Fantasy Entertainment Opts for TNS Synapse

New Hampshire-based Fantasy Entertainment has selected Transaction Network Services’ “Synapse” cashless vending solution to equip their photo booths with credit and debit cards payment options. “Synapse Vending” can be quickly installed in existing vending machines and comes with wireless connectivity that eliminates the need to hardwire machines. Fantasy Entertainment is the largest owner operator of electronic self-service photo imaging systems in North America. Transaction Network Services provides data communications services for transaction-oriented applications.

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Chase and Wawa to Launch a blink Cobrand

The Chase contactless push in the Mid-Atlantic region will be bolstered next month with the launch of the “Wawa Rewards VISA” card. The convenience store chain is one of the first companies in the nation to “blink”-enable its entire credit card program. Wawa will accept “blink” at all of its 540 stores in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia. The new card, to be launched in mid-November, will award four percent in rebates for every dollar spent on card purchases at Wawa and one percent in rebates for all other purchases. Also, during the first 90 days cardholders will earn 10% in rebates for every dollar spent at Wawa and two percent in rebates on all card purchases made elsewhere. Customers will also receive a coupon for a free “Shorti Hoagie” after the first purchase with their new card. In May, PA-based convenience store chain Sheetz, with 305 c-stores, became the first retailer to launch a cobranded contactless credit card with Chase. The “Sheetz MasterCard with blink” features the “Sheetz Rewards” program, and offers free Sheetz food, a 10% rebate on Sheetz purchases for the first 60 days and three percent thereafter. (CF Library 5/27/05)

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Wright Express 3Q/05 Revenues Rise 41%

Fleet card specialist Wright Express posted third quarter revenues of $67.4 million, a 41% increase. Excluding losses on its fuel-price derivatives and IPO costs, the Company’s net income for the quarter was $13.4 million, a 30% year-on-year increase. Total fuel transactions processed during 3Q/05 increased 14% to 60.9 million. Payment processing transactions increased 19% to 44.3 million and transaction processing transactions increased 4% to 16.5 million. Average expenditure per payment processing transaction grew to $50.72, an increase of 39% from the same period last year. Total MasterCard purchase volume grew to $252.4 million, an increase of 38%, compared to 3Q/04. For the fourth quarter of 2005, Wright Express expects revenue to be in the range of $63 million to $68 million. For complete details on Wright Express’ third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Contactless Payment Council is Created

The Mobile Payment Promotion Council has been established with a mission of
promoting standardized mobile contactless payment systems and to promote JCB’s
“QUICPay.” The executive board of the council is composed of representatives
from Aeon Credit Service, Central Finance, Credit Saison, DC Card, JCB, JTB,
KDDI, OMC Card, Orient Corporation, Toyota Finance Corporation, UC Card, UFJ
Nicos, and Vodafone. The Mobile Payment Promotion Council believes that a
standardized payment infrastructure foundation for efficient payment system
operations and that an integrated environment is the key to providing the most
convenience to consumers and merchants. The Council has 39 members at present,
with 10 other corporations currently considering participation.

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Chicago’s MB Financial Adds STARsf Access

Chicago-based MB Financial Bank has joined First Data’s “STARsf Surcharge-Free Access” program increasing the number of no convenience-fee ATMs available to MB Financial customers five-fold. MB Financial’s own ATMs have always been free to its own cardholders. The additional 550 locations will provide enhanced access to banking services. MB Financial Bank cardholders will enjoy surcharge-free ATM access at any financial institution ATM with a STAR/sf /logo coast-to-coast.

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BioPay Enters Indiana via Liquor Stores

Virginia-based BioPay has introduced its biometric payments technology to Indiana as Indianapolis-based United Package Liquors deploys the option in two of its 17 stores. The service is the first of its kind in any retail store in Indiana. The BioPay system uses a person’s unique finger image and their chosen BioPay number (usually a phone number) to authorize a secured debit direct from their checking account. The one-time enrollment can be completed at any merchant that offers the biometric payment service and the entire process takes less than two minutes. Once enrolled, the customer can purchase in seconds with their finger at any BioPay payment location across the United States. The BioPay service is free to the consumer. BioPay provides biometric payment systems to two million enrolled customers and processes transactions in excess of $7 billion.

