BluePay Processing Complete DICE Software Integration

BluePay secure credit card processing solutions completed its software integration for DICE Corporation’s alarm software, streamlining its data entry process for single batch entries and uploads. This also lets DICE accept ACH payments through BluePay’s secure payment gateway in a single batch upload. Other BluePay products and services include Level 3 processing capabilities, wireless credit card terminals, e-commerce payment gateways, virtual terminals, recurring billing and small business credit card processing. BluePay full-service, Tier 1 credit card processor focuses on credit card processing through its comprehensive suite of credit card merchant processing services.

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Mobile Money Services to Double in the Next 2 Years

Currently with well under 100 million users, the need to access basic financial services by users in developing countries will drive the short term growth of active mobile money users globally to exceed 200 million by 2013. Additionally, nearly 40% of active users in 2015 will be in the Africa & Middle East region, according to the latest analysis from Juniper Research.

The report also cautions that whilst there are several high profile examples of extremely successful mobile money services, each new rollout needs an established, robust and extensive local distribution network to ensure access to the service.

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Sage Launches mPayments Solution

Sage Payment Solutions has made available its PCI-compliant “Sage Mobile Payments” mobile payments solution. Sage Payment Solutions is offering “Sage Mobile Payments” with no incremental mobile processing or transaction fees and an optional, end-to-end encrypted card reader. Targeting small and midsized businesses (SMBs) with cost-effective and secure mobile payments, with no additional transaction fee surcharges, Sage Payment Solutions’ “Sage Mobile Payments” protects all customer data, which is encrypted before it leaves a customer’s cell phone; no personal data is retained on the phone or mobile computing device. The mPayments solution is currently available for U.S. businesses and organizations with a Sage Payment Solutions merchant account.

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SCA Addresses EMV Implementation Challenges

Factors driving the U.S. payments industry to consider a move to EMV include card-related fraud losses, the increasing annual cost of protecting existing payments systems and enhancing security features incrementally, and troubles U.S. travelers are having using their cards abroad. In response, the Smart Card Alliance Payments Council released its white paper- “Card Payments Roadmap in the United States: How Will EMV Impact the Future Payments Infrastructure?”- addressing the current state of the payments infrastructure in the United States and identifies actions that stakeholders would need to take to issue EMV cards, and to accept and process EMV transactions. Targeting issuers, merchants, processors, ATM owners, and suppliers of hardware, software, and support services, on different options for EMV implementation and critical considerations for deploying an EMV solution in their business environments, the paper mainly touches on the impact of the global deployment of EMV on possible roadmap options for the U.S. and cardholder verification methods and transaction authorization approaches and implementation options for each.

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Sybase 365 Launches Commercialbank of Qatar mBanking

Sybase 365 mobile messaging and mobile commerce services has partnered with Commercialbank of Qatar to implement its retail mobile banking and mobile payments service. This provides users instant and secure connectivity to accounts anywhere, anytime, letting them check balances, review transaction history and transfer funds between accounts. They can also make balance enquiries on all bank and card accounts, receive transaction summaries, make utility bill payments, order check books and conduct remittances.

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Otkritie Appoints New CTO

Sergey Rozov has been appointed Chief Technology Officer with Otkritie Financial Corporation Banking. Rozov will be responsible for technology and IT strategy, ensuring the optimisation of client relationships, the acceleration of data transfers and the efficient completion of orders. He will design, establish and implement flexible and robust technology solutions. He most recently headed the IT department at UBS after having worked as Company IT Director between 2000 and 2006. Mr Rozov qualified as an engineer and radiophysicist, graduating with honors from the Moscow Energy Institute in 1990 having majored in Radiophysics and Electronics.

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Identity Fraud Plummets 28% in 2010

In 2010, the number of identity fraud victims fell 28% to 8.1 million, down 3 million from 2009, while total annual fraud decreased to the lowest point in 8 years from $56 billion to $37 billion. The mean fraud amount per victim declined from $4,991 in 2009 to $4,607, most likely thanks to the significant drop in reported data breaches according to industry reports: 404 in 2010 with 26 million records exposed, compared to 604 in 2009 with 221 million records exposed. These findings, according to “The 2011 Identity Survey Report” by Javelin Strategy & Research, also shows new account fraud was most damaging, with $17 billion in damages. Fraud declines are thanks in great part to more stringent criteria financial institutions are applying to authenticate users and determine credit risk; as well as more Americans monitoring accounts online and using monitoring protection services that can provide updates to mobile devices.

