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The Green Sheet Online Edition

June 25, 2007 • Issue 07:06:02

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.NEWS

The spinoff of Discover Financial Services LLC was approved by Morgan Stanley's board of directors.

The distribution of all outstanding shares of Discover common stock will be made on June 30, 2007, to Morgan Stanley stockholders of record as of the close of business June 18, 2007.

Morgan Stanley will distribute one share of Discover common stock for every two shares of Morgan Stanley common stock.

Following the distribution, Discover will become an independent, publicly traded company. Its stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol "DFS."

"Discover will be even better positioned to create long-term value as a standalone company," David Nelms, Discover's Chief Executive Officer, stated.

"We have a clear strategy to increase profitability by continuing to grow our card-issuing business and realizing the substantial opportunities in the fast-growing payments business."

Underbanked want bank relationships

Underbanked consumers want traditional financial services relationships, according to the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI).

Findings from a recent CFSI study indicate that underbanked consumers make financial decisions differently than mass market customers. And they strongly emphasize intangibles such as respect, trust, safety, security and a sense of belonging.

The study also found:

  • These consumers cash an average of 20 checks a year, with an average check size of $452.
  • A majority are very open to having a relationship with a bank or credit union.
  • More than 60% have a checking account and 45% have a savings account.

More information is available on CFSI's Web site, at www.cfsinnovation.com.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

ANP offers free terminal placement

Merchants processing credit card and other noncash transactions with American National Payments are eligible to receive free processing equipment, according to the company.

ANP sales partners can select from free equipment placement options, including credit card terminals, PIN pads and check readers. The program provides ANP sales partners a bonus to further reward their placement efforts.

Cynergy Data makes Inner City 100 list

Inc. magazine ranked Cynergy Data 27th on its annual Inner City 100 list. Cynergy Data's revenues increased 534% from 2001 to 2005. Candidates for the 2007 Inner City 100 must:

  • Be independent, for-profit corporations, partnerships or proprietorships
  • Be headquartered or have more than half their physical operations in inner cities
  • Have had 10 or more full-time employees in 2005
  • Have a five-year operating history that includes a sales increase in 2005 over 2004, sales of at least $200,000 in 2001, and at least $1 million in sales in 2005.

Freedom Charge offers two-tiered program

Freedom Charge Merchant Services Inc., which specializes in high-risk merchants, has new opportunities for affiliates and ISOs.

The company offers a two-tiered affiliate program: Direct sales generate 50% profit split on high-risk accounts for its affiliates and ISO partners. And affiliates can earn 5% to 10% of any profit generated by "sun" affiliates.

Heartland CEO receives award

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. Chairman and CEO Robert O. Carr received a 2007 Stevie Award from the American Business Awards. He was honored as the Best Executive - Other Industries. Carr competed with more than 2,000 executives from companies of all sizes and in virtually every industry.

Newtek providing payroll services

Newtek Business Services Inc., a provider of services and financial products to small businesses, is now offering Web-based payroll services, including paying employees, managing checks and direct deposits, and dealing with taxes.

Newtek also has business lending, electronic payment processing, insurance services, Web hosting, Web design and development, outsourced digital bookkeeping, tax services, data backup, and retrieval and business plan preparation.

PropertyBridge maintains level 1 PCI compliance

PropertyBridge Inc. announced compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard for the second consecutive year.

The company said it is the first and only payment processor within the multifamily and property management industries to achieve two years of PCI level 1 compliance.

Sirqa Merchant Services to pay affiliates

Sirqa Merchant Services Inc., a division of iPayment Inc., has launched a partnership program that pays affiliates for other affiliates' referral efforts.

The "one tier down" program enables affiliates and ISOs to obtain free training, technical support and a mirrored Web site for promoting low-rate merchant account setups to small businesses nationwide.

Participating affiliates are assigned account managers who assist them in selling accounts, closing sales and processing orders.

WRG Services twice honored

WRG Services Inc., a supplier of ATMs and related services, has been twice honored with Cleveland Entrepreneur Leading Edge Awards. The awards are Most Value and Most Growth by a Northeast Ohio private company.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

DTI helping businesses give back

Direct Technology Innovations and the Women's Cancer Association of the University of Miami Silver Angels have partnered to enable businesses to donate a portion of their credit card transactions to the Silver Angels.

Business owners in Florida's Miami-Dade and Broward counties that switch to DTI for their credit card processing services can participate.

Hypercom product is Windows Vista-certified

Hypercom Corp. announced its SmartPayments solution suite is the first electronic payment processing software to pass certification tests ensuring compatibility with Windows Vista.

The Hypercom SmartPayments Client and Smart Payments Server product lines have earned Microsoft Corp.'s Certified for Windows Vista designations.

Contactless payments coming to airport parking

Affiliated Computer Services Inc.'s airport parking applications in North America will accept MasterCard Worldwide's PayPass contactless payments. ACS has more than 20 parking system installations at the nation's busiest airports, according to the company.

NMC wins two new clients

Business Matchmaking has named National Merchant Center its official payment processing provider. Business Matchmaking enables face-to-face meetings between small business sellers and buyers from federal agencies and major corporations.

