Competition in the payment systems business turned nasty yesterday as VeriFone confirmed it has been badmouthing Hypercom’s financial situation and product portfolio. Hypercom, which has come under pressure from some investors to sell or merge, says it’s all a bunch of bunk. In a press release VeriFone says it’s committing a multi-million dollar software investment to fund a free conversion through July of all current Hypercom customer applications and network interfaces to VeriFone platforms. VeriFone claims it has been contacted by many Hypercom customers who are concerned about the company’s future. VeriFone also claims Hypercom’s existing products are not PCI-compliant and its newer products that are PCI-compliant remain largely unproven. Hypercom says VeriFone’s offer is one of desperation as it continues to lose market share and cuts jobs. Hypercom says there is no evidence that its customers relationships are anything but strong and that most of its product line is PCI-compliant with at least six new global PCI-complaint countertop products coming this summer. Hypercom also says VeriFone does not have its source code for conversion, which to rebuild would take a long time, putting VeriFone into a bigger financial hole. Hypercom says it is confused about VeriFone’s position as it appears they are trying to create a monopoly position and eliminate choice in the marketplace.Details
GCA’s “Arriva Card” is now offering instant credit at 75 US casinos. The program makes it simple for casinos to extend immediate credit Casinos simply input an instant credit application for the customer through Arriva’s online proprietary scoring engine and within minutes an approved customer gets an “Arriva Card” with up to $10,000 of credit, with no risk to the casino and the customer has immediate access to their credit line. Since it was first introduced in July 2006, Arriva has extended more than $40 million of credit to responsible gaming patrons. Global Cash Access is a provider of cash access products and related services to gaming propertiesDetails
Vodafone is teaming up with Deutsche Bahn to test a mobile payment system for mass transportation in Berlin and Hanover. The “Touch & Travel” project will enable passengers to press the “Handy” button on their mobile phone near a “Touchpoint” when they board and disembark from a train. They will then receive a monthly bill for the total of their travel. The first test is set for October and will involve volunteers with a full test planned for Berlin early next year.
The Companies said they would like to integrate Deutsche Bahn’s car sharing and “Call-a-Bike” services into the system too. Other partners supporting the program include: Motorola, Atron, NXP and Giesecke&Devrient.
Purchase dollar volume on U.S. signature-based debit cards rose 18% in the fourth quarter to a record $176 billion. The growth rate is on par with the prior year’s gain when fourth quarter PDV neared the $150 billion mark. MasterCard reported $61 billion in U.S. debit card purchase volume, however about $20 billion of the total is PIN debit and online debit. VISA, which has not officially released fourth quarter figures, logged an estimated $135 billion in fourth quarter signature purchase dollar volume. U.S. signature debit card purchase volume for the fourth quarter has been rising at a 15% CAGR since 2002. Debit card purchase volume broke through the $100 billion milestone in 2003, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com]).
Q4 PURCHASE VOLUME
(VISA & MC)
2002: $ 88 billion
2003: $106 billion
2004: $126 billion
2005: $149 billion
2006: $176 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)
Wal-Mart has withdrawn its application to charter an industrial loan company. The application was made in July 2005 to reduce debit and credit card transactions costs and was the source of a number of concerns that the retailer would be launching branch banking operations. Wal-Mart indicated it would continue seek other ways to offer savings to its customers.Details
Shop.org will host an “Online Marketing Workshop” with guest speaker Mitch Joel, President of Canadian-based Twist Image, in April in Florida. At the two-day workshop, Joel will enlighten guests with his presentation, “Six Pixels of Separation,” which will discuss cutting-edge marketing channels like social networking, blogs, and podcasting and how they result in increased consumer loyalty and positive ROI. Other sessions and presentations during the event will focus on how to “Achieve, Measure and Communicate Positive ROI.” Shop.org is the network for retailers online and is a division of the National Retail Federation.Details
Quick serve restaurant Bojangles’ has completed a roll-out with Accel Networks for the delivery of fixed wireless broadband connectivity between 140 store locations. “Accelerator” fuses the availability, reliability, management and security of frame relay with the data throughput and price point of DSL and therefore competes very effectively with both DSL and frame relay. The Accel network is PCI compliant, private end-to-end, fully redundant and secure. The network is physically isolated from the internet. Accel provides high speed wireless data communications to retail organizations across the United States.Details
GA-based Priority Payment Systems has hired Ryan O’Connor, previously with TransFirst, as SVP of Mergers & Acquisitions. This new venture of Priority Payment Systems is called Priority Finance. O’Connor will be responsible for overseeing Priority Finance’s acquisition strategy including ISO/Agent residuals and bank portfolio purchases. O’Connor brings over a decade of experience in the financial industry to his new role, most recently serving as president of Business Development for TransFirst. O’Connor has also held executive management positions with creditcards.com and Card Payment Systems. Priority Payment Systems provides merchant services to credit card accepting businesses and facilitates sales of merchant processing, provides credit/underwriting functions, and manages fraud prevention, settlement and account reconciliation.Details
Truston announced “MyTruston” received a 4 out of 5 rating by PC Magazine for its step-by-step approach to detecting and recovering from the loss of private financial information. “MyTruston” is the only free credit inspecting service available today, helping members obtain free credit reports every four months, instead of charging the annual fee of $130 requested by most credit monitoring services. “MyTruston” tailors the ID theft recovery process to meet each individual’s needs, and it customizes instructions for each user every step along the way. This service manages recovery from a central location by handling a range of details including scheduling tasks, sending email reminders, and providing follow-up documents for download. Truston is dedicated to helping people deal with identity theft without putting personal information at risk.Details
Charlotte-based Source Technologies has partnered with ChoicePay to create a network of self-service bill payment kiosks. “ChoicePay” kiosks will accept cash to pay any local, regional or national billers active on the kiosk. Source Technologies will integrate the “ChoicePay” multi-biller, bill payment functionality into the “CONCOURSE” line of self-service kiosks, to enable bill payment for cash paying consumers nationwide. Billers that support walk-up payments for cash-preferred customers can reduce the cost associated with processing attended payments, which can average $1.501 or more per transaction. ChoicePay is an electronic bill payment solutions provider and a subsidiary of Tulsa National Bancshares. Source Technologies is a leading provider of integrated solutions for managing financial transactions and other secure business processes.Details
More Americans favor the use of fingerprint recognition for securing financial transactions than any other biometric technology including retinal scanning, signature verification and voice recognition. A new study found that 41% are most comfortable with fingerprint recognition compared to 26% who favor retinal scanning. Atlanta-based Synergistics Research found signature verification was favored by only 12% while voice recognition came in last at 9%. The research firm says its latest study also discovered that 75% of all respondents say they are more concerned now with fraud and identity theft than they were five years ago. Slightly more than one-fifth say their level of concern is the same. In addition, six in ten strongly agree with the statement, “Financial institutions should be doing more to protect their customers from identity theft and fraud.”Details