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Union Bank Selects VSoft RDC Platform

VSoft Corporation announced Union Bank is set to implement its Remote Deposit Capture solution. The selection is part of Union Bank’s strategy to offer its customers the latest technology to expedite processing of their account receivables and reconciliation. Union Bank first introduced remote deposit to its business customers in 2006 and has successfully penetrated markets across the country. VSoft Corporation is a global provider of financial technology solutions, serving banks, credit unions, savings institutions, transaction processors, governments, utilities, telecommunications and retail organizations with all points of presentment, back office check processing, image exchange, document management, and remittance and lockbox operations.

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Mobile Malware Growth at All-Time High

The number of pieces of new mobile malware in 2010 increased by 46%, compared with 2009 and 20 million new pieces of malware were discovered in 2010, equating to nearly 55,000 new malware threats every day. Of the almost 55 million total pieces, 36% were created in 2010, increasing as consumers coincidentally use their mobile devices for payments increasingly.

This is according to McAfee’s “McAfee Threats Report: Fourth Quarter 2010,” indicating a steady growth of threats to mobile platforms. Android/Geinimi, a Trojan inserted into legitimate mobile applications and games for the Android platform, was one of the most important threats of the quarter. McAfee Labs expects cybercriminals to more and more use botnet infections to target mobile devices.

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2009-10 Card ROA Lowest in Near 30 Years

Pre-tax net ROA for the credit card industry for 2009 and 2010 were at the lowest point since 1983, 2009 saw pre-tax ROA at 1.50% (down from a 4.25% average for the last decade), while last year’s 2010 net pre-tax ROA rose slightly to 2.10%.

This is the lowest since R.K. Hammer began tracking card profit metrics, which discloses given card companies only earned 2.1 cents pre-tax after expenses on every dollar of unsecured outstanding card loans on their books in 2010, and only 1.25 cents after-tax. Also, the average credit card account in the R.K. Hammer model earned only $45.46 pre-tax profit per year per consumer account for the bank card businesses issuing those cards; with the average “active” consumer account earning $83.33 per year pre-tax profit, both cut 40% for even smaller after-tax net results.

The onslaught of new rules will cost the card industry over $26 Billion per year, including “Goodwill Impairment,” primarily on intangible assets of subjective value which often have to be written down, to match a lowered balance sheet value with more accurate reduced current market value; loan losses on unsecured card debt still remain stubbornly and historically high; Net Charge Offs, which averaged around 5.00% for the last ten years, jumped to over 10% during the past two years; restructuring charges cost higher associated expenses and more red ink; and the proposed “Interchange Fee Limits.”

However, businesses will begin to hire again (when given incentives to do so), IT investment for the future will resume, financial institution capital will be replenished, shareholder dividends will be restored, banks will resume sensible lending to creditworthy consumers and businesses by providing the services and value they want (new account solicitations have doubled in the past year), loan losses will stabilize and normalize…and the business cycle will once again move ahead.

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MoneyGram Posts 4Q/10 Revenue Up 9% Y/Y

MoneyGram International global payment services posted its 4Q and full-year 2010. For the quarter, the money-transfer giant saw transaction volume grow 12% thanks in great part to an 18% growth in international remittance since the year ago period while money transfer fee and other revenue grew 7% during the same period. Meanwhile, total revenue for the landmark quarter was up 3% to $303.4 million from $295.6 million in 4Q/09, with total fee and other revenue up 3.1% to $298.3 million from $289.4 million last year. Additionally, total revenue for the Global Funds Transfer segment was up 5% to $276.7 million from $263.8 million in 4Q/09 thanks to an operating income of $44.2 million and an operating margin of 16.0% and money transfer transaction volume having increased 12% year-over-year. Throughout the year, global agent locations increased 19% over the prior year end to 227,000, full-year total revenue in 2010 was $1,166.7 million, up from $1,161.7 million in 2009. Moneygram’s accelerating performance was thanks to its focus on enhancing its product offerings and expanding its agent network in Mexico, Russia, Switzerland, Spain and Japan, among others.

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Discover & Banco Popular de Puerto Rico Forge Expansion

Discover Financial Services and Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (BPPR) signed an agreement to expand Discover card acceptance in Puerto Rico. This will give Banco Popular de Puerto Rico merchant customers access to the millions of cardmembers and billions in spending on the Discover and Diners Club International networks. International travelers to Puerto Rico can now expect Discover cards to be accepted at thousands more merchant location for use at merchants throughout the country. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico has $31 billion in assets.

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