EUFISERV TAKEOVER

Having acquired a 50% stake in the European processing network, First
Data payment services has teamed with EUFISERV’s 15 European shareholder
banks with the intention of expanding its European Interbank presence.
The Brussels-based EUFISERV provides inter-bank POS/ATM switching, which
First Data intends to further develop for SEPA framework compliance.
Additionally, First Data will acclimate the organization’s network to
its own, positioning EUFISERV to provide end users with access to over
74,000 ATMs, 1.5 million POS merchants for the acceptance of more than
165 million card accounts in Europe, and, to reflect its new ownership,
will be changing the network’s name.

First Hawaiian Intros Priority+ CashPoints

First Hawaiian Bank has introduced its “Priority+ CashPoints” point accelerator program, allowing account holders to earn Priority Reward “CashPoints” up to 5x faster. Redeemable for travel awards on any airline, gift cards, cash rebates, and various other retail goods, First Hawaiian Bank offers “CashPoints” benefits through its partnership with over 130 local businesses throughout Hawaii to reward up to 5 CashPoints for every $1 spent in purchases. First Hawaiian Bank has assets of $12.75 billion and 58 branches throughout Hawaii, three on Guam and two on Saipan.

PGP PLATFORM

Barclays Bank has partnered with the PGP Corporation enterprise data
protection to provide a safeguard solution to sensitive information in
over 50 countries with the “PGP Encryption Platform.” Barclays will be
deploying the manageable platform, designed to accommodate growth in
encryption technologies, across the retail and commercial banking
organisation sectors for the protection of consumer information and will
be working with PGP to extend key management solutions. Barclays Bank
has over 300 years of banking history, has operations in over 50
countries and employs 135,000 people whom serve 30 million customers and
clients.

AmEx AEIS Names a New CFO

American Express Incentive Services has named Russell Yergensen, previously with American Express’ prepaid division, as CFO. Yergensen will lead AEIS’ strategic planning, finance, pricing and legal management teams as the company pursues revenue growth and implements innovative programs to deliver custom enhancements and operating efficiencies. Yergensen joined the AEIS executive team in March 2008 after serving as vice president of strategic planning and business analysis for American Express’ Travelers Cheque and Prepaid Services group. Prior to that role, Yergensen was the director of business planning and financial analysis for American Express. He joined American Express after serving as a certified public accountant with Ernst & Young. AEIS, a joint venture between American Express Travel Related Services Company Inc. and Maritz Inc., provides business-to-business reward solutions including stored-value cards, American Express Gift Cheques and a Web-based reward management tool.

MC Officially Names Reeg as St. Louis President

MasterCard has named Rob Reeg as President of its St. Louis-based MasterCard Global Technology and Operations, a position Reeg has held on an interim basis since January. Reeg succeeds Roy Dunbar, who concluded his employment with MasterCard in January CEO to join a company outside the payments industry. Before joining MasterCard, Reeg held IT and business leadership positions at Sprint, Cleveland Pneumatic, Totco and Conoco. In addition, he holds several board memberships including the Unitech Systems Customer Advisory Board, the Washington University Professional Degree Programs Academic Advisory Board, the University of Missouri-St. Louis Leadership Council and the United Way-St. Louis Technology Committee. He has been recognized with the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Outstanding Business/Professional Graduate Award.

CEEL Finds Americans Have Economic Illiteracy

The Center for Economic and Entrepreneurial Literacy has released the results a survey that indicates a large percentage of Americans are in the dark regarding the answers to basic questions about borrowing and interest rates. Nearly 70% of respondents did not identify the “FICO score” as the most important factor in obtaining a home loan; 69% of respondents do not know that you have to pay both the interest on your entire balance as well as a late fee when making a late credit card payment, and 97% of respondents cannot identify the percentage that service fees typically take out of a $20 ATM withdrawal. Over 90% either didn’t know how much the fee would be or thought it was less than it really is. In order to highlight this problem, CEEL is issuing a public service announcement that will be distributed to over 1000 local television channels across the country. The PSA features three children discussing what their loan options would be when purchasing a doll house. The ad illustrates how confusing getting a mortgage can be especially for those who haven’t been educated on the subject matter.

MyECheck and ConsumerDirect Team

Alternative payment provider MyECheck has signed credit repairer ConsumerDirect to provided check processing services. MyECheck provides faster clearing and funds availability, substantially reduces charge-backs and risk and improves cash-flow; all at a much lower cost than credit or debit cards. eChecks processed on the MyECheck system are typically accepted in 1 to 3 seconds with check approval rates averaging over 90%, with many merchants exceeding over 95%. ConsumerDirect is linked to over 95% of creditors in the United States giving its clients a faster and more effective way to fix credit report problems.

Chevy Chase Bank Partners with RouteOne

DC-based Chevy Chase Bank has joined with automotive credit application platform provider RouteOne as a financing resource. Chevy Chase Bank serves nearly 300 franchised and independent dealer partners, and is ranked within the top 100 auto finance lending institutions nationally. RouteOne was formed in 2002 by Chrysler Financial, Ford Motor Credit Company, GMAC, and Toyota Financial Services to create a more streamlined credit application for automobile dealers and their customers. Providing access to more than 21,500 dealers in North America, RouteOne’s web-based system allows automotive dealers to submit credit applications to the largest indirect lenders, request credit reports, and increase profitability with RouteOne’s free Dealer Reporting Suite.

Kena Kai Unveils the DataSafe Wallet Line

CA-based Kena Kai has introduced the “DataSafe” wallet line to shield information stored on RFID cards from theft. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts have shown that they could access a credit card user’s name, the number and the expiration from more than twenty feet and claim that nearly 20+ million radio-frequency identification (RFID) credit cards in circulation today could be vulnerable to skimming attacks, which could harvest names and credit-card details from the cards of passersby. A skimming attack uses a normal reader, or one that has been enhanced to read cards from a greater distance, to grab unencrypted data from the card. Kena Kai has designed wallets with multiple layers of RF shielding material that completely blocks unwanted access to the user’s personal information. The new DataSafe Collection will retail between $50 and $200. The Collection will be available in fine Italian leathers and rugged ballistic nylons.

Personal Bankruptcy Filings Tops 86K in April

Consumer bankruptcy filings jumped to 92,921 in April, compared to 86,185 in March. U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings increased 48% nationwide in April from the same period a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. The overall April consumer filing total of 92,291 also represented a 7.1% increase from the 86,165 filings in March. Chapter 13 filings constituted 31% of all consumer cases in April, a slight decrease from March. The sharp spike in consumer bankruptcies reflects the growing financial stress faced by American families, saddled with household debt and mortgage woes.

BANKRUPTCY FILINGS
Nov 07: 77,065
Dec 07: 78,181
Jan 08: 66,050
Feb 08: 76,120
Mar 08: 86,165
Apr 08: 92,291
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)