Allpoint Expands Down Under with 5,000 ATMs

Allpoint Network Cardtronics affiliate and surcharge-free ATM network has partnered with Customers Limited owner/operator of ATMs in Australia. With this, Allpoint is to expand by more than 5,000 locations. The Customers ATMs, which represent approximately 20% of all ATMs in Australia, will carry the Allpoint logo and will be surcharge-free for both United States and Australian participating financial institution cardholders. This allows Customers to provide surcharge-free cash access to its cardholders at ATMs located in retail locations. With the additional coverage, Allpoint now provides global surcharge-free access to over 40,000 ATMs across three continents.

eBay Appoints CMO, North America

eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace and a mobile commerce leader, announced that global consumer and digital marketing veteran Richelle Parham is joining the company in the new role of Chief Marketing Officer, eBay North America. She will report to Christopher Payne, head of eBay North America.

Parham joins eBay from Visa, Inc., where she most recently served as head of Global Marketing Innovation and Initiatives. Previously, Parham led Global Marketing Services for Visa. Her previous experience includes 13 years at Digitas, Inc., a world leading marketing agency, where she held a variety of senior leadership roles, including Senior Vice President and General Manager of the agency’s Chicago office.

“Richelle is a world-class marketer with deep experience and expertise in creating and implementing strategies that drive consumer engagement and generate strong return on marketing investments,” Payne said. “She will bring great insight and leadership to our focus on strengthening eBay’s relationship with millions of shoppers who search our site every day for incredible value and selection.”

“I am excited about joining a winning team that is focused on meeting customer needs and delivering consistently strong performance,” said Parham. “eBay is an incredibly powerful brand, one that presents extraordinary opportunities as we deepen our relationship with customers in eBay’s largest global market. I am looking forward to leveraging my consumer and digital marketing experience and contributing to the future growth of eBay. ”

About eBay Inc.

Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. (EBAY 25.68, +0.41, +1.60%) connects millions of buyers and sellers globally on a daily basis through eBay, the world’s largest online marketplace, and PayPal, which enables individuals and businesses to securely, easily and quickly send and receive online payments. We also reach millions through specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, and eBay classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world. For more information about the company and our global portfolio of online brands, visit www.ebayinc.com.9

Mocapay and eNational Payments Deploy mWallet

eNational Payment mobile and contactless electronic commerce and payment processing has deployed the Mocapay “Mobile Wallet” along with its own geo-fencing platform at Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurant locations. The eNational geo-fencing, or location-based marketing, a virtual perimeter that adds the dimension of a users’ location, which can help ensure messages are relevant to both your consumers’ preferences and their location, will be implemented within a two-mile radius around each location. With this, Mocapay intends to allow Maggiano’s to build their brand and develop smart and effective marketing strategies that move well beyond mobile payments while eNational Payments is intent on popularizing the product and brand among consumers. With the partnership, customers will be offered Mocapay’s mobile suite to provide loyalty and gift coupons while users can pay and reload their mobile accounts, check transaction histories, receive customized, pertinent loyalty and reward offers and find the nearest Maggiano’s store locations through the eNational Payments “Gold Rewards” Mobile Wallet.

Alliance Data Posts 3Q/09 Performance

Alliance Data Systems Corporation loyalty and marketing solutions derived from transaction-rich data, provided an update on its Private Label segment. In conjunction with the release of the Company’s Master Trust Monthly Noteholder’s Statement, the Company is releasing similar metrics for the overall total managed portfolio. The Master Trust data represents a subset of the Company’s total managed portfolio, and the Company believes the information presented below provides a more complete view of the Private Label segment.

