NFC Forum Announces New Vice Chairmen

The NFC Forum announced two newly elected Vice Chairmen of its Board of Directors, Trevor Pavey of Broadcom Corporation and Alexander Rensink of NXP Semiconductors. A senior product line manager at Broadcom, Trevor Pavey is a seasoned high tech marketing executive with eight years of RFID and wireless expertise coupled with 17 years of experience in semiconductor technology, marketing, business development, applications, and design. During his tenure at Broadcom, Pavey has been responsible for ecosystem management, including Broadcom’s relationships with the major payment associations and mobile carriers. Earlier in his career, he was instrumental in launching the NFC business at Texas Instruments. Alexander Rensink is strategic marketing director in the Identification business unit at NXP, which he joined in 2007. At NXP, Rensink focuses on the significant potential for identification technology in the mobile market with the goal of expanding the deployment of NFC-based solutions into mobile phones and tablets. In this role, he has had considerable experience in working with both infrastructure suppliers and application developers to deliver end-to-end solutions for vertical markets.

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Starbucks Anticipates Busiest Starbucks Card-Buying Day

Starbucks is projecting record purchases and activations of Starbucks Cards on Thursday, December 19. Last year, more than 2 million Starbucks Cards were purchased in the U.S. and Canada on the Thursday before Christmas – representing nearly 1,500 cards purchased per minute in the U.S. and Canada. According to the National Retail Federation, eight in ten shoppers will purchase a gift card this holiday season. Since the Starbucks Card launched 12 years ago, $16 billion has been loaded on 450 million cards in 27 countries worldwide. Of that $16 billion, $4 billion was loaded onto Starbucks Cards worldwide in the past year. Starbucks offers many ways to give the gift of coffee. Starbucks Cards can be purchased in a variety of designs or holiday imagery.

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Spindle and iPayMobil Forge Payment Partnership

Spindle mobile commerce signed strategic agreements with iPayMobil m-payment ecommerce solutions, allowing the partnership to provide a convenient, efficient and secure way to offer micro-lending services to merchants as part of Spindle’s existing payments product suite. Merchants will be able to offer Spindle’s free, downloadable mobile wallet app to their customers to facilitate credit approvals for time payments at competitive rates. iPayMobil will license seven of its ecommerce patents to Spindle to augment its product and service offering to merchants. The iPayMobil micro-lending service deployed through Spindle’s commerce platform is targeted for release in the first quarter of 2014, and will be offered to MeNetwork’s 400,000 mobile application consumers.

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First Data Announces $500mm of Senior Subordinated Notes

First Data intends to offer $500 million aggregate principal amount of its 11.75% senior subordinated notes due 2021 (the “Notes”), subject to market conditions, of which the proceeds will be used, together with cash on hand, to redeem a portion of its outstanding 11.25% senior subordinated notes due 2016 and to pay related fees and expenses. The Notes are expected to be treated as a single series with, and will have the same terms as those of, $750.0 million aggregate principal amount of the existing 11.75% senior subordinated notes due 2021 previously issued by First Data on May 30, 2013 and $1.0 billion aggregate principal amount of the existing 11.75% senior subordinated notes due 2021 previously issued by First Data on November 19, 2013 (collectively, the “existing 11.75% notes”).

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Juan Valdez Café Stores Add NCR Technology

NCR Corporation announced Juan Valdez Café stores are replacing their PC-based POS terminals with an NCR solution to enhance customer service and experiences chain wide. Initially, NCR is installing POS technology in all of Juan Valdez’s Colombian stores with an eye toward creating a standard platform as the company expands with new locations and franchises in Aruba, Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Middle East, Asia and the United States. The NCR POS solution includes a guest-facing screen so Juan Valdez Café Stores can create and easily communicate new marketing initiatives, such as offering special drinks, replacing their previous use of paper-based advertising. The terminals also feature biometric scanners so employees can quickly access functions and improve service and security.

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QFFS Uses NCR Power mSoftware Solution

NCR Corporation announced Queensland Frozen Food Services (QFFS) has deployed its “Power Mobile” B2B) customer relationship management software solution. This allows QFFS customers and sales representatives to place orders easily and quickly using their tablets and smartphones. NCR Power Mobile helps QFFS deliver an intuitive and attractive solution with improved visibility through every stage of the ordering process. This includes real-time status updates on product data, events, promotions, new item lines and the ability to track order status from point of entry through delivery and payment. Power Mobile’s value to QFFS is enhanced further by being tightly integrated with the targeted functionality of the NCR Power Enterprise suite, an integrated portfolio of enterprise and supply chain management software solutions. NCR Power Mobile is an innovative solution for distributors and their customers that delivers a superior customer experience through both tablets and smartphones running iOS, Android or Windows 8*.

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Card APRs Average Continues to Climb Over 15%

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Average credit card APRs are up .1% since the November figure to 15.06% after averaging a meager .04% change over the past year. This stifles the momentum to the ebbing 2013 APR credit card averages and is only the second time APRs have been over 15% the entire year. This also…

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Credit Card Cash Advance Uptick

While most U.S. consumers do not access the cash advance feature of a Visa or MasterCard credit card due to its inherently high cost, there has been a slight uptick in the third quarter of this year. Bank credit card cash advances only represent 4.9% of MasterCard’s U.S. gross dollar volume and 4.1% of Visa’s U.S. gross dollar volume. The average cash advance on a Visa bank credit card is consistently around $75, while MasterCard credit cash advances hover at $100.

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Retailers Disappointed in Credit Card Swipe Fee Settlement

The National Retail Federation issued the following statement in response to U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson’s approval of a controversial antitrust lawsuit over credit card swipe fees:

“We are very disappointed that this deeply flawed settlement has been approved. It is not supported by the retail industry and would do nothing to reduce swipe fees or keep them from rising in the future. The settlement permanently ties the hands of thousands of businesses who wanted nothing to do with this misguided case, and a decision to approve it violates established law and common sense. We are reviewing the ruling and will take whatever steps are necessary to protect the rights of merchants and safeguard the pocketbooks of their customers.”

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USA Technologies Announces Upgrades to Its Service Platform

USA Technologies announced broad-based enhancements to its “one-stop” service, ePort Connect. The enhancements further position USAT customers for the emerging trends in mobile payment, consumer engagement programs such as loyalty and rewards and expanded use of operational data as self-serve retail businesses continue to develop a valued network of connected, cashless payment consumer touchpoints in the years ahead. Enhancements include new features added to USAT’s recently launched prepaid and loyalty program, “MORE.”; added capability of the ePort Connect platform to accept mobile payment with mobile-based rewards; and Micro-market and other cashless payment applications that expand USAT’s ePort Connect service to a broader audience. The “MORE.” loyalty and prepaid program launched in August, has been improved for customer campaign management and now includes recurring campaigns, replenish bonus; and bonus cash rewards.

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