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The Green Sheet Online Edition

September 22, 2008 • Issue 08:09:02

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.NEWS

ETA, Smart Card Alliance kick off webinar series

The Electronic Transactions Association and the Smart Card Alliance will kick off a new webinar series with "Smart Cards in Mobile Payments and Near Field Communications" on Sept. 25, 2008.

The webinar is the first of four in a series addressing the use of smart card technology within the payments industry.

Speakers scheduled include Randy Vanderhoof, Executive Director of the Smart Card Alliance; Deborah Baxley, Chairwoman of the Smart Card Al-liance and Mobile Payment Council; and Charles Walton, Executive Vice President, Payments, Inside Contactless. For more information and registration, visit www.smartcardalliance.org and click Alliance Activities, then web seminars.

Call for Internet gambling clarification

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, D-Mass., introduced the Payments System Protection Act of 2008.

The act would direct the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve System, in consultation with the Attorney General, to create a formal process to clarify what types of online gambling are unlawful.

This is an effort to enable the financial services industry to comply with the ban on Internet gambling, as required by the Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), and is in response to concerns raised by the industry about the burden and ambiguity in the proposed rules for implementing UIGEA.

The new bill would require appointment of a special administrative law judge to define unlawful Internet gambling activities and conduct an economic impact study on the costs for compliance.

Wall Street outlook for payment processors

The Wall Street Transcript published its business service issue, a 55-page report containing a roundtable forum, industry commentary and in-depth interviews with seven payments industry senior executives and analysts. Topics covered include outlooks for transaction processors, merger and acquisition activity, and merchant acquirers.

Companies participating included Heartland Payment Systems Inc., Visa Inc., MasterCard Worldwide, Alliance Data Systems Inc., Fiserv Inc., Jack Henry & Associates Inc. and Global Payments Inc. The report is available at www.twst.com.

Debit for arms

In August 2008, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and law enforcement officials in Brooklyn and Chicago reported continuing success with a gun buyback program in which citizens are given JPMorgan prepaid debit cards in exchange for surrendering working firearms to police, no questions asked. The two cities recently bought back 7,500 guns through the program.

In the latest phase of Chicago's program, participants received $100 JPMorgan prepaid cards for weapons and $10 cards for BB guns, air rifles and replica guns.

Since June 2006, Chicago law enforcement has collected more than 18,000 weapons through the joint venture with JPMorgan.

People who dropped off guns in Brooklyn during the latest phase were given $200 cards and $20 for the nonlethal weapons; 697 functional guns were collected. They will be melted down into hangers to be used at dry cleaners.

In June 2007, Buffalo, New York, police collected more than 800 weapons in eight hours and distributed more than $42,000 in JPMorgan prepaid cards.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

AmeriMerchant stretches out

AmeriMerchant LLC, a provider of merchant cash advances, expanded its Park Avenue South corporate headquarters in New York City to 12,000 square feet.

BofA marks milestone

Bank of America Corp. acquired its 50,000th vendor to participate in the PayMode network. The network facilitates the electronic exchange of invoices and payments between businesses and their suppliers. The network has processed more than $225 billion in transactions.

Claimsnet lowers handling costs

Claimsnet.com, a provider of electronic transaction and paper claim handling services to the health care industry, signed an agreement to provide claims processing services to an additional payer organization. Under the agreement, claims will be sent from provider organizations to the payer using Claimsnet advanced technology, reducing the cost of claims handling.

Small business confidence uptick

Small business owners' economic confidence rose in August 2008 for the second consecutive month: The Discover Small Business Watch was up 2.3 points from July and more than 15 points higher than a 22-month low in June.

FiCentive launches new brand

FiCentive Inc., a subsidiary of electronic payments solutions provider Payment Data Systems Inc., launched its new corporate brand and associated Web site. FiCentive is focused solely on the $6.5 trillion dollar global prepaid and gift card industry.

Fiserv recognized, goes green

Processing solutions provider Fiserv Inc.'s MyMoney convenience banking application won The Banker Technology Awards 2008 Retail Award for Online Innovation.

