SCA/ETA Smart Payments Cards Webinar Slated

The Smart Card Alliance and Electronic Transactions
Association will present the “Fundamentals of Smart Cards for Payment,”
webinar on Tuesday, November 18th and will focus on new ways in which to
pay with smart card-based chip cards, contactless cards and
mobile phones. Speakers scheduled include: Randy Vanderhoof, executive
director of the Smart Card Alliance; Rori Ferensic, director of
education and professional development, ETA; Gilles Lisimaque, partner,
Identification Technology Partners; and Roger Musfeldt, director,
mobile commerce solutions, First Data Corporation. The webinar
presentations will answer these questions that include: How are smart
cards used in payment in the United States and Canada; what standards do
smart cards follow for payment applications and what security do smart
cards bring to payment transactions; how do smart card payment
transactions work, from the card to the point-of-sale terminal to the
processing infrastructure and how do they differ from magnetic stripe
transactions; what changes need to be made in the back-end and at the
merchant to process smart card transactions; what other business
applications are enabled by the use of smart card technology?

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American Affluent Stay Upbeat and Spending

A new study reveals that the American affluent feel the economy is
bottoming out and that they are upbeat about improvements in business
conditions. Of the 17 categories of products and services included in
the survey, at least two-thirds said they would spend the same or more
as they did during the prior 12 months. The American Affluence Research
Center says its composite “Affluent Consumer Expectations 12-Month
Economic Outlook Index” of 113 rose 11 points from the Spring survey.
The survey participants have an average income of $304,000, an average
net worth of $3.1 million, and average investable assets of $1.6
million. The AARC says the survey is representative of the wealthiest
10% of U.S. households, which, according to the Federal Reserve Board’s
latest research, account for almost 70% of the total net worth of all US
households and 36% of total U.S. household income, thus representing
over a third of gross domestic product.

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ACI Worldwide Q3 Profits Double Sequentially

Electronic payment systems software provider ACI Worldwide reported
revenue of $108.6 million in the third quarter, a 28% gain over the
prior-year period. Net income for the quarter was $1.7 million compared
to net loss of $1.3 million during 3Q/07. At the end of the third
quarter, there was an estimated 60-month backlog of $1.4 billion
compared to $1.3 billion one-year ago. During the quarter, ACI signed
two new “BASE24-eps” sales in Korea and in Malaysia; landed sales in
Poland, Hungary, France, Dubai, United Kingdom and Nigeria for
“BASE24-eps,” “BASE24-atm,” “ACI Proactive Risk Manager,” and “ACI Smart
Chip Manager”; and added 23 new applications to existing customer
relationships ranging from “ACI Retail Commerce Server” to “ACI
Proactive Risk Manager for Enterprise Risk to Smart Chip Manager.”
ACI continues to expect full year 2008 sales between $430 million and
$440 million. For complete details on ACI’s latest performance visit
CardData (www.carddata.com).

ACI REVENUES
3Q/07: $84.9 million
4Q/07: $101.3 million
1Q/08: $92.6 million
2Q/08: $109.2 million
3Q/08: $108.6 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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More Online Holiday Shoppers Buying Green

According to a new PayPal 2008 Holiday Survey, 73% of online shoppers
plan to increase what they donate to charity, a 13% increase from 2007
and 27% of shoppers will “go green” in gift giving such as organic
foods, eco-conscious clothing and recycled housewares this holiday
season. Charitable giving is strongest among 83% of the 45 and older
online holiday shoppers and among the most affluent with 85% of
salaries of $100,000 per year or more. College graduates are the most
likely to receive alternative gifts including green items with 25%
receiving electronic gift cards and 20% to receive donations to charity
on their behalf.

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Worklife Rewards Visa Offers Deferred Payments

Office Depot and Chase Card Services have launched a promotion for
“Chase Worklife Rewards Visa” card holders a payment holiday until
January 2010 for purchases of $499 or more. This special offer includes
the most popular holiday gift items, such as notebook
computers, desktop computers, cameras and printers. The “Chase Worklife
Rewards Visa Credit Card” provides Office Depot
customers with a wide variety of valuable benefits, including 5% back in
rebates on all Office Depot purchases, with
no exclusions. Rebates are automatically applied as a statement credit
to cardmembers’ accounts each month, as long as an Office Depot purchase
is made that month. If an Office Depot purchase is not made that month,
the rebates continue to accrue until the next Office Depot purchase is
made; 1% back in rebates everywhere else Visa credit cards are
accepted; no interest introductory APR on purchases and balance
transfers;no caps, no limits and no expiration dates on earned rebates;
contactless payment functionality for fast and convenient check-out;
easy-to-use reporting tools for better cash flow management; and access
to entertainment and event packages, travel offers and
upgrades and 24/7 concierge services.

