ABNOTE & MASTERCARD

ABnote Europe secure data and services has received the Card Quality
Management (CQM) Certification from MasterCard after completing a
successful MasterCard audit. Applied to ABnote’s dual interface smart
card body production, embedding and personalization from its Czech
facility, CQM quality program ensures high quality standards throughout
the entire production process of MasterCard-branded products. ABnote’s
production processes from card bodies to personalization have formally
been verified to pursue the strict MasterCard quality specific
requirements for production management, testing, evaluation,
documentation, auditing and process improvement.

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PenFed to Offer an American Express Card

The Pentagon FCU has struck a strategic partnership with American Express under which PenFed will issue “The PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card”
The PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card annual fee of
$50 is waived the first year of Cardmembership. Cardmembers can earn 5 times the rewards points on airline spend and 1
reward point on all other spend. Plus, until December 31, 2010,
Cardmembers also can earn 3 times rewards points on hotel and dining
spend. In addition, Cardmembers who spend $650 within the first 90 days
of Cardmembership will earn 20,000 bonus rewards points. Rewards can be redeemed for airline travel with no restrictions, hotel
stays, car rental, travel adventures and experiences, designer
merchandise and gift cards with major retailers.
Cardmembers who spend $15,000 each year will receive a complimentary
membership to Priority Pass, which gives Cardmembers VIP Airport Lounge
Access to over 500 lounges worldwide. The PenFed Premium Travel Rewards American Express Card also offers
numerous insurance benefits, such as Travel Accident Insurance, Trip and
Baggage Delay Insurance, Roadside Assistance and Car Rental Loss and
Damage Insurance. Pentagon Federal Credit Union has more than
900,000 members and assets in excess of $13.5 billion, and provides
worldwide service to Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Department of
Defense, and Department of Homeland Security personnel; members of the
VFW; and others in the defense community and their families.

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HYPERCOM EMV

Hypercom Corporation is now to deliver a common, unified EMV Level 2
implementation across its “Optimum” and “Artema” product platforms, both
of which are EMV 4.2a Level 2 type approved. Now using the exact same
software kernel, “Optimum” and “Artema” countertop, mobile and
unattended terminals will ensure a consistent user experience globally
with faster certification, streamlined application development and
quicker time to market, as announced at the CARTES & IDentification 2009
summit. Hypercom global payment technology delivers a full suite of high
security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services focused on
addressing the high security electronic transaction needs of banks and
across a wide range of various sectors.

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NCO Group Q3 Revenue Down and Net Loss Widens

NCO Group reported revenues of $374 million for 3Q/09,
a net loss of $25 million and EBITDA of $34 million. This compares to
revenues of $381 million, a net loss of $26.5 million, and EBITDA of $16
million for 3Q/08. NCO is organized into three operating divisions:
Accounts Receivable Management, Customer Relationship Management (“CRM”)
and Portfolio Management. During the third quarter, both the ARM and CRM
divisions operated below their respective revenue and profitability
targets. The revenue and profitability shortfalls in ARM were primarily
the result of lower than expected collections as a result of the ongoing
difficult economic climate, as well as reductions in volumes and average
balances from clients. The revenue and profitability shortfalls in CRM
were primarily the result of lower than expected volumes from existing
clients, due to the impact of the difficult economic climate on their
businesses. During the quarter, PM operated below its revenue and
profitability targets primarily the result of fewer than expected
purchases during the first nine months of 2009 as well as lower than
expected collections, which resulted in the impairment charge. For
complete details on NOC’s latest performance, visit CardData
(www.carddata.com).

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General Purpose Gift Cards Poised to Take-Off

A new survey has found that 16% of holiday shoppers don’t buy store-specific gift cards because they are concerned that the store may go out of business. The report published by Auriemma Consulting Group says general-purpose gift cards branded by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover are gaining in popularity. Store-specific gift cards are the most popular for smaller purchases, but the intention to purchase a general-purpose gift card goes up as the dollar amount increases. The most popular reason consumers cited for giving gift cards this holiday season is the desire to give recipients the flexibility to purchase something that they really want or need. The survey was conducted in September of 439 credit card users who plan to do holiday shopping this year.

