HSBC Extends Contracts with Four National Merchants

HSBC has renewed or extended long term contracts with four major U.S. merchants across multiple industries, reinforcing the company’s commitment to building their private label (merchant branded) credit card business in the U.S. The Neiman Marcus Group extended into 2015. HSBC has managed their program since 2005. Furniture Row extended into 2014. HSBC has managed their program since 2003. Helzberg Diamonds extended into 2013. HSBC has managed their program since 2004. Polaris extended into 2013. HSBC has managed their program since 2001.Neiman Marcus Group’s private label credit card gives customers an additional way to pay for purchases while earning “InCircle” points with each purchase that can be redeemed for gift cards, air miles, and other exclusive gifts. Furniture Row’s “Express Money” Card program offers special financing opportunities, enabling consumers to purchase furniture in an affordable way. Helzberg Diamonds’ Preferred Card program provides access to special purchase offers, as well as exclusive benefits and financing options. The Polaris private label credit card program operates under StarCard.

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BillingTree Launches NSF Management Solution

BillingTree on-demand payment processors has launched its “Check Collect” express check recovery tool to additional industries including Utility and Healthcare. The “Check Collect” solution enables companies to streamline the returned-check process by optimizing collection rates for Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) items and centralizing management of outstanding balances. BillingTree’s express recovery process strategically manages returns, holding checks and re-presenting them on specific dates that are the most likely to yield a return. The “Check Collect” re-presents checks on specific dates such as the first or fifteenth of the month, rather than successive days, increasing the likelihood of funds being available as well as saving time and resources on wasteful resubmissions. Benefits of electronic payment solutions include an accelerated availability of consumer funds, reduced costs associated with manual-payment processing, improved cash management, and integrated processing by managing all payments, returns, and corrections through a single portal.

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U.S. Bank Kicksoff Cardholder Promotion

U.S. Bank is giving eligible credit and debit cardholders a chance to win up to $10,000 with its “MAKE IT HAPPEN” promotion. Cardholders can visit the “MAKE IT HAPPEN” website or mobile site at usbank.com/makeithappen to submit their story on who they would help if they had $5,000. They can use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and email to encourage their friends to vote for their story on the “MAKE IT HAPPEN” site. They will win $5,000 for their cause and $5,000 for themselves. Cardholders also receive an entry to win $5,000 every time they make a purchase during the promotion, simply by registering their eligible card at usbank.com/makeithappen or by texting the word ‘HAPPEN” (consumer cards) or BIZHAPPEN (business cards) to 46767 and following the simple registration instructions.

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MBNA

MBNA announced its http://www.mbna.co.uk website now offers improvements in navigation for easier use and accessibility. New features also will help customers choose the credit card which is most suited them, manage their accounts online more effectively and have access to helpful information about protecting their accounts and understanding credit. The credit card selector is designed to help customers choose which of MBNA’s range of cards best fits their requirements. Also, the ‘card services and benefits’ section allows new customers to activate their credit cards online, log in or register for Online Card Services to manage their accounts and learn more about MBNA’s credit card rewards program. Additionally, the ‘protection and security’ section offers customers important credit card security advice, whilst Plain English guides have also been introduced to help customers better understand credit.

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eBay Adds QR Code Scanning to RedLaser App

eBay commerce and online marketplace has released its improved “RedLaser iPhone” app with QR Code scanning capabilities. With this, the RedLaser barcode scanning app will populate product results with eBay Marketplaces and Half.com listings. With QR, or “quick response”, Codes, users can direct customers to a broad range of information. When scanning a QR Code, consumers can receive relevant information such as links to videos, product reviews or websites to get more product information, contact information for customer support, or calendar appointments for upcoming sporting events and concerts. eBay is also updating RedLaser’s Software Development Kit (SDK) for its more than 100 third-party developers and select retailers to allow developers to offer support for VIN barcode scanning; Code 128 for gift card scanning; and Code 39 for encoding uppercase letters A through Z, digits 0 through 9, and a handful of special characters that are great for asset tags to keep tabs on high-end merchandise in offices such as laptops.

