UATP & MONETA

Payment network UATP has partnered with Moneta to support Moneta’s online payment wallet for 250
airlines utilizing UATP payment gateway services.
Initially, Moneta transactions will use the U.S. ACH debit network, enabling
consumers to pay directly from their checking or money market accounts.
Airlines using the UATP payment gateway connection can activate Moneta on their retail checkout site with no
infrastructure investment and minimal configuration.
In 2009, Moneta plans to offer additional payment options including international
debit payments, credit cards, pay later and pay early functionality.
Moneta partners with online merchants to accept and process
payments, while providing financial institutions branding opportunities
during the transaction process.

Details

MOBILE FORECASTS

Ovum’s newly published ‘Mobile Regional and Country Forecast pack
2007-13’ provides detailed results of our ongoing forecasts of total, prepaid, voice and data
connections. Demand continues to power growth and most of the major mobile players.
In the US, 85% and 60% of Canada have low mobile penetration
rates relative to other mature economies, meaning that demand for mobile
services has not yet been fully met and connections growth is still possible.
The US added 3.9 million connections in the third quarter and
year-on-year total connections growth was 10%.
Postpaid emphasis reduces risk moving forward, but prepaid is an opportunity
Also significant is the fact that in the US 79% of connections in the
third quarter were postpaid, with Canadian operators reporting even higher figures.
As North America has relatively low penetration, prepaid could actually
be an opportunity for North American operators in 2009, as shown by T-Mobile’s
26% rise in prepaid subscriptions in the third quarter. Assuming offerings are
positioned carefully so as not to erode contract revenues, then the customer base
could grow further in the currently underserved lower end segment.

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GIFT CARD GROWTH

A recent survey sponsored by stored value card technology provider Givex
reveals that despite a grim economic outlook, consumers will still be
buying gift cards, with 59.8% of those aged 40 to 49 see themselves both
buying and receiving gift cards, an increase from 48% in 2007. Demand is
similarly strong for 53% of age groups 18 to 29 and 52% of ages 30 to
39. Gift card sales could be the salvation for many businesses
anticipating a slower holiday
season, as 65% of respondents said that the economic slowdown had no
effect on their decision to purchase gift cards and more people will be
using gift cards as a budgeting tool.
Instead of spending more than the card is worth, which 55% of consumers
did in 2007, only 39.3% will be doing that this year. This is
statistically tied with the 39.7% of respondents who will be spending
only the card’s face value, an
increase from 29% last year.

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Small Business Index Sinks in November

Small businesses are continuing to get squeezed in a weak economy and it is getting worse. This month, 44% of small business owners say they have experienced cash flow issues over the last 90 days, up sharply from 38% in October. For the third consecutive month, the “Discover Small Business Watch” declined. The “Index” fell 3.9 points in November to 67.5, the first time it has dropped below 70.0 since the Watch was established in August 2006. Discover found that cash flow difficulties were most pronounced for small business owners whose primary customers are consumers: 49% said they had cash flow issues in the past 90 days that caused them to hold off on paying some bills, while only 33% of owners who sell business-to-business expressed the same issue. About 51% plan to decrease spending on business development over the next six months, up significantly from 42% in October and a record-high for this category; 20% plan to increase spending, down slightly from 23% last month; and 24% are not planning any changes in the next six months. Additionally, 40% of small business owners expect to do less business this holiday season than in 2007, while 47% expect it to be about the same, 9% expect more business this year and 4% weren’t sure.

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BKCROWN CARDS

Fans of the Whopper can now pick up “BK Crown Card” gift cards at
Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix locations across Canada.
The newly-designed, $10 CDN reloadable “BKCrown Cards” can be used just
like cash toward the purchase of favourite BURGER KING menu offerings,
redeemable and reloadable at any participating BURGER KING restaurant
throughout Canada or the United States. The BURGER KING system
operates more than 11,600 restaurants in 73 countries and U.S.
territories worldwide.

Details

Hanmi Bank to Deploy NCR’s APTRA

Hanmi Bank, the largest Korean-American bank in
the U.S., has deployed NCR’s “APTRA Mobile Banking and
Mobile Business Banking” to offer a
revamped online and mobile banking option. The “NCR APTRA Mobile
Banking” portfolio is available as a Software as a Service
(SaaS) model, hosted by NCR, including different technology choices for
interacting with customers in the way that best suits them, including
SMS text messaging, browser-based mobile banking, and downloadable
applications. APTRA Mobile Banking –
Browser/SMS refactors a bank’s online site and is designed to create an
optimum user experience, transferring and repositioning online content
on the mobile browser page to fit the handset screen.

