ARM Index Declines Due to Bankruptcies

The leading indicator of economic conditions affecting the accounts receivable management industry ended 2005 by increasing a healthy 2.1% in December. However, the “Kaulkin Ginsberg Index” was down 1.2% throughout 2005, making this the first calendar year in which the “Index” decreased since 2002. KGI says with interest rates increasing for the time being and bankruptcy filings returning to moderate levels, they expect the “Index” to regain an upward trajectory in the months ahead. Nevertheless, KGI says it has been at least five and a half years since overall economic conditions were more friendly to collection agencies, debt buyers and collections law firms.

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Fujitsu Rolls Out EMV Approved B-Pad

Fujitsu Services has introduced its “B-Pad”, to speed up and streamline a
retail shopper’s check-out process. “B-Pad” scans barcodes and
accepts payment without being tied to the counter. The Fujitsu “B-Pad” is
also the first device of its kind with full EMV approval, certifying its
compliance with secure smart card payment operations. The Fujitsu Group
is a $44.5 billion provider of IT systems and services worldwide.

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Wristband Payment Systems to Expand

Adjoined Consulting and Proximities have partnered to expand RFID wristband payment systems for sports, leisure and entertainment industry events. The secure RFID wristbands enable patrons to quickly and conveniently gain access to public events, make purchases, and verify their age. They can be linked to a credit card or debit account enabling consumers to purchase items without exchanging cash. Once removed, the wristbands are automatically disabled, providing added security for both the patron and merchant. Proximities develops, markets and supports secure RFID cashless payment, access control and age verification solutions.

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Corillian and StrikeForce Technologies Team

Corillian and StrikeForce Technologies have teamed to help financial institutions proactively prevent identity theft and fraud, strengthen online banking authentication and comply with FFIEC guidance. The partnership will protect financial institutions’ online users with a comprehensive authentication service combining Corillian’s Intelligent Authentication with StrikeForce’s “Out-of-Band” authentication platform, ProtectID. ProtectID creates a separate pathway for users to enter a PIN over the telephone that takes seconds to authenticate the identity of the online customer. Biometric devices, such as fingerprint and iris scanners, as well as one-time passwords (OTPs) can be added or substituted for additional versatility and layers of security.

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Jack Henry & Assc Introduces ProfitStars

Missouri-based Jack Henry & Associates has introduced “ProfitStars,” its third primary brand. The ProfitStars brand encompasses the products and services provided by the 13 companies Jack Henry acquired through its focused diversification strategy. ProfitStars is a provider of products and services that are designed to improve the operating performance of financial institutions.

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ADS to Issue New York & Company Co-Brand

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems has signed a long-term agreement with New York & Company to provide a co-brand credit card program. Under terms of the agreements, Alliance Data will provide account acquisition and activation, receivables funding, credit authorization, card issuance, statement generation, direct mail and email marketing services, remittance processing, and customer service functions. New York & Company is a leading specialty retailer of women’s fashions and accessories with 2005 sales of over of $1 billion.

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TNS Fourth Quarter Revenues Up 3.4%

Reston, VA-based TNS posted fourth quarter revenue of $65.6 million, a 3.4% increase over 4Q/04. However, fourth quarter net income was $1.4 million, versus fourth quarter 2004 net income of $2.4 million. The company says the lower earnings were primarily due to higher than anticipated costs associated with Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, which were difficult to absorb because of continuing investments in international growth. Revenue from the POS Division decreased 21.2% to $20.2 million on 1.4 billion transactions compared to 4Q/04. During the quarter, TNS formed an an alliance with Avantel to provide cohesive network transaction solutions to Mexican debit, credit and ATM processors; signed a contract with the Anglia Society to provide an IP-based solution to reduce the time it takes to authorize credit card transactions; and inked a contract with Automated Systems America, Inc. to provide a managed virtual private network service via TNS’ ATMLink product. TNS projects total revenue growth of 14% to 16% to $296 to $300 million for 2006. For complete details on TNS’ fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Near Field Communications Forum Expands

Massachusetts-based The NFC Forum reports it has expanded its member roster to include more than 70 organizations worldwide. The NFC Forum is a non-profit industry association dedicated to advancing the use of near field communication (NFC) technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services and educating the market about NFC technology. NFC is short-range, standards-based wireless connectivity technology that enables simple and safe two-way interactions among electronic devices, allowing consumers to perform contactless transactions, access digital content and connect devices.

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Asset Acceptance Revenues Decline 6.4%

MI-based Asset Acceptance Capital reported that revenues declined to $53.8 million for the fourth quarter, compared with revenues of $57.5 million for 4Q/04. However, cash collections grew to $76.5 million in the fourth quarter versus cash collections of $68.3 million in the prior year period. Net income for the fourth quarter declined 51.5% year-on-year to $6.1 million. During the fourth quarter, AACC invested $25.6 million to purchase consumer debt portfolios with a face value of $884.0 million, representing a blended rate of 2.89% of face value. This compares to the prior-year fourth quarter, when the Company invested $26.9 million to purchase consumer debt portfolios with a face value of $1.25 billion, representing a blended rate of 2.15% of face value. AACC collects on purchases made from credit card issuers, retailers, finance companies, utilities, healthcare providers and other credit originators. For complete details on AACC’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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QuickBooks Card Processing Kit Released

Intuit has released a new $40 simplified credit card processing solution for small businesses that handle less than $5,000 in credit card transactions each month. The new QuickBooks Credit Card Processing Kit is designed for the millions of small businesses that don’t need a full accounting package or a high end merchant account service. The kit helps small business owners turn their PCs into credit card terminals through a short and simple process.

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