Identity Fraud Impacts 10MM Americans in 2008

A new study has found that the number of identity fraud victims has increased 22% to 9.9 million adults in the U.S., while the total annual fraud amount only increased slightly by seven percent to $48 billion over the past year. Javelin Strategy & Research also found that
the mean consumer costs of identity fraud plummeted by 31% to $496 per incident in 2008. Additionally, the study found that women were 26% more likely to be victims of identity fraud than men this past year. Fraudsters are moving much more quickly as 71% of the fraud incidents began occurring in less than one week from when the data was first stolen, up from 33% in 2005. This dramatic increase points to more sophisticated attacks by fraudsters and an increasing number of attacks of opportunity where people or businesses leave data exposed. Approximately 1.8 million more adults fell victim to identity fraud in 2008, compared to 2007. This is the first year-over-year increase since Javelin began collecting data in 2004, when 4.25% of the overall adult population in the U.S. was victimized. The greatest increase occurred in fraud on existing card accounts, rather than the crimes which have a more severe impact such as opening new accounts.

Details

USA Technologies Rides Out a Rough Quarter

PA-based USA Technologies reports total revenues of $2.7 million for the fourth calendar quarter, a 23% decline from the prior year. Gross profit for the quarter was $665,129, compared with a gross profit of $1,042,910 for the corresponding quarter in the previous fiscal year.
During the quarter USAT introduced and neared completion of its improved and lower-cost “ePortG8” and “ePort Edge” products, which at $199, have a larger addressable market than its current products; entered a three-year joint marketing agreement with First Data to jointly market and sell to vending operators and soft-drink bottlers in the U.S. a prepaid vending solution using USA Technology’s “ePort” device and First Data’s “GO-Tag” contactless payment presentation device; and entered into an agreement where Air-serv will enable their kiosks to accept credit cards with USA Technologies’ “ePort” and “ePort Connect Service”.
During the quarter, the Company processed approximately 5.1 million transactions totaling over $10.6 million as compared to approximately 2.4 million transactions totaling over $7.7 million during the corresponding quarter of fiscal 2008, an increase of 113% in transaction volume and 38% in dollars processed. For complete details on USAT’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

Details

MC & RUGBY

MasterCard will become the Official Worldwide Partner and official
payment system of Rugby World Cup 2011. The Rugby World Cup is a
prominent global property with
television coverage of Rugby World Cup 2007 spanning more than 200
territories, reaching a
cumulative audience of 4.3 billion viewers. As part of the agreement,
MasterCard secures a comprehensive rights and benefits package that allows
the company to deliver value to customer financial institutions,
merchants and cardholders, including
the ability to access “Priceless” experiences linked to Rugby World Cup
2011.
The relationship with Rugby World Cup 2011 also provides opportunities
to support a number of the
company’s strategic priorities, including reaching affluent cardholders;
a platform to capitalize on cross-border travel; driving brand affinity
as the exclusive payment provider and
global presence. The Tournament has seen broadcast coverage increase
exponentially
every quadrennial, providing MasterCard with increased opportunity for
brand visibility. For
example, the most recent Rugby World Cup witnessed a 57% increase in
broadcast coverage from
5,414 hours in 2003 to 8,499 in 2007.

Details

Credit Card ABS Performance Continues to Soften

After posting the largest one month drop on record in November, average monthly payment rates for credit cards rebounded in December to
17.27%. Portfolio yields normalized to 17.21% after last month’s drop caused by day count issues in November. FitchRatings says that although yield is 245 basis points lower than last year, this is attributable to the drop in prime rate, which is down by over 300 basis points year-over-year. Fitch anticipates charge-offs will breach 8% in the coming months and approach 9% during second half-2009. Deterministic stress testing on Fitch rated trusts indicate existing ratings can withstand such scenarios with potential negative rating actions limited to subordinate classes. Retail Card charge-offs were flat to month earlier and retail card delinquencies rose further. At 10.51%, Fitch’s “Retail Card Charge-off Index” remains 44% above year earlier levels. Despite climbing 12 basis points to 5.20%, the rate of increase in Fitch’s “Retail Card Delinquency Index” slowed for the second straight month. Retail card excess spread (three-month average) dropped to 8.49% from 9.34% largely due to a decline in portfolio yields. MPRs remain low but seasonal trends show an average increase in the January collection period of 80-120 bps in prior years.

Details

UATP.COM

Universal Air Travel Plan has launched its re-designed public web site:
uatp.com. The new site focuses on UATP’s core corporate charge card
program, as well as UATP’s new and successful business lines including:
alternate forms of payment processing; USS, UATP’s settlement service
for low-cost carriers, travel
agencies and other merchants; prepaid cards and gift cards and travel
protection plans – insurance program for the travel industry
The new design features vastly improved navigability, enhanced internal
search engine, upgraded events and press section as well as improved
UATP information for Issuers, Merchants and corporate customers alike.
New features to the site include information available in several
micro-sites in Chinese, French, German, Japanese Portuguese and Spanish.
Additional micro-sites will be added as UATP continues to expand its
international reach. UATP had a record year in 2008 with approximately
US$12 billion in total
charge volume.

