On Nov. 23, 2008, the federal government agreed to rescue Citigroup Inc. by helping to absorb potentially hundreds of billions of dollars in losses on toxic assets and injecting nearly $300 billion into the troubled financial institution. The agreement marks a new phase in government efforts to stabilize U.S. banks and securities firms.
As part of the agreement, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. will provide protection against unusually large potential losses on an asset pool of approximately $306 billion of loans and securities. Citigroup will have to absorb the first $29 billion in losses in that portfolio. After that, the Treasury Department, the FDIC and the Federal Reserve will take on any additional losses.
The securities, backed by residential and commercial real estate, will remain on Citigroup's balance sheet. As a fee for this arrangement, Citigroup will issue preferred shares to the Treasury Department and the FDIC.
Selling Power magazine named Heartland Payment Systems Inc. as the number one service company to sell for in the United States. Heartland topped a list that included Sprint Nextel Corp., UPS Inc., Marriot International Inc., FedEx Corp., Google Inc. and other high-profile companies.
The award, in its eighth year, ranks the top 25 best service and top 25 manufacturing companies to sell for. Each company was evaluated on three key categories: compensation, training and career mobility.
"This is an honor for our entire company and an important addition to the Heartland legacy," said Sanford Brown, Chief Sales Officer at Heartland. "This designation recognizes what we have felt for some time - that Heartland offers the best direct sales opportunity in America.
"For individuals who want a rewarding and fulfilling professional career based on principles, values and hard work, Heartland provides the infrastructure and the opportunity for them to thrive."
LML Patent Corp., a subsidiary of payment processor LML Payment Systems Inc., filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas against 18 financial institutions and alternative payment platform PayPal Inc. The suit alleges the defendants infringed U.S. Patent No. RE40220 (issued Apr. 8, 2008) relating to intellectual property applicable to electronic check processing that the company said it invented.
"The filing of this lawsuit is consistent with our strategic objective to protect our intellectual property," said Patrick H. Gaines, Chief Executive Officer and President of both LML entities. "We have awarded several licenses to industry participants in the past, and what we will not allow is these defendants to use our intellectual property without a proper license."
The Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board released a final rule to implement the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006. The rule requires U.S. financial firms that participate in designated payment systems to implement policies that are designed to prevent payments to gambling businesses in connection with unlawful Internet gambling. Compliance is required by Dec. 1, 2009.
Bling Nation Ltd. secured more than $13 million in funding and is now fully launched. Bling Nation enables local debit payments to be conducted as contactless payments through a customer's mobile phone to a supporting contactless payments reader at the POS.
CardWare International has been awarded a certificate of compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS.) The compliance certificate was awarded by Trustwave's TrustKeeper Validation Service.
Charge Card Systems Inc. was selected for the 2008 Best of Boca Raton Award in the Credit Card and Other Credit Plans category by the U.S. Local Business Association. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies it believes have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local communities.
According to Web analytics firm Netcraft Ltd., Comodo Group Inc. now controls more than 25 percent of the business-validated secure sockets layer certificate market, securing its position as the world's second largest high assurance certification authority.
Discover Financial Services received Computerworld Inc.'s Enterprise Intelligence Award that honors best practices in the use of information technology solutions built on Teradata Corp. platforms. Discover was the winner in the "Integrated View of the Business" category.
EProcessing Network LLC certified Global eTelecom's (GETI's) gift card and loyalty products for integration into its gateway solutions.
EProcessing will host webinars to introduce the program to its agents with GETI representatives participating.
Hypercom Corp.'s two smart card-based 32-bit multiapplication mobile electronic payment terminals in the Optimum M4200 series received Interac Association chip PED device certification for use within Interac's direct payment network.
In other company news, Hypercom rose to No. 33 on the FinTech 100 annual ranking of the top technology providers to the global financial services industry.
This marks a nine-point gain over 2007. The company is the only provider of high security card payment terminals and services to be recognized for five consecutive years.
The North American Merchant Advance Association Inc. gained two new members: First Funds LLC and GRP Funding Inc. NAMAA represents merchant cash advance providers and promotes competition and efficiency throughout the industry.
ResidualsForSale.com, a Web site dedicated to the buying and selling of residual revenue streams, was launched by MerchantPortfolios.com.
Sellers of residuals can post their opportunities for sale, free of charge. For a small fee, buyers can contact sellers directly. There are no brokers involved.
PaySimple Inc. was recognized by the Denver Business Journal as the sixth-best medium-size company to work for in the Denver area for 2008. Winners were selected based on employee surveys.
