MasterCard Europe is temporarily repealing its current MasterCard and Maestro intra-EEA cross-border consumer card interchange fees as part of the European Commission's decision handed down in December 2007. MCE said it will continue its dialogue with the EC about an interchange fee methodology that is consistent with the EC's formal decision. It will also move forward with a March 2008 appeal of the decision to the European Court of First Instance.
"We remain committed to taking the necessary steps to continue providing a system that benefits millions of European cardholders and merchants who rely on MasterCard and Maestro cards, and to providing our customers with competitive payments products and services," said MCE's President Javier Perez.
After months of legal troubles, Indian outsourcing company Satyam Computer Services LTD faced another setback. The UK High Court denied Satyam's appeal to block a fraud case filed by Upaid Systems in Texas. The court determined the jurisdiction lies in the United States, and the underlying case is expected to be tried in Texas in 2009.
Satyam sought a High Court injunction in London in September 2007 in an effort to prevent the Texas case from moving forward. It argued that a 2003 commercial agreement terminating the relationship between the two companies stated all past practices issues had to be tried in London. Satyam's appeal stems from the first denial of the injunction in January 2008. Upaid filed suit against Satyam in April 2007, alleging "misrepresentation and failure to provide good title." The online and mobile payments company employed Satyam in 1997 to develop software needed for the commercial deployment of Upaid's advanced intelligent payment processing framework.
According to Upaid, a patent infringement court case in Texas against third parties in 2005 uncovered the use of forged signatures by Satyam employees on critical documents Satyam provided to Upaid. It is Satyam's policy not to comment on pending litigation.
On June 3, 2008, Comstar Interactive officially adopted the Charge Anywhere corporate name as its primary brand to represent the organization, its products and services. The Charge Anywhere name has been with Comstar for several years as a division. For over six years, Comstar has been providing secure payment gateway services leveraging ComsGate, its suite of wireless, dial and Internet Protocol gateways.
Highmark Inc. is distributing Visa Inc.'s Healthcare Gift Card, which can be used for an assortment of health and wellness purchases. These include health club memberships, elective procedures, vision care, dental care, prescriptions and co-pays for doctor visits.
The card is suitable for health and wellness merchants and all businesses that accept Visa debit. Regardless of health insurance coverage, the card provides consumers a secure, convenient alternative for handling expenses, Highmark reported. The personal and secure gift card can be replaced if lost or stolen.
MyECheck Inc., an electronic transaction processor and provider of alternative payment solutions, surpassed its unaudited revenues from the first quarter of 2008 by 100 percent in the first two months of the second quarter. The company noted that the numbers seem to point to an economic turnaround for the online retail market.
Obopay selected SafeNet Inc.'s hardware security module (HSM) products to provide higher standards of payment security for its customers. Obopay provides person-to-person money transfer, person-to-merchant payment, utility bill payment, prepaid top-up and insurance payment services. In any of these situations, highly confidential information is encrypted and decrypted between the Obopay platform and the bank platform. SafeNet's products address this area and provide higher performance and security standards, according to Obopay.
Optio Solutions LLC, an accounts receivable management company headquartered in Rohnert Park, Calif., recently opened an independent sales office in Dallas.
Under the leadership of payments industry veterans J. David Siembieda, Optio's Chairman of the Board, and Chris Schumacher, President and Chief Executive Officer, the company will continue to expand its presence by marketing its services to a variety of clients throughout the country. Optio's services are marketed through resellers, partners and in-house sales consultants. The company is nationally licensed and bonded to do business in all 50 states.
On June 4, 2008, Technology Credit Union and AllPoint Network started providing increased surcharge-free ATM access to their membership to the tune of more than 8,000 ATMs in California and 57,000 nationwide.
The AllPoint agreement will enable Tech CU to secure a fixed-cost structure for unlimited use at AllPoint ATMs, limiting both credit union and member exposure to rising surcharge rates. The national average surcharge surpassed the inflation rate by more than 300 percent in 2007.
Tired of seeing ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs) struggle with drops in profits from equipment revenues, United Bank Card Inc. launched Harbortouch POS. It is an effort to enable payment professionals to offer virtually any merchant a high-end POS system at an affordable price while retaining a high profit margin.
Harbortouch POS offers two system options to accommodate the retail, restaurant and hospitality markets. Unlike credit card terminals or PC-based systems, the Harbortouch POS is designed to ensure product longevity through redundant hardware and updatable software.
Veracode Inc., an on-demand application security testing solutions provider, won Information Security Project of the Year in The Banker Technology Awards for its work on the Application Security Assurance Project with Barclays Bank PLC.
This award is geared toward recognizing excellence in information technology security projects within the financial sector. Veracode Security Review, a subscription-based application security testing solution, underpins Barclay's implementation of secure procurement practices and enables it to manage both its own and its customers' risk profile.
VeriFone unveiled a new market initiative in its European, Middle East and African business by reorganizing management and sales and marketing efforts into two market-focused teams: continental Europe; and Northern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Yolanda Rousselet was appointed General Manager for continental Europe. Nigel Bidmead was named Managing Director for Northern Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
For the 13th consecutive year, Visa Inc. awarded Fifth Third Processing Solutions top honors for lowest chargeback-to-sales ratio as part of the Visa Service Quality Performance Awards. The lowest chargeback-to-sales ratio category reflects an acquirer's ability to effectively educate its merchant customers on Visa's acceptance procedures designed to ensure that transactions are properly processed at the POS.