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VISA Projects a Moderate to Strong Holiday

VISA projects that this year’s holiday shopping season will be “moderate” to “strong” dependent on fuel and oil prices. VISA says its “SpendTrak” report shows this year more travelers are purchasing their holiday transportation needs early, particularly in the airline and travel package industries. VISA expects this holiday season for consumption to shift away from personal entertainment devices to the purchase of personal multi-media entertainment and services. VISA also expects that consumers will continue to use the Internet to find good deals. Additionally, VISA notes that the economy is experiencing solid wage and salary growth of five to six percent, which indicates a probable rebound in consumer confidence and ability to spend.

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Setefi Selects ACI Software to Combat Card Fraud

Setefi has licensed ACI’s Worldwide’s “Proactive Risk Manager” software to
combat debit and credit card fraud and detect merchant fraud. Setefi is a major
Italian acquirer with 140,000 point of sale terminals and a major payment
service providers with more than four million cards on its books. “Proactive
Risk Manager” will enable Setefi to immediately recognize fraudulent behavior.
The system enables earlier detection of attempted fraud by sending alerts in
near-real time. Over the past 24 months, SSB, First Data Italia and Seceti have
adopted “Proactive Risk Manager” for their card fraud prevention and detection
efforts.

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AmEx Doing a Delta Double in Nov/Dec

American Express is launching a nationwide promotion that will give “Delta SkyMiles” and “SkyPoints” credit cardholders double miles or double points respectively, on purchases made on their card from November 1st through December 31st. To take advantage of the special double miles or double points promotion, cardmembers must enroll their Delta SkyMiles Credit Card with American Express online or by calling toll free. Year round, Delta SkyMiles Credit Cardmembers earn two miles and SkyPoints Credit Cardmembers earn two points for every eligible dollar charged to the card for purchases.

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TSYS Opens Office in Shanghai

TSYS has established its first offices in the People’s Republic of China to
focus on business development and emerging growth opportunities in China and
the broader Asia-Pacific region. Jonathan Wheeler will be head of business
development for TSYS in China. Wheeler worked more than five years for global
services at Vital Processing Services and has served as a lead director in
global services for TSYS based in Tokyo. China has more than 875 million debit
and credit cards in circulation.

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Consumers Embrace Cards for Recurring Bills

A new study has made the surprising discovery that 38% of U.S. households link payments automatically to a credit card and that 31% charge them automatically to a debit card. More than two thirds of U.S. households now pay some recurring bills automatically which means that automatic payments have for the first time surpassed check writing as the dominant method for paying recurring bills. The “2005 MasterCard Recurring Payments Awareness, Behavior & Attitude” study also found that the number of bills paid automatically rose in the last five years, from an average of 3.1 bills per household in 2000 to 4.4 bills today. During the same period, the number of checks written declined by nearly 50 percent, from 4.4 to 2.4 among these households. Additionally, 47% of the credit cardholders and 53% of debit cardholders say they would consider adopting or adding additional recurring payments.

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United & Chase Roll-Out a New Biz Card

United Airlines and Chase have introduced a new business card loaded with rewards and perks. The new “United Mileage Plus Business Awards VISA” is offering 20,000 “Mileage Plus” bonus miles and 10,000 “Perks Plus” points after the first purchase. At the current retail rate for purchasing miles, this represents about a $600 value for new cardholders. The new card also awards two miles for every dollar spent on United purchases and one mile for every dollar spent on all other card purchases. Anniversary bonuses are awarded each year including 5,000 bonus miles and two “Red Carpet Club” day passes. Businesses with five employees or more accrue “Perks Plus” points for every dollar spent on United travel. “Perks Plus” points are redeemable for travel certificates on United, United upgrades and other exclusive small business benefits. United Mileage Plus has more than 45 million enrolled members.

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