There is likely to be more consolidation in the remittances market as it becomes increasingly difficult for small and medium sized operators to maintain profitability given the current trends in the business. In a wide-ranging agenda there was a consistent message. Among the key themes that were explored were the adoption of the 5×5 pricing target by the G20, the forthcoming regulatory review of the Payment Services Directive in Europe, the trend for consolidation by remittance companies, the vital role of social media in maintaining and building customer bases, the application of newer technologies to the industry and the increasingly collaborative business models that are being adopted.
The Payments Council launched its revised National Payments Plan, shaped by public consultation. This- the second edition of the Plan- reflects feedback from a public consultation to increase customer confidence in making electronic payments. This will include enhancing the benefit customers get when using the Faster Payments Service by developing mandatory minimum standards, and helping customers ensure that they are sending an electronic payment to the right person using the correct account data. It is also meant to minimize any risk of fraud, choose payment options that best suits their needs and raising awareness of chip and signature cards.
Citadel EFT credit card terminals and online, mail order, and retail credit card processing services has joined with United Bankcard to provide POS Systems and Electronic Cash Registers and now its sales team can sell the Harbortouch POS System to any merchant for free. This POS system processes credit cards, printed receipts, comprehensive reporting, inventory tracking, employee scheduling, and has a built-in time clock. It can also provide Casio’s electronic cash register TE-1500 or TK-1550 for free. CDFT can offer up to five of these cash registers absolutely free to any merchant. CDFT believes this arrangement with United Bankcards will further enhance its range of credit card processing equipment, credit card software and Point of Sale Systems which the Company can offer to current and potential online/retail/wholesale merchants.
Cash handling company Loomis has entered an agreement with the British bank HSBC for management of the Bank’s remote ATMs across theUK. The contract success is the largest since Loomis’ market listing in December 2008 and when fully implemented, will make HSBC the largest customer of Loomis in the UK. The agreement includes management of HSBC’s remote ATM estate, including cash forecasting, replenishment and maintenance which will be performed in association with contract partner, NCR Corporation.
IT Governance Publishing announced that the PCI DSS v2.0-compliant version of the established PCI DSS Toolkit is meeting increased demand as compliance pressure on merchants mounts. Banks are increasingly pressuring merchants, who accept payment cards, to get themselves PCI DSS compliant. ITGP upgraded its existing toolkit to reflect the revised requirements of PCI DSS v2.0 in October 2010 and, since then, the Toolkit has been helping a steady stream of smaller e-commerce merchants and service providers to become PCI compliant. The PCI DSS Documentation Toolkit v2.0 is specifically designed to help payment card-accepting organisations quickly create all the documentation required to affirmatively answer the requirements of the PCI DSS Standard as set out in the Self Assessment Questionnaire (v2.0).
VoiceCash prepaid card has made available its “VoiceCash Prepaid MasterCard” Prepaid Card, giving customers a variety of advantages which are available through the internet. This lets cardholders travel without cash, allows online shopper who wants to track purchases and expenses sans credit card, or allowing them to take advantage of the cashback program. Besides easy and secure payment, full cost control and a convenient online management, the VoiceCash Prepaid MasterCard offers much more: users can take advantage of the revolutionary cashback program. By paying at more than 1,500 cash back shops with their VoiceCash card, users accumulate cashback points with every purchase. The cashback is loaded directly on the card account – thereby the card users are shopping twice as smart.
Merchant Warehouse credit card processing was presented with a Stevie Award for Sales Lead Management System of the Year in the fifth annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. This includes developing its own home-grown system and process to route and track leads from clicks to calls to closed sales. Subsequently, the company is now writing around 600 more deals a month, has significantly lowered the marketing spend and overall sales close rate has increased 15.
Another survey points to 10% of Americans planning to spend more this year than last on holiday gifts, and 43% about the same. The latest “American Express Spending & Saving Tracker” found that gift cards will be the gift of the season at 58% vs. all other gift selections. Nearly eight in ten consumers intend to utilize the Internet as a tool to help with holiday shopping: 45% will use the Internet to purchase items, more than one in four will use it for hard-to-find items, 27% to research products and a quarter will go online to simply look for gift ideas. In terms of the largest and most expensive single purchase holiday buyers will make, consumers expect to spend the most on technology gifts (with an average gift costing $450) followed by gift cards (with an average gift costing $270). The spending increases for affluents, with averages of $590 for technology and $350 for gift cards respectively.
With more people exploring alternative avenues towards personal
fulfillment and success, 28% can be described as “The New Potentialists”
with an inclination for “Lateral Living”. Among “The New Potentialists”,
49% seek to travel the world, meet new people and experiencing new
cultures, 36% wish to spend more time enjoying a hobby and 28% would
like to spend more time with their family. Identified in a study
commissioned by American Express, the research also shows 37% have
re-evaluated what is important in their lives thanks to the recession
while less than 10% are concerned with making more money. Additionally,
80% of women believe they will reach their full potential compared to
74% of men; 89% of women are optimistic about the future compared to 84%
of men; and 40% of women have re-evaluated what’s important in their
lives over the past year, compared to 34% of men.
IBQ has launched its new range of premium credit cards offering holders
5% Cash Back available instantly at the time of purchase for both retail
and online purchases. These new credit cards include the IBQ “Gold
MasterCard”, “IBQ Platinum Visa” and “IBQ Infinite Visa”, all of which
are Chip and Pin-enabled to provide customers security, flexibility and
convenience. The new cards additionally offer users free Travel
Insurance, Purchase Protection, free supplementary cards, no annual fees
for the first year, SMS notification for every transaction, online
account access, access to 24-hour customer service and worldwide
Bahrain Electronic Network for Financial Transactions and Network International have joined forces to create a joint venture to offer ATM and card processing services to GCC banks. The new SINNAD entity is aiming at capturing an 8% to 10% market share within five years. Abdulwahid Janahi, CEO of Benefit, will become Chairman of the new JV. Abdulla Qassem, Chairman of Network International will become Vice Chairman of SINNAD. The companies say SINNAD will host more than 500,000 cards over the next five years. Benefit is the country’s National Switch and Credit Reference Bureau. Network’s card third- party processing business is aligned exclusively with 38 banks across the GCC and Mena region.
Prepaid card issuer FNDS3000 has completed the certification
process with MasterCard in Africa with the launch of a MasterCard branded payroll card.
FNDS3000 has begun to serve the lucrative salary card market in
South Africa where an estimated 12 million employees remain unbanked, or
under banked with an aim issue approximately 1.2 million prepaid debit cards before the
end of 2009 in this market. FNDS3000 is a
financial transaction processing company providing prepaid debit card
and merchant processing solutions, gift cards, bill pay, prepaid cellular and other prepaid products.