Western Union Continues Prepaid Card Expansion

Western Union continues it aggressive push in prepaid cards. The latest
card teams up with Grammy-Award winning recording artist Wyclef Jean.
The new “Wyclef Jean Prepaid Visa” joins the recent Western Union
“MoneyWise” and “Gold Card” reloadable prepaid cards. Part of the Wyclef
Jean deal is the promotion of the Company’s money transfer services.
Western Union says the relationship with Wyclef will be multi-faceted
and will include outreach through social media, grassroots events and
consumer promotions in the U.S. Wyclef will also be handing out cards
worth $250,000 total. Last week Western Union Company launched “The
Western Union Visa Gift Card.” In July, WU added a reloadable Visa
prepaid card to its “Gold Card” loyalty program. The cards are issued
through Meta Bank. (CF Library 7/7/09; 11/3/09)

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CREDIT MARKET

With the current number of Chinese credit card users at 38 million, the
potential card customer market is expected to exceed 200 million by
2010. Net interest income accounts for only about one-third of the total
income of the credit card business while convenience in spending,
adequacy of the credit limit, annual fee policies, services, and website
features are among the most important to consumers. The foreseen growth
points to the annual income of China’s high income population being
equivalent to 1/4 of the annual income of the entire population, with a
growth rate of 22.5%. This, according to the latest Celent report, “The
Chinese Credit Card Market,” also shows the population with an annual
income of more than 17,600 U.S. dollars is mainly concentrated in
Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou and will increase in the
future. Moreover, the number of people with an annual income of more
than 17,600 U.S. dollars in these four cities should account for 45% of
China’s population by 2015.

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GE and JC Penney Renew Retail Card Deal

GE Capital Retail Consumer Finance and retailer JC Penney have
announced a four year renewal of its private label credit card program. The JCPenney consumer card program provides cardholders with
added-value, convenience and security, including: exclusive savings events and financing offers,
added member benefits in the JCPenney Rewards Program; low monthly payments;
access to account information and ability to make payments online; the ability to make payment on account in any JCPenney store and
online for no charge; fraud protection with zero fraud liability for unauthorized use and no annual fee.
The program provides credit to millions of consumers who shop at
more than 1,100 JCPenney stores in communities across the United States
and Puerto Rico as well as through its catalog, and on jcp.com.
JCPenney posted revenue of $18.5 billion in 2008.

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TIGERTEL PCI DSS

TigerTel Communications (TigerTel) has achieved Payment Card Industry
(PCI-DSS) Compliance Certification as a Level 2 Service Provider.
Requiring successful completion of both annual audits and quarterly
vulnerability scans by qualified independent parties to ensure all
associated security standard and processes are continuously upheld,
ongoing certification is conducted for the certification. PCI_DSS was
founded by the PCI Security Standards Council to ensure consistent data
security measures around the globe and make certain that customers’
credit card, account and transaction information is safe from hackers
and any malicious system intrusion. TigerTel call center specializes in
inbound and outbound call center solutions and services for clients
throughout North America.

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North American Bancard Relocates in MI

Troy, MI-based card processor North American Bancard has relocated to a $25 million, 105,000 square foot building.
The new building will give employees of North American Bancard a
comfortable space to generate innovative solutions for their clients.
The new space will allow the founding entrepreneurial spirit of the
organization to thrive, thereby facilitating continued growth.
Ready for dynamic growth, North American Bancard continuously obtains
thousands of new business accounts per month. North American Bancard is
planning to grow to 1,800 employees in the next 12 years. The new jobs
would span the spectrum from sales and customer support to information
technology and software developers. North American Bancard provides
electronic transaction processing and merchant account management
services that enable its clients to convert payment acceptance
technologies into business solutions. These clients process more than
$7 billion in credit card, debit card, EBT, check guarantee and
conversion, prepaid/gift and ATM transactions annually.

