VISA USA’s top executive told 400 attendees of its “Security Summit” that payment security must become a strategic priority for businesses and that all entities touching payments must invest in security to maintain consumer trust. President and CEO John Philip Coghlan said data security must move out of the back office and into the boardroom. VISA says in the last year, PCI compliance among the largest merchants doubled from less than 15% to more than one-third. Last year VISA launched the $20 million “PCI Compliance Acceleration Program” which combines both incentives and penalties as a means of growing industry compliance levels. VISA also announced it is adopting a new policy related to interchange fees. VISA’s best interchange rates will only be available to merchants through their acquirers if they validate PCI compliance by September 30, 2007. The impact to tiered merchants varies from $250,000 to more than $20 million depending on the merchant’s qualifying VISA volume. The summit was co-sponsored by VISA USA and Harvard Business School Publishing.
French security solution provider, Xiring, showed strong growth posting
a 41% increase in revenue of 12.8 million Euro on December 31, 2006 and
a net profit up 160% to 1.3 million Euro. The company’s growth was
driven by increased sales of banking authentication solutions and a
strengthening position on the healthcare market. Remote banking solution
sales grew 65%, representing a 29% growth in a share of the business.
Sales of Xiring’s SESAM-Vitale healthcare products were up by 24%. This
growth throughout the year enabled the company an operating income of
1.1 million Euro, increasing the operating margin by over three points.
Intending to maintain this growth and, over the next three years, become
one of the three world leaders in the banking authentication market,
Xiring is pursuing a strategy of technology innovation. The company’s
targets for the 2007 financial year are growth in revenue of 30% plus
and an operating margin exceeding 7%.
A new study has determined there is a strong relationship between a consumer’s perception of a retailer’s reputation for safeguarding card account data and the consumer’s willingness to shop there. The Javelin Strategy & Research study found that consumers believe retailers share an equal responsibility with banks, credit card companies, processors, and cardholders themselves for protecting their credit and debit card account information. Javelin found that 85% of consumers would be likely to increase their shopping at a store if they knew it was a leader in devoting resources and technology to protecting its customers’ personal credit and/or debit card account information and had an excellent record in protecting its customers’ personal data. Only 20% said they would likely continue shopping at a store if they learned it had a data breach that may have compromised their card account information, while 78% said they would be unlikely to continue to shop there. The study was based on a nationwide survey of 1,200 credit or debit cardholders.
Prepaid card processor Nomad and IDT have successfully launched
the UK’s first fully functional instant issue MasterCard prepaid card.
The new “IDT Prime Card” was launched on a trial basis in West London
and Slough in the fourth quarter and is now available nationwide. IDT
Financial say the new card is the country’s first instant issue prepaid
MasterCard that can be purchased over the counter with no identification
or bank account. Nomad provided the open loop prepaid solution for the
new card and began working on the “Prime Card” project with IDT in
February 2006. The card is aimed primarily at the four million people in
the UK who do not have access to a bank account.
The Georgia Restaurant Association, along with the National Restaurant Association and First Data announced the Georgia launch of the “TakeCharge” payment program, designed specifically for the restaurant industry. “TakeCharge” provides increased payment choices and attractive rates for credit card processing to small and mid-size merchants in addition to national chains. In addition to exclusive rates for credit card processing, members receive easy-to-understand billing; acceptance for all major credit cards provided through First Data’s alliances with various banks; PIN-secured and signature-based debit acceptance through leading networks like the STAR Network; and the availability of merchandising programs including loyalty and gift cards; Internet Protocol (IP) based, near instant processing; the TeleCheck Electronic Check Acceptance (ECA) service; and Dynamic Currency Conversion services.
Ukrainian Financial Network (UFN) has selected Nomad’s “CORTEX” software
to provide card payment services to network members. The software will
support a network of almost 700 ATMs and 500 POS terminals throughout
the Ukraine. These terminals support EMV card issuance as well as
authorization for member banks and access to external switches.
Fundamental to UFN’s decision to use “CORTEX” is Nomad’s partnership
with D8 Latvia SIA in the Central and Eastern European markets.
