Cap One Supports the National Foster Care Fund

Capital One has partnered with Bruce Willis’ “National Foster Care Fund” to create a national scholarship program to benefit youth and children in foster care. In the United States today, more than half a million children are living in foster care. Capital One’s Fostering a Future scholarship program is designed to help youth and children in foster care reach their potential by empowering them with the educational skills and tools they need. Capital One Financial Corporation (http://www.capitalone.com ), a Fortune 500 company, is one of the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world. The National Foster Care Fund (NFCF) was founded in 2004 by Bruce Willis and provides strategic outlets for celebrities, community-based organizations, private and public corporations, traditional foundations, and government agencies to pool resources to enhance and improve the lives of foster youth throughout the nation.

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EMV CONTACTLESS

VISA Europe has demonstrated the world’s first viable EMV compliant solution to enable true “tap and go” contactless payments for low-value transactions. The solution used a standard “VISA Smart Debit and Credit” application, and, an Ingenico POS terminal connected to a Vivotech contactless reader. A similar demonstration was also shown using the Nokia “3220” mobile phone equipped with a tailored Nokia “Near Field Communications” shell cover enabling contactless payments. To enable instant payment, the cardholder is not prompted for their PIN, and instead security is enabled by transaction counters that force the cardholder to perform an online authorized “Chip and PIN” transaction should they reach the pre-authorized offline limit specified by their bank, thereby preventing indefinite usage of the card if lost or stolen.
Higher value transactions would continue to be performed with full “Chip and PIN” authentication.

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Paymentech Enters the Vending Industry

Dallas-based processor Paymentech has entered the vending industry with a contract with Pepsi-Cola North America to process credit and debit cards in several hundred vending machines throughout the country. Paymentech won the exclusive, multi-year contract to process all credit and debit transactions at Pepsi vending machines in the U.S. that are enabled with cashless vending technology. Currently, Pepsi’s bottlers have several hundred machines wirelessly accepting credit and debit cards in high-traffic venues such as malls, convention centers, casinos, and hotels. Pepsi-Cola North America (www.pepsi.com) is the $4 billion refreshment beverage unit of PepsiCo Inc. in the United States and Canada. Paymentech, L.P. processes more payment transactions than any other company in North America — and more than half of all Internet transactions — for retailers accepting U.S. and international payments via traditional point of sale, Internet, catalog and recurring payments.

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VISA USA Launches the F.A.M.E. Network

VISA USA has launched the “Financial Advice and Money Experience” network, featuring celebrities offering advice, personal anecdotes and philosophies on money management. http://www.practicalmoneyskills.com will include primetime television personalities such as Jane Kaczmarek (Lois from FOX’s “Malcolm in the Middle”), Cheryl Hines (Cheryl David from HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Jasmine Guy (Roxy from Showtime’s “Dead Like Me”). The Practical Money Skills for Life curriculum is teacher tested and teacher approved. At the 2001 National Education Association Expo, the program was put before teachers to evaluate and grade. Visa is the world’s leading payment brand and largest consumer payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumer and merchant customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives.

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AmEx Launches The Housewarming Gift Card

American Express has launched a consumer transaction closing gift for the real estate industry. The new “The Housewarming Gift Card, Gold Edition” will be available to the real estate, homebuilding and mortgage industries in January. Almost 180 select merchants will accept this stored value card including home furnishing related names such as Williams-Sonoma, Pier 1, Crate & Barrel, Restoration Hardware, Macy’s, Pottery Barn and Linens & Things. The new card is personalized with the recipient’s name embossed and has a unique AmEx account number. Additional real estate industry specific, value-added solutions are also available to card purchasers, including co-branded cards and packaging, fulfillment, and built-in customer satisfaction surveys. A prepaid $50 “American Express Gasoline Card” will be awarded to every new real estate related business that opens and funds a new account via a special Web site through December 31st.

