First Data Hires a New CFO to Replace Wall

First Data has tapped W. Patrick Shannon, previously with BellSouth, to
serve as EVP/CFO. Shannon served as chief financial officer of BellSouth
from 2005 to 2007 until the completion of
BellSouth’s merger with AT&T. In addition, he served as a director of
Cingular Wireless and a member of Cingular’s Audit Committee. Shannon
succeeds Phil Wall who has been appointed the chief financial officer of
Bank of America Merchant Services, the recently formed alliance between
First Data and Bank of America. Wall will join the Bank of America
Merchant Services senior management team and report directly to its
Chief Executive Officer Tom Bell.

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OVERALL SPENDING

A new report has found that credit card purchases during the first quarter grew less than consumer expenditures in most Western European countries, including the U.K. However, in Turkey and Poland credit card purchase volume outpaced overall consumer expenditures substantially. The research by First Annapolis found that growth in the European credit card market will be adversely affected by the economic recession, but that growth opportunities still remain in the less mature markets of Central and Eastern Europe.

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Magellan Merchant is Released

E-commerce platform provider Magellan Commerce has released “Magellan
Merchant” one-stop shop for
businesses looking for Web site, marketing and online-payment solutions.
“Magellan Merchant” frees online businesses from a long-term
contract, paying any setup fees or reaching a minimum amount of
transactions
per month in order to give customers the convenience of paying with a
credit card
online. With a monthly fee of 5 cents and a low transaction rate,
Magellan Merchant is one of the lowest-cost merchant services available.
Online businesses get their deposit from credit-card transactions in 1-2
days, which is faster than the industry average of 2-5 days. Customers’
financial information is protected by Magellan Merchant’s PCI-compliant
safety protocols. Magellan Commerce is an ecommerce platform that
provides all the
necessary Web site-building tools, hosting, design, search marketing and
now merchant services for businesses entering the Web.

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WAVE-ME

INSIDE Contactless contactless chip technologies has partnered with
CONNECTHINGS contextualized services to boost NFC production. The
partnership aims to provide NFC the intelligence it needs to provide
payment and transit applications on a broad range of mobile services
through its “Wave-Me” NFC services platform. Offering an end-to-end
solution, “Wave-Me” will allow carriers and third-party service
providers to offer their subscribers easy access to consumer services
and applications through their mobile phones. For the partnership
solutions and products, INSIDE will provide its NFC technology know-how,
NFC hardware and loadable application-level software while CONNECTHINGS
will provide its knowledge from its “AdTag” server-side contextualized
content management and experience with NFC tag and mobile application.

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LASERCARD EXEC

Ismael Dykman has been appointed sales and business development manager
for LaserCard Corporation secure ID solutions. Currently the Vice
Chairman of the Smart Card Alliance Latin America, Dykman most recently
served as Government Sales Manager, Latin America, for an identity
solutions provider where he increased company participation in driver
license, state ID, national ID, voter ID and civil registry programs. He
also drove the development and sale of large-scale national ID programs
in Nicaragua and Guatemala and passport issuance systems in Brazil. In
his new role, Dykman will focus on providing secure ID solutions to
governments throughout Latin America.

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accesso to Power MasterCard Golf Event

Ticketing and e-commerce provider accesso will provide MasterCard and
the Arnold Palmer Invitational comprehensive online and onsite
ticketing, access control and real-time reporting. The 2010 tournament
website offers ticket sales via the award-winning accesso “SHOPLAND”
eCommerce solution,
delivering an intuitive retail environment consistent with the
tournament’s visual
identity and branding priorities. The entire platform integrates the
sponsor into the
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard’s sales and marketing
efforts,
creating a consistent message as well as a simplified transaction
process. The powerful accesso on-site ticketing
platform will be paired with state-of-the-art wireless technology to
deliver real time
attendance reports and statistics for key tournament management.
MasterCard will be prominently featured in the online retail environment
and offered as the
preferred payment option.

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JULY ABS

Charge-offs amongst credit card-backed securities broke into double digits for the first time in July. However, delinquency eased for the second straight month after surging to a record 5.5% in May. Charge-offs leapt 40 basis points while 60-to-180 day delinquency nudged down by 10 basis points. The Fitch “Charge-off Index” increased for the sixth straight month in July to 10.2%, compared to 9.8% in the prior month and 6.5% one-year ago. Fitch says it is particularly concerned about the change in the make-up of charge-offs in the first half of 2009, with increasing amounts of chargeoffs originating from accounts rolling through the delinquency buckets, as cardholders experience more difficulties in making their monthly payments. Also, the increase in the use of debt management programs has also been a major concern; cardholders who have already displayed difficulties in servicing their debts continue to be exposed to increasing economic stress, which is likely to lead to an acceleration in reported charge-off increases in the longer term. In July, the Fitch “Delinquency Index” decreased, after rising for nine consecutive months, moving to 5.3% from 5.4% in June and 3.7% in July 2008. As the economic downturn continues to hit the U.K., Fitch expects that further rises in unemployment, together with high levels of borrowing for U.K. consumers, will continue to exert stress on cardholders, resulting in increasing delinquencies as they struggle to meet their debt obligations.

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Future Expectations Lift Consumer Confidence

A monthly consumer tracking poll reveals consumer confidence gained ground in September for the third consecutive month. However, the composite index was driven by future expectations as the current conditions component fell again. The “RBC CASH” (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household) Index for September stands at 40.0, a 2.5 point increase from August’s reading. The “Expectations Index” for September rose to 41.5, up 12.4 points from August, setting a new high. The “Current Conditions Index” for September dropped to 33.2, down 3.4 points from the August reading. The “Investment Index” decreased to 36.9, a 7-point drop from August’s level. The “Jobs Index” for September held steady at 53.5. RBC noted that while the “Composite Index” reached its highest level since May, a close reading of the results finds consumers remaining cautious about economic recovery.

RBC CASH INDEX
Sep 08: 69.2
Oct 08: 37.0
Nov 08: 34.7
Dec 08: 15.3
Jan 09: 13.3
Feb 09: 1.6
Mar 09: 8.2
Apr 09: 38.3
May 09: 43.0
Jun 09: 34.3
Jul 09: 22.4
Aug 09: 37.5
Sep 09: 40.0
Source: RBC CASH

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GetFugu Debit Card Promotion is Set

GetFugu has launched its next generation mobile search tool, providing a
new method of accessing the Internet through mobile phones, and will
conjunctively be giving the first 100,000 users a free customizable
debit card on September 9th. “FuelLinks” ‘Cash-for-Gas’ fuel-based rewards
program, allows the cardholders to buy products at major grocery chains,
local merchants and retailers and redeem points earned through their
purchases at over 23,000 gas stations. These gas stations include BP,
CITGO, Arco, and Marathon. Cardholders are also offered rewards
incentives from consumer-focused industries and Fortune 500/1000
companies, as well as over 700 online retailers, 70 big-box brick &
mortar retail stores, and more than 25,000 local community merchants and
retailers. GetFugu provides smartphone users a carrier agnostic,
platform agnostic mobile search platform.

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Open Solutions Unveils Veri-Fast

CT-based Open Solutions has introduced “Veri-Fast” to help bank tellers
identify account holders.
The Veri-Fast solution uses two-factor authentication to
identify the accountholder at the teller line. The member/customer
swipes their ATM/debit card, enters their PIN number and once verified,
the software instantly retrieves the relationship profile. In addition
to reducing fraud, Veri-Fast improves service and efficiencies by
automating the retrieval of accountholder files and eliminating teller
keystrokes. Open Solutions Inc. is a provider of integrated enabling
technologies for financial
services providers.

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