COF Takes No Hassle Rewards to Chk Accts

Capital One Bank has introduced a free checking account awards program that enables to earn miles automatically for checking account transactions including debit card purchases, online bill payments, and other withdrawals. The new “Capital One Rewards Checking” awards customers with 1,000 miles for opening an account and 4,000 miles when they set up direct deposit.The “No Hassle Rewards” program allows customers to accumulate miles that can be used toward six different redemption options including airline tickets, cash, brand-name merchandise, store gift certificates, experiential rewards, and charitable donations. Customers can redeem rewards starting at 10,000 miles either online or by speaking to a customer service representative.

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Forever 21 Chain Confirms a Card Breach

Clothing retailer Forever 21 has disclosed that the company was notified
by the DOJ that the company
experienced data breaches dating back to 2004. The statement reveals
that on August 5, 2008, the U.S. Department of Justice in Boston filed
indictments against 3 individuals alleged to have committed crimes
involving credit card fraud against 12 retailers. That morning, Forever
21 was contacted by the U.S. Secret Service and was advised that the
company was identified in the indictment as one of the retail victims.
They subsequently received from the Secret Service a disk of potentially
compromised file data. The promptly retained forensic consultants to help
examine the file data and systems. Based on that investigation,
it is believed that the unauthorized persons accessed older credit and debit
card transaction data for approximately 98,930 credit and debit card
numbers. Approximately 20,500 of these numbers were obtained from the
Fresno store transaction data. The data included credit and debit card
numbers and in some instances expiration dates and other card data, but
did not include customer name and address. More than half of the
affected payment card numbers are no longer active or have expired
expiration dates.

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Stimulus Checks Skew Q2 Delinquency Data

National credit card debt per credit card borrower increased 2.63% sequentially to $1,717 in the second quarter and 8.6%, compared to 2Q/07. The highest state average card debt per credit card borrower was in Alaska at $2,494, followed by Tennessee at $2,109 and Alabama at $2,015. According to TransUnion, the steepest increases in average credit card debt over the previous quarter occurred in the District of Columbia (6.62%), Alaska (4.84%) and Tennessee (4.75%). Nationally, the ratio of credit card borrowers delinquent on one or more of their credit cards declined to 1.04% in the second quarter, down 12.6% over the previous quarter. However, on a year-over-year basis the national delinquency incidence rate has risen 14.3%. Incidence of delinquency was highest in Nevada (1.72%), followed closely by Florida (1.34%) and Mississippi (1.30%). TransUnion says the lower delinquency statistics
indicate that many consumers did in fact use their economic stimulus
checks, in part, to pay down past-due credit card debt.

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Experian Unveils Universal ID Check

Experian has unveiled a multi-channel authentication system that
will enable organisations to verify the identities of residents from 24
countries around the world. The new “Universal ID Check” is a single, hosted solution requiring only one installation into an organization in order to facilitate the identity checking of residents with which it has face-to-face, online, call centre or postal interactions across the countries covered. Countries covered by Universal ID Check are: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and USA.

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NEW INSIDE CFO

Aix-en-Provence-based
INSIDE Contactless has appointed Richard Vacher Detournière as CFO.
Vacher Detournière joins INSIDE from Siparex, a leading independent
French private equity and venture capital firm. Since joining Siparex in
1994, he has played a key role in more than 25 financing deals,
including leveraged buy-outs, growth capital investments, and
investments in early-stage technology companies. Most recently, he
served as a partner in the area of information and communication
technologies. From 2003 to 2005, based in California’s Silicon Valley,
he helped manage SBV Venture Partners, an early-stage fund co-managed by
Siparex. Before joining Siparex, he served as a consultant with Price
Waterhouse in audit and corporate finance capacities, both in France and
in Central Europe. Vacher Detournière graduated from the Amiens School of Management
and holds a master’s degree in management control, accounting and
financial management (DESCF).

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Canadian Retailers Attack Credit Card Fees

Taking a call from U.S. retailers, the Retail Council of Canada announced it is jumping on the political bandwagon to challenge the payment card industry over merchant credit card fees. Last week, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business warned that credit card companies and big banks plan to launch a huge cash grab on merchants throughout Canada. Also, last week the RCC and a coalition of “like-minded” associations launched “www.StopStickingItToUs.com,” a national campaign against “Big Credit Card” companies and the banks that issue their cards that have been imposing hidden credit card fees on all Canadians. The RCC says that over the next few weeks, politicians will be calling our homes and knocking on Canadians’ doors asking for support. RCC is asking Canadians to stand and ask these politicians what their plan is to address the issue.

