Congress is now considering a measure to raise the filing fee for chapter 7 bankruptcy filings by another $40, with the proposed fee increase coming on top of three previous fee increases that already had escalated bankruptcy filing costs by 90%. Yesterday the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA) says even before this fourth increase was proposed, the federally mandated cost of bankruptcy filing already had jumped 90% to $399 since April 2005. Congress increased the cost of filing under the new bankruptcy law passed in April 2005, then further increased the fees in May 2005 under an emergency spending bill, and then did so for a third time in February 2006 in the “Budget Deficit Reduction Act.” The proposed fourth increase in fees would boost the federally required filing costs to $439, a 110% jump from the initial level of $209. The NACBA is encouraging all 3,300 of its attorney members to offer free consultation sessions with consumers in order to ensure that bankruptcy remains available and affordable to those in need.Details
Thales has recently won three successive ticketing system contracts – for the Beijing Metro, which is overhauling its fare collection system
in time for the “2008 Olympic Games,” the future Dubai Metro and the new
Metronorte line in Madrid – further consolidating its strong reputation
as a systems integrator for secure fare collection solutions worldwide.
In China, Thales has teamed up with local companies Beikong and LG to
win the contract from Beijing Mass Transit Railway Operation Corporation
Ltd. to supply a new ticketing system for the network’s three oldest
lines. In the United Arab Emirates, Thales is to provide the secure
ticketing system for Dubai’s first rail network, which will include two
lines. In Spain, Mintra, the organization responsible for metro
infrastructure in the Madrid region, has once again chosen to work with
First Data and Discover Financial Services have inked a deal whereby FDC will offer Discover card acceptance as part of an integrated service to small- and medium-sized merchants. FDC will begin pilot programs this quarter in selected geographic areas and plans to offer the solution on a wider scale during the fourth quarter. Discover will continue to process transactions for its larger merchant clients. Smaller merchants will benefit from the FDC/Discover deal by receiving an all-in-one payment processing solution with the convenience of a single source for statements, settlement, and customer service. Under terms of the agreement, FDC will have full responsibility for pricing, processing, settlement, risk management and customer service for the merchant accounts. At the end of the second fiscal quarter (ending 5/31/06) Discover had 45.9 million accounts and 19.6 million active accounts worldwide. (CF Library 6/21/06)Details
Credit card debt soared to a new record of more than A$35 billion in April. However, credit card volume dropped sharply from the prior month and is up a paltry 1.5% compared to one-year ago. During the past twelve months, credit card debt has increased 16% in Australia. For April, credit card balances increased $600 million from the previous month to A$35.4 billion. One-year ago credit card debt stood at A$30.6 billion. Gross dollar volume on credit card and charge cards in April was A$13.2 billion, compared to A$13.0 billion one-year ago. In March GDV on credit cards was $15.6 billion. The drop-off in volume may be due to surcharges being imposed on cardholders by merchants. Card credit limits reached A$96.1 billion at the end of April, compared to A$84.6 billion for April 2005. There are currently 12.9 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 11.9 million one-year ago.Details
Pago changed management of its Corporate Communications department.
After more than six years with the company, Andreas Stefanis has left
the Acquiring & Payment Service Provider. Succeeding him as Head of
Corporate Communications is Tobias Hauptvogel, who will be in charge of
Marketing and PR. Andreas Stefanis has joined the British Payment
Service Provider E-Clear, a Pago Acquiring Partner, where he is in
charge of the company’s global marketing activities.
Euronet Worldwide has expanded its multi-year ATM
outsourcing agreement with Centurion Bank of Punjab from 164 ATMs to 408
ATMs in total. Centurion Bank of Punjab (CBOP) was formed from the
October 2005 merger of Centurion Bank and Bank of Punjab. Of the 408
ATMs in the combined entity, Euronet has been operating 164 ATMs of the
former Centurion Bank since February 2005 prior to its merger and
subsequent formation of CBOP.
This September at the Toronto International Film Festival, coveted
passes and coupons will go to Visa cardholders first. The VISA
exclusive advance purchase opportunity takes place July 10th to the 16th.
This exclusive card benefit allows Visa cardholders to purchase passes
and coupons a full week before they go on sale to the general public.
The Visa Screening Room pass, a highly-coveted package at the Festival,
guarantees access to eight of the most anticipated premieres at the Visa
Screening Room, located at the Elgin Theatre.
Los Angeles and France-based Oberthur Card Systems has hired Francois Riviere, formerly with Schlumberger, as CFO. Francois Riviere, 53, was formerly CEO of WILSON GESTION. Previously, Francois was CFO within PROUVOST / V.E.V. Group. He started his career in SCHLUMBERGER Group as controller of the subsidiaries in France and the UK. Francois Riviere replaces Cyril Malher who, after 6 years with Oberthur Card Systems, is leaving the Company. Oberthur Card Systems is one of the world’s leading providers of card-based solutions, software and applications including SIM and multi-application smart cards as well as services ranging from consulting to personalization.Details
Banco Bradesco is preparing to launch Fujitsu’s new biometric security solution that scans palm vein patterns to verify user identification in bank ATM transactions. Fujitsu’s “PalmSecure” solution
captures the palm vein pattern of the user and compares it with pre-registered data to authenticate the user’s identity. The sensor can be used in PCs, ATMs and for building and room access. Bradesco has been testing the product internally. Fujitsu introduced the world’s first palm vein-based biometric authentication system in March. (CFI Library 3/9/06)
A new study has found that five West Coast cities are the most likely places to become a victim of identity fraud. The San Francisco Bay Area is the most at risk area for “iJacking” followed by Seattle, Denver, San Jose and San Diego. The Sperling’s “Best Places” survey, commissioned by VA-based Intersections, also found a correlation between transaction rates and affluence, showing that those with the most to lose are also at the most risk for losing it. San Jose, San Francisco and Washington DC all rank in the top ten in transaction rates and also have the highest number of households making over $250,000. A combination of high ATM use, Internet use and purchasing habits make the West Coast the most dangerous region for “iJacking.” Intersections is offering a three month subscription to its “Identity Guard Fraud Protection” service for $12.99 and will also provide a free credit report and credit score to all who sign up.Details
MA-based Pipeline Data has completed the acquisition of Paynet Systems to bring its merchant portfolio to 40,000 accounts. The purchase of Paynet Systems, Inc. along with the recent acquisition of Valadata, Inc. will provide an additional $390,000 in monthly cash flow to Pipeline. Pipeline Data Inc. provides integrated credit card transaction processing services for merchants in three key areas: wireless mobile payment, e-commerce solutions and retail merchant payment. Pipeline Data services more than 40,000 accounts.Details
VA-based e-Smart Technologies has named Gary Messina to its Board of Directors. Mr. Messina has nearly three decades of public & private information technology infrastructure experience and expertise. Mr. Messina is a Corporate Director for L-3 Communications Headquarters’ Operations, responsible for Homeland Security and Defense Operations domestically and internationally, which involves all of L-3 Communications. e-Smart is the exclusive licensee in the US and Asia of the Super Smart Card(TM), the Super Smart Passport(TM) and the Biometric Verification Security System (BVS2)(TM).Details