IRS Private Collections Hits a Snag

The outsourcing of the collection of taxes was hit another roadblock this week as an amendment was passed by the U.S. House that prevents the Administration from spending $54 million to set-up a system from scratch that would allow it to subcontract the collection of taxes. Last week, Rep. Steve Rothman’s (D-NJ) amendment to the “2007 Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations” bill passed out of the House committee that determines federal spending in a vote of 29-27. Rothman cited growing privacy concerns and the generous collection bounties to be earned by private collectors.

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CashTechCard Joins Green Dot Net

Los Angeles-based CashTechCard Systems has signed an agreement with Green Dot to enabling its cards to be loaded at tens of thousands of the “Green Dot Financial Network” which includes locations throughout in Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, RadioShack and other retailers nationwide. CashTechCard prepaid debit cards can be loaded from a credit card, Paypal or bank account from the company’s Web site. They may also be loaded with cash at participating retail locations by purchasing a Green Dot “MoneyPak.”

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Survey Says 90% of Online Shoppers are Satisfied

A recent survey has revealed that E-commerce is
going strong in Canada as Canadians are going online to shop and
research products. The survey of 2,000 online Canadians shows that
online shoppers spent an average of $447 in the past six months with 80
per cent of them making two or more purchases online. Product selection, customer service and guaranteed merchandise return methods are essential in creating repeat customers online. However, one of the main barriers to E-commerce remains concern over security. Online Canadians who had not shopped on the Internet indicated that the security of their credit card and personal information is critically important, and some are still uneasy about providing this information over the Internet.

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YeePay Named Top Innovators at ChinICT

YeePay was named as one of the “Top Innovators” at the
“ChinICT 2006 Conference” in Beijing. YeePay is the first company in China to provide a single platform integrating both online and offline
payments, enabling consumers and merchants to send and receive payments
over the Internet, mobile and telephone. Earlier this year, YeePay was
named as the “Best e-Payment Platform” for China at the Annual
e-Commerce Fortune Summit organized by the China e-Commerce Association
and as one of the “Top 50 Innovators” by the China Internet Society in
2005.

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GPN Signs a Merchant Cash Advance Firm

NYC-based AmeriMerchant, a provider of working capital to businesses against their future credit card sales, has signed Global Payments as its payment processor. The new agreement allows AmeriMerchant to offer both working capital and credit card processing services for its retail and restaurant merchant customers. AmeriMerchant was founded in January 2002. Atlanta-based Global Payments recently reported first quarter revenues of $225.2 million and net income of $30.1 million. (CF Library 3/31/06)

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B-Teller is SEPA Ready

Bank Teller has announced that “B-Teller” aims to capitalize on the
ramifications of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) and the heavily
forecast consolidation of Europe’s 15 Automated Clearing Houses,
in what has been called the world’s largest ever shake-up of
cross-border payments market infrastructure. “B-Teller” is a managed
electronic payments transfer service that facilitates payments and
transfers of funds between counter-parties in Europe using a combination
of secure payment networks.

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365 Connect and PropertyBridge Team

365 Connect has partnered with PropertyBridge to integrate a fully automated online rent payment platform with 365 Connect’s “Resident Services Portal.” PropertyBridge’s Payments Platform will enable residents in communities that utilize 365 Connect’s Resident Services Portal to pay rent using any of six payment types including payment cards (credit and debit), ACH, and e-checks. Payment transaction reports will be available in the 365 Admin Dashboard. Integration with leading accounting and management systems is also available.

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First Data Takes Over the German Market

First Data has become the market leading processor of card-based payment transactions in Germany following the closure of its acquisition this week of GZS Gesellschaft fur Zahlungssysteme. The deal comes on the heels of GZS’ first quarter report which shows a consolidated profit of around 2.5 million euros before taxes, an increase of around 50% over the same period last year. Last year, GZS posted a full-year profit of 11.4 million euros after losing 20.2 million euros in 2004 and 26.9 million euros in 2003. GZS is Germany’s top processor of cashless, card-based payment transactions. GZS processes nearly one billion transactions per year and provides processing services for more than 8.5 million German and Swiss credit cards that have been outsourced by the banks. The shares of GZS that were previously held by the savings banks organization, private banks and the co-operative banking sector have been fully transferred to First Data.

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Credit Union Margins Get Squeezed

A top credit union expert projects that credit unions may be looking at an average reduction in their 2005 ROA of 46 basis points and suggests that credit unions boost their fee income. Houston-based Jared Cahill said at the “Annual Convention & Exposition of the Florida Credit Union League” that as credit union bottom line gets squeezed they need to reshape their asset/liability portfolios, boost non-interest revenue and to invest in developing a sales and service culture that better markets and cross-sells products and services to their members and potential members. NH-based Brookwood Capital recently said that credit union credit card portfolios are nearly always profitable, but many smaller issuers are trying to find ways to issue a stronger product set while lowering their institutional credit risk and fraud exposure while increasing the bottom line. Brookwood Capital reported that total credit union balances sold during the first quarter were approximately $97 million. (CF Library 5/30/06)

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Recargaexpress Joins the SIRE Network

Morgan Beaumont has signed an agreement with Recargaexpress S.L. As
part of the agreement, Recargaexpress’ Spanish network of 7500
direct retail locations will become part of the SIRE Network with an
additional 40,000 indirect retail locations that will have the
opportunity to opt-in. Additionally, Morgan Beaumont will be working
with Recargaexpress to develop an international stored value product
that will offer a number of value added services designed for the
international consumer, including local and long distance calling,
mobile “top-up,” bill payment, utility payments and access to funds.
Recargaexpress S.L., is a prepaid electronic transaction and
telecommunications company.

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