Details

PAYPAL MEXICO

PayPal users in
Mexico can now shop at the millions of online retailers worldwide where
PayPal is accepted with the launch of PayPal for Mexico
(www.paypal.com.mx), a new PayPal Web site for Mexican Internet users to
confidently buy and sell online using Mexican Pesos. The service enables
Mexican buyers to securely pay for their online purchases using their
credit cards or bank accounts. The Peso is the first Latin American currency to be added to the PayPal
system. PayPal enables payments in 19 currencies including the U.S.
Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Australian Dollar, Euro, British Pound,
Japanese Yen, Chinese Yuan, Czech Koruna, Danish Krone, Hong Kong
Dollar, Hungarian Forint, New Zealand Dollar, Norwegian Krone, Polish
Zloty, Singaporean Dollar, Swedish Krona, Swiss Franc and Israeli New
Shekel. Mexican sellers can receive
payments from PayPal’s large network of 65 million active members around
the globe, as well as withdraw their balances directly to any local bank.

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Valutec and TriPlex Add Value to Cards

Tri-Plex Packaging has teamed with loyalty card provider Valutec Card
Solutions to offer the “präsenta cardAbook” gift card accessory designed
and introduced by Tri-Plex. The Season’s Greetings gift cardAbook is
currently in stock and available at Valutec along with acrylic display
merchandising solutions. Valutec Card Solutions is a full service gift
& loyalty card solutions
provider offering pre-packaged and custom gift card programs and
merchandising tools.

Details

ABS METRICS 3Q/08

Charge-offs amongst credit card-backed bonds in the U.K. began retreating in the third quarter dropping to 6.6%, compared to 6.9% in the prior quarter and year ago quarter. However, delinquency (60+ days) increased ten basis points from the prior quarter, reaching 3.8% in September, its highest recorded value for the last 17 months. According to the “Fitch U.K. Credit Card Index,” the monthly payment rate was 17.2% for September, a quarter-on-quarter increase of 20 basis points from June and a 100 basis points year-on-year rise from September 2007. Having increased 160 basis points to 18.6% in July, the metric then dropped 250 basis points in August, before increasing again, from 16.1% to 17.2% in September. The outstanding amount of credit card debt held by U.K. borrowers increased at the end of the third quarter, to its highest level since December 2007, to GBP 55.9 billion. Fitch says it remains cautious as to the negative outlook for U.K. credit card transactions, with the effects of the current worsening economic environment expected to continue to affect U.K. consumers in the longer term. The anticipated impact of the current slowing U.K. economy, together with factors such as increased costs of living, increasing unemployment and the tightening of the availability of credit, continue to provide some concerns regarding U.K. consumers’ ability to meet repayments on their future credit card debt. The agency believes this could in turn negatively impact transactions’ performance.

Details

Public Visa Faces Multiple Challenges

In its latest 10-K filing Visa says it could incur significant severance charges over the next twelve months, as it “continues to evaluate alternatives for achieving synergies in the global organization.” As a result of the reorganization, Visa says it now must operate its business in a way that maximizes long-term stockholder value. However, many of its employees have limited experience operating in a profit-maximizing business environment. In addition, the Visa enterprise historically has been operated under a decentralized regional structure, and each region has had substantial autonomy in its own business strategies and decisions. Visa’s reorganization has resulted in a more centralized corporate governance structure in which the board exerts centralized management control. Visa says it faces significant challenges integrating the operations of the different regions and may be unable to retain and attract key employees. Among the many oter risks to its bottom line are: penalties related to litigation settlements; costly new compliance burdens due to increasing global regulatory focus; intense competitive pressure on customer pricing; consolidation in the banking industry; negative trends in consumer spending and cross-border travel; and adverse currency fluctuations. Visa noted that since 2005, approximately 50 class action and individual complaints have been filed on behalf of merchants over interchange. Interchange fees and related practices also have been or are being reviewed by regulatory authorities and/or central banks in about 20 jurisdictions. Visa also recently received its fourth civil investigative demand from the Department of Justice regarding potential antitrust violations.

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TAUBMAN GIFT CARDS

On Friday, Nov. 28, Taubman will give away a $20 (U.S. dollar) gift
card voucher to the first 2,008 vehicles entering the United States from
Canada via the Detroit- Windsor. After paying the tunnel toll, drivers will receive one gift card
voucher per vehicle from tunnel staff. The promotion will run from 5 a.m. until 10 a.m., or while
supplies last. Recipients can redeem the vouchers from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day
only at four Detroit-area Taubman malls, all within an hour’s drive of the
international border. With gift cards in hand, shoppers can then purchase a
variety of merchandise from participating retailers.
This is the second year for this popular and successful
cross-border promotion.

Details

Saylent and Jack Henry Offer BIG Rewards

Saylent Technologies has teamed with Jack Henry & Associates to offer
“BIG Rewards” to increase profitability by attracting and retaining
customers and deposits by offering high-interest checking, cash-back,
and merchandise incentives. “BIG Rewards” utilizes Saylent’s
“Account360” solution as the software
platform. Saylent will also deliver consulting and optimization
services to help Jack Henry & Associates’ clients maximize the potential
of the payment intelligence by effectively capturing, analyzing, and
understanding payment activity and using that business information to
make customer relationships more profitable. The Web-based
solution is being integrated with Jack Henry & Associates’ core
processing systems and will be offered in an ASP environment managed by
Jack Henry.

Details