NRF Seeking ‘Reasonable and Proportionate’ Fees for Debit Cards

The National Retail Federation is urging the Senate to approve
amendments to financial services reform legislation that would direct
the Federal Reserve to determine “reasonable and proportionate”
transaction fees for debit cards. This would make it easier for merchants to
reward customers who pay by cash, check or debit rather than credit
card. Merchants estimate that they paid more than $10 billion in fees
on debit card transactions last year . Debit card fees are part of the
$48 billion in interchange fees collected by Visa and MasterCard banks
each year. Averaging about 2 percent for credit cards and 1 percent for
debit, interchange is a fee charged to merchants each time a customer
swipes a card to pay for a purchase. Amendments to S. 3217, the Restoring American Financial
Stability Act of 2010, the financial services reform legislation being
debated in the Senate, require the Federal Reserve
to establish “reasonable and proportionate” interchange fees for debit
transactions, taking into consideration both the
actual cost of processing the transactions and the fact that paper
checks are paid at face value rather than being subject to interchange.
Credit unions and banks with assets under $1 billion would be exempt.
Another amendment
would prohibit card companies from interfering with merchants’ ability
to offer a discount or other benefit to customers who pay by cash, check
or debit card rather than credit card.

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New Launches Improved Self Checkout Software

NCR Corporation announced the latest release of its NCR “SelfServ” Checkout software. Offering new enhancements to help retailers implement self-checkout lanes faster and lower the cost of managing self-checkout terminals, “SelfServ” provides an improved integration framework that uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) technology to facilitate the connection between the self-checkout solution and the retailer’s existing POS for quicker processing. Also added is the NCR “YourPOS” Assist Mode to allow attendants to complete transactions on the self-checkouts, such as tax-exempt sales, and to make it easier for retailers to cross-train operators for self-checkout attendant and traditional cashier positions. With this, retailers can integrate self-checkouts with their existing POS system faster and more economically without developing customized middleware.

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American Express Launches Summer Road Trip Promo

American Express’ “Daily Wish” online marketplace has made available a week of exclusive sales to help cardmembers save money on their summer road trip necessities. During the week of May 17, “DailyWish.com” will feature $75 Weber Baby Q Portable Gas Grill (regularly $159) for outdoor barbecues; $40 Coleman 50-Quart Wheeled Cooler (regularly $59.99); and a Sony Portable DVD Players-a 7” screen for $69 (regularly $119.99) or a 9” screen for $89 (regularly $189.99). For May 19, AmEx is making available the Canon EOS Rebel T2i EF-S 18-55mm Digital Camera for just $499 (regularly $899.99) or a PowerShot SD980 IS Touchscreen Digital Camera for $169 (regularly $299.99); and a Garmin Nuvi 1390T widescreen GPS with Bluetooth for $119 (regularly $269.99) or a Garmin Nuvi 205 GPS for only $65 (regularly $89.99). On May 20, AmEx is making available a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid for just $14,337 (MSRP $28,675).

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Fiserv’s Rolls Out P2P ZashPay Service From Bank Accounts

Fiserv has introduced “ZashPay”, a new person-to-person
(P2P) payments service that will allow consumers to tap into a community
where they can quickly send or receive money using their existing online
banking accounts. ZashPay will be available to a network of more than 3,100 financial
institutions and 16 million consumers that already use the CheckFree®
RXP® online bill payment service from Fiserv. ZashPay will be integrated
into the online banking sites of financial institutions that choose to
offer the service. A public website will also allow consumers whose
financial institutions are not part of the network to use ZashPay to
send or receive money the easy way. The service will be available
through participating financial institutions and at ZashPay.com early in
the summer of 2010. Users of ZashPay will be able to send money to anyone, regardless of the
recipient’s financial institution relationship. Consumers will be able
to repay a friend, contribute to a fundraiser, pay team dues, pay
allowances or even pay the babysitter. Payments will be deposited
directly into the recipient’s account, if they have an account at a
participating financial institution. If their institution is not part of
the network they will be able to claim their money at ZashPay.com.
Payments made using ZashPay will be delivered in as little as one
business day and confirmation of payment will be sent to the recipient’s
e-mail address or mobile number. Because consumers will be able to use
ZashPay through their financial institution, it will eliminate the need
to fund a separate account or share account information with a third
party, resulting in both improved security and greater convenience.
Payments will be securely processed through the Fiserv industry leading
online payment network, which in 2009 processed 1.35 billion online bill
payments for more than 3,100 financial institutions, including most of
the largest banks and credit unions in the U.S.

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U.S. Bank Travel Rewards Card Celebrates One Year

The U.S. Bank “FlexPerks Travel Rewards” Visa Signature credit card celebrates its one-year anniversary. Named the “Best Credit Card if You Want Travel Perks” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine earlier in the year, the “FlexPerks Travel Rewards” card has since added a $25 allowance with each award ticket. This ticket can be used toward baggage fees, in-flight food or drinks. Cardholders can now also redeem FlexPoints to pay their annual fee, redeem as few as 20,000 “FlexPoints” for airline tickets valued up to $400 on over 150 airlines with no blackout dates, capacity controls or e-ticket booking fees. “FlexPerks” Travel Rewards cardholders earn one “FlexPoint” for each dollar spent, two “FlexPoints” for cell phone charges and for gas, groceries or airline purchases — whichever is highest for the customer during the month, and up to an additional 50% more FlexPoints each month.

