A January survey shows that 39% of small business owners were “very worried” about the economy and 48% are “somewhat worried.” This compares to 56% and 35%, respectively, in the October survey that was conducted just after the market crash. The uptick in optimism is despite nearly half indicating they are “not at all confident” that President Obama and Congress will pass a stimulus package that addresses the needs of small business owners. The PayCycle research also showed that 58% of respondents now believe the recovery will take another 12-18 months, compared to 50% in the earlier survey. The survey showed that both the extreme pessimists and extreme optimists are beginning to converge on predicting an economic recovery in the 12-18 month range. PayCycle is the leading online payroll service.
American Express is the presenting sponsor of the 2009 New York Times
Travel Show. The sixth annual New York Times Travel Show will be held
Feb. 6 to 8 in the Main Hall of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in
New York City. The largest
consumer and trade travel event of its kind in the United States, the
Travel Show will feature nearly 500 exhibitors representing more than
100 countries and will focus on travel destinations, packages and
special offers, as well as tour operators, cruise lines and live
entertainment for the whole family. The event will showcase a variety
of travel and vacation opportunities for consumers of all types: those
traveling solo, as a couple or taking the whole family; those looking
for budget or luxury trips; and those looking for relaxation and
wellness trips or seeking adventure travel. The common thread will be
the opportunity for consumers to book any type of vacation during the
show, taking advantage of all the special on-site promotions that
provide the most value for their travel investment.
American Express entered the travel agency business in 1915 and today is
one of the largest travel agency networks.
SaaS e-payment provider PaySimple has launched “The Small Business
Growth Center”. The Small Business Growth Center helps small
business owners find information and business tools effortlessly by
creating and compiling some of the best resources available on the web
which include “Small Business Tools”; a newsletter; Tip of the Week;
Small Business Dictionary and Electronic Payment Information. PaySimple
is releasing this Growth
Center to accompany their Learning and Support Center and blogâto
connect business owners with in-depth and valuable tools and tips.
Financial technology provider Invenstar has introduced the “TouchSuite
Salon” POS system for small to mid-size salon and spas. TouchSuite
Salon is an all-in-one, touch screen retail management POS
system offering a full suite of business solutions, including client
management, inventory, marketing, and merchant services like cash
advance, credit card and check processing, and support. It has
everything a small business salon and spa owner needs in a POS system,
such as 3-touch booking, total management, advanced reporting, a cash
drawer, receipt printer, laser report printer, barcode scanner, battery
backup, keyboard, data backup drive and TouchSuite Salon software
already installed, helping salon and spa owners automate sales,
bookings, and marketing processes for maximum revenue and business growth.
Identity solution provider AuthenTec and partner NTT DOCOMO has released the “Fujitsu F-01A” a fingerprint-enabled waterproof cell phone. AuthenTec’s TouchStone is a durable, thin profile fingerprint sensor packaging technology which expands aesthetic and product integration options for makers of cell phones, laptop computers, and other consumer electronics. “The F-01A” is based on a Symbian operating system and features a 3.5-inch widescreen VGA touchscreen display, 5.2 megapixel camera with Autofocus, built-in GPS using Mobile Google Maps with Street View, e-Wallet mobile payment capability, and a 1Seg mobile TV tuner. More than 9 million mobile phones today include an AuthenTec sensor to enhance privacy by securing the device’s personal and corporate data such as email and provide advanced navigation and personalization functions and support secure m-commerce.
Identity solution provider AuthenTec and partner NTT DOCOMO has released
the “Fujitsu F-01A” a fingerprint-enabled waterproof cell phone.
AuthenTecâs TouchStone is a durable, thin profile fingerprint sensor
packaging technology which expands aesthetic and product integration
options for makers of cell phones, laptop computers, and other consumer
electronics. “The F-01A” is based on a
Symbian operating system and features a 3.5-inch widescreen VGA
touchscreen display, 5.2 megapixel camera with Autofocus, built-in GPS
using Mobile Google Maps with Street View, e-Wallet mobile payment
capability, and a 1Seg mobile TV tuner. More than 9 million mobile
phones today include an AuthenTec sensor to enhance privacy by securing
the deviceâs personal and corporate data such as email and provide
advanced navigation and personalization functions and
support secure m-commerce.
Bank of America global credit cards posted a $204 million loss in the fourth quarter compared to a $498 million profit on credit cards for 4Q/07. However, total fourth quarter credit card revenue of $7.4 billion was up 11% year-on-year. Fourth quarter charge-offs rose sharply to 7.16%, compared to 6.40% in the prior quarter and 4.75% one-year ago. The managed 30+ day delinquency ratio also increased to 6.68%, compared to 5.89% in the third quarter and 5.45% for 4Q/07. Managed global credit cards, excluding business credit cards, at the end of the fourth quarter
declined about 1% to $182.2 billion, compared to $183.4 billion in 3Q/08 and $183.7 billion for 4Q/07. Purchase volume for global credit cards was $56.6 billion for 4Q/08, compared to $62.7 billion for 3Q/08 and $68.4 billion for 4Q/07. BofA noted that debit card purchase volume declined slightly during the fourth quarter to $52.9 billion. Additionally, Card Services opened 1,432,000 accounts during the quarter, compared to 1,766,000 accounts in the prior quarter. For complete details on Bank of America’s 4Q/08 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).
