Heartland Not Target of Austin-Area Data Breach Case

Heartland Payment Systems has confirmed with the United States Secret Service it is not a target in the investigation of data theft at one Austin, Texas-area restaurant. Data breaches at merchant locations are occurring with increasing frequency, for which iHeartland has been vigilant in educating business owners and the payments industry about the importance of credit and debit card security – as well as rolling out its end-to-end encryption technology (E3™) that protects cardholder data. Heartland officials will continue to work closely with the business owner to help identify the source of the intrusion and help the merchant undertake remediation efforts.

Rewards to Consist of 82% Card Programs by 2013

Credit card rewards programs continue to be integral to the market’s
success, especially for American Express and Discover. Meanwhile, for
Visa- and MasterCard-branded rewards programs are either being refreshed
or are being brought to market for the first time. With this, the
percentage of rewards-based credit cards will grow incrementally from
76% of all general-purpose credit cards in 2009 to 77% in 2010 before
reaching 82% in 2013. This, according to Packaged Facts’ “Rewards Cards
in the U.S. 3rd Edition,” also shows affluent consumers are the most
obvious targets of the post-recession credit card industry while younger
consumers who have jobs are also attractive prospects. American Express
recently introduced its “ZYNC” Card, a pay-in-full charge card that
allows cardholders to select bundles of rewards and benefits called
“Packs” that are tailored to specific lifestyle interests and spending
habits in categories such as music, fashion, food, travel and more. This
provides a needed link to younger debit-driven consumers and position
their charge cards as debit alternatives.

Transaction Wireless Launches Stoner Bunting Gift Card

Transaction Wireless virtual and mobile gift cards has introduced Stoner Bunting Gift Card Group’s business-to-business (B2B) gift card store on Facebook. Fully developed and hosted by TW, Stoner Bunting markets gift cards in the B2B channel for a wide range of merchants ranging from luxury retail, restaurants, apparel, automotive and health/beauty. The new deal marks TW’s foray into mall development for Facebook Platform, showcasing gift cards for multiple companies on one Facebook Page for easy bulk purchasing. The “Gift Card Crew” Facebook Page features Jiffy Lube, Regis Salons, Gordmans, Omni Hotels and Resorts, Legal Sea Foods, and Charity Choice for distribution of bulk plastic gift cards for incentive programs, employee rewards, customer thank-yous and more.

Spacenet to Support Valero Transaction

Spacenet broadband network solutions has signed agreements with Valero to support its primary retail applications and network backup. With this, Valero is leveraging Spacenet’s satellite and digital subscriber line (DSL) broadband managed services as well as its Prysm Pro network appliance to support its retail POS credit and debit transactions, ATM transactions and store loyalty programs. The upgraded network combines Spacenet’s SkyEdge VSAT satellite platform and DSL managed services into a centrally managed, integrated platform that supports full Payment Card Industry compliance.

AmEx and Jean Chatzky Launch Money Program

With 62% of parents looking for ways to teach their kids about the importance of money management before they overspend, American Express and Jean Chatzky personal finance expert have introduced “The National Money Night Talk” program to encourage families to engage on money and financial responsibility. The Program is available through www.moneynighttalk.com, where parents can sign a pledge that they will talk to their kids about money and access exclusive Jean Chatzky videos and resources endorsed by the Council for Economic Education, based on the organization’s national content standards. The free online resource (www.moneynighttalk.com) is available in three different tracks based for middle school, high school and college students and features videos, frequently asked questions and talk points to help parents start and sustain the money dialogue beyond “National Money Night.”

Credit Card Debt Drops Below $830b Mark

Consumer revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, continued its downward trend in June, posting its ninth
consecutive monthly decline. Since peaking at $977 billion in 3Q/09, Americans have chopped-off about
$125 billion in revolving credit. According to new and revised data released by the Federal Reserve, revolving credit now stands at 826.5 billion and declining at an 6.5% annual rate. In May, revolving credit declined to a revised $831.0 billion reflecting an annual contraction ratio of 11.2% while April was down 11.8% to $838.1billion. Lower credit limits, reduced personal income and a building aversion to personal credit continue to be cited as factors for the sluggish growth. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the second quarter was about $826.5. Store and gas credit cards had about $105 billion in outstandings at year-end 2008.

REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
Apr10 May10 Jun10
GRWTH: -11.8 -10.2 -6.5
$OWED: $838.1 831.0 826.5

Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 8/12/10;
For complete historical data, visit CardData (www.carddata.com)

FIS

FIS banking and payments technology, has inked a binding memorandum of understanding with Banco Bradesco for its “Fidelity Processadora e Servicos” card processing joint venture. Under the ten-year services agreement, ‘FPS’ will provide comprehensive, fully outsourced card processing, call center, collection and back office services for Banco Bradesco’s private label and bankcard portfolios. ‘FPS’ and Bradesco are working to complete the conversion of Bradesco’s 14 million bankcards during the fourth quarter of 2010, bringing the total number of cards processed on behalf of all FPS clients to more than 40 million.

ECB Deploys InfoTech Alliance Bank Services

ECB has signed an agreement with InfoTech Alliance Bank Services to implement the FIS integrated “HORIZON” banking system. The “HORIZON” flexible core banking solution featuring open architecture and advanced technology involves minimal risk and disruption to business operations and customers. InfoTech Alliance currently provides item processing services for ECB, which decided to extend its relationship to include HORIZON core account processing services and a host of other integrated technology solutions after a thorough evaluation. FIS delivers banking and payments technologies to more than 14,000 financial institutions and businesses in over 100 countries worldwide.

CRS & YESPAY

Canadian Retail Solutions (CRS) is now able to offer its flagship Retail Pro POS Software integrated with YESpay International’s end to end “EMBOSS” EMV Chip and PIN accredited and PCI-DSS Level 1 certified managed payment service. Canadian Retail Solutions (CRS) specializes POS Systems for small to mid-sized Canadian merchants operating in multi-store environments and chose to integrate with EMBOSS after extensive research and their own internal development of EFT solutions. Already integrated and rolled out with merchants in UK, Retail Pro is now available in Canada. Integrated with EasyV-Retail, Retail Pro now constitutes a unique proposition for inventory management as well as EMV Chip and PIN and magnetic stripe credit and debit card acceptance and processing for merchants operating from estates of all sizes.

Bling Nation Inks 2 New m-Payments Agreements

American National Bank and Guaranty Bond Bank now offer Bling Nation mobile payments to their customers and the community with the “BlingTag” microchip sticker. The mobile payments service connects financial institutions, businesses and consumers through tap-and-pay for purchases at the POS. Customers with a checking account at either bank can easily sign up and, for each purchase, the consumer receives a transaction confirmation and account balance by text message. Since the “BlingTag” does not store any personal information, it offers more security than traditional plastic cards and reduces the risk of identity theft and fraud.

DISPOSABLE INCOME

Among the British population, 35% disclosed their intentions to take more spending money on their holidays this year than last. Another 43% plan to spend the same and only 13% planning to spend less. These findings, according to a YouGov survey commissioned for “BreadFX Prepaid Euro” MasterCard, also showed 30% of GB adults either buy currency at the airport or at their destination or use their UK debit or credit card. The “BreadFX” MasterCard can be ordered online, is accepted at some 30 million outlets worldwide where the MasterCard Acceptance Mark is displayed and to draw cash from an ATM.