Money Weighs on 30% of American Relationships

Amongst American couples, 30% say finances cause the most stress in their relationship, 11% say intimacy, 9% say their children while 4% say their in-laws. Additionally, 91% of Americans find reasons to avoid money talks with their partner; 43% of the general population talked money before marriage, while 57% of affluent couples and 81% of young professionals did so; and 12% of the general population have never talked about money with their spouse. This, according to the latest American Express “Spending & Saving Tracker” survey, also shows 66% of couples share all monthly expenses; 34% divide their bills each month; 48% of young professionals separate monthly expenses, as do 37% of affluents and 34% of the general population. Additionally, 43% of young professionals keep some or all of their debt separate from their spouse or significant other, compared with 20% of the general population and 22% of affluents; 55% of the general population and 63% of affluent couples carry an equal amount of debt, while only 39% of young professionals do so.

COUPLES’ WISHLIST
SAVINGS/INVESTMENTS: 32%
RESPONSIBLE SPENDING:27%
EST FINANCIAL GOALS: 17%
SOURCE: AmEx

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AmEx Enhances U.S. Open Fan Experience & Interaction

American Express will offer a variety of premium benefits and on-site programs at the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach to enhance the spectator experience for Cardmembers and attendees. In doing so, it will provide new interactive experiences for all golf fans at the AmEx “Championship Experience,” offering CourseCast TV and Radio devices to bring attendees closer to the game, and access to the exclusive American Express “Cardmember Club” for a ‘premium escape on the 15th fairway.’ The American Express “Championship Experience” lets all attendees view historic memorabilia from the USGA collection, including landmark moments in golf history and the legacy of U.S. Open Championships at Pebble Beach. Included will be the “Interactive Media Wall” with an innovative 35-foot multimedia wall and spectator experience highlighting a Live Leaderboard, USOPEN.com feeds; “American Express CourseLink” access to social media networks at CourseLink kiosks; complimentary “Swing Analysis” with cameras to capture swing and advanced motion technology to analyze form and a 10-minute golf lessons by appointment with a PGA of America Professional.

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mopay Now Available in 18 Latin American Countries

Mobile payment service provider mopay has expanded the global reach of its mobile payment platform has added 11 new countries to its coverage map, racking up the total number of countries covered to 75. The 11 recently added countries include Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay. mopay connects to the major carriers in each of these countries facilitating the billing of small amounts to mobile phone accounts, enabling consumers to choose mopay as means of payment to buy digital and virtual goods with their mobile phones. Among mopay’s customers are renowned portals from the gaming, community and contents sectors.
Beneficiaries of this expansion are both companies in Latin America with a global focus as well as mopay’s well-established customer base in Europe, North America and Asia who address this market.

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Fiserv Responds to Reg E With Overdraft Opt-In Programs

Fiserv unveiled its Regulation E “Opt-In Optimization Programs” to help its clients prepare for the regulation’s July 1 deadline. These programs are in response to recent regulatory changes that require a consumer to opt-in before banks or credit unions can extend or continue to provide fee-based overdraft services for ATM and one-time debit card transactions. The three tiered “Opt-In Optimization Programs” include: Option One: Reg E Deployment Program and Implementation Workshop: This option is a proactive and affordable option enabling financial institutions to rapidly meet compliance obligations and minimize revenue or consumer losses; Option Two: Reg E Consulting and Opt In Outreach Support: A consultant-led engagement provides tools and guidance needed to minimize the impact of Reg E changes while managing a seamless and effective opt-in program; Option Three: Reg E Outreach Complete: This option is a true turnkey Reg E Opt-In Optimization Program. Also a consultant led engagement, this program includes portfolio segmentation and other data analytics, opt-in optimization recommendations, staff and consumer training and a project plan/deployment guide. Regulation E (Reg E) was issued by the Federal Reserve as part of the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) Act, which establishes the basic rights and responsibilities of consumers using EFT services and of financial institutions offering these services.

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FIS Names New Senior Vice President, EFT Solutions

Brad Potter has been named senior vice president for the FIS EFT Solutions division. For the banking and payments technology provider, Potter will oversee the growth and strategic direction of FIS’ EFT, debit and prepaid businesses. Brad previously held a variety of leadership positions within Visa as head of U.S. Processing and general manager of Visa’s Debit Processing Service (Visa DPS) and spent more than ten years in various management and technical positions with Deluxe Data Systems. FIS delivers banking and payments technologies to more than 14,000 financial institutions and businesses in over 100 countries worldwide.

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Stueve Siegel Hanson Investigates Unfair Overdraft Fees

Stueve Siegel Hanson is investigating unfair and deceptive practices relating to overdraft fees assessed by banks against debit card customers, namely with UMB Bank and Commerce Bank. Banks charge billions of dollars annually in overdraft fees, many of which result from banks’ systematic policy of re-ordering debit card transactions from highest dollar amount to lowest dollar amount so as to deplete the customer’s available funds as quickly as possible while maximizing the number of overdraft fees. Other practices that are the subject of this investigation include charging overdraft fees even in situations where in fact a customer has not overdrawn his or her checking account, charging overdraft fees even in situations where a bank in fact did not pay out more funds than were in the customer’s checking account, and failing to provide accurate account balance information on the bank’s website or at the POS.

