Asta Funding Acquires CBC Settlement Funding

Asta Funding, Inc. today announced the acquisition of an 80% ownership interest in CBC Settlement Funding, LLC (“CBC”) On December 31, 2013, the Company, through a subsidiary acquired 100% of the ownership of CBC and its affiliate, CBC Management Services, LLC, for approximately $5.9 million. At the closing, the operating principals of CBC, namely William J. Skyrm, Esq. and James Goodman, were issued a 20% interest in CBC (10% to Mr. Skyrm, and 10% to Mr. Goodman). William J. Skyrm, Esq. and James Goodman, have over 30 years combined experience in the structured settlement industry. CBC purchases periodic payments under a structured settlement and annuity from individuals in exchange for a lump sum payment. In addition, the Company, through another subsidiary has agreed to provide financing to CBC of up to $5 million.

Mercury StoreCard

Mercury Payment Systems, LLC, today announced the launch of Mercury StoreCard™, a gift, rewards, mobile payments and promotions card all in one. Consumers can use the Mercury StoreCard as a gift card or a reloadable stored-value card to earn cash back loyalty rewards on every StoreCard purchase. The Mercury StoreCard can also be converted into a digital gift card via Apple® Passbook® or an Android marketplace app, allowing consumers to pay for purchases with either their physical card or smartphones, creating mobile payment convenience. Consumers can also use their smartphones to view their Mercury StoreCard’s balances, manually or automatically reload their cards, send custom-printed gift cards to their family and friends, and share promotional gift cards via social media.

BPAY Group and IDRBT Join IFX Forum

The Interactive Financial eXchange (IFX; http://www.ifxforum.org) Forum announced two new members: the BPAY Group and the Institute for Development & Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT), both at the Small Business level. The IFX Forum is an international non-profit industry association whose mission is to develop and promote the adoption of its open, interoperable standard for financial data exchange, IFX, which is available at no charge at http://bms.ifxforum.org/. BPAY is an Australian payments scheme linking individuals and businesses to more than 160 banks and credit unions, and it processes more than 26 million bill payments each month. IDRBT is a banking technology research institute in India, established to provide operational service support in information technology to banks and financial institutions. IDBRT also offers a range of academic programs, and consults in banking technology and related areas.

U.S. Bancorp Aquires Charter One Bank

U.S. Bancorp announced today that its lead bank, U.S. Bank National Association, has reached an agreement to acquire the Chicago branch banking operations of the Charter One Bank franchise owned by RBS Citizens Financial Group. The acquisition includes Charter One’s Chicago retail branch network, small business operations, and select middle market relationships. Once complete, the acquisition will nearly double U.S. Bank’s deposit market share in the Chicago metro area. Under the terms of this transaction, U.S. Bank will acquire approximately $5.3 billion of deposits, $1.1 billion of loans, 94 branches, and 800 employees for a deposit premium of approximately $315 million, or 6 percent. At close, U.S. Bank will have combined deposits of approximately $11.3 billion in Chicago.

Consumer Debt

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The latest figures from the Federal Reserve show consumer revolving debt is now rising more than than 6% year-on-year, for the first time since the “Great Recession.” The latest monthly figures indicate total consumer credit card grew 6.1% in October, compared to -0.3% in September and 1.4% in August. However, RAM…

Infinea BluePad mPay Solution Launced

Infinite Peripherals, Inc. (IPC) today introduced the Infinea BluePad, a mobile payment solution that includes PIN entry, a contact chip smart card reader and a magnetic stripe reader with Bluetooth connectivity. Compatible with iOS and Android (OS 2.1 or higher), the Infinea BluePad can operate either as a stand-alone mobile device or as a companion to IPC’s mobile peripheral devices, including the Linea Pro® and Infinea Tab,® which work with Apple®’s iPod touch®, iPhone® and iPad®. The Infinea BluePad features a tactile keypad with 10 numeric and six functional keys, as well as smart card and magnetic stripe readers with three-track hi-coercivity bi-directional reading capabilities. One of the key differentiators that makes the Infinea BluePad product line versatile yet affordable is that IPC does not require a transaction or fee-based contract in order to acquire the device.

