Conference Board Index Reflects Fluctuating Economy

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.S. increased 0.6% in September to 95.9 (2004 = 100), after a 0.4% decline in August and a 0.4% increase in July, while Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for the U.S. was up 0.2% to 105.1 (2004 = 100), after no change in…

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Small Business Owners Waiting to Grow

The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor shows just 20 percent believe economic conditions are the biggest barrier to growth (compared to 23% in the fall of 2011), fewer have cash flow concerns (53%, versus 58% in the spring) and fewer are stressed out by the economy (59%, versus 64% in the spring). Small business owners’ top priority, is maintaining their current business and sources of revenue (32%) and as a result they have adopted a “wait and see” approach for growth plans. Only 29% of businesses surveyed have plans to hire new employees, down from 35% in the spring.

Only 16% of entrepreneurs say the economy has caused them to lay off employees versus 21% six months ago. The Success Index, profiling High achievers, strivers, sustainers and strugglers, shows high achievers represent 6% of the total survey sample, and on average, have spent twenty-six years in business, employ eighteen people in their firms and have attained business growth of thirty-four percent over the last three years (versus 10% growth for the total survey population). The Success Index was developed based on self-reported responses to questions regarding business growth and characteristics correlated with high-performing entrepreneurs.

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Yodlee Doubles API Business Growth

Yodlee Interactive has doubled its annual growth in its application programming interface (API) business as the standard in financial data and payments APIs. Yodlee Interactive serves more than 300 customers and partners and millions of end users across more than 25 vertical markets. The Yodlee API sits at the heart of a robust and expanding financial services ecosystem, where it helps streamline the innovation and delivery of new financial services and solutions, having launched Yodlee “FastLink” API feature that helps customers and partners bring innovations to market even faster and more easily, while reducing ongoing maintenance. FastLink speeds the onboarding process for all Yodlee Interactive powered services, enabling users to add thousands of financial accounts quickly, easily, and securely.

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NFC Mobile Payment Transactions to Hit the $100B In 2016

ABI Research forecasts that the total value spend of NFC mobile payments will rise from $4 billion in 2012 to $191 billion in 2017, breaking the $100 billion mark in 2016. Mobile payments and more importantly the convergence between payment types – proximity, P2P and online – stored on a single NFC handset will be the initial trigger driving market convergence across a host of other markets, including ticketing, retail, loyalty, and access control. Market convergence is not quite ready for mass commercial roll out, but the potential value add that NFC brings has been identified. Smart card and IC vendors, device OEMs, MNOs, partnering service providers, and payments networks are all set to benefit should convergence prove successful.

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Agilysys to Launch Next-Generation POS

Agilysys information technology and hospitality software made available its “Elevate” next-generation POS solution. Designed for the managed foodservice market the POS system is a single-pass POS solution that allows customers to take advantage of fast-moving trends in application delivery. The cloud-based system uses open architecture for maximum flexibility and scalability and employs VeriShield Protect, an advanced end-to-end encryption technology from VeriFone Systems to reduce PCI scope for merchants. It features remote deployment capabilities, flexible configuration, intuitive order entry and unified enterprise reporting. The system supports a variety of peripheral devices, including barcode scanners, receipt printers, scales and pole displays.

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iKaaz Announces mWallet Platform

iKaaz mobile payments solution provider launched its iKaaz mobile payment platform for enterprises. The iKaaz Consumer Wallet for Enterprises allows enterprises including banks, operators, and merchants to offer mobile wallets convenience to their customers for quick and easy payments. Meanwhile, the iKaaz M-POS solution allows merchants to replace expensive POS equipment with just a mobile phone that settles payments electronically. With the iKaaz Tap & Pay solution, that leverages NFC technology, merchants can receive payments from customers with just a tap of a phone at the checkout terminal.

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Digital Life Launches All-in-One eCard

Digital Life Technologies has launched its “GoNow eWallet” card, programmed by an eWallet and can be swiped at all existing POS terminals and ATMs without any change to existing payment infrastructure or tapped at contactless terminals. The reprogrammable magnetic stripe card that receives commands from your eWallet via your mobile phone, is now in pilots with two customers”one, a major bank; the other, a direct-to consumer eWallet issuer. Inside the GoNow eWallet Card is a secure element that is comparable to the secure element in a mobile phone. To learn more about mobile payments with the GoNow eWallet card visit http://www.GoNowCard.com. The GoNow eWallet card, a reprogrammable magnetic stripe card that receives commands from your eWallet via any mobile phone, is now in pilots with two customers”one, a major bank; the other, a direct-to consumer eWallet issuer.

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Clear2Pay and TestPlant Launch mPayment App Tool

Clear2Pay next generation payment and TestPlant partnered to launch The Mobile Payment App Test Solution facilitating application vendors and mobile issuers to launch secure, robust and interoperable mobile payment applications. This allows simultaneous control and/or simulate all interfaces of the mobile ecosystem, features flexible test automation including Graphical User Interface validation. The hyper growth of mobile applications and wallets comes with the challenge of releasing secure apps in a device agnostic manner: stable on multiple portable devices and platforms. Quality assurance and verification of conformance to industry standards is a complex, time-consuming and costly task, especially when testing manually. Also, consumers expect a positive, inspiring experience from the start and rigorous testing is the only way to ensure quality of service and engender deep-seated notions of trust and security around mobility. Ultimately, one single tool allows simulation; test scripting; and graphical user interface automation.

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Elavon and Banco Santander Announce Joint Venture

Elavon payments provider and Banco Santander forged a joint venture relationship to assume responsibility for Santander’s merchant customers and will be equipped with specialized teams who, in collaboration with the branch network, will provide service, support and solutions. Customers will benefit from the powerful combination of Santander’s trusted brand and Elavon’s award-winning International Processing Platform and IP Gateway, recognized as the Best Merchant Acquiring Initiative by the Cards & Payments Awards in 2012. The new joint venture extends an existing relationship between Elavon and Santander dating from 2003 when the companies launched foreign currency payment services for Spanish retailers.

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MasterCard PayPass Partners Nakumatt

Nakumatt is set to introduce the multi-currency EMV MasterCard PayPass Prepaid loyalty card to over one million of its loyalty program members for the largest prepaid merchant agreement for MasterCard in the Middle East and Africa region. The existing Nakumatt Cybercash loyalty card will be replaced with the Nakumatt Global MasterCard Prepaid card, allowing customers to load money onto the card for purchases at POS terminals, cash withdrawals and online purchases at Nakumatt stores across East Africa, and at any retailer that accepts MasterCard payment cards worldwide. Points earned will only be redeemable at Nakumatt stores.

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American Express 3Q/12 Revenues Rise, Expenses Decline

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] American Express posted 3Q/12 net income of $1.3 billion, up 1% from a year ago, while consolidated total revenues net of interest expense rose 4% to $7.9 billion, from $7.6 billion a year ago, thanks to more cardmember spending and higher net interest income. Consolidated expenses totaled $5.5 billion, down 2%…

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