PAYMENT CHINA 2008

The 2nd annual “Payment China 2008” will be held in mid-April of
this year in Beijing, China. With payment services accounting for over
40% of total bank revenue, IT and diversification is increasing
competition in the market, for which “Payment China 2008” provides
a forum where industry leaders can share ideas and receive guidance.
Representatives from financial institutions around the world are scheduled
to speak, provide guidance and ideas on issues regarding the country-wide
payment, clearing and settlement infrastructures, payment services, the
Asian payment industry, the upcoming Olympics, transfer services and
risk prevention.

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GE Money Profits Slow to 7% Year-on-Year

GE reported that revenues for its GE Money unit grew 22% in the fourth quarter to $6.6 billion. Profits grew by 7% to $957 million, compared to one-year ago, but down from the prior quarter’s year-on-year growth rate of 13%. In December GE indicated it was looking to sell or form a partnership for some of its GE Money services including its U.S. private-label credit-card business. Overall, GE is reviewing between $30 billion and $50 billion in financial assets to sell or share. The Company cites a slowing U.S. consumer and a challenging housing market as reasons to reevaluate its financial services business. GE Money’s credit card business contributes about 16% of its $4 billion+ annual net income. During the quarter, GE Money and the National Tour Association established a five-year extension of the GE Money Travel Finance Program available through NTA’s more than 600 tour operators globally; established a relationship with FL-based decoupled ACH debit card provider National Payment Card to link National Payment Card’s ACH-based alternate payment system with the GE Motor Club; extended its consumer financing agreement with FL-based City Furniture; renewed its consumer financing agreement with Thomasville Furniture; and signed a multi-year agreement with Wood-Mizer for revolving and installment financing. For complete details on GE’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 10/24/06; 10/25/06; 12/4/06; 12/13/06; 12/15/06)

GE MONEY TRACK RECORD
Income Revenues
4Q/06: $898 million $5375 million
1Q/07: $851 million $5807 million
2Q/07: $952 million $6145 million
3Q/07: $942 million $6207 million
4Q/07: $957 million $6578 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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MagTek Introduces the MagneSafe MSR

MagTek Inc has introduced its new “MagneSafe” Secure Magnetic Stripe Readers (MSR’s) for payment card reading. With this new solution, retailers can encrypt card data at POS terminals locations, thus meeting PCI-DSS recommendations for user protection. The Association for Retail Technology Standards’ UnifiedPOS 1.12 open standard platform provides the POS software and support for this new category of card readers, “Secure MSR’s”, which are required of the new “MagneSafe” solution. MagTek provides electronic transaction technology at POS terminals for thousands of companies worldwide with sales offices and independent distributors in over 40 countries.

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RED DRAGON & TRITON DISTRIBUTION

Triton Distribution Systems and Red Dragon Express have teamed
to offer event tickets throughout China, including for the 2008
Beijing Olympics. In addition to providing online booking for 500
different events at the upcoming Olympics, over 580 international
airlines and 23 Chinese airlines, Red Dragon customers can also
make cruise and hotel reservations with thousands of choices. The
Beijing Olympics will offer spectators access to witness 28 different
summer sports and 302 different events with nearly 10,500
competitors. Triton Distribution Systems and its China Portal, Red
Dragon Express, provide Internet-based travel distribution and
procurement solutions for airlines, car rental companies, hotels, tour
and cruise operators.

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CardFlash Looks Back to August 2007

WI-based Fiserv agrees to acquire CheckFree in an all-cash transaction valued at about $4.4 billion. Shopko launches the “My Shopko extra savings Rewards Card” and the co-branded “my Shopko rewards VISA.” Contactless specialist ViVOtech picks up NCR as a new investor as it raised more than $22 million in its third round of funding. A new study from Demos find that 7% of white cardholders, 15% of African American and 13% of Latinos cardholders pay interest rates higher than 20%. Capital One inks deal to acquire prepaid card specialist NetSpend for $700 million in cash. Austin, TX-based Austin Ventures’ CreditCards.com, Inc. files a registration statement with the SEC for an IPO. The TJX Companies reports it took an after-tax cash charge of approximately $118 million for its recent computer intrusion events. Hypercom unveils a new version of its “PCI PED” certified “P1300 PIN Pad.” BankAtlantic becomes the first Florida bank to become an agent offering American Express business cards. Bank of America becomes the first “Official Bank of the NFL” in the U.S. and has introduced the “NFL Checking” program that includes “Check Cards” and checks designed specifically for the pro football fan. First Data’s “STAR Network” surcharge-free service hooks-up with the nation’s largest surcharge-free ATM network. Shell Oil Products US begins to implement VISA USA’s partial authorization policy for prepaid VISA cards. 7-Eleven, Elan Financial Services and InComm introduce the “Vanilla VISA Gift Card.”

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SVENSKA SPEL & SAMPORT

Svenska Spel gaming company and Samport Payment Services have
partnered to offer casino-goers a card payment solution. Moreover, with
this development, Svenska Spel can offer customers an Internet payment
option, a POS payment option and an anti-fraud solution for card
payment transactions. Experts with Svenska Spel see this partnership with
Samport as a necessity for their expanding business model and the need
to provide cost-efficient flexibility and responsiveness.

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NOVA and AmEx Sign a Merchant Agreement

Atlanta-based NOVA has inked a deal to sign up and service American Express merchants on behalf of AmEx. Under the terms of the agreement, NOVA will add American Express Card acceptance to the payment processing services offered to merchants and will provide processing, settlement, customer support and reporting to merchants for all major card brands. The program is also open to existing NOVA merchants that wish to now add American Express Card acceptance and use NOVA as their single point of contact. NOVA offers integrated payment processing services to more than 1,000,000 merchants worldwide.

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OCT DEBT

FSV Payments and MiCash have teamed to provide a prepaid debt
“card-to-cash” money transfer solution. With this solution, users pay a
flat fee, regardless of the remittance destination or transfer amount, and
are allowed to collect cash at any of the Bancomer Transfer Service
locations
around the world. The recipient can also opt to have the funds deposited
to an account of their choice and is given the option to establish a
list of
fund recipients. FSV Payment Systems provides stored-value and prepaid
debit solutions across various sectors and is headquartered in Houston,
Texas while MiCash provides financial services to the underserved
consumer-segment with remittance solutions and cards.

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Rewards Network Adds a Board Member

Rewards Network marketing services has appointed Mark R. Sotir to its Board of Directors. Sotir is also a Managing Director of Equity Group Investments, L.L.C. and has experience in upper level management with Coca-Cola, Minute Maid and Budget Auto Rental. Most recently, however, the new board member was CEO of Sunburst Technology Corporation, an educational software distributor. His advanced education includes a BA in Economics from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Rewards Network is based in Chicago and provides frequent dining programs throughout North America for thousands of restaurants and more than 3 million members.

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CBA & NDP

In response to the recent NDP criticism of Canadian credit card interest
rates, the Canadian Bankers Association(CBA) holds that the NDP is
misunderstanding credit cards, which are useful to consumers whom
benefit from a competitive market of 550 issuers. Evidence supporting
CBA’s position reflects that 73% of Canadian consumers pay their
balance in full every month, revoking the need to pay any interest, with
the remaining consumers paying an average of no more than 15% interest.
The Canadian Bankers Association represents 54 Canadian banks,
representing 249,000 employees, which were collectively responsible for
3.57% of the 2006 GDP.

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