Chase Survey Finds Robust Vacation Spending

Americans are still spending summertime-honored pursuits with barbecue
grilling, pool memberships, Little League, golf clubs, summer camps, and
regular summer vacations, despite economic downturn. Specifically, 64%
still plan to spend on summer novelty purchases, 70% will not cut back
on summer activities and 59% will not skip summer vacations or outings
lasting a weekend or longer. This,
according to a Chase Card Services survey, is not without consequence
given many Americans plan to reduce spending in other areas with 72%
surveyed disclosing they will maintain their own yard instead of hiring
someone else, up from 54% during the year ago period; 65% will monitor
more closely utilities usage, a 40% increase from the year ago period;
and 83% of will handle their own home repairs and spring cleaning.
Additional research shows 82% of dads will maintain their own yards this
summer, an increase of 21% over the year-ago period; 66% of those aged
18-24 will bike and walk to save on gas and 57% of baby-boomers will
continue regular barbeque activities and/or pool memberships this
summer. The phone survey was fielded by Braun Research of 1,004 American
adults from April 28 to May 3, 2009.

Details

RBS WorldPay Certifies Hypercom’s Optimum

Payment processor RBS WorldPay has Class A certified Hypercom?s
Optimum T4210 and T4220 PCI PED-approved card payment terminals. RBS
WorldPay is the U.S.-based payment processing division of the Royal
Bank of Scotland Group plc and is a single-source provider of electronic
payment processing services ? including credit, debit, EBT, checks, gift
cards, e-commerce, customer loyalty cards, fleet cards, ATM processing
and cash management services.

Details

VERRUS M-PAY

Drivers no longer need to stand in line for a parking meter in a busy
lot thanks to Verrus Mobile Technologies’ “Pay by Phone” parking
service. The mobile payment solutions has launched the new meter payment
solution in Sacramento, CA, Ann Arbor, MI and at Texas Tech University,
making it easier, more convenient and energy efficient to park.
Eliminating the need to search for coins, “Pay by Phone” parking lots
decrease the number of tickets drivers receive and lot owners’ reliance
solely on parking meters for revenue collection. Vancouver-based Verrus
Mobile Technologies mobile payments delivers frictionless solutions that
allow consumers and merchants to enjoy the convenience and power of
mobile payment in over 100 cities across North America.

Details

CC & PPI

Outlined in a January 2009 publication, The Competition Commission
(CC) concluded businesses offering Payment Protection Insurance (PPI)
alongside credit face little competition when selling PPI to their
credit customers. In response, the CC has published a draft order for
consultation establishing measures of introducing competition to the PPI
market. These measures include prohibiting the sale of PPI during the
sale of the credit product for seven days afterwards; prohibiting
single-premium policies; and personal PPI quotes, annual reviews and
other measures to furnish improved information for consumers to compare
and search for products. Facing an appeal hearing September 7-10 of
2009, the CC measures encourage retail PPI distributors offering an
insurance package containing PPI and merchandise cover to offer PPI
cover alone.

Details

CEO Confidence Surges in the 2nd Quarter

The Conference Board Measure of CEO Confidence reports a jump to 55 from
30 in the last quarter, indicating more positive responses by 100 business
leaders with 32% that claim conditions have improved compared to
six months ago, up from zero percent last quarter. In assessing their
own industries, business leaders were also much less negative. Now, 24%
claim conditions are better, up from just 1% in the
first quarter. Nearly 55% of business leaders expect economic conditions
to improve in the next six months, up from approximately 17% last quarter.
Expectations for their own industries were also more optimistic, with 45%
of CEOs anticipating an improvement in the months ahead, up from
26% last quarter and 46% of executives anticipate increases in profits.
Executives engaged in the durable goods industry are the most optimistic,
with 77% expecting profits to increase. Among chief executive officers
who expect profits to increase, 56% believe cost reductions will drive
profits up, while 33% cite market/demand growth as the main source of
improvement. Only 7% cite new technology as a driver of growth and the
remaining 4% cite price increases.

Details

NBB & SINNAD

A global travel payment network is set to offer a prepaid voucher that consumers may use to purchase flights online. Universal Air Travel Plan has teamed with paysafecard group to offer “Cash-Ticket.”
The voucher can be purchased throughout Europe and provides a 16 digit pin code. Users can keep track of their balance and transactions online.
The vouchers are available in denominations of 10 euros, 20 euros, 50
euros, 100 euros and 150 euros. Up to ten vouchers can be used at once
for larger payments. There is one-off activation fee of two euros, regardless of how much credit is purchased. paysafecard group operates in 20 countries. UATP accounts are actively issued by 15 member airlines and accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by more than 200 airlines worldwide.

Details

MOBILEXPENSE & MASTERCARD

MasterCard Europe and MobileXpense have extended contracts for the
delivery of enhanced expense management solutions for businesses.
Allowing card issuers and their commercial customers to integrate their
MasterCard corporate card programs directly with MobileXpense’s
web-based travel and expense management platform, the partnership
provides companies seamless workflow using MasterCard spend data
automatically sent to the MobileXpense’s online tool. The subsequent
data integration can help drive card utilization at organizations up to
94%, significantly improving T&E tracking and expense reporting efficiency.

Details

Video Display Upgrades its LCD ATM Display

The Video Display Corporation’s Display Concepts division has redesigned
its 8.4″ sunlight-viewable “V084H1” LCD ATM display to improve
readability, reduce power consumption, increase lifetime and reduce
cost. The “V084H1” high-brightness ATM monitor is a redesign of the
SunView ATM monitor line acquired from Palomar Displays in 2007,
provides full-color monitoring with increased contrast, even in direct
sunlight, and automatically adjusts brightness for optimum viewing in
all lighting. Implementing a more efficient LED backlight and ballast,
rather than the original fluorescent backlight, the new design is also
fully backward compatible with original Palomar SunView design and all
bracket kits. Video Display Corporation designs, develops and
manufactures solutions for display requirements in military, medical and
industrial sectors across the United States and Europe.

Details

AmEx Business Travel Promotes Supplier Exec

American Express Business Travel has promoted Michael
Qualantone to vice president and general manager, Global Supplier
RelationsQualantone will manage and direct all strategic relationships
with global supplier partners, including airlines, hotel and car
companies, tour operators and cruise lines, as well as maintaining
strategic relationships with all technology providers including global
distribution systems and booking tools. During his 21 year tenure at
American Express, Qualantone has held
leadership positions within Finance, Travel Back Office, and Business
Travel. Prior to his role as vice president, Client Services Group, he
was vice president, On Sites and Customer Solutions, and vice president,
Global Distribution Strategy.

Details

SMALL BUSINESS

While 56% of Canadian small business owners are feeling the effects of
the current economic climate, 55% are accelerating innovation efforts,
investing in improving product designs and new offerings to capitalize
on opportunities. Rather than passively waiting-out the recession, 61%
have earmarked a portion of company revenues for innovation and 48% have
made it a high priority. These findings, made available through the “Small
Business Monitor” studies conducted by American Express, also show 90%
of the small businesses surveyed expect these investments will make them
more profitable; 87% expect to attract new customers; and 87% feel the
investments will improve their product offering. Among the small
businesses, 66% are financing the investments by reinvesting revenue,
20% are using
credit cards, charge cards or bank loans, and 32% are implementing
personal reserves while 82% feel government should be doing more to
promote small business growth.

Details