AmEx Research Shows Consumer Spending Restrained

American Express Business Insights released its series of Q4 2010 Business Insights Spend Sights reports, indicating which sectors of the economy may be on the upswing. Businesses posted notable increases in travel spend while consumers seemed more inclined to exercise restraint, with small businesses having spent 7% more on airfare in Q4 and 38% more on business-class tickets while large businesses posted a 6% increase in spend on airfare and a 38% uptick in business-class tickets. Large businesses led spend growth in corporate spending with a notable 10% increase in entertainment spend. Retail spending activity in Q4 showed businesses and consumers spending more, with department stores posting a 13% increase in spend over the year prior, a signal, perhaps, that time-strapped consumers were on the lookout for “one-stop-shopping” opportunities.

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Intuit Reports Quarterly Revenue up 5% Y/Y

Intuit posted its financial results for its second fiscal quarter, which ended Jan. 31, with revenue up 5% to $878 million since the year-ago quarter. For fiscal year 2011, the company expects revenue of $3.74 billion to $3.84 billion, growth of 8 to 11%. Intuit’s Payments Solutions revenue grew 7% compared to the year-ago quarter, merchants grew 14% compared to the year-ago quarter and transaction volume per merchant grew 1%. Meanwhile, internet banking users increased by 10 percent, while bill pay users grew 23 percent compared to the same quarter last year.Small Business Group revenue increased 15% compared to the year-ago quarter, for which Financial Management Solutions revenue increased 21% compared to the year-ago quarter. Total Small Business Group revenue grew 15% compared to the year-ago quarter. Growth in small business was led by strength in Financial Management Solutions and Employee Management Solutions. With this, the Company is projecting revenue of $1.76 billion to $1.83 billion for the next quarter for growth of 10-14%.

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Compass Plus Passes IBM Performance Tests

Compass Plus electronic payment solutions and retail banking technology completed scalability and performance tests on the IBM System p for its “TranzWare Online” and “TranzWare Card Management System” (CMS). The “TranzWare Online” platform facilitates switching, parametric routing and authorization of electronic payments. The system underwent stress testing in a processing scenario containing a database of 100 million customers, accounts and cards respectively and simulating up to 60,000 terminals comprised of ATMs and POS devices. Meanwhile, TranzWare CMS provides financial institutions automated management of the issuance and circulation of payment cards, as well as bank and merchant acquiring, and was certified to handle six months worth of live transaction data and associated batch procedures for 20 million active credit cards.

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ClairMail Launches Mobile Fraud Management

ClairMail mobile banking and payments has introduced its mobile fraud management solution. Marketed toward financial institutions and their customers to oversee fraudulent transactions through the mobile channel, the ClairMail “Fraud Solution” works with existing fraud systems and processes to help mitigate card, Direct Deposit Account (DDA), online banking and identity fraud. The “Fraud Solution” is the first release of a family of business-level solutions that demonstrate how the mobile channel can power new mobile capabilities, products and packages across the entire enterprise while bolstering the value and return on investment the mobile channel brings to the institution. It also extends existing fraud detection and mitigation processes by using timely two-way alerts and workflow orchestration to verify potentially fraudulent transactions, more quickly detect false positives and bring to resolution any potential fraud incident from the mobile device.

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Payment Data’s 4Q/10 & December Sees Heavy Growth

Payment Data Systems’ credit card processing volumes for were through the roof in 4Q/10, up 31% from the previous quarter. The integrated electronic payments solutions provider also disclosed its December 2010 period had the highest credit card processing volumes were the highest of any other month in 2010, posting credit card dollars processed up 22% over November 2010. Processing dollars directly relates to gross revenue. As volume for processing dollars rises, the gross revenue for the Company’s payment processing rises as well. Payment Data Systems is an integrated payment solutions provider to merchants and billers.

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2Checkout.com Achieves Level 1 PCI DSS Compliance

2Checkout.com (2CO) has been certified Level 1 compliant with the PCI-DSS to offer merchants increased security and peace of mind. This compliance also allows its clients to focus on buildng their business, instead of engaging in an assessment and remediation process that can be cumbersome for small to mid-size businesses and cost thousands of dollars. 2Checkout.com (2CO) is a worldwide leader in payment and e-commerce services and provides web-based businesses merchant accounts, merchant account alternatives and a fully automated suite of backend services.

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Kawartha FCU Implements Fiserv Core Banking

Kawartha Credit Union of Peterborough of Canada has chosen to implement the “Acumen” core banking system from Fiserv financial services technology solutions. The $700 million institution cited the integrated loan origination platform of Acumen and its 360-degree view of members as key factors in the credit union’s decision to leverage the strategic platform in-house. Kawartha provides a full suite of services to its almost 37,000 consumer and small business members through 19 branches in Central Ontario. It is one of the fastest growing and most profitable credit unions in Ontario, and it seeks to continue that growth by providing more and better services to its members. The Acumen core banking platform is designed to meet the needs of the largest credit unions with its open architecture, advanced functionality and superior ease of use.

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California Small Businesses Show Increasing Optimism

The majority of California’s small business owners (54 percent) believe 2011 will be better than 2010, while 36% expect the same as last year and only 10% expect worse. With this, 34% of California’s small business owners say their business situation is better than a year ago, up from 28% in September and just 19% in March of last year. This, according to the latest Citibank small business survey, also shows those who rate their business situation as worse than a year ago declined to 32% from 35% in September and 45% in March. Regarding the most positive impact on their business, 28% cite reducing taxes; 21% was more credit availability; and 17% was lower healthcare costs.

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PayPal Adds 150 New Jobs for Euro Operations

PayPal announced 150 new jobs at its European operations and customer service headquarters in Blanchardstown, Dublin. The new roles will support PayPal’s fast growing European business, which achieved $1 billion in revenues for the first time in 2010. More than 1,200 people already work at PayPal’s European Center of Excellence in Blanchardstown, providing operational and customer support to consumers and businesses across Europe. PayPal’s European operation center opened in Dublin in 2003. Since then the number of staff has increased from just 25 to more than 1,200 today. The Dublin center manages all direct customer contact for PayPal’s businesses across Europe.

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Economic Index Down .5% in December

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for China declined 0.5% in December to 154.3 (2004 = 100), following a 0.5% increase in November and a 0.8% increase in October. Three of the six components contributed positively to the index in December. Meanwhile, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for China, which measures current economic activity, decreased 0.5% in December to 196.8 (2004 = 100), following a 1.0% increase in November and a 0.2% increase in October. Three of the five components contributed positively to the index in December.

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SelectCore Announces Profit 100 Ranking Candidacy

SelectCore payment and transaction processor for prepaid financial and telecommunication services has announced its candidacy for the 2011 Profit 100 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. This year will be Profit Magazine’s 23rd annual recognition, for which SelectCore’s 2011 candidacy is based on its five-year sales growth of 324% from $24.4 million in 2005 to $103.5 million in 2010. SelectCore was previously honoured three times by Profit 100 in 2006, 2007 and 2009. Since its first ranking as Canada’s 6th fastest-growing company, SelectCore has realized unprecedented growth of 39,770%.

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Opposition To Durbin Amendment Building

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Mounting opposition to the Durbin Interchange amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act, set for full implementation this Summer, now includes the American Bankers Association (ABA). As disclosed in a letter recently addressed to Senator Durbin, the ABA insists the Durbin amendment requires the Fed to interfere in the interchange fee structure and…

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