MyMoney is built on the Facebook Platform, a system that enables companies and developers to design applications for the Facebook Web site, where all of Facebook's 100 million users can interact with them.

In addition, CheckFree Corp., a division of Fiserv, will contribute $1 to Dominion Virginia Power's Project Plant It! conservation effort for every customer who enrolls in Dominion's electronic billing and payment program. CheckFree's contributions are part of a community plan with Dominion Power to educate children, plant trees and improve the environment.

Big six in Thailand select Hypercom

Hypercom Corp.'s EFTSec Server has been selected by six major banks in Thailand to help protect them against wire tapping fraud. The Hypercom security servers encrypt all cardholder data sent between POS terminals and the banks.

Intuit offers free mobile access

Intuit Inc. released a publicly available beta version of Quicken Beam, a new service that works on any cell phone or mobile device and is designed to give consumers instant access to their bank balances and recent activity. Quicken Beam is free and does not require data entry, separate login screens, or a Web browser.

Prominent credit union goes CO-OP

Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union joined CO-OP Network, operated by CO-OP Financial Services and reportedly the nation's largest surcharge-free ATM network. PSECU noted it is the 25th-largest credit union in the United States.

Visa launches new mobile payments

Visa launched four new programs to deliver payments and services via mobile devices. Two commercial mobile payment programs, in Brazil and Korea, along with two mobile offers and transaction notification pilots in the United States, add to more than a dozen pilot and commercial programs enabled by the Visa mobile platform around the world.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

Alliance inks deals

Loyalty and marketing solutions provider Alliance Data Systems Corp. signed an agreement with Orchard Brands. Alliance will provide integrated private-label credit services for both the catalog and online channels of specialty brands, including account acquisition and activation, receivables funding, and card authorization and issuance.

Alliance's Epsilon business also signed an agreement with Commerce Bank N.A. to provide a turnkey direct marketing solution geared toward acquiring new customers for the bank's retail business unit.

Clearent to provide suite of services

Clearent LLC partnered with Zions Correspondent Banking Group to provide a full suite of merchant service payment products for community banks.

Zions' correspondent banks will receive comprehensive electronic payment options and personalized support.

Corporate Network eCom going mobile

Corporate Network eCom LLC (eCom) has named Metavante Corp. its provider of mobile banking and payment solutions and will resell Metavante Mobile Financial Services. A majority-owned subsidiary of U.S. Central, eCom provides electronic financial services to the Corporate Credit Union Network.

Element Payment chooses Hypercom

Element Payment Services Inc. selected Hypercom Corp.'s HBNet transaction transport service and SmartPayments Server to provide high-speed data transport and payment processing services for merchants using the Element Express Processing Platform.

Global Payments expands footprint

Global Payments Inc.'s Asia-Pacific joint venture with The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Ltd. completed its agreement to expand into the Philippines. Global Payments Asia-Pacific paid HSBC approximately $20 million in conjunction with the venture. The Philippines will also be added to the current 10-year marketing alliance agreement in which HSBC refers new merchant customers exclusively to the joint venture for payment processing services.

NetSpend, Axcess bond

Prepaid debit card provider NetSpend Corp. formed an agreement with Axcess Financial to create the NetSpend Axcess Prepaid MasterCard, a general purpose, reloadable prepaid debit card.

A pilot program was launched in Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky, with plans for a nationwide rollout later this year.

Payvision allies with RazorQuote

Payvision, international payment solutions provider for the card not present market, brokered an alliance with RazorQuote, a registered ISO of Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC, to provide global processing solutions.

The partnership addresses the multiple currency needs of RazorQuote's merchant portfolio.

Smart Financial consolidates with TNB

Smart Financial Credit Union is moving its PIN debit card processing to TNB Card Services, which currently processes the credit union's signature debit transactions and manages its credit card program. The $392 million credit union, based in Houston, has relied on TNB for its credit card and signature debit card processing for more than 16 years.

SECU, Visa renew agreement

State Employees' Credit Union, a member-owned, nonprofit financial cooperative based in North Carolina, and Visa renewed a brand partnership through 2018. SECU will continue to offer its members the full range of Visa consumer products as well as processing through the Visa Debit Processing Service.

