Select Comfort Inks New Credit Agreement With Wells Fargo

MN-based mattress manufacturer Select Comfort Corporation has announced it has entered
into a new credit agreement with Wells Fargo Bank. The credit
agreement, which has a term through June 2012 and provides a commitment
of up to $20 million, replaces an existing credit facility with a
syndicate of banks. Additional details of the credit agreement are outlined in the company’s
Current Report on Form 8-K, which will be filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC).

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Among Small Businesses, 58% say Economy Worsening

Most small business indicate conditions for their businesses getting worse in the next six months with 53% blaming the economic climate, compared to the 37% in February. Of the remaining 47%, 20% say things are getting better, 20% say things are the same and the remainder is unsure. This data, according to the Discover Small Business Watch, also showed the monthly check on the pulse of small business owners measured 75.7 in March, down 9.2 points from February, while 52% are planning to decrease spending, up from 43 percent in February, 27% would make no changes and 18% plan to increase spending. Overall, 58% said the economy is getting worse, up from 44% in February, 22% think it is getting better, down from 31% the prior month, and 16% say it’s staying the same, versus 24% last month. Meanwhile, when asked which taxes caused the most frustration, 29% said federal income taxes; self-employment taxes said 25%; real and personal property taxes said 7%; employer portion of Social Security taxes said 5%; sales taxes said 4%; and unemployment taxes said 3%.

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Discover to Continue as the Payments Network for Walmart Card

Discover has extended its multi-year, network agreement with Walmart through 2015 and will continue to be the exclusive network for transactions made on the Walmart Discover card. GE Money bank launched the Walmart Discover card in 2005. Walmart Financial Services relies on Discover for the success of its card program and values the brand alignment for providing innovative features for added benefits to cardholders. Discover has been the exclusive network for the Walmart Discover card since its launch and this extension represents a commitment to further strengthening the relationship.

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Lecere To Support Mobile POS Handhelds

OR-based software start-up Lecere Corporation has announced
that it will support mobile handheld devices from various manufacturers.
Lecere’s initial deployment of its fully web-based, full-featured Point
of Sales software for restaurants is scheduled for April 30, 2010.
Features include (1) clock in/clock out, (2) manager, hostess, server,
expediter, kitchen, and bar roles with screen, handheld, and printer
screen views, (3) handheld, tableside order entry, (4) order item
progress and alerts appropriately sent to the various roles’ views (e.g.
‘bar’ role sees drink orders on any associated screens and/or printers,
with expediter and server notified when an item is ready), (5)
off-the-floor credit card scan (credit card never leaves the owner’s
view), (6) menu definition, (7) tables definition with auto/manual (as
appropriate, e.g. ‘seated’ as long as there are open tickets), and (8)
table state management: open, seated, dirty, and closed.

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ChargePoint ChargePass Smartcard Available for Charging Station Payments

Coulomb Technologies’ “ChargePoint” networked charging stations are now
accessible to all
plug-in drivers by making a toll free call to the 24/7 number on each
charging station, or signing up for a ChargePoint Network monthly access
plan and obtaining a ChargePass™ smart card. Other future payment
options include using any smart (RFID) credit/debit card to authorize a
session or using a standard credit or debit card at a remote payment
station (RPS) to pay for charging sessions.
Coulomb Technologies is the leader in electric vehicle charging station
infrastructure with networked charging stations installed in
municipalities and organizations worldwide.

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KAL

KAL again has emerged as the world’s leading independent ATM
software vendor in research recently carried out by London-based Retail
Banking Research (RBR). Multivendor ATM software, where software from one vendor runs on
hardware from a different vendor, has grown by 67% over the last two
years. This indicates that banks are looking to extend functionality
more cost effectively, and to benefit from the option to deploy ATMs
from multiple suppliers. KAL is one of the top three vendors in this market with a 21% share
globally, and the only leading provider whose focus is exclusively on
ATM software. This group has opened-up a significant gap over the rest
of the pack with other companies listed in the study accounting for 7%
or less of the total market.

