ICT GROUP Completes PCI Certification

PA-based ICT GROUP has successfully completed its security audit and achieved full certification as a Level 1 Service Provider under the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. ICT GROUP worked with an independent audit firm to achieve official validation and certification for its products and services under the credit card industry’s PCI security standard. Certification involved a complete audit with a 12-step approval process, ensuring that ICT GROUP has built and maintained a secure network, protected cardholder data, maintained a vulnerability management program, implemented strong access control measures, regularly monitored and tested networks, and maintained an information security policy. ICT GROUP is a global provider of customer management and business process outsourcing solutions.

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CONFERENCE BAY & GLOBALCOLLECT

Conference Bay conference portal and GlobalCollect payment service
have recently signed partnership agreements to allow patrons to make
reservations online using GlobalCollect’s “WebCollect” payment platform.
The “WebCollect” solution allows payment processing of all major
currencies and accepts all major credit cards. GlobalCollect
payment methods provided through the solution are accepted globally in
over 200 countries with many different methods. Conference Bay was
established for the purpose of providing resources that allow organizing,
visiting and speaking at conferences as snag-free as possible.

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General Banking Fees Hit All-Time Highs

A new report has found that banking fees have hit all-time highs in several areas, including ATM surcharges of $1.78, bounced check fees of $28.32 and monthly service fees on interest checking accounts of $11.72. FL-based Bankrate says the most prevalent ATM surcharge is now $2.00, up from $1.50 in previous surveys. The ATM surcharge is assessed by 99 percent of the banks in the survey. The average fee charged by banks when their own customers use another bank’s ATM held steady at $1.25. This remains the lowest since 2002. The trend of the past couple years has been to enhance customer satisfaction by providing free or lower-cost access to non-bank ATMs. However, the fee-friendly policies often debut as a feature of certain accounts, rather than a bank-wide policy, though more banks are now instituting it across both interest and non-interest accounts.

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CAP ONE REWARDS CARD

Capital One has introduced a no-fee/”no-hassle” rewards card in response
to a recent survey suggesting such criteria is popular. The recent survey,
sponsored by Capital One, shows that only 10% of Canadian consumers
were satisfied with their current rewards card. Moreover, 42% of the
participants were bothered by annual fees and 42% were frustrated with
expiry dates on credit card rewards programs. In addition, 53% would
prefer a cash back reward, 26% prefer gift certificates, 24% would be
happy with merchandise, and 39% prefer travel rewards. Therefore,
Capital One’s rewards card also offers one reward mile for every dollar
spent, a “welcome” bonus of 5,000 miles with first purchase, no limit on
the
rewards customers can earn, no expiration on rewards for the life of your
account, and no blackout dates or seat restrictions among other consumer-
friendly features.

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Online Transactions to More Than Double by 2012

A new study shows that online transactions will more than double to reach $355.2 billion over the next five years. Javelin Strategy & Research says by 2012, 30% of Americans will turn to online alternative payments, instead of reaching to their wallet for a traditional credit card. The research predicts that online alternative transactions will more than double by 2012 as consumers increasingly view these methods as a vehicle for secure and convenient transactions. Traditional brands and methods will endure representing the largest dollar amount and percentage of total online transactions, but that percentage will slip to 44% by 2012, according to the study. Debit card reward programs and promotions continue to lure younger consumers and will help to nearly triple the debit card transaction volume to $93.9 billion by 2012. Javelin predicts that credit card use will continue to represent the largest dollar amount growth, but the percent of online transaction volume will decrease from 60% to 44% by 2012.

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MCCORMICK & SCHNICK AND GIVEX

Operating on the Givex integrated “Squirrel” gift and loyalty program,
McCormick & Schmick’s “Preferred Guest Membership Program” has
been reported to be successful. The seafood restaurant’s loyalty program
provides customers with rewards that offer one point per dollar
spent. These points are redeemable for gifts, travel packages and food.
Since April 2006, the program has acquired 20,000 members. McCormick
& Schmick Seafood operates 77 restaurants, including 5 in Canada under The
Boathouse brand, and was established 35 years ago. Givex provides closed
loop card processing in North America and Europe.

