COF

Credit card charge-offs have declined for the third straight month, but poor consumer loan demand has kept the credit card industry relatively flat.Major credit card companies like Discover Financial Services posted quarterly profits. However, the tightening of consumer spending due to the economic crisis and lower employment rates have kept some companies in check. Customers without jobs are now hesitant to get into debt, and customers with good jobs, acutely aware of their privileged position, are also purchasing less on credit.

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PREMIER MILES

Ikano Bank and PBS have centralized the processing of the Bank’s card transactions. With this, PBS now processes card payments for Ikano Bank in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Germany. Ikano Bank’s primary business area is issuing debit and credit cards, either private label cards or co-branded cards in cooperation with its business partners. Ikano offers a standardised solution at a favourable price and the bank is therefore an attractive partner for businesses aiming to issue new co-branded cards in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland or Germany. In 2007, Ikano Bank and PBS entered into an agreement for PBS to support Ikano’s card business in the countries where Ikano Bank operates.

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GEMALTO

Zitouna Bank in Tunisia has selected the Gemalto digital security “Dexxis Instant Issuance” solution for on-the-spot EMV card personalization across the bank’s branches nationwide. Zitouna is the first bank in Tunisia to introduce innovative services adapted to Islamic financial practices. The newly opened bank is also the first in the country to offer instant issuance and on-the-spot delivery of payment cards that enable its customers to use their new payment cards immediately. The “Dexxis Instant Issuance” solution forms a part of Zitouna’s marketing strategy to differentiate its offers while offering the same high security level and quality of service as in traditional large-volume personalization methods.

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AIR MILES

Blackhawk Network prepaid and financial payments products for consumers and businesses, announced the ability to earn “AIR MILES” reward miles with gift card purchases from the company’s Gift Card Store. Consumers buying gift cards at their local Canadian Safeway stores will earn one reward mile for every $20 of gift cards purchased within a single transaction.
Consumers can choose from a selection of over 70 retailers and restaurants that are available in Blackhawk Network’s Gift Card Store locations. The promotion excludes Safeway gift cards and other exclusions may apply. The offer cannot be combined with AIR MILES Coupons or Customer Appreciation Day.

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GCA Receives Gaming Approval for Casino Payment

Global Cash Access cash access solutions and data intelligence for casinos has received unanimous approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) to begin a product field trial of its “QuikTicket” product in Nevada. The “QuikTicket” was designed to allow casino patrons to have the choice of receiving either cash or a slot ticket when conducting an ATM transaction. If the patron chooses to receive a slot ticket, the ticket can then be used directly in an electronic gaming device or redeemed for cash. QuikTicket also supports GCA’s Self Transaction Exclusion Program (STeP), a key element of GCA’s responsible gaming initiative that allows patrons to exclude themselves from access to their own funds from any cash access device within GCA’s network. Once GCA has finalized receipt of the required approvals from the VISA and MasterCard card associations and a beta-site is selected, a product field trial will commence with the approval of the Nevada Gaming Control Board Technology Lab.

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Elavon Appoints New President and CEO

Mike Passilla has been promoted president and CEO with Elavon, the U.S. Bancorp global payments provider , effective August 16. He was most recently executive VP at Elavon, responsible for leading global business development and brings with him more than 20 years of sales, marketing and operational experience in building successful organizations and optimizing go-to-market strategies. He also served as president of North America for Inforte Corporation, a strategic managed services company, is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and earned an MBA from The J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. In his new role, he will continue to extend Elavon’s global reach through partnerships with solid organic growth in existing markets.

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Wright Express 2Q/10 Revenue Up 17%

Wright Express payment processing and information management services reported financial results for 2Q/10 with revenue having increased 17% to $91.4 million from $77.9 million the year ago period. Wright total fuel transactions processed were level with the 2Q/09 at 66.3 million; payment processing transactions increased 2.5% to 52.9 million, and transaction processing transactions declined 8% to 13.4 million; total revenue for the fleet segment grew 15% from the second quarter of 2009 to $78.4 million; fleet payment processing revenue increased 23% from the second quarter of 2009 to $54.5 million; average expenditure per payment processing transaction increased 24% from the second quarter of 2009 to $58.74; average retail fuel price increased 23% to $2.87 per gallon from $2.33 per gallon in 2Q/09; total MasterCard purchase volume grew 34% to $1,036 million, from $771 million for 2Q/09. For the full year 2010, the Company expects revenue in the range of $354 million to $364 million.

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AirPoint Launches iPad Card Reader

The AirePoint credit card reader attachment for iPads mobile processing solution, developed by Global Tek Labs, has been introduced as the first credit card reader attachment approved by Apple for use with the iPad. Along with the “ezPOS” app, available on the App Store, the AirePoint lets you finish secure, authorized transactions in less than one minute. Wireless credit card terminals are bulky, expensive and limited in function. The selection of apps available for these devices allows the business owner to customize their iPad to include any function necessary to work efficiently in the field. Anywhere there is a cell signal or wi-fi access, credit card payments can be accepted securely and conveniently with the credit card reader attachment.

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HID Global Surpasses 100 Million Inlay Milestone

HID Global secure identity surpassed its 100 millionth product shipment of e-government inlays and prelaminates to 28 countries worldwide. A developer in the deployment of wire transfer and wire embedding technologies, the company developed and patented its “ceFLEX” high-tech inlay material that increases e-document resiliency. And with e-passport market revenues projected to reach nearly $7 billion annually by the end of 2014, with a compounded annual growth rate of 31.5%, 88% of all passports issued in 2014 will be electronic. Acuity said e-passports accounted for 57% of all passports issued and 28 percent of all passports in circulation during 2009. HID Global is the supplier of choice for OEMs, system integrators and application developers serving a variety of markets.

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Meta Payment Announces CARD Act Compliance

Meta Payment Systems announced its compliance of the Prepaid Gift Card Program with the CARD Act. Compliant cards have been available for order by Financial Institution customers since June 17, ahead of the August 22 government deadline. The CARD Act compliant Gift Cards include a new fee structure with a $2.95 inactivity fee after 12 consecutive months; disclosure of fees on the back of the card; a new 8-year expiration period; the expiration date will appear on the front of the card; and a new cardholder terms and conditions accompanied with a new card carrier. Consumers will see disclosure information about all CARD Act compliant changes clearly displayed on all marketing materials.

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Business Confidence Falls For Second Consecutive Month

The number of small business owners seeing conditions for their own businesses getting better in the next six months dropped in July for the second consecutive month. These owners are uncertain about the economic future as the recession hangover continues-and wont go away. The Discover Small Business Watch Index fell to 83.0 for the month, compared to 86.1 in June and 82.0 in July of last year, and now stands at its lowest point since March. For July, 58% of small business owners rated the economy as poor, up from 51% in June, while 7% rated the economy as excellent or good, down from 12% in June. Additional findings show 75% of small business owners believe it is likely or highly likely that the economy will slip into another recession before it fully recovers; 57% feel the economy is getting worse, up from 51% in June; 27% think the economy is getting better; 14% think it is the same; 3% are not sure; 45% report economic conditions for their businesses were worse in July, up from 43% in June; while 30% said conditions were better; 22% reported conditions were the same; 3% weren’t sure; and 73% reported economic conditions strangled their take-home pay, up from 69% for the year ago period.

2010 SMB INDEX
JAN: 85.2
FEB: 85.0
MAR:78.2
APR: 85.1
MAY: 87.4
JUN: 86.1
JUL: 83.0
SOURCE: Discover

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