Consumer Groups Want More Gift Card Regs

Consumer groups are urging regulators to rein in gift card fees and
related terms and conditions that can quickly diminish their value, for
which the Fed is considering a set of proposed gift card regulations
required under the “Credit CARD Act of 2009” and will go into effect on
February 22, 2010. A recent Consumer Reports poll found that one
quarter of those given gift cards last holiday season still have at
least one card they haven’t used and 11% of recipients have four
or more, equating to nearly $8 billion in unredeemed gift cards in 2006.
Consumers Union, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America and the
National Consumer Law Center are urging regulators to cap the amount
that gift card issuers can charge for inactivity fees; limit fees on low
value cards; Limit when inactivity fees can be charged; make sure
consumers are protected from early expiration of gift cards; and protect
consumers from losing funds on lost or stolen prepaid cards.


TSYS and Marfin Laiki Bank have launched the “Woman’s Card.” Supported by TSYS’ “PRIME” licensed card management solution, the “Woman’s Card” is a Visa-branded credit card linked with a
loyalty program allowing cardholders to redeem points as vouchers for
free purchases from a range of stores for women. It allows cardholders
to earn free mammography or osteoporosis tests, travel insurance,
purchase protection insurance and home care services. TSYS technologies
enable EMV-compliance, interest-free instalment schemes and secure
e-shopping service, deploying a virtual card to ensure safer
transactions over the Internet. Marfin Popular Bank was formed in 2006 as a result of the triple merger between the Marfin, Egnatia and Laiki banking groups.

Late Stage CC Delinquency Sets a New High

Credit card delinquency over 90 days is hitting new highs as issuers face rising charge-offs in the fourth quarter. For November, the average late stage delinquency rate rose three basis points sequentially and 23 basis points year-on-year. According to CardData, the average 90+ day delinquency ratio rose to 2.05% in November, compared to 2.02% in October and 1.82% for November 2008. Late stage delinquency declined during the second quarter, dropping to 1.90% in July. Discover reported last week that its 90+ day delinquency increased 18 basis points in the fourth quarter, climbing to 2.78%. Discover’s late stage delinquency rate also dropped in the second quarter to 2.17%. Additionally, CardData reports that charge-offs among the four top Visa and MasterCard issuers rose by an average of 23 basis points in November, compared to the prior month. For complete details on the latest performance metrics visit CardData (

90+ Day Delinquency
Nov 08: 1.82%
Dec 08: 1.83%
Jan 09: 1.87%
Feb 09: 1.95%
Mar 09: 1.99%
Apr 09: 1.95%
May 09: 1.95%
Jun 09: 1.95%
Jul 09: 1.90%
Aug 09: 1.99%
Sep 09: 1.93%
Oct 09: 2.02%
Nov 09: 2.05%
Source: CardData (


Dresser Wayne vehicle energy dispensing technologies has received PAN
Nordic Card Association Unattended Payment Terminal (UPT) approval of
the iX Pay Secure Payment solution on the “Global Star” and “Global
Ovation iX” fuel dispensers. The fuel dispensers include the Dresser
Wayne secure key pad with PCI version 2.0 Encrypting PIN Pad (EPP) and
allows fuel retailers to more aptly protect their businesses and
customers from card fraud. The PAN Nordic Card Association supports
banks and card issuers with standards and best practices that address
unique regional needs, building on the fundamentals of the globally
recognized PIN Transaction Security (PTS) standards administered by the
PCI Security Standards Council (SSC).

Demand for Near Prime Credit Reports Surges

CL Verify Credit Solutions real time credit bureau anticipates issuing
more than 50 million consumer reports to subscribing lenders and other
qualified clients by the end of 2009, representing an unprecedented
increase in the rate of demand year over year for the Company’s
proprietary credit information. More than 20 million new loan inquiry
and performance records are added to the file each year. Other CL Verify
subsidiaries also demonstrate substantial progress in 2009, such as the
CL Verify Processing Solutions with the ability to help a variety of
industries better manage customer acquisition.


To help merchants prevent thieves from stealing banking information from
their customers, Halo Metrics is recommending merchants understand how
PIN Pad theft happens. Initially, they tamper with Pin pad terminals to
download banking information and create counterfeit debit cards, which
can also be done wirelessly. Merchants are also cautioned to identify
their risk level by visiting and answering
the 29 multiple choice questions. Halo also warns businesses to be
proactive by giving staff a communication channel to report any criminal
pressure; doing background checks on new employees; and using security

December 15th Becomes Green Tuesday in 2009

E-commerce holiday sales peaked on Tuesday, December 15th. Total e-sales of $913 million set an individual day spending record, the first such day to surpass the $900 million threshold. According to the Chase Paymentech “Cyber Holiday Pulse Index” peak sales of $339.5 million hit on the following day, but not significantly higher. Chase Paymentech processes over half of all Internet payment transactions. comScore reported for the holiday season-to-date, $24.8 billion has been spent online, marking a 4% increase versus the corresponding days last year. The most recent week began on a slightly disappointing note, with sales of $854 million on “Green Monday,” December 14th, down 1% versus year ago, but was followed by three strong spending days that each surpassed $800 million.

