JUNE LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for France increased
for the third consecutive month by 0.9% while the Conference Board
Coincident Economic Index (CEI) decreased 0.1% in June. With the 0.9%
increase in June, The Conference Board LEI for France now stands at
101.5 (2004=100), which increased 0.7% in May and increased 0.6% in
April, while the CEI now stands at at 102.9 (2004=100), which remains
unchanged in May and decreased 0.2% in April. LEI results for the month
were attributed to positive gains in inverted new unemployment claims;
the yield spread; production expectations; building permits and the
stock price index while negative contributors included industrial new
orders and the ratio of the deflator of manufacturing value added to
unit labor cost for manufacturing.

Details

AmEx Offers virtual meetings eXpert

American Express Business Travel has unveiled “virtual meetings eXpert” to serve as a central hub and aggregator of a public telepresence
facilities and the private network a company may already have in place. “Virtual meetings eXpert” will
help clients achieve their individual travel goals and savings through a
flexible platform available both online and offline. Based on criteria such as the price, duration of the trip, purpose,
environmental impact and more, the solution will alert travelers at the
time of booking on available telepresence and high-end virtual meeting
options, and guides them through scenarios that determine if it makes
sense to take the trip virtually. The solution can also be
utilized in helping companies convert conference calls and Webexes to a
virtual meeting. “Virtual meetings eXpert” provides an efficient booking
process of the available facility when it’s the right decision. Not only
can this drive key savings, but ultimately enhances productivity and
employee satisfaction, by boosting collaboration that otherwise may not
have been able to occur. American Express has filed for patent protection of the
solution, encompassing the design for aggregating the content as well as
methodology and process which will help guide travelers in making
informed decisions when weighing the choice to travel versus using
telepresence services or virtual meetings technology. This service will
be integrated at the point-of-sale with both travel counselor assisted
reservations or online booking channels, including the Company’s global
eXplore portal, meetings solutions, and other key platforms.

Details

GoEmerchant Payment Gateway is Upgraded

NJ-based payment processor GoEmerchant.com has introduced the newest
version of the”GoEmerchant Payment Gateway and Virtual Terminal”.
The “GoEmerchant Payment Gateway and Virtual Terminal” provides a
convenient way to
process and manage both credit card & ACH transactions and store
customer profile
information in a single, secure, reliable and easy-to-use system.
The virtual terminal
will process
both credit card and ACH transactions with nothing more than an internet
connection. The payment gateway and virtual terminal provide the security,
reliability and ease of use for retail, phone order & eCommerce merchants.

Details

PREPAID SUMMIT

VRL has announced it will be hosting its 5th annual “Prepaid Cards
Summit” at the Grand Hotel Parco dei Principi in Rome from November 12th
to the 13th, 2009. Topics addressed will include; Western Europe – key
markets; Central and Eastern Europe – growth opportunities with new
programme launches; Global trends in prepaid markets and new trends in
emerging markets; Innovation in prepaid, mobile payments, contactless
and mobile payments; Technology and merchant acquiring; Prepaid customer
loyalty and rewards; and Consumer awareness. The event is sponsored by
VISA Europe, MasterCard Europe, SIA-SSB, Metavante, PayPal Italia,
Ukash, Epipoli, LaSer, Citi, Accor Services Italy, eCommlink, Euronet
Worldwide and Bemrose Booth.

Details

MEETINGS SPEND

AirPlus International corporate travel payments has released its “The
Wire from AirPlus” August 2009 edition entitled: “Tackling Meetings
Spend.” Targeting the 52% of the corporate travel professionals who
disclosed they’re “very involved” or “involved” in the planning and
sourcing meetings, the 33% of professionals assisting in planning
meetings, the latest AirPlus edition is based on a survey of 148 travel
management professionals in North America and Europe in July 2009.
Largely unmanaged, meetings activities have proven one of the most
elusive categories of corporate spend, fragmented among a variety of
business units and parsed into miscellaneous cost centers. In many
corporations, upper management incorrectly assumes that meetings spend
is generally captured as part of corporate travel. Additional findings
show 58% of respondents have a policy; only 29% enforce meeting
policies; and over 60% disclosed the policies are either not enforced
(23.8 percent) or there was no policy at all (38.8 percent). AirPlus
International serves over 32,000 customers worldwide through a suite of
business travel payment solutions, including central bill accounts,
corporate cards and online management tools.

