FTC Settles with 4 Debt-Negotiation Firms

Four debt-negotiation companies have agreed to settle FTC charges that
they violated federal law by falsely claiming they could reduce
consumers’ debt by up to 60%. The firms involved include: National
Support Services, Homeland Financial Services, Financial Liberty
Services, and United Debt Recovery. All of the defendants in the
nationwide operation were charged with misrepresenting how much they
could reduce consumers’ debt, and not adequately disclosing the
likelihood that consumers would be sued if they took the defendants’
advice and stopped paying creditors. The FTC also charged the defendants
with not disclosing that consumers’ account balances would grow from
interest, interest rate increases, late fees, and other charges; and
falsely advising consumers that negative information that appeared on
their credit report as a result of participating in the defendants’
program would be removed upon completion of the program.

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Pinnacle Corporation Joins the PCI SSC

The Pinnacle Corporation has joined the Payment Card Industry
Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) as a new participating
organization. Joining the PCI Security Standards Council further
solidifies Pinnacle’s
growing commitment to dedicate resources to the protection of cardholder
data. The Pinnacle Corporation has already surpassed current PCI
Security requirements with Palm POS as of September 2007, and has been
listed on the VISA List of Validated Payment Applications since March
2008. Pinnacle provides products
that automate the broad spectrum of convenience store operations and
supply chain management of fuel operations.

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Visa Integrates with Google’s Android

Visa and Chase revealed yesterday plans to make mobile payment-related services broadly available in the U.S. via Google’s new “Android” platform. The new Visa mobile services developed for the “Android” platform include near real-time notification of purchase activity based on customized cardholder preferences; receipt of targeted offers from merchants directly to the phone; and a locator service integrated with “Google Maps.” During an introductory period, Visa mobile services that will be developed for the “Android” platform will first be offered to Chase Visa account holders. Following this initial launch phase, Visa plans to work with additional card-issuing financial institutions to extend availability of its mobile services for “Android” to their Visa account holders. Visa is also developing a payment application that will enable consumers with Visa accounts to make mobile payments in retail locations nationwide, or while on the go, over wireless networks.

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Chevron Unveils the FlyBuys Loyalty Card

Chevron Global Aviation has launched the “FlyBuys” reward program for
pilots to earn points based on purchases of jet
fuel and aviation gasoline at participating Chevron and Texaco FBOs.
Extra points can be earned if the FlyBuys card is
used in conjunction with a Chevron Alliance Program card. Once
accumulated, FlyBuys points can be redeemed for Chevron or Texaco gift
cards or universal gift certificates at www.giftcertificates.com. The
Chevron Alliance Program offers a one-card purchasing solution for
corporate flight departments and aircraft operators throughout the
United States by streamlining all related aviation
purchases and services at more than 750 Chevron and Texaco FBOs.

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Diebold Lands 7 Campaign Office Patents

Diebold has received seven patents for its
“Campaign Office” software, which can transform ATMs into
revenue-generating business tools. “Campaign Office” enables ATMs to be
personalized by the financial
institution to support specific locales, unique backgrounds, a number of
languages and informational and branded service messages. Additionally,
because the software’s graphical interface is separate from the ATM’s
screen content, financial institutions can offer their customers the
freedom to make choices in message delivery, including language,
fast-cash amounts and receipt or no receipt transactions. “Campaign
Office” offers financial institutions access to information through
reports that provide usage patterns, customer responses from campaigns, a
list of non-customers using the ATMs, the status of message delivery and
more, allowing financial institutions to calculate their return on
investment at the ATM and enables financial institutions
to modify customer campaigns as-needed, which increases the campaigns’
effectiveness.

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Cashgiftingcashgifting.com is Launched

Cash GiftingCashGifting.com has rolled out its web site dedicated to
covering cash gifting programs, cash gifting legality, and how cash
gifting works. Cash gifting is the activity of giving a person a
gift of cash or currency. The cash is gifted with the understanding that
nothing will be given in return. There is no merchandise, property,
barter, services, or any expectation or favors, which will be passed
back or reciprocated to the person giving the cash gift.
In order to begin receiving cash gifts, someone simply joins a cash
gifting program usually by sending a cash gift. Once that is done and
any membership fees are paid they are now in a position to begin
receiving cash gifts that range in size from $100 to $10,000. Cash
gifting programs are set up in a way that the gifts a person
receives fall under the IRS annual exclusion of $12,000 making the gifts
tax-free, and the gifting program structure is linear so it can’t be
classified as an illegal pyramid or chain letter type of scheme.

