Travel agents are flying off the handle over a pilot program launched by United Airlines to require them to process their own credit card payments. United Airlines informed a limited number of travel agencies that, effective July 20th, they would “no longer have continued access to United’s credit card merchant agreements.” If the agent continues to use United’s merchant facilities then a $75 fee would be assessed for each transaction. ASTA listed off six reasons why the new policy is headed for a mid-air collision: 1. About two thirds of travel agentsâ access to merchant services is limited to the “ARC TASF” program, which is designed to process service fees, not airline tickets; 2. United is requiring these agents to absorb Unitedâs cost of doing business; 3. United will save no credit costs if the result of the policy is that consumers, or agents on behalf of consumers, book on credit cards at United.com; 4. travel agents have been given insufficient time to prepare their systems and procedures to accommodate a process change of this magnitude; 5. Travel agentsâ cost of doing business will increase well beyond the agent absorbing the credit card merchant fees that United will avoid; 6. Consumers will be disadvantaged as costs shifted from United to travel agents will ultimately be borne by consumers in the form of higher service fees on top of the existing fare level.Details
Acacia Research Corporation has announced its Financial Systems
Innovation subsidiary has reached a settlement agreement to resolve
disputes regarding the Cost Plus patent for its credit card fraud
protection. The dispute, pending before the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Georgia, concerned Cost Plus’ expired
patent, asserting in this litigation its electronic card reader and
subsequent generation and use of a transaction number to specifically
identify each transaction processed within the system. This method is
designed to protect retailers and consumers engaged in credit card,
check card, and debit transactions. Acacia Researchâs subsidiaries
control over 100 patent portfolios, covering technologies used in a wide
variety of industries.
Payment processor Merchant Data Systems has partnered with GA-based PCI
compliance provider ControlScan to offer PCI DSS validation to
merchants. Merchant Data Systems merchants will now have access to
ControlScan’s “PCI 1-2-3” compliance solution, available online via a
portal called “myControlScan.com”, which provides merchants with the
leading tools and support necessary to analyze, remediate and validate
PCI compliance, including the PCI 1-2-3 Self Assessment Questionnaire;
PCI 1-2-3 Vulnerability Scanning; PCI 1-2-3 Security Policy Builder;
PCI 1-2-3 Security Awareness Training and Personal Touch Support.
ControlScan is a provider
of Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance and security solutions
designed exclusively for small- to medium-sized e-commerce and retail
merchants. ControlScan provides
easy-to-use Web-based security solutions and a personal level of service
that make it easy and cost-effective for these businesses to analyze,
remediate and validate compliance.
MasterCard Europe has partnered with Carrefour retailers and Axess Bank
to introduce “Carrefour Axess” ‘Tap&Go’ contactless payment solution.
Available in over 170 Carrefour hypermarkets and supermarkets throughout
Turkey, the new card program merges the Axess multi-merchant scheme with
Carrefour’s “Carrefour Plus” loyalty scheme to bring banking services
directly into the supermarket environment. Cardholders are instantly
issued the payment device instore for enhanced loyalty and installment
programs with no need for signature on purchases of 16 euros or less.
Axess full service credit card program serves over 4.5 million
cardholders, offering its ‘cash points’ reward scheme through purchases
at over 160,000 merchant partners outlets while MasterCard Worldwide
serves consumers and businesses in more than 210 countries.
After four consecutive quarters of rising credit card delinquency it appears that the second quarter figure will post about 15 basis points lower than the prior quarter. The sequential increase in quarterly delinquency (30+ day) among the nation’s top issuers was 15% in the first quarter, compared to an 18% surge in the fourth quarter.
However, the second quarter is expected to be about 2.5% lower than the prior quarter. Among the nation’s top issuers with at least $50 billion in outstandings, the projected delinquency rate for the second quarter is 5.77%. The average delinquency ratio for 1Q/09 was 5.92%, compared to 5.16% in the fourth quarter and 4.00% for 2Q/08, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). Discover recently reported that its over 30 day delinquency rate on managed loans was 5.08%, down 17 basis points from the first quarter, but up 127 basis points from the prior year. American Express reported that 30+ day managed U.S. delinquency edged down to 4.7% in May from 4.9% in April and 5.1% in March. Capital One reported that 30+ day managed U.S. delinquency declined to 4.90% in May from 5.04% in April and 5.08% in March. According to Moody’s “Credit Card Index” the delinquency rate for all credit card ABS was 5.97% for May compared to 6.34% for April. (CF Library 6/15/09; 6/17/09; 6/18/09; 6/24/09;)
Top U.S. Issuers
30+ DAY DELINQUENCY
(minimum $50 billion in outstandings)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
RI-based drug retailer CVS is now offering the “CashStar” interactive gift card. CVS/pharmacy
customers can now purchase virtual gift cards on the companyâs website,
www.cvs.com. Senders can personalize the look and feel of the virtual
gift card, select the dollar amount, and set the day and time that the
card should be delivered via email. CashStar gives
CVS/pharmacy access to an extensive online network that will expose
their interactive gift card to millions of potential customers on the
coupons.com website. This gives CashStar significant competitive
advantages in promoting and driving sales for its retail partners.
