Global Cash Access Expands Customers with 20 Casinos

Gaming cash provider Global Cash Access expands its roster of customers with the addition of 20 international casinos.
The expansion includes 11 properties in the Czech Republic, marking
GCA’s entrance into that market. In addition to the Czech properties, GCA signed agreements with three
additional establishments in Canada; one in Switzerland; and five in the
Caribbean, including Antigua, Aruba, Belize, Curacao and Puerto Rico.
Among the services GCA will provide to the new casino customers are
efficient credit card cash advance and debit card withdrawals from GCA’s
QuikCash kiosks and terminals, as well as from casino cashiers. Casino
cashiers will also benefit from GCA’s QuikCash Plus Web browser-based
system, which streamlines and speeds transactions and improves customer
service.
GCA provides more than 1,100 casinos and other gaming properties,
including 100 outside of the U.S., with a range of cash access products
and information services that are designed to give patrons more
convenient access to cash – and enable properties to better serve,
understand, attract and retain their customers.

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FastUpFront Helps Small Businesses get Loans

Lending provider FastUpFront has introduced new technology
that provides small business to qualify for unsecured cash advance
loans. FastUpFront provides this essential service to businesses facing cash crunches. This is a common phenomenon for firms dealing with steep
growth curves or seasonal lulls in revenues. Banks and other
institutional lenders are often unwilling to provide unsecured loans for
operating cash flow, leaving businesses to seek other methods of
financing. Small business cash advances are generally offered against a
company’s credit card receipts. FastUpFront now provides these companies
options in seeking cash advances.

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GPN & ZAO

A new report released from Datamonitor details the Treasury’s plan for the rescue of eight banks on the verge of collapse. The plan includes a commitment from the banks to raise their Tier 1
capital position by a combined GBP25 billion, with funds made
available by government in return for preference share capital or
permanent interest bearing shares; minimum of GBP25 billion in further support for all eligible institutions as required, on the same terms as above and a government guarantee of new short and medium term debt issuance of varying terms up to 36 months. The Treasury expects take-up of this facility to reach GBP250 billion. In order to implement the bailout, the government will impose restrictions that include limits on executive remuneration, including bonuses, a suspension of dividend payments, and pledges to continue lending to consumers and businesses, in return for bearing risk at a level of around GBP2,300 per taxpayer.
The seven banks that have confirmed their participation in the scheme
are: Abbey, Barclays, HBOS, HSBC Bank plc, Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of
Scotland, and Standard Chartered. The largest building society in the
market, Nationwide, is also participating.

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VIPdesk has Received PCI Level 1 Service Provider validation

Call center service VIPdesk has received PCI Level 1 Service Provider validation. In order to comply with PCI-DSS, companies must have in place strong
data security processes and policies — including preventing, detecting
and reacting to security incidents. Compliance with the standard as a
Level 1 Service Provider requires an assessment of those processes and
policies by an independent Qualified Security Assessor certified by the
PCI Security Standards Council. The standard is the
result of a collaborative effort from five major credit card brands
including American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB
International, MasterCard Worldwide, and Visa Inc. VIPdesk offers virtual customer care services to global brand
leaders in industries including financial services, travel, retail and
automotive services.

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Etelcharge.com Releases Consumer Electronics Warranty Gift Cards

Online payment solution provider Etelcharge.com announced that Consumer Electronics Warranty Gift Cards are now live and available for purchase on the Etelcharge.com website. Etelcharge.com is the first Web 2.0 online payment system that provides online shoppers the ability to charge approved transactions to their telephone bill. While addressing the concerns online shoppers have about identity fraud and identity theft, the Etelcharge.com payment option is also a perfect match for the millions of individuals without a credit card, or even a bank account.

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Double Rebate for New Shell Platinum MasterCard Cardholders

Shell has launched a new “Double Rebate” worth 10% for new Shell Platinum MasterCard cardholders. Consumers who open
a new Shell Platinum MasterCard account will be eligible to receive 10%
rebates on Shell gasoline purchases, which can mean an average savings of 38 cents per gallon at $3.82 a gallon, and 2% rebates on all other
purchases for the first 60 days after receiving their card. This promotion also will benefit Shell-branded wholesalers and
retailers by driving more traffic to sites and increasing usage of the
Shell Platinum MasterCard, which has a zero transaction fee for site
operators.

