Allow MasterCard for Teens Offers 35 Controls

Detroit-based Allow Card of America has launched the “Allow Card Prepaid MasterCard” for teenagers. The card is issued by First Bank & Trust, Brookings, SD. The heart of the “Allow Card” program is its online portal whereby parents can load funds to the card from any credit card or checking account, anytime. The Web site offers over 35 parental controls, allowing parents to set parameters for their teens spending. The site even allows parents to lock out specific merchant categories, so teens can’t spend money at undesired locations. The Web site also features a variety of constantly-updated online financial lessons helping to break the bonds of financial illiteracy among youth.

BofA Re-Inks 70 Affinity Credit Card Programs

Bank of America reported long-term extensions of affinity agreements that will enable it to continue marketing to the alumni, fans, faculty and staff of more than 70 schools, including Penn State, University of Texas, UCLA, University of Southern California, Auburn University, University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Iowa, and Georgetown University. BofA (merged with MBNA) has more than 800 collegiate endorsements. The University of Texas was the first affinity credit card program signed in 1992 by MBNA, now BofA.

New Report Says Payday Lending a $4.2B Rip-Off

A new study says payday lenders pocket $4.2 billion in excessive fees each year from Americans who seek a two-week loan and end up trapped in debt. The Center for Responsible Lending says it calculates the cost of predatory payday lending state-by-state and also estimates that borrowers save $1.4 billion in states that enforce reasonable interest rate caps. The new report found that the average payday borrower pays back $793 for a $325 loan. CRL’s study, “Financial Quicksand” updates its 2003 estimate of the cost of payday lending.

TD’s Green Machine Turns Thirty

TD Canada Trust is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of its “Green Machine.” Over this period the bank has deployed 2,500 new
state-of-the-art ABMs across the country. TD’s new “Green Machines” now feature a choice of five languages (English, French, Portuguese,
Italian and Chinese); improved accessibility for the visually impaired with audio guidance; greater security features such as mirrors, a protective metal shield to hide the PIN keypad and highly secure encryption of customer PINs; as well as a deposit calculator and consolidated receipts. ABMs are the primary means of banking for 34% of
Canadians. TD says the new ABMs handle more than 21 million transactions a month.

PPI and ASC Sign an e-Commerce Solution Deal

Payment Processing announced a partnership with ASC, a developer of supply chain management software, to offer a complete POS and e-commerce solution to ASC customers. The integration enables both POS and e-commerce capability – providing full credit card support for both card present and card not present transactions. In addition, it handles ACH transactions through a single clientless solution. Payment Processing, Inc. (www.paypros.com) is the industry leader for integrated payment solutions. ASC, Inc. (www.ascsoftware.com), develops and supports state of the art software and hardware solutions including warehouse management systems, manufacturing systems, route delivery systems and other custom wireless tracking applications for customers seeking supply chain solutions.

Wincor Nixdorf Posts a Banner Year in 2006

TX-based Wincor Nixdorf says it has exceeded it’s annual projections as operating profit rose 18% and sales grew 12%. These figures mean that Wincor Nixdorf has again clearly surpassed its own growth forecasts, which had already been upgraded during the year to at least 15 percent for EBITA and at least 10 percent for net sales. Wincor Nixdorf is one of the world’s leading suppliers of IT solutions to the retail and banking industries.

SecurityMetrics Offers Low-Cost PCI Testing

Utah-based SecurityMetrics is offering online businesses a comprehensive set of automated, online security services and hardware devices to help detect, prevent and repair security problems at reasonable prices. By detecting and resolving the serious vulnerabilities that allow hackers to steal credit card and shopper information, Internet businesses not only benefit financially from SecurityMetrics’ services, including Site Certification, but boost consumer confidence as well. SecurityMetrics simplifies merchant compliance for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS). SecurityMetrics’ Site Certification is designed for security compliance and includes unlimited security testing, an online security questionnaire and unlimited telephone support.

AmEx Introduces San Francisco Dish Website

American Express introduces “San Francisco Dish,” a Bay area culinary Website offering insights from celebrity chefs and exclusive dining offers. Unlike other local dining resource or tourist guidebooks, San Francisco Dish provides the personal opinions of top chefs and food experts in the Bay Area. Through unscripted video commentary, those in the know share their unique insight, best-kept secrets and make recommendations for dining and entertaining throughout the Bay Area. American Express Company ( http://www.americanexpress.com ) is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

British Credit Card Debt is Skittish

Credit card outstandings edged down slightly in October by GBP 200 million for the U.K. However, the GBP 55.4 billion figure remains well below December’s peak of GBP 59.0 billion. Year-on-year credit card outstandings (not seasonally adjusted) are running about 4% lower than one-year ago. According to the The Bank of England, lending to other financial corporations increased by GBP 5.1 billion in Q3. Lending to other financial intermediaries rose strongly (+GBP 11.8 billion), but securities dealers reduced their borrowings by GBP 17.6 billion. Lending to non-financial corporations rose by GBP 22.6 billion, driven by increases in development, buying, selling and renting of real estate (+GBP 6.1 billion), transport, storage and communication (+GBP 4.4 billion), construction (+GBP 2.6 billion) and legal, accountancy, consultancy and other business activities (+GBP 2.6 billion).

U.K. CREDIT CARD OUTSTANDINGS
(Not Seasonally Adjusted)
(GBP Billions)
Oct 05: 57.5
Nov 05: 57.8
Dec 05: 59.0
Jan 06: 58.6
Feb 06: 57.4
Mar 06: 56.4
Apr 06: 56.9
May 06: 56.7
Jun 06: 56.1
Jul 06: 56.0
Aug 06: 55.5
Sep 06: 55.6
Oct 06: 55.4
SOURCE: Bank of England

OPTIMUM T2100

The new Thailand Suvarnabhumi International Airport
in Bangkok has selected Hypercom’s “Optimum T2100” payment terminal as the preferred choice for card payment solutions. More than 1,000 units are being deployed in the airport’s retail outlets and duty free shops. The adoption adds to the 20,000 “T2100” units that have been installed by retailers in the country since its introduction in October 2005.
The terminals at the airport were offered to retailers by the country’s
two major banks: Siam Commercial Bank and TMB Bank. The “Optimum T2100” is a high-speed 32-bit EMV 4.0 and VISA PED-certified device with an integrated EMV-compliant smart card reader, built-in printer, large memory to accommodate multiple applications, support for multiple languages and currencies, hand-over countertop design and graphical interface that guides customers through transactions with clear prompts.

InComm Offers Cutting-Edge Gift Cards

Atlanta-based InComm has introduced an innovative gift card that has a scratch-off area on the back offering recipients the chance to win large prize values. The Company says its patent-pending “Win It Now!” card product adds value to any promotion and has proven to be a winner with consumers. InComm also recently formed a partnership with Serious USA to provide customizable DVD and CD content along with gift cards. Serious’ patented “CD- Cardz” and “DVD Cardz” are shaped and sized like traditional gift cards, and can be redeemed as such, but the underside of the card is actually an interactive CD or DVD that allows recipients to enjoy customized digital content including video, music and other interactive experiences. InComm also offers the “Vanilla VISA Gift Card.” InComm’s retail distribution network reaches more than 145,000 retail locations.