MPC Says V/MC Failed to Explain Fees to Congress

The Merchants Payments Coalition said Durbin’s Senate legislation will stop the price-fixing and create a transparent market-based process for credit card interchange fees. The MPC says late last month, Senator Durbin, along with Senators Snowe, Kohl and Specter, sent letters to Visa and MasterCard asking for a detailed explanation of the process by which they set their interchange fee rates. According to a statement by Senator Durbin, responses by the card companies failed to adequately explain how they decide what interchange rates to charge. The MPC a/k/a UnfairCreditCardFees.com, is a group of retailers, supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores, fuel stations, on-line merchants and other businesses.

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BofA Extends the Dallas Cowboys Contract

Bank of America and the Dallas Cowboys have announced a new multi-year sponsorship agreement. The 10-year agreement ensures that Bank of America will remain the Official Bank of the Dallas Cowboys and the club’s new stadium through 2019. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Under the new agreement which begins with the 2009 season, Bank of America will receive exclusive rights in the banking category; use of the Cowboys logo and other team marks in TV, radio, print and online advertising; stadium tickets and a corporate suite; in-stadium signage, ATMs and hospitality; a Dallas Cowboys fantasy camp for customers and clients; and extensive onsite advertising and tabling to promote the bank’s popular Dallas Cowboys Banking and Extra Points rewards program.

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FIS Releases its Xpress Deposit Product

Fidelity National Information Services has released “Xpress Deposit” remote deposit solution. Remote deposit makes it possible for consumers to scan checks from any location they choose, using widely available flatbed scanner technology, and send electronic images of the items to their financial institution for processing. This service complements FIS’ highly successful Commercial Capture Xpress solution for businesses and merchants. Fidelity National Information Services is a provider of core processing for financial institutions; card issuer and transaction processing services; mortgage loan processing and mortgage-related information products; and outsourcing services to financial institutions, retailers, mortgage lenders and real estate professionals.

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NRF Embraces Durbin’s Credit Card Bill

The National Retail Federation said that the Senate credit card antitrust legislation introduced shows momentum is building in Congress and that both the House and Senate are ready to bring the credit card companies’ “greed” under “controllation” that would require Visa and MasterCard to negotiate with merchants over hidden credit card processing fees. According to NRF estimates, the average U.S. family will pay $427 in credit card interchange fees in 2008. The NRF represents over 100 state, national and international retail associations.

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ExaDigm Terminals Get Expanded Distribution

Santa Ana, CA-based ExaDigm has teamed with Sacramento, CA-based POS Portal to provide full equipment configuration services for its products including application download, PIN injection, software configuration and wireless activation. ExaDigm’s full line of payment terminal products to be available via POS Portal, include the “XD1000” countertop terminal, the “XD2000” mobile terminal, the “PCI PED” approved “XD2100SP” mobile terminal. In April Apriva announced the completion of “Class A” certification of the “XD2100SP” terminal for GPRS, CDMA, TCP/IP and Dial. In March, Chase Paymentech Solutions awarded “Class A” certification of the “XD2100SP.” In February, Heartland Payment Systems awarded “Class A” certification to ExaDigm’s “XD1000 Countertop Payment Solution” and “XD2000 Mobile Payment Solution.” ExaDigm’s “XD1000” and “XD2000” are PC-based, fully modular payment terminals featuring interchangeable communication modules which eliminate the need to support multiple, same-functionality terminals from one manufacturer and a Linux operating system providing the ability to adapt to changing technologies easily and rapidly. (CF Library 2/14/08)

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POSTILION IMN

Postilion Solutions has signed agreements with Threshold for its switch
deployment. Postilion’s switch will provide Threshold with a direct
connection to Interac Association’s Inter-Member national payment
Network (IMN), extending the organizations’ existing 8-year agreements.
The network allows Canadians to access their money through ATMs and POS
terminals to which the Threshold client base can now participate.
Additionally, this development provides Threshold with increased
financial services performance, flexibility, and scalability thanks to
the Postilion IMN, which is incorporated with the IBM Series p AIX
platform. Threshold has 850 employees throughout North America,
operating over 2000 ATMs, while Postilion, a division of the S1
Corporation, serves over 1,500 client customers in more than 50
countries with solutions that power 100,000 ATMs and 500,000 POS
terminals worldwide.