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A U.S. Economic Index Shows Relative Strength

While most indices point to record low economic confidence among
consumers and business owners, one monthly index is showing relative
strength. Decision Analyst’s “U.S. Economic Index” has held steady
during the month of October at 89, a level unchanged for seven months.
Decision Analyst says its survey data shows that October was a negative
month for business activity in the U.S., as consumers and businesses
were shell-shocked by the “Financial Panic of 2008.” However, the
average man on the street in the U.S. appears to see glimmers of hope
amidst the financial ruins and the media ‘crisis’ hype. If credit and
financial markets begin to function normally, it’s very possible that
the consumer could snap back relatively quickly. Among its survey
findings most consumers report that they have plenty of room to expand
credit card debt, if they wish. Decision Analyst says it also found
soaring optimism about cost-of-living reductions, related primarily to
the decline in gasoline prices.

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3Q/08 Credit Card Direct Mail Drops 28% Y/Y

The number credit card direct mail offers is tapering off to new lows
as third quarter volume dropped 28% year-on-year and 13% sequentially.
So far this year, credit card solicitations, via snail mail, are
averaging about 1.5 billion per quarter, compared to slightly more than
2.0 billion per quarter in 2007. According to Chicago-based Mintel
Comperemedia total estimated volume for credit card acquisition offers
dipped to 1.34 billion in 3Q/08, compared to 1.54 billion in the prior
quarter and 1.86 billion during 3Q/07. During the third quarter the top
three card mailers were Chase, Capital One, and American Express. During
the second quarter, Discover and Citibank both cut credit card mail by
18% and 31%, respectively. Bank of America held steady on credit card
mailings and boosted its mortgage and loan promotions by 26%. However,
Capital One and Chase maintained credit card mail volume, but each cut
lending offers (by 26% and 33%, respectively) while increasing banking
direct mail (by 80% and 60%). HSBC reduced credit card, banking and loan
mail volume across the board, sending 52% less offers overall in 2Q/08.
(CF Library 8/19/08)

CREDIT CARD DIRECT MAIL
3Q/07: 1.86 billion
4Q/07: 1.82 billion
1Q/08: 1.67 billion
2Q/08: 1.54 billion
3Q/08: 1.34 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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CITI PREMIERMILES & NWA

Electronic payment systems software provider ACI Worldwide reported revenue of $108.6 million in the third quarter, a 28% gain over the prior-year period. Net income for the quarter was $1.7 million compared to net loss of $1.3 million during 3Q/07. At the end of the third quarter, there was an estimated 60-month backlog of $1.4 billion compared to $1.3 billion one-year ago. During the quarter, ACI signed two new “BASE24-eps” sales in Korea and in Malaysia; landed sales in Poland, Hungary, France, Dubai, United Kingdom and Nigeria for “BASE24-eps,” “BASE24-atm,” “ACI Proactive Risk Manager,” and “ACI Smart Chip Manager”; and added 23 new applications to existing customer relationships ranging from “ACI Retail Commerce Server” to “ACI
Proactive Risk Manager for Enterprise Risk to Smart Chip Manager.”
ACI contiues to expect full year 2008 sales between $430 million and $440 million. For complete details on ACI’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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nFinanSe to Power Paychecks Plus Pay Cards

FL-based nFinanSe will now provide its “Pay Card Program” to NY-based
Paychecks Plus. Paychecks Plus is offering the “nFinanSe Pay Card” to
participating employees who will have their payroll electronically
deposited onto their instantly issued “nFinanSe Discover Network Pay
Card”. The Pay Card can be used to make purchases at millions of merchant
locations nationwide – including online and over the telephone – and to
access cash at ATMs. A tool now available with an
nFinanSe Pay Card is the ability to receive an email or text message
with purchase and balance information after each purchase or
transaction, and on pay day, receive summary pay stub information.

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COLLIS & GPN

Global Payments has selected Netherlands-based Collis/B2 Processing
Solutions Inc. to provide EMV Chip testing and certification tools for
its POS solutions. Collis’ testing platform provides Global Payments
with the ability to validate the functionality and
performance of Canadian card payment networks’ contact and contactless
cards on its solutions. Utilizing the Collis platform, Global Payments
is also able to test International cards that may circulate with the
expansion of EMV Chip in Canada. Global Payments offers a comprehensive
line of processing solutions for credit and debit cards,
business-to-business purchasing cards, gift cards,
electronic check conversion and check guarantee, verification and
recovery including electronic check services, as well as terminal
management. Collis provides design and testing of smart card based
electronic transaction systems.

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MasterCard Kicks-Off the Overjoy of Giving

MasterCard has launched the “Overjoy of Giving” holiday promotion that
gives cardholders the chance to win two identical prizes, one to keep
and one to give. Nine winners will be selected each week of the
promotion and will each choose from a pool of four prizes: 2 cars, 2
trips, 2 shopping sprees or 2 home makeovers from The
Home Depot®. Consumers will receive double entries into the sweepstakes
every time they use their MasterCard cards at the approximately 2,200
participating The Home Depot stores or online. In addition to the
“Overjoy of Giving” Sweepstakes, consumers can also participate
in the Instant Win Game on priceless.com. Consumers can play up to 10
times per day, every day, for a chance to win two, $500 The Home Depot
or MasterCard Gift Cards. There will be one instant winner each day of
the promotion.

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