AmEx Introduces Financial Understanding Tools

ZYNC from American Express launched its “The Quarterlife Project” to gauge attitudes and perceptions of 20-somethings about money. With this, it offers resources to help younger consumers take control of their finances. This is in response to AmEx research showing 96% of people in their 20’s are very concerned with making money; 79% feel overwhelmed by their current financial situation; and 57% are still financially dependent on their parents and other family members to help pay bills. Additional findings show 86% describe their current financial situation as “stressful”; 54% of Gen Y believe that most financial services are geared toward older age groups; 67% wish they had more tools and resources to increase their understanding and knowledge about financial issues and 66% want tools for money management.

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Sicap Partners With VivaCell For Loyalty Solution

Armenia-based VivaCell-MTS mobile operator has partnered with sicap to release its 3rd Generation Loyalty Platform. The Sicap “Loyalty Manager” constitutes a convergent platform for pre-paid and post-paid subscribers to offer bonus and points campaigns. The new tool features easy loyalty scheme design by marketing teams allowing VivaCell-MTS to adjust loyalty programs and introduce new ones within only a couple of days. The commitment to continuous implementation of world-class cutting-edge technologies is reinforcing the Company’s reputation as the number one operator in Armenia that delivers the best subscriber experience.

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Interest Rates Cut on Prosper P2P Loans

Prosper.com peer-to-peer lending marketplace with over one million members and $214 million in funded loans announced that interest rates have been reduced on many loans. With this, rates on new loans for Prosper borrowers with better Prosper Ratings will be significantly lower by as much as 2.66%. Loans listed by borrowers on the site are funding at a rate of nearly 100%, allowing for the lower rates. Prosper Marketplace peer-to-peer lending marketplace has over one million members and more than $214 million in funded loans.

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Ground Labs to Host PCI DSS Forum

To better assist organizations within the United Kingdom achieve and maintain PCI compliance, Ground Labs is now sponsoring the PCI London regional forum on January 27. The exclusive forum is an established community meeting point for senior decision-makers and compliance experts from across the UK who are responsible for protecting cardholder data. The presentation, “Out of Sight – Not out of PCI Scope: Exposing the Hidden Locations of Cardholder Data Storage,” is designed to educate organizations on common cardholder data storage practices which are often overlooked.

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FED ON CREDIT

A new online Federal Reserve publication, “What You Need To Know: New Rules about Credit Decisions and Notices,” helps consumers better understand new notices they may receive from lenders when credit reports or credit scores affect a decision to grant credit. It describes the types of notices consumer may receive and provides links to sample notices. It includes information about what consumers should do if they receive a notice, including instructions on how to dispute credit report errors. The new rules took effect January 1, 2011 and require a creditor to provide a consumer with a notice when, based on the consumer’s credit report, the creditor provides credit to the consumer on terms that are less favorable than those provided to other consumers.

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RBS Names Global Transaction Services CEO

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has appointed Scott Barton as CEO of the Global Transaction Services (GTS) division, bringing with him 16 years’ banking experience. Having most recently served as CEO of the RBS Large Corporate Division, he will now work with industry participants, market infrastructure bodies, regulators and technology providers. Having contributed 12% of RBS total profits, GTS provides a combination of global cash and liquidity management, global trade services and commercial cards to corporate clients and financial institutions in around 40 countries.

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J.P. Morgan Client Saves $1.4mm on Transit Funds

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has saved $1.4 million in administrative costs since launching the JP Morgan Chase “GO!card” program in March, an estimated 20-40% reduction over HHS’ former paper-based, manual program. The J.P. Morgan-issued “Green Option” Commuter Card is a preloaded Visa-branded charge card given to eligible HHS employees for the purchase of mass transit fares. HHS introduced the program to help improve the distribution and overall management of mass transit subsidies, as well as contribute to the General Service Administration’s Zero Environmental Footprint (ZEF) goals. The “GO!card” automates the agency’s labor and time-intensive manual process of issuing paper checks for transit subsidies and gives HHS employees their monthly mass transit allotments to their “GO!card” account.

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Navigate Announces The PCI Coach

The PCI Coach e-publication is being introduced to help small and medium size businesses decipher PCI DSS credit card security requirements. It focuses on understanding how the PCI requirements apply and how to protect credit cards while limiting the scope of PCI compliance. It also advises on update and changes to the PCI standard and what those changes mean in layman’s terms and simple credit card security tips.

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First Data Adapts to PCI Changing Landscape

First Data is set to consolidate operations and management of its North American business and its business outside North America through the leadership of two executives. With this, it named Ed Labry to the position of President; started a search for an executive to lead its business outside North America, including markets that offer First Data opportunities for long-term growth and investment; and announced that Kevin Schultz is retiring as executive vice president effective Jan. 31, 2011, and will work with Labry and Elkins to manage a smooth transition of his responsibilities. He has led the company’s Financial Services division since joining the company in 2009.

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2010 Was an Off Year for Card Folio Sales

Card industry advisor R.K. Hammer has published their annual year-end summary and price range of credit card portfolios believed to have been sold last year. As shown in the accompanying chart, by most any generally accepted measure it was a weak year at best. Turbulent economic factors which expanded in 2009 represented a major shift from stronger earlier periods, and this continued in 2010. It is estimated by R.K. Hammer that over $50 Billion in potential sales did not go through in the past two years that otherwise might have, being pulled from the market or not offered for sale in the first place. As banks enter 2011 with more hope for a better economy, greater government certainty with their intentions, and much of the charge off onslaught working through the queue, it is believed that more high quality card deals with return to the market, as it has begun to in other industries in the broader market. This is the second in R.K. Hammer’s annual seven-part series of year-end card industry reports, the first being observations about the industry’s P/L . Upcoming reports will include: 2010 Card Fees Trends; Card Penalty Fees Trends; Fee Income, Banks vs. Cards; Multi-Decade Report on Pre-Tax Industry ROA Earnings; and the R.K. Hammer assessment of High-Performance Agent Bank Card Program for 2010.

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First Data Shows Slow Consumer Spending

December 2010 consumer spending for same store dollar volume growth on credit, signature debit, PIN debit and EBT cards at U.S. merchant locations was up 6.5% (5.9 % excluding Gasoline Stations) compared to the year ago figure, down from the 8.1% growth in November (7.8% excluding Gasoline Stations). Meanwhile, average tickets fell -1.0%, compared to November’s increased growth of 0.4%, and credit transaction growth was 3.5%, a decline from November’s growth of 5.4%. This, according to First Data electronic commerce and payment processing “SpendTrend” analysis for the full month of December 2010 compared to December 2009, also shows credit dollar volume growth also slowed to 4.4% from November’s growth of 8.0% and consumers concern about the overall economy is apparent in the dollar volume growth of 6.5%, compared to November’s healthy growth of 8.1%.

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Intellicheck Mobilisa Awarded U.S. Patent

Intellicheck Mobilisa access control and wireless security systems has been issued U.S. Patent No. 7,860,318 relating to a document comparison system. The issuance of the ‘318 patent brings Intellicheck Mobilisa’s current portfolio to 8 U.S., 2 Canadian and 1 U.K. patents, as well as additional U.S. and International patent applications pending. The issuance of the ‘318 patent relates to a system and method for comparing information contained in at least two documents. Like information on different documents is compared to determine whether the information is the same on each document. For instance, a name contained on an individual’s driver’s license is automatically compared with a name contained on the individual’s airline boarding pass.

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