Cards Drive Parking Revenues Up by 40%+

NJ-based Parkeon reports that U.S. cities are seeing on-street parking revenues increase by up to 40% when they replace single space parking meters with solar-powered, multi-space pay and display terminals that accept credit cards as well as cash. Credit card purchases have accounted for nearly half of the five million transactions processed by the City of Seattle’s new multi-space, pay-and-display parking terminals since the first machines were installed in April 2004. Also, one mid-West city said the value of its card transactions is averaging $2.50 against cash payments of just over $1. Parkeon says experience shows that drivers boost parking revenues when using a card, as they are more likely to purchase the maximum time permitted. The Company also noted that carded parking payments are “Card Present” transactions, and therefore no losses are incurred in the unlikely event of card fraud.

Details

VISA Inks its Largest Utility Merchant

DTE Energy, parent company to Detroit Edison and Michigan Consolidated Gas, has joined VISA’s “Utility Program” and will now accept VISA exclusively for automatic recurring power bill payments. More than 700 residential utilities in the USA have joined the program since its launch in late 2004, extending the card option to more than seven million customers. DTE Energy has more than 3.3 million customers. DTE will use NOVA Information Systems as its payment processor. VISA says its volume in the utilities segment is up 43% over one-year ago levels.

Details

Mercury Payment & WPS Offer IP Payments

Mercury Payment Systems and Worldwide Payment Services have entered into
an agreement to provide integrated, Internet protocol payment
processing solutions. The Mercury solution, which is integrated to the
merchants’ point-of-sale systems, enables fast, two-second
Internet protocol processing of credit, debit, check, gift and loyalty
transactions. Mercury’s application includes free Web reporting, 24/7
technical support and free gift card processing. Mercury Payment Systems
is an integrated transaction processing company created to enhance
point-of-sale systems by offering credit, debit, check, gift card and
loyalty processing. Worldwide Payment Services is a provider of
end-to-end, credit/debit/gift/loyalty/store value cards, HIPPA-compliant
transactions, and check acceptance processing systems and services for
banks, merchants, corporations, healthcare providers and government
agencies.

Details

NTT DoCoMo Launches iD Credit Card Brand

NTT DoCoMo has launched “iD” a credit card brand for card issuers,
which will enable DoCoMo customers to make credit card payments with the
“Osaifu-Keitai” mobile phone equipped with wallet functions.
“iD” will enhance existing credit card services by giving credit card
owners the option of making payments via a DoCoMo wallet phone linked to
the card, in addition to conventional payments with their plastic credit
card. Applications for “iD” will be accepted through credit card issuers. Once the application is accepted, the user will download an “i-appli” application into their handset and choose various settings for using the service. In addition, DoCoMo plans to offer services as a credit card issuer using the “iD” brand in the first half of 2006.

Details

One in Five Rethink Online Banking

Dallas-based Entrust this week released an InfoSurv survey which found that 18% of all respondents have decreased their use of online banking or have stopped banking online completely in the past 12 months due to concerns regarding the security of their online identity. One in three respondents indicated that they were worried that the banking Web site they usually visit may not be the legitimate Web site, but rather one set up to steal their identity or account information. However, 81% of respondents indicated that they would not pay any costs for increased security. The FFIEC recently encouraged financial services institutions to move beyond user name and password and implement an authentication methodology aligned to the level of risk associated with the customer, the transaction, and the sensitivity of the information being communicated.

Details

RewardsNOW Intros Full Spectrum Rewards

NH-based RewardsNOW has introduced “Full Spectrum Rewards,” an all-encompassing program that can cover virtually every product and service a bank or credit union offers. Full Spectrum Rewards is a cost-effective program that systematically aggregates all data from the various customer offerings to achieve an accurate accounting of each customer’s rewards points. The program works with multiple processors if, for instance, an institution has different processors for its credit and checking accounts. RewardsNOW offers a variety of options for the types of rewards they can offer to their customers, including a highly flexible travel program, a broad range of appealing consumer goods, hundreds of gift certificate options and a wide range of downloadable content, such as music, mobile phone ringtones, and videos. RewardsNOW is a provider of marketing services for the financial industry.

