AmEx Creates Global Advisory Services

American Express has created a global advisory services unit within the company’s Business Travel division to provide an end-to-end solution to help companies of all sizes to optimize their investment in air, car, hotel and meetings spending. The new Advisory Services organization will span Business Travel’s four operating regions and align nearly 200 professionals to strengthen the division’s client management servicing capabilities.

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VASCO Adds CTVS to Authentication Application

VASCO Data Security International has added “CAP Token Verification Service” functionality to its “VACMAN Controller.” The “VACMAN Controller” for “CTVS” can be added to an existing Internet banking or e-commerce application and provides an “abstraction layer” for native integration of CTVS into an application. “VACMAN Controller” uses over 15 different algorithms, including various “Hardware Security Modules.” VASCO’s user authentication software is delivered via its “Digipass” hardware and software security products.

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TNS Reports White Label ATMs Top 8,000

Toronto-based TNS Smart Network continues to experience strong growth in the deployment of “white label” ATMs in Canada with a 20% increase in ATMs deployed on TNS Smart Network in 1Q/06 compared to the same quarter last year. Currently, TNS maintains a volume of ATMs equivalent to 50% of all the ATMs deployed by financial institutions in Canada combined. Since 1997, 1,000 new ATMs on average are added to the TNS network annually. This year, TNS has added 1,500 new ATMs resulting in 8,000 ATMs on the TNS Smart Network. About 2,000 more expected by the end of 2006. TNS Smart Network provides the gateway for networking services between financial institutions and ATMs.

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VCT Pumps Up Smart Card Production by 300%

Versatile Card Technology has increased its production capacity of smart cards threefold, driven by the increased success in the contactless identification and stored value card markets. In addition to focusing on the US bank market, VCT is aggressive in the Latin American markets as well as in Turkey. In these markets, ID cards, drivers licences, and stored value (prepaid) cards are the main products. Versatile Card Technology produces cards for every application and offers complete fulfillment services and turnkey solutions globally.

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ACH Payments Increase 16% During 2005

Electronic payments continue to grow, rising 56% from four years ago and more than 16% over the past twelve months. Nearly 14 billion automated clearing house (ACH) payments were made last year, which includes payroll direct deposit, Social Security benefits, tax refunds, direct payment of consumer bills, e-checks, business-to-business payments, and Federal tax withholdings. NACHA estimates that 6.5 – 7.0 billion consumer bills were collected via the ACH Network in 2005, including pre-authorized debits, Internet and telephone payments, and checks converted into ACH payments. Annual volume for Accounts Receivable (ARC) check conversion grew by more than 900 million payments to more than 2.15 billion, an increase of 60%. Internet-initiated ACH payments (WEB) grew by 38.9% to 1.34 billion. The number of Direct Debit pre-authorized, automatic bill payments increased by 5.3% to 3.1 billion payments. Direct Deposit in 2005 increased by 5.1% to more than 4.4 billion payments.

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Jack Henry’s Net Income Up 21% in 1Q/06

MO-based Jack Henry & Associates reported that first calendar quarter grew 8% year-on-year and that net income grew 21% over 1Q/05. For the quarter the company generated total revenue of $145.5 million and net income of $23.5 million. Support and service revenue increased to $106.1 million, or 73% of total revenue in the quarter compared to $92.5 million, or 69% of total revenue for the same period a year ago. The Company also announced several management changes. Mark Forbis was named VP/CTO; Debbie Wood was named GM of Marketing and Industry Research; and Renee Swearingen was named GM of Finance. For complete details on Jack Henry’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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MAR DEBT

Credit card outstandings leveled out in March dipping to GBP 56
billion level. The figure is GBP 400 million lower than the prior month
and GBP 1.0 billion higher than year-ago levels. However, The Bank of England
says that the annual growth rate of overall consumer
credit continued to fall to 7.5% in March, compared to 8.7% in January
and February. The increase in total net lending to individuals in March
(GBP 9.6 billion) was higher than the increase in February and broadly
in line with the previous six month average. The twelve-month growth
rate weakened to 10.2%, from 10.3% in February.

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BannerDirect Adds a Sales/Account Manager

NYC-based BannerDirect has hired Chuck Kiesewetter, who specializes in direct response marketing sales and account management of the casino, supermarket and quick service to casual dining industries, as Sales/Account Manager. BannerDirect is a full-service direct marketing agency recognized for the development and execution of direct response marketing programs for clients in the financial, entertainment, telecommunications, associations, retail, medical and publishing industries.

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TCUL Endorses TNB Card Services

The Texas Credit Union League has designated TNB Card Services as its endorsed debit card processing provider for TCUL’s 600 plus member credit unions. That designation is in addition to TCUL’s recognition of TNB as its preferred business affiliate for credit card processing, which has been in effect since TNB began its card program in 1976. The Texas Credit Union League is the official state trade association serving credit unions in Texas.

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PayPal Offers Free Credit Monitoring

PayPal and Equifax have introduced a new credit alert program that provides PayPal account holders in the USA with free monitoring of their credit records. Through this relationship, PayPal users receive free early warnings alerting them to activity on their Equifax credit report. The Equifax products involved in the deal include: “Credit Alert Emails”; “Balance-Change Alerts” and “Identity Theft Hotline.”

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Seguro Popular Selects Gemplus for Healthcare Card

Gemplus International will deliver 3.7 million smart healthcare
cards to Seguro Popular, the Mexican government’s social security
organization. The new social security cards will be distributed to
those covered by the “Seguro Popular” healthcare scheme. Each family in
the program will be given a card for use by the whole household. When
the cardholders visit their doctor, important patient information can be
securely accessed and additional medical information can be added in
real time. Seguro Popular benefits from fewer administration costs while
reducing the possibility of benefit fraud. The cards contain an
e-purse, patient information and prescriptions. The information can only
be read by authorized healthcare professionals when inserted into a
Gemplus supplied reader.

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Retail E-Payments to Grow CAGR of 13%

A new study predicts that electronic retail payments will rise from 179 billion this year to 260 billion in 2009. All forms of electronic payments are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.9% between 2004 and 2009. The research by Global Insight for ACI Worldwide, says that volumes for electronic payments are expected to double across the world, with China and India doubling more quickly at a rate of every three and four years, respectively. Conversely, the use of checks as a form of payment is forecast to continue its decline; as measured in 2004, approximately 20% of non-cash transactions were check-based; in 2009, only 10% of total payments are predicted to be in check form. The Eastern Europe and Asia/Pacific regions are forecast to lead the world in electronic payment transaction growth, predicted at 21.6% and 19.2% respectively, for the period of 2004 to 2009.

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