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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

February 25, 2008 • Issue 08:02:02

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.NEWS

Alliance Data drops lawsuit

Alliance Data Systems Corp., provider of marketing, loyalty and transactions services, dismissed its May 2007 lawsuit against Aladdin Solutions Inc. and Aladdin Merger Sub Inc., the acquisition entities formed by affiliates of The Blackstone Group LP.

In light of Blackstone's confirmation of its commitment to work to consummate the merger, ADS withdrew its lawsuit without prejudice on Feb. 8, 2008.

Discover sells Goldfish, leaves U.K.

Barclays Bank PLC signed an agreement to acquire Discover Financial Services' Goldfish credit card business, which is based in the United Kingdom.

Under the agreement, Barclay's will acquire the card portfolio consisting of 1.7 million Goldfish and affinity card accounts with approximately $4 billion of receivables; the Goldfish brand; its operating facilities; certain legal entities; and staff.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of Discover's second quarter, subject to regulatory approvals in the U.K. and to other closing conditions.

NACHA tightens risk management

NACHA - The Electronics Payment Association, approved a rule that requires companies originating transactions to identify themselves with names their customers will recognize. The new rule, effective June 20, 2008, carries penalties for noncompliance spelled out in NACHA's national system of fines. First offenses will draw a warning, while a recurrence will warrant a $1,000 fine.

As part of the rule, which is formally known as the Company Name Identification Rule, NACHA is also requiring that the name of the actual originator, not a third party, be the one used in the transaction file. This is intended to guard against processors that might identify themselves as the originator, rather than use the names of their merchants or billers.

Wal-Mart prepaid card shows promise

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s prepaid debit card appears to be making headway eight months after it was introduced. Wal-Mart said it has plans to more than double the number of its stores selling the MoneyCard this year to 1,000. Analysts said the MoneyCard is likely to compete with firms that offer financial services to consumers without traditional access to credit and the banking system.

Consumers surveyed said they liked the MoneyCard mostly because it could be refunded if lost or stolen; it is easy and inexpensive to reload; and Wal-Mart's $4.94 monthly maintenance fee is low.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

Web site launched for smaller enterprises

Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC launched a new Web site designed to help small and medium-sized businesses affordably accept credit card payments. The site allows businesses quick access to experts who can customize a program to each company's requirements. These programs feature reliable terminals, low interchange rates and custom gift card programs. "Our new site makes payment processing, merchant account setup, and the entire process of accepting credit cards easy and accessible to the small business community," said Mia Shernoff, Executive Vice President of Marketing for Chase Paymentech.

Comstar takes charge of Palm TREO

Comstar Interactive, provider of secure mobile payment solutions and electronic payment services, has released Charge Anywhere v2.0 Secure Mobile Payment solution for merchants using Palm TREO smartphone devices. Charge Anywhere is Payment Application Data Security Standard - formerly Visa Payment Application Best Practices - validated and specifically designed to empower mobile payments for businesses seeking a comprehensive mobile payments solution.

The software reportedly transforms Palm TREO smartphones into secure mobile POS terminals and is compatible with the latest generation of TREO smartphones. It can be installed on the Windows Mobile 5.0+ operating system.

Remote capture comes to Jersey shore

Fundtech Ltd., provider of electronic payment, settlement and cash management solutions, has signed an agreement with Wausau Insurance Cos., enabling Fundtech to offer Wausau's Remote Corporate Capture (RCC) solution to its clients. It is designed for the remote capture of deposits and payments. Fundtech anticipates its merchants can expand their cash management services businesses by providing RCC to their corporate customers. The RCC solution allows clients to process deposits and payments without leaving their place of business.

MasterCard, USA Technologies expand PayPass

MasterCard Worldwide and USA Technologies Inc. are expanding ePort cashless payment terminals to 17,500 vending machines nationwide, adding more than 4,000 new locations that accept MasterCard PayPass contactless payments.

Positive feedback from consumers, vending operators and soft drink bottlers, as well as increased sales at contactless payment machines, drove the move to expand cashless deployment in vending machines. "Surveys of our customers are showing that, on average, consumers' card purchases are 30% higher than cash purchases in our deployments that accept MasterCard PayPass," said George Jensen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of USA Technologies.

Optio Solutions opens shop

Optio Solutions LLC, a new accounts receivable management company and subsidiary of Cross Check Inc., opened new headquarters in Rohnert Park, Calif. in February 2008. Optio Solution's services are marketed nationally through resellers, partners and in-house sales consultants. An Online Client Portal (OCP) lets clients manage their receivables program online while utilizing the company's expertise and technology.