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RBC Royal Bank Rolls-Out Mobex Mobile

RBC Royal Bank is testing “RBC Mobex Mobile Payment Service”, that enables users to easily and securely send and receive money instantly using a text message on their mobile phone. Participants in the trial are able to use the “RBC Mobex” payment service on their existing mobile phone, providing it has SMS – text messaging
capability. Users simply send a text message to RBC Mobex with the dollar amount and the recipient’s cell phone number. Funds are then taken from the sender’s Mobex account and moved to the recipient’s Mobex account. The recipient also receives an instant text message on their cell phone to let them know when the money has been sent to them.
Amounts of up to $100 per day can be sent to anyone with a mobile phone
serviced by any Canadian wireless carrier, even if they do not have an RBC Mobex account. Recipients just need to register for the payment service to access their funds. The RBC Mobex account is a stored value account and enrollment is through the RBC Mobex web-site, where money can be loaded from any bank account with any financial institution in Canada, or by using a credit card.

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WaMu Failure Pushes Chase to #1 Issuer

The largest bank failure in history has dumped nearly 13 million credit
card accounts into J.P. Morgan Chase’s portfolio. The FDIC seizure of
Washington Mutual last night will add $26.4 billion to Chase’s $155.7
billion U.S. credit card portfolio to establish Chase as the largest
credit card issuer in the USA. The acquisition also creates the largest
U.S. depository institution, with over $900 billion of customer deposits
and gives Chase a major footprint into the western states. Chase is
paying $1.9 billion to the FDIC to acquire the WaMu assets. Chase says
WaMu customers should be able to access the combined network of 14,000
ATMs without fees in the coming months. Chase also notes that the
acquisition creates the nation’s second-largest branch network, with
locations reaching 42% of the U.S. population.

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GIESECKE & DEVRIENT

Smart card provider Giesecke & Devrient is opening a
new Development Center in Pune, India. The facility is one of three G&D
Development Centers – alongside
those in China and at Group headquarters in Munich, the latter being
responsible for controlling all R&D activities. Together they represent
the cornerstones of the company’s worldwide smart-card development
organization, and ensure proximity to its international customer base.
The center’s approximately 80
employees are developing products based on smart-card technology for
applications in mobile communication, electronic payment and public
administration. Already in 2007, the German security technology group
boosted its research and development expenditure by 25 percent to around
100 million
euros.

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UPCODE & HALPA HALLI VISA

SEB Kort has signed a three year agreement with card processor NETS to
route their Nordic payment transactions through NETS. The agreement
brings NETS an important step closer to becoming a leading European
processor of card transactions. The NETS alliance is one of the leading
European processors of card transactions on behalf of acquirers located
primarily in Scandinavia. SEB Kort has acquiring agreements
with a total of 229,000 merchants in Scandinavia.

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Discover’s Q3 U.S. Card Profits Decline 36%

Discover Financial Services posted a 6% year-on-year gain in managed loans to $50 billion, and a 5% increase year-on-year increase in volume to $25 billion. For the quarter ending August 31st, Discover’s
managed over 30 days delinquency rate of 3.85% was up 4 basis points from the second quarter, and up 69 basis points from last year. The managed net charge-off rate increased to 5.20% for the third quarter rose 21 and 154 basis points, respectively, from last quarter and last year. Pretax income was $245 million in the third quarter, down 36% from the third quarter of 2007. The “Third-Party Payments” segment produced strong transaction volume of $35 billion, up 48% from last year, reflecting the impact of new issuers, increased volumes from existing issuers and the addition of July and August Diners Club International volume of $5 billion. Diners Club International volume is derived from data provided by licensees and is subject to subsequent revision or amendment. For complete details on Discover’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

U.S. CARD PRE-TAX PROFITS
3Q/07: $380.6 million
4Q/07: $325.8 million
1Q/08: $375.4 million
2Q/08: $309.1 million
3Q/08: $245.2 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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