DB2

Managing 6.4 billion payment and card transactions every year for 60
million cardholders, SIA-SSB Information and Communication Technology
implemented BMC Software’s Mainframe Service Management solutions to
transform its “DB2” reorganization process. This allows SIA-SSB to
deploy optimized card-processing availability, performance, and data
integrity, reduced CPU time by 80%, increased “DB2” availability by
eliminating application timeouts, allotting the team more flexibility to
reorganize more frequently, increased application response time and
reduce time needed to migrate data between systems. The SIA-SSB Payment
Card Business Unit processes payment cards for commercial banks in 11
European countries for 60 million cardholders, over 1 million merchants
and as many as 3.7 billion payment transactions every year.

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Smart Devices and 3G Accelerate M-Banking

An inaugural study finds that mobile financial services adoption is
highly dependent upon device technology and high bandwidth networks.
The new comScore report found that mobile Web browsing ranked as the
most popular method for both smartphone (44%) and 3G users (53%),
followed closely by mobile applications (48% of 3G users and 41% of
smartphone users). Interestingly, the percentage of mobile bankers who
used texting (SMS) for access to their account information was
substantially higher among 3G users (41%) than Smartphone users (25%).
comScore concludes that the acceleration of mobile banking requires a
seamless mobile banking user experience. Financial institutions hoping
to capitalize on this quickly emerging consumer banking trend need to be
ahead of the curve and understand how consumers are using the mobile
channel today and how they would like to use it in the future.

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Veritec’s VeriSuite to Offer the VSCode

Mobile banking debit card solution provider Veritec has released its
“VeriSuite” card enrollment system.
The VeriSuite system is a user friendly and cost effective solution
that gives governments and businesses the ability to provide cardholders
with an identity card containing Veritec’s patented 2-D matrix symbol,
VSCode. The VSCode is the key for data security. The VSCode may have
multiple encryption layers and the symbol has enough capacity to store
personal data, fingerprint and/or facial image data, and other
identifying information utilizing Veritec’s custom templates for each
card type.

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DISTANCIA VISA

TACA Airlines and U.S. Bank have partnered to offer two frequent flyer co-branded credit cards. Besides air mileage the “DISTANCIA Visa” and “DISTANCIA Visa Signature” credit cards offer an excess luggage
redemption discount. “DISTANCIA Visa” awards one mile for every dollar spent while the “DISTANCIA Visa Signature” provides double miles on TACA Airlines purchases; no preset spending limit; 24-hour Concierge Service; hotels, resorts, retail and travel offers; advance ticket sales/preferred seating at popular events; restaurant reviews; and emergency assistance services. To promote the new cards TACA is offering with a chance to win 10 passes to fly free for a year. TACA is in eight major metropolitan areas in the U.S.: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, New York City (JFK), Washington D.C. (Dulles) and Miami. The airline flies to 40 destinations in 23 countries in North, Central, South America and the Caribbean.

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MAY LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Japan increased
for the first time since June 2007 by 0.8% while The Conference Board
Coincident Economic Index (CEI) decreased 0.2% for the month of May.
With the May increase, The Conference Board LEI for Japan now stands at
67.0 (2004=100), which declined 3.7% in March and decreased 3.1% in
April, while the CEI now stands at 92.0 (2004=100), which decreased 1.6%
in March and increased .4% in April. Japan LEI indicators include growth
rate of productivity; the index of overtime worked; stock prices; and
money supply while CEI performance was credited to industrial production.

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Commerce Online to Acquire TenderCard

Commerce Online has signed a binding letter of intent with
MA-based Merchant Resource Association stored value and gift and
loyalty card programs for approximately 12,000 diverse merchant
locations throughout the United States. Proposing the merger of MRA as a
wholly owned subsidiary of Commerce Online, in which CMIB has agreed to
acquire all of the securities of MRA, the LOI will allow the former to
emerge as the surviving holding company to focus on the acquisition of
credit card processing divisions and is subject to the signing of a
definitive merger agreement by July 31, 2009. MRA has provided credit
card payment processing and related products and services to over
200,000 business locations since 1990, including TenderCard, while
Commerce Online offers online and wireless merchant payment solutions.