The OCP allows the client to start and stop account activity, track payments and view reports. "Our goal is to bring a quality-based approach to accounts receivable management and provide our clients with easy-to-use and cost-effective tools for their slow-paying accounts," said Chris Schumacher, Optio Solution's President and CEO.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Accertify, iovation to prevent fraud

Accertify LLC, a provider of credit card fraud prevention solutions to online merchants, and iovation Inc., a real-time devise-based fraud management service, have partnered to help online merchants fight credit card fraud.

Under the partnership, Accertify will offer iovation ReputationManager as a part of its Interceptas solution. "Stopping fraudsters requires a flexible solution that incorporates the most advanced fraud-fighting tools as quickly as they become available," said Jeff Liesendahl, CEO of Accertify.

Brothers-in-arms for PCI

American Credit Card Processing Corp. has partnered with ControlScan Inc., an approved scanning vendor, to help its e-commerce merchants meet mandatory security requirements under the PCI Self Assessment Questionnaire.

EDebit Pay carries a heavy ConveniaLoad

EDebitPay LLC, partnered with ConveniaLoad, a subsidiary of Western Financial LLC, to bring more card loading options to customers' prepaid debit cards. This new feature will allow its customers to add value to their cards at over 10,000 bank locations including Wells Fargo & Co., Bank One Corp., U.S. Bancorp and Wachovia Corp.

EDebitPay cardholders will be provided with access to register for this new feature and order a bank deposit booklet. They can use this booklet to go to the bank of their choice and load their prepaid debit card with cash, allowing them to use their card throughout the world.

Gemalto becomes Taiwan Mobile's chosen one

Gemalto N.V., a provider of end-to-end digital security solutions, was chosen by Taiwan Mobile Co. Ltd., a telecommunications service company, to distribute the world's first commercial near field communication (NFC), subscriber identity module-based mobile contactless system.

It is designed to remotely manage the life cycle of any type of contactless service within a mobile phone environment, especially payment applications that mandate high security levels. Gemalto successfully developed a secure solution fulfilling the specific needs of its partners and end-users. It will allow Taiwan Mobile to register, issue, manage and terminate mobile NFC services over the air.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

FundTech acquires Accountis

Fundtech Ltd., provider of software solutions and services to financial institutions, has acquired Accountis Ltd. of Bangor, Wales, a supplier of electronic invoice presentment and payment systems. This acquisition further expands Fundtech's product suite in the corporate banking financial supply chain.

Accountis' electronic financial document exhange and payment solutions reportedly saves corporations up to 80% of administrative costs by eliminating the costs associated with traditional billing.

SDC, eN-Concert in sync

Southern DataComm Inc. completed its acquisition of eN-Concert, formerly a technologies division of Ingenico Inc., a provider of secure transaction and payment solutions. EN-Concert develops, maintains and services proprietary electronic payment software and back office applications. The acquisition represents a move by SDC into the tier-one, multilane retail market and expands its end-to-end suite of products and services to a broader customer base.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

i2c goes to Bolivia

Kelly Bolivia joined i2c Inc., a provider of transaction processing and stored value card management solutions, as a Lead Account Advocate. Bolivia has extensive background in account management and has managed over 400 corporate and individual accounts. Bolivia's primary role is to develop relationships with senior decision makers within client organizations and to maintain an understanding of i2c's business in terms of current performance and future strategies.

ICT appointment a Dundon deal

Innovative Card Technologies Inc., developers of the ICT DisplayCard security device for e-banking, e-commerce and data access, appointed Dan Dundon as the company's Director of Quality Assurance and Logistics. Dundon brings a 15-year track record of smart card supply chain, manufacturing, and delivery systems integration and optimization to the company. During his tenure with Gemalto Corp., Dundon supervised the successful merger of that company's two U.S.-based manufacturing plants into one, as well as the implementation of a new $30 million smart card personalization project.

Henry succeeds Savard at NetSpend

NetSpend Corp., provider of prepaid reloadable debit cards with more than 20,000 retail locations, named Daniel R. Henry as its new CEO. Henry, a member of the company's board of directors, succeeds Richard J. Savard, CEO since June 2004. Henry said NetSpend Corp., headquartered in Austin, Texas, is committed to a continuing expansion program over the next few years.

Tucker joins Money Tree

Money Tree Merchant Services named Scott Tucker, former Executive Vice President of Redwood Merchant Services, a division of Westamerica Bancorp., as its new National Sales Manager.

Tucker, who has over 20 years' experience in the financial services industry, will oversee and direct the expansion of Money Tree's merchant bankcard program.

The Green Sheet, Inc.BOTTOM LINES

  • According to the National Retail Federation, it would take more than 86 hours for a shopper to spend 10 minutes in every store in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.

  • Market analysis firm In-Stat recently predicted 8 to 12 million people in North America will be using near field communication contactless payments by 2012; more than 34 million cell phones could be used for other financial applications.

  • According to a study conducted by Vertis Inc., 47% of Americans cited inserts and circulars as the most effective type of advertisement, surpassing television ads (43%).
end of article

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