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XOOM TO MEXICO

Global money transfer company Xoom.com can can now send money to the Banamex Network in Mexico. The new partnership offers Xoom.com to offer its users more options to receive their money and to meet the growing consumer demand for online money transfers to Mexico. The Red Banamex Network offers the recipients of Xoom.com’s money transfers more than 4,000 additional pick-up locations throughout Mexico and gives consumers in the U.S. the ability to make deposits directly into any Banamex checking or savings account, for access to funds within minutes. This new service expands Xoom.com’s comprehensive corporate initiative to serve this country’s rapidly-growing Mexican consumer market by providing an alternative money transfer option that is fast, easy, convenient and inexpensive. Xoom.com’s money transfer service allows U.S.-based customers to send money to Mexico from any internet-enabled computer using a checking account or credit card to fund the transaction. The cost to send money with Xoom.com via checking account for $4.99 with a daily limit of $2,999.

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Radiant Systems Raise $135,000 for Cancer Fundraising

The Radiant Charity Corporation announced three 2010 Sprint for Cancer charity race events raised more than $135,000 for cancer-prevention organizations, bringing the total amount of dollars raised over the race’s eight-year history to over $635,000. These were held Saturday, April 17 – Dallas, Texas – 5K and family fun run/walk – $20,000 raised for Young Texans Against Cancer; Sunday, April 18 – Atlanta, Ga. – 5K and 10K race – $100,000 raised for the Georgia Cancer Foundation; and Sunday, May 2 – Irvine, Calif. – Radiant’s California offices participated as a Sprint for Cancer team in the Cinco de Mayo 1K, 5K, 10K and half marathon – $14,000 raised for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. Sprint for Cancer began in Atlanta in 2003, extended to Dallas in 2009 and now includes Radiant’s California offices in Huntington Beach and Irvine. In total, more than 1,300 participants and volunteers contributed to the success of this year’s events.

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MasterCard Worldwide Appoints P2P Payments Head

Andrew Ong has been appointed Group Head, Global Person-to-Person (P2P) Payments with MasterCard Worldwide. He will oversee identifying and evaluating new P2P payment solutions that will continue to displace cash and check payments to grow MasterCard’s overall transaction processing and gross dollar volume. In his most recent position at Western Union, he served as Regional VP and Managing Director in their North Asia region and board member of the Western Union Foundation. Andrew was also a key member of the Executive Committee for Western Union’s APAC region. He holds an MBA from Golden Gate University, Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management from the Singapore Institute of Management and received his B.A. from the University of British Columbia.

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ProPay Encrypts and Tokenizes ProtectPay Services

Card processor ProPay has added encryption and tokenization of Automated Clearing
House (ACH) data (bank routing and account numbers) to its suite of
ProtectPay services. The addition of this functionality illustrates
ProPay’s proactive approach to helping organizations protect sensitive data.
Like other ProtectPay services, ProPay’s ACH encryption and tokenization
solution removes the need for organizations to store, transmit, or
process sensitive ACH payment data on initial and subsequent
transactions. After ProPay captures, encrypts, and processes the ACH
data, the data is replaced with a token which organizations can use for
future transactions against the data. ProPay’s ACH encryption and tokenization services can be used to collect
payments and disburse funds via the ACH network. Organizations can use
ProPay’s online interface, batch file processing, or Application
Programming Interface (API). The ProPay API enables organizations to
easily integrate the service into their existing platform or website.

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OTI Posts 71% Revenue Increase Y/Y

On Track Innovations contactless microprocessor-based smart card solutions announced 1Q/10 total revenues of $14.4 million, a 71% increase from last year. Additionally, gross margin increased to 57% vs. 51% last year; non-GAAP operating expenses were $7.1 million, a 19% increase compared to $5.9 million last year; non-GAAP operating profit was $1.2 million, compared to operating loss of $1.6 million last year; and net cash provided by continuing operating activities of $9.5 million. OTI designs, develops and markets secure contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology to address the needs of a wide variety of markets. OTI applications include product solutions for petroleum payment systems, homeland security solutions, electronic passports and IDs, payments, mass transit ticketing, parking and loyalty programs.

TOTAL REVENUE
1Q/09: $8.4 million
2Q/09: $16.9 million
3Q/09: $26.3 million
4Q/09: $8.6 million
1Q/10: $14.4 million
SOURCE:Carddata.com

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TransAct Technologies Reports 1Q/10 Revenue of $14.2m

CT-based market specific printer supplier TransAct Technologies
has reported 1Q/10 revenue of $14.2 million, an increase of
16% compared to $12.2 million in the prior-year period. Gross margin
was 36.5%, compared to 33.8% in the prior-year
quarter as the Company experienced a favorable sales mix.
Operating expenses were $4.2 million,
an increase of $0.3 million from the prior-year period, driven largely
by increased selling and marketing expenses, primarily from higher sales
commissions and travel expenses resulting from higher sales volume. The
Company recorded net income of approximately $0.6 million, compared to
net income of approximately $0.1 million in the prior-year period.
TransAct provides a
complete range of supplies and consumables items used in the printing
and scanning activities of customers in banking, retail and gaming.

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