BOFA CREDIT CARD NET INCOME
(Global Cards; Excludes Business Cards)
4Q/07: $498 million
1Q/08: $670 million
2Q/08: $423 million
3Q/08: (-$373 million)
4Q/08: (-$204 million)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
The NFC Forum is extending the submission deadline for the NFC Forum Global Competition to February 28, 2009.
In the competition, developers in a “Commercial Track” compete for the
honor of having their solutions named “The Best NFC Product of the Year
2009,” while a “Research Track” recognizes “The Most Innovative NFC
Research Project of the Year 2009.” Winners in each track will be
awarded cash prizes. The competition’s goal is to promote the development and deployment of
innovative and exemplary NFC services. For both commercial and research
developers, the NFC Forum Global Competition is more than just an
opportunity to win an award. Finalists and winners may look forward to
global media coverage, increased awareness among attending industry
leaders and venture capitalists, and opportunities to forge partnerships
and share ideas. The “Commercial Track” is for business ideas that address a specific
market, business or consumer need or want. Entries are evaluated on commercial
viability and how successfully and innovatively they meet the identified
need using NFC technology. The “Research Track” is open to the academic community, including
university student teams and institutions and each submission requires an explanatory abstract of no more than 3,000 words
that identifies the challenge addressed and outlines the approach taken.
First Data has rolled-out two new POS terminals. The new “FD300” is designed for operations that have more than one business at the same location, and the new “FD200” is an all-in-one device that supports multiple payment types. Other features of the “FD300” include a large, easy-to-use color touch screen display; fast downloads via IP with dial-up as back up; terminal/printer combination; future availability of built-in, full browser support; the ability to accept virtually all payment types; five USB ports to support a full range of peripherals; two RS232 serial ports and the option for Wi-Fi. The “FD200” offers multiple TeleCheck processing products including electronic check acceptance, which converts paper checks to electronic transactions at the POS. Other features of the “FD 200” include a single, integrated device with the ability to settle in the preferred payment type; enhanced check imaging technology; dual-CPUs, one for checks and one for all other services; dual-printers, inkjet to void checks and thermal to print receipts.
Mobile payment platform provider ClairMail has released an upgrade of the
ClairMail System that includes an iPhone mobile web solution. The iPhone solution includes the comprehensive mobile
banking and payments functionality found in ClairMail’s traditional mobile web
offering — account management, fund transfers, bill payments and ATM/branch locators
presented on the iPhone’s rich user interface. ClairMail’s highly secure mobile web solution adjusts its
user interface based on the capability of the mobile device all from the same mobile web URL.
ClairMail is the first and only solution provider capable of delivering 2-way
mobile banking and payments functionality on all mobile phones across
all three user interface options. The ClairMail System seamlessly
and securely integrates with a bank’s systems of record and provides bank customers
with a comprehensive suite of 2-way mobile banking and payment services and
incorporates a powerful Event Engine that can easily handle the
potential transaction volumes from banks of any size and deliver real-time, 2-way Actionable Alerts.
Chinatrust Commercial Bank and China Everbright Bank has launched a new service wherein Visa cardholders in Taiwan and mainland China can use a mobile phone based one-time password to authenticate themselves when they use their Visa card for purchases over the Internet. The new enhanced “Verified by Visa” service via a mobile phone is a global first for Visa. A recent Visa survey in Asia Pacific concluded that almost 80% of Internet users conducted an online transaction and spent an average of US$3,000 each in the past 12 months.
Chinatrust Commercial Bank says it first introduced “Verified by Visa” in 2004 and has signed-up more than 400,000 of its cardholders for the service. China Everbright introduced “Verified by Visa” in December 2007.
The Smart Card Alliance and Mobile Payments Council have rolled out new
tools for merchants
to maximize ROI when accepting contactless and mobile payments.
Merchants can now access a model for accepting contactless payments.
The model asks merchants to enter data specific to their business, such
as revenue, store information, payment transaction information,
transaction speed, expected changes in
transaction volume and speed after contactless payments are accepted,
and implementation costs. With this information, the model then
calculates an ROI based on increase in revenue, savings from fewer
chargebacks, reduced cash handling and improved operational efficiency
and incremental costs of implementing contactless payments. Merchants
also have access to an online discussion forum to interact with and ask
experts questions and post comments about contactless and mobile payments.