RBS & IRS

The IRS has signed a contract with the Royal Bank of Scotland to provide electronic payment services for individual and business U.S. taxes. RBS WorldPay and its partner Value Payment Systems will begin the multi-year contract to process tax payments on January 1st. Besides facilitating tax payments via payUSAtax.com, users will be able to schedule automated payments and set future payment e-mail reminders. RBS WorldPay and VPS will enable individuals to pay 1040, 1040ES, 1040X, Installment Agreements, 4868, 5329 and Trust Fund Recovery Penalties. Businesses will be able to pay 940, 941, 943, 944, 945, 1065 and 1041 taxes. Value Payment Systems provides electronic payment products and services to various industries including government and property management.

Details

Fandango Joins Citi’s ThankYou Network

Citi’s “ThankYou Network” loyalty program has made available its latest
rewards incentive with $25 and $50 electronic movie gift certificates
from the Fandango movie website to its more than 13 million members.
Redeemable immediately, the electronic movie gift certificates from
Fandango build on ThankYou Network’s collection of available rewards
offering expedited shipping options, travel reservations powered by
Expedia, gift cards, cash or credits and Citi Pre-Paid cards.
Additionally, Customized rewards can be redeemed for virtually anything
with the “Your Wish Fulfilled,” program, even mortgage payments.
“ThankYou” Members also earn points by booking eligible travel at
Expedia or by shopping through the “ThankYou Bonus Center” online
shopping mall of more than 400 retailers.

Details

UAL Expands its Cash-Free Environment

Introducing its “EasyPurchase” initiative, United Airlines is to accept
only payment cards for most onboard purchases during trans-Atlantic
flights and flights to and from Brazil and Argentina, effective
September 2. To speed cabin service, provide receipts and increase
efficiency, cash will no longer be accepted onboard these flights,
except for duty-free purchases. The policy is already effective on
flights within the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central America and
the Caribbean. “United Mileage Plus” Chase Visa cardholders will earn 10
miles for every dollar spent on in-flight purchases. Those who apply and
are approved for the card using the onboard application will earn 30,000
Mileage Plus bonus miles and a $100 United discount travel certificate
after their first purchase.

Details

CC Accounts Slide After Peaking Last Year

Since the start of the recession the number of Visa and MasterCard credit card accounts has dropped by at least 40 million in the U.S. and could exceed 80 million once final second quarter data are released. The number of Visa and MasterCard credit card accounts peaked at 496 million one year ago. At the end of the first quarter the number had fallen to 446 million. MasterCard reports that its credit card accounts declined from 206 million in 1Q/09 to 184 million at mid-year. Visa reported that its credit card accounts dropped from 258 million in 4Q/08 to 240 million in 1Q/09. (Visa will release official Q2 figures in late October.) According to CardData, the 9% drop through the first quarter and MasterCard’s second quarter figures, projects to 404 million credit card accounts at mid-year or an 18% year-on-year decline.

CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTS
(Visa and MasterCard)
1Q/08: 490 million
2Q/08: 496 million
3Q/08: 492 million
4Q/08: 479 million
1Q/09: 446 million
2Q/09: 404 million (projected)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

ShieldSafe Introduces America Protected

Identity protection provider ShieldSafe has launched the “America
Protected” solution to help
consumers protect themselves from identity theft at no charge.
ShieldSafe helps individuals
and their entire family protect themselves with the ShieldSafe fraud
alert quick link and the ShieldSafe credit report quick link. The fraud
alert quick link directs individuals to the initial 90-day fraud alert
form. Once this form is filled out, an individual is proactively
protected for 90 days with a fraud alert. An individual must fill out
this simple form every 90 days in order to keep the fraud alert active.
ShieldSafe then emails the individual every 90 days to remind them to
fill out this form to remain protected. The credit report quick link
directs individuals to the free credit report link where individuals can
view their credit report immediately. ShieldSafe then emails the
individual every 12 months with the credit report quick link to remind
them to get their free credit report.

Details

INTERCHANGE REGS

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s Payments System Board has ruled to keep regulating interchange fees on credit card and EFTPOS transactions. The Board says there is still not enough competition or assurances that future interchange fees would not rise. In September, the Board indicated that it would be prepared to step back from interchange regulation if industry participants took sufficient steps to reduce the risk that interchange fees would rise in the absence of regulation. If sufficient progress was not made by August, interchange regulation would be retained, with the Board proposing that the benchmark for credit card interchange fees be reduced to 30 basis points. The Board has now concluded that, although progress has been made in both these areas, it is not yet sufficient to warrant a decision to step back from interchange regulation. While the Board noted the establishment of EFTPOS Payments Australia and the renewed commitment to develop an online payments system (the “MAMBO” project), it does not believe that these initiatives have yet reached the point where they will exert significant competitive pressure on interchange fees, though such a position may well be reached over time.

Details

TASQ Inks a Major Hypercom Optimum Deal

First Data’s TASQ Technology has inked a deal to market Hypercom’s “Optimum” multi-lane terminal family. Under terms of the partnership TASQ plans to purchase and roll-out for resale up to 100,000 “Optimum” countertop and mobile payment terminals, during the next 12 months, to its U.S.-based bank and ISO customers. TASQ will also become
an authorized service partner for these devices. TASQ has sold thousands of “Optimum” products in Canada, and is also Hypercom’s exclusive distributor for the “Optimum T4205” in that market. Hypercom recently reported that net revenue for the second quarter increased 28% sequentially to $106.8 million, but down 14%, compared to 2Q/08. The payment terminal manufacturer delivered net income of $1.3 million for 2Q/09, compared to a $9.9 million loss in the prior quarter and a $10.9 million loss in the year ago quarter. (CF Library 8/5/09)

Details

AmEx Joins the NYC FNO Promotion

American Express has put its support behind Fashion’s “Night Out” (FNO),
offering exclusive benefits for Cardmembers on September 10. Cardmembers
can now visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment to register for
access to retail and restaurant incentives at more than 700
participating locations that evening across all five boroughs.
Cardmembers who spend at least $300 in total at two or more stores will
receive a $50 credit on their next American Express monthly statement
and are allowed a free appetizer or dessert at a variety of
participating restaurants. A collaboration between American Vogue, the
Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYC & Company, and the City of
New York, “FNO” is a global initiative created to celebrate fashion,
restore consumer confidence, and boost the industry’s economy. A
complete listing of participating retailers and restaurants can be found
at www.americanexpress.com/entertainment.

Details

Paymetric Revenues Leap in 2Q/09

Paymetric integrated and secure enterprise payment acceptance solutions
has released the results of its record-breaking 2Q/09 sales. Thanks in
part to the introduction of its new software-as-a-service (SaaS)
solutions, “XiPay On-Demand,” Paymetric was allowed to add Lastar,
Numark Industries and Fossil to its portfolio and reach deferred revenue
growth of 175% Y/Y. What companies find attractive about Paymetric’s
“XiPay On-Demand” are its capabilities to manage, accept and integrate
virtually every type of electronic payment in any enterprise system
where payment is accepted. The SaaS ultimately lowers the customers’
total cost of ownership through an inclusive monthly service fee;
reduced installation costs; reduced billing, collection and
administrative costs; reduced customer attrition costs; reduced
interchange fees; and reduced IT costs with no hardware to manage, no
operating system or database patches to install. “XiSecure On-Demand”
and Paymetric’s tokenization solution is also adaptive to more easily
meeting PCI DSS compliance.

Details