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Less Credit – More Cash – This Christmas

A new survey shows that 28% of Americans plan to use less credit than a year ago to buy holiday gifts, down sharply from 38% who planned to reduce credit usage in 2003. The latest “Cambridge Consumer Credit Index” also showed that 38% of consumers say they will pay for holiday gifts with cash or checks, up from 29% who did not use credit cards for gifts in 2003. Six out of ten say they expect pay off their balances in full, up slightly from 60% in 2003. About one-third expect to carry a balance on the credit cards for more than a month, down from 36% a year ago. Nearly 6% plan to pay off some cards and carry balances on others, up from 4% a year ago.

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VeriFone to Acquire GO Software for $13MM

VeriFone has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the assets of Return On Investment Corporation’s GO Software business. VeriFone will pay $13 million in cash on closing and up to $2 million in contingent consideration, linked to the future business performance through June 2006. More than 150,000 businesses use GO Software’s solutions to process payments. The firm also provides the payment engine behind thousands of retail store systems running integrated point-of-sale solutions. VeriFone says the acquisition is part if its strategy to expand its payment systems footprint into other integrated point-of-sale environments.

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E-Payments Rise 13% as Checks Sink 4% Annually

The Fed yesterday reported that in 2003 there were 36.7 billion check payments made in the USA, down 12.4% from the 41.9 billion reported for 2000. However, there were 44.5 billion electronic payments made in 2003, up 45.4% from the 30.6 billion reported for 2000. The decline in the number of checks paid from 41.9 billion transactions to 36.7 billion reflects an annual average rate of decline of 4.3 percent from 2000 to 2003. As for electronic forms of payment, the increase from 30.6 billion to 44.5 billion reflects an average annual rate of increase of 13.2% for the same period. According to the Depository Institutions Payments Study, the 36.7 billion checks paid in 2003 had a total value of about $39.3 trillion. The Electronic Payment Instruments Study revealed that the 44.5 billion electronic payments had a dollar value of $27.4 trillion in 2003.

Payments in the U.S.A. 2000-2003
PAYMENT TYPE NUMBER VALUE GROWTH
Checks: 36.7 billion $39.3 trillion -4.3%
Credit Cards: 19.0 billion $1.7 trillion +6.7%
ACH: 9.1 billion $25.1 trillion +13.4%
Debit Cards: 15.6 billion $0.6 trillion +23.5%
Source: 2004 Federal Reserve Payments Study

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Friendly Ice Cream to Use Trintech’s ReconNET

Friendly Ice Cream has selected Trintech’s “ReconNET” to automate the verification and reconciliation of its credit card, bank deposits and gift card transactions for its 358 company-owned restaurants. The installation of ReconNET will enable the company to streamline its daily reconciliation processes, reduce costs and gain greater reporting and financial controls. Friendly Ice Cream Corporation is a vertically integrated restaurant company serving signature sandwiches, entrees and ice cream desserts in a friendly, family environment in over 530 company and franchised restaurants throughout the Northeast. Trintech Funds Management Systems (FMS), a division of Trintech Group, provides comprehensive, industry-leading solutions that optimize enterprise funds management including the ReconNET reconciliation product suite, Bank Fee Analysis, and DataFlow transaction data network and services.

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SCM Microsystems Hires its First COO

SCM Microsystems has hired Ingo Zankel, formerly with Giesecke & Devrient, as COO, effective January 1st. Zankel, 42, will be responsible for product industrialization, engineering and supply chain management (purchasing, production and logisitics). He will play a key role in managing and coordinating SCM’s development efforts and manufacturing operations with the aim of optimizing efficiency, quality, time to market and cost-competitiveness. SCM Microsystems is a leading supplier of solutions that open the Digital World by enabling people to securely access digital content and services.

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J. Crew Renews Store Card Contract with ADS

Alliance Data Systems has signed a seven-year renewal agreement to provide private label credit card services for J. Crew. Alliance will provide J. Crew with a comprehensive set of services, including customer service functions, account acquisition and activation, receivables funding, card authorization, private label credit card issuance, statement generation, remittance processing, and marketing and loyalty services. Alliance Data Systems is a leading provider of transaction services, credit services and marketing services. J. Crew Group, Inc. is a leading retailer of men’s and women’s apparel, shoes and accessories.

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