Conference Board Index Up 4th Consec Month

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Having increased the past four consecutive months, the Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. was up 0.2% in October to 97.5 after a 0.9% increase in September and a 0.7% increase in August. This helps lift the six-month annualized growth rate to 5.1% from 3.7% in the previous six…

Polaris Real Time Payments Hub Rated a ‘Best in Class’ Provider

Polaris Financial Technology announced that its Payments Hub from its iGTB division received a ‘Best in Class’ recognition for Payments Operations in CEB TowerGroup’s annual Payment Hubs Technology Analysis report, 2013. As a real-time payments solution that minimizes operational risk and improves the Straight Through Processing rate to over 90%, Polaris’ Payments Hub provides superior customer experience though a channel agnostic service layer with the flexibility to configure to meet changing customer needs, regulatory reforms and operational arrangements. With a 360° view of corporate activities related to payments, it offers better risk management, supports centralized control of global payments operations and its robust exception handling process and AML and fraud management capability reduce Exception and Investigation and manpower costs.

Western Union Partners Against Scamsters

Western Union and Better Business Bureau launched BBB Scam Stopper to help consumers reduce their chances of becoming a victim of common scams. In conjunction, the partnership is advising consumers It’s best always to donate to a charity directly after confirming its legitimacy – rather than giving in response to a phone call or by clicking an email link. Never send a money transfer to an individual for a charity. Western Union does accept donations for charities, but the money transfer must be sent to the organization, not to an individual. Never share banking or credit card information with a person or business you don’t actually know. Never click on links to charities on unfamiliar websites or in texts or emails. These may take you to a lookalike website where you will be asked to provide personal financial information or to click on something that downloads harmful malware into your computer.

U.S. Prime Credit Card Chargeoffs Drop 7th Consecutive Month

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Prime charge-offs are anticipated to decline for the seventh straight month to the lowest observation in the near 23-year history of the index. The previous record low for charge-offs was 3.10% set in March of 2006, but are anticipated to end 2013 in the 3.0%-3.3% range. Fitch’s preliminary Prime Monthly Payment…

PayPal Adds PrePaid GiftCard Support

A recent PayPal usability study shows only 1 person out of every 4 was able to register their billing address and complete an online purchase successfully. Subsequently, PayPal is launching its patent-pending method to allow the usage of prepaid gift cards so that you can seamlessly apply them to the purchase of products and services anywhere PayPal is accepted. As long as the merchants a user is shopping with accept PayPal, they now have buying power on top of their existing debit, credit cards or banks.

Conference Board Consumer Index Drops in November

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index dropped again in November, following an October drop. The Index now stands at 70.4 (1985=100), down from 72.4 in October. The Present Situation Index edged down to 72.0 from 72.6. The Expectations Index declined to 69.3 from 72.2 last month. Consumers’ assessment of overall current conditions…

Citi ThankYou Rewards Points to Cover All Online Purchases

Citi is introducing its ThankYou Rewards, allowing members to turn online purchased items to their own personal reward. ThankYou Rewards members can now shop with a Rewards Account Number, a virtual credit card account number linked to their Citi credit card and ThankYou Rewards account, where MasterCard® and Visa® are accepted. Rewards Account Numbers give Citi ThankYou Rewards members who have a credit card enrolled in ThankYou Rewards flexibility to use their ThankYou Points when shopping online.

MasterCard and Ogone Deploy MasterPass

MasterCard and Ogone partnered on the integration and deployment of MasterPass digital transactions. This collaboration which covers Belgium, The Netherlands, France, United Kingdom, Germany and Spain in a first phase and the remaining countries Ogone operates in later on, paves the way for the adoption of MasterPass™ by tens of thousands of merchants. MasterPass, the digital platform from MasterCard, simplifies online purchases made from connected devices including PCs, touchpads and smartphones. MasterPass meets consumers’ demand for convenience shopping and eliminates the need to enter detailed shipping and card information to complete their online shopping at MasterPass merchant sites that have the “Buy with MasterPass™” button on their check out page.

Cardlytics Granted Patent on Offer Placement System

Cardlytics received a patent for its core system Cardlytics Offer Placement System (OPS) from the United States Patent and Trademark Office. U.S. Patent No. 8,595,065 relates to the secure connection between transaction data with no personal identifiable information and advertising campaign data, which enables Cardlytics to create targeted marketing based on consumer purchase behavior. This is Cardlytics’ third patent; the first was granted in May and the second in August of 2013. Cardlytics’ first patent (8,438,061) relates to the delivery of targeted marketing advertising to banking consumers from our Offer Placement System (OPS). The second patent (8,515,810) relates to the aspects of the OPS working in conjunction with Cardlytics’ other core system – the advertiser-facing Offer Management System (OMS).

Cardlytics Named a Top Provider of Card Loyalty Tech

Cardlytics Card-Linked Marketing announced that its Transaction-Driven Marketing solution received a Best-in-Class distinction in a CEB TowerGroup report after an evaluation of card loyalty technology vendors. The CEB TowerGroup analyst cited Cardlytics’ flexible interface, abundant security and control options, and robust operational metrics as key reasons for naming the provider a Best-in-Class offering in all four categories, including Customer Interface, Management & Operations, Security & Control and Enterprise Support. Through quantitative and qualitative analysis, CEB TowerGroup’s report provides a customer-driven, transparent and unbiased review of technology, designed to drive informed business decisions.

PAI Announces Latest ATM-Branding Client

Payment Alliance International (PAI) retail ATM solutions signed an agreement to brand ATMs located in select Rite Aid stores in the greater Louisville, Ky. area. PAI will own and operate the ATMs which will be outfitted with River City Bank branding. River City Bank customers will have surcharge free ATM access to cash at select Louisville Rite Aid store locations beginning late December 2013. PAI operates one of the largest ATM networks in the United States, with ATMs at more than 60,000 retail locations across the country. The Company provides ATM services for approximately 1,500 Rite Aid locations nationwide. With the addition of Rite Aid ATM placements, River City Bank is able to expand their hometown footprint without significant expense.

Mobey Calls on Banks to Meet MPOS Market Demand

Mobey Forum released its whitepaper, ‘The MPOS Strategy: Shifting the Balance of Power’, which examines the changing market dynamics brought about by disruptive MPOS providers and offers a strategic evaluation framework designed to help banks maintain their position and take advantage of the rapidly evolving MPOS market. The paper examines how MPOS disrupts the established four-party model (cardholder, merchant, acquirer, issuer) and identifies the potential winners and losers in the marketplace. Pushing beyond the traditional MPOS ‘dongle plus smartphone’ concept, the paper addresses issues surrounding interchange models, payment service provider models, networked commerce and the merchant-customer relationship. The paper then investigates how banks and financial institutions are currently reacting to the influx and utilisation of MPOS solutions, before proposing a structure through which banks and other stakeholders can weigh their strategic options, protect their interests and move to take advantage of the wave of change occurring in this complex environment.