AirPlus’ 2005 Transaction Volume Up 15%

AirPlus International reported a 14% increase in transaction volume for 2005 to nearly $15.5 billion. The main drivers of growth were international markets, where volume rose by 37 percent. AirPlus served over 30,000 corporate customers in 2005. Profit before taxes was USD 14 million. AirPlus International offers customized travel payment solutions, including central bill accounts, corporate cards and management information tools.

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Cards Help MT’s Corrections Collections

The Montana Department of Corrections reports that its online payment service has watched the number of credit or debit card transactions increase from 14 in the opening month to 135 in April and that monthly payments have nearly tripled in that time from about $5,900 to $16,600. Since the launch last fall, the Web site has provided Montana offenders with a convenient way to pay court-ordered restitution to the victims of their crimes and to pay a share of their community supervision costs. The department has been responsible for collecting restitution payments since October 2003 when a change in a law removed the duty from district courts. The department has thus far distributed $4.8 million directly to victims owed restitution and another $215,450 in supervision fees. The amount of restitution collected has grown by about 16 percent annually since the agency took over the job.

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IL AG Sues a Debt Collection Agency

The Illinois Attorney General has filed a lawsuit against Financial Credit Service, Inc. that allegedly used unfair pressure tactics and misrepresentations to convince consumers they had to make payments on often uncollectible debt. Madigan’s Consumer Protection Division has received 88 complaints against Financial Credit Service, alleging the collection agency used unfair and deceptive representations to obtain payments on uncollectible debt. In some cases, consumers alleged they were intimidated into making payments of between $100 and $5,000. In other reported instances, the defendants allegedly deducted money from the consumer’s bank account without the consumer’s permission.

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Citibank and AmEx Receive TV Ad Awards

The Financial Communications Society has awarded Citibank six “Gold” awards,including “Best In Show” in the “Consumer Retail” category for its “Train” television spot and awarded American Express six “Gold” awards, including “Best In Show” in the “Corporate Image” category for its “Winslet” television spot. This year’s Awards competition included 350 entries and was expanded to include Collateral for the first time. Winning entries were received from more than 30 financial services providers. The Financial Communications Society is a not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to improving professional standards in financial communications.

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QuickBooks POS Tops 50,000 Retailers

Intuit reported that 50,000 small business retailers now use the “QuickBooks Point of Sale” management system. Since its introduction in 2001, the software has seen an average year-over-year growth of 30%. The “QuickBooks Point of Sale” system sells for $799 and up and is available as stand-alone software or with a complete set of retail hardware including a receipt printer, bar code scanner, credit card reader and cash drawer. The software and hardware can be used alone or together with QuickBooks financial software. The new version 5.0 offers increased simplicity and flexibility along with new inventory and gift card features.

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BenSoft Selects the MBI Benefits Card

San Diego-based BenSoft is integrating with Metavante’s “MBI Benefits Card” Under the terms of the agreement, BenSoft and Metavante Healthcare Payment Solutions have developed an interface that facilitates information flows between the two companies’ systems on a real-time basis. Additionally, BenSoft built a common platform for use with the MBI Benefits Card. RepayMe participants are issued a nationally accepted debit card that gives them immediate access to their FSA/HRA/HSA funds at the point of service. BenSoft markets RepayMe.com, an ASP-based flexible benefits administration software solution.

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Banks Endorse VISA’s V PAY for SEPA

Visa Europe has welcomed the Belgian banks first positive step towards
the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). “V PAY” is always chip, always PIN,
which offers a unique optimal level of
security and issuer control with minimal fraud losses compared to other
European debit schemes. It builds on the investment of the European
banks in EMV infrastructure across Europe, and provides local and
European governance. Currently there are 20 acquirers signed up to “V PAY”
and 12 acquirers in advanced negotiations.

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20% Say ID Theft Losses are Frustrating

A new poll reveals that 60% of adults who have had their identity stolen lost money as a result and while 57% recovered their losses within three months, 21% say they have not yet been able to recover their loss. The “Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal Finance Poll” also found that 16% of adults say they have had their credit or debit card used by someone they don’t know without their permission. More than 60% of adults say they trust credit card insurance companies. Retailers, however, have some work to do as 52% say they trust retailers very little or not at all to protect their personal information. In an effort to help prevent identity theft, about seven in 10 adults say they watch for suspicious activity on their accounts, shred mail that contains their account numbers and/or limit access to their Social Security number to prevent identity theft.

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HSBC Retail Services & Debitman Team

San Mateo, CA-based Debitman Car got a big boost today from HSBC. The electronic payment network operator known as “The Retailer’s Network” will now have HSBC Retail Services drive its growth. HSBC will handle card program fulfillment and support services. Merchants who choose HSBC card programs to access Debitman receive significant cost savings compared with other card networks. Merchant integration into the “Retailer’s Network” requires neither POS modifications nor costly investment in card acceptance equipment. Customers who hold cards for network merchants will use one payment card, linked to their checking account, to pay for purchases and earn retailer loyalty rewards wherever the Retailer’s Network is accepted, currently more than 200,000 locations.

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Fubon Bank Teams with OTI for MC PayPass

On Track Innovations is providing Taipei Fubon Bank a Mastercard compliant
“Tap & Go” key fob solution. Fubon Bank is offering the new device to its
customers as part of their 2006 FIFA World Cup promotion. Customers have
the opportunity to win prizes when using their PayPass-enabled key fob to
pay for their purchases. The grand prize is a trip to watch the 2006 FIFA
World Cup in Germany. Taipei Fubon Bank has the largest network of
branches among privately owned banks in Taiwan and the highest market
share in Greater Taipei. OTI designs, develops and markets secure
contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology.

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