34% of Small Business Owners Use Smart Phones

A third of America’s small business owners are using smart phones these days, most of whom put the devices to work for business needs beyond e-mail and phone calls. Meanwhile, 19% of small business owners have taken or are currently taking actions to make it easier for mobile users to access their businesses; 34% use a smart phone device; 33% use the devices “very much,” 41% use it “somewhat,” 21% said “not much” and 3% said “not at all.” This, according to the Discover “Small Business Watch,” also shows 44% wished there were better mobile applications available to small business owners, 20% weren’t sure and 35% expressed no desire for more applications. Interestingly, 100% of small business owners ages 18 to 29 use their devices “somewhat” or “very much” for business, beyond phone calls and e-mail, but age wasn’t a huge differentiator in smart phone usage among small business owners, with more people in their 30s using them than in other age groups.

SMARTPHONE USE
AGE GROUP/USAGE
18-29 35%
30-39 44%
40-49 36%
50-64 27%
65+ 16%

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CLEAR Deploys Gift Cards

CLEAR biometric-based secured identification program for airports is now available as a gift membership. With this offer, a first-year CLEAR membership or gift membership costs only $155 if purchased with a MasterCard by January 29, 2011, representing a discount of about 15%. CLEAR’s exclusive, dedicated paths to security screening lanes offer members speed, efficiency and predictability using biometric identification. First, members enroll online at CLEARme.com then, in person at a CLEARcube enrollment center, a CLEAR attendant authenticates the customer’s passport and secondary photo ID, fingerprints and iris image.

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SCA February Summit Highlights mPayments

The Smart Card Alliance 2011 “Mobile and Transit Payments Summit,” February 15-18, in Salt Lake City, Utah, is set to focus mutual interest on advancing these technologies. The ‘Summit’ brings together industry stakeholders to discuss current U.S. and international trends in mobile payments and transit payments. Invited speakers and attendees include mobile operators, transit operators, mobile device manufacturers, mobile services providers, chip and card manufacturers, terminal manufacturers, payment brands, issuing banks, payments processors, and systems integrators. Sessions on mobile technologies will include: NFC-enabled devices and applications supporting NFC payments; mobile marketing; peer-to-peer payments; alternative mobile payments platforms; and mobile wallets.

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FIS

E-Debit Global Corporation has received Canadian Interac Association terminal certification for its “EMV XCE 3.0.0.0” application software and “V03.00.00W” application Kernel. The Company also has been granted Interac for its ‘Switch’ certification enabling all Canadian Interac card products with the chip embedded security to be utilized in all bank machines processed through its payment processing platform. Its processing is conducted by its wholly owned subsidiary Westsphere Systems (“WSI”). E-Debit Global Corporation (WSHE) is a financial holding company in Canada overseeing debit, credit and online computer banking.

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Citi Renews Major Private Label Card Partnership

Citi announced a multi-year renewal of its long-standing U.S. private label credit card partnership with The Children’s Place Retail Stores. Citi has provided private label financing to The Children’s Place since 1994 for efficient processing to give customers flexible payment options and special credit promotions that drive increased loyalty and customer satisfaction. Retail Partner Cards, within Citi Holdings, provides consumer and commercial credit private label credit cards, for national and regional retailers across the U.S, among other cards and related services. The business services more than 40 million customers and consists of managed assets of approximately $50 billion. Citi has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries.

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FIS GLOBAL

FIS banking and payments technology has expanded to Banco de Venezuela (BDV) with its IST/Switch, Clearing and DataNavigator solutions. The bank plans on upgrading their infrastructure to take advantage of the flexibility and scalability provided by IST/Switch that will support existing processing needs and future growth. FIS’ IST/Switch enables financial institutions to process transactions from any source including ATM, POS, Internet and mobile devices, managing interbank and internetwork processing gateways and multi-channel payment interfaces. FIS’ Clearing is a multi-card, multi-institution and multi-currency interchange solution that enables financial institutions to drive clearing operations for both issuers and acquirers, including transaction validation, editing, and qualification and clearing file generation. FIS’ DataNavigator is a comprehensive solution that collects and connects transactional data across the entire enterprise helping banks to improve customer service levels, track fraud patterns and understand customer behavior in order to manage the back-office.

