Acacia Enters Card Fraud Technology Settlement

Acacia Research Corporation announced that its Financial Systems Innovation LLC subsidiary has entered into a settlement agreement covering a patent that applies to credit card fraud protection technology with Dollar General Corporation. This resolves a dispute that was pending before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia concerning Dollar General Corporation. The expired patent asserted in this litigation generally relates to a computerized system for protecting retailers and consumers engaged in credit card, check card, and debit transactions. The system includes an electronic card reader, and the generation and use of a transaction number, which specifically identifies each transaction processed within the system.

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FNDS3000 Releases 2Q10 Fiscals

FNDS3000 Corp international prepaid processing company announced its financial and operational results for its third fiscal quarter, ended May 31, with a total revenue of $277,383, up 436% from $51,791. The number of prepaid cards issued and also activated rose to approximately 13,700 from zero thanks to not having commenced production roll-out of its prepaid payroll card programs until January 2010. As of June 30, 2010, the total number of prepaid cards issued and also activated had increased to approximately 18,000 with more than 60 million rand (US$8 million) in total value loaded to the cards. Additional disclosures show transaction fees accounted for $124,000 of total revenue, compared to $7,000 in the prior year; sales of plastic cards and security tokens increased 85% to $74,000 from $40,000; and processing fee-related revenues climbed 1300% to $70,000 from $5,000.

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US Consumers Expecting Good From Financial Reform

With 41% expecting the final legislation to have a positive impact on the economy and 42% anticipating more stability within the U.S. financial system, U.S. consumers expect both the U.S. economy and the country’s financial system to benefit from Congress’ sweeping financial reform legislation. This, according to the RBC Consumer Outlook Index, also shows 41% of Americans worry it will have a negative impact on profits for Wall Street vs. 30% who think it will have a positive impact while 36% anticipate a negative impact on Main Street vs. 31% whom foresee a positive impact. However, consumers are split on how the final legislation will affect their own bottom line. Additionally, 29% of consumers think it will have a negative impact on their personal spending habits while 26% say it will have a positive impact; 44% see the national economy getting worse in the next three months, up from 38% in June; 30% say the U.S. economy and their own finances will get worse over the next year; 55% feel their ability to pay bills will remain the same over the next three months (compared to 57 per cent in June); and 50% say their debt level will remain the same (compared to 53 per cent last month).

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AmEx to Hosts Luggage Exchange at 2010 Aquatennial

American Express will host a free Luggage Exchange at this year’s Minneapolis Aquatennial River Blast and Fireworks, in which the first 200 people to turn in a used carry-on bag will receive one free full-size designer 29” wheeled, upright suitcase. The luggage exchange is being held in celebration of the recently launched first checked bag free benefit for U.S. Consumer and Small Business Basic Gold, Platinum and Delta Reserve SkyMiles Credit Cardmembers and up to eight passengers on Delta flights. Used bags will be donated to Sharing and Caring Hands, a charity which provides assistance to the needy, including providing meals, clothing, and shelter.

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eLayaway Names Initial Advisory Board Members

eLayaway layaway payment processor has added its initial two board members. Joining the Advisory Board as its first two members will be Larry Witherspoon, formerly the CEO of Tickets.com, and Jim Anderson, Founder of About.com. As part of the eLayaway Advisory Board, Larry Witherspoon will provide expertise in Operations and Information technology. Jim Anderson brings expertise in Development, Branding and Internet Technology to benefit the Company’s continued success and future growth toward becoming a household name among consumers and merchants alike. Prior to joining eLayaway as CEO of Tickets.com, Witherspoon was responsible for the execution of the company’s overall direction and strategic plan. Anderson is a leader in mobile solutions utilizing VoIP over Satellite, Secure SMS/MMS Messaging, Secure Mobile Commerce and Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning Technologies, Social Networking and Software and Systems Architecture.

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Bank Of America Card Services Down $400MM Y/Y

Bank of America reported second-quarter 2010 net income of $3.1 billion, compared to net income of $3.2 billion a year ago. Results were driven by lower credit costs, which improved for the fourth straight quarter, and the sale of non-core assets as the company focused on strengthening key business lines and divesting assets that do not directly contribute to providing financial services to customers. With average retail deposit balances having risen 3% year over year to $649.6 billion, Bank of America extended approximately $174 billion in credit in the second quarter of 2010, including $3 billion in domestic consumer and small business cards and $8 billion in other consumer credit. Bank of America agreed to sell its equity position in MasterCard, resulting in a pretax gain of approximately $440 million to focus on its core businesses and strengthen capital ratios. Global Card Services net income increased $2.4 billion compared to a year ago due to declining credit costs reflecting continued improvement in the U.S. economy; Revenue decreased $401 million from a year ago, driven by lower average loans and reduced interest and fee income primarily resulting from the implementation of the CARD Act, partially offset by the $440 million pretax gain on the sale of the MasterCard position.