NMC was also chosen to be the official processor for the Latino Coalition, the national umbrella organization that serves major Hispanic business and professional groups throughout the United States.

PAI partners with AdvanceMe and Ruesch International

Payment Alliance International Inc. will offer AdvanceMe Inc.'s merchant cash advance product to its customers. In addition, Ruesch International Inc. will provide PAI's financial institution partners and business clients access to Ruesch's suite of payment and foreign exchange products and services.

RBS Lynk to process for Alon

Alon USA Energy Inc., an independent refiner and marketer of gasoline, diesel fuel and other petroleum products, has selected RBS Lynk as its new credit card processor.

RBS Lynk will manage credit, debit and gift card transactions (both pay-at-the-pump and in-store) for Alon's distributor network of FINA-branded convenience stores.

VeriFone inks two restaurant deals

Two more restaurant chains will be using VeriFone's On the Spot payment solution: Carey Hilliard's, a seven-store, Savannah, Ga.-based eatery, and Cara, an operator of more than 800 full-service restaurants in Canada. Both restaurants will integrate VeriFone's and Micros Systems Inc.'s solutions.

On the Spot includes a small handheld payment device that enables credit and debit card acceptance at the point of service, such as at the table, at curbside or upon delivery.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Bello and Koerner join Comstar

Luis Bello has joined Comstar Interactive as Regional Sales Manager. Bello will work with ISOs in Florida, in the Southwest United States and in Latin America. Previously, he was co-founder and President of Gifts Consulting. He was also an Account Executive with WAY Systems Inc. and Hypercom.

In addition, Comstar hired Loretta Koerner who will be responsible for Business Development - Mobile Solutions. Koerner comes to Comstar from Sprint Nextel, where she was an Indirect Channel Manager.

Assurz hires two for business development

Assurz Inc. appointed Teresa Cullen and Dawn Delaney Vice Presidents of Business Development. The two executives, who have a combined 25 years of experience marketing to large electronic retail accounts, come to Assurz from Chase Paymentech Solutions.

DTI has new operations VP

Direct Technology Innovations appointed Shelley K. Friedman Vice President of Operations. Friedman has more than 20 years' experience in the payments industry.

Previously, she was Vice President Operations/Business Development at First Data Merchant Services.

ModaSolutions appoints new board member

Steve Hawco now serves on ModaSolutions' board of directors. Hawco has over 12 years of e-commerce experience. He is currently Senior Vice President at Group RCI. Prior to Group RCI, Hawco was Vice President of the Lego Group.

Howe named eTelcharge.com CEO

ETelcharge.com appointed Rob Howe President and CEO. Howe's background includes significant contributions at Dell North America, AT&T GIS and CompUSA.

He most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer of DualCor Technologies Inc. Prior to that he worked six years as a consultant to technology companies.

LeBoeuf joins RapidAdvance

RapidAdvance hired Laurie LeBoeuf as Vice President of Operations. LeBoeuf has more than 25 years' experience on both the acquiring and issuing sides of the payments business. Most recently, she was Senior Vice President of Risk and Operations for the ISO Delta Card Services.

Prior, she was AVP of Merchant Business for Intrust Bank. She has also served as the Electronic Transactions Association's National Director of the Merchant Acquirers committee. She recently accepted the role of chairing the ETA's Risk and Fraud Committee.

PCI council elects advisory board

The PCI Security Standards Council elected a board of advisers. The board will represent the nearly 200 organizations participating on the council and provide critical feedback for enhancing PCI requirements.

Out of more than 100 organizations nominated to serve on the board, 14 were elected. They represent the categories of financial institutions, merchants, processors and others, such as POS vendors and industry associations. The PCI council board of advisers includes:

  • APACS, the U.K. Payments Association
  • Bank of America Corp.
  • British Airways
  • Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC
  • First Data Corp.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Microsoft Corp.
  • Moneris Solutions Corp.
  • PayPal
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Tesco Stores Ltd.
  • TSYS Acquiring Solutions
  • VeriFone
  • Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Schwimmer is IMA Director in Long Island

Steve Schwimmer has been named Director of the Long Island Chapter of the Institute of Management Accounts. Schwimmer is also the President of the National Association of Payment Professionals.

He is Director of the Syosset Chamber of Commerce and an active member of the Hauppauge Industrial Association, the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce and the Long Island Association. He is also a long-term member of the Long Island Better Business Bureau's Executive Board.

The Green Sheet, Inc.BOTTOM LINES

  • Interchange costs for all retailers totaled $30.7 billion in 2005 and $36.3 billion in 2006 - an 18% increase in one year, the Food Marketing Institute reported. The cost of interchange has more than doubled since 2001, the FMI said.

  • Retail losses hit $41.6 billion last year, according to a National Retail Federation survey. Companies lost 1.61% of sales to theft and fraud. This number was largely due to:
      - Employee theft ($19.5 billion)
      - Shoplifting ($13.3 billion)
      - Administrative error ($5.8 billion)
      - Vendor fraud ($1.7 billion).
  • Voice Pay, a voice-verified payment processing system, debuted this spring. The solution was developed by Nick Ogden, founder of the Internet payment processor WorldPay, which the Royal Bank of Scotland purchased in 2002. Voice Pay is intended for Internet, mobile and retail transactions.
end of article

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