Robust ATM Market in Central/Eastern Europe

A new report shows that the installed base of ATMs in Central and Eastern Europe grew more than 30% last year. Over 3.7 billion cash withdrawals were made at 119,638 CEE ATMs in 2007, although average usage fell to 2,581 cash withdrawals per terminal per month as the increase in the number of installations continues to have a diluting effect on transaction volumes. According to Retail Banking Research’s latest annual survey, high numbers of new machines in Russia, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, in addition to surprisingly rapid growth in Poland and Serbia, made for a bumper year in the region. The new RBR survey shows that intensive card issuing activity, economic upturn and increased foreign investment have combined to drive the region’s deployers, in particular those in Kazakhstan, Russia and the Ukraine, to install large numbers of new ATMs in 2007. The continued expansion of independent ATM deployers (IADs), and the threat of new ones have also brought about a rise in the number of new installations in some countries, most noticeably in Poland and Serbia. Moreover, IAD ATMs were installed in Serbia and the Ukraine for the first time in 2007.

CEE ATMS
2003: 44,029
2004: 56,375
2005: 71,662
2006: 89,501
2007: 119,638
Source: Retail Banking Research

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GEMALTO STUDENT CARDS

Digital security provider Gemalto has delivered one million
electronic student cards that act as an identity credential in Polish
universities. The company provided the cards to OPTeam, a local Gemalto
Value Added Reseller (VAR), who supplied the personalization solution
for universities to issue cards directly to students. The campus card verifies students’
identity and grants them access to
university premises including libraries, dormitories and sport
facilities. It is also used as an e-ticket for public transportation in
major Polish cities, as well as a means to pay for parking spaces in the
city center. Bearers of the card are entitled to the student discount
wherever it is offered. At some universities, the campus card is featured with digital signature to
enable students to electronically sign documents. Students gain access to specific documents on
the university’s computers and to the information kiosk, which provides
details on the courses held. Large-scale deployment started in the fall of 2007 and to date, 100 universities and
high schools are issuing the e-student card. Another 300 universities
are expected to join in the program.

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TN Government Opens Credit Card Acceptance

The Tennessee Department of Revenue is now accepting online credit card payments for franchise and excise tax minimum returns, estimated payments and extensions directly through its Tennessee.gov website. MasterCard, American Express and Discover Card are accepted and will be charged an associated 2.49 percent processing fee. Online bill pay, professional privilege tax, individual income tax, sales tax and consumer use tax can also be paid by credit card via the site’s secure payment processing system.

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United Merchant Services Renews GPN Deal

NJ-based United Merchant Services has renewed its payment processing agreements with Atlanta-based Global Payments. The multi-year agreement stipulates Global Payments’ provision of payment card authorization, settlement services and merchant support services to UMSI, which provides bankcard, loyalty card and gift card solutions for merchants. Global Payments reported its latest quarterly revenues grew 19% to $310.6 million compared to $260.4 million in the prior year. GPN says its growth was largely driven by its merchant services segment. UMSI also specializes in providing merchant processing services to foreign speaking merchants.

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Postilion Certifies GoldenGate Software

Self-service payment solution provider Postilion has validated the ” GoldenGate Live Standby” and “Zero Downtime Solutions” offered through data integrator Golden Gate Software. In addition to Postilion’s internal disaster recovery solutions, Postilion will also provide support for its customers to deploy their Postilion payment system with GoldenGate’s disaster tolerance solutions. Postilion has validated its solutions with GoldenGate’s transactional data management architecture on the AIX and DB2 data server on IBM Power Systems as well as Microsoft Windows running SQL Server databases.

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Chairman Willumstad Becomes CEO of AIG

AIG announced that its Board of Directors has named Chairman Robert B. Willumstad to the additional position of CEO to succeed Martin J. Sullivan of Directors. Willumstad has been Chairman of the Board of AIG since November 2006 and is the co-founder of Brysam Global Partners, a New York-based private equity investment firm focused on emerging markets financial services investments. Previously he served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Global Consumer Group at Citigroup, where he was responsible for all of its global consumer businesses, including credit cards, consumer finance and retail banking.

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CFSI Announces 2008 Underbanked Grants

The Center for Financial Services Innovation has announced the recipients of its 2008 Nonprofit Opportunities Fund, created with a $2 million grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation. The Alliance to Develop Power’s Worker Center Collaborative, the Center for Community Self-Help, Doorways to Dreams Fund and the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development each received $1 million. Grantees also receive strategic guidance, technical assistance, visibility, and an unparalleled network in the financial services industry. CFSI selected these four projects from among 133 applications totaling more than $30 million in requests.

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WAUSAU Financial Systems and RMS Partner

WAUSAU Financial Systems has partnered with OK-based Revenue Management Solutions to facilitate healthcare payment processing. By integrating RMS’ revenue management cycle service into its payment platforms, WAUSAU’s customers will be able to further enhance the capture of remittances sent as paper explanation of benefits, checks and electronic payments received directly from the payer. WAUSAU will be able to deliver one unified payment source for healthcare clients to improve automation, collection, claims management and denials. It is estimated that as much as 30% of the $2.1 trillion spent on healthcare in the US each year is spent on administrative or non-medical activities, including cash collection.

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FIS to Offer NACHA’s Secure Vault Payments

Jacksonville-based Fidelity National Information Services has agreed to offer NACHA’s “Secure Vault Payments” solution to its clients. “Secure Vault Payments” enables consumers to initiate private and secure payments for purchases and bill payments through their financial institutions’ online banking platforms, using the “ACH Network” and “eWise Systems Payment Switching” technology. FIS serves more than 9,000 financial institutions in more than 80 countries. NACHA represents more than 11,000 financial institutions through direct membership and 19 regional payments associations.

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MAYBANK & DIEBOLD

Malaysia’s largest financial institution has completed deploying Diebold’s “Agilis EmPower” software on 250 of its Diebold “Opteva” ATMs. “EmPower” supports the entire “Agilis” family of software, including “Agilis Office Suite.” Maybank is the largest financial institution in Malaysia with more than 450 branches, offering comprehensive financial services and products. It also has an international presence in 13 countries.

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GPN Inks Four More Casinos for VIP LightSpeed

Gaming cash access provider Global Payments has entered into agreements with Las Vegas’ South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa and California-based Chumash Casino Resort, Table Mountain Casino and Hawaiian Gardens Casino to offer its “VIP LightSpeed” suite of cash access products. VIP LightSpeed is an Internet-accessible, PC-based platform that provides cash access services for traditional and electronic check cashing, ATM check cashing, credit and debit card cash advances and credit reports. In addition, VIP LightSpeed provides high speed processing of cash access transactions, reduction of risk associated with check-cashing and cash advance services, and a full spectrum of management and legal compliance reporting tools.

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