PERFECT STORM

A new report finds that the triple shocks of housing, banking and stock market crashes during 2008 has seriously dented the European perceived sense of ‘continually growing wealth.’ There has been a seismic shift in the way consumers of today are making their spending and saving decisions. The study by TNS for MasterCard Europe found the most significant shift in consumer behaviour since World War II. Up to 78% of European consumers polled saying they actively plan to spend less on daily expenses. Eighty-nine percent of Italian and 85% of French consumers surveyed were the most likely to reduce daily expenses versus an average in Europe of 78%. Consumers indicated their desire to use their debit cards to actively monitor their expenditures and more closely manage their spending through their monthly statements.
Value for money/loyalty. The desire to make their money stretch as far as possible and support active bargain hunting (84% from 72% six months ago) is highlighted by consumers in the emergence of loyalty programs attached to debit cards as the second most important incentive to use their cards (40%). The survey found that money management is at the forefront, with 69% of consumers wanting to only spend what they can afford.

Silicon Valley Bank to Offer Biz Cards

CA-based Silicon Valley Bank has partnered with the New England Bankcard Association to issue
premier business credit card products under the MasterCard brand.
Silicon Valley Bank successfully transitioned clients to its new
business credit card platform, completing the conversion of over 7,000
card holders to the new SVB business credit cards. As an issuer, Silicon
Valley Bank can offer new card products, an expanded rewards program,
and more online reporting tools to assist SVB clients with their cash
management needs. In particular, SVB clients will immediately benefit
from the MasterCard’s SmartData reporting tool that enables integration
with numerous third party expense applications.

CARD FEE TESTIMONY

MasterCard Canada has told the Senate
Standing Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce that it strongly
believes additional regulatory management of payment system fees will
result in unintended consequences for both Canadian consumers and retail
merchants. MasterCard believes it is unfortunate that the Retail
Council of Canada (RCC) and Canadian Federation of Independent Business
(CFIB) have called for government regulation before providing
recommendations to MasterCard. MasterCard and the CFIB have agreed to
meet in early May to discuss
the recommendations the CFIB made to the Senate Committee. MasterCard is
awaiting a response from the RCC to its offer to meet.

MasterCard’s ATM Hunter Goes on iPhone/iPod

MasterCard’s “ATM Hunter” application is now available on the Apple App
Store. The free app lets iPhone and iPod touch users easily locate the
nearest ATM no matter where in the world they are. The “ATM Hunter”
utilizes the “iPhone” or “iPod” touch’s location awareness technologies
to pinpoint the search. Users can customize their hunt based on their
unique banking needs – such as focusing their search to a specific
financial institution if they need to make a deposit or wish to avoid
ATM withdrawal fees. “ATM Hunter” can also pinpoint wheelchair
accessible, drive-through, or 24-hour access ATMs and provide the
directions to get there. Each year, more than two million consumers
contact MasterCard via the Web, phone and wireless (SMS) to find ATM
locations.

MC’s GTO Names an Enterprise Architecture Exec

MasterCard’s St. Louis-based Global Technology and Operations has hired Antonio Ferri, previously with Dante Consulting, as group executive of Enterprise Architecture. Ferri will direct the MasterCard IT roadmap and oversee components of the software development lifecycle and continue the implementation of advanced processes to improve business and IT operations. Ferri comes to MasterCard GTO with nearly 30 years of experience in IT. He will manage and work with IT business partners, suppliers and vendors critical to the success of the MasterCard computing infrastructure. Ferri earlier served as chief development officer and chief enterprise architect at PriceWaterhouseCoopers with responsibility both for U.S. and European territories.

MC GTO EXEC

MasterCard’s St. Louis-based Global Technology and Operations has hired Antonio Ferri, previously with Dante Consulting, as group executive of Enterprise Architecture. Ferri will direct the MasterCard IT roadmap and oversee components of the software development lifecycle and continue the implementation of advanced processes to improve business and IT operations. Ferri comes to MasterCard GTO with nearly 30 years of experience in IT. He will manage and work with IT business partners, suppliers and vendors critical to the success of the MasterCard computing infrastructure. Ferri earlier served as chief development officer and chief enterprise architect at PriceWaterhouseCoopers with responsibility both for U.S. and European territories.