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MasterCard & PerkStreet Launch Rewards Program

PerkStreet Financial online financial services company and MasterCard
Worldwide have partnered to offer MasterCard cardholders PerkStreet
checking account rewards program. PerkStreet will convert its debit card
program to MasterCard early next year and its debit account holders will
now also have access to thousands of merchant offers and exclusive
discounts through MasterCard Marketplace by having a MasterCard. The
MasterCard debit product platform includes Purchase Protection, Extended
Warranty and Satisfaction Guaranty to give PerkStreet customers greater
peace of mind when using their debit card. PerkStreet Financial online
financial services offers the most valuable online rewards checking
account in the U.S.

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ISMS

BookIT has made available its “iSMS” secure business transaction solution using SMS and normal credit card. BookIt, Luottokunta and Microsoft jointly developed the authentication service for mobile payments from any mobile phone and via any operator. Luottokunta “eMobile” digital service based on the new authentication, which does not require additional accessories or applications for the phone. Also, “iSMS” is entirely within the network, and no separate certificates or mobile wallets are necessary. The payment method can be any card registered for the service by the consumer. Authentication is done as a cloud service, where an unforgeable “fingerprint” is created for each transaction. Luottokunta’s “eMobile” service is free for the consumer, and it can be used with any European credit or debit card in addition to the Finnish payment cards.

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Card Delinquency Down With Usage

Showing lenders have a long road to rebuilding business, consumers are increasingly avoiding anymore debt on their credit cards, even during the holiday shopping season. However, credit card delinquency rates fell at major U.S. lenders in November, including Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Discover and Capital One to the lowest levels of the year. With this, only 16.3% of consumers used credit cards over the Black Friday weekend, down from 30.9% in the year ago period. This, according to a survey by America’s Research Group and UBS, coincides with CardWeb research indicating U.S. consumer credit card delinquency rates of 60 days or more fell in October was down to 4.51%, from 4.65% in September and down 174 basis points from the 6.25% year ago figure. The national credit card delinquency rate was down in 3Q/10 by nearly 9.8% since 2Q/10 and down 24.6% since the year ago period, thanks mostly to eight million consumers having stopped actively using bank-issued credit cards. This is in stark contrast to the typical surge in losses and loans at the end of the year due in great part to holiday overspending. Bank of America has one of the nation’s worst credit-card loss rates, but it fell to 9.92% in November from 10.15 in October and more than 13% at the beginning of 2010 while its delinquency rate fell to 5.47 % from 5.6%; JPMorgan Chase’s delinquency rate fell to 3.68% in November from 3.81% in October while Its charge-off rate was up to 7.16% in November from 7%; Discover saw delinquencies down to 4.15% in November from 4.34% in October; and Capital One posted delinquencies down 4.26% in November from 4.45% in October. However, the national average credit card borrower debt still edged upward for the first time in six quarters by 0.28% to $4,964 since the $4,951 clocked in 2Q/10, but down 11.54% from the year ago figure of $5,612. Late stage delinquency was down 6 bps to 3.5% and early stage delinquency down by 1 bps to 4.61%, credit card chargeoffs are still above the vital 10% mark. For complete details on the credit card delinquency rate visit Carddata.com (www.carddata.com) (CardFlash Library, 2010/12/02).

90+ DAY LATE
1Q/09: 1.29%
2Q/09: 1.15%
3Q/09: 1.09%
4Q/09: 1.18%
1Q/10: 1.10%
2Q/10: 0.92%
3Q/10: 0.83%
SOURCE: CardData.com

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SmartMetric Protects From e-Card Theft

SmartMetric patented biometric “SmartCard” now boasts the highest security solution for the electronic pick pocketing dilemma facing all consumers, merchants and credit card issuers that are using today’s new contactless RFID technology. Recent news media reports a scanning device found online for as little as $10 is all it takes for a criminal to steal your credit card number without the card ever leaving your pocket. SmartMetric has developed a portable biometric identity and transaction card capable of storing a wide variety of personal information while protecting you against identity theft and fraud.

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89 Degrees Grows 25% in 2010

89 Degrees digital, direct and social marketing is closing 2010 with 25% revenue growth and $30 million in billings, driven by breakthrough marketing programs, a host of new clients, new technology products, agency partnerships and numerous key staff additions. 89 Degrees capped its fifteenth year in business by adding six new clients in 2010 and partnered successfully to win new business with three leading agencies. The agency developed proprietary, patent pending technology that has saved its clients over $5 million in wasted postage and email deployment costs.

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