XMAS SPENDING

A new survey shows that 35% of Brits will use a credit card, 14% will use a store credit card, 5% will use a personal loan with the rest using cash or debit cards to cover the cost of their Christmas spending.
For those using the “buy now, pay later” strategy, the leftover debt from Christmas spending is expected to average about GBP 449. The survey by Halifax reveals that consumers are keeping a firm hold of their purse strings this year with 21% changing their shopping habits to beat the credit crunch and 39% admitting to spending less this Christmas. Consumers are also finding other ways to help avoid the Christmas pinch; of those who admitted to changing their Christmas shopping habits, over half will be taking advantage of pre Christmas sales and a third will be cutting back on the number of presents they buy. Halifax also found that a shopper who pays for presents in cash this Christmas will spend on average GBP 317, but it seems people spending on credit cards are cutting back – on average they will spend GBP 234.

Details

Visa to Offer SCORE Workbook/Tools Online

Visa and small business consultant SCORE have teamed to offer “The
Financial Management Workbook” and “Ask SCORE” widget.
The free workbook offers small business owners an
easy-to-follow curriculum and information on key areas of concern for
small businesses and is available through the Visa Business Network on
Facebook, at SCORE.org and at the more than 370 SCORE chapters
nationwide. The workbook covers how to efficiently manage cash flow;
how to maximize income and the speed with which you get paid, how to
minimize expenses; knowing your funding options;
being prepared for your business’s growth and “what if” scenarios. “Ask
SCORE” enables
business owners to locate and connect with SCORE mentors in their area
who have relevant experience in their business or industry. Small
business owners can easily download the Ask SCORE widget to their
desktop by visiting www.AskScore.org or the Visa Business Network.
Entrepreneurs can ask SCORE mentors about topics ranging from personnel
issues to how to write a business plan and typically receive a response
within 48 hours. SCORE “Counselors to America’s Small Business” has helped
more than 8 million aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners
through counseling and business workshops.

Details

HYPERCOM & APACS

Hypercom’s 32-bit multi-application
Optimum T4200 and M4200 countertop and mobile payment terminals have
received APACS (Association of Payments And Clearing Services) Common
Criteria accreditation in the UK. The Optimum countertop and mobile series has already received PCI PED
security approval, MasterCard Worldwide Payment Terminal Security
approval for IP and wireless communication and EMV Level 1 & 2
certifications for chip card transactions. All terminals in the family
share the same application development toolkit and user interface,
enabling business applications written for one product to be quickly
transferred to other products in the range, minimizing time to market.

Details

AIRPLUS AWARDED

Corporate travel payment provider AirPlus International was honored as
“Best Corporate Card Provider” last week at the 2009 Buying Business
Travel Diamond Awards for the second year in a row. AirPlus
International re-affirms its positioning as
the leading player in integrated payment solutions, and commitment to
innovation. Currently offering the best corporate (lodge card) payment
solution in the market the new self-issued corporate card in the UK for
on-the-road business expenses will be launched in the new year, with BT
as its launch customer. AirPlus International is a provider of business
travel payment solutions;
offering lodge card accounts, corporate cards and online management
tools with more than 32,000 corporate customers globally.

Details

Japan – More Cards but Less Usage than USA

A new report finds that despite relatively healthy growth in credit card activity in Japan over the past five years, there is still a long way to go in terms of it becoming Japanese consumer’s preferred payment method at POS. Japanese residents on average have 6.2 credit or debit cards per person, higher than their peers in most card markets around the world including the USA. However, the report by Mercator Advisory Group finds that the average Japanese resident spent just about US$30 on their credit and debit cards in 2007 while the number was close to $180 in the US. As a result, Japan remains a cash-centric society and the payment market opportunities remain largely un-tapped by electronic payments. Mercator also says that the emergence of electronic money, namely payment cards and devices powered by a contactless chip, could bring a fundamental change to the way Japanese consumers make payments. Backed by prepaid card accounts as well as credit card accounts, e-Money services, have quickly become the most popular payment method at POS (besides cash of course, at least for now). According to CardFlash International and the Sakura Institute of Research there were 795 million payments cards in Japan for 2007, compared to 763 million in 2006 and 365 million in 1998.