Gemalto Launces Next Gen M2M at CES

Gemalto today announced at CES, the addition of next generation Oracle Java™ ME Embedded version 8 solutions based on Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) chipsets to its Cinterion® portfolio of cellular modules and devices. With support for Java and for the SensorLogic cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) platform, the new products enable Gemalto to launch next generation embedded solutions and services that simplify Machine-to-Machine (M2M) technology and speed up application development to expand the growing Internet of Things (IoT). The new products(1) will target applications from medical devices, automobiles and smart meters to shipping containers, home appliances and alarm systems. Gemalto’s new Java enabled products join an existing portfolio of QTI-based modules that span the full range of cellular technologies, from CDMA to LTE.

M&T Bank Executive Changes

M&T Bank Corporation announced today that Vice Chairman Michael P. Pinto, 57, has resigned from M&T’s board of directors due to a serious medical condition. However, Mr. Pinto will continue as Vice Chairman of M&T Bank, M&T’s primary banking subsidiary, on a part-time basis in an advisory role. In addition to this change President Mark J. Czarnecki has also been named Chief Operating Officer, effective immediately. Furthermore, M&T announced that Chief Financial Officer Rene F. Jones and Executive Vice President Kevin J. Pearson have been named Vice Chairmen of M&T Bank, and with expanded roles, will now report to Mr. Wilmers as well.

Payelp Partners with Fortumo

International business and payment platform Payelp Global announced its partnership and integration with Fortumo, which offers merchants “one-click” mobile payments in 79 countries worldwide. Fortumo, which has offices in the U.S. (San Francisco), Europe, China and India, not only offers mobile payments in the U.S. and Europe, but focuses on emerging regions and “hard-to-monetize” regions such as Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe and Asia. Over 100,000 developers have already signed up to offer Fortumo mobile payments, including top developers such as Rovio, Electronic Arts (EA) and Gameloft.

Fiserv Solution Suite Partners with OnPoint Community CU

Fiserv, Inc. announced that OnPoint Community Credit Union, a $3.2 billion asset, 260,000 member credit union based in Portland, Ore., is empowering members to better manage their finances through the implementation of a full-featured suite of digital banking services from Fiserv. With the addition of Corillian Online(R) for online banking, Mobiliti(TM) and Mobiliti(TM): Tablet for mobile and tablet banking and AllData(R) PFM for personal financial management, OnPoint is offering an integrated digital banking experience that can cater to specific member needs. The credit union has also added advanced money movement options including faster bill payments via CheckFree(R) RXP(R), money transfers between institutions via TransferNow(R) and person-to-person payments via Popmoney(R).

Fiserv Announces Latest FCU Client

Fiserv announced OnPoint Community Credit Union is deploying the full-featured suite of digital banking services from Fiserv. This includes “Corillian Online” for online banking, Mobiliti and Mobiliti: Tablet for mobile and tablet banking and AllData PFM for personal financial management. The credit union has also added advanced money movement options including faster bill payments via “CheckFree RXP,” money transfers between institutions via “TransferNow” and person-to-person payments via “Popmoney.” OnPoint worked closely with Fiserv to tightly integrate the new digital banking capabilities into existing OnPoint systems, and to customize the solutions where needed to meet member needs. As a result, members are experiencing new conveniences, such as the ability to see all account balances in one place, as well as the implementation of a single password for online, mobile and tablet banking.

Planet Payment Names COO

Planet Payment international payment and transaction processing and multi-currency processing services appointed Robert J. Cox COO, who will also continue in his role as CFO. Cox has served as the Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since November 2009 and will continue to serve in such roles following his appointment as Chief Operating Officer. From June 2009 to November 2009, Cox served as the Chief Financial Officer of Harris Interactive, Inc., a market research firm. From 2001 to May 2009, Mr. Cox served as the Chief Financial Officer of DealerTrack Holdings, Inc., an automotive retail software solution provider. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant in the audit practice at KPMG LLP. Mr. Cox holds a B.A. in Accounting from St. Bonaventure University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.