Details

TNB Card Services Inks Salem CU

TNB Card Services has acquired the card processing of VA-based Salem Credit Union. Salem VA chose TNB for its
management capabilities and tools, marketing programs, member-friendly
service, and expertise at growing credit union credit card portfolios. With
outstanding balances of $3.4 million, the credit union recognized that
its Classic card and single rate offering limited the number of members
it could serve. Salem VA will engage TNB’s portfolio consulting team to assess the
portfolio and make strategic recommendations to ensure the credit union
is offering the most appealing products along with rates that will
increase cardholders and drive usage. Salem VA Credit Union has 9,500 members

Details

ACCOR & MASTERCARD

Accor Services and MasterCard Europe have teamed to form a JV called: “PrePay Solutions.” The joint venture makes Accor Services the
majority shareholder at 67%, while MasterCard Europe holds a 33% stake in the company. PrePay Solutions markets prepaid card-based solutions that enable corporations, public sector and financial corporations to reduce costs and enhance efficiency. Both organizations and consumers benefit from the ease, security and convenience of card-based solutions in areas such as rewards and loyalty, gifting, expense management, and card payment for under banked people. The creation of PrePay Solutions is underpinned by Accor Services’ subsidiary PrePay Technologies – a U.K. market leader in prepaid cards – and acquired in 2007 by
Accor Services. PrePay Technologies’ nine-year strong marketing and
operating experience has already helped to bring more than 20 million cards covering a broad range of prepaid solutions to the UK, and also includes a licence to issue e-money in 17 European countries.

Details

Western Union Signs a 5-Year A&P Deal

Western Union has signed a renewal with grocery retailer A&P to continue
offering
money transfer, money order, and bill payment services. A&P will also
continue to build awareness of the “Western Union Gold Card Rewards Program
A&P operates 445 stores in 8 states and the District of Columbia under the
following trade names: A&P, Waldbaum’s, Pathmark, Best Cellars, The Food
Emporium,
Super Foodmart, Super Fresh and Food Basics.

Details

WU PRODUCT TEAM

The Western Union Company has tapped Victoria Lopez-Negrete, previously with Epana Networks, to lead the Hispanic Product
Management team. Jorge E. Consuegra, previously with Yahoo, will lead the U.S. Product Management team and
Greg A. Schneider, previously with Simon Property Group will have responsibility for leading the newly formed
Marketing Information Management and Loyalty team supporting Western
Union’s in-region structure. Lopez-Negrete brings to Western Union 20 years of consumer and financial
services experience. She joins Western Union from Epana Networks, a
prepaid phone card business. As a regional executive, she also managed Citibank’s credit card
business in 11 countries across Latin America. As general manager for
MasterCard International – Mexico, she managed MasterCard’s
relationships with all Mexican banks and helped capture significant
market share gains. Consuegra holds a progressive track record in digital, direct marketing, brand
management, consumer packaged goods and consumer financial services
marketing. Schneider will help transform
Western Union’s regional business by developing a best-in-class
marketing information management team to better serve the region,
including leveraging Western Union’s Gold Card loyalty program and its
more than seven million users. At Simon, he
managed the Simon Giftcard, the largest Visa
prepaid program in the world with over 35 million cards sold.

Details

Employment Trends Index Collapses in January

The Conference Board “Employment Trends Index” fell further in January. The index now stands at 96.6, down 1.0% from the December revised figure of 97.5, and down 18.6% from a year ago. “The Employment Trends Index” has recently been declining faster than at any time since the 1974 recession. The Conference Board says such declines suggest considerable job losses will persist for several more months. It is becoming clearer that the continued worsening economic conditions are forcing many companies to make further downward adjustments to their workforce. The 18-month-long decline in the “Employment Trends Index” is seen in all eight of its components, most notably over the past six months in temporary-help hires and part-time workers for economic reasons.

Details

E-PAYMENT GRANT

Payment network provider Bling Nation has received a $500,000 grant from
CORFO, the Chilean economic development agency. The
grant will subsidize Bling Nation’s partnership with Micrologica, an
engineering company specializing in the
design and development of electronic products for applications in
telecommunications, financial services, transportation and related
industries. Bling Nation’s core technology is an integrated issuing and
acquiring
processing platform designed specifically for local and regional banks.
Through its Community Payment Network, Bling Nation enables financial
institutions to more profitably support payments between their local
demand deposit account (DDA) customers and their merchant customers by
bypassing the current global debit payment model with an efficient,
cost-effective and local payment network. The CORFO grant
will finance a portion of the salaries of the specialized team employed
by Micrologica Innovation, overhead costs, training and travel expenses.
Micrologica Innovation, the consortium formed by Bling Nation and
Micrologica, is investing $2 million in the development of the hardware
and software tools that make up Bling Nation’s service offerings.
Product initiatives include mobile payment devices, software
applications to support mobile payments in smartphones, wireless
point-of-sale machines and contactless payment tags.

Details

Chenault Ranked Among Top Black Executives

American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault has been named a ” BLACK
ENTERPRISE 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America”.
The final tally includes nine CEOs, 11 division chief
executives, and a host of top executives that significantly contribute
to their company’s revenues. Each executive holds a senior management
position at one of the top 1,000 publicly traded companies or at an
international corporation grossing revenues of $1 billion or more.
Nineteen companies have multiple executives on the list.
AmericanExpress and General Electric lead the way with four companies that
boast two executives on the list, Citigroup has two. The selection
criteria and comprehensive profiles of the 100 Most
Powerful Executives in Corporate America is available in the February
2009 issue of BLACK ENTERPRISE

Details