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ACI Names a New Technology Board Member

Banking solution provider ACI Worldwide has appointed Dr. James C. McGroddy to the Board of Directors to serve as chairman of the board’s
newly established technology committee. McGroddy, a self-employed consultant, was employed by IBM from 1965
through 1996 in various capacities, including seven years as senior vice
president of research. He is chairman of the board of MIQS, a
Colorado-based healthcare information technology company; chairman of
the board of Advanced Networks and Services, Inc; and a member of the
board of directors of Forth Dimension Displays Limited. McGroddy
also served as a member of the board of directors of Paxar Corporation,
a provider of merchandising systems for the retail and apparel industry.
He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

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Wall Street Forces Card Stock Prices Down

At mid-day, stock prices for American Express were down 7%, Discover was down about 5%, MasterCard dipped nearly 4% and Visa was off by about 2%. The macroeconomic impact of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch’s forced sale to Bank of America is spooking financial services investors worldwide. Visa, the largest payment system, dropped to $70 today, while MasterCard sank to $215. American Express took a hard hit, dropping to $36, while Discover hovered at $17 per share. Even though the credit card networks are impacted by the U.S. mortgage credit meltdown, transaction levels remain strong, driven by strong growth in debit card and charge card sales.

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mFoundry Introduces an iPhone Product

Mobile financial services provider mFoundry announced the availability
of its “iPhone” mobile banking product and is offering its iPhone mobile banking solution as both a
stand-alone
or supplement to other supported devices. The company has configured
iPhone mobile banking applications for existing customers with the first
application launching in the App Store in the next few weeks. Financial
institutions interested in reaching iPhone users will be able to deploy
mFoundry’s iPhone mobile banking applications in as little as 60 days.

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Visa and National City Expand Card Deal

Visa and OH-based National City have renewed and expanded a brand agreement through which National City will continue to provide its customers with Visa consumer and commercial credit and check card products, while adding “Visa Interlink” and “PLUS” as the bank’s primary PIN debit and ATM networks. National City will also transition to Visa
Debit Processing Service, which provides single-point access to global
Visa payment products and services, and real time risk analysis on every
online transaction including purchases and ATM transactions. National City operates through an extensive banking network primarily in Ohio,
Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania
and Wisconsin, and also serves customers in selected markets nationally.

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New Triton/Nautilus Hyosung ATM is Coming

MS-based Triton Systems announced plans to produce a new affordable, low-end off-premise model ATM, to be unveiled next month. The new ATM is made possible by Nautilus Hyosung’s proposed acquisition of Triton. The new ATM will be modeled after Triton’s popular “RL” line of off-premise ATMs, to include a 5.7″ color display, 60mm printer, business hour cabinet and 1,000 note CDU with removable lock box cassette. It will run on Microsoft “Windows CE 5.0” with Triton’s “X2”-based technology. South Korean-based Nautilus Hyosung recently inked a deal to acquire Triton from Dover Corporation. The transaction is expected to be closed during the third quarter. Production of new ATM is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2009.

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GuestLogix’s MVS Continues to Take-Off

GuestLogix on-board retail systems for airlines has signed agreements to integrate its “Mobile Virtual Store” with the Thales “TopSeries Inflight Entertainment System.” Now users can conduct on-board redemption for Thales entertainment services, such as movies and video games, through the GuestLogix “Concierge” secure identification which uses codes to minimize fraud with out a POS. Travelers can pre-pay for on-board entertainment services online, for which they are issued a “Concierge” code to input through using the virtual keypad on the touch screen. The entertainment transactions also allow for refunds in the event of partial/non-fulfillment of service.
In August, GuestLogix partnered with Spirit Airlines to deploy GuestLogix’ “Mobile Virtual Store” on its domestic and international flights. Earlier this month, US Airways selected the GuestLogix “Mobile Virtual Store” solution to grow a la carte sales on-board its domestic and international flights. (CF Library 8/21/08; 9/12/08)

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