ADS 3Q 2010 Performance
Average Receivables $4.9mm
Y/Y Portfolio Growth 16%
Net Charge Offs $102,108
Net Charge Offs Receivables 8.3%
Delinquency Rate 6.2%

BluePay Processing Offers Payment Processing Solutions

BluePay secure merchant account solutions is continuing to advance credit card processing solutions with new mobile credit card processing. Helping merchants improve profits wherever their business takes them, BluePay mobile payment accommodates clients to tap every sales opportunity at trade shows, community events, door-to-door efforts and more. BluePay’s credit card processing equipment, machines and services include traditional credit card terminals, wireless credit card terminals, e-commerce gateways, electronic invoicing and a free terminal program. BluePay also offers ROAMpay’s mobile processing solution, which allows merchants to download a mobile processing application to their current phone, eliminating the need to purchase new devices or hardware. Completing transactions securely involves entering credit card information into the phone and sending out the encrypted data for authorization. Receipts can be emailed to customers, and with some services, merchants can access reports and technical support through a mobile portal. BluePay processing equipment is compatible with Hypercom, Nurit, Verifone processing systems and more.

iPayment Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

Mark C. Monaco has been appointed CFO, effective immediately. Bringing with him more than 20 years of financial experience, Monaco most recently served as Head of Principal Investments at Brooklyn NY Holdings; from 1996 to 2006 was a Managing Director at Windward Capital Management, served as Chairman of Retriever Payment Systems merchant acquiring organization from 2000 to 2004, when it was acquired by National Processing Company. Prior to joining Windward Capital, Mr. Monaco was at Credit Suisse First Boston, serving as the Director of Finance and Corporate Development after several years in the financial institutions group with the firm’s investment banking department. Mr. Monaco earned his MBA in finance from The University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton Graduate School of Business, and received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University.

HSBC Extends Contracts with Four National Merchants

HSBC has renewed or extended long term contracts with four major U.S. merchants across multiple industries, reinforcing the company’s commitment to building their private label (merchant branded) credit card business in the U.S. The Neiman Marcus Group extended into 2015. HSBC has managed their program since 2005. Furniture Row extended into 2014. HSBC has managed their program since 2003. Helzberg Diamonds extended into 2013. HSBC has managed their program since 2004. Polaris extended into 2013. HSBC has managed their program since 2001.Neiman Marcus Group’s private label credit card gives customers an additional way to pay for purchases while earning “InCircle” points with each purchase that can be redeemed for gift cards, air miles, and other exclusive gifts. Furniture Row’s “Express Money” Card program offers special financing opportunities, enabling consumers to purchase furniture in an affordable way. Helzberg Diamonds’ Preferred Card program provides access to special purchase offers, as well as exclusive benefits and financing options. The Polaris private label credit card program operates under StarCard.

BillingTree Launches NSF Management Solution

BillingTree on-demand payment processors has launched its “Check Collect” express check recovery tool to additional industries including Utility and Healthcare. The “Check Collect” solution enables companies to streamline the returned-check process by optimizing collection rates for Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) items and centralizing management of outstanding balances. BillingTree’s express recovery process strategically manages returns, holding checks and re-presenting them on specific dates that are the most likely to yield a return. The “Check Collect” re-presents checks on specific dates such as the first or fifteenth of the month, rather than successive days, increasing the likelihood of funds being available as well as saving time and resources on wasteful resubmissions. Benefits of electronic payment solutions include an accelerated availability of consumer funds, reduced costs associated with manual-payment processing, improved cash management, and integrated processing by managing all payments, returns, and corrections through a single portal.

U.S. Bank Kicksoff Cardholder Promotion

U.S. Bank is giving eligible credit and debit cardholders a chance to win up to $10,000 with its “MAKE IT HAPPEN” promotion. Cardholders can visit the “MAKE IT HAPPEN” website or mobile site at usbank.com/makeithappen to submit their story on who they would help if they had $5,000. They can use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and email to encourage their friends to vote for their story on the “MAKE IT HAPPEN” site. They will win $5,000 for their cause and $5,000 for themselves. Cardholders also receive an entry to win $5,000 every time they make a purchase during the promotion, simply by registering their eligible card at usbank.com/makeithappen or by texting the word ‘HAPPEN” (consumer cards) or BIZHAPPEN (business cards) to 46767 and following the simple registration instructions.