VIETCOMBANK & EZIO

Gemalto is providing its “Ezio Strong Authentication Server” to the Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank). This
comprehensive two-factor authentication solution takes advantage of
MasterCard’s Chip Authentication Program (CAP) and Visa’s Dynamic
Passcode Authentication (DPA), both of which are part of the EMV
standard. To create a more consistent and unified way to access their services,
users use the same corporate EMV microprocessor card for their purchases
as well as access their online banking service. Users simply insert
their corporate card into a custom designed handheld card reader to
generate a one-time password for secure access to their online banking
service and the system provides one-time-password (OTP) and digital signature
capabilities.

Omni Prepaid Earns MC Certification

Omni Prepaid has completed the “MasterCard
Global Vendor Certification Program” for its PA-based “OmniPrint” division. Omni Prepaid was one of the first companies to use
MasterCard’s on-line capture system for the Global Vendor Certification Program. The
company attained the MasterCard certification on March 19th, and is now
certified for card mailing, personalizing, embossing, and encoding. Omni Prepaid’s “OmniPrint” division operates an in-house Visa, and now
MasterCard, secure and certified print on-demand card fulfillment center that can
print gift cards, ID badges, loyalty cards, health insurance cards, merchant cards
and more with 24 hour turn around. In addition to printing they can integrate with a
client’s API, ship directly to the card recipients, customize the mailing and
assist with card design.

Payment Application Vendors Seminar Slated

VeriFone and MasterCard are offering an online seminar “Payment Application Vendors and PA-DSS” for merchants to manage fraud. The seminar expands MasterCard’s “PCI Merchant Education Program” to provide practical assistance in educating merchants and encouraging the adoption of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). The online seminar describes the Payment Application Data Security Standard
and its effects on the multiple parties involved, including application
vendors, merchants and resellers and what types of applications
are affected and how they affect PCI DSS compliance. The webinar also covers the risks involved with not being compliant, and talks though steps merchants can take to help achieve compliance today. Since its inception, more than 2,670 registered acquiring banks and merchants have viewed MasterCard’s PCI Merchant Education Program online training
modules more than 5,900 times.

Surescripts Hires Former MC Exec

Health data provider Surescripts has tapped Harry Totonis, previously
with MasterCard, as its president and CEO. As head of Advisors Services
at MasterCard, Totonis expanded
MasterCard into decision analytics and information-based product and was
responsible for a global team that spanned business development and
sales, product innovation, technology development and customer delivery.
During his tenure, Totonis developed and executed the strategy for
Advisors Services’ and MasterCard’s information and analytics services
— a board level initiative — while expanding service offerings and
streamlining operations. This resulted in significant overall revenue
growth and substantial increases to revenue and net income per employee
for Advisors Services.

MasterCard Reaches a Deal with European Commission

MasterCard Europe has reached an understanding with the European
Commission on interim interchange fees for cross-border consumer
payments within the European Economic Area. Effective July 1st
MasterCard Europe will establish intra-EEA cross-border default
interchange rates for consumer card transactions that, on average, will
not exceed 30 basis points for credit cards and 20 basis points for
debit cards. These interim rates will apply only to cross-border
transactions, which account for less than five percent of MasterCard
Europe’s total volume. Also on July 1st MasterCard Europe also will
publish on its website the new interchange rates and the rates that
MasterCard Europe itself establishes in the EEA, both for cross-border
and domestic transactions. In addition, MasterCard Europe announced a
new rule for its acquirers that will provide merchants with specific
information about the cost of accepting MasterCard consumer, MasterCard
commercial and Maestro cards.

MC & EEA

MasterCard Europe has reached an understanding with the European Commission on interim interchange fees for cross-border consumer payments within the European Economic Area. Effective July 1st MasterCard Europe will establish intra-EEA cross-border default interchange rates for consumer card transactions that, on average, will not exceed 30 basis points for credit cards and 20 basis points for debit cards. These interim rates will apply only to cross-border transactions, which account for less than five percent of MasterCard Europe’s total volume. Also on July 1st MasterCard Europe also will publish on its website the new interchange rates and the rates that MasterCard Europe itself establishes in the EEA, both for cross-border and domestic transactions. In addition, MasterCard Europe announced a new rule for its acquirers that will provide merchants with specific information about the cost of accepting MasterCard consumer, MasterCard commercial and Maestro cards.