-in-one design with versatility, ruggedness and data security, either a 15″ or an 18.5” multi-touch display and is powered by the 4th generation Intel Core processor.