Affiliated Computer Services Inc. now provides the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission with payment card services.
Under the five-year agreement, unemployment insurance benefits will be available on a MasterCard Worldwide-branded debit card that can be used at banks, ATMs and retailers.
Capital Payments LLC formed a mutual referral and marketing alliance with CPASiteSolutions Inc. Capital Payments' suite of payment processing solutions will be available to CPASiteSolution's clients.
Charge Anywhere LLC finalized an agreement with ISO Pennsylvania Payment Partners Inc. The partnership will promote Charge Anywhere's integrated applications and wireless solutions throughout PPP channels.
Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Obopay Inc. formed a person-to-person mobile money transfer service for financial institutions using FNIS's core processing services.
Through the alliance, FNIS becomes the industry's first core provider to launch a mobile phone-based person-to-person payment service.
GRP Funding LLC partnered with several credit card processors to increase its level of service to merchants and sales representatives. Integrity Payment Systems, PayProTec LLC, Sage Payment Solutions, Alpha Card Systems, Credomatic of Florida Inc., and Vision Payment Solutions LLC are now approved processing partners of GRP.
GSI Commerce Inc. extended its e-commerce agreement with Levi Strauss & Co. through 2015. Levi's has partnered with GSI since 2005.
IP Commerce Inc. and PaySimple Inc. launched Commerce Enrollment, an automated online merchant account application.
IP Commerce and PaySimple co-developed the online merchant application, and PaySimple completed its beta launch.
Litle & Co., a payment platform for merchants in direct-to-consumer commerce, now offers Bill Me Later's next-generation payment service through the Litle & Co. platform.
CalSTRF is the largest U.S. teachers' retirement fund and the second largest U.S. public pension fund with a membership of 795,000 and assets of $147 billion.
NYCE Payments Network LLC signed a contract with Verient Inc. to conduct a pilot of NYCE's SafeDebit, an e-commerce payment solution that will enable online shoppers to make purchases on the Internet without sharing their PIN or account information at merchant Web sites.
Panini North America Inc. and J&B Software Inc. signed a reseller agreement in which J&B will offer customers Panini's Vision X check scanner.
Vision X has been certified to work with J&B's Web-based remote capture solution, eCapture. UATP partners with Moneta
Universal Air Travel Program partnered with Moneta Corp. to support Moneta's online payment wallet for the 250 airlines using UATP payment gateway services.
Initially, Moneta transactions will use the U.S. automated clearing house debit network. In 2009 Moneta will offer international debit payments, credit cards, pay later and pay early functionality.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. acquired Chockstone Inc., a privately held provider of gift card programs and loyalty solutions. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Ingram Micro Inc. expanded in the European data capture and POS market with the acquisitions of Eurequat SA, based in France, and Intertrade A.F. AG, based in Germany.
The companies will be integrated into Ingram's EMEA Data Capture/POS division. Management for the two acquisitions will remain in place.
TriSource Solutions LLC acquired DCC Merchant Services USA LLC, a provider of multicurrency payment solutions to ISOs, merchant level salespeople, agent banks and merchants.
John Bodine, CyberSource Corp.'s Vice President of Sales and Marketing, is the new head of the company's small business unit. Bodine joined CyberSource subsidiary Authorize.Net in 1998.
TransUnion LLC hired four team members for its collection vertical. Scott Carter is the division's new Group Vice President; Rick Juretic joined the company as Vice President of Sales; Tom Jordan is the new Vice President of Business Development and Stewart Sui is the new Vice President, Analytic and Decision Services. All four have extensive prior experience in executive management, business development, operations and sales.
RevEurope Payments Ltd. appointed two new members to its board of directors: Anne Cobb, former President of Visa International for the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region, and Gerard Compain, CEO and Founder of Cadege Technologies and Consulting.
Cobb's career spans 30 years in the payments and banking industries. Prior to joining Rev Europe, she served as General Manager of Eurocard International. Compain has 17 years of executive experience, including Chief Executive Officer at Ingenico.
Springbok Services Inc.'s new Director of Compliance and Risk Management is Patti Ann Johnston. Johnston was an internal auditor for MasterCard. Previously, she held security and risk analyst and management positions in MasterCard's security and risk services department.
Trustwave appointed Hermes Romero to Manager of Business Development for Trustwave Latin America. Romero has 13 years' information security and networking experience, specifically in South America.
PreCash Inc. named Steve Taylor its Executive Vice President of Operations and Chief Financial Officer. He was previously the company's Senior Vice President of Operations.
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