FTC Settles with Payday Lenders

Payday loan lead generators We Give Loans and Aliyah Associates d/b/a American Advance have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that their Internet advertising stated payday loan costs and repayment periods without APR information as mandated by federal law. The settlements require the respondents to disclose APR information in similar payday loan ads in the future and to comply in all other respects with the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and its implementing Regulation Z. APR information helps consumers compare the costs of these payday loans with others and with alternative forms of short-term credit.

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Hypercom Names a New UK/Ireland Exec

Global payment technology provider Hypercom has appointed Davie Millener to Managing Director, Hypercom UK and Ireland. Millener has almost 30 years of experience in the electronic commerce, payment and retail banking industries. As First Data Vice President, European Leasing, from 2006 to 2008, Mr. Millener directed all aspects of the company’s specialized payment terminal management service to major financial institutions. In less than two years, he grew the company from start-up to a business that activated more than 20,000 new lease contracts and generated revenues of $30 million. Millener is an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and was educated at St. Brendan’s College in Bristol, England.

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Secured Financial Network Signs Deals

FL-based Secured Financial Network’s subsidiary Virtual Payment Solutions has completed agreements with several deployment facilities to market, sell, and deploy its “Blue Bamboo” wireless terminal products and its Payment Gateway services. They include JR’s POS Depot in South Florida, Cardware International in Ohio, Paragon Services in Atlanta, and ATT POS Depot in Southern California.

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Overstock.com Adds PayPal Pay Later

Overstock.com is adding “PayPal Pay Later” as an alternative payment method for its customers. The” PayPal Pay Later” service gives Overstock.com customers a credit account with flexible financing options – even if a buyer doesn’t have a PayPal account. As part of the introductory financing promotion, customers can defer payments on purchases for 90 days, allowing consumers to buy what they really want on Overstock.com and plan their payments in a way that best fits their budgets. Overstock.com is an online “closeout” retailer offering discount, brand-name merchandise for sale over the Internet.

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GPN Lands a Big Loan for the HSBC Deal

Electronic transaction processor Global Payments has secured a five-year, $200 million term loan credit agreement with a syndicate of financial institutions. Global intends to use the term loan proceeds of $200 million to pay for a portion of the $439 million purchase price for its 51% ownership in the recently announced joint venture with HSBC Bank plc. The joint venture will provide payment processing services to merchants in the United Kingdom and Internet merchants globally. For the remaining portion of the purchase price, Global will use its excess cash and approximately $45 million of its existing $350 million revolving credit facility.

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Discover Inks Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland Payment Systems and Discover Financial Services have teamed to offer business owners a streamlined process that enables them to accept Discover Network cards on Heartland’s processing platform. Heartland will offer all its new and existing customers an integrated processing solution that includes card acceptance pricing, funding, statement processing and customer service on one platform. Previously, to accept Discover Network cards, business owners had to deal with two separate platforms – one for Discover and one for all other cards. The new program will be available in the last half of 2008. Heartland Payment Systems provides credit/debit/prepaid card processing, payroll, check management and payments solutions to more than 250,000 businesses nationwide.

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CONTACTLESS PINPAD

Ingenico has been granted both Mastercard “PayPass” and Visa “payWave”
approval for its “i3070 Contactless PINpad.” The “i3070” Contactless is
a handheld PINpad with smart card, magnetic card and contactless
capability, is designed for use in retail and single point-of-sale
environments, is PCI-PED-compliant and can be connected to most Ingenico
terminals or sale systems using just one cable. With this development,
the PINpad is among the first able to read magnetic stripe cards,
smartcards, contactless cards and NFC phones.

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British Cardholders Embrace Rewards Over APR

About 50% of British consumers prefer a rewards card rather than the 13% who prefer a lower interest rate. A new study found that cashback cards are the most popular type of rewards card. Barclaycard’s “Platinum Cashback Card” was perceived as being the most valuable cash card in the U.K. market offering cardholders 2% cash back on purchases made at petrol stations and supermarkets for life and 0.5% on all other purchases. Auriemma Consulting Group says its research also showed that the majority of reward cards holders (over 60%) find rewards cards to be most valuable when they offer the ability to choose the reward they receive. While only 5% of rewards cardholders have petrol-related benefits, 56% ranked the benefit as highly valuable. Even those not having petrol-based benefits perceived them to be the second most valuable rewards type behind cashback cards. “Citi Shell MasterCard” was perceived as one of the most valuable rewards programs in the market – holders earn up to 6% rebate on fuel purchases.

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FNDS3000 & BANKSERV

FNDS3000 Corp has integrated its platform with Bankserv’s central ATM
Switch, its Bank Identification Number (BIN) has been issued and loaded
at all banks throughout the country. With these developments, South
African consumers can now use FNDS3000 cards at all ATMS in the country.
Live transactions have been successfully performed at all the major
banks, along with many of the smaller banks, and the company is
currently testing cards on its platform for its pilot program to launch
in July. Bankserv processes around 7 trillion worth of transactions per
annum and ensures business continuity by running failsafe systems 24
hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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CARD ENHANCEMENTS

About 50% of British consumers prefer a rewards card rather than the 13% who prefer a lower interest rate. A new study found that cashback cards are the most popular type of rewards card. Barclaycard’s “Platinum Cashback Card” was perceived as being the most valuable cash card in the U.K. market offering cardholders 2% cash back on purchases made at petrol stations and supermarkets for life and 0.5% on all other purchases. Auriemma Consulting Group says its research also showed that the majority of reward cards holders (over 60%) find rewards cards to be most valuable when they offer the ability to choose the reward they receive. While only 5% of rewards cardholders have petrol-related benefits, 56% ranked the benefit as highly valuable. Even those not having petrol-based benefits perceived them to be the second most valuable rewards type behind cashback cards. “Citi Shell MasterCard” was perceived as one of the most valuable rewards programs in the market – holders earn up to 6% rebate on fuel purchases.

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CHINA UNICOM & ASIAINFO

AsiaInfo has announced it has signed agreements to upgrade China
Unicom’s rechargeable card system to support its nationwide rechargeable
mobile phone card system. The new system upgrade allows China Unicom to
centralize and consolidate management of the independent rechargeable
card systems in various provinces and involves the modification of its
various systems such as the customer relationship management (“CRM”) and
billing systems. This consolidation allows subscribers to add money to
their mobile phone accounts via multiple channels, including Integrated
Voice Response (“IVR”) and Short Message Service (“SMS”) from locations
across China.

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Heartland Payment Systems Earns a Stevie Award

Heartland Payment Systems is the recipient of the 2008 American Business “Stevie” Award for “Best Sales Organization in America.”Heartland, a leading provider of credit/debit/prepaid card processing, payroll, check management and payments services, was selected from over 2,600 entries from business of all sizes and industries. The award adds to the accolades Heartland’s sales organization has recently received. In December 2007, Heartland was recognized by Selling Power magazine as the “Financial Services Sales Organization of the Year,” and Executive Director of Sales and Service Irina Haydon was named “Sales Director of the Year.”

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