U.S. Credit Card Rate Scam Fined $7.8MM

The FTC has imposed a telemarketing ban on an Ontario firm that made false claims that it could reduce credit card interest rates for U.S. consumers. According to the FTC’s complaint, the telemarketing operation defrauded about 12,000 consumers out of more than $7.8 million between 2005 and 2007 by falsely claiming that it could substantially reduce consumers’ existing credit card interest rates and save them thousands of dollars in interest and finance charges. The defendants stated or implied–falsely–that they were affiliated with consumers’ credit card companies. For $675 plus $20 for shipping and handling, the complaint alleges, the defendants sent consumers promotional materials with promises to substantially reduce their interest rates, and a “financial profile form” for them to complete and mail back. The complaint alleged that the defendants promised to reduce the interest charged on credit cards to rates between 4.75% and 9.00%. The court ordered the defendants to pay more than $7.8 million.

Details

Virgin America Joins the UATP Network

Travel payment network UATP has added Virgin America as a new merchant.
UATP will enhance Virgin America’s strategic plan through UATP’s
mission of helping airlines lower distribution costs with low merchant
service fees and a global network available to all corporate travelers. Ticket
purchases are available to the UATP Network through traditional channels and Virgin
America will continue to enhance availability for all UATP cardholders.
UATP accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business
travel by Amtrak, airlines and travel agencies worldwide.

Details

Barnes and Noble Deploys Epicor’s Sales Audit

Retailer Barnes and Noble has selected CA-based Epicor’s “Sales Audit”
software.
Barnes & Noble College Booksellers chose Epicor Retail Sales Audit, an
award-winning audit solution, as the central repository for all sales
transactions. The all-in-one data validation tool bridges the gap
between the enterprise and sales channels, helping to improve store
operations and auditing productivity. Sales Audit is part of the Epicor
Retail Audit and Operations Management suite, designed to help
multi-channel retailers manage transaction data verification and
investigation. The solution accepts transaction data from across
channels ? Point-of-Sale (POS), kiosk, Web or catalog ? checks for
anomalies, and then feeds the clean and accurate data to downstream
systems. Additional modules within the suite include Loss Prevention,
Employee Productivity and Commissions, Credit Settlement Interface, and
Voucher Management (Gift Cards).

Details

Card University Slates Three July Webinars

Card University is set to present a three part webinar focused on card
transactions, exception processing and emerging applications in the card
industry on July 16th, 23rd and 30th. “Processing, Participants and Terminology” gives
participants
an overview of the card processing industry, with a focus on how a card
transaction starts out and its downstream processing. “Exception Handling
(chargebacks) and Regulations” session will review the major points of
these rules and what you need to know to effectively support a card
program and “Advanced Topics and Competitive Strategies” covers emerging
applications in the card industry, from debit card rewards to ACH cards to
the Capital One recent announcement of a de-linked debit card.

Details

PP LATIN AMERICA

Forecasts show Latin American regional prepaid general-purpose
reloadable mobile and utilities cards will account for a potential
market of nearly US$160 billion annually by 2015. Between 80% and 90% of
Latin Americans are already on prepaid plans, representing major
potential for service providers and a value-added proposition for users
currently relying on single-use, scratch-off cards. These findings
from the NovoPayment prepaid card service is part of a regional study of
prepaid cards across Latin American countries such as Argentina, Brazil,
Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Ecuador, El
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Mexico and Venezuela.
NovoPayment prepaid programs provide over 200,000 mobile and utility
consumers services payments on-demand or via scheduled debits from their
Maestro, MasterCard or Visa branded prepaid cards.

Details

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