U.S. Bank Ranks Top in Privacy Trust Again

For a third consecutive year, U.S. Bank ranked first in the nation in the “2008 Privacy Trust Study for Retail Banking” conducted by the Ponemon Institute. The Institute found the average length of a customer relationship among the five banks rated highest for privacy to be 7.68 years, or a 13% extrapolated churn rate. Among the five lowest rated banks the average relationship length was 4.6 years, or a 22% churn rate. While U.S. Bank received the highest trust score recorded since the inception of the survey in 2003, the overall industry average privacy trust scores declined slightly in 2008 compared to 2007 owing in part to significant declines among banks suffering a major data breach event.

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allEtronic Introduces Digital Receipts

allEtronic has released its”Digital Receipts” paperless receipt service. During the enrollment process, consumers are asked to provide basic registration information, plus link a credit or debit card to their account. By linking any number of cards to their account, a consumer is able to receive digital receipts from participating retailers whenever they use any one of the registered cards to pay. For security purposes, and to ensure privacy and guarantee security, the allEtronic system only requires the first 6 and last 4 digits of a card number. If a consumer doesn’t register a card, they can provide their phone number to the cashier for digital receipt delivery. A customer would then swipe their credit or debit card like they normally do and their digital receipts automatically appear in their free allEtronic account.

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Heartland Names a New Chief Security Officer

Published security expert Kris Herrin has been appointed Chief Security Officer with Heartland Payment Systems payment processing. In his new role, Herrin will oversee risk management and compliance of Heartland’s IT security strategy and protection of consumer and merchant data. In doing so, he will lead the company’s IT security strategy, will be responsible for maintaining compliance with PCI regulations, security best practices and Heartland’s own internal policies. Herrin’s qualifications include his Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification and over 10 years’ of international security leadership experience. His advanced education consists of a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from the University of Texas at Dallas. Prior to Kris’ having joined Heartland, he was a CSO with Intervoice, Inc. having seceded from his role as a professor at the University of Dallas Graduate School of Management. Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. provides its credit/debit/prepaid card processing, payroll, check management and payments solutions to over 250,000 businesses nationwide.

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TIP2PAY

Payment processor Equens and supermarket chain Albert Heijn have joined to begin a pilot with fingertip payments. The “Tip2Pay” six-month test is the first of its kind in the Netherlands. “Tip2Pay” enables consumers to pay quickly and securely by placing their fingertip on the reader at the checkout. After they have provided proof of identification and a debit card, a scan will be made of the unique parts of their fingertip. Their name and address details, bank account number and –
if required – their customer loyalty card will be registered in accordance with Netherlands privacy laws. Equens will process all fingertip payments. Albert Heijn and Equens will be conducting the pilot in consultation with IT-Werke, a company that specializes in integrating biometric technology in retail and consumer applications. The IT-Werke system has already been successfully tested at the German supermarket chain Edeka, which now offers fingertip payment services at 120 of its stores. Albert Heijn is the largest supermarket chain in the Netherlands, with over 750 stores. Equens handles an annual volume of 7.3 billion payments and 2.1 billion POS and ATM transactions.

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GPN and HSBC Create HSBC Merchant Services

Atlanta-based Global Payments and U.K.-based HSBC Bank are creating a joint venture to provide payment processing services to merchants globally under the name HSBC Merchant Services. HSBC Bank estimates that its merchant acquiring business has a 15% market share by providing payment card processing services across 135,000 merchant outlets in the U.K. In 2007 HSBC’s merchant acquiring business in the U.K. generated revenue of about $229 million. Under terms of the deal GPN will pay HSBC $439 million in cash to acquire a 51% majority ownership in the joint venture. HSBC will control the remaining 49% and will contribute its existing merchant acquiring business in the U.K. Kingdom to the joint venture. In addition, the bank has agreed to a ten-year marketing alliance in which HSBC will refer customers to the joint venture for payment processing services in the U.K.. The deal is expected to be completed within two months.

