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The Green SheetGreen Sheet

The Green Sheet Online Edition

May 25, 2009 • Issue 09:05:02

Industry Update

The Green Sheet, Inc.NEWS

RDC becoming a must-have

A new Aite Group LLC report explores industry best practices for driving increased end-user adoption of remote deposit capture (RDC) technology. The report provides RDC vendors with insight into the factors that drive community banks to deploy RDC. It also offers recommendations to banks and technology vendors for improving customer success with remote deposit solutions.

Despite low overall adoption, Aite said RDC is a "must-have" technology for financial institutions wishing to remain competitive in today's marketplace. In a survey of more than 700 community banks with less than $3 billion in assets, 36 percent of respondents indicated deployment of RDC solutions was a "high priority."

"Banks taking a strategic approach to remote deposit by assigning staff specifically to this product and emphasizing end-user education have not only seen higher adoption levels, but have also enjoyed deposit growth, new customer acquisitions and an expanded geographic footprint," said Christine Barry, Aite's Research Director and the report's author. "As more banks implement RDC and adoption spreads, technology providers should see a huge upswing in business."

Chargebacks, delinquencies on the rise

The latest Credit Card Index results from Fitch Ratings Ltd. indicated U.S. consumers fell past due and defaulted on their credit cards at record rates in April 2009.

Fitch's Prime Credit Card Chargeoff Index increased 48 basis points to 8.89 percent, the second consecutive record high. Chargebacks have also risen since the beginning of this year and are now 44 percent above 2008 levels.

Canadians cry for common sense

In May 2009, representatives from scores of Canadian businesses descended on Ottawa for the start of the House of Commons Committee hearings, focused on what they describe as the runaway fees merchants are forced to pay to accept credit cards at the POS.

These hearings mark the first time that credit and debit card issues have been examined by the Canadian Parliament.

"Parliamentary hearings on the abuse of Canadian merchants and consumers by credit card companies represent a historic opportunity for Canada to craft its own financial future," said Diane J. Brisebois, President and Chief Executive Officer, Retail Council of Canada and Chairman of the StopStickingItToUs Coalition.

"American credit card companies say that deregulation is best, but in a financial crisis largely caused by a lack of appropriate oversight, we hope that Canadian lawmakers will see the folly of that approach," she added.

Merchants have asked Parliament to examine the uncontrolled escalation in credit card fees, as well as the imminent destruction of Canada's debit system, as Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide prepare to enter the Canadian market with their own debit products.

Bid for RBS WorldPay spurned

Ed Uzialko, who sold U.S. payment processor Lynk Systems Inc. to the Royal Bank of Scotland for $525 million in 2004, was rejected by RBS in his efforts to reacquire the company.

After purchasing Lynk Systems, the bank changed the company's name to RBS Lynk and then again to RBS WorldPay in 2008.

RBS WorldPay, which reportedly developed the world's first "tap and go" contactless card payment service, is now 70 percent owned by the British government and is retrenching its core businesses.

It plans to eliminate or downsize its footprint in 36 of the 54 countries in which it operates. Uzialko said he may retain one of Lynk's original investment banks to renew his acquisition efforts.

In other company news, RBS WorldPay validated its compliance with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS), following its annual PCI DSS assessment. Verizon Business/Cybertrust, a company approved by the PCI Security Standards Council as a Qualified Security Assessor, did the assessment.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ANNOUNCEMENTS

In Vendor Matrix, FNIS is it

In an ABI Research evaluation of worldwide mobile banking vendors, Fidelity National Information Services was ranked first in the Vendor Matrix, an analytical tool developed by ABI to provide a clear understanding of vendors' positions in specific markets. Fiserv Inc. and Sybase Inc. claimed the second and third spots, respectively.

Online debit PIN for U.S.

Security and fraud solutions company Acculynk reported that its PaySecure payment method for Internet PIN debit is available at e-commerce solutions provider 2Checkout.com. According to Acculynk, it is the first software-only service in the United States that enables consumers to pay for online purchases via PIN debit. Consumers only need their existing debit cards and PINs to use PaySecure and can run transactions as PIN or signature debit payments.

Borders says YES to payment solution

The U.K. and Ireland divisions of Borders Inc. selected YESpay's Emboss payment processing service to provide level 1 PCI DSS-compliant and Europay International, MasterCard and Visa.-compliant solutions to Borders' 41 stores. The YESpay Emboss logs all transactions in real time during online authorization and, with overnight settlement, eliminates a merchant's need to store cardholder data.

