Chase Card Division Generates Over $1B 4Q/10 Income

JPMorgan Chase reported fourth-quarter 2010 net income of $4.8 billion, an increase of 47% compared with $3.3 billion for the fourth quarter of 2009 while full-year 2010 net income was $17.4 billion, an increase of 48% compared with $11.7 billion for the prior year. For the Card Services division, net income was $1.3 billion, compared with a net loss of $306 million in the prior year, and total merchant processing volume was $127.2 billion on 5.6 billion total transactions processed. Meanwhile, end-of-period loans were $137.7 billion, a decrease of $25.7 billion, or 16%, from the prior year and an increase of $1.2 billion, or 1%, from the prior quarter. Average loans were $135.6 billion, a decrease by 17% of $27.6 billion from the prior year and $4.5 billion from the prior quarter. With this, net revenue was $4.2 billion, a decrease of $902 million, or 18%, from the prior year. The provision for credit losses was $671 million, compared with $4.2 billion in the prior year and $1.6 billion in the prior quarter, thanks to lower net charge-offs and a reduction of $2.0 billion to the allowance for loan losses due to lower estimated losses.

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Global Axcess Completes ATM and DVD Acquisitions

Global Axcess independent provider of self-service kiosk solutions has purchased the assets of a portfolio of 140 ATMs from a privately held nationwide network of automated financial service terminals, effective December 1, 2010 to expand its ATM and DVD kiosk businesses. It also completed the acquisition of Tejas Video Partners (“Tejas”) unattended DVD rental kiosk business and its 260 DVD rental kiosks to now control about 600 units, primarily at U.S. military facilities. The Company’s total DVD kiosk portfolio will be located at a combination of highly attractive grocery store chains and highly sought after locations on U.S. military bases. Global Axcess Corp was founded in 2001 to emerge as the leading independent provider of self-service kiosk services in the United States and now manages or operates approximately 5,300 ATMs and other self-service kiosks in its national network spanning 43 states. Back in August, the Company reported a 2Q/10 revenue of $5.5 million, a 3% increase year over year. The Company’s core revenue from ATMs was $5.4 million while DVD rental revenue was $60,000. ATM and DVD kiosk operation generated income of $625,000 and a loss of $293,000, respectively (CardFlash Library, 8/22/10).

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PayFair Appoints New CEO to Oversee Payment Scheme

Electronic payment expert Stephan Becker has been appointed CEO with PayFair European next generation electronic payments. Bringing with him over 20 years’ experience, his initial focus will be to increase PayFair’s uptake by banks within the SEPA world and continuing the expansion throughout Europe and globally. Prior to joining PayFair, he worked Pluscard, First Data and MasterCard Payment Industry firms. He also acts as an independent consultant to a number of payment service providers advising on strategic management and product development. PayFair is the new SEPA compliant payment scheme offering a European alternative to other schemes such as MasterCard and Visa that are well established in the payments arena. PayFair’s business model is organised around a SEPA and PSD-compliant system that allows it to make payments simpler, faster and safer.

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Braintree Launches Card-Not-Present Encryption

Braintree launched its end-to-end encryption solution for merchants accepting credit card payments online (aka card-not-present or CNP). The Braintree CNP End-to-End Encryption eliminates the transmission and storage of credit card data from the merchant environment. Thi reduces the scope of PCI compliance, often allowing merchants to achieve compliance by completing the quickest and least intrusive of the Self Assessment Questionnaires, SAQ A. It also lets merchants encrypt credit card data at the moment the customer enters it, without requiring immediate transmission of the data to the payment gateway. This gives merchants the option to process payments asynchronously, avoiding many of the limitations inherent in working with an external service.

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Monitise Europe Gets Even Break

Monitise m-Money solutions provider announce its 2H/10 fiscal period reached month-on-month cash break-even, in line with guidance given at time of the full-year results for the year to end-June 2010. Throughout the period, the Company broke over 3 million registered customers; customer adoption of its smartphone apps continues to be strong and to have a positive effect on usage; and its Globe Platform continues to grow strongly and in December processed more than 13 million transactions.

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Fed to Kick Paper Checks to Curb in 2011

Saving Social Security $1 billion over the next decade, the U.S. Department of Treasury will now provide all federal benefits through direct deposit or prepaid MasterCard, including payments to more than 8 million workers receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Paper checks no longer will be issued to individuals applying for benefits and must choose either direct deposit into a bank or credit union account or deposit onto a “Direct Express” Debit MasterCard. Those already receiving paper checks will need to switch to one of these options by March 1, 2013. Those who do not choose will automatically be switched to the debit card payment method. Making certain recipients understand the costs and benefits of their choices is essential for a smooth transition, according to Allsup SSDI representation.

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Green Dot to Issue Tax Refund Debit Card

Green Dot prepaid financial services will provide its “MyAccountCard” Visa Prepaid Card program and manage the U.S. Department of the Treasury pilot program whereby Americans can their federal tax refunds through direct deposit. Issued by Bonneville Bank, Green Dot “MyAccountCard” Visa Prepaid Card was selected to serve as the exclusive reload network for the prepaid debit cards. It provides to those who do not have a traditional bank account a safe, convenient and low-cost option to receive their tax refund. The prepaid debit card program is designed to give moderate and low-income Americans the opportunity to use an FDIC-insured reloadable prepaid debit card as a safe convenient and cost-effective tool to manage their daily financial needs and can be reloaded with income after the tax funds have been spent.

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E-Commerce Developing in Rebounding Economy

The Chinese economy weathered the financial crisis in 2009, but was still impacted enough to show a strong rebound in 2010 after a one-year adjustment while the global economy remained sluggish. The severe impacts of the financial crisis led to reflections on China´s commodity marketplace. For a long time, China´s traditional commodity transaction mechanism has kept many enterprises, especially small and medium processing manufacturing enterprises, lagging behind the market development in terms of production as well as access to and management of order information, which makes it difficult for them to respond to the international market demand promptly. China´s commodity marketplace system is not so well developed as the Western countries, while the application of e-commerce is still at an initial stage. Learning from the developed capitalist countries´ experiences and combining them with China´s actual demands is necessary for the development of e-commerce in China´s own commodity marketplace.

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eBay Completes Acquisition of brands4friends

eBay completed its previously announced acquisition of brands4friends online shopping club for fashion and lifestyle. In accordance with the terms of the acquisition agreement announced on Dec. 20, eBay acquired brands4friends for a transaction value of approximately US$200 million (EUR150 million) in cash. brands4friends.de has approximately 3.5 million registered club members, who are on average 32 years old and has successful international operations in Austria, the U.K. and Japan.

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