MasterCard PayPass Continues Leadership Role

MasterCard’s “PayPass” continues to exert leadership and momentum in the global contactless payment arena. Over the past twelve months the number of “PayPass” cards and devices has soared by 60%, rising to 16 million at mid-year. This month in the U.S., Harvard University Employees CU became the first credit union to offer “PayPass”; PETCO Animal Supplies announced it will accept “PayPass” in all of its 900 stores; MO-based Central Bancompany became the first community bank holding company to issue “PayPass” cards; and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Einstein Brother’s Bagels and Noah’s Bagels, announced that they will begin accepting contactless payments at their over 400 locations. Last month, MasterCard and VeriFone announced that New York City taxis will begin accepting “PayPass,” with more than 5,000 NYC taxis anticipated to accept PayPass by December and MasterCard and USA Technologies announced the installation of a record number of cashless payment terminals, up to 7,500 into Coca-Cola vending machines in several markets nationwide. Internationally, “PayPass” trials and roll-outs are currently underway in 18 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the U.K.

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CLEAR2PAY & TAI YUAN CITY BANK

Clear2Pay has signed its first payment contract with Tai Yuan City
Bank. With this development, Tai Yuan City will be implementing
Clear2Pay’s check image exchange system for clearing of low value
vouchers, using CNAPS architecture, allowing the bank to circulate
checks with secure, efficient payment settlement. Clear2Pay China’s
office employs 40, including a sales team, with a total of 260 around
the world.

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ALASKA AIRLINES & GUESTLOGIX

Alaska Airlines has deployed GuestLogix’ “Mobile Virtual Store”
in-flight retail platform on 22 transcontinental flights. This
development is in response to positive reception from Alaska Airline
customers and their option to use credit and debit card purchases
for beer, wine, “Red Bull” energy drinks, “Northern Bites” meals,
picnic packs, and the rental of “digEplayer” personal entertainment
systems. The “Mobile Virtual Store” is available on a total of nearly
300 million passenger trips a year and fast becoming recognized as
an industry standard. Alaska Airlines serves 92 cities throughout
North America and is currently celebrating its 75th anniversary while
GuestLogix provides on-board retail transaction-based solutions for
airlines, caterers, railways, ferries, hotels and commissary customers.

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VISA payWave Gains Traction in US & Abroad

VISA’s contactless technology continues to gain traction in the U.S. and internationally with 41 issuers in 11 countries, including seven of the top ten VISA issuers in the USA. “VISA payWave” has been applied to credit, debit, prepaid cards and is now being tested with mobile phones. Wells Fargo is currently testing “VISA payWave” on the mobile platform, using contactless and NFC for payment and mobile couponing technologies. 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. In Europe, HSBC Bank, HBOS, Lloyds TSB, RBS and Barclays have been acquiring “VISA payWave” merchants in London and began issuing the new cards this month. This week VISA announced the launch of a landmark mobile payment trial with Chunghwa Telecom and Chinatrust Commercial Bank in Taiwan.

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PAYWAVE MOBILE

VISA’s mobile payment platform is getting a big lift as it gears up a major pilot in Asia Pacific. The six-month trial will combine near field communication-enabled mobile phones, over-the-air personalization, “Visa payWave” contactless payments and merchant direct marketing offers sent to the phone. The “PayWave” pilot is a collaboration with Chunghwa Telecom, Chinatrust Commercial Bank and Nokia. Taiwan is the top “Visa payWave” contactless market in the Asia Pacific with more than 1.4 million VISA contactless cards in use. VISA noted that recent research shows mobile phone penetration rate is 103.2% Taiwan. The public pilot will involve 500 Chunghwa Telecom “Call Call” co-brand cardholders using NFC-enabled “Nokia 6131i” handsets to make contactless payments at any of the 3,000 stores that accept “Visa payWave” contactless cards in Taiwan. Consumers will be able to obtain merchant offers by pre-registering their preferences to receive certain types of coupons or by holding their phone up to special posters located in popular shopping areas, thereby triggering on-demand download of specific merchant offers. On-demand offers are supported through the use of posters and other media embedded with NFC tags.

