Monthly Payment Rates Head Higher in July

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, continued its upward climb during July. Year-to-date, the monthly payment rate has averaged 19.93%, running about 250 basis points from one-year ago. Driven by higher minimum payments, payment rates hit 20.46% in July, an increase of 47 basis points from June and 216 basis points above year-ago levels. According to CardData, the payment rate averaged 19.97% during the first quarter and averaged 18.60% for 2005. Five years ago the monthly payment rate hovered around 15%.

Monthly Payment Rate
Feb 06: 19.40%
Mar 06: 19.89%
Apr 06: 20.11%
May 06: 19.68%
Jun 06: 19.99%
Jul 06: 20.46%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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pulvermedia Acquires Foreword Financial

MA-based pulvermedia has acquired Foreword Financial, a producer of events for the banking and financial services industry. Foreword Financial currently produces the “4th Annual Bank Card Conference” scheduled for Orlando in mid-October. The first event planned for the combined entity will be an event scheduled for the fall of 2007 that will feature six Foreword Financial conferences under one roof. These conferences are the “Bank Card Conference,” “Operations Conference,” “Bank Technology Convention,” “Outsourcing Forum” and the “Security Forum.” In addition to these five existing conferences, a new conference – called the “Securities Brokerage and Asset Management Operations & Technology Conference” – will augment the agenda with its own advisory committee, programming and networking functions.

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Interlink Volume Runs 40% Higher in 2006

VISA’s online domestic debit brand, “Interlink,” has topped 123 million cards this year, compared to 97 million one-year ago. Sales volume soared by more than 39% to nearly $36 billion for 2Q/06, compared to one-year ago. The number of “Interlink” merchants grew by 7% to 1.4 million according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). The average “Interlink” sales transaction was $39.88 for 2Q/06. At the end of 2003, VISA had 70 million “Interlink” cards, which rose to 88.3 million by the end of 2004. Gross dollar volume (sales & cash) rose 40% in the second quarter 2006 to $38.9 billion.

INTERLINK HISTORICAL
Sales Volume Cards
2Q/04: $15.0 billion 87.0 million
3Q/04: $19.4 billion 88.3 million
4Q/04: $23.4 billion 88.3 million
1Q/05: $22.5 billion 91.0 million
2Q/05: $25.9 billion 97.4 million
3Q/05: $28.7 billion 97.4 million
4Q/05; $35.3 billion 97.4 million
1Q/06: $32.3 billion 123.1 million
2Q/06: $35.9 billion 123.1 million
Source: VISA USA

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

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Polytron Selects i2c for Processing

CA-based i2c has been chosen as a transaction processing partner by Polytron. Polytron Connections, Inc. (Polytron), a California Corporation, has provided award-winning Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) to virtually every segment of business and industry from large, medium, and small businesses to, state and federal government agencies, and K-12 education (Gov/Ed). i2c is a leading, global technology provider of electronic payment processing solutions. i2c’s stored value processing and card management platform is an end-to-end solution developed specifically for stored value products.

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Pemco Technologies Beefs-Up its Servers

Seattle-based Pemco Technologies is deploying four Stratus “ftServer 5700” systems for ATM and PIN debit card processing. The Stratus “ftServer 5700” system was unveiled in January and is the industry’s first fault-tolerant server to use “Dual-Core Intel Xeon” processor technology. With eight processing execution cores, the two-way server delivers exceptional transaction throughput for enterprise business processing and multitasking applications in a compact, rack-optimized and cost-effective package. Pemco specializes in pass-through processing for financial institutions that choose in-house credit, debit, and ATM processing.

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WESCO Stores Joins the Debitman Network

WESCO Stores has joined the Debitman Card payment network and is now issuing its own branded debit cards to customers at its 51 Michigan locations. Consumers who sign up for WESCO’s debit card experience savings on gas purchases at any WESCO store, as well as the convenience of using the card at more than 200,000 merchant locations in the U.S. that participate in The Retailer’s Network, including Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, Barnes & Noble, and CVS. Credit card interchange fees function like a hidden tax on consumer purchases by forcing retailers to increase prices to offset costs; in 2005, MasterCard and Visa earned $30 billion from consumer card-based transactions. Debitman created and operates The Retailer’s Network, the only national, interoperable electronic payment network for retailer-issued debit cards.

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FASTLANE Launches a Major Sale Promo

CO-based FASTLANE Secure Payments has launched a $100,000 sales promotion to run through November 30th. FASTLANE chose to offer the sales promotion to kick off the BPS/FASTLANE Reseller Agreement. Business Payment Systems Inc. (BPS), headquartered in New York City, is the largest independent sales organization for National Processing Inc. and delivers POS debit- or credit-card processing and e-commerce solutions. The FASTLANE payment network is leveraging a piece of plastic that is in virtually every consumer’s wallet.

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H&R Block Joins Green Dot Network

H&R Block has joined the Green Dot Financial Network to enable customers to add funds to H&R Block’s prepaid debit cards. The multi-year agreement allows H&R Block to increase the retention of its prepaid cardholders while giving H&R Block customers a powerful financial tool. The year-round program is set to launch in mid-August. Green Dot Corporation is America’s first and largest provider of retailer-sold prepaid debit cards. Green Dot Corporation is America’s first and largest provider of retailer-sold prepaid debit cards.

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Hannaford Bros Deploys NeXpose

Hannaford Bros. has purchased Rapid7’s “NeXpose” to perform network security scanning in compliance with the PCI data security standard. Rapid7 is a MasterCard-approved security scanning vendor as part of the MasterCard Site Data Protection (SDP) Program. During a review of several vulnerability management solutions for performing its PCI compliance scanning, Hannaford found that NeXpose stood out for several reasons. Hannaford Bros. Co., based in Scarborough, Maine, operates 158 supermarkets and food and drug combination stores in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Massachusetts. Rapid7 was founded in 1999 by a team of software industry veterans who were major contributors to product development and subsequent growth and success at Percussion Software, Bond Technologies and Stride & Associates.

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Alliance Data System Names a New COO

Atlanta-based Alliance Data System has named John Scullion to the newly created position of President and Chief Operating Officer, effective October 2, 2006. Scullion will be responsible for overseeing the Company’s Loyalty and Marketing Services and Utilities Services businesses. He will also oversee corporate ITS, corporate Human Resources and the Corporate Development and Innovation Group. Mr. Scullion has been with the Company since its acquisition of The Loyalty Group in 1998, serving most recently as EVP and President, Loyalty and Marketing Services.

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