Video Display Corp Rolls-Out New Monitors

GA-based Video Display Corporation has introduced the “Display Concepts” drop-in replacement monitor for NCR and Diebold ATMs.
The Display Concept LCD technology offers brighter, sharper images than
CRTs and will not degrade over time due to screen burn. Its
“standard-brightness” V084S1 LCD display is ideal for both indoor and
outdoor ATMs. Video Display Corporation designs, develops and manufactures unique
solutions for display requirements for military, medical and industrial
use with emphasis on high end training and simulation applications.

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PayPal Set to Offer BlackbaudNow Tool

PayPal has teamed with software provider Blackbaud to offer the
“BlackbaudNow” nonprofit fundraising tool.
“BlackbaudNow” offers nonprofits a point-and-click website builder with
secure donation processing and the
ability to send emails and record donors’ giving histories with features
such as “WebNow” to create online presence and enable online fundraising,
with point-and-click site design, and donations securely processed with
PayPal; “DonorNow” to track donor giving history and communications and
“EmailNow” to support email messages, e-newsletters and appeals
In celebration of the launch, Blackbaud and PayPal are inviting
nonprofits to participate in the “BlackbaudNow Donation Sweepstakes”. From
March 30 to June 30, 2009, nonprofits that sign up for “BlackbaudNow” will
be automatically entered in the sweepstakes. The first place contest
winner will receive a matching donation of up to $2,500 and 20
additional nonprofits will receive matching donations of up to $500.

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FEB DEBT

Credit card outstandings leveled off in February. However, year-on-year growth for credit card outstandings has been slowing, from an 8.6% rate in November to 7.8% for December to 7.5% for January and 7.0% for February. According to the The Bank of England, net credit card was GBP 53.0 billion in February. he increase in total net lending to individuals in February (GBP 1.3 billion) was higher than the January increase, but below the previous six-month average. The twelve-month growth rate continued to fall, by 0.5 percentage points to 2.6%, and the three-month annualized growth rate was unchanged at 1.3%. Consumer credit declined by a net GBP 0.2 billion, weaker than the GBP 0.2 billion net increase in January and below the previous six-month average. Net credit card lending increased by GBP 0.2 billion and net other loans and advances fell by GBP 0.4 billion. The annual growth rate of consumer credit continued to fall, to 3.4%; the three-month annualised growth rate fell by 1.5 percentage points, to 0.1%.

NOTE: Chart does not include about GBP10 billion from specialist lenders, retailers, and insurance companies. SOURCE: Bank of England

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Blaze Mobile MasterCard PayPass Sticker Arrives

MasterCard and Blaze Mobile unveiled the “Blaze Mobile MasterCard PayPass” mobile payment sticker. The sticker was designed to complement the “Blaze Mobile Wallet,” a mobile commerce application that enables mobile phone users to purchase movie and event tickets, manage bank accounts at more than 8,000 supported financial institutions, view electronic receipts, and create expense reports, all from the palm of their hand. The new “Blaze Mobile MasterCard PayPass” sticker can be affixed to any mobile device, enabling it to be used for “Tap & Go” purchases at any of the over 141,000 merchant locations that accept “PayPass.” The mobile payment sticker is tied to a prepaid account and is issued by MetaBank.

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Fair Isaac Unveils New FICO for Card Issuers

Fair Isaac officially announced the release of its newest “FICO” scores
targeted specifically to the automobile lending and bankcard industries.
Credit reporting agency TransUnion is making the scores available to
lenders and issuers under the names “FICO Risk Score,” “Classic Auto 08”
and “FICO Risk Score” and “Classic Bankcard 08.” The new “FICO” scoring
model for bankcards is designed to give card issuers greater predictive
capabilities in their origination and account management decisions.
Product validation testing found that the new scores could potentially
increase issuers’ delinquency prediction rates by 6% to 12% compared to
the previous “FICO” bankcard score. In addition, the new score includes
refinements to address non-prime consumers and those with thin credit
histories.

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Small Biz Owners Show More Economic Confidence

Economic confidence is finally showing indications of a rebound. A monthly survey of small business owners saw its largest jump in confidence in nine months as fewer owners see the economy getting worse and more believe conditions are improving for their own operations, according to the latest Discover “Small Business Watch.” The monthly index increased more than six points, rising to 78.2 in March from 71.9 in February. The number of small business owners who say the economy is getting worse dropped to 60%, down from 69% the previous month and significantly below the all-time high of 79% reached in June 2008. Those who see the economy getting better rose from 12% to 16%. Interestingly, 77% of small business owners say that the tax preparation and documentation process is very or somewhat time consuming, an increase from 75% a year ago. Likewise, 46% of owners say that finding and organizing the documents they need to prepare their taxes is very or somewhat difficult, an increase from 41% a year ago and 39% in March 2007.

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V/MC FEES

StopStickingItToUs Coalition and the President and CEO of Retail Council
of Canada has commended the Competition Bureau for investigating Visa
and MasterCard under the “abuse of dominance” rules of the Canadian
Competition Act. The public
announcement of the investigation came at the opening session of Senate
Banking Committee hearings that will “study the credit and debit card
systems in Canada and their relative rates and fees, in particular for
businesses and consumers”.

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Banks Raise Cross-Selling via Mail and Email

A new study has found that banks are paying more attention to their customers through direct mail and email. During 2008, banks increased direct mail offers cross-selling additional products and services to current clients by 57% (from 2007). Over the same time period, marketing direct mail offers sent by banks to lure in non-customers rose just 7%. Banks also increased current customer cross-selling efforts through email, according to Mintel Comperemedia. Cross-sell emails tracked through Mintel Comperemedia’s email panel rose from a 2% share of banking email in 2007 to a 5% share in 2008.

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Experian Marketing Offers Postal Advice

Experian will host a webinar to help marketers with the upcoming postal
rate hike. The free webinar features Experian Marketing Service’s top
mail experts
Steve Lopez, vice president of Postal Affairs, and Mike Yapuncich,
vice president of List Processing who will present the hard numbers on the
rate changes, the impact of the change on a variety of mail types, and
what steps mailers can take now to build a winning strategy around these
cost increases that take effect May 11.

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Private Label Prepaid Produces a Bearish Outlook

A new report has discovered that prepaid card industry
stakeholders are bearish on private label prepaid cards, and cautiously
optimistic about the future of branded prepaid cards. The Aite Group research found that 82% feel the recession will have a negative impact on private label prepaid cards (mostly composed of merchant gift cards), while the majority of respondents (71%) see a positive impact of the recession on branded prepaid cards overall, largely driven by branded government cards, consumer incentive cards, payroll cards, and health care cards. In order to improve the market for prepaid cards as a whole, most agree that greater efforts must be made to educate the public on the benefits of prepaid cards. Technologies could also be better leveraged to improve the reload process.

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Former AmEx Exec Intros The Merchant Maven

A former American Express exec has launched “The Merchant Maven” website
to provide card processing deals for small businesses. The Merchant
Maven is an advocate for retailers,
restaurants and small businesses to find the best credit card processing
deals for small business
merchants. The website researches and reports on the best credit card
processing
deals for small and medium sized businesses and offers
merchants money saving tips and articles, as well as news about the
latest trends in credit card processing technology. The Merchant Maven
has a mission to fight against excessive credit card transaction
fees. For small businesses, even a slightly better deal on each credit
card transaction can make a big difference in profitability.

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