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Barclays Launches DIRECTV Co-Branded VISA

The nation’s top satellite television service provider, with more than 16.3 million U.S. customers, has launched a co-branded credit card offering lifetime reward experiences at attractive redemption levels. The new “DIRECTV Rewards VISA” enables cardholders to earn a trip to the “Sundance Film Festival”; lunch at the “Playboy Mansion”; backstage tour of “The Tyra Banks Show”; and trackside passes and tour of the “DIRECTV NASCAR HotPass Broadcast Booth.” Hundreds of other reward options are available, including DIRECTV programming and hardware, merchandise and memorabilia, starting at 2,000 points. Cardholders earn one point per dollar spent and 1,000 bonus points when they enroll in “Auto Bill Pay” with their “DIRECTV Rewards VISA” for their monthly DIRECTV service charges. Barclay’s U.S. card business, which acquired Juniper Bank in 2004, has more than 50 card partnerships and more than 3.5 million U.S. card accounts. (CF Library 8/21/07)

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Discover Inks a Deal with Chase Paymentech

Discover Network card acceptance got a big boost to access small- to mid-sized merchants after inking an integration deal with Chase Paymentech. Chase Paymentech has already integrated Discover Network into the merchant boarding process as the first step towards full integration, and expects to rollout the full processing package to its existing merchant customers starting early next year. Chase Paymentech is the world’s largest merchant acquirer, with a customer base of more than 600,000 merchants in almost 1 million locations. In December, RBS Lynk completed integration and roll-out of direct Discover Network card processing. Also last year, First National Merchant Solutions agreed to offer it customers Discover card acquiring services. U.S. Bancorp’s NOVA Information Systems signed a merchant acquiring agreement to add Discover Network card acceptance. Additionally, Global Payments and TSYS Acquiring Solutions agreed to expand the card’s acceptance. (CF Library 10/10/06; 12/5/06; 12/18/06)

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Bill Me Later Credit Card Adds a Client

Online retailer Home Decor Products is now offering customers the “Bill Me Later” private label credit card. This branded program offers shoppers a dedicated line of credit towards the purchase of thousands of items on “HomeClick.com,” Home Decor’s flagship online destination for home improvement and decor items. Home Decor Products also offers the Bill Me Later service, which allows consumers to make online purchases at a variety of merchants without using a credit card. The Home Decor Preferred Account program gives customers increased buying power at Home Decor Products where they can purchase everything from bath and kitchen fixtures to appliances and accessories.

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Mint Online Money Service Offers Savings

Mountain View, CA-based startup Mint reports that its new online money management service produces savings worth an average of $1,000 within minutes of setup. The new free service enables consumers to manage all their checking, savings, and credit accounts in one place. Each night, Mint downloads transaction data from more than 3,500 banks, credit unions and credit card providers, giving users a unified view of all account activity in a single interface. Users register anonymously using only a valid email address, and then add their log-ins for online bank, credit union and credit card accounts. Mint also utilizes a patent-pending categorization technology that automatically identifies and organizes transactions, showing users with precision where and how much they spending. An alerting system proactively lets users know about unusual activity, low balances, unwanted fees and charges, and upcoming bills. Mint also searches through a proprietary database of thousands of up-to-date offers from hundreds of providers to help users automatically find better deals like a higher savings rate or a lower loan rate.

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AmbironTrustWave Becomes TrustWave

Chicago-based AmbironTrustWave has changed its brand name to Trustwave. Trustwave better represents the value provided to customers and accurately reflects the company’s evolution from a provider of compliance services to that of a total information security and compliance management solutions provider. Trustwave’s solutions — including compliance management services, managed security services and SSL certificates, create a secure environment for consumers and businesses. their partners, employees and customers. Trustwave is a global provider of information security and compliance management solutions to businesses and the public sector.

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Strawhecker Group to Consult on C-Stores

Omaha-based The Strawhecker Group, the largest consulting firm focused exclusively on the merchant acquiring and ISO community, announced it is expanding its consulting services to include the oil and convenience store verticals. Heading this new division is industry expert and TSG associate Rich Eyberg. Eyberg has extensive experience in this area, including five years managing a variety of functions at Alliance Data Systems, viewed as one of the top providers of processing services to the oil/convenience store marketplace.

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FTC Plans a Debt Collection Workshop

The FTC is hosting a workshop on October 10-11, to explore changes in the debt collection industry. Open to the public at no charge, the two-day workshop will be held in the FTC’s Satellite Building Conference Center, 601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. Consumer advocates, industry representatives, state and federal regulators, and others with relevant expertise will provide information on a range of issues, including the effects of technological, economic, and legal changes on the industry and whether the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other laws have kept pace with developments.

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