VISA and game maker Hasbro have signed a deal to add VISA cards to the latest version of “THE GAME OF LIFE.” Players of the new edition, due to be released in August, will receive a VISA card at the start of the game and will use an electronic banking unit to store each players’ financial data as well as their status in the game. The new electronic “LIFEPod” will replace the spin wheel from the classic game. In addition to including VISA cards, the new “Twists & Turns Edition” will allow players to choose four different non-linear paths while pursuing their life goals including an adventure track, family track, college track, and career track. Also, the new edition will feature elements of VISA’s “Practical Money Skills for Life” financial literacy program. Hasbro noted that the winner is no longer the person who accumulates the most money, but rather earns the most “life points,” which is a combination of wealth and life experiences. “THE GAME OF LIFE” was first launched in 1960 and is now produced in 20 languages.
A new director of business development for Central and Eastern Europe
has been appointed for TSYS Europe. Ralf Mueller, a 14 year veteran of
the payment cards industry, was appointed to the position after being in
charge of sales of POS terminals at another company. Mueller, a Munich
native, is fundamental to the company’s strategic priority of European
expansion. He also has an extensive education background in economics
and mechanical engineering, attended Visa Bankcard Business School in
1993, and completed Kaufhof management training in 1999.
Pay By Touch and TX-eBank Systems have formed an alliance through which eBank will market and sell Pay By Touch’s “Paycheck Secure” service to its existing customer base of more than 30 community banks and financial institutions as well as new prospects. “Paycheck Secure” enables a person to cash checks using a simple finger scan to authenticate their identity. To enroll new customers, banks digitally scan the consumer’s government-issued photo I.D., take an electronic photograph and capture two fingerprints, creating a unique customer profile for each individual. At subsequent visits to the bank, the customer need only place his/her finger on the scanner to safely and securely cash payroll and government checks. Currently, more than 3 million consumers are using “Paycheck Secure” in 2,000 retail locations across 41 states. e-Bank Systems is a technology and core service provider. Pay By Touch is the global leader in biometric authentication, personalized marketing and payment solutions.
SVPCO-Electronic Clearing Services said that total number of check images transmitted in February set a new record and increased more than 600% compared to a year ago. In February, the Image Payments Network, reported the following highlights and volume that includes 143.4 million in total monthly items, a 638% increase compared to a year ago and $281.1 billion in total monthly dollar value an increase of 278% compared to a year ago; 7.5 million in daily average items, an increase of 12.25% over January 2007 and The Federal Reserve’s volume increased 11.76% to 24.1 million images. In February 2006, daily average items were 1.0 million, total monthly items were 19.4 million and monthly dollar volume was $74.4 billion. The Image Payments Network offers financial institutions a variety of connectivity options. The Clearing House Payments Company is a private-sector, global payment systems infrastructure that clears and settles 40 million payments for more than $1.6 trillion per day.
NCR Corporation has appointed Janet Brewer as vice president of corporate communications for the company. Brewer led the corporate communications team at LexisNexis and founded and led J. Brewer Communications, a strategic marketing and communications business, prior to joining NCR as director of community relations. Brewer previously served as director of community and public relations, at The Reynolds and Reynolds Company, a provider of automotive retailing technology solutions and held marketing and public information positions at Monarch Marking (now Paxar) and Mosier Industries.
MA-based Mall Networks has created partnerships with the Massachusetts Organization of Realtors, the Massachusetts Dental Society and the Arizona Association of Realtors to offer each of their members a single shopping destination with exclusive promotions and discounts. Members can earn points that are redeemable for cash rebates each time they shop at leading merchants including Staples.com, Apple Store, Barnes & Noble.com, Brooks Brothers, circuitcity.com, Toys R’ us, Eastern Mountain Sports.com, eToys.com, Expedia.com, Lands’ End TM, Macys.com, Orbitz.com and many others. These partnerships are the result of a collaborative effort between Mall Networks and Affinity Marketing Group, a provider of affinity marketing and customer loyalty programs for financial institutions, insurance companies and internet-based marketing organizations. Mall Networks offers custom online malls for card issuers, loyalty programs, clubs, professional organizations and non-profit organizations.