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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US PIN Debit Networks Announce EMV Alliance

US-based PIN debit networks partnered to forge the Debit Network Alliance, to provide a structure for the governance, deployment and implementation of the EMV debit standard. The goal of this collaborative effort is to help facilitate the adoption of an interoperable EMV standard for debit payments in the U.S. through a common governance structure that fosters regulatory compliance, equal access and ability to innovate for all debit networks, routing choice for merchants, and portability for issuers. The debit networks have a long history of collaboratively working together – especially with regard to improving security – to define standards that maintain the integrity and quality of the U.S. payment industry. In particular, the networks have been working together on chip standards under the support of the Secure Remote Payment Council’s Chip and PIN Work Group since April 2012.

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First Data Partners Tim Hortons on mNFC payments

Tim Hortons announced new mpayment options, now available at participating restaurants throughout Canada and the United States guests using BlackBerry® 10 smartphones (including the BlackBerry® Q5, BlackBerry® Q10, BlackBerry®Z10 and BlackBerry® Z30 smartphones) will be able to register a Tim Card on the TimmyMe™ mobile app and use near field communication (NFC) tap-to-pay technology to complete their order. This is one of the first integrations of an NFC based stored value card solution with existing payment terminals. Future development plans will also see this platform expanded to Android 4.4 devices. Tim Hortons has also launched a barcode payment pilot program in the Niagara region in Canada and at select USA Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop restaurants. Tim Hortons has partnered with First Data to deliver tap and scan payments through their mobile gateway technology.

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Electronic Payments Coalition Issues Statement on Interchange Fee Settlement

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York approved a settlement in the legal dispute between retailers, payment networks and nine major card issuers over interchange fees and rules. The Electronic Payments Coalition subsequently issued the following statement:

“The long political conflict over interchange fees is finally over, settled by a well-established legal process, which brought together retailers and the card industry for a negotiated resolution. After years of mediation, dozens of meetings, and millions of pages of evidence, the parties involved have willingly agreed to settle their dispute. This settlement is in the best interest of all involved parties and that has been proven today with the court’s final approval.”

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Tieto wins United Financial Corporation contract

United Financial Corporation (UFC) has switched to a new type of support services – Platinum support, ensuring highest quality support of Tieto Card Suite software, as well as additional value added services. The program now includes technical and operational audits, dedicated specialist visits, training, and other activities aimed at improving UFC’s internal processes. UFC’s goal was to establish a stable platform and bring innovative and reliable interbank processing services to the market. Since the start of using Tieto’s Platinum services in 2012, multiple audits have been conducted providing UFC with recommendations from technical as well as business point of view. New efficient change and problem management procedures have been established, and UFC have also enhanced their expert skills.

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