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Vindicia Adds InComm Support to CashBox

Strategic billing solution provider Vindicia has integrated InComm within its CashBox billing system. The addition of InComm’s gift cards to CashBox allows Vindicia’s merchants to expand the demographic mix that they can target for their online goods and services. CashBox now provides compelling payment method options for both subscription and one-time transactions that support the unique requirements of digital merchants in diverse geographies throughout the world. An industry leading marketer, distributor and technology innovator of gift and prepaid products, InComm reaches over a billion customers every week through its extensive distribution network of over 220,000 leading retail locations. Online merchants can leverage InComm in conjunction with Vindicia in a range of fast-growing vertical markets including online gaming, where InComm represents 90% of the prepaid market.
Vindicia offers an on-demand strategic billing solution for marketing and sales that manages subscriptions and one-time payments for online merchants and securely handles online revenue of over a billion dollars annually.

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Court Grants Markman Order for Card Activation

Payment transaction solution provider Card Activation Technologies, owner of U.S. Patent No. 6,032,859, a patent covering a method for the activation and processing of transactions related to debit styled cards, which include gift cards, phone cards and other stored value cards, announced that the United States District Court for the District of Delaware entered a Markman Order construing terms of the Patent in a manner favorable to Card Activation Technologies.

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Support.com & Visa Offer Small Businesses Discounts

In a move designed to support small and home-based businesses, Support.com is participating in Visa’s “SavingsEdge” program, allowing members to save 10% on qualifying purchases of Support.com’s small business services when they use their Visa “Small Business” card. The Visa “SavingsEdge” program is designed to help small businesses save by providing eligible cardholders with automatic discounts on qualifying purchases made with an enrolled Visa Business debit or credit card. To take advantage of the Support.com® savings, Visa small business cardholders who have enrolled in the program can visit https://www.visasavingsedge.com/offers.html and click on the Support.com icon for details. Once an enrolled cardholder makes a qualifying purchase, the 10% Support.com discount will appear as a credit on a future Visa account statement. Support.com provides services and software that help consumers and small businesses with their technology needs.

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Sybase 365 Expands Global mBanking Portfolio

Sybase 365 has partnered with Mexico’s Ixe Bank to launch ‘Ixe Net Movil’, the Bank’s new multi-channel mBanking service. This partnership equips Ixe customers with immediate on-the-go account access and multiple banking functions through all channels – Intelligent SMS, mobile browser and rich-client Mobile Banking. Ixe Bank customers now have the ability to access banking services including alerts and notifications, account transfers, bill payment and monitoring of recent transactions. The Sybase 365® leading end-to-end mobile banking solution is a key component of the Sybase Mobility Platform, the industry’s first and most expansive framework of best-in-class mobility servers, mobile applications and mobile services, empowering enterprises, including financial institutions, to transform the way they connect with their customers and enable their employees. With more than 150 local branch offices across Mexico, this new mobile service also enables Ixe Bank to interact with its customers in real-time through mobile alerts, marketing campaigns and two-way banking services. Ixe customers can register for the free mobile service quickly and easily through Ixe Net, the bank’s online customer portal, or through their mobile device.

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TransFS Lets Merchants Screen Credit Card Processors by Payment Gateway

Having helped its users save an average of 40% on their credit card processing costs since inception, Transparent Financial Services announced online merchants can now comparison shop for better deals on credit card processing that work with their existing gateway providers. This allows online merchants to find better deals on credit card processing that work with their existing e-commerce systems without having to rebuild their infrastructure. The TransFS.com marketplace is focal on getting merchants the lowest rates from the provider that best matches their needs. Participants in the TransFS marketplace offer Interchange Plus pricing which provides the most transparent fee structure. In order to get binding, no-obligation bids from processors on the TransFS marketplace, merchants need to enter information about their credit card processing needs into a short form on TransFS.com, which then runs a proprietary “reverse auction” where pre-screened credit card processors competitively bid for the merchant’s business.

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MasterCard Smart Hub Form Joint Venture

MasterCard Worldwide has forged its most recent joint venture to bring together its global brand, network and electronic payments legacy with Smart Hub’s tested mobile payments platform and telecom experience. With this venture, the entities hope to establish an optimal mobile payments infrastructure for the world’s developing economies, leveraging the intersection of mobile telecommunications and electronic payments to meet the needs of the expanding mobile payments marketplace and grow their businesses. It will build upon their introduction of the MasterCard Mobile Payments Gateway open mobile payment processing platform designed to facilitate MasterCard Mobile Payment Solutions in developing markets.

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