Federal Payments buys Recovery

The Federal Payments LLC, a division of the ePayments Group of Companies, acquired the electronic check recovery accounts of Federal Check Recovery Inc. Federal Payments will continue to work with the former company's management.

Trustwave has it under control

Trustwave, a provider of on-demand data security and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard management solutions, acquired ControlPath Inc. ControlPath offers a compliance software platform for managing and automating enterprise governance, risk management and compliance with multiple regulatory regimes.

Viewpointe gains PaymentsNation

Check image exchange and archive services provider Viewpointe LLC will purchase the assets of payments solution provider PaymentsNation. When the acquisition is complete, PaymentsNation will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Viewpointe.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Aramanda heads The Clearing House

James D. Aramanda has been named the Chief Executive Officer of The Clearing House Payments Company LLC. He succeeds Jeffrey P. Neubert, who is retiring. Aramanda's experience includes serving as Group President and Executive Vice President of Automatic Data Processing Inc. He also was Vice Chairman of Mellon Financial Corp.

Bidmead joins First Data

First Data Corp. named Nigel Bidmead as a Senior Vice President in its international business division. Bidmead joins First Data from VeriFone, where he was Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa. He has more than 20 years experience in the payments industry.

Plastic Jungle introduces first board

Plastic Jungle, operator of a Web site for gift card exchange and services, named the members of its first board of directors. They include the following:

Gary Briggs, former Chief Marketing Officer for eBay North America; Tina Henson, founder and CEO of Plastic Jungle; Lou Ryan, founder and former President and CEO of Entercept Security Technology; Charles Smith, principal of CWSmith Ventures, an early-stage angel investment firm; and Will Stewart, Chairman and CEO of Sand Hill Capital. Ryan will serve as Chairman of the Board.

Chaudhari joins Ingenico Canada

Ingenico Canada Ltd., appointed David Chaudhari Vice President, Sales Canada.

Chaudhari has more than 18 years of senior management experience for companies such as Oberthur Card Systems, First Data, Bank of Montreal and CIBC.

BlueStar picks European Sales Director

BlueStar Inc. named Martin Kirmis Sales Director of BlueStar Europe. Previously, Kirmis was Channel Sales Manager for Honeywell Imaging and Mobility.

ETA fills committee seat

Jill Miller, an Associate at Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss P.C., has been appointed to the Risk and Fraud Management Committee of the Electronic Transactions Association. Miller will serve a one-year term.

Pearce serves on two boards

Pay Linx Financial Corp. appointed Robert W. Pearce to its board of directors. Pearce has more than 25 years of experience in the financial sphere and most recently served as President and CEO of the Personal and Commercial Client Group at BMO Financial Group.

While at BMO, Pearce co-founded two businesses: Moneris Solutions Inc. and Partners First Inc. He was also recently appointed to the board of directors of Interac Association.

Sheedy named Visa executive

Bill Sheedy was appointed President, North America for Visa. Sheedy has served as Visa's Global Head of Corporate Strategy and Business Development since October 2007.

He also led the organization's interchange strategy group and played a leadership role in the company's recent reorganization and initial public offering.

PayPal president joins Zuora

Scott Thompson, President of PayPal Inc., joined the board of directors of Zuora Inc. Zuora is reportedly the first on-demand company focused solely on subscription businesses. Prior to PayPal, Thompson worked for Inovant LLC, a subsidiary of Visa formed to oversee global technology for the organization.

The Green Sheet, Inc.BOTTOM LINES

  • A 2008 National Retail Federation survey indicated that 30 percent of sales from all U.S. jewelry stores in 2007 occurred in November and December.

  • An NPD Group Inc. study, released in July 2008, reported that domestic gaming software sales in the first six months of 2008 reached $380.8 million, a 77 percent increase over the same period in 2007.

  • In a survey conducted by BIGresearch, 53 percent of U.S. consumers indicated they plan to buy Halloween costumes and spend an average of $31.88 on each purchase. Retailers are projected to sell an estimated $3.3 billion during the trick-or-treat season this year.
end of article

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