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The Green Sheet Online Edition

April 23, 2007 • Issue 07:04:02

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.NEWS

Global Payments readies Discover acceptance

Global Payments Inc. will activate processing for Discover Financial Services LLC card transactions in the coming months, the company reported during its third-quarter earnings call March 30.

"We now expect to complete this [process] and begin offering integrated Discover card acceptance to our own sales force, our ISOs and our financial institution partners during the summer of 2007," said Global Payments Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Paul R. Garcia.

Third quarter revenue grew 16% over the same period the prior year, to $260.4 million.

The company also said the strength of its ISO business softens some of its key metrics. Its merchant services operating margin decreased 100 basis points, to 27.1% for the quarter, largely due to the growth of the ISO segment within its overall business.

"We estimate the growth of these ISOs will unfavorably impact our merchant services operating margin by approximately 250 basis points during fiscal 2007, compared to fiscal 2006," said Global Payments Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Joseph Hyde.

Its money transfer business also saw a decline in operating margin.

"We are very pleased with our ISO program, and we continue to have success in retaining our customers and signing new ones ... including three new ISOs signed this past quarter," Garcia said. Yet, its maturing U.S. merchant portfolio underwent further price compression.

ISOs continued to drive growth in the company's domestic direct channel: Card transactions grew 23% for the quarter, bringing revenue growth of 12%. "Our average ticket for the quarter declined ..., primarily due to the strong growth of our ISOs, which generally add smaller merchants with lower average tickets," Garcia said.

The processor announced it will consolidate a Missouri-based technical support center into an operations center in Maryland. "This consolidation will improve our customer service by allowing us to provide our domestic merchants with a single point of contact," Hyde said.

A check facility in Colorado will also be consolidated into a center in Illinois.

Marshall & Ilsley to spin off Metavante

Marshall & Ilsley Corp. will spin off banking and payment technology subsidiary Metavante Corp. in late 2007. Private equity investor Warburg Pincus will acquire a 25% equity stake in Metavante. The deal values that company at $4.25 billion, including $1.75 billion of debt.

"When this transaction is completed, we will have access to financial resources to continue to build new products, acquire additional companies [and] invest in new technologies," stated Frank Martire, Metavante's President and CEO. The unit has acquired 17 companies since 2004. Metavante handles processing for the NYCE ATM network.

Metavante also announced a joint venture with Monitise to operate a mobile payment system in the United States. The venture will enable consumers to check account balances, transfer funds and pay bills from mobile phones.

Commercial spending grows 8%

Visa's Commercial Consumption Expenditure (CCE) measurement for 2006 shows steady growth in business and government spending worldwide. Visa Commercial calculates global CCE in 2006 to be US $66.7 trillion, an increase of 8% over 2005.

The index includes all commercial spending, except payroll and other select expenditures. The overall 2006 measurement for electronic and paper-based business and government spending within the United States was US $17.3 trillion in 2006, compared with $16.2 trillion in 2005.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

AMI to open center in Rome

AdvanceMe Inc., a provider of merchant cash advances, will open a customer care center in Rome, Ga. The company has a center in Kennesaw, Ga. The Rome center will employ up to 25 people, including indirect sales and management staff.

BankCard Services makes LA ranking

The Los Angeles Business Journal ranked BankCard Services No. 27 among the county's minority-owned businesses. BankCard Services recorded $41 million in revenue for 2006, a 33.5% increase over 2005.

Program recovers school lunch checks

EPayments Corp. devised a program guaranteeing collection of the full value of bad checks written to cover school lunches, at no cost to the school districts. The program handles processing, collection and phone calls from parents whose checks haven't cleared.

EPayments earns nonsufficient fund fees on checks it recovers. The program is powered by the iSmart check processing system.

ISO cited as a top place to work

Fast Transact Inc. was selected as a finalist for the Business Examiner's award as one of the top places to work in Washington's South Puget Sound. The nominees were evaluated on benefits, diversity, training, retention and feedback from employees.

FAC launches multicurrency solution

First Atlantic Commerce Ltd. launched its pan-Asian credit card payment solution for e-commerce acquiring. It provides clients extended currency capabilities and a foothold for region-specific expansion through direct merchant accounts in Mauritius.

The pan-Asian solution offers merchants the ability to settle in U.S., Canadian, Australian, Hong Kong and Singapore dollars, British pounds, euros, the yen, and the rand.

SecurePOS certified for Windows Mobile

MasterCard Worldwide has certified Apriva's SecurePOS for the Windows Mobile SmartPhone platform. The software-based solution reportedly is the first in the industry to be certified under MasterCard's Payment Terminal Security Program.

Apriva's wireless gateway service allows merchants to process mobile credit card transactions on the SmartPhone with secure software and nationwide wireless network access, extending card-present credit card payments to more mobile merchants.

NPS is PCI certified

Nationwide Payment Solutions LLC has been approved as a Visa U.S.A.-certified Cardholder Information Security Program/Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard compliant service provider. Also, NPS modified its registration with Visa to include third-party service status.

Payment Data's 2006 financials improve

Payment Data Systems Inc.'s revenue increased 114% to $2.5 million in 2006. Operating loss improved to $1.25 million for 2006 from $1.64 million the year before. A decline in the net loss for the year was primarily attributable to the sale of the company's Bills.com domain name and trademark.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

First American certifies Orion reader

First American Payment Systems LP certified the Orion check reader, imager and card solution from 4Access Communications Co. The partnership provides merchants utilizing First American's Secur-Chex a complete solution for credit, debit and check processing through one terminal.

First Data licenses DAC technology

First Data Corp. licensed technology from PrivaSys Inc. enabling the processor to develop contactless products and migrate to emerging payments. PrivaSys technology generates transaction-specific dynamic authentication codes to foil card skimming.

