MICROS & CARA

MICROS has signed with Cara Operations Limited to provide its “Pay-at-
the-Table MICROS 3700” solution for implementation between October
of 2007 to the Summer of 2008. The MICROS “3700” solution eliminates
customers’ fear of fraud (never having to relinquish card possession),
reduces
wait time, is integrated with a mobile payment device from VeriFone
Holdings
and reduces processing fees. MICROS solutions are currently in use at 425
Cara locations throughout North America with 5 of the corporations’ division
brands. The company is a restaurant and airline services organization
operating
such restaurants as Swiss Chalet Rotisserie & Grill, Milestones Grill
and Bar,
Montana’s Cookhouse, Kelsey’s Neighborhood Bar & Grill, Harvey’s and
Airline Solutions. Additionally, MICROS has over 220,000 systems installed
for retail operations and 20,000 management systems for hotels in over 130
countries.

Details

Debit Card Patent Valued at $3.7B

Chicago-based Card Activation Technologies reports that an independent valuation of the market value of its debit card processing patent is more than $3.7 billion. Card Activation Technologies also said that the company’s Form 211 application has been filed with the NASD for a listing of the shares to be traded on the OTC Bulletin Board. The valuation of the company’s patent was completed by IL-based Chapin Associates.

Details

MAYBANK & MONEYGRAM

Previously only available at 58 Maybank branches, the bank has extended
MoneyGram’s transfer service to over 400 of its branch offices. The service
allows global remittance in as little as ten minutes requiring the
remittance
sender to fill a form, pay a fee and the accepter to possess valid
identification
and/or the transaction reference number. With $1.16 billion in revenue for
2006, MoneyGram International has 125,000 global money transfer locations
in 170 countries and territories.

Details

Consumer Spending Confidence Rises

Spending confidence by consumers rose in September after hitting a low point in mid-August. The data also show that more consumers plan to spend the same in October versus September. The only sign of spending caution is the continued downward trend in spending more. Consumers willing to spend more dropped 25% over the last five months. The “Discover U.S. Spending Monitor” stood at 95.9 for the month compared to the August level of 94.8. A factor that may have been affecting spending confidence in September is the decreasing pressure that household expenses like groceries, gas and utilities are having on consumers’ budgets. In September, over 35% of consumers said they would spend more on such expenses next month compared to over 37% in August.

Details

VSS & TRANZACT

Veronis Suhler Stevenson has announced its acquisition of
TRANZACT from Halyard Capital for $185 million. TRAZACT acquires
customers for financial services and communications companies using an
“alignment of interest” compensation, an integrated approach with
multi-channel marketing through the deployment of technology to manage
consumer data records. With this model, TRANZACT aims to evolve
marketing solutions for measurement of and accountability for marketing
dollars invested, assist in Internet navigation and to collect and utilize
data. VSS is a private equity firm with investment in over 54 companies
with unrealized enterprise values of over $12 billion.

Details

Average Debit Transactions Rise 38% Y/Y

A new study has found over the past five years, consumers’ average PIN-secured debit point of sale activity has grown from nine transactions per month to 11, while the average total number of signature debit point of sale transactions made monthly has increased 38% in the last year, from 13 to 18 transactions per month. The annual report from First Data’s STAR Network also found that when asked the reasons behind choosing one form of payment over another, consumers rated security as the most important attribute for any payment method, followed by control over money, fee avoidance, and ease of use. According to the survey, the debit card has the second highest preference for smaller purchases, with preference rising steeply and making it the most preferred payment method for purchases between $25 and $50. At $50, credit cards and debit cards have nearly equal and predominant levels of preference. More than half of those using PIN-secured debit for purchases report spending more than when paying for purchases using cash or checks.

Details

CUP & EUROPAY

China Unionpay and Europay Austria have signed acquiring
agreements for European transactions. With this agreement, CUP cards will be acceptED at Europay POS terminals and ATMs at locations across
Europe. This expands Europay Austria’s network considerably, citing that
CUP has over 1.2 billion cards currently in circulation and a growing number
of the organizations’ customers are visiting Europe. CUP has 24 branches
and 185 members, 31 of which are overseas financial institutions. Europay
Austria provides cashless payment services and has over 95,000 merchants.

Details

NYCE Launches a Mobile Banking Service

NYCE Payments Network is launching the first commercially available mobile banking service from a U.S. debit card payments network. Monitise Americas and Metavante signed an agreement through which NYCE will deliver the Monitise Americas platform directly over its existing network architecture. Monitise Americas is a mobile banking and payments system for North America formed by the joint venture between Metavante and Monitise. NYCE will deliver a mobile banking and payments service designed to be compatible across multiple mobile carriers, so most consumers would be able to use the service without having to switch carriers or handsets. Planned services include balance inquiries, funds transfers, mini-statements, text message alerts, and bill payment. Several financial institutions will launch services beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.

Details

CITIBANK EAZYPAY

Citibank has launched the “EazyPay Loan” sales financing product for the
country’s middle-class market offering installment payment options and
a quick approval process. The installment payment option is available with
over 900 merchant partners throughout the country and allows the
consumer to determine the installment amount for purchasing multiple items.
“EazyPay Loan” is designed for repeated use wherever VISA cards are
accepted. Citi has nearly 200 million customer accounts in more than 100
countries.

Details

AmEx Adds a Another Corp Gift Card

American Express announced the latest addition to its growing line of themed gift cards. The new “American Express Especially for Thank You Gift Card” is available in various denominations from $25 to $100. Companies can buy a large number of the cards online. AmEx enhanced its corporate Gift Card services last year to help corporations and small businesses increase the effectiveness of their gifting programs. The improvements simplified bulk orders and increased the number of American Express Gift Cards that can be purchased by one company through the American Express Web site. AmEx raised the threshold for online purchases to as much as $35,000 or 1400 cards, up from $15,000 or 600 cards last year.

Details

PAYPASS BRIDGE

In the face of the looming postal strikes, APACS is providing tips to
consumers on making payments without incurring penalties or charges.
Recommendations include paying by phone, verifying timescale information
with the supplier, establishing direct electronic payment and to closely
monitor bills and statements through the strike period and thereafter.
APACS also recommends that consumers keep a note of when statements
are due and speaking with providers regarding concern over delayed mail payments.
Statistical research shows that 58% of consumers currently use direct debit
for all bills, which will likely increase with this imminent strike,
household bill
payments have increased from 159 per household in 2000 to 171 in 2006
and nearly 18.1 million people are now banking online. Furthermore, regular
payments made with cash have fallen by 33% since 2000, the number of bill
payments made by check has fallen 32% over the same period and over 50%
of each of these payments are made at the Post Office. APACS provides
banks, building societies and card issuers a forum for discussing
current events
and issues and helps consumers and businesses manage money.

Details

Webster Bank and First USA Extend

CT-based Webster Bank and First USA have announced the extension of their existing agent bank agreement. The credit cards will be marketed under the Webster Bank brand name and First USA will continue to service the loans and provide administrative support for the program. Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association and Webster Insurance with $16.9 billion in assets. Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, insurance, financial planning, trust and investment services.

Details