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Industry Update


Study predicts doubling of e-transactions by decade's end

The annual number of electronic payment transactions worldwide is expected to double by 2009, from 210 billion currently, according to a study sponsored by ACI Worldwide and conducted by Global Insight. Transactions are growing at a compounded annual rate of 12.9%, which is four times the expected growth in real gross domestic product. The greatest growth is expected in Eastern Europe and the Asia/Pacific region.

Checks will decline from 20% of non-cash transactions currently to 10%. The study examined many transaction types including ATM, credit and debit cards, direct debit, electronic bill payment, large money transfers, and bulk file. View a summary of the study at

ACH payments continue to increase

Nearly 14 billion automated clearing house (ACH) payments were made in 2005, a 16.2% increase over 2004, NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association reported.

Annual ACH payment volume has doubled in the last five years, spurred by newer applications to collect consumers' bill payments. Financial institutions originated 12.98 billion transactions, valued at $27.9 trillion. The federal government originated nearly 1 billion ACH payments.

Online forum launched for PCI security standard

Launched April 21, 2006, reportedly is becoming the most active Web forum for discussing the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. Forum participants have passed Visa U.S.A.'s auditor certification process.

The site is co-moderated by Mike Dahn, the primary author and instructor of Visa's Qualified Data Security Professional certification program, and David Shackleford, who leads the SANS Institute's class on PCI compliance. The site also welcomes posts from security professionals who help merchants and service providers comply with the new standard.

Visa worldwide debits up 19%

Visa International reported a 19% increase in 2005 in consumer debit and prepaid purchases at the POS, excluding transactions such as ATM withdrawals.

TowerGroup outlines future of credit card profitability

Credit card use may fall and delinquencies rise as interest rates move upward and issuers implement increases in minimum monthly payments, stated the MasterCard International-owned consultancy TowerGroup Inc.

Senior Analyst Brian Riley, author of "Credit Card Profitability in a New World," also reported that consumers' continued shift to debit cards and the adoption of prepaid cards will reduce the transaction volume of base credit card receivables, creating new challenges for card issuers.

MasterCard's risk symposium focuses on fraud management

The concept of moving to a "unique transaction environment" as a way forward for all the delivery channels where cards are used was a focus of MasterCard's Global Risk Management Symposium held in Orlando, Fla. in May. The conference provided a platform for the payments industry to work together with the Secret Service to combat fraud.


Credit union co-op establishes record disbursement

The board of the CO-OP Network made a record-setting patronage distribution of $10.4 million for 2005. The company said that this was the largest ever cash disbursement by a credit union service organization.

Transaction volume topped 1.1 billion, while the co-op's surcharge-free network surpassed 25,000 ATMs. It has 24 million cardholders and nearly 2,000 member credit unions, all factors bringing the patronage pool to a record $26 million, said Chief Executive Officer Stan Hollen.

Online career center tailored to smart card industry

The Smart Card Alliance has launched an online career center at to help companies recruit professionals and assist individuals in finding jobs in the industry. Job-seeker resources include free résumé posting, job-search options and e-mail alerts, exposure to industry leaders, Interactive Moves relocation services and MyW2 services for contract professionals.

Job posting fees for alliance member companies are $275 per month. Company features include job activity statistical reports, targeted advertising exposure and résumé-searching access.

Online payments startup obtains financing

HomeATM Payments, an online payment processor, announced it has closed a round of mezzanine financing (a hybrid of debt and equity). The company has been issued one patent, with six more pending. The financing enabled the acquisition of intellectual property rights from BioBank LLC. HomeATM expects its person-to-person money transfer mechanism to challenge PayPal as an online payment processor.

Isaacman a finalist for N.J. entrepreneur of the year

United Bank Card Inc. announced that CEO Jared Isaacman is a finalist for the New Jersey Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 award. Winners will be announced June 22.


Partnership meets PCI standards for New Edge clients

New Edge Networks announced end-to-end compliance with PCI data security standards through network interconnections to Chase Paymentech Solutions. Merchants on New Edge's networks can use the redundant direct connections to Chase Paymentech at no extra cost, eliminating the need to maintain their own separate connections to their payment processors.

USTI uses PayMover to enable utility billing and payment

United Systems Technology Inc. (USTI) will offer integrated payment processing for utility billing through an alliance with Payment Processing Inc. (PPI). The integration of PPI's PayMover gateway with USTI enables municipalities to eliminate paper bills.

Debitman's retail network teams with HSBC

HSBC Retail Services, a provider of private-label retail cards, formed an alliance with Debitman Card Inc. to build growth of The Retailer's Network, Debitman's card platform. Merchants choosing HSBC card programs to access the network reportedly will enjoy lower costs. Debitman also announced it received patent approval for its card network.

Gas stations install finger-scan payment terminals

Fast Phil's of SC Inc. has equipped its gas station/convenience stores in South Carolina with biometric payment devices from Pay By Touch, which owns the BioPay network. Customers enrolling in the finger-scan service will receive a free beverage and $0.02 discount per gallon of gas as an incentive.

Official Payments Corp. processes online tax payments for Minnesota

The Minnesota Association of County Auditors, Treasurers and Finance Officers launched a centralized online portal where residents of Minnesota may pay their property taxes electronically with a credit or debit card or an electronic check. Official Payments Corp., a subsidiary of Tier Technologies Inc., developed the site.

North Shore Bank picks STAR ATM/debit network

Brookfield, Wis.-based North Shore Bank chose First Data Corp.'s STAR Network as its primary ATM/debit network, giving its 50,000 bank cardholders access to surcharge-free ATMs throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and the rest of the country.

