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The Green Sheet Online Edition

July 14, 2008 • Issue 08:07:01

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.NEWS

Mobile payments to surpass $300 billion

The gross transaction value of payments made via mobile phone for digital goods (such as music, tickets and games) and physical goods (such as toys and books) will exceed $300 billion globally by 2013, according to analysis by Juniper Research Ltd.

"Merchants in North America and Western Europe are just starting to realize the potential of a mobile Web presence as a fourth channel to market," said Juniper Analyst Howard Wilcox. "Retailers should be evaluating the benefits of the mobile Web, and be mindful of the success of regular e-commerce sites in generating sales."

The report predicts that by 2013:

  • Global annual gross transaction value will quintuple.
  • Consumer usage of mobile payments for rail, air and bus networks, and sports and entertainment events will represent over 40 percent of all mobile transactions.
  • Mobile payments conducted in China and Western Europe will account for over 60 percent of the projected $300 billion.

NACS battles interchange

The National Association of Convenience Stores will distribute free pump topper displays to gas stations to protest interchange fees. NACS hopes the signage, placed atop individual pumping stations, will educate consumers and the U.S. Congress about the retail industry's concerns over interchange. "The credit card fees that retailers pay are outrageous," said Hank Armour, NACS President and Chief Executive Officer. "Congress needs to see the pain that credit card fees are causing [gas stations] in their home districts.

"In Washington, the credit card companies have used their outrageous profits at the pump to fund a massive lobbying effort to prevent fixing the broken system. It is impossible to match their virtually unlimited resources, so we need to take the message straight to where this pain is occurring - at the gas pump."

NACS is urging retailers to place pump toppers at their stations from Aug. 1 to Sept. 6, 2008, when members of Congress return to their home districts while Congress is in recess.

Federal agencies oppose Fair Fee Act

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission aired antitrust concerns over the Credit Card Fair Fee Act of 2008 (HR 5546). The bill, introduced by Reps. John Conyers, D-Mich., and Chris Cannon, R-Utah, would create a three-judge panel to settle disputes over interchange fees.

In June 2008, the Justice Department and the FTC sent letters to Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, the ranking Republican on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.

Keith B. Nelson, the Justice Department's Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, stated in his letter that the bill "may well increase, not decrease any existing harm to competition and consumers."

FTC Chairman William E. Kovacic wrote, "A government process for setting prices for private transactions is at odds with the commission's mission and experience in promoting open market competition."

The House Judiciary Committee is expected to reexamine the bill in July 2008.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

Credit unions seek youth bond

CO-OP Financial Services will provide travel and youth reloadable cards to credit unions beginning July 2008. The cards will be available in both the Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide brands.

The CO-OP Travel Card is an electronic alternative to paper traveler's checks, and the CO-OP Youth Card is designed to assist credit unions in building relationships with young consumers, according to Stan Hollen, CO-OP President and CEO.

The cards can be loaded with up to $3,000.

Cynergy Data CEO honored

Ernst & Young LLP awarded Cynergy Data co-founder and CEO Marcelo Paladini the Metro New York Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2008 Award in the service category. According to Ernst & Young, the award recognizes outstanding business professionals engaged in building and leading dynamic organizations.

EBay enhances PayPal security

By Fall 2008, eBay Inc. expects to have implemented improved safeguards for buyers and sellers using PayPal accounts on eBay.com, in advance of the 2008 holiday shopping season.

Buyers who use PayPal will be protected on eligible transactions for items' entire purchase amounts, with no cap on coverage. In addition, all U.S. eBay sellers will receive updated seller protection for eligible transactions when they are paid using PayPal accounts.

Ninety-seven percent of eBay.com listings offer PayPal as a method of payment, and over 90 percent of eBay users in the United States have PayPal accounts.

DCC has CSU spirit

First National Bank selected Dynamic Card Solutions LLC's CardWizard software for an all-in-one campus card at Colorado State University.

The RamCard Plus works as a campus identification (ID) card and Visa debit card. In addition to the traditional capabilities of the RamCard student ID - including keyless campus access, dining hall/meal card, library card, and the benefit of being connected to the campus RamCash Convenience Account - the RamCard Plus can be directly linked to First National Bank checking accounts.

Casinos get suite deal, Canadians get expanded service

Global Payments Inc. will provide its VIP LightSpeed suite of cash access products and services to South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa in Las Vegas, as well as to California Indian gaming establishments in Santa Ynez, Friant and Hawaiian Gardens.

VIP LightSpeed broadens services to casinos already employing Global's VIP Preferred check-cashing services, PlayerCash Advantage credit and debit card cash advance services, and ATM Cash Advantage services.

Global has also expanded its services to meet specific payment processing needs of Mandarin- and Cantonese-speaking merchants in Canada by offering specialized technical and customer care in those languages.

"As a result of our international growth and expansion, our Canadian team was able to utilize some of the exceptional support services already in place that supports our Asia-Pacific merchants and to deliver a service offering that we believe is unmatched in the Canadian marketplace," said Paul R. Garcia, Global's Chairman, President and CEO.

Hypercom pulls up stakes

Hypercom Corp. relocated its global corporate headquarters from Phoenix to a 45,000 square foot facility in Scottsdale, Ariz.

NCR unveils hotel kiosks

NCR Corp. launched its newly designed NCR XpressPort, a modular hotel check-in kiosk designed to meet consumer demand for self-service convenience.

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts is among the first premier hotel chains to deploy the NCR XpressPort as part of its overall lobby redesign.

The kiosk features a 17-inch touch screen interface, as well as signature capture to facilitate transactions for hotel guests.

PayTrace takes basic approach

PayTrace LLC released PayTrace Basic, a streamlined version of the company's standard virtual terminal software. PayTrace Basic retains many of the features of PayTrace's standard virtual terminal, but it comes in a smaller footprint and offers an updated user interface.

