Lightbridge, which acquired Authorize.Net one year ago for $82 million from InfoSpace, announced several developments this week. The Company has completed an initial beta release of its new “Virtual POS” product to help physical merchants to use the its payment gateway. The firm recently completed a successful “Multi-Card Compliance Program” conducted by Ambiron and says its list of third-party solution providers integrating their products to the Authorize.Net gateway has been growing. Authorize.Net also launched a new corporate Web site and its president, Roy Banks, has been elected to the Electronic Transactions Association Board of Directors.
TransUnion’s TrueCredit.com commissioned Roper Public Affairs to determine how consumers planned to spend their tax refund. Forty one percent of respondents would pay credit card, mortgage or other bills, 28 percent would buy something they need and 26 percent would save the money. Only 9 percent said they would use it for “fun”. California-based TrueCredit has been a leading provider of credit management services since 1995.
Dallas-based TransFirst and CrossCheck, Inc., announced a partnership to deliver a check processing program that will allow merchants to reduce liability and increase sales by securely accepting checks as payment. TransFirst currently processes approximately $20 billion in annual sales volume for more than 160,000 merchants and more than 760 financial institutions.
Dallas-based Transfirst has introduced Transaction Central, providing merchants flexibility and efficiency of multiple data entry points. Transaction Central transforms devices with an IP connection into a payment processor. TransFirst processes approximately $20 billion in annual sales volume for more than 160,000 merchants and 760 financial institutions.
Comdata has closed its acquisition of Illinois-based Tranvia, a merchant processor for credit, debit, pre-paid and e-commerce activities. Tranvia currently serves a range of merchants nationally and is also a direct provider of processing services to financial institutions, independent sales organizations, and providers of stored value payment products for educational institutions. Comdata provides credit and debit processing and reporting for commercial fleets and merchants, electronic cash, gift and smart/chip card programs for retailers and governmental agencies, Comchek eCash payroll services for food, retail and other service industries, and point-of-sale equipment, software and auxiliary services for merchants and convenience stores.
The Near Field Communication Forum has added several new members including JCB, 3ALogics, CETECOM Spain, Gemplus, Giesecke & Devrient, Innovision Research & Technology, LG Electronics, Logitech, MeT, Mobey Forum, SKIDATA AG and SmartSystem Technologies. MasterCard International, Matsushita, Microsoft, Motorola, NEC, Samsung, Texas Instruments and Visa International have become Sponsor Members, receiving seats on the Forum’s Board of Directors. The first NFC Forum Members Meeting will take place in New York City, March 17-18. The NFC Forum is a global standards development and advocacy group dedicated to advancing near field communication technology, educating the public about its benefits and furthering its implementation worldwide.
MasterCard has teamed with MBNA, the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens Football Clubs to integrate its “PayPass” contactless payment technology into the Seahawks and Ravens “Extra Points” credit card programs. Both Qwest Field and M&T Bank Stadium will accept MasterCard PayPass cards at the point-of-sale, beginning with the 2005 football season. Last year, the Philadelphia Eagles launched a similar implementation of “PayPass” acceptance at its stadium. MasterCard is continuing to explore further deployments of “PayPass” at sports arenas throughout 2005, providing sports teams and merchants with the opportunity to offer new payment and reward applications and increase customer loyalty.
Euronet Worldwide has signed a deal to resell eClassic’s “ATM Manager Pro” software solution worldwide. ATM Manager Pro is a leading ATM channel management software solution currently supporting more than 150,000 ATMs and provides a fully integrated suite of software modules that address all aspects of ATM channel management. Euronet Worldwide is an industry leader in processing secure electronic financial transactions. e-ClassicSystems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (Nasdaq: JKHY), (www.jackhenry.com), provides a suite of integrated software systems that enable banks, credit unions and independent sales organizations (ISOs) to proactively manage their ATM networks in a fully automated, centralized environment.
MD-based CreditXpert has launched “CreditXpert Detective” which scans an individual’s credit data to reveal potential inaccuracies and recommend specific updates that will most significantly improve the person’s credit score. By putting expert knowledge and analytical intelligence at the fingertips of loan officers and consumers, CreditXpert Detective saves time and improves success rates. Identifying inaccurate, outdated, or missing information and determining the correct value is complicated and time consuming. CreditXpert Inc. provides highly personalized credit management tools to help lenders more effectively originate loans and manage customer relationships, and to help consumers understand, manage, and improve their credit and the credit decision process.
Royal Philips Electronics has teamed with content and
service providers SMART System Technologies and 3united to deliver
mobile entertainment applications as well as loyalty and reward programs via Near Field Communication technology. NFC, developed by Philips and
Sony, securely links wireless connectivity with contactless smart card
technology, making it simple for consumers to access entertainment, information and payment services through their mobile phones. SST is a provider of merchant-centric point-of-purchase loyalty and coalition marketing applications and services. Based in Austria, 3united is one of Europe’s market leaders in premium short message services, m-commerce and mobile content solutions. 3united already provides NFC interfaces for more than 500 premium services for national and international content providers, media enterprises and mobile network operators. SST has developed customized software for NFC phones and has integrated this with its hosted “PowerPay” solution.
Nokia introduced a new product for secure mobile contactless payments and ticketing. The world’s first “Near Field Communications” product for payment and ticketing will be an enhanced version of the already announced “Nokia NFC” shell for “Nokia 3220” phone.
With the “Nokia NFC” shell for payment and ticketing, the consumer can
conduct local transactions with a mobile phone, simply by touching a
point of sales device or ticket gate. Consumer’s payment credentials, such as debit and credit cards, and transport tickets are securely stored in the integrated smart card chip of the “Nokia NFC” shell. The “Nokia NFC” shell for payment and ticketing is compliant and interoperable with contactless smart card infrastructure. In the first live NFC-based public transport ticketing showcase of its kind, Nokia 3220 mobile phones will be tested within the local bus network in
the city of Hanau, near Frankfurt, Germany.
GE reported that profit for its Consumer Finance unit climbed 26% in the fourth quarter to $637 million, however, the figure was off more than 6% over the prior quarter. Fourth quarter revenues hit a record $4.3 billion, a 22% increase over 4Q/03. GECF posted third quarter revenues of $4.0 billion. During the quarter, GECF completed the purchase of substantially all the assets of Dillard’s National Bank, including its private label credit card business, comprising the sixth-largest in-house private label credit card program in the U.S.A and adding 5.5 million active card members to GECF’s customer base. GECF also launched a business card with SAM’S CLUB and extended a retail credit card program with The Men’s Wearhouse. For complete details on GE’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
GE CONSUMER FINANCIAL TRACK RECORD
4Q/03: $506 million $3541 million
1Q/04: $602 million $3589 million
2Q/04: $600 million $3830 million
3Q/04: $681 million $4011 million
4Q/04: $637 million $4304 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)