EZPay's residual benefits

Technology solutions company ePayware Inc. introduced its EZPay ISO Portal for all Elavon Inc. ISOs and sub-ISOs. EZPay enables ISOs to take their monthly residual files and upload them using a simple Web interface. Offered as a software-as-a-service solution, it instantly calculates residuals, displays them on the Web for all merchant level salespeople and ISOs, and eliminates monthly manual residual calculation.

GSI works for Bath and Body

E-commerce solutions provider GSI Commerce Inc. signed a multiyear extension with Bath and Body Works, a division of Limited Brands. GSI will continue providing the online store's e-commerce technology and fulfillment services.

Heartland back in the saddle

Following the completion of its annual PCI DSS assessment, Heartland Payment Systems Inc. successfully validated its compliance with the PCI DSS and was returned to Visa Inc.'s List of PCI DSS Validated Service Providers on May 4, 2009.

Ruesch no more

International payment and foreign exchange services organization Ruesch International Inc., acquired by Travelex Currency Services Inc. in 2007, is now Travelex Global Business Payments Inc.

The acquisition - and subsequent reorganization - consolidated global operations to develop payment platforms to meet the needs of small and large businesses worldwide.

Night at the OSCAs

In May 2009, the Smart Card Alliance revealed the winners of its 2009 Outstanding Smart Card Achievement (OSCA) Awards from the Alliance Annual Conference in New Orleans.

The winners were:

  • Outstanding Issuing Organization: Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • Outstanding Technology Organization: HID Global
  • Individual Leadership Award: Patrick W. Hearn, Vice President of Government and Identificat-ion Markets, North and Central, Oberthur Technologies Inc.

Southwest meets Endpoint

Southwest Corporate Federal Credit Union deployed Endpoint Exchange LLC's implementation service for check image exchange. This will enable the credit union to send and receive electronic packages of individual check images, known as commingled image cash letters, directly through Endpoint Exchange.

Kount strengthening security

Information technology (IT) solutions provider Targusinfo said fraud and risk management firm Kount Inc. will offer Targusinfo's On-Demand Insight Verification, which will enhance Kount's fraud detection technology. The Targusinfo technology is designed to increase the security of customer data, rate the risk of a particular order and increase order approval rates during the manual review process.

TSYS Class B certified RDM terminal

Processor TSYS Acquiring Solutions Class B certified RDM Corp.'s Synergy II All-In-One payment terminal. Synergy II is now certified to process Visa, MasterCard and Discover Financial Services transactions on the TSYS network.

The Green Sheet, Inc.PARTNERSHIPS

C-store merchants get PCI help

Management and security software provider American Technology Corp. and IT governance firm Coalfire Systems Inc. joined forces to help small and mid-size convenience stores achieve PCI DSS compliance despite budget and staff limitations. ATC's OmegaScan, a hosted service for PCI compliance, now includes Coalfire's automated scanning and Self Assessment Questionnaire services engineered to help merchants stay current with PCI requirements.

Partnership simplifies solution

Payment solutions company Delego Software Inc. and IT consultancy Seven Principles, both long-time payment solutions partners with German-based business software developer SAP AG, teamed up to deliver a payment solution for companies running SAP software.

Delego's and Seven Principles' payment solution is designated to enhance reporting and simplify configuration management in SAP credit card transaction applications.

E-commerce's fifth element

E-commerce solutions company Digital River Inc. partnered with several software publishing companies from Europe and North America and will offer these organizations its Element 5 Global e-commerce services to manage their online businesses. Some of the new clients include Proxma AG, a European software distributor, RocketStream Inc., an Internet Protocol network digital content delivery solutions firm, and TrustPort Inc., a security solutions provider.

Texas prefers First American

Payment processor First American Payment Systems LP signed Texas National Bank as a referral partner. Under this agreement, Texas National will actively promote First American as a preferred payment provider to its clients.

Bling gets Integrated

Integrated Bank Technology joined Palo Alto, Calif.,-based payment network provider Bling Nation Ltd. to help the company deliver its Community Payments Service platform to local and regional banks.