Card acceptance by phone

Planet Payment Inc., an international multicurrency payment and data processor, launched Payment BuyVoice in the United States. The mobile commerce solution aims to provide merchants with a cost-effective, secure and convenient way to accept credit cards from any mobile phone or landline.

Merchants dial the dedicated Payment BuyVoice toll-free number when they need to process credit card payments. The application then authenticates merchants' credentials through passwords and PIN validations, and prompts them for relevant card details.

The system also supports standard fraud control features, including address and card verification value code collection.

SignaPay receives accreditation

The Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas recognized SignaPay Ltd., a payment processor headquartered in Dallas-Fort Worth, as an accredited business in its Dallas and Northeast Texas region, which represents several Texas counties.

VTS drives programming

VeriFone Transportation Systems, a division of POS manufacturer VeriFone, added new programming, including People.com and Reuters Business News, to the content available on its payment and information systems integrated into New York City taxis.

In addition, VeriFone revealed that 6,500 New York City taxis - half of the total city fleet - are now signed or committed to multiyear agreements with VTS.

Visa, Facebook connect small merchants

Visa Inc. launched the Visa Business Network, an application dedicated to connecting small businesses on the networking Web site Facebook. To celebrate this initiative, Visa will award $2 million in Facebook advertising credit to help small-business owners reach new customers online.

The Visa Business Network strives to help small-business owners tap into a global network of peers and advisers from among the 80,000-plus small businesses already on Facebook. The application will also equip small merchants with business tools to assist in identifying and targeting thousands of prospective customers.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Pioneer goes PINless

Electronic Payment Exchange, a provider of fully integrated, end-to-end payment processing solutions, signed a multiyear agreement with Portland, Maine-based Pioneer Telephone to process customer payments.

Under the terms of the agreement, EPX will be the exclusive credit and debit card processor for Pioneer, which will begin using EPX's PINless Debit product for its debit card paying customers.

First Data, Webster pen deal

First Data Corp., the world's largest payment processor, and Webster Bank N.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Webster Financial Corp., extended their merchant services agreement an additional seven years. First Data will continue to provide merchant processing services to Webster's customers at its 181 banking offices throughout the northeastern United States, allowing Webster to offer a full suite of merchant services and products, including credit, debit, checks and gift cards.

GE Money, Cardtronics take ride

GE Money, a division of General Electric Corp., and Cardtronics Inc. have teamed up to bring ATM services to Universal Studios theme parks in Florida and California. The ATMs will carry the GE Money brand and will be owned and operated by Cardtronics. By featuring unique enclosures and designs, the ATMs will blend into the theme park environments and not detract from the entertainment experience.

Heartland, Discover join forces

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. and Discover teamed up to offer streamlined processing to business owners, enabling Discover cards to be processed on Heartland's platform beginning at the end of 2008.

Heartland's integrated processing solution includes card acceptance pricing, funding, statement processing and customer service on one platform.

Netspend, Skylight simpatico

NetSpend Corp., a provider of reloadable prepaid debit cards in the United States, and Skylight Financial Inc., an Internet-based financial services company, signed an agreement under which the companies will mesh their business operations.

"We are thrilled to join forces with NetSpend," said Kevin Lee, CEO of Skylight. "NetSpend's retail presence and extensive servicing capabilities combined with Skylight's corporate payroll platform and direct-to-consumer sales expertise will provide an unmatched depth of service offerings for consumers and corporations alike."

QLogitek, Trustwave on PCI track

QLogitek, a provider of automated supply chain solutions, has entered into an agreement with Trustwave to offer manufacturers, distributors, logistics businesses and retail customers around the world with compliance validation solutions for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

RBS Lynk, Chockstone partner

RBS Lynk, the U.S. payment processing division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group, and Chockstone Inc. joined forces to provide loyalty services to RBS Lynk merchants. As part of the agreement, Chockstone becomes the recommended loyalty program processor for RBS Lynk's restaurant customers, offering real-time data and analysis on customer transactions.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

Discover buys Diners Club

Discover Financial Services completed its acquisition of Diners Club International Ltd. from Citigroup Inc. at an estimated price of $165 million. Discover bought the Diners Club brand and trademarks, its workforce, and agreements with 44 network licensees who issue Diners Club cards and maintain an acceptance network in 185 countries and territories.

The acquisition is expected to be worth more than $30 billion per year in total spend volume outside of North America.

Global Cash obtains Cash Systems

Global Cash Access Inc. bought Cash Systems Inc. for 50 cents per share. The transaction has been approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

GCA will gain approximately 120 new customers as a result of the acquisition.

The closing is presently anticipated to occur at the end of July 2008, subject to the required approval of Cash Systems' stockholders and other closing conditions.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Cynergy Data bolsters team

Cynergy Data promoted Gustavo Ceballos to Exec-utive Vice President of Mergers and Acquisitions/Strategic Planning.

Iserloth takes on CFO role

Trustwave named Mark Iserloth Chief Financial Officer. Prior to joining Trustwave, Iserloth worked for Initiate Systems Inc., where he managed all aspects of finance and information technology for the high-growth software company.

Hypercom adds Millener

Hypercom appointed David M. Millener to the newly created position of Managing Director, Hypercom UK and Ireland.

He will be responsible for driving sales, service and support in both countries.

Nern to serve second term

Matt Nern, President and Chief Operating Officer of U.S. Merchant Systems, will serve a second term on the ISO Advisory Committee of the Electronic Transactions Association.

TNB names Sommers VP

TNB Card Services chose Frank Sommers to serve as Vice President, Regional Sales Executive. He will be in charge of identifying and establishing new credit union relationships.

The Green Sheet, Inc.BOTTOM LINES

end of article

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