ATMIA Applauds USJD for Anticompetitive Action

The global non-profit ATM Industry Association is applauding the US Justice Department and seven states in suing American Express, MasterCard and Visa for anticompetitive practices relating to credit or charge cards. The Justice Department, followed by the seven states, alleged in the lawsuit that American Express, MasterCard and Visa were “attempting to insulate themselves from competition” and that “each has suppressed competition with rival networks”, all in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman (anti-trust) Act. The government argued that these practices have led to increased costs for the affected merchants, resulting in higher prices for the consumer. The ATMIA, which represents the owners of approximately half the total installed base of ATMs in the United States, will work with the Attorneys General and Department of Justice to pursue a resolution of these industry restrictions in order to stop the erosion of ATM competition in the country. The issuing networks have entered into a Consent Decree with the Department of Justice consistent the Companies’ business practices. The settlement will require the associations to modify its rules to more specifically conform to its business practices after a two-year investigation of their acceptance rules and practices. With this, all ten State Attorneys General who had requested information or opened investigations of MasterCard’s merchant acceptance business practices have closed their investigations while Visa will let U.S. merchants offer discounts or other incentives to steer customers to a particular form of payment and plans to change its relevant rules. The settlement agreement does not address Visa’s rule prohibiting U.S. merchants from surcharging consumers. The NRF is welcoming the settlements ending Visa and MasterCard, which it says block discounts to retail customers. According to the NRF, Interchange fees totaled $48 billion in 2008, three times the amount collected when NRF began tracking them in 2001, and are hidden from most consumers because they are not disclosed on monthly statements. Meanwhile, American Express declined to join the settlement and is challenging its government lawsuit filed against the company on behalf of the DOJ claiming terms of American Express merchant contracts, which protect cardmembers against discrimination and disruption at the point of sale, violate U.S. antitrust laws. AmEx protests the suit is proposing to interfere with consumer choice at the check-out counter by steering American Express cardmembers to another payment network (CardFlash Library (2010/10/05).

NCLC Applauds End of 650% MetaBank Prepaid Card Loan

MetaBank disclosed in a filing October 12 with the SEC that the bank’s regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) “has determined that the Bank engaged in unfair or deceptive acts or practices” in connection with the iAdvance program. Subsequently, MetaBank will no longer be offering its 650% payday loans on prepaid cards as a result of action by the (OTS). The MetaBank “iAdvance” line of credit was available to consumers who have their public benefits, unemployment insurance or wages directly deposited to a prepaid card. The advances cost $2.50 per $20 borrowed and are repaid automatically with the next direct deposit, whether one or 30 days later. The minimum APR is 120%, but if the loan is taken out a week or less before payday, the loans would cost at least 650% APR.

Small Businesses’ Positive Outlook Drops to 45%

One-in-four small businesses are planning to hire over the next six months, but only 45% have a positive outlook on the economy and their business, a drop from 51% in March and 55% in the year-ago period. Many business are in stronger financial positions thanks to cost-cutting and streamlining operations with only 53% reporting cash flow issues, down from 60% this spring, and 10% intending to hire full time employees in the next six months, doubling the spring figure. This, according to the American Express “OPEN Small Business Monitor” semi-annual survey of business owners now in its ninth year, shows confidence in the overall economy declined as 39% of business owners said they thought sales over the next six months would be higher compared to last year, vs. 34% in the spring. Additional findings show 40% use a social media platform, compared to only 10% last year; over 75% of those business owners looking to hire are doing so “to handle growing business”; 17% reported the morale of their employees has improved, nearly double from a year ago; 38% plan to make investments over the next six months; AND The number of businesses with cash flow concerns has dropped to pre-recession levels (53% versus 49% in fall 2007).