The Green Sheet Online Edition
December 22, 2008 • Issue 08:12:02
Cyber Monday blues
Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC's Cyber Holiday Pulse Index, which is tracking transactions through its global processing platform from Nov. 6, 2008, through January 2009, continued to show increases in transactions and sales volume. Chase Paymentech monitors daily activity for 25 of the largest 150 retailers for the data.
For Cyber Monday, the online version of Black Friday, sales volume rose less than .05 percent from 2007, while transaction increased over 2007 by 14.5 percent. The average dollar spent per transaction dropped by 12 percent below 2007's average.
Aaron Press, Director of Market Analysis for Chase Paymentech, said of Cyber Monday, "Transaction volume was well ahead of last year for that day, but sales growth was meager. For the entire holiday season, the slower rise in sales volume compared to the steeper increase in transactions has resulted in the average ticket being lower on most days."
The two days following Cyber Monday were expected to be bigger sales days, as was the case in 2006 and 2007.
On Dec. 2, 2008, the major e-bill payment site Checkfree.com Corp. was hijacked by fraudsters. Site visitors were redirected to a server in the Ukraine that displayed a blank page while malware attempted to download onto users' computers.
Hackers, using an administrative user name and password, accessed the company's Web site hosted by Network Solutions at 12:30 a.m. A spokeswoman for Network Solutions said the attackers used the name and password to log in and change the address of CheckFree's authoritative domain name system servers, which redirected users to an IP address in the Ukraine.
Melanie Tolley, CheckFree's spokeswoman, reported the company reasserted control at 5:00 a.m., and the "degree of exposure to users is dependent on how current their anti-virus software is and what browser they used to connect with."
Checkfree has partnered with McAfee Inc. to offer solutions to affected consumers. In a letter to its customers, Checkfree outlined the circumstances that would determine whether a user's computer was affected.
ID theft hits Library of Congress
Two individuals used names stolen from the Library of Congress to buy thousands of dollars in goods from retailers. Twenty-seven-year-old William Sinclair, a former Library of Congress employee, worked in the library's human resources department and used a government database in April and May to lift names, birthdates and Social Security numbers of at least 10 library employees, according to prosecutors.
Sinclair shared the information with Labiska Gibbs, 35, a second cousin. She opened credit accounts at the retailers. The stores lost over $38,000. Gibbs was recently indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
This is only the latest in a rash of recent scams. On Dec. 5, 2008, a former employee of the Federal Emergency Management Agency who stole identities of 200 people, including disaster victims, was sentenced to over five years in federal prison.
A former Washington, D.C., public schools employee and an accomplice were sentenced to six months for stealing the identities of 65 job applicants and co-workers to purchase more than $40,000 in such items as boys' clothes and musical instruments. Rashelle L. Henderson, 22, and her friend, Tashana Crews, 25, apologized after letters from the victims were read in U.S. District Court by Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.
Mercator cross-border predictions
In 2006, $2.5 trillion in foreign exchange, cross-border payments were settled every day. But according to a Mercator Advisory Group's Corporate Banking Practice report focusing on emerging real-time settlement systems, cross-border payments have climbed steadily in both dollar volume and number of transactions until this year. However, with overall global economic trends, Mercator believes the growth rate in the future will slow dramatically.
Real-time gross settlement systems are being adopted across the European Union. Unfortunately, U.S. banks, held "captive" by their legacy payment systems, have forfeited their leadership role in the facilitation of cross-border payments. Commercial banks are losing market share and millions of dollars in revenues as settlement responsibilities migrate to banks of other nations.
SPSP hosts CPISA training
The Society of Payment Security Professionals hosted its first Certified Payment Card Industry 2008 Security Auditor (CPISA) training and certification in November 2008. Held in conjunction with a certified PCI security manager event in Dallas and the U.S. presidential election, it was still well attended, according to SPSP. The CPISA covers information technology, information security and auditing knowledge and skills.
Innovation award for ACE
The 2009 Financial Leaders in Innovation Award for Payment Processing was awarded to ACE Software Solutions Inc. The awards honor banks and software and hardware vendors that shape the delivery of business solutions in wholesale transaction banking.