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VISA & INTERPOL

Visa and Visa Europe are now supporting “Operation Pangea III” global law enforcement action coordinated by INTERPOL targeting the online sale of counterfeit and illegal medicines. Implemented in more than 40 countries earlier this month and resulting in arrests across the globe and the seizure of thousands of potentially harmful medicines, “Operation Pangea III” is the largest of its kind in support of the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce (IMPACT). Visa Inc. and Visa Europe joined customs agencies, regulators, and Internet Service Providers around the world to provide investigative support and information to help law enforcement agencies identify and build cases against illegal pharmacies. Visa does not restrict specific types of goods or services purchased by Visa cardholders or sold by Visa-accepting merchants, but all transactions must comply with applicable laws in both the country of the buyer and of the seller.

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Fiserv to Purchase Its Outstanding Notes

Fiserv financial services has completed its cash tender offer to purchase up to $250,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 6.125% senior notes due 2012. Notes with an aggregate principal amount of $554,143,000 have been tendered and not validly withdrawn. Fiserv accepted for purchase approximately 45.2% percent of the Notes validly tendered and not validly withdrawn pursuant to the offer on a pro rata basis (with adjustments downward to avoid the purchase of Notes in a principal amount other than in integral multiples of $1,000). Holders who validly tendered their Notes prior to the early tender date of September 27, 2010 received $1,100.00 per $1,000 principal amount of Notes tendered and accepted for payment, and holders who validly tendered their Notes thereafter received $1,070.00 per $1,000 principal amount of Notes tendered and accepted for payment.

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OPTIMUM T4200

Hypercom is commencing product sales to Italy’s card payment sector with the successful certification of its “Optimum T4200” countertop payment terminals by Consorzio Bancomat. Hypercom has also established and certified a secure facility for loading keys and digital certificates, as well as for product maintenance and repair, to provide electronic payment and digital transaction solutions providers compliance with Consorzio Bancomat’s stringent new EMV CB 2 standard. Hypercom’s Optimum T4200 has been widely deployed throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa, and is highly rated by customers for its fast and secure IP-based transactions.

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Small Businesses’ Positive Outlook Drops to 45%

One-in-four small businesses are planning to hire over the next six months, but only 45% have a positive outlook on the economy and their business, a drop from 51% in March and 55% in the year-ago period. Many business are in stronger financial positions thanks to cost-cutting and streamlining operations with only 53% reporting cash flow issues, down from 60% this spring, and 10% intending to hire full time employees in the next six months, doubling the spring figure. This, according to the American Express “OPEN Small Business Monitor” semi-annual survey of business owners now in its ninth year, shows confidence in the overall economy declined as 39% of business owners said they thought sales over the next six months would be higher compared to last year, vs. 34% in the spring. Additional findings show 40% use a social media platform, compared to only 10% last year; over 75% of those business owners looking to hire are doing so “to handle growing business”; 17% reported the morale of their employees has improved, nearly double from a year ago; 38% plan to make investments over the next six months; AND The number of businesses with cash flow concerns has dropped to pre-recession levels (53% versus 49% in fall 2007).

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SMS

Smartcard Marketing Systems has inked prepaid debit card distribution agreements with an Italian travel agency that specializes in Caribbean, European and US tours. The agency books tours for about 24,000 travellers per year between its business and pleasure tours. With this, the client travelers are given a secure and easy-to-use way to carry spending money during their trip on a prepaid debit card while the agency is provided the platform needed to manage the program. The agency also can deliver the platform and combination of prepaid debit cards in a cost effective manner.

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AmEx and New York Cares Launch Program

American Express has rekicked-off its ‘Travel with Your Mind’ philanthropic program to New York City, designed to help support deserving schools through a series of travel-themed beautification projects and multi-cultural initiatives across several U.S. cities, ‘Travel with Your Mind’ is inspired by its ongoing commitment toward education and desire to promote cultural awareness. With it, American Express is working with New York Cares and selected PS 636K Elementary School as the 2010-2011 “Travel with Your Mind” beneficiary. The first project in New York City will take place at PS 636K Elementary School on Thursday, October 21, 2010 from 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM. The Card Issuer will oversee repaint the library walls, creating murals, shelving books and building furniture.

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XCHANGING

Xchanging business processors has renewed a two year contract with a leading global payments, network and travel company in the USA to provide claims processing services. Xchanging has been providing services to this company since 1996 and will continue to provide claims administration, corporate billing and enrollment services as well as tele- support helpdesk services. These services are provided out of Xchanging’s processing centre in Solon, Ohio. Xchanging manages over 400,000 calls from card members and processes over 45,000 claims annually on behalf of the company.

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