Details

Real Estate Holds the Key to the 2010 Recovery

A new poll of senior business leaders in the banking and
financial services industry found that most predict 2010 as the start of the recovery. Yesterday retailers reported lower year-on-year sales in July, have now written off the fourth quarter and do not expect to see an improvement until mid-2010. In the KPMG survey, slightly more than a third of the banking and financial services executives thought their industry would fully recover from the current economic crisis ahead of the overall U.S. economy. Yet, while expecting a comparatively slower recovery, 78% of banking and financial services executives expect the business conditions for their industry to improve in 2010 with 72% of them expecting much stronger revenue and 68% expecting improved profitability. When asked to identify the top three triggers they think will spur an economic recovery, 46% cited a stabilized real estate market, 45% said an increase in jobs, and 43% said improved consumer confidence. The three triggers cited least frequently included effective regulations (6%), government stimulus spending (3%), and government bailouts (2%).

Details

Elavon and KeyCorp Extend JV for 3 Yrs

Card acquirer Elavon has extended its joint venture agreement with
OH-based KeyCorp for KeyBank’s merchant referral business.
The extended agreement allows for KeyBank to continue offering
white-labeled merchant services backed by a company solely dedicated to
the payments industry. Elavon’s entire, robust solutions offerings are
available to KeyBank merchants, from credit and debit processing to
Dynamic Currency Conversion, Electronic Check, Gift Card, professional
services and free online reporting. An added benefit to KeyBank
merchants is enrollment in Elavon’s PCI
Compliance Program, a comprehensive approach to assisting merchants meet
compliance requirements that includes education, validation, scanning
services and financial protection of up to $100,000 in the event of a
data breach.

Details

Aug Survey – Repaying Debt a Top Priority

The August edition of the COUNTRY Financial Security Index reveals the
impact that the sagging economy and back to school concerns on parents.
These two factors have triggered the Index to drop 1.8points to 62.8 in
August, marking its lowest level since the measure began, with 57% of
respondents who feel unable to set aside money for savings or
investments that continued to increase in August, jumping five points
from June to mark the most unable to save on record. Without the ability
to build savings, Americans’ confidence in their long-term financial
security is eroding. There was an eleven-point drop to just 52% in the
number of Americans confident they will have the financial resources to
send their children to college and the number of Americans who are
concerned about their nest egg is increasing with a four-point jump to
42% for those individuals who are not confident they will be able to
enjoy a comfortable retirement. The COUNTRY Financial Security Index(r)
is a bi-monthly measure of Americans’ sentiments toward their overall
financial security. It is an aggregate
of various factors comprising financial security including savings and
investments,
financial planning, retirement, education and asset protection.

Details

JUN VOL

Debit card volume picked up more momentum in June, now growing by an annual rate of 40%, as “Gross Rupee Volume” (GRV) hit 18.1 billion rupees. Meanwhile, credit card GRV is declining at an annual rate of 8%, dipping in June to 48.6 billion rupees, but up slightly from the prior month. After peaking at 64.4 billion rupees in October, credit card GRV has been declining each month, in tandem with the global recession. Debit card GRV also peaked in October at 19.6 billion rupees, but rebounded significantly in May. According to the Reserve Bank of India, the number of credit card transactions rose to 19.1 billion as the number of debit card transactions rose to 12.6 billion in June. At the end of June there were 23 million credit cards and 146 million debit cards in circulation.

Details

PaymentOne Picks Up More Funding

Alternative payment provider PaymentOne has secured $7 million in a
round of equity and debt financing led by FL-based AER Investments LLC.
The new funding will be used to expand and accelerate the organic growth
and mobile related product development as well as set the foundation for
executing on strategic acquisition targets to complement the company’s
suite of payment gateway services. The series B round on financing caps
a period of strong momentum for the company. Over the past six months
the client base has grown by more than 35% and the company has expanded
net profit fivefold. PaymentOne clients have generated over $3 billion
dollars of incremental
revenue in the last 36 months by using the company’s compelling “no
credit card required” alternatives. The company’s flagship “PhoneBill”
service allows merchants to have their consumers easily and safely
charge fees to landline, broadband and/or mobile phone bills.
AER Investment maintains a portfolio of strong relationships with
numerous online and mobile-based merchants, and sees PaymentOne as
unique stand alone investment opportunity as well as a strategic fit
with their merchant portfolio.

Details