Airis ATM Technologies widens global reach
Airis ATM Technologies unveiled a new, multilingual Web site. Airis Vice President of Sales and Marketing Tom Riley said language diversity is part of the company's recent efforts to reach a wider international client base. The site can be viewed in German, French, Spanish, Portuguese and English. Airis ATM acquired ATM Exchange in 2007 and celebrated its second anniversary.
Mobile banking up for ClairMail
ClairMail Inc., provider of two-way mobile-phone-based customer interaction, partnered with PNC Financial Services Group Inc. to expand PNC's mobile banking services. ClairMail's system uses any mobile phone's existing text messaging software and capabilities, regardless of manufacturer, model, operating system or wireless carrier.
ClairMail also reported it is processing millions of monthly mobile-banking transactions and has seen adoption rates as high as 25 percent by online banking consumers among its banking customers.
ClairMail delivers mobile banking via messaging, mobile Web and client applications, claiming to be the only provider offering this "two-way triple play."
Comodo updates downloads
Comodo Group, an identity and trust assurance solutions provider, updated its free downloadable software to include improved virus database updating, enhanced prevention of process access in memory and Windows XP 64 protection. It also is said to interface better with Windows Vista and Windows Security System.
Metavante tapped by Crescent
Crescent State Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Crescent Financial Corp., chose Metavante Corp. to replace the bank's core processing system, extending Crescent's relationship with Metavante. Crescent has been a Metavante Regulatory Services client since 2005.
Digital Check signs with EFT Network
Check processor Digital Check Corp. signed a reseller agreement with EFT Network Inc., allowing them to use Digital Check's check scanners in conjunction with its Web-based remote deposit capture solution.
Honorable mention for DCS
Dynamic Card Solution LLC's CardWizard FCP 20/20 flat card printer received a 2008 Innovation Solutions Award honorable mention in the architectural/equipment innovation category from BankNews Publications. DCS is a developer of instant issuance and PIN selection solutions for banks, credit unions and financial institutions.
Elan adds 15 to portfolio
In the third quarter of 2008, Elan Financial Services signed agreements to purchase credit card portfolios of six financial institutions and signed contracts for new programs with nine others.
"Even as the economic conditions have changed, we are continuing to invest in marketing and infrastructure on behalf of our partners," said Jeff Chernivec, Elan's Senior Vice President and Marketing Director for Sales and Business Development.
Fundtech wins e-payments award
Payment solutions provider Fundtech Ltd. won the Financial-i magazine's Leaders in Innovation Award for e-commerce payment solutions. "The awards recognize those companies that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to innovation: Companies that have demonstrated over the last 12 months their ability to innovate and use these solutions to solve specific business issues or concerns," said Anita Hawser, Managing Editor of Financial-i.
Global Payments hits casinos
Global Payments Inc. signed contracts with four casinos in four states to provide its VIP Lightspeed processing suite, which includes VIP Preferred check-cashing services, PlayerCash @dvantage and ATM Cash @dvantage services.
Heartland honored in Delaware
The Delaware sales organization of Heartland Payment Systems Inc. was named Allied Member of the Year by The Delaware Restaurant Association in recognition of its efforts on behalf of the DRA as its provider of card processing services.
Hypercom Corp. unveils medCompact
As part of the migration to the new e-Health card program in Germany, Hypercom Corp. rolled out its medCompact health care terminal in the North Rhine region. The event was attended by representatives of the German government, health insurance companies and the medical practitioners' self-governing body.
Multicarta down under 15 minutes a year
According to Russian processor Multicarta Ltd., the company is keeping downtime of its transaction processing to under 15 minutes per year with SteelEye LifeKeeper for Linux.
MyECheck lands FLP account
Processor MyECheck Inc. is now providing Forever Living Products, the multilevel marketing distribution company with its comprehensive suite of electronic check processing services. With MyECheck's patent pending software, FLP can debit all types of U.S. checking accounts.
MyECheck also signed on Vacation Renter Solutions LLC. The company also reported increasing its transaction capacity by 40 percent with its new data center.
Panini launches cert program
Check processor Panini North America Inc. launched its Panini Authorized Service Provider program, an authorized warranty and maintenance program for qualified members of the Panini Partner Plus channel program. The program will certify members to perform warranty and maintenance.
SVPCO hits all-time high
The SVPCO Image Payments Network, a project of The Clearing House Payments Co. LLC, reported its average daily check images in November 2008 hit 27.3 million, up 9.5 percent from October 2008 and a 70.3 percent increase over November 2007, an all-time high.
