A Patent for a One-Time Use Card Issued

Massachusetts-based Utix Group has been granted a patent for a magnetic strip payment process for one-time admission or access to sports, recreation, leisure or entertainment activities or events. The Utix pre-paid experience ticket system operates as a magnetic strip payment process for one-time admission or access to sports, recreation, leisure or entertainment activities or events. Utix issues its proprietary technology and co-branded prepaid experience products to the business-to-business industry and retail marketplace.

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US Dataworks First Quarter Revenues Triple

Houston-based US Dataworks continues to post strong revenue gains and profitability. For the quarter ending March 31st the payment processing solutions provider reported revenues of $2.1 million, compared with revenues of $655,848 for the same period a year ago. Net loss for the quarter was $47,694, compared to a net loss of $1,447,425 for the corresponding period in the prior year. The Company says the growth was driven by the release of “Clearingworks,” its comprehensive solution for automated payment processing. The Company also recently inked relationships with Online Resources, Bank of Oklahoma, and a significant financial transaction processor. For complete details on US Dataworks latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Pipeline Data Picks Up $37MM in Funding

Massachusettes-based Pipeline Data has reached an agreement with several institutional investors to purchase $37 million of convertible notes and warrants to be used to refinance short-term indebtedness and to fund acquisitions. The notes, which mature four years from the date of issuance, can be converted into Pipeline common stock at the conversion price of $1.30 per share. Proceeds from the transaction are earmarked to refinance $17 million of short-term, high-coupon indebtedness and to fund acquisitions. Maxim Group LLC served as the exclusive placement agent for the transaction. Pipeline Data provides integrated transaction processing services for all major credit cards.

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Giesecke & Devrient and Nokia Team for NFC

The world’s second largest producer of smart cards and a top global provider of mobile communications are forming a joint venture to provide services to the “Near Field Communication” ecosystem. Munich-based Giesecke & Devrient and Helsinki-based Nokia are expecting to have their integrated NFC services up and running in the fourth quarter according to this week’s CardFlash International. Target markets for NFC include: mobile operators, transport operators, retailers, banks, credit card companies, and providers of digital services/media. The joint venture will implement and operate a secure and versatile service platform to manage the over-the-air transactions with consumers’ NFC enabled devices. The service platform will be operated in a white-label mode with in-built interfaces to the IT systems of the actual service providers, such as banks issuing credit cards. The new company’s services will be available and open to any NFC enabled devices from all vendors. Giesecke & Devrient will own 57% and Nokia 43% of the new company.

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Study Analyzes Biz Owner Credit Behaviors

One of the nation’s top three credit reporting specialists has completed an analysis that shows that blended business and consumer information offer companies a more predictive view of small-business risk. Experian compiled a sample of more than 50,000 small businesses and analyzed the information each quarter over the course of four years. (Experian has a unique database that makes the connection between small- business owners and their home address.) The Experian study determined whether a small-business owner allows his or her personal credit to suffer in order to protect the business or vice versa. Experian also measured and analyzed personal and business credit activities by size of the business or number of employees.

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Polish Banks Use Serverside Personalizations

ING Bank Slaski and Fortis (Poland) are the latest companies to allow
customers to place a favorite photo on the front of their credit and debit
cards using online card customization technology provided by
Serverside Group. Cardholders design their own cards online using simple
editing tools to rotate and resize the image within a branded section of
the bank’s website.No software downloads are needed and the entire design
process can be completed in seconds. Cardholders can either upload a
personal photo or choose from a large selection of gallery images chosen
by the issuer. Serverside Group has strategic alliances with VISA,
Datacard and
Getty Images.

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3rd-Party Collectors Returned $39B in 05

New research has found that the U.S. third-party collection industry returned $39.3 billion last year to businesses that extend consumers credit. The report authored by PricewaterhouseCoopers and commissioned by the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, determined that employment in the third-party debt collection industry has more than doubled in the last 15 years to nearly 150,000 in 2005. The direct and indirect economic impact models used in the study estimate that the industry, including business purchases and personal purchases by its owners and workers, supported a total 426,700 American jobs with payroll totaling $15 billion in 2005. PricewaterhouseCoopers says private businesses charged off an estimated $141 billion in bad debt in 2005.

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Fifth Third to Use AmbironTrustWave for PCI

Chicago-based AmbironTrustWave has signed a deal to provide Fifth Third Processing Solutions with “PCI Data Security Standard” compliance technology services to Fifth Third’s merchant portfolio. As a result of this agreement, Fifth Third Processing Solutions’ merchant clients will have access to the services that are required for validating compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard and ongoing data security needs, including Compliance Validation Services, The Risk Profiler, TrustKeeper, Incident Response and the ability to display AmbironTrustWave’s “Trusted Commerce” compliance seal on their e-commerce Web sites.

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U.S. Payment Cardbase Set to Top 1B

The number of general purpose payments cards in the U.S. is set to cross the one billion milestone within the next twelve months. At the end of the first quarter there were 954.7 million credit and signature debit cards running on the four major U.S. networks, a 6% increase over the year-ago period. Among the four networks American Express is expanding its cardbase the fastest, rising 9.2% in 1Q/06 compared to VISA’s 7.3% increase and MasterCard’s 4.6% gain, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). Discover, which does not publicly report its card numbers, is estimated to have about 50.6 million cards-in-force at the end of the first quarter. Over the past five years the number of general purpose payments cards in the U.S. has increased nearly 28%.

1Q Cards-in-Force by Network
VISA 497.2MM (+7.3%)
MasterCard 362.9MM (+4.6%)
American Express 44.0MM (+9.2%)
Discover 50.6MM NC
TOTAL: 954.7MM (+5.9%)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

1Q U.S. Cards-in-Force Historical
2002: 747.3 million
2003: 791.9 million
2004: 836.7 million
2005: 901.3 million
2006: 954.7 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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U.S. Grants Kai a Patent for PASSMEMORY

Tokyo-based Kai Corporation has received a U.S. patent for its proprietary authentication system which utilizes the memory of users
themselves. The “PASSMEMORY” authentication system requires users to register names of familiar friends or places, old photos, and familiar sounds. When the system is used for authentication, registered data is mixed with decoy data, and users are prompted to choose correct answers in rapid succession. Kai has designated The Brains Inc. as its general sales and marketing agent in Japan and the U.S. Tokyo-based C4 Technology has already received approval to implement the technology.
The Brains is now marketing “PASSMEMORY” in a development kit.

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Wells Fargo Reports Record Gift Card Sales

Wells Fargo reported record “VISA Gift Card” sales during “Father’s Day” week as nearly 30% of the company’s 3,000 banking stores sold the cards. Wells Fargo also saw a significant increase in Wells Fargo Visa Gift Card sales leading up to Mother’s Day. Nearly 25 percent of Wells Fargo’s banking stores sold Wells Fargo Visa Gift Cards the day before Mother’s Day.

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OPC & Datatel Sign a Payments Client

Official Payments and Datatel have signed Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga, CA as their first joint client. Official Payments’ hosted eCommerce solution enables Datatel Colleague users to offer enhanced payment processing services to their customers such as the ability to accept all four major credit card types and electronic check payments either in-person at the point-of-sale, through the Internet, or via a telephone-based Interactive Voice Response system.

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