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FEE-FREE ATMS

Online bank Citizens Bank of Canada has introduced a
new, no-fee Global Chequing Account that doesn’t charge for US and
international ATM withdrawals. There is no monthly account fee or
minimum balance required either so one can save at home or abroad and
the account also offers no fees for debit card purchases in Canada or the
US and free bill payments, transfers and cheques. Holders of the Global
Chequing Account have access to over 2,500 ATMs across Canada, over one
million ATMs worldwide and 24-hour web and phone access to their account.

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The Shared National Credits Program Reports Large Increase

The Shared National Credits Program reports large increase in credit volume
and significant deterioration in credit quality. The volume of Shared National Credits (SNC) loan commitments of $20
million or more and held by three or more federally supervised
institutions, rose 22.6 percent to $2.8 trillion, and the volume of
criticized credits increased to $373.4 billion, or 13.4 percent of the
SNC portfolio, according to the 2008 SNC review results released today
by federal bank and thrift regulators. he results of the
review–reported by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve
System, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal
Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of Thrift Supervision–are
based on analyses prepared in the second quarter of 2008 of credit data
provided by federally supervised institutions as of December 31, 2007.
The record growth in credit volume is concentrated in large syndicated
loans that were underwritten in late 2006 and the first half of 2007 led
by the Media and Telecom, Utilities, Finance and Insurance, and Oil and
Gas industry sectors. The SNC portfolio experienced nominal growth in
the last half of 2007.

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Citi and Wells Fargo Reach No Agreement for Wachovia

Citi has not reached an agreement with Wells Fargo in the acquisition of Wachovia. The differences in the parties’
transaction structures and their views of the risks involved made it
impossible to reach a mutually acceptable agreement. Citi’s transaction, which it remains willing to complete, protected
Wachovia’s holding company debt and its subsidiary banks, while limiting
the risk to Citigroup and generating value for its shareholders. The
transaction also preserved substantial value for Wachovia’s shareholders
and other holding company stakeholders without exposing Citigroup to
Wachovia holding company liabilities it declined to assume. Finally,
Citigroup agreed to pay $12 billion to the FDIC, and to incur up to $42
billion of losses, in exchange for the contingent loss protection the
FDIC agreed to provide. Citi believes that it has strong legal claims against Wachovia, Wells Fargo and their officers, directors, advisors and others for breach of contract and for tortious interference with contract. Citigroup plans to
pursue these damage claims vigorously on behalf of its shareholders.
However, Citigroup has decided not to ask that the Wells Fargo-Wachovia
merger be enjoined.

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CheckFree Health and Fitness has Released CheckFree Compete

Fiserv’s CheckFree Health and Fitness has released “CheckFree Compete” software targeted to health and fitness clubs. Each version of CheckFree Compete includes modules for check-in,
point-of-sale, data entry, billing, gift card purchasing and redemption and reporting. “Compete” is offered in both an
easily updated web-based version and in a software version ideal for
clubs that prefer to utilize in-house applications, enabling clubs of
all sizes to be more efficient and profitable. “CheckFree Compete” was developed with security in mind and provides clubs
with a tool to help ensure that transactions, both point-of-sale (POS)
and batch, are securely processed. CheckFree Compete software has been
designed based on requirements of the Payment Application Data Security
Standard, a best practice published by the Payment Card Industry (PCI)
Security Standards Council, for merchants and service providers that
store, process and transmit cardholder data, helping to ensure the
security of such information.

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SHELL CITI VISA

Shell Citi Visa credit cardholders nationwide no have access to 24/7 roadside assistance.
This new feature enables Shell Citi Visa credit cardholders to seek help from the 24-hour Nationwide Roadside Assistance through International SOS. Shell Citi Visa credit cardholders can also enjoy onsite vehicle repair assistance to change a tire, jumpstarting the car, or re-charging of the car battery. Shell Citi “Gold” cardholders can also take advantage of exclusive benefits such as assistance to arrange for alternative travel; rental transport and hotel accommodation. Gold cardholders can also seek police, ambulance, and locksmith and motor vehicle registration support via the 24-Hour Motorist Hotline. Shell Citi cardholders also get exclusive discounts at Shell Helix Service Center: 5% discount on Shell Helix Plus Package or 10% discount on Shell Helix Ultra Package.

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