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Equifax’s TALX Settles FCRA Violations

The FTC has settled with Equifax’ consumer information reseller TALX for failing to provide proper FCRA disclosures. The proposed settlement requires TALX to pay a $350,000 civil penalty. TALX sells income and employment history information about consumers to lenders and pre-employment screeners. The company allegedly violated the FCRA by
not providing the “Notice to Users of Consumer Reports: Obligations of
Users Under the FCRA” and the “Notice to Furnishers of Information:
Obligations of Furnishers Under the FCRA.” In addition to the penalty,
the proposed settlement requires TALX to provide the required notices to
users and furnishers.

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VIRGIN AMERICA & UATP

Universal Air Travel Plan has added Virgin America as its newest merchant. Adding the
UATP form of payment is meant to allow Virgin America to expand its
market share in the airline industry, along with its brand new planes,
attractive fares, topnotch service, and a host of innovative amenities.
In doing so, UATP is intent on lowering Virgin America distribution
costs with low merchant service fees, its global network available to
all corporate travelers and sales through its UATP Network. Virgin
America will continue to enhance availability for all UATP cardholders,
which flies to San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington D.C.,
Seattle, Las Vegas, San Diego, Boston and Orange County.

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RAHAXI RECORD

Rahaxi international card payments processor and technology company
announced its Helsinki subsidiary, Rahaxi Processing Oy has surpassed
the 10,000 mark for terminals connected to its payment processing
platform. The milestone was reportedly accomplished as a direct result
of increased hardware sales and the subsequent increasing market share.
Rahaxi provides mission-critical solutions to the financial industry
worldwide for both merchants and acquirers in more than twenty
countries, allowing partners to focus on their core competencies with
its innovative driven approach. Its partners include IKEA, Finnair and
Stockmann. Its subsidiaries, Rahaxi Processing Oy, Finland, FreeStar
Technologies Ireland, Ltd., and FreeStar Dominicana S.A. Dominican
Republic.

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BluePay Acquires Landmark Merchant Solutions

IL-based credit card processing provider BluePay has acquired Landmark
Merchant Solutions. Landmark specializes in providing
business-to-business credit card processing. Marking their sixth
acquisition in just over 14 months, this new deal brings an additional
5,000+ new merchant accounts to BluePay’s existing client base. BluePay
is a single source provider and tier 1 credit card processor for all of
its merchants’ payment processing needs.

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Dodd Wants a Look-Back on Credit CARD Act

The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee is asking bank regulators to draft new regulations requiring all interest rate increases that have taken place this year to be subject to a mandatory 6-month review. In a letter to the FRB, FDIC, OCC, OTS and NCUA, Senator
Christopher Dodd says he is disturbed by recent reports in the press that some credit card companies are allegedly raising interest rates on their customers’ existing balances without justification. He asked the regulators to immediately notify all credit card companies under their respective jurisdictions that they will be held accountable for all interest rate increases this year and will be subject to the review requirement once the “Credit CARD ACT” takes effect next year. Dodd noted that the look-back provision will serve as a deterrent only if it will be implemented and enforced effectively.

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RATE REDUCTION SCAM

A U.S. district court judge has imposed a telemarketing ban on a
Canadian operation targeting U.S. consumers with a permanent injunction
that puts the defendants out of business and bars them from
misrepresenting affiliation with consumers’ credit card companies.
Promising false claims of reducing credit card interest rates, the
defendants are also restricted from making claims of having the
resources to reduce consumers’ credit card interest rates and have been
ordered to pay more than $7.8 million. These motions are in response to
FTC allegations the telemarketing operation defrauded about 12,000
consumers out of more than $7.8 million between 2005 and 2007 through
false claims of credit card debt reduction of at least $2,500,
specifically with individual charges $675 plus $20 shipping for
promotional materials. In fact, alleges the FTC, operators of the scam
did little more than orchestrate three-way telephone calls with
consumers and their credit card companies to request lower rates, which
were typically were denied.

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