OPC Offers a Spanish Language Service

Florida-based MotionPoint Corporation announced it has launched the Spanish website for Official Payments. Customers can now access OP’s “En Espanol” website for customer service, full account information and to make electronic payments to the IRS, 25 states, the District of Columbia and more than 1,600 local government clients nationwide. MotionPoint Corporation provides multi-lingual consumer communication services for online business operations. Official Payments Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tier Technologies, Inc., a provider of electronic payment options to government entities.

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Ingenico and Q Comm Team for Prepaid

Ingenico announced that Q Comm International is developing its flexible prepaid application to run on Ingenico’s multi-application terminals. Q Comm will beta-test its application on Ingenico terminals later this month with certification and launch scheduled for the second quarter of 2005. Q Comm International is a prepaid transaction processor. INGENICO is a provider of secure payment and transaction systems used by banking, retail, petroleum, transportation, healthcare and governments.

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Prepaid Phone/Debit Card to Launch Soon

Nevada-based No Borders has entering into a joint venture agreement with Equity One to deliver and sell open system debit cards at retail locations. The cards will serve as both a prepaid phone card and as a stored value debit card. No Borders provides a payment card platform of financial and commercial services to enable residents of developing countries and immigrants from those countries who reside in the US to send money.

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RBA JAN 05

Total credit card balances posted a seasonal contraction of A$900 million during January, ending the month at A$29.3 billion, but up 12.3% over year ago levels. Gross dollar volume for purchases on credit card and charge cards in January of A$12.8 billion was A$3.3 billion lower than the prior month, but up more than 12% from January 2004. Based on data from the Reserve Bank of Australia, consumers charged A$11.9 billion in purchases on credit/charge cards during January compared to A$10.5 billion one-year ago. Card credit limits reached A$78.4 billion at the end of January, compared to A$69.9 billion for January 2004. There are 11.6 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 10.9 million one-year ago.

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Israeli Supreme Court Kills a Merchant Lawsuit

The Israeli Supreme Court has dismissed a $232 million class action lawsuit against Bank Leumi, Israel Discount Bank, VISA ICC, Diners Club, Isracard and American Express over merchant fees. According to this week’s issue of CardFlash International, the ruling reversed a Tel Aviv District Court decision which permitted the lawsuit originally filed by the Union of Pharmacists chairman to turn into a class action. The lawsuit alleged that credit card companies abused their monopolistic power by charging higher fees to small and medium-sized businesses. The suit was spurred by the entry of AlphaCard in July 1998 when it charged fees much lower than other companies. The suit was for the difference between 2% and the amount paid to the other credit card companies. AlphaCard subsequently failed.

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PROVENCO & HYPERCOM

Provenco Group plans to roll-out Hypercom EMV-compliant terminals to merchants nationwide. The deal is valued at US$6.7 million and covers the next two years. Provenco has been a distributor for Hypercom for 20 years. Provenco’s business focus is on retail transaction technology, from a customer using an EFTPOS machine at a corner store in New Zealand to a motorist at a petrol pump in Asia.

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One-Third of Upperclassman Made a Late Payment

New research shows that three out of five college upperclassman expect to have no credit card debt upon graduation and a year after graduation. The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for Citibank, also reveals that 32% of college juniors and seniors have missed or been late on a credit card payment. Also, a quarter have written a check that bounced. Citi says it found that 42% of upperclassmen expect to be financially secure within three years after graduation, compared to 35% a year ago. The Harris survey also found that 37% think opening unnecessary new credit cards will not lower their credit score and 22% think using a debit card will help them build a credit history. Harris conducted the survey of 1,060 U.S. college juniors and seniors at a 4-year college or university between January 7th and 19th.

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724Pay.com Targets Gambling Revenue via Debit Cards

A Nevada-based firm is planning to launch its 724Pay.com payment
gateway in China to capture gambling volume via debit cards. The Company says the major advantages of fund transfers through debit cards for
Chimera licensees will be the elimination of credit card charge-backs,
thereby further minimizing risks to licensees. Chimera says 80% of the Chinese population possesses some form of debit card issued by local banks and that many Chinese gamble.

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Acacia Enforces Credit Card Fraud Patents

Acacia Research Corporation announced that Financial Systems Innovation LLC, has entered into non-exclusive licenses and settled patent infringement litigation that apply to credit card fraud protection technology. The patented technology includes an electronic card reader, and the generation and use of a transaction number, which specifically identifies each transaction processed within the system without having to print detailed information such as card holder identity or account numbers. The Acacia Technologies group develops, acquires, and licenses patented technologies.

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Asia Payment Systems Launches a Shanghai Data Center

Asia Payment Systems has launched its Shanghai Data Center to serve as the hub for payment processing and credit bureau systems in China. Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction
Bank, and China Minsheng Bank attended the opening ceremony. In addition to the establishment of this Shanghai Data Center, Asia Pay has begun deploying technical and project management resources to begin the day-to-day project implementations that have been announced previously between SCRC Telecom and Asia Payment Systems. Asia Pay is developing a credit card processing network that provides clearing services to merchants, oil companies, and financial institutions in China, Japan, and other markets of interest in Asia.

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About 50% of Americans Do Not Understand FICO

A new survey has found that 45% of consumers incorrectly think that increasing one’s income will increase one’s credit score. According to the survey conducted last month for the Consumer Federation of America and Fair Isaac, 49% said that a FICO score represents credit availability, debt levels, or credit IQ, or that they did not know what it represents. Respondents who were most knowledgeable about the definition of credit scores were those with incomes over $75,000 (66%), those with a college degree (63%), and those 35-44 years of age (62%). Those with the least knowledge of this definition were those with incomes under $25,000 (34%), those without a high school degree (35%), and those 18-24 years of age (34%). The survey was conducted by Opinion Research between February 10th and 13th and involved 1,013 people.

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PEMCO Deploys ReD’s PRISM Neural Technology

Retail Decisions announced that Seattle-based PEMCO Technology Services, has implemented PRISM neural technology solutions to detect and prevent ATM, credit and debit card fraud. The Retail Decisions Group is an international electronic payment transaction services business that provides fraud prevention, payment processing and transaction and consulting services to the retail, finance, telecommunications and e-commerce sectors. PEMCO Technology Services supports more than 230 US financial institutions and processes 330,000 transactions daily for more than 2 million cardholder accounts.

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