In 2007, Wincor Nixdorf International moved up to the number two spot worldwide in the delivery of ATMs, according to a study published by British company Retail Banking Research. The study showed that the Germany-based information technology company, which specializes in solutions for the branch and store business of banks and retail companies, increased its global market share in ATM deliveries from 18 percent in 2006 to 21 percent in 2007.
In 1994, Wincor Nixdorf ranked 12th worldwide. By 2000, the company had moved up to the third spot.
Accertify, a fraud prevention solutions provider to online retailers, selected Merchant e-Solutions' MeS Payment Gateway and payment processing technology solution for bundling with its Interceptas fraud prevention solution
Through this integration, Accertify strives to provide online retailers access to all the services they need to process Internet transactions and reduce their total cost of e-commerce fraud. The solution is available via a single connection.
Bank of America Corp. and the Dallas Cowboys extended their longstanding association with a multiyear sponsorship agreement, securing BofA's exclusive sponsorship of the Dallas Cowboys. The deal ensures that BofA will remain the official bank of the Dallas Cowboys and the club's new stadium through 2019. Dallas Cowboys Banking is an exclusive suite of team-branded checks, check cards and credit cards that are complemented by special rewards for fans. These customers are eligible for benefits associated with BofA's Keep the Change savings program that automatically rounds debit card purchases up to the nearest whole dollar and transfers the difference from the customers' checking accounts into their savings accounts.
Dynamic Card Solutions, developer of CardWizard, an instant issue and PIN selection software application for financial institutions, partnered with Collis B.V. to offer a EuroPay International, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) personalization validation tool (PVT) that analyzes, verifies and validates each CardWizard software script before it is used by a DCS customer to instantly issue EMV and contactless cards. According to Collis, the EMV PVT is a user-friendly test tool designed to read EMV cards to validate personalized card data and cryptography against Visa, MasterCard and JCB International Credit Card Co. specifications.
ExaDigm Inc. and POS Portal Inc. partnered to distribute ExaDigm's complete line of POS terminal products. The equipment will be available for purchase from POS Portal immediately. POS Portal will provide full equipment configuration services for ExaDigm's products, including application download, PIN injection, software configuration and wireless activation.
Microsoft Corp. executed an agreement with Symmetric Systems LLC, developer of VitalPay technology for payment gateway services, global payment processing, merchant workflow and comprehensive reporting. VitalPay is a group of specialized products that provide clients customized solutions specifically tailored for the business needs of merchants, financial institutions, banks and resellers. The services are compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard level 1.
New York-based Sterling National Bank selected Silver Bullet Technology Inc.'s Scout as its check scanner monitoring strategy. Scout is a Web-based system that remotely monitors the operations and performance of check scanners, receipt printers and other devices. Devices can be monitored from a central location whether they are down the street or halfway around the world. Scout can be configured to send alerts regarding out-of-spec performance, jams, degrading capabilities and other common maintenance issues. Sterling intends to utilize the software to monitor image quality on check scanners located within its bank branches.
The ownership group of General Credit Forms Inc., a domestic manufacturer and distributor of POS supply products, acquired Denver-based Advanced Labeling Systems Inc. ALS' assets are now entirely owned by the entity Advanced Labeling Systems LLC. All of the companies held by this investor group are involved with manufacturing, warehousing and distributing products and services for the payments and money transfer industries.
Heartland Payment Systems completed the acquisition of Alliance Data Systems Corp., a Network Services business, for $77.5 million in cash. "By integrating Network Services' intellectual property with Heartland's proprietary end-to-end processing platform, we can achieve processing efficiencies and economies of scale to offer our combined clients and others best-in-class payments solutions," said Bob Carr, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Heartland.
TriSource Solutions LLC selected Bret Baumann as Senior Vice President of Sales. He will report to TriSource President Tom Dunn. Baumann has 15 years' experience in payments industry sales management. Prior to this position, he worked for WAY Systems Inc. as Vice President of ISO/Distribution Channels.
NetSpend Corp., a provider of prepaid solutions in the United States, added new faces to its management team. These additions are as follows:
"These promotions strengthen our capabilities for pursuing NetSpend's mission to deliver financial empowerment to America's underbanked consumers," said CEO Dan Henry. "All of these individuals have been key contributors to the success of our company and are being recognized for their hard work and their leadership."
Chuck Fillinger joined consulting firm The Strawhecker Group as an Associate. He brings over 20 years of experience in the merchant processing arena, most notably with First Data Corp. Fillinger will assist large merchants in all aspects of their acquiring needs, including negotiation of processing contracts and selection of product suites. He will also work with merchants to enhance revenue opportunities, improve operational efficiencies and obtain interchange optimization.
The Green Sheet Inc. has appointed Danielle Thorpe to Assistant Vice President of Advertising Sales and Troy Vera to Assistant Vice President of Production.
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