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ATG Commerce Offers PayPal Express Checkout

MA-based E-commerce provider ATG has announced the complete integration of PayPal Express Checkout as a payment option in ATG Commerce. PayPal Express Checkout users store their preferred credit, debit or checking account information via their PayPal account and do not have to re-enter this information on individual sites.In making full service PayPal functionality available across ATG Commerce and ATG Commerce OnDemand, ATG is providing merchants the ability to drive incremental sales and increase online conversions with one of the leading online payment methods.

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FDC & AUSTIN LOGISTICS

First Data has announced the completion of the integration Austin
Logistics’ predictive analytic “EarlyDetection System” with its own
“VisionPLUS” card processing. The card processing platform is used
by the large card issuers and as an outsourcing platform by First Data
International in Shanghai. Austin Logistics Inc provides analytic
software to predict customer behavior for account assessments. The
company’s “EarlyDetection” provides First Data International customers
with a program to predict revenue, varying levels of account activation
and fraud/delinquency risk. First Data International has over 8,100
employees around the world and serves over 5 million merchant locations,
1,900 card issuers and offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at 2 million
ATM and retail locations.

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Transunion Targets Authorized User Abusers

TransUnion has expanded its authorized user solution offerings by identifying consumers who may have added authorized user relationships to their credit files in an attempt to artificially enhance their credit standing. TransUnion worked with top mortgage lending institutions to analyze the impact of the authorized user dynamic on risk assessment and lending practices. The company then developed a comprehensive solution suite to help make more informed decisions throughout the customer lifecycle, from acquisition to portfolio review to valuation. Financial institutions can select which components of the suite best meet their specific needs. “Authorized User Characteristics” describe various aspects of authorized usership on a given credit file to help predict abuse. “Authorized User Custom Analysis” identifies the segment(s) of high-risk consumers within the portfolio or applicant population that have demonstrated a significant change in their credit profile due to the recent addition of authorized user accounts to their respective credit files. The solution is customized according to a financial institution’s specific credit criteria, business model and risk tolerance.

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GOV PAYMENTS

As part of a government effort toward the modernization of payment methods,
The Vietnam Government has announced that it will no longer be paying
state employees in cash, rather through their bank accounts and cards.
Statistics show that cash payments have been reduced from 23.7% in 2001 to
18 percent in 2007. This figure is still declining in the hopes that 90%
of State
employees will be paid through their bank accounts. Furthermore, the goal
is to issue 45 million individual bank accounts with cash accounting for
no more
than 15% of payments until 2020. In addition, 6.5 million credit cards were
issued for salary payments, 92.5% of which are for users inside the
country,
reflecting the growing popularity in credit card payments.

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VISA Adds a FOB Device to Contactless payWave

VISA has expanded its contactless program with a key fob payment device embedded with “VISA payWave.” The new “VISA Micro Tag” enables issuers to offer cardholders a companion device to an existing credit, debit or prepaid account. The new fob displays the VISA brandmark and contactless indicator but a VISA account number is not required to be embossed or printed on the device. To celebrate the debut of “VISA Micro Tags”, VISA will distribute fobs loaded with $15 to the first 1,000 San Francisco Giants fans entering AT&T Park’s Field Club level tonight. SC-based First Citizen Bank and Barclays started to issue “VISA payWave” cards in August bringing the total number of “VISA payWave” issuers in the U.S. to thirteen. National merchants already accepting “VISA payWave” in the U.S. include BP, 7 Eleven, CVS Pharmacy, McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Jack in the Box. National merchants in the process of upgrading POS terminals to “payWave” include Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Circle K, Office Depot, and PETCO. (CF Library 9/20/07)

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FUNDSTECH CASH CARD

FundsTech has signed a co-branded card deal for The FundsTech
“Cash Card” with an undisclosed bank. This development will allow
FundsTech to penetrate the emerging South African card market composed
of a population with 13 million un-banked consumers. Furthermore, with
this agreement, FundsTech projects issuing over 1,100,000 prepaid cards
(with a $12 monthly fee assessed to each card) over the next 18 months in
the country. On a global scale, it is estimated that there are 1 Billion
in the
working population with no bank account, a market estimated at over $100
Billion annually. FundsTech’s “Cash Card” is a credit card-like solution
that
allows the employer to pay the un-banked workers with a domestic and
international money-transfer feature.

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