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Target’s Credit Card Profits Rise in 3Q/09

Target reported that pre-tax profit for its credit card segment nearly doubled in the third quarter to $60 million, compared to the year ago quarter of $35 million, but a little below the prior quarter’s $63 million. Charge-offs rose to 12.7% in the third quarter, compared to 12.1% in the second quarter and 8.7% one-year ago. Quarter-end receivables decreased to $8.0 billion, compared to $8.3 billion in prior quarter. Delinquency (60 day) rose to 6.5% for 3Q/09 compared to 5.8% in the second quarter. Delinquency (90 day) also edged up to 4.6% from 4.1% in 2Q/09. Target noted that credit card profit was driven by improved portfolio performance that more than offset the impact of lower floating interest rates. Target’s pretax return on invested capital (ROIC) from its investment in the credit card segment increased to 9.0% in the third quarter from 4.3% in 2008. For complete details on Target’s latest performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

TARGET CARD LOAN HISTORICAL
3Q/08: $8.745 billion
4Q/08: $8.764 billion
1Q/09: $8.457 billion
2Q/09: $8.293 billion
3Q/09: $8.048 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Visa Offers Account Alerts in U.S. & Canada

Visa announced the roll-out of transaction alerts, which allow issuers to provide near real-time alerts to Visa account holders throughout the U.S. and Canada. Alerts are sent on behalf of participating issuers directly from VisaNet within seconds of a transaction occurring. Alerts are triggered when the transaction meets certain criteria the account holder has selected and are delivered directly to the account holder via email, SMS text message or the “Visa Mobile” application. The alert message sent to account holders contains the amount, time and date of the transaction, as well as information relating to the merchant, such as name and location. If the transaction appears to be irregular, the account holder can immediately contact their issuer to help stop further transactions on the account. Over the last 12 months, Visa piloted transaction alerts with eight leading North American financial institutions and more than 2,000 participants.

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MasterCard’s MoneySend To Go Global in 2010

Next year, MasterCard is introducing the capability for its cardholders
of money transfers from any “MasterCard” or “Maestro” card to any other
“MasterCard” or “Maestro” card worldwide. The MasterCard “MoneySend”
removes barriers impeding the transfer of money around the world and
provides a cost-effective money transfer platform enabling P2P payments
and cross-border remittances. This will give banks access to the $456
billion global remittance opportunity while fostering deeper
relationships with their cardholders. Asia Pacific, the Middle East and
Africa comprise over 46% of the world’s remittance volumes. In 2008,
Punjab National Bank in association with MasterCard introduced
“MoneySend,” enabling money transfers from “MasterCard” or “Maestro”
accounts held at Punjab National Bank to any “MasterCard” or “Maestro”
account at participating banks across India. In 2008, DBS Bank and
MasterCard launched “MasterCard MoneySend,” enabling DBS customers to
make remittances to participating banks in Indonesia, Malaysia,
Philippines, Thailand and India. In 2007, MasterCard along with State
Bank of India announced the launch of “MasterCard MoneySend,” allowing
consumers to send intra-country P2P money transfers using the ATM channel.

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AmEx and Lowe’s to Co-Brand a New Card

American Express OPEN and home improvement retailer Lowe’s Companies are set to
issue a co-branded rewards card that will allow small business owners to
earn points on virtually all purchases and generate valuable rewards. The agreement brings together two of the most respected companies and
valuable brands:American Express OPEN, the nation’s leading issuer of payment card
products for business owners, and Lowe’s, the world’s second-largest home
improvement retailer, to offer an array of benefits and services that
will provide exceptional value for business owners. Lowe’s has been a card-accepting
merchant of American Express since 1982. The Card will launch broadly in the first quarter of 2010.

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Aite Group Analyzes Merchant Acquirers

A new report from Aite Group focuses on the priorities and challenges
for merchant acquirers in
2010 and identifies markets that merchant acquirers see as emerging
opportunities.
Merchant acquiring is looking toward 2010 with the hope that it will be
a better year than 2009. ISOs and acquirers alike are looking to
emerging markets, such as the mobile/wireless channel, to help them
bounce back from the previous year and its sluggish processing volumes.
Despite these hopes, merchant acquirers face increasing challenges in
the forms of attrition, margin compression and PCI mandates that need to
be enforced throughout all levels of merchants. Merchant satisfaction
will be an important area of focus, and ISOs and acquirers need to
concentrate on deepening their relationships with merchants, protecting
their own reputations, and cultivating referral business.

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TIEMPO PAYPASS

Tiempo is demonstrating at “Cartes 2009” on November 17-19 its
asynchronous design technology, designed to improve processing speed for
contactless applications. In doing so, Tiempo will conduct a live
demonstration of a secured “PayPass” transaction, with a processing
speed six times faster than industry implementations, in less than 60
ms. Tiempo hardware can be described with a standard hardware
description language, synthesized with ACC, and verified,
placed-and-routed with standard simulation and back-end tools,
significantly increasing security of circuits. Brightsight independent
lab concluded Tiempo asynchronous technology will increase resistance
against power analysis and attacks. Tiempo develops and commercializes
Core IPs for the design of innovative integrated circuits with ultra-low
power, ultra-low noise, ultra-low voltage and robust versus PVT variations.

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