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Monthly Payment Rates Move to the 18% Level

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, took another turn south in April. After topping 20% in 2006, the MPR dropped 30 basis points between March and April. Among managed credit card outstandings, the MPR declined to 18.03% in April, compared to 18.33% in the prior month and 18.04% one-year ago. According to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]), the yield also increased in April to 13.89% from 13.68% in March, but was down 110 bps, compared to year-ago levels. According to Moody’s the payment rate index among credit card-backed securities fell to 17.49% in April. For the second month in a row, the average yield index on ABS credit cards also dropped from its year-earlier rate. The April card ABS yield was 18.14%, down from 18.63% a year ago. (CF Library 6/10/08)

U.S. PORTFOLIO METRICS
YIELD MPR
Apr 07: 14.99% 18.04%
May 07: 14.87% 19.01%
Jun 07: 14.93% 18.40%
Jul 07: 14.77% 18.30%
Aug 07: 14.80% 18.99%
Sep 07: 14.71% 18.86%
Oct 07: 14.82% 19.21%
Nov 07: 14.80% 18.89%
Dec 07: 14.63% 18.41%
Jan 08: 13.53% 18.11%
Feb 08: 13.33% 19.10%
Mar 08: 13.68% 18.33%
Apr 08: 13.89% 18.03%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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COUNTRY Index Says Americans Feel Better

The recently released COUNTRY Financial Security Index jumped 1.5 points to 69.3 in June, indicating that Americans feel better about their ability to save and pay debts. After steadily declining for the past six months, the June Index came in at its highest reading since October 2007. However, Americans are feeling more glum when it comes to evaluating their financial situation as a whole, as 46% of respondents currently rate their overall financial security as “excellent” or “good” compared to 48% of respondents in April. The COUNTRY Financial Security Index is a bi-monthly measure of Americans’ sentiments toward their overall financial security. It is an aggregate of various factors comprising financial security including savings and investments, financial planning, retirement, education and asset protection.

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Shoppers Charge Becomes TD Retail Card Services

Shoppers Charge Accounts, private label credit program provider, will be changing its name to “TD Retail Card Services” in hopes of tapping the recognition of financial strength and customer focus provided through the organization’s parent company, TD Bank Financial Group. With this development also comes “TD Retail Card Services” enhancement of its product offerings, services, technologies and marketing initiatives. Originally founded in 1937, Shoppers Charge Accounts Co was acquired from Hudson United Bank by TD Banknorth in January 2006 and is the seventh-largest provider of private label credit throughout North America and the Caribbean.

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CHARGE Anywhere Certifies ExaDigm’s Terminals

CA-based POS terminal solution provider ExaDigm has been certified by mobile payment provider CHARGE Anywhere. The certification includes ExaDigm’s “XD1000 Countertop Payment Solution”, as well as the “XD2100SP Mobile Payment Solution”, offering Dial, IP, WiFi, CDMA and GSM connectivity. This certification signifies that ExaDigm’s solutions have met all established testing requirements for the “ComsGate 2.4” message format. The “XD1000 and XD2100SP” offer merchants who process through CHARGE Anywhere access to some of the most advanced point-of-sale terminals on the market today and benefit from the highest levels of terminal-based security.

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PaySimple Teams with the IP Commerce Platform

PaySimple on-demand electronic payment processing has partnered with IP Commerce and will integrate its card processing services with the IP Commerce Platform with the intention of providing simplified, dynamic payment processing for small businesses. Combining the PaySimple “Solution 2.0” and the “Payment Processing Center” integrated with the IP Commerce Platform “Toolkit”, the partnership will allow users to electronically collect payments through credit card or eCheck/ACH through a chosen service provider. PaySimple’s “Solution 2.0” provides customers the speed of eCommerce transactions for online purchases, bill payment and recurring billing while the Paysimple can add newly introduced services easily.

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