Rawlins & Rivera Settles FTC FDCPA Charges

Rawlins & Rivera of Florida and Rawlins & Rivera of Georgia have signed a final order with the FTC over allegations they violated the “FTC Act and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act” while collecting consumers’ debts. The FTC’s complaint alleged that the enterprise used misleading dunning letters and abusive telephone calls to falsely threaten that consumers would be sued, their property seized, and their wages garnished if they did not pay the money that the defendants said they owed. The complaint alleged that the collectors often shouted and used profanity and other abusive language to carry out their collections.

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CONSUMER LATE FEES

According to the consumer website, MoneyExpert.com, credit card
issuers have capitalized on late fees by more than GBP50 million over
the past 6 months. Further research shows that, on average, consumers
have missed 694,506 monthly payments over these same 6 months, for
a total of 4.1 million missed payments, 9% of bills have been missed
during this time period, 13% of these consumers are between the ages of
25 and 34 while 11% of Midland/Wales consumers are responsible for
the missed payments. In response to these statistics, the website
organization is encouraging consumers to take immediate action for the
prevention of credit-rating-damage.

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BART Adds Jack-In-The-Box to its Card Project

BART riders are participating in the first-in-the-nation technological trial that will enable participants to walk up to any BART fare gate with a specially-equipped Sprint wireless phone and pay for their ride by tagging the phone on a reader located on top of the gate. Once through the gate, the 230 trial participants can hold their specifically-equipped Sprint mobile phone up to certain Jack in the Box and Sprint “smart advertisements” on BART station walls and download either directions to the nearest Jack in the Box restaurant or content from Sprint. Then, after taking the train to their favorite Jack in the Box location, participants can use their phone to pay for their meal.

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i2c Announces a New Account Advocate

Transaction processor i2c has hired Wendy Mejia as an Account Advocate. Previously, Mejia worked in client relations within the retail industry and managed high profile clients such as Anheuser Busch and 20th Century Fox. Her primary role is to develop the relationship with senior decision-makers and to maintain an understanding of their business in terms of current performance and future strategies.

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VISA TUNE CARD

Tune Money has unveiled its “VISA Tune Card”, targeting consumers
aged 12-18 years. Offering instant, online approval, the “Tune Card”
offers children the ability to make cash withdrawals at ATMs for an
annual fee of RM9.99. With this solution, says Tune Money, it will be
much easier for parents to transfer money to the user’s account and to
monitor how much the child spends. This solution would also be ideal
for children studying overseas and, not to mention, offer a safer
alternative to having to carry cash.

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CLEAR2PAY CAPITAL

Clear2Pay has announced that it has received EUR10 million in capital
from its current investors, led by Iris Capital. Reasons behind this influx
of investment capital include a bright outlook on financial software
solutions, investors’ positive impression of Clear2Pay’s growth strategy,
which is composed of targeted acquisition and integration, investor
support for expansion in China and the development of the Company’s
Open Payment Framework. Clear2Pay financial technology company
is headquartered in Belgium, employing 340, and provides payments
services for financial organizations on e-commerce, remittance and retail
platforms.

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mPoria Introduces GoLo Shopping Service

WA-based mPoria mobile commerce has launched its “GoLo” mobile shopping service to provide consumers with discounts on hard-to-find merchandise with the application of a unique method. The “GoLo” method offers consumers merchandise at a price that drops every few seconds until it either sells out or the price reaches $0. The new service serves as a portal for over 100 merchants and provides consumers with free registration from their mobile phone browser. Upon registration, consumers can monitor current featured items, a schedule of upcoming products and are allowed to make purchases using credit card, debit card or PayPal.

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CAPITAL ONE CONSUMER SURVEY

A newly released Capital One consumer survey shows that, among the 41%
whom decided not to make a New Year’s resolution, 74% see more
importance in a balanced personal budget over a balanced diet. Among the
Canadians who did decide to make a resolution, 19% make resolutions in
physical fitness while 11% are trying to improve their financial shape,
with
71% having met holiday ’07 budgets. Additionally, 25% Canadians are
unaware of their credit card interest rates, while 58% are unaware of
various
low-interest options available to them.

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Keynote Identifies Top Holiday 2007 E-Tailers

A Web traffic service has found that Cabelas, a sporting goods retailer, Barnes and Noble and Best Buy had the retail industry’s best reliability over the holiday season, an indication their sites were highly available and experienced little or no downtime over the 30 day study period. According to Keynote, Victoria’s Secret, Circuit City and Cabelas had the industry’s best site responsiveness over the holiday season, an indication of how fast those sites were in downloading pages and completing transactions for consumers. Cabelas and Best Buy had the industry’s best overall service levels over the holiday season, ranking highly in terms of both site reliability and site responsiveness. Keynote also found that some of the leading retail sites showed up to 400% slow-downs during peak shopping days, a rate at which Keynote experts caution leads to consumer abandonment of a product search or check-out. On average, retailers experienced 5% to 10% slow-downs during peak holiday shopping periods, which would not significantly impact the consumer’s online experience or impede check-out.

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Consumer Banks Must Lead Mobile Banking Market

A new report has found that mobile banking deployments will develop significantly over the next five years. However, TowerGroup finds that the most critical driver for the successful evolution of mobile banking and payments will be the ability of financial institutions and mobile operators to balance ease of use with security. TowerGroup says banks must also be wary of mobile operators that wish to control the emerging mobile payments space and profit from the anticipated high volume of mobile transactions. Although the mobile operators deserve their fair share of mobile banking and payments revenues, TowerGroup believes that consumer banks — with deep expertise in payments processing and maintaining trusted consumer relationships — must be the central player in this burgeoning market.

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