Details

TSYS Powers New Post Office Credit Card

TSYS and Bank of Ireland have launched a new MasterCard credit card for the U.K. Post Office that allows customers to treat certain transactions as installment loans. With the “2-in-1” feature of the new post office credit cards, customers may designate up to two large-value transactions on the card as installment loans under separate terms, reducing the outstanding revolving balance and attracting a lower rate of interest. Cardholders can transfer large purchases between GBP 500 and GBP 2000 into the special line with an interest rate of 6.8%. (The credit card feature generally carries a 14.9% interest rate.) The purchases transferred to the special line can be repaid over a period of 12 months. Cardholders can use the facility for up to two purchases at any one time subject to an aggregate limit of GBP 2,000 and have one month to transfer the purchase to the loan-like facility of the card. The U.K. Post Office has 14,600 branches across the country. The new card products will complement the personal-loan and insurance
services offered through the Bank of Ireland and the U.K. Post Office
joint venture since 2004.

Details

Hypercom Restores Profitability in Q3

Phoenix-based Hypercom posted an 11% year-over-year gain and a 9% sequential increase in revenues to nearly $70 million. The payment terminal manufacturer says the revenue increase was primarily due to strong U.S. sales of its new “Optimum L4100” multi-lane terminal. Gross profit for the third quarter was $26.5 million, up 9% from one-year ago. Third quarter operating income increased by $20.5 million compared to the second quarter operating loss of $15.7 million that reflected some special reorganization charges. During the third quarter the Company cut 100 jobs, including 21 senior management positions. In October, Hypercom restructured its worldwide sales organization, dividing up the job among two executives. During the third quarter, Hypercom officially named William Keiper as CEO and President; hired Neil Hudd, formerly with Way Systems, NBS Transaction Systems and NCR, as SVP/Global Product Marketing; and landed Diane Handley as VP/Global Human Resources. The Company also began shipping the “P1300 PIN Pad,” the first handheld PIN entry device to meet the new PCI security standards. For complete details on Hypercom’s third quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 8/16/05; 8/31/05; 9/26/05; 9/28/05; 10/12/05)

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

Details

Men are More Debt Aware & Card Savvy

A September poll has found that 27% of Americans have used a credit card to track spending, with 31% of men and 24% of women using a credit card for that purpose. The MasterCard survey also found 22% of males say they precisely know their own debt situation to the penny, while 16% of females make that claim. Sixteen percent of Americans surveyed say they have sought professional advice at some point in their lives to pay off debt. In response to the findings, MasterCard launched a consumer education campaign how to manage personal debt. The “Debt Know How” program includes an interactive section on the MasterCard Web site and a curriculum as well as training sessions for educators and personal finance coaches.

Details

Smart Card Alliance Membership Up 45%

New Jersey-based Smart Card Alliance reports it has grown by over 45% in the last year, with 54 new organizations becoming members. Fast growing categories of new members include organizations involved in computer hardware and software, card technology, security products and services, healthcare, financial services and transportation. Organizations such as Viisage, LEGIC Identsystems, Digimarc Corporation, Identification Technology Partners, Inc., HIRSCH Electronics, Tyco Software House, GE Security, CoreStreet, and Lenel Systems have joined with other security market leaders to work together in SCA industry councils. The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology.

Details

Optimal Group Reports $11MM in 3Q Earnings

Optimal Group reported revenues for the third
quarter of $44.8 million compared to $28.3
million in the quarter ended September 30, 2004. Underlying earnings
from continuing operations before income taxes and non-controlling
interest were $10.77 million. Optimal’s
financial results for the third quarter period do not reflect any financial impact of the recently announced acquisition
of U.S. merchant processing contracts and associated sales channel
contracts from Moneris Solutions, Inc. Optimal also announced a stock buyback program which authorizes the company to purchase up
to 1,100,000 shares. Optimal has operations throughout North America, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Details