Recession Straining Marriages Worldwide

A survey released this week found that 43% of U.S. couples, and almost a third of all couples surveyed, say the recession has caused them to argue more often, primarily about finances and household chores. PayPal’s third annual “Can’t Buy Me Love” international survey indicates that at least 10% of couples surveyed say they have ended a relationship due in part to financial issues. The U.S. and Mexico ranked the highest at 14%, the Netherlands the lowest at 5%. Respondents also differed greatly in the amount of debt they currently hold. In Mexico, only 15% of respondents claimed no debt, versus 51% in Italy and roughly a quarter of U.S. and Australian respondents. Around the world, well over half of all couples are keeping separate bank accounts. PayPal found that money is the number one cause of arguments among U.S. couples (31%) followed by household chores (28%), in-laws (22%) and sex (15%). Finances are least troublesome among couples in the
Netherlands and the U.K., where less than 20% of couples argue about money. Financial issues are the most troublesome in Australia, Mexico and the U.S. where more than 30% of couples have money issues.

Details

BAMS Cuts RV Dealers Card Service Charges

Bank of America Merchant Services is offering lower card service charges
and swipe fees to RV dealers. Bank of America Merchant
Services will offer a 1.74%
service charge and 10¢ per item fee to RVDA members. Average service
charges imposed by merchant account providers in 2008
for Visa and MasterCard swipe transactions were anywhere from 2.5% to
5.5% depending on the business’ monthly volume. Transaction fees in 2008
averaged anywhere from 30¢ – 45¢ per item.

Details

GEMALTO 4Q/08

Smart payment card specialist Gemalto reports that fourth revenue was up slightly over 4Q/07, at constant exchange rates, to $615.0 million. The three main business segments together are up more than 8% for the full year. Secure Transactions growth was driven in the fourth quarter by contactless EMV rollouts in Europe and a 23% improvement in personalization services revenue. Gemalto says the recent decision by Visa and MasterCard to require all EMV payment cards in Europe to be upgraded with the latest DDA security technology by 2011 will boost future revenue. POS Terminals revenue was up 4% for the fourth quarter. Mobile Communication revenue was essentially flat in the fourth quarter at historical exchange rates and decreased by 5% at constant rates, because of shortfalls in specific accounts in the Americas and Asia. Security revenue contracted by 4% in the fourth quarter on the back of the anticipated reduction of patent licensing revenue. For complete detals on Gemalto’s latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

Details

Gemalto Poised for EMV DDA Card Upgrades

Smart payment card specialist Gemalto reports that fourth revenue was up slightly over 4Q/07, at constant exchange rates, to $615.0 million. The three main business segments together are up more than 8% for the full year. Secure Transactions growth was driven in the fourth quarter by contactless EMV rollouts in Europe and a 23% improvement in personalization services revenue. Gemalto says the recent decision by Visa and MasterCard to require all EMV payment cards in Europe to be upgraded with the latest DDA security technology by 2011 will boost future revenue. POS Terminals revenue was up 4% for the fourth quarter. Mobile Communication revenue was essentially flat in the fourth quarter at historical exchange rates and decreased by 5% at constant rates, because of shortfalls in specific accounts in the Americas and Asia. Security revenue contracted by 4% in the fourth quarter on the back of the anticipated reduction of patent licensing revenue. For complete detals on Gemalto’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

GEMALTO REVENUE HISTORICAL
4Q/07: $612.5 million
1Q/08: $506.9 million
2Q/08: $486.0 million
3Q/08: $545.8 million
4Q/08: $615.0 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

Details

CITADEL & UKASH

Citadel Commerce will now offer its “Instant Internet Banking” service to online
cash payment provider Ukash. Ukash has announced its prepaid vouchers will be available for purchase
over the internet through secure bank transfers, allowing customers to get
Ukash any time of the day from virtually anywhere. Customers visit the Ukash website and access a secure interface from
which they can transfer money from their bank account and turn it into a
unique 19-digit Ukash voucher, at no additional charge. The voucher can then
be used to shop, pay and play online – a completely safe and convenient
electronic transaction with cash. By using the leading Instant Internet Banking issuing method, this
agreement will take Ukash into 13 new countries. This rapid expansion will
continue in both physical and virtual networks throughout 2009. Ukash is
currently available in 275,000 physical stores across more than 20 countries
in Europe, South Africa and via Vodafone mobiles in the UK.

Details

NEW CARD CHAIR

Karl Eglof Hartel is the new Chair of the Card Committee at Global
Platform. He leads the Card Committee as it enters a significant year
of new
initiatives to align with market developments in the smart card
industry. Hartel came to G&D in 2000 after working in the field of
military communication
and information systems and is currently Project Manager for New
Technologies in G&D’s Telecom Division, where he lead G&D’s first Near
Field Communication (NFC)
projects. He has been involved in standardization for several years,
with one particular focus being the European Telecommunications
Standardisation Institute
(ETSI) which specifies the smart card platform for telecommunications.
On the basis of this experience, Hartel has contributed to
GlobalPlatform’s Mobile Task Force and Card Specification Working Group.

Details

Shaken by 2008 CEOs Pessimistic About 2009

It is not a consumer mirage as top business executives also are
pessimistic about prospects for 2009. An “Annual Global CEO Survey”
found that confidence has plunged to its lowest level since 2003. Nearly
70% of CEOs said their companies will be affected by the credit crisis.
Of those, nearly 80% said they faced higher financing costs, and nearly
70% said they would delay planned investments as a result. Only 15% of
CEOs in North America and 15% in Western Europe expressed confidence
about growth prospects for the next 12 months. This compared with 21% in
the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe, 31% in Asia
Pacific, and 21% in Latin America. The impact of the recession in the
world’s major economies, cited by 85% of survey respondents worldwide,
continued to dominate concerns of CEOs and was the only risk factor to
increase among CEOs’ concerns. Other major risk factors included
disruption in the capital markets, cited by 72%, over-regulation,
55%, energy costs, 50%, and availability of key talent, 46%.

Details

EURO-ZONE INDEX

The Bloomberg Euro-Zone Retail Purchasing Managers’ Index
for November indicates that Euro-Zone retail sales continued to fall sharply in January, dropping
for the eighth month running. At 44.0, compared to 41.4 in December.
The Retail PMI is based on a mid-month survey of more than 1,000
executives in the euro area retail sector and provides data one month
ahead of government-issued figures. Sales fell at a slightly increased rate in Germany. The
month-on-month index dipped from 42.3 to 41.7, a reading marginally
above November’s record low of 41.3. Sales in Germany have now fallen
for eight successive months, with retailers often reporting that
consumer confidence had remained subdued due to concerns regarding the
wider economy.

Details

QBS Offers a PCI Compliance Program

MN-based technology consultants QBS have transitioned a PCI Compliance
program with hair salon company Regis. QBS provided program management,
project management and strategic
leadership to Regis during the entire compliance program, from initial
strategic planning through implementation. The PCI Data Security
Standard (DSS), a set of comprehensive
requirements for enhancing payment card data security, is a multifaceted
security standard including requirements for security management,
policies, procedures, network architecture, software design and other
critical protective measures. The comprehensive PCI DSS standard is
intended to help organizations proactively protect customer account data
and other sensitive data via a set of prescriptive requirements.
Although many non-compliant lower volume retailers and organizations who
accept payment cards have gone unnoticed so far, that is beginning to
change. For most merchants, the deadlines for validating compliance with
the PCI DSS have already passed. Merchants can now expect to see card
brands become more aggressive with compliance deadlines.

Details