HSBC has agreed to sell its card and retail services business in the United States to Capital One, which consists of HSBC’s monoline US credit card and private label credit card business. Included in the sale are the Business’s MasterCard, Visa, private label and other credit card operations. The products of the Business are offered throughout the United States primarily via strategic affinity and co-branding relationships, merchant relationships, direct mail and via the internet. All HSBC employees in the Business will be offered the opportunity to join the Purchaser. The Business to be sold however does not include HSBC Bank USA’s US$1.1bn credit card program. The Business being sold has performed strongly through the financial cycle but it is not aligned with HSBC Group strategy.
Citizens Financial Group launched its “accessCARD Command” expense-management solution, available for no extra charge to all Citizens Bank and Charter One commercial card customers with annual revenues of less than $25 million. Leveraging the MasterCard inControl platform, “accessCARD Command” allows business owners to easily set spending controls on the cards issued to their employees and to receive real-time account information, including purchases made or attempted by their employees. It lets owners set up and manage exactly where, when, how and for what types of purchases their employees’ cards may be used; set up spend limits and budgets for particular types of spending; and establish how and when they receive alerts, via text and/or e-mail, to safeguard against overspending and keep them informed in real time about attempted card activity.
Global Payout and Tyburn Group forged agreements to co-develop an international eWallet payment platform. A license from RS2 Software, Frankfurt Germany, and developed based on Global Payout’s specifications, the international platform (“eWallet”) will enable multi-national companies to pay its members or employees in foreign countries through a web-based portal in several currencies. eWallet account-holders will be able to transfer money from their online account or by cell-phone to bank accounts or prepaid debit cards. In addition, the new platform will significantly increase revenue and will replace the existing vendor platform relationships. The company anticipates a January 2012 launch.
Buffalo-based HSBC completed agreement to sell 195 retail branches to Buffalo-based First Niagara Bank for a consideration equal to a premium of 6.67% of the deposits to be transferred on closing, roughly $1.0billion. HSBC Bank USA remains committed to serving and further developing corporate banking relationships in Upstate New York and continue to provide a full suite of international commercial banking offerings, including trade and cash management products and services through its four business centres in the region. The all-cash transaction is expected to close in early 2012.
Spark Response has embarked on its third year as a company compliant with PCI DSS, among the first contact centers in the Country to do so. Enhancing payment card data security, which include a framework of specifications, tools, measurements and support resources to help organisations ensure the safe handling of cardholder information at every step, Spark also provides contact center and fulfilment support to organisations including Toys R Us, Cancer Research UK, Straight Plc, Even Greener, Best Direct, Red Direct, FitFlop and Soap & Glory.
Eckoh, the UK’s leading provider of customer service solutions using speech recognition, is pleased to announce that the EckohPAY solution for RCI Financial Services, which was announced on 1 November 2010, has already processed transactions worth GBP3.2 million since its launch in April 2011. RCI Financial Services (RCI), the specialist motor company provides finance solutions to Renault and Nissan customers of new and used cars and light commercial vehicles and provides funding to the Renault and Nissan dealer networks. RCI prides itself in offering top quality services that its customers have come to expect. Eckoh proposed its real-time PCI DSS compliant payment solution, EckohPAY combined with EckohID, an automated solution that captures and validates a caller’s details, to securely authenticate the caller.
Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities has been designated the sole strategic and financial advisor to EDC and its Board of Directors on its sale to Cardtronics USA for $145 million. EDC turnkey ATM deployment services operates approximately 3,700 ATMs and multi-function kiosks in the United States focused on multi-state retail operators and high-transacting merchant locations such as convenience stores. This adds to the number of Cardtronics’ ATM terminals and will significantly increase its market footprint, particularly in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions.
Optimal Payments alternative payments business launched its “NETBANX 6” payment processing service, providing payment processing for many leading eCommerce businesses. The “NETBANX 6” specifically addresses the needs of merchants in the rapidly changing eCommerce market including customer and cardholder data security and protection, as well as shopping cart conversions, multinational cross border payments and reduction of operational costs. This lets businesses completely outsource the holding of private customer data to the PCI-DSS level 1 certified NETBANX service, subsequently reducing risk of holding them on their servers. Other capabilities improve a merchant’s operational flexibility or decrease costs, including new batch processing features, an automated report delivery service, and a new back office user experience.
Seamus Smith has been appointed Managing Director with PayPoint UK. To focus on the UK and Irish retail network business, Seamus brings to PayPoint a wealth experience, most recently seasoned as Vice President & General Manager, EMEA for American Express Global Network Services (GNS). He has previously worked for GE Capital Consumer Financial Services and the Automobile Association and he holds an MBA from Henley Management College.
Flexebens is a unique gift card platform which gives staff 7% discount every time they shop. The Flexebens card can be used in 23 leading retailers including River Island, Debenhams, New Look, Comet, Boots, Superdrug and Iceland, with new retailers joining the program every month. Employees can save money onto their Flexebens card through the ‘Salary Exchange’ scheme, which allows employees to choose how much money they wish to be taken from their salary each month, or through ‘Voluntary Benefit,’ which allows employees to benefit from the same 7% discount, but the onus is on the staff member to make payments online via their own credit or debit card, which means no payroll involvement.
Visa is acquiring Fundamo mobile financial services platform for $110 million in cash, in conjunction with having signed long-term commercial agreements with Monitise mobile money solutions. This is meant to accelerate the execution of Visa’s global strategy announced last month to provide the next generation of payments solutions, enabling consumers to transact wherever and whenever they choose, using a card, a computer or a mobile device with Visa’s reliability, security and global acceptance. It will ultimately allow Visa to offer mobile financial services and payments capabilities to consumers on everything from basic services on simple handsets to more advanced services on smart phones.
Fundamo’s platform enables the delivery of mobile financial services to unbanked and under-banked consumers around the world–including person-to-person payment, airtime top-up, bill payment and branchless banking services. Combined with Visa, the Fundamo platform will add enhanced functionality and new services to existing mobile financial services subscribers across Africa, Asia and Latin America for globally accepted payments that will expand the utility of closed-loop, interoperable systems.
Meanwhile, the new commercial agreement with Monitise will expand delivery of mobile financial services to banked Visa account holders in conjunction with Visa’s financial institution partners. Monitise’s expertise in customizing mobile applications for a broad range of phone models and operating systems enables Visa to virtualize existing Visa accounts on mobile phones and offer Visa account holders globally a new array of payment types. Also, the partnership will launch a mobile banking solution in the U.S. for clients of Visa DPS, Visa’s debit and prepaid processing platform designed to allow clients and processing partners to offer their mobile payments, person-to-person payments, mobile transaction alerts and mobile marketing offers.
ValidSoft fraud prevention, authentication and transaction verification solutions, has announced an agreement with RMS IT Security IT security solutions provider. RMS IT Security will be the first channel partner in the UK to provide ValidSoft’s “VALid” Four-Factor Authentication solutions set. ValidSoft is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Elephant Talk Communications, an international provider of business software to the telecommunications and financial industries. The “VALid” authentication solution addresses risk through an extensible Out-of-Band (OOB) authentication model that can not only vary the authentication strength, but can also implement additional authentication factors through the combination of its own proprietary voice biometric technology coupled with Proximity Correlation Logic (PCL).