Visa Tourism Spending up 10%

Canada saw a 10% increase in spending by international
travelers using their Visa cards in 2010. The tourism industry in Canada saw a 10% spending
increase from $5.8 billion in 2009 to $6.4 billion in 2010, thanks in part of course to the
Olympic and Paralympic Games in February and March.
Travelers spent $3.1 billion on general retail purchases, which represented 48% of all Visa transactions by
international travellers in Canada during 2010. Other major merchant
segments included lodging ($932 million), restaurants ($463 million) and
other travel and entertainment ($242 million).
With this, U.S.
travellers spent $3.5 billion within the country, those from the United Kingdom spent $359M; France $316M; China $229M;
Australia $167M; Japan $138M; South Korea $134M; Brazil $117M; Germany $112M; and Hong Kong $106M.

Aconite Appoints EMV Initiative Head

Aconite software and consulting services for managing business applications on chips in smart cards, tokens or mobiles has appointed Mike Vaselenak to spearhead product localization and marketing of for EMV solutions in the Canadian market. Mike’s understanding of this market combined with Aconite’s proven EMV expertise offers banks, credit unions and service-providers support and solutions that will make their migration to and ongoing management of EMV quicker, easier and lower risk. Mike’s previous roles have included strategy, planning, requirements definition, architecting, specification and procurement support for e-business transactional systems. His experience in the Canadian payments market also includes roles as Director of Product Management at Everlink Payment Services Inc. (a third-party processor majority owned by FIS that provides POS and ATM acquiring and issuer processing services to many Canadian banks and credit unions); Vice President, Business Development at Pay Linx Corporation (provider of services and infrastructure enabling the replacement of cash and cheque payments with electronic payment cards); and Director, Alliances and Payment Instruments at Wireless Payment Services LLP (a joint venture, now called Enstream, by Bell Mobility, Rogers Wireless and TELUS Mobility, facilitating secure wireless payment transactions).

SelectCore Launches Retail Reload Network

SelectCore payment and transaction processor for the prepaid industry is deploying its “ReCash” ubiquitous cash reload network for prepaid stored-value cards. The “ReCash” platform offers consumers a secure way to load cash onto their reloadable prepaid Visa or MasterCard. Cardholders can purchase a ReCash Voucher with any dollar value up to $500 from a participating retail outlet. The funds can be transferred instantly to the customer’s card via text message, online, or toll-free phone number. The launch of ReCash is part of the Company’s growth strategy to expand into high-margin financial transaction processing.

Visa Kicksoff Fraud Prevention Site

Canadians are conscientious about protecting their payment cards, while very few who use debit or credit cards share their PIN (14%), send credit card information by email (11%), or sharing information during a phone call that they did not initiate (5%). This is according to Visa, which is celebrating Fraud Prevention Month with a new website, www.visasecuritysense.ca, that provides cardholders and small businesses with helpful information and tips on how to protect payment card account information, avoid payment card scams and learn how to resolve unauthorized use of their cards.

Moneris Releases Statement on Card Code

Having recently informed merchants of a revised pricing structure, in complete compliance with the Code, Moneris introduced an interchange differential fee to better align a merchant’s cost of processing payments with the types of cards they accept. According to Moneris, the introduction of premium cards has increased pricing complexity in the Canadian market place and as such processing costs for merchants may trend higher because premium cards attract a higher interchange rate, as set by the payment networks, such as Visa and MasterCard. This pricing structure is not proprietary to Moneris and is currently used, in Canada, by Chase Paymentech and, most recently, TD Merchant Services.

NetSecure Technologies Announces New Website

NetSecure Technologies announced a new website to better reflect the company’s strengths and growing product line – developing breakthrough security solutions for online transaction security. NetSecure’s product suite, powered by its patented Dynamic SSL technology, provides complete protection from endpoint security threats by ensuring that sensitive information is never present in the data stream until the point of encryption. The Company’s “SmartSwipe” online purchase security system, enables consumers to swipe their credit cards at home for secure transactions while shopping online. According to a recent survey of 1,000 consumers and small businesses, there is a clear demand for such devices with nearly 70 percent of respondents indicating they would use one if their financial institution or credit card company offered it. Meanwhile, its “PINCheckout” chip and PIN technology solution enables card issuers and financial institutions to offer their customers a secure online shopping environment for their chip and PIN transactions.

SelectCore Announces Profit 100 Ranking Candidacy

SelectCore payment and transaction processor for prepaid financial and telecommunication services has announced its candidacy for the 2011 Profit 100 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. This year will be Profit Magazine’s 23rd annual recognition, for which SelectCore’s 2011 candidacy is based on its five-year sales growth of 324% from $24.4 million in 2005 to $103.5 million in 2010. SelectCore was previously honoured three times by Profit 100 in 2006, 2007 and 2009. Since its first ranking as Canada’s 6th fastest-growing company, SelectCore has realized unprecedented growth of 39,770%.

HomeATM & CardinalCommerce Launch Secure mPIN Debit

HomeATM’s PCI certified 2.1 PED “Rover POS” Internet PIN entry device (PED) has achieved PCI certification 2.1. As “friendly and easy” for a consumer to use when shopping online or on their mobile phone, with instantaneous implementation, the “Rover POS” will be delivered as part of CardinalCommerce’s “Universal PIN Debit Service” (UPDS) and available to merchants that use the Cardinal “Centinel” Universal Merchant Platform. The “UPDS” will allow Centinel merchants an additional payment option, the ability to accept online PIN debit transactions, to offer their online and mobile shoppers. The Rover will provide secure multi-factor authentication for eCommerce and mCommerce transactions with device level 3DES encryption; 4-Factor authentication; and fraud reduction/elimination.

Credit Card Debt Drops 3% Over Holidays?

Credit trends show total debt per consumer (excluding mortgage) for the nation increased to $25,709 in the fourth quarter of 2010, up 2.2% from the $25,163 figure in 3Q/10. Though total debt generally rises in the fourth quarter because of holiday shopping, among other things, TransUnion found that credit card debt actually declined nearly 3% during this period as lines of credit, revolving loans and installment loans increased. The total active credit population in Canada is 24.91 million consumers, up from 24.85 million consumers at the end of 2009, for whom credit card borrower debt declined to $3,688 in the quarter after two straight quarterly increases. Credit card debt is down 2.7 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2009 ($3,790). Meanwhile, the national credit card delinquency rate (the ratio of credit card accounts 90 days or more delinquent) increased to 0.36%, up 5.9% over the previous quarter, but is down 7.7 percent from 0.39 percent since 4Q/09.

LML Subsidiary to Power First Data Payment Platform

LML Payment Systems’ subsidiary Beanstream Internet Commerce has entered into an agreement to provide the web-based transaction processing services behind First Data’s eCommerce products in Canada. Using Beanstream technology, First Data will offer Canadian merchants the ability to accept payments through a variety of online transaction processing tools, including website forms, shopping carts, recurring billing, batch processing, and a virtual terminal for Internet, mail order/telephone order and other non face-to-face processing applications.

SelectCore Update on Iridium MasterCard

After having launched the reloadable “Iridium” MasterCard in 1Q/10, SelectCore is now disclosing its limited sales outlets have generated considerable revenue. Although the proprietary POS technology that facilitates real-time card activation and reloads has been deployed on only 4,000 company-owned VeriFone terminals in the marketplace, the Company sees this as grounds to continue a nation-wide roll-out once it completes its refinancing. SelectCore deployed the “Iridium” MasterCard as part of its strategic growth strategy to diversify into high-margin financial transaction processing, and markets to millions of un-banked and credit challenged consumers who do not have access to traditional financial services offered by the banks.