Processing Pricing Study Gears Up for 05

Omaha-based Strategic Management Partners is now accepting new subscribers for its “Pricing Benchmark Study” which compares the processing pricing (line item and total cost per transaction) from all the major third-party processing companies by portfolio size. Participants contribute pricing and volume data on key front-end authorization and back-end settlement line items. The data is then consolidated and sorted into volume bands for reporting. Strategic Management Partners, LLC is comprised of senior payments industry executives that provide clients with advice and additional management resources.


Famous Hacker to Keynote a Vegas Summit

Notorious hacker Kevin Mitnick will be the keynote speaker at Shift4’s “Transaction Security Summit” scheduled for September 28 & 29 in Las Vegas. With more than fifteen years of experience in exploring computer security, Mitnick is a largely self-taught expert in exposing the vulnerabilities of complex operating systems and telecommunications devices. Mitnick gained unauthorized access to computer systems at some of the largest corporations in the world. Shift4 develops financial transaction processing software and provides web-based, real-time enterprise payment solutions for leaders in the hospitality, retail, foodservices and e-commerce markets.


My Payment Network Launches SchoolPay

California-based My Payment Network has launched “SchoolPay,” a new service enabling parents to make electronic payments to their child’s school via check, credit card or PayPal. SchoolPay’s online administrator interface allows school personnel to run reports, create payment items and actively manage all the payments a school receives. A percentage of the revenue earned from parent subscribers is donated back to the school. My Payment Network delivers online payment acceptance to schools, businesses and associations.


MICROS Lands an iCare Card Client

Pinnacle Entertainment has deployed both the “MICROS 9700” hospitality management system and the “MICROS iCare” gift card solution at a new gaming property in Louisiana. Pinnacle Entertainment owns and operates casinos. MICROS Systems, Inc. provides enterprise applications for the hospitality and retail industries, property management systems, central reservation and customer information solutions worldwide.


Do Not Call Registry Tops 100MM Numbers

Statement of Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras on the 100 Millionth Number on the National Do Not Call Registry

I am pleased to report that, as of this week, the National Do Not Call Registry has topped 100 million phone numbers. This is a significant milestone for the Registry, which opened for business just over two years ago.

The Registry is an efficient and effective tool for consumers and businesses. While millions of citizens have chosen to limit the number of unwanted telemarketing calls they receive, thousands of businesses are able to target their calls to people who want to receive them. Industry compliance continues to be high, and registration remains free and easy.

The Registry speaks volumes about the success of government programs driven by consumer choice, and Americans’ preference for uninterrupted dinner-time conversation.


[Click Here For More Information In PDF Format.][1]

[1]: /cardflash/secure/oldstatic/2005/august/19a.pdf


MUZO to Provide Personalization to Diners Club

Prague-based MUZO has executed an agreement with Diners Club to provide card personalization services in the Czech Republic. Currently, MUZO provides card transaction processing and authorizing services for Diners Club in the country. According to Diners Club, they have issued cards in the Czech Republic since 1998 with acceptance today at 37,000 locations. MUZO is one of the Czech Republic’s largest indirect processors, and provides card issuing and processing services throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Global Payments is a majority owner of MUZO.


Charge Volume Tops GBP 400 Billion in 2004

The combined value of transactions made on charge, credit and
debit and private label cards was up over 11% over 2003 levels. In 2004,
the value of transactions made on plastic cards accounted for 60% of the
value of total household expenditure, up from 44% in 2000 and just 26%
per cent in 1995. According to Datamonitor, the average standard
purchase APR in the UK credit card market declined from 18.6% to 16%
over the period June 1999 to March 2005. This is a significant change,
and is mirrored by the rapid fall in introductory rate APRs. Over what
is close to a five-year period, the average introductory balance
transfer rate on those products offering such a promotion fell from
12.2% in June 1999 to 3.2% in March 2005. Introductory purchase rates
have also fallen over the same period, from 9.7% to 0.3 %.


OTI 2Q/05

On Track Innovations posted revenues for the first six months of
$14.5 million, a 45% jump over the same period of last year. Revenues
for the second were up to $7.8 million from $4.6 million in 2Q/04. The
increase in revenues represents the rapid advancements in the
contactless market around the world and in particular, the contactless
payments market in the U.S. Net loss for the period decreased by 21% to
$4.7 million. OTI designs, develops and markets secure contactless
microprocessor-based smart card technology to address the needs of a
wide variety of markets. For complete details on OTI’s second quarter
performance, visit CardData (


Student Card Debt Avgs $2400; Females Lead

A new survey has found that about half of college students max out their credit cards some or most of the time. The research also revealed that nearly six out of ten students never pay balances in full or pay in full less than half of the time. The OppenheimerFunds study, conducted by Smith College, determined that the average credit card debt among the respondents was $2,400 with 14% owing more than $5,000. Female students are more likely to have credit card debt (67% female vs. 59% male) and a larger credit card debt burden. Nearly 11% of women surveyed report credit card debt of $3,001-$5,000 compared to 7% of men; the same percentages hold true for debt of $5,001-$10,000. Sixty-eight percent of women use more than one credit card compared to 59% of men and college women are 50% more likely to carry five or more cards than men. The survey also found that most college students use their credit cards to pay for day-to-day living expenses instead of long-term needs.


Private Consumption to Drive Economic Growth

MasterCard has released a report that shows that despite the rise of oil prices, the stagnant growth of European economies and the
adjustment of the exchange rate, the growth of domestic consumption will
be the backbone of the Chinese economy’s expansion in the next 10 years.
According to the report, the real growth rate in private consumption per
year reached 12% in the last few years supported by the rapid
development of the Chinese economy. The real growth rate in private
consumption of those below than 40 years old, who are the main driving
force of consumption, will reach 18% in the next 10 years, with a 24%
increase per year for those earning 5,000 USD per year or more. The
consumption/GDP ratio could reach 50% in 2014, up from the 46% level
today. Higher income, higher returns on savings and the wealth effects
of the real estate market all play important roles in the release of the
potential boost in the power of consumption.



The average merchant service fee charged by Bankcard, MasterCard
and VISA in the second quarter was 92 basis points, down from 99 basis points a year ago, and from 140 basis points immediately prior to the interchange reforms. Since the reforms came into effect, the average merchant service fee charged by American Express has fallen by around 15 to 20 basis points to 2.36%, while the average fee charged by Diners Club has fallen by around five basis points to 2.31%. The Reserve Bank of Australia has released its first quarterly report on average merchant service fees and market shares. The RBA says the smaller declines by American Express and Diners Club has raised the premium that merchants pay to accept these cards. The RBA’s liaison with merchants suggests that while some merchants have been able to negotiate reductions in the fees charged by American Express and Diners Club, many others have not been able to do so. In some cases, merchants have indicated that they have little choice but to accept these cards, and find it difficult to surcharge. Some have also indicated that they would like to be able to steer customers to cheaper forms of payment but were prevented from doing so by clauses in their contracts with American Express. Over the past year, the RBA discussed this issue with American Express and, as a result, American Express has recently written to all its merchants informing them of the removal of the “anti-steering” clauses from its contracts.