A recent survey found that 43.5% of respondents who had never purchased on the Internet, gave security concerns as the reason. Among those who rarely shopped online, 26.4% cited security as the reason they did not do so more often. The survey by Analytica for NYCE also found that nearly half of the frequent Internet purchasers who were reached for the survey online indicated they would consider replacing their current method with one offered by their bank or credit union, as long as they felt it was safe and secure. Additionally, 18% of those who had never purchased anything online indicated they would likely try online shopping using a secure payment method offered by their financial institution. Among those who rarely shopped online, 27.6% indicated they would likely make more purchases using such a method.Details
Visa and Credibanco have launched the “Visa Vale” card with its
electronic purchase voucher solution. Implemented in collaboration with
Citibank and Davivienda, “Visa Vale” offers increased control, security,
access and convenience through electronic payments, benefiting
companies, merchants, and Colombian workers. Accepted wherever Visa is,
the PIN card works electronically at POS merchant terminals exclusively
for purchases, not providing access to cash at ATMs. The card was
designed by and meant for the Latin American market to simplify payment
processes, reduce handling time, operating costs and to extends the
shelf life of employee fringe and tax benefits. Visa has presence in
more than 170 countries while Credibanco is a Principal Group Member of
the Payment Card Association.
Choice Card Services a/k/a Deltacard Services, has “Class A”
certified and will market Hypercomâs “Optimum T4200” countertop and
“M4230” mobile payment terminals to its 41,000 U.S. customers. Last
week, The Phoenix Group, the largest independent distributor of POS
products and services, inked a deal to purchase up to $6 million of
Hypercomâs “Optimum” payment products for resale to U.S. businesses.
Also in June, Central Payment Corporation will offer Hypercomâs “T4205”
to its more than 25,000 U.S.-based merchant customers. In May, Chase
Paymentech “Class A” certified Hypercomâs PCI PED-approved “Optimum
T4205” card payment terminal. In April, First Data issued “Class B+”
certification to Hypercom’s Optimum “T4205” with “SPOS32” software. Also
in April, Dallas-based payment processor TransFirst “Class A” certified
Hypercom’s “Optimum T4205” and “T4220” payment terminals and Apriva
“Class A”-certified Hypercomâs “SPOS32” payment software on the “Optimum
M4230” mobile payment terminal for the retail and restaurant markets.
Additionally, APACS certified the terminals in the UK. The “Optimum
T4200” product family for North America consists of four 32-bit
multi-application devices that share the same platform, user interface
and software toolkit. (CF Library 4/9/09; 4/15/09; 4/22/09; 5/20/09;
6/9/09; 6/16/09; 6/23/09)
FL-based kiosk provider Global Axcess has signed two new placement deals
with a total of 61 new ATMs; expanded an existing client placement
relationship to include 65 new ATMs; renewed an existing client
placement contract with 105 ATMs; closed a bank branding deal on ATMs in
Texas; renewed an existing financial institution outsourcing deal on
ATMs and signed 3 pilot contracts for new self-service kiosk initiatives
and will begin the roll out immediately. Global Axcess Corp is an
independent provider of self-service kiosk services in the United States.
Fiserv financial services technology solutions has partnered with Delta
Community Credit Union to deploy its “Mobile Money” m-banking solution.
Selected for its âtriple playâ technology, which allows members to
access accounts using their mobile browser, text messaging or a
downloaded application to their internet phone, “Mobile Money” allows
users to conduct balance inquiries, account transfers, bill payments,
view transaction history and various alerts. The mobile solution offers
online and offline enrollment, integrating with core banking, online
banking and electronic payments systems through the combination of
M-Com’s “BankAnywhere” and Fiserv’s online banking, electronic billing
and payment, and fraud management tools. GA-based Delta Community Credit
Union was founded in 1940 to serve the metro Atlanta area.
MasterCard Canada has welcomed the Senate Standing Committee on Banking,
Trade and Commerce to reject retail lobbyists’ calls for price
regulation on credit card payment systems. Maintaining consumers would
be the ones ultimately paying the price for merchants’ credit card
acceptance, citing similar legislation passed in Australia in 2003.
Consequences seen from the Australian legislation include steep interest
rate hikes; many issuers were driven out of business, reducing
competition and consumer choice; despite lower merchant fees, they
charged consumers extra for using payment cards; and consumers credit
card benefits and rewards were severely compromised. Master Canada also
cautions the proposed legislation would have led to opportunistic
surcharging levied by merchants at the point of sale, risk, confusion,
delay and difficulty.