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JSC AMEX CARDS

JSC Bank of Georgia has launched its “American Express Card” and
“American Express Gold Card” across the Eastern European country. The
Bank currently issues Visa and MasterCard cards including the “Orange,”
“Magti” and “Poluli” cards. Bank of Georgia is an exclusive partner of
American Express for Credit Card Acquiring and Issuing in Georgia as per
agreement signed in December 2008. The Cards offer a range of benefits
that are new to the Georgian market. These benefits include automatic
inclusion in American Express’ world-wide “Membership Rewards” program,
allowing cardholders to earn points for redemption with travel partners,
retail partners, for discounts in hotels and many other types of
merchants. The Bank of Georgia holds a 33.6% market share by total
assets, has 140 branches to serve 880,000 retail accounts and more than
146,000 corporate accounts.

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NFC Transaction Volume to Grow at a 55% CAGR

A new report predicts that NFC global gross dollar volume will exceed $110 billion by 2014. This year about $8 billion is expected in NFC GDV, hitting at least $30 billion by 2012 and then nearly tripling three years later or at a 55% CAGR from 2009. Juniper Research says one in every six mobile subscribers globally will have an NFC enabled device by 2014. Currently adoption is centered on the Far East. NFC/Felica payments are already established in Japan, but by 2014 North America and Western Europe will be experiencing high growth. Retailing ARPU from NFC coupons and smart posters will exceed ARPU from NFC payment transactions. Juniper notes that its research found that both the business model and the roll-out of POS NFC readers at merchant locations are issues that need solving – depending on the country. As these are overcome NFC is poised to enter an operational build up phase culminating in mass service roll-outs across many countries, typically in metro areas driven by transport ticketing.

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INSIDE & TAGGO

INSIDE Contactless advanced open-standard contactless chip technologies
is to provide infrastructure components to Taggo card aggregator and
storefront. Using ID stickers based on INSIDE’s “PicoPass” 2KS
contactless memory chip, contactless readers based on INSIDE’s M210-2G
proximity coupler and INSIDE’s integration and adoption services, Taggo
has developed a way for mobile phone stickers to replace plastic loyalty
and membership cards from a variety of retail merchants. Putting various
loyalty cards on a mobile phone, where customers will always have them,
is a solution for eliminating the need for carrying numerous gift cards.
Companies that provide CRM systems and services can easily offer
retailers the ability to add their card programs to the Taggo
storefront, with little or no capital expenditure. Customers add the
“PicoPass”-based Taggo sticker to their mobile phone and join programs
through a simple SMS text message or by browsing the my-Taggo website.

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USA Technologies’ Q3 Transaction Volume Up 57%

PA-based unattended POS specialist USA Technologies reported the number of transactions processed during the third quarter rose by 57% to 7.4 million, compared to the year ago quarter. The dollar volume of transactions processed to increased 26% to $14.6 million. The Company’s installed base grew by 36%, with 57,000 devices now connected to its “USALive” network. USAT posted $3.8 million quarterly revenue the highest level in five quarters. The Company noted it added approximately 75 new “ePort” customers since June 30th for a total of approximately 600. USAT was recently awarded its 71st patent that covers a wireless system for communicating cashless vending transaction data and vending machine audit data to remote locations, adds confirmation to our industry leadership in developing cashless technologies. USA Technologies provides networked credit card and other non-cash systems in the vending, commercial laundry, hospitality and digital imaging industries. The Company has agreements with AT&T, Visa, MasterCard, First Data, Compass and others. For more details on USAT’s third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com)

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U.S. Merchants Experience $191B in Annual Fraud

A new study reveals U.S. merchants are dealing with $191 billion in fraud losses annually. The study also found that merchant fraud losses amounted to more than 20 times the total value of consumer fraud victim losses which totaled approximately $4.8 billion in 2008. The 2009 LexisNexis “True Cost of Fraud Benchmark Study” discovered merchants must absorb nearly 10 times the identity fraud cost incurred by financial institutions. About $100 billion in losses is solely attributed to identity fraud with $91 billion in lost and stolen merchandise. Other findings: “Friendly Fraud” (where a consumer makes an online purchase with their credit card, then issues a charge-back after receiving the purchase, claiming the purchase was never delivered) accounted for more than one-third of the total fraud for online merchants. LexisNexis noted that credit card crimes continued to rise sharply, but alternative payments (i.e. online and mobile payments) represented a troubling new source of losses for large merchants.

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