MoneyGram Launches Round-the-World Relay

To help spread some holiday magic to those in need, MoneyGram launched its “Spreading Holiday Magic” round-the-world relay to support the educational needs of some children across eight countries and four continents. The relay-style program will distribute more than $50,000 in much-needed money, school supplies and learning tools to 11 schools in eight countries. MoneyGram will oversee the program in Los Angeles; New York; Ghana; Haiti; Italy; Mexico; Philippines; Romania; and Russia. MoneyGram officials will visit the selected schools and present the new supplies and learning tools to the children.

Payment Data Breaks Transaction Processing Records

Payment Data Systems electronic payments solutions provider set a transaction processing record for November 2011, with ACH (electronic check) processing volumes the highest in the history of the company. The month’s ACH transaction volumes were up 43% and ACH returned check transactions were up 40% compared to October of 2011. In the first two months of the current quarter, the Company also already processed 90% more ACH transactions and 72% more in returned check transactions than in the complete third quarter.

EBA Clearing Shuts Down cross-border service

EBA Clearing closes down Step2 cross-border service as part of Sepa migration, its last day of operation being December 5th. This is part of the industry’s migration to the Single Euro Payments Area, which involves a phase-out of all non-SEPA-compliant payment services for retail transactions in euro. The volumes channelled through STEP2 XCT have mostly been migrated to the STEP2 SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT) Service over the past few months. From September to October 2011 alone, STEP2 SCT volumes grew by 19 percent. The XCT Service was launched in April 2003 as the first service on EBA CLEARING’s PE-ACH platform STEP2 and the first mass payment system for cross-border euro credit transfers in Europe. By processing payments governed by the Convention on Credit Transfers in Euro, STEP2 XCT provided banks across Europe with an efficient and very cost-effective ACH-type service for their cross-border retail transactions.

PCI-PAL and SecureTrading Enhance Call Center Security

PCI-PAL contact center entered into a partnership with SecureTrading independent payment processor to allow call center agents to take card payments safely and securely. The solution de-scopes the call centre PCI risk by permitting callers to enter sensitive credit card data using their telephone keypad whilst remaining in conversation with the call centre agent at all times. The encrypted card holder data is sent securely to SecureTrading’s PCI-DSS Level 1 infrastructure. Both PCI-PAL and SecureTrading have large client bases which affords a mutually beneficial business relationship.

Advent Completes Takeover of Oberthur Card Systems

Advent International private equity firm and the Francois-Charles Oberthur Fiduciaire Group acquired the Card Systems and Identity divisions of Oberthur for EUR1.15 billion. With this, Advent International now controls 90% of Oberthur Technologies’ capital while the founder of the Oberthur group and his family retain a 10% stake in the capital. Oberthur Technologies is specialised in digital security based on smart card technology. It is the world’s second largest provider of security and identification solutions and services, operating in the mobile and payment industries as well as government and corporate markets.

Etisalat Afghanistan Implements mobile money service

Telepin Software mobile money transaction platforms announced that Etisalat Afghanistan has commercially launched “mHawala” Mobile Money Services platform. Telepin’s Cayman Transaction platform will be used by Etisalat Afghanistan for a full mobile financial services (MFS) offering that includes central bank cooperation, banking ecosystem participation, utility merchant involvement, and salary disbursement, which enables complete mobile banking capabilities and future cross-border money transfers. Etisalat Afghanistan is the first mobile network operator in Afghanistan to offer this entire range of Mobile Financial Services.

Oberthur names New CEO

Oberthur Technologies’ Board of Directors named Xavier Drilhon CEO after having held the role of Deputy Managing Director of François-Charles Oberthur Group which he joined in 1994. He joined the card activity early in 1998 where he held various responsibilities in the industrial and commercial fields. He played a key role in the purchase of the De La Rue Group’s card division, in the merger with Oberthur Card Systems as Director of Corporate Operations and in its IPO in 2000. Since 2008 he has headed the Card Systems Division where he improved the economic results despite the 2009 global recessionary period, created a new product line in convergence solutions and took an active part in the purchase and integration of the company XponCard.

Chase Records Record Online Shopping Volume

Chase Paymentech merchant acquirer and payment processor announced season to date results from its “Cyber Holiday Pulse Index,” including Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Offering an inside look at consumer online shopping trends for these key shopping days and throughout the holiday shopping season, the Pulse Index tracks sales and transactions for 50 top e-retailers, showing a 24% increase in sales and a 36% increase in transactions over the same period last year. On November 29, the Pulse Index set a single-day record for both transactions and settled sales with transactions up 37% since the year ago period. Transactions are up 40% while sales are up 26% but ticket values fell 9% from last year.

American Express Extends Platinum Concierge Service

American Express Platinum Cardmembers can now simply submit their shopping lists to the “Platinum Card Concierge Gift Buying Service” and the Concierge gifting experts will research gift options, compare price and take care of purchasing and shipping. The Platinum gift experts will help make sure the perfect gift arrives right in time for the holidays. The “Platinum Card Concierge Gift Buying Service” is an extension to the Platinum Card Concierge, a benefit available to Platinum Cardmembers year round.

Diebold Appoints New CIO & VP

Diebold has hired David H. Ramsey to fill the role of vice president and chief information officer (CIO) and promoted Chad F. Hesse to vice president, general counsel and secretary. Responsible for leading and overseeing the operations of Diebold’s global information technology (IT) organization, Ramsey most recently served as managing director, global IT and GBS transformation, at The Hackett Group, a global strategic business advisory, operations consulting and finance strategy firm. Meanwhile, Hesse will be responsible for all of the company’s legal matters, including management of in-house legal staff and supervision of outside counsel. Hesse received a bachelor of arts and science degree with a dual specialization in international business and business pre-law from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio and holds a JD from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.