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AmEx Named Among the Most Ethical Companies

American Express has been selected by The Ethisphere Institute as one of 2008’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies.” The process included reviewing the companies’ codes of ethics, litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; studying nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and customers; and working with consumer action groups for feedback. The 2008 World’s Most Ethical Companies advisory panel included Ethisphere editors and researchers, as well as attorneys, government officials, professors and other leaders from their respective fields who care about ethical and honest business practices. The research-based Ethisphere Institute and associated membership group, the Ethisphere Council, are supported by more than 100 institutions and corporations, including the Practising Law Institute, the National Association of Corporate Directors, the Global Reporting Initiative and Corpedia. The Institute is dedicated to the research, creation, and sharing of best practices in ethics, compliance, and corporate governance among its membership companies.

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STARBUCKS & PAYWAVE

Starbucks and Visa have sigbed an exclusive partnership
whereby Starbucks customers can pay for their purchases with their “Visa payWave”-enabled card or mobile phone. “Visa payWave”-enabled cards are available through 12 major Korean credit card issuers including Shinhan, Samsung, Hyundai, BC, Lotte and are accepted at various merchant locations including CGV, Homeplus, Primus, 7-Eleven, Lotte World, Red Mango, Michaa, Kyobo Books and SK gas stations. In South Korea cardholders are able to make purchases of less than KRW30,000 by
simply waving their card or mobile phone in front of a point-of-sale
terminal. In September Visa reported that “payWave” had 41 issuers in 11 countries, including seven of the top ten Visa issuers in the USA.

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CheckFreePay NextDay Payment Service Doubles

Fiserv reports that its “CheckFreePay NextDay Payment” service has recently doubled the number of companies accepting the payment service to over 300. Faster payments are becoming more available in response to a growing demand, as reflected with this development, through Fiserv’s nationwide network of over 12,000 agents which offer “Standard” “CheckFreePay” payments-delivered electronically in two to three business days-and the “NextDay” payment service. Statistics show the under-banked population in the United States represents 40 million households and are frequent users of walk-in bill payment services such as the new Fiserv solution. Mostly, these bills consist of power, phone and cable bills to such organizations as Wisconsin Electric and Georgia Power. Additionally, a “CheckFreePay” same-day payment option is available for select bills thanks to prearranged agreements with select organizations.

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RIGHTSHORE & HSBC

Capgemini consulting, technology and outsourcing services has extended
its relationship with HSBC applying its “Rightshore” global delivery
model to support the HSBC’s global financial services business. The two
organizations have had existing relations for 17 years prior to this
development and, with the “Rightshore” offering, Capgemini is projected
to have contributed 4,500 man-years of resources to HSBC by the end of
2010. This contribution is most prevalent in HSBC’s Consumer Lending,
Credit Cards, Group Consumer Finance, and Insurance businesses on
various technology platforms, including legacy systems and Web-based
systems. HSBC Holdings plc serves over 128 million customers worldwide
through around 10,000 offices in 83 countries and has assets of nearly
$2,354 billion while Capgemini reported 2007 global revenues of EUR 8.7
billion and employs over 83,000 people worldwide.

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AT&T and Citi Beef Up Small Biz Card Offering

Citi has introduced the “AT&T Universal Business Rewards Card.” Cardholders can earn five points for every dollar spent on eligible AT&T products and services; three points for every dollar spent at participating office-supply retailers, gas stations and professional services providers, such as accounting and legal firms; and one point for every dollar spent on all other purchases. Cardholders can earn up to 100,000 points each calendar year. To support the launch AT&T is offering a free one-hour online seminar discussing payment and funding for small businesses. As part of an ongoing series of instructional Web-based seminars and training courses available on AT&T’s small business Web site, the June 12th seminar is titled: “Getting the Most from Payment Solutions: How Credit Cards and Other Tools Can Drive Efficiencies for Your Business.”

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