PAYMENT CARDS – JAPAN
(credit + debit)
1998: 365 million
1999: 437 million
2000: 498 million
2001: 544 million
2002: 587 million
2003: 634 million
2004: 684 million
2005: 729 million
2006: 763 million
2007: 795 million
Source: Sakura Institute of Research

Details

SHENZHEN & UATP

Travel industry payment provider UATP has added Shenzhen Airlines as a Merchant to the UATP Network.
Shenzhen’s strategic growth plans include growing its corporate market share; UATP will enhance
Shenzhen’s strategic plan through helping the airline lower distribution
costs with low merchant service fees and by providing high-quality
reporting, mainly to business travelers. UATP also provides a global
network available for all corporate travelers. Shenzhen continues to be one of the most successful carriers in China,
with fourteen consecutive profitable years and generating profits, up
76.8% over the previous year. UATP accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business
travel by airlines and travel agencies worldwide.

Details

Wal-Mart Female Shoppers Want Gift Cards

A fresh survey shows that 70% of Walmart’s female shoppers would like to receive a gift card this holiday to select their own gift. Nearly half of respondents would like to have a gift card for groceries, in addition to restaurants, discount and department stores and 56% plan to buy a gift card this year with 18% planning to spend between $40 and $50 on gift cards. The research, conducted by BIGresearch on behalf of Walmart, also reveals that when asked about spending, 54% of gift card purchasers agree children and teens will spend their gift cards on electronics, but that adult spending would primarily go towards apparel and accessories (44%) and food (40%) and that nearly 30% of those surveyed said they would consider re-gifting a bonus gift card they receive with a purchase.

Details

SCANSAFE

SaaS web security provider has released a forecast for potential threats
for the upcoming year. As a direct result of continued website
compromises and increased RoE,
Among their prognostications., it is likely that more and more Web
surfers will adopt technologies that
block third party content. It is believed that this wider adoption will
adversely impact Internet advertising in 2009, currently estimated as a
21.2 billion (USD) industry “belt-tightening,” financial institutions
are likely to better enforce policies regarding online
billing practices and as credit card billing fraud becomes a less viable
revenue stream for online attackers, attempts to directly access online
banking accounts
may increase; sensitive information related to patentable R&D efforts
may be particularly vulnerable; lack of controls or poor implementation
of existing controls provide attackers with the ability
to register and host malicious domains with ease; and Rate of Exposure
(RoE) to Web-delivered malware will continue to
increase.

Details

Southeast Burger Kings Get Radiant POS

GA-based Radiant Systems has implemented the “Aloha QuickService POS”
and “MenuLink.NET “back office solution in more than 60 Burger King
restaurant locations.
The completion of the rollout brings the overall Radiant install
base to 1,000 of the more than 1,200 installed and committed sites with
franchisees of Burger King Corp. in the United States and around the
world. The full solution includes Aloha POS, MenuLink back
office and Radiant P1220 POS terminals equipped with biometric readers that
allow restaurant associates to log in to the
terminals quickly with the touch of a finger, improving speed of service
at the POS and providing the operator with increased security. The
end-to-end solution also will provide real-time order flow from the POS
to kitchen monitors, high-speed credit card processing, seamless
integration with above-store accounting systems, and centrally managed
menu items, pricing and promotions for all restaurants.

Details

Moneta to Power Airline Employee Payments

Alternative payment provider Moneta has partnered with ID90T to offer online payments to airline employees.
The ID90T partnership will rapidly expand Moneta’s existing user base of
70,000 enrolled members as the two companies pursue joint marketing
programs to the 50,000 airline employees ID90T currently serves.
ID90T provides online and Interline e-ticketing solutions for airline
employee travel via its advanced web based Interline Fare Calculator
(IFC), the end-user interface to its Interline Ticketing Platform. Moneta offers consumers and
merchants a convenient, safe and affordable method for Internet ACH
debit transactions directly from a consumer’s bank deposit account.

Details