12/11: $254.6 million
12/12: $184.3 million
12/13: $144.8 million
12/14: $229.1 million
12/15: $337.1 million
12/16: $339.5 million
12/17: $288.5 million
Source: Chase Paymentech


smartFOCUS multi-channel marketing software has signed a partner
agreement with Paris-based Initiatives & Developpements (Group ID)
global loyalty marketing specialist. With these agreements, Group ID
will integrate, operate and resell the full smartFOCUS Intelligent
Marketing software suite as part of its loyalty management solution to
its European customers and prospects. Group ID is an expert in the
development of consumer loyalty management solutions and customer
relationship management (CRM) programs. The company designs, creates and
executes loyalty and CRM initiatives for some of the leading companies
across Europe, including Carte Bleue VISA, l’Oreal, Microsoft, British
Telecom and Havas Voyages, bringing together purchasers, communities and
partners through its technology, consultancy and processes.

ID Watchdog Partners with InComm Prepaid

Consumer identity protection service ID Watchdog has partnered with prepaid provider InComm.
Plans for the partnership include the mass distribution to the retail industry of the first and only identity theft service offered on a stored value card. ID Watchdog’s retail product, the “IDCheck,” utilizes ID Watchdog’s patent-pending technology to immediately identify whether a consumer has a pre-existing identity theft condition, and outlines recommended next steps based on the report. InComm will work with retailers to offer ID Watchdog’s new IDCheck at a low price point, with special offers to upgrade consumers to its flagship monthly monitoring service.

Heartland Payment Settles Consumer Lawsuits

Heartland Payment Systems has entered into an agreement to settle
consumer cardholder class actions from the criminal breach of its
payment system announced on January 20, 2009. Terms stipulate Heartland
will pay a minimum of $1 million and up to a maximum of $2.4 million to
class members who submit valid claims for losses as a result of the
intrusion, resolving all actions and proceedings against Heartland in
relation to the intrusion by all persons concerned between December 6,
2007 and December 31, 2008. Heartland will also pay all costs associated
with the administration of the settlement, including up to $1.5 million
for the cost of notice to the settling class, and pay up to $760,000 of
the attorneys’ fees and costs. The settlement is subject to court
approval and other terms. Last week, Heartland Payment Systems has
agreed to pay American Express $3.6 million related to the 2008 criminal
data breach. (CF Library 12/18/09)

First Real Gold Card is Set to Launch

The “Gold Bullion Credit Card” is being introduced. It is the first Visa or MasterCard to be backed by gold bullion or gold bullion coins. It is a product of Gold Solutions Marketing and TransMedia. TransMedia will publicize how gold coins and bullion held as collateral for accounts will be stored at Delaware Depository Service Company, where deposits are insured by Lloyds of London. TransMedia will also incorporate CardWorks into their campaigns as the entity responsible for customer service, including registration, customer contact and all pertinent servicing for the portfolio. Gold Solutions is finalizing the issuing bank selection and launch dates.

BNY Mellon to Integrate MasterCard Payment Gateway

BNY Mellon Treasury Services and MasterCard Worldwide have announced that BNY Mellon will be integrating the “MasterCard Payment
Gateway” into its suite of payment solutions for corporate clients. Complementing the ACH, wire transfer and check payment services already
available, BNY Mellon will utilize the MasterCardBNY Mellon Treasury Services and MasterCard Worldwide have announced that BNY Mellon will be integrating the “MasterCard Payment
Gateway” into its suite of payment solutions for corporate clients. Complementing the ACH, wire transfer and check payment services already
available, BNY Mellon will utilize the MasterCard
Payment Gateway as an electronic B-to-B payments network connecting
clients with their suppliers. The MasterCard Payment Gateway will enable
BNY Mellon to expand how it addresses its corporate customers’ needs
across a broad set of spend categories and large value payments.
Integration of the Gateway is scheduled for completion by the end of
this year. First introduced in October 2007, the MasterCard Payment Gateway is a
flexible enterprise-wide payment processing platform for routing
commercial payments between buyers, suppliers and their financial
institutions. Providing a comprehensive, end-to-end, modular solution
that offers several key features, including buyer-initiated P-Card
straight through processing, the platform significantly enhances
security and control for financial institutions and their corporate
customers. Other features include single interface (“one stop shop”) for
all payment processing needs for both buyers and suppliers; user
interface/Web portal for payment status and reporting; end-user
integration (with current ERP/AP systems) for buyers; and remittance
information regardless of payment type for suppliers.