MyECheck makes final Ascent

Alternative payment processor MyECheck Inc. signed Ascent Processing Inc. as an authorized agent to integrate MyECheck's Check 21 processing software into its property management and rental industries payment platforms.

"RCC's [remotely created checks] have been used for decades by mortgage, insurance and credit card companies to collect recurring payments from their customers," said Ed Starrs, CEO of MyECheck.

"Our solution allows these new verticals to fully automate check payment, eliminate paper and speed collection by at least two days."

Opex is RP Solutions' favorite channel

Opex Corp., a mailroom automation and document imaging firm, added image-based payment processing provider RP Solutions Inc. as a reseller of its AS and DS series scanners. "We have a long history working with Opex equipment at a majority of our customers' sites and are excited to add Opex products to our offerings," said David Johnson, President, RP Solutions.

Alliance embraces unbanked markets

Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase Inc., partnered with business development firm Swisscontact (the Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation) to offer Sybase's Mobile Money Transfer and Mobile Money for the Unbanked in emerging markets around the world. "The Sybase 365 and Swiss- contact partnership will help deliver innovative e-commerce solutions for millions of mobile users," said Matthew Talbot, Vice President, E-Commerce, Sybase 365.

Doin' it right

Payment product and services provider Apriva Inc. and mobile and wireless computing solutions company Psion Teklogix Inc. formed an alliance that might appear serendipitous to outside observers. But for executives from both companies, the partnership was more destiny than chance - and an opportunity to expand each other's vertical market reach and geographic footprint.

"Our founder, Paul Coppinger, and Bill Clark, the head of our POS division, are famous for running around to various tradeshows," said Bill Ramsey, Vice President of Business Development for Apriva. "They love being in the trenches, walking the floor. They came across Psion at the National Retail Federation show.

"Nothing happened for many months, but when I took over the payment engine product and was looking for different channels and partners, Psion was on our list - and Bill [Clark] remembered those folks and gave me the contact. So we started discussions, and it just went from there."

Payment platform accessibility

Psion Teklogix integrated Apriva's Secure POS for Windows Mobile and Payment Engine with its Ik“n rugged personal digital assistant (PDA). This new offering gives field service representatives the ability to accept all payment application types on the Ikôn PDA. Gregg Anderson, Wireless Carrier Alliance Manager for Psion Teklogix, said its PDA offers multifunctionality in one device.

"We can offer bar code readers, GPS [global positioning system] units, voice communications, data capture, e-mail, SMS [short message service] and text messages," Anderson said. "And now that Psion has added Apriva's POS payment solutions, we can provide technology that previously we simply were not able to do. The benefit from our partnership with Apriva is that they understand the payment world far better than us."

The Ikôn accepts check, debit and credit card, electronic benefits transfer and gift and loyalty payment transactions. Ramsey noted that the value-added reseller channels Psion typically deals with are interested in incorporating electronic payment options for their field agents and merchants. Some companies have even considered becoming ISOs because of this offering, he added.

ISO channel reliability

"This is an opportunity to bring on either new ISOs or to expand our partnership channel," Ramsey said. "I believe there is tremendous potential to bring a lot of new business to the traditional payment processing arena, as well as partner with companies that are not running payments today."

Apriva offers its products and services strictly through its ISO reseller channel. "We rely on our ISOs to bring new merchants into the fold and new payment opportunities, not this zero-sum game of shuffling merchants from one ISO to another," Ramsey said. "For us and our ISO partners, our alliance with Psion gives us tremendous leverage and opens new areas for payments." Psion is based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and has operations in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and the Asia Pacific. Future joint development efforts include integration of a Bluetooth combination PIN pad, mag stripe and chip card reader for additional Psion Teklogix devices.

A natural compatibility

"It's a good marriage in that we bring our specific expertise together into one solution," Anderson said. "We're eliminating receivables errors, speeding up transaction settlement time and improving utilization of our resources. Our partner community is smaller than most of our competitors, but quite loyal, and I do feel that we made the right choice with Apriva."

Ramsey echoed that sentiment and said the partnership is a good cultural fit that will ultimately create significant return on investment. "We are excited about this relationship because we think that Psion, even though it is a $400 million company, acts more like a start-up than anyone else," he said.

"They have agility and a hunger to satisfy customers; they look at things from an end-user standpoint.