BOFA CARD REVENUE($billions)
2Q/10 6.9
1Q/10 6.8
2Q/09 7.3
SOURCE: BofA

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Smart Card Alliance Endorses Obama NSTIC

The Smart Card Alliance endorses the Obama Administration’s National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC). Developed under Obama’s Cyberspace Policy Review by the National Security Staff and an interagency writing team, the NSTIC Framework is intentionally broad in scope, providing a wide range of trusted identity constructs and identity protection technologies. The Healthcare and Identity Councils of the Smart Card Alliance strongly agree with the ideas of using federal, state and local government and academia programs to accelerate development of the Identity Ecosystem, while leveraging existing procedures, standards and technologies such as FIPS 201 and the Federal Identity, Credentialing and Access Management Roadmap used to achieve Personal Identity Verification (PIV) and interoperability (PIV-I) in Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD)-12. The NSTIC document explains that the need for such a strategy is due to the rising tide of identity theft, online fraud and cyber intrusions, the proliferation of usernames and passwords that individuals must remember, and the need to deliver online services more securely and efficiently.

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One World Ventures Announces Impressive Growth

One World Ventures subsidiary, 1World Cash, money transfer service, announced revenue growth of over 60% for June over May and sales in the first 15 days of July have surpassed June’s totals. One World also announced the opening of a new 1World Cash retail location at Planet Square in Hunghom, Hong Kong. The Planet Square center is in the heart of Kowloon and serves both Filipino and Indonesian overseas workers with shopping, food, freight and remittance capabilities. Furthermore the Company is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with “Citi Express Payment,” a business providing at home delivery of remitted money in Metro Manila and in the remote provinces of the Philippines.

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USAA Deposit@Mobile Exceeds All Expectations

The USAA “Deposit@Mobile” has seen more than 1.5 million checks deposited from a mobile device, totaling more than $928 million. USAA Federal Savings Bank, which has only one teller-supported branch, located in San Antonio, has seen over 35% of all checks deposited into accounts using remote deposit capture, where an image of the check is sent directly to the bank from a remote location. USAA was the first to offer remote deposit capture for its bank customers. In 2007, the bank revolutionized consumer banking with Deposit@Home®, which allows customers to deposit checks using their personal scanners at home.

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NRF Hails Swipe Fee Fix a Major Victory

Provisions in the financial services reform bill passed by the Senate for reasonable debit card swipe fees are being touted as a victory by the National Retail Federation. Making it easier for merchants to give discounts to customers who don’t use credit cards, the Senate voted 60-39 to approve the conference report on H.R. 4173, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010. The report was approved by the House on June 30 and now heads to President Obama. The Fed would be required to consider banks’ actual costs for processing the transactions and the fact that paper checks drawn on the same accounts are paid at face value. The amendment would also bar the card industry from interfering with merchants who offer a discount or other benefit to customers who pay by cash, check or debit card rather than credit cards, and would allow merchants to set minimum purchase amounts of up to $10 for credit cards. Swipe fees average between 1 and 2 percent for debit cards and 2 percent or more for credit cards. Overall swipe fees charged to retailers and other business by Visa and MasterCard banks totaled $48 billion in 2008, with debit swipe fees accounting for $20 billion of the total.

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MasterCard Announces Opt-in Threshold Met

Pursuant to the settlement agreed to by MasterCard and Heartland
Payment Systems, MasterCard announced issuing financial institutions
accounting for more than 99% of eligible MasterCard-branded payment
cards have accepted the Alternative Recovery Offers they received.
This confirms the fulfillment of the 80% opt-in threshold that is one
of the requirements of the $41.4 million settlement. The settlement
provides applicable issuers with a recovery from Heartland for losses
they claim to have incurred by reason of the 2008 intrusion into the
processor’s payment system.

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FedPrimeRate.com Recommends SMB Credit Cards

The United States Prime Rate website at www.FedPrimeRate.com is now recommending small business credit cards on offer in the American market. To date, the FDIC has closed 90 banks in 2010, so far a faster pace of bank closures when compared to 2009. Between the beginning of 2009 and July 17, 2009, the FDIC closed 57 banks. The FDIC closed a total of 139 banks during all of 2009. Another troubling fact: unnumbered banks across the country are defaulting on their TARP payments. Subsequently, the credit card industry contracted sharply and the market for credit-card receivables completely dried up. Credit-card securitization contributed much to the ready flow of credit to all types of consumers and businesses, as banks were more than happy to pass the risk associated with unsecured debt onto Wall Street. Chase emerged from the global banking crisis and subsequent Great Recession as one of America’s strongest and most resilient banks.

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