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PAYPAL

First National Bank has announced that customers in South Africa can now sell to PayPal’s global customer base of more than 81 million active accounts in 190 markets around the world and move the proceeds to their FNB accounts. This new service allows customers to top up and withdraw funds to their qualifying FNB accounts from their PayPal accounts. FNB Customers can simply open a PayPal account and link it to a qualified FNB account and receive PayPal payments in 21 different currencies. FNB will convert the currency to South African Rand when the money is transferred into their accounts. The PayPal service will be offered in partnership with FNB and has received approval from the Exchange Control Department of the South African Reserve Bank. First National Bank (FNB) is a division of FirstRand Bank Limited. FirstRand Bank Limited is listed on the South African Stock Exchange (FSR). In line with South African legislation, FNB is an Authorised Financial Services and Credit Provider (NCRCP20)with over 6.6 million customers and 30 000 employees across South Africa and Africa.

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EFSE

The European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), the world’s largest microfinance investment fund, and the commercial bank Banca Intesa a.d. Belgrade (Banca Intesa), Serbia have signed a senior loan agreement. Under the agreement, Banca Intesa will take a loan of EUR 25 million from EFSE. The loan will be utilised for further on-lending to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in Serbia, a sector that has been hit particularly hard by the crisis. EFSE is one of the largest single providers of finance for MSEs in Southeast Europe. Since its inception in December 2005, the Fund has invested a cumulative total of over EUR 710 million in Southeast Europe, facilitating more than 200,000 loans to MSEs and low-income private households.

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29% of Small Businesses Feel Negative Impact, 21% Sinking

Among small businesses, 48% are planning to make capital investments in their businesses this spring, up from 42% last fall and nearing spring 2008 levels of 53%. Meanwhile, small businesses that see the current economic climate negatively affecting business prospects rose from 24% six months ago to 29% and the number of entrepreneurs who see the economy improving with expanding opportunities for their businesses fell from 26% last fall to 18%. Among entrepreneurs ages 19 – 29, 72% are optimistic about their business prospects and the economy. Additionally, according to the American Express “OPEN Small Business Monitor,” 28% overall plan to hire, up from 23% in the fall of 2009. Also, 58% of businesses said they were “staying afloat,” and 21% described their firms as “sinking ships.” However, an additional 21% said either the economy had not adversely affected their companies or they have grown in the rough economy.

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HID Global Intros Secure ID Card Personalization Software

HID Global has introduced a developers edition for the “Asure ID 2009” secure ID card personalization software. The “Asure ID 2009” Developers Edition and the accompanying Software Developer Kit (SDK) enables customers, integrators and third-party developers to incorporate a wide variety of Asure ID functionality into their own applications. HID Global’s “Asure ID 2009” is a complete line of card personalization software that is simple to learn and incorporates features to improve the issuance and management of photo IDs for any type or size of organization. The “Asure ID 2009” Developers Edition and SDK provides a simple means by which high-level application software can be combined with Asure ID to perform a wide variety of functions via application programming interfaces (APIs), including card template management, printing and image capture.

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FNB and PayPal Bring Global E-Commerce to South Africa

First National Bank (FNB) and PayPal have partnered to allow customers in South Africa to sell to PayPal’s global customer base of more than 81 million active accounts in 190 markets around the world and move the proceeds to their FNB accounts. This new service allows customers to top up and withdraw funds to their qualifying FNB accounts from their PayPal accounts. FNB Customers can simply open a PayPal account and link it to a qualified FNB account and receive PayPal payments in 21 different currencies. FNB will convert the currency to South African Rand when the money is transferred into their accounts. FNB has over 6.6 million customers and 30 000 employees across South Africa and Africa. Paypal has 81 million active accounts in 190 markets and 24 currencies around the world.

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20 Finalists for NFC Forum Global Competition 2010

The NFC Forum has selected 20 finalists for its NFC Forum Global
Competition 2010. The submissions cover a broad
span of consumer and business application areas, including mobile
couponing, healthcare, building access and security, retail
merchandising, online user authentication, nutrition management, gaming,
online banking and support for the disabled.
The Competition’s Commercial Track recognizes the commercial solution
judged “The Best NFC Service of the Year 2010,” while a Research Track
honors the academic organization that develops “The Most Innovative NFC
Research Project of the Year 2010.” Three winners in each track will be
awarded cash prizes. First-place winners will receive 5000 euros,
second-place 1500 euros and third-place 1000 euros. Finalists and
winners may look forward to global media coverage, increased awareness
among industry leaders and venture capitalists, and opportunities to
forge partnerships and share ideas.

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