"When companies get big, they sometimes forget about that. We've always been big believers in mulitfunction mobile computing devices since we started 10 years ago, so in a way this is a return to our roots. And like us, Psion does what is right for the customer, and I think that's why we get along so well," Ramsey added. For more information, visit http://www.apriva.com/about.aspx.

Trustwave, INetU foster compliance

Trustwave and INetU Managed Hosting partnered to deliver a security program in a managed hosting environment for merchants seeking compliance with the PCI DSS, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and other standards.

The intent of combining INetU's managed hosting services and Trustwave's managed security solutions is to put merchants in an excellent position to validate compliance with the PCI DSS and other regulatory standards.

The Green Sheet, Inc.ACQUISITIONS

BankServ expands payment possibilities

Payment solutions company BankServ acquired the assets of mobile payment processing solutions firm Commerciant. The acquisition enables BankServ to process and manage all forms of electronic payment anywhere a merchant does business - from the office, via the Internet or in the field.

PayPassage now in Pipeline

Payment processor Pipeline Data Inc. completed its acquisition of payment solutions company PayPassage Inc.

The merger, according to Pipeline Data's CEO Randy McCoy, will "enable the company to effectively expand its sales capabilities through the creation of strategic relationships with high-quality ISOs and continue to deploy its capital to increase market share during these tumultuous economic times."

Western Union expands footprint north

The Western Union Co. signed an agreement to acquire Canada-based international business-to-business payment solutions company Custom House Ltd.

Western Union officials expect the $370 million cash transaction to be finalized in the third quarter 2009, pending regulatory approvals.

The Green Sheet, Inc.APPOINTMENTS

Then there were three

Card-not-present payment provider Payvision introduced three new executives. Jeffrey De Petro was named Vice President, Security and Risk; Doug McDougall assumed the role of Vice President of Financial Institution Sales; Donna Neary took over as Director of Business Development. Together, the three bring over 30 years of payment experience to Payvision.

Fisher on board at Solveras

Jeffrey A. Fisher joined electronic payment services provider Solveras Payment Solutions as the company's Chief Information Officer. Fisher, who has more than 20 years' experience in financial services, will guide the company's technology development, delivery and implementation.

Additionally, he will be responsible for the company's existing IT infrastructure and all mission critical systems operated by Solveras.

Freeman charged with ISO development

Merchant Data Systems Inc. appointed Drew Freeman as President and Partner of its Miami Beach credit card processing ISO. Freeman's career spans 25 years in the payments industry; he will be responsible for expanding the company's ISO partner portfolio.

BlueStar exec recognized, promoted

BlueStar Inc. a distributor of automatic identification, POS, mobility, and radio frequency identification products, promoted Ryan Girvin to Vice President and Corporate Controller. Girvin will supervise the worldwide financial reporting activities of the company, including accountability for the development of financial strategies to support the company's organizational goals in the Americas and Europe.

Schulz Verifi-ed as new CEO

Card-not-present transaction services provider Verifi Inc. appointed Jennifer Schulz as its new CEO. Schulz succeeds founder Matthew Katz, who will remain with Verifi as the company's Chairman.

New sales conductor for Encore

E-payment processor Encore Payment Systems appointed Bobby Lousier as its new Director of Sales. Lousier now oversees sales development for Encore, as well as for its related companies Prodigy Payment Systems and Monument Payment Systems.

His responsibilities also include outside sales representative recruiting and training.

The Green Sheet, Inc.BOTTOM LINES

  • According to The NPD Group's May 2009 POS tracking report, Blu-ray DVD sales increased 72 percent over the first quarter of 2008. Gross dollar volume sales totaled $107.2 million, an increase of 14 percent from a year ago.

  • In an April 2009 American Pulse Survey about vacation plans, 30.5 percent of 4,023 respondents said they plan to reduce their total number of overnight hotel stays this year; 27.4 are looking for alternatives to airline travel; 20.4 percent are cutting back on the quality of their lodgings.

  • According to the National Retail Federation, 85 percent of retailers have reported increased organized retail theft since 2006, and 54 percent of retailers use the NRF's Law Enforcement Retail Partnership Network to share videos of suspects and information about stolen property.

  • Thomson Reuters Corp., which tracks monthly same-store sales for 35 retail chains across the United States, reported that overall April 2009 sales for said chains rose 1.2 percent compared to 3.3 percent in April 2008. Reuter's had forecasted a 0.2 percent drop.
end of article

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