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Breaking News articles for April 2008

Cash advance leaders advance

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ten merchant cash advance businesses are the founding members of a new association – the North American Merchant Advance Association Inc., which was created to represent cash advance providers. Jeremy Brown, President and Chief Operating Officer of RapidAdvance LLC and President of NAMAA, said the association sprang from a "loose federation of companies that met over the last 10 or 12 months to exchange ideas and information."

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What a time it was: ETA 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

The number of people who networked in planned and spontaneous meetings, visited the 183 exhibitor booths, and attended a range of educational and social events at The Electronic Transactions Association 2008 Annual Meeting & Expo is not yet tallied. But, Thomas Goldsmith, the ETA's Director of Communications and Public Relations, reported it looks like attendance at the premier industry event was up from a year ago. Held from April 14 to 18, 2008, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the multifaceted expo was packed with announcements of interest industrywide; individual company product and program rollouts and demonstrations; and speeches, panels and informational sessions galore. Of the issues explored, education and security seemed to have particular resonance.

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Turn cost center into profit center

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

If you are an ISO or a merchant level salesperson (MLS) from the early years, chances are you don't have fond memories of the term "prepaid." Prepaid is not a new concept. It began in the mid-1990s with the prepaid phone card offering a certain number of minutes for $5, $10 or $20. In 2000, prepaid progressed into wireless – otherwise known as prepaid cellular – with products such as Cingular Wireless' (now AT&T Inc.'s) Pay As You Go, and prepaid offerings from Virgin Mobile USA LP and Boost Worldwide Inc.

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Adios card Associations

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

March 19, 2008, was not only the date that Visa Inc. began publicly trading its stock on the New York Stock Exchange, but it also represented the demise of the term "card Association." In their earliest incarnations, the card Associations – now called Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide – were collections of banks that cooperated on the branding of credit card issuing and acceptance. These member-bank associations also built and maintained networks over which electronic transactions were processed.

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FACTA shatters credit, debit card myths

Monday, April 21, 2008

Lawyers are falling all over themselves lining up for what could be the game of the new millennium, filing over 300 class action lawsuits throughout the United States that could potentially cost merchants and acquirers hundreds of millions of dollars. At the heart of this litigation are untruncated credit and debit card receipts.

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First Data clips Frontier's wings

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First Data Corp.'s action to more than double the cash reserve it required from Frontier Airlines Holdings Inc. and withhold 50 percent of the proceeds from ticket sales it processed from the airline caused Frontier and its subsidiaries to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on April 10, 2008, according to a Frontier executive. Edward M. Christie III, Vice President of Finance for Frontier, said in the filing, "On April 8, 2008, First Data sent [Frontier] a letter stating its intent to increase – beginning on April 11, 2008 – the collateral required under the Bankcard Agreement from $54,500,000 to $130,000,000 and to retain 50 percent of [Frontier's] bankcard sales proceeds."

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Wish for dying kids takes flight

Friday, April 11, 2008

One of our industry leaders barely missed breaking the world speed record for circumnavigating the globe in the very light jet category. Jared Isaacman, 25-year-old founder and Chief Executive Officer of United Bank Card and United Cash solutions, fell short of the feat on April 5, 2008. It was his second attempt to break the record of 83 hours set by M. Naviede of Great Britain in 1991. Isaacman's first effort ended in disappointment after just 17 hours. "On our first attempt, we were on track to shatter the record," Isaacman recounted. "The winds and temperatures were great."

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Closing the loop on closed loop

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Open any local or national newspaper, and you will likely find an article on the gift card phenomenon. Watch any big-box retailer's television commercial, and you will find gift cards carefully integrated into the overall marketing concept. Very quickly, in only a few short years, gift card purchasing and using has become a way of life for most U.S. consumers.

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Diners Club on Discover's menu

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Discover Financial Services, a major credit card brand that had pretax domestic profits of $1.5 billion in 2007, has agreed to purchase Diners Club International Ltd. from Citigroup Inc. for $165 million in cash. Under terms of the agreement disclosed on April 7, 2008, Discover will acquire the Diners Club network outside of North America, its brand and trademarks, employees, and agreements with 44 network licensees (franchises) who issue Diners Club cards.

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SEAA's welcome return to New Orleans

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Many in the payments industry are filling their calendars and heading off to seek their fortune at the Electronic Transactions Association's 2008 Annual Meeting & Expo, taking place April 15 to 17 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. It is bound to be a fruitful event for all who attend. Another highly beneficial, albeit smaller, industry meeting just wrapped on March 26: the Southeast Acquirers Association's 2008 Annual Conference. Held at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, which stretches 49 stories above Canal Street on the edge of New Orleans' French Quarter, the event offered multiple networking opportunities with vendors and attendees in a highly congenial setting.

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Fed puts payments in crosshairs

Friday, April 4, 2008

A report issued by the United States Department of the Treasury on March 31, 2008, which outlines supposed improvements and reforms to several sectors of the financial services industry, singles out the electronic payments industry as one sector where federal oversight is necessary. As well as calling to consolidate and modernize the regulation of the banking sector, the Treasury Department recommends the Federal Reserve System be given regulatory authority in the form of a federal charter over the industry's primary payment and settlement systems

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Visa IPO largest in U.S. history

Friday, April 4, 2008

Underwriters pulled off the biggest stock sale in U.S. history as Visa Inc. debuted Wed., March 19, 2008, on the New York Stock Exchange – stock symbol V – at $59.50, up 35 percent from its initial public offering (IPO) price of the previous day, as investors bet on an accelerating shift to electronic payments. The IPO priced on Tues., March 18, for a record-breaking $17.9 billion as the San Francisco-based card Association sold 406 million shares at $44 per share. Visa said that underwriters have a 30-day option to buy an additional 40.6 million shares.

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It's curtains for AmEx key fobs

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Key fobs may one day have a large footprint in the payments industry, but for now they appear to be a novelty. Six years after introducing a payment device that attaches to a keychain, American Express Co. is discontinuing its Express Pay fob. The fob was initially hailed as a convenience for customers who don't want to waste time pulling credit cards from wallets. AmEx will focus instead on installing computer chips in traditional credit cards, enabling customers to hold such cards up to electronic readers as an alternative to manually swiping them. Some AmEx cards already employ this technology.

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