TrialPay hits 15 million
Alternative payment processor TrialPay Inc. had another record-breaking month with 15 million users and 7,500 merchants in November 2008. Reportedly, TrialPay has helped software, online game, retail, subscription services and publishing merchants increase online sales.
Alltel and mFoundry deliver
Alltel Wireless Communication LLC joined with mobile payment services company mFoundry Inc. to roll out the Alltel Wallet.
"Recent research has shown that early adopter consumers are willing to switch mobile carriers to gain access to mobile payments solutions," said Drew Sievers, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of mFoundry.
CUP Data scores China Postal
TSYS Acquiring Solutions Inc. reported China UnionPay Data Services Co. Ltd., TSYS' joint venture with China UnionPay, signed a credit card processing agreement with China Postal Savings Bank, which holds more than $200 billion in deposits and has more than 36,000 branches throughout every city in China.
Franchise gives nod to AdvanceMe
Credit card processor Franchise Payments Network LLC signed a referral agreement with merchant cash advance provider AdvanceMe Inc.
Through this agreement, FPN is expanding its product portfolio to include merchant cash advances in an effort to help franchisees quickly access capital.
Harris N.A. renews with NYCE
Harris N.A. will continue to use the NYCE Payments Network LLC network and has named NYCE as its primary provider of PIN debit and ATM card access. NYCE is a Metavante Corp. company. Harris has $41 billion in assets, 647 ATMs and 276 branches located in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Hypercom and TASQ, eh?
Hypercom Corp. partnered with TASQ Technology Inc. and will have exclusive rights to market Hypercom's new, small-merchant, 32-bit Optimum T4205 terminal in Canada for one year.
The T4205 shares the same platform and compact form factor as Hypercom's T4200 line and is said to be an entry-level device that is ideal for small, independent merchants.
ID Analytics joins CIMIP
ID Analytics Inc. is working with the Center for Identity Management and Information Protection of Utica College to better protect consumer identities.
CIMIP is a research collaborative composed of leading government, corporate and academic institutions.
Visa and Yalamanchili form VPS
Visa Inc. and Yalamanchili Software Exports Ltd. are joining forces to provide payment processing in the Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Central Europe, Middle East and Africa regions with Visa Processing Service Pte. Ltd. Yalamanchili will help Visa to extend its payment processing reach beyond the United States and Europe.
Viewpointe extends its view
Viewpointe LLC, a check image exchange and archive services provider, completed its acquisition of payment solutions provider PaymentsNation. Viewpointe anticipates providing an end-to-end solution with PaymentsNation's functionality.
BlueStar kicks Dorsey upstairs
BlueStar, a distributor of Auto Identification, POS, mobility, and radio frequency identification products, promoted Rob Dorsey to Vice President of U.S. Sales. BlueStar said its sales team has increased sales by 200 percent under Dorsey's leadership.
Gautney elected to NACHA board
Included in EastPay's list of new NACHA - the Electronic Payments Association board members is First Southern Bank of Boca Raton, Fla.'s Anthony Gautney.
He is a Certified Cash Manager and Executive Vice President and Manager of Cash Management. Gautney has 28 years' experience in cash management sales, product management and consulting.
Pouliot spreads the good news
Litle & Co. created a new position for Tom Pouliot, a 20-year payments industry veteran: Payments Evangelist.
"No one knows more about how this industry operates and where merchants can find value from payment management. He is the perfect person for this role," said Tom Litle, CEO, Litle & Co.
Smart Payment names new Director
Corey Wright joined Smart Payment Solutions' management team as Director of Sales. Wright will be driving business development and building the SPS channel partner services for business to business customers.
Prior to joining SPS, Wright founded CS Payments.
- A recent Mintel International Group Ltd. report estimates gift registries will funnel $5 billion to $5.5 billion to retailers in 2008.
- In a survey of office workers who have Internet access, 55.8 percent of respondents indicated they would be shopping online at work for holiday gifts. The survey was conducted by BIGresearch for Shop.org.
- A National Retail Federation survey of 3,370 shoppers revealed they spent an averageof $372.57 apiece over Thanksgiving weekend 2008. This was up 7.2 percent over last year's $347.55.
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