Sweda integrates Givex programs

Givex gift card programs have been integrated into Sweda Corp. POS systems. In addition, Givex provides 24/7 live support services to Sweda POS users.

School program increases lunch revenue

M2SYS Technology completed a case study with POS solution partner LCR Ltd. in which M2SYS' fingerprint software, Bio-Plugin, was integrated into QuickDine school lunchroom management software. Comparison data showed wait times decreased, while revenues increased an average of 20%.

MasterCard launches Nearby

MasterCard unveiled MasterCard Nearby, a trial service that allows cardholders to use mobile phones to access information, including ATM and merchant locations, driving directions, rewards, and special offers.

All MasterCard cardholders in the United States are eligible. The service was developed in partnership with go2, operator of the go2 Mobile Content Network.

Pharmacy picks MoneyPass

Snyders Drug Stores chose MoneyPass ATM network to provide surcharge-free ATM access to its stores in Minnesota. MoneyPass has nearly 10,000 ATMs nationwide.

NCR installs Postilion software

NCR Corp. chose Postilion Inc.'s payment processing software for its Toronto, Ontario, data center. The software reportedly meets evolving EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) standards. Postilion is a subsidiary of S1 Corp.

Sage launches PCI program

Sage Payment Solutions launched a data security compliance program supporting its entire merchant portfolio, in partnership with AmbironTrustWave. The program will help merchants validate compliance with PCI.

STS certifies Precidia router, announces shopping cart partner

Smart Transaction Systems Class B certified Precidia Technologies Inc.'s POSLynx220 payment router. Certification offers merchants a range of routing options for gift, loyalty, stored value and multiapplication cards.

In other news, osCommerce has integrated STS' gift card and loyalty programs into its software for online merchants. OsCommerce is an open source shopping cart.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

First Data buys ATM network and East European processor

First Data bought Instant Cash Services, which includes the Instant Cash Network, from Wells Fargo Bank & Co. First Data will operate the network under the Instant Cash brand.

The service provides debit card and ATM payment processing for 500 community banks, credit unions, thrifts and nonfinancial institutions in 20 states. This acquisition will not affect Wells Fargo's ATM banking network.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Corum joins i2c

Justin Corum has joined i2c inc. as Account Advocate, managing global accounts. Previously, he was Account Manager in Processor Relations at Coinstar.

Cramp appointed President of Solveras

Solveras Payment Systems appointed John S. Cramp President. He joins from Telkonet Inc. Formerly, Cramp was President and CEO of CardSystems Solutions Inc.

Assurz hires Gumbinger

Assurz Inc. named Gregg Gumbinger Vice President of Business Development. He will establish relationships with online merchants, acquirers and ISOs. Most recently, he was Vice President of Business Development for Authorize.Net's Channel Sales Group.

Mardis joins Sonoma

Sonoma Technical Support Services, a provider of help desk services, named Bill Mardis Vice President of Sales. Previously, he held executive positions with VeriFone, Hypercom Corp. and PointPay USA.

Metzler comes to RBS Lynk

RBS Lynk appointed Kurt Metzler Executive Vice President and General Manager of the small business unit. He manages the direct sales force and Citizens Financial Group's merchant acquiring sales force and relationship. Directly prior, Metzler was Executive Vice President and General Manager of Chase Merchant Services LLC.

First Data appoints Money, Thomas

First Data appointed David R. Money Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. Money has been acting General Counsel since June 2006, when General Counsel Michael T. Whealy took disability leave following an automobile accident. Whealy reportedly will retire.

Also, the company hired Kyle Thomas as Senior Vice President, Processing and Product Sales, for First Data Resources. Thomas was most recently CEO of Global Chili/Chilly Co., which he founded in 2004.

O'Connor heads M&A for Priority

Ryan O'Connor has joined Priority Payment Systems as Senior Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions for the joint venture Priority Finance. O'Connor most recently served as President of Business Development for TransFirst. Initial investors in the venture include Institutional Credit Partners and CarVal Investors.

PCI Council names GM

The PCI Security Standards Council appointed Robert M. Russo, Sr. General Manager. Russo reports directly to the Executive Committee and is responsible for management of vendor approval programs and execution of the organization's programs. He will also coordinate research and analysis of the PCI DSS.

Before joining the Council, Russo was Vice President of Commercial Sales for Secure Info. He also founded Network-1 Software & Technology and ATC Security, a compliance company later acquired by Ambiron LLC.

TNB hires Schroeder

TNB Card Services named Kurt Schroeder Vice President, Account Executive in charge of Western and Midwestern credit union clients. Most recently, Schroeder worked for Experian, cultivating new client relationships.

The Green Sheet, Inc.BOTTOM LINES

  • Debit card POS overdraft loans are more expensive than those from any other source, including overdrafts by check, according to a report from the Center for Responsible Lending. Debit card POS overdrafts cost people $2.17 in fees for every dollar borrowed; overdrafts, cost $.86 per dollar borrowed. Approximately 46% of all overdrafts are triggered by debit card POS transactions or ATM withdrawals.
  • Mercator Advisory Group forecasts mobile payments volume will exceed $6.9 billion in 2011. In its report U.S. Mobile Banking and Payments, the group projects mobile banking fee revenues to be shared among banks, mobile operators, vendors and networks will exceed $1 billion in 2011.
  • Cardholders now prefer airline points over cash rewards, according to a survey by Auriemma Consulting Group. The cash-rebate card fell from 53% in 2005 to 39% in 2006 as the card of choice. At the same time, airline cards grew in popularity from 41% to 48%.
end of article

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