PropertyBridge chosen by real estate manager

Alliance Residential Co. of Phoenix has chosen PropertyBridge Inc. as its automated payment service provider for the residents of over 120 apartment communities it manages. The PropertyBridge Payments Platform lets residents choose from a number of payment types when paying rent.

FX Assured pricing launched in Europe

Planet Group Inc. announced the European launch of its FX Assured personalized pricing service, delivered initially by Servebase Computers Ltd. The service offers travelers using their Visa- and MasterCard-branded cards the ability to pay in their own currency at the best conversion rate available. It identifies the exchange rate that would have been applied by each traveler's card provider and converts the transaction at a lower rate.

PDS and PAYjr launch teen allowance system

Payment Data Systems Inc. (PDS) and PAYjr Inc. are teaming up to launch the teen prepaid stored-value card program, a method for parents to pay their children's allowances electronically. Teens age 13 and up, with parents' permission, may qualify for the card; children under age 13 are eligible for savings accounts. Parents may assign chores and automatically deposit rewards to the child's account or card.

Gateway EDI chooses TransFirst Health

Gateway EDI, which furnishes electronic data interchange processing to health care providers, has partnered with TransFirst Health Services for a payment processing tool for clients.

The service linking TransFirst's system to the Gateway EDI portal handles patient payment and co-pay transactions. TransFirst Health Services is a division of TransFirst Holdings, a provider of credit card processing services and payment-enabling technologies.

Grocers Supply re-ups with LML Payment Systems

Grocers Supply Co. has renewed its contract with LML Payment Systems Inc. for electronic check verification and risk management. LML also provides check recovery services to Grocers Supply retailers.

Cybera selects Precidia iPocket232

Precidia Technologies Inc.'s iPocket232 plug-and-play adapter was chosen by broadband provider Cybera Inc. to provide network connectivity for payment processing terminals and video surveillance in convenience stores and petroleum retailers.

Micros to resell mobile payment devices for restaurants

Micros Systems Inc. and VeriFone teamed up to create a secure pay-at-the-table system for restaurants. VeriFone's customer-facing Vx 670 wireless mobile payment device has been integrated with Micros Res 4.0 software, supporting the shift to PIN debit. Micros will resell the full range of VeriFone's customer-activated payment systems. The Vx 670 meets PCI requirements.


Online Resources acquires Princeton eCom

Online Resources Corp. (NASDAQ:ORCC) is acquiring electronic payment processor Princeton eCom for $180 million in cash and up to $10 million more, based upon future earnings. Online Resources provides Web-based banking and payment services to more than 800 firms through client financial institutions. The combined company is expected to process $75 billion in payments from 1,600 billers over the next year.

Comdata buys Gift Card Solutions

Comdata Corp. is expanding its retail division, Stored Value Systems, by acquiring SASH Management LLC, doing business as Gift Card Solutions. The companies have worked together since 2002, providing gift card solutions to restaurant chains and retailers.

WSBA merges with TIB

TIB, The Independent BankersBank, is buying Western States Bankcard Association (WSBA). Under the agreement, TIB will purchase WSBA's customer relationships, facilities and operations.


Former SEC Commissioner named to Planet Group board

Planet Group Inc., a multicurrency payment processor, appointed Lady Barbara Judge (formerly Barbara S. Thomas) to its board as a non-executive Director. She is currently Chairman of the U.K. Atomic Energy Authority and Deputy Chairman of Friends Provident Life and Pensions Limited plc and the Financial Reporting Council. Lady Judge is a former commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

ECHO names vice presidents

Electronic Clearing House Inc. (ECHO) appointed Karl Asplund to the new position of Senior Vice President of Sales. He had been Senior Vice President at Genpass Technologies. Ryan Granard joined the company as Vice President of Datacenter Operations.

New Marketing Director for wrg

Megan Bublik joined wrg Services Inc. as Director of Marketing. She formerly worked for Hybrid Marketing.

Lorimer is AdvanceMe's marketing chief

Mark Lorimer was hired as Chief Marketing Officer for AdvanceMe Inc., a provider of merchant cash advances for mid-sized businesses. Lorimer was the Founder and President of Alchemy Business Group and served as CEO of Autobytel.

Fleet One brings nine sales execs on board

Fleet One LLC, a provider of financial services solutions to companies with vehicle fleets and to the merchants that serve them, has recently welcomed nine new sales professionals.

They include three executives joining the company's local division: Hank Harrison; Linda Meza, formerly of San Francisco Petroleum; and Tim Engles, previously with Wells Fargo Financial.

Joining the Over the Road division are Account Executives Kurt Westgard, formerly of Comdata; Connie Fowler, formerly of Montgomery Tank Lines; Chelsey Charon, previously with Dura-Line Corp.; and David Brodsky, formerly of SunTrust Mortgage Inc.; and Associate Account Executives Steven Fuller, previously with HealthStream Inc. and Tina Colvin, formerly with Sullivan & Associates.


  • More and more people are downloading free software to their camera phones that allows them to photograph and read bar codes (conventional or digital), which can connect them to the mobile Internet for additional products and services, The Wall Street Journal reported. A bar code on a certain packaged food, for example, might lead to coupons and recipes from the manufacturer.

  • Father's Day spending is expected to reach $9 billion this year, up from $8.2 billion last year, a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch found.

  • Online sales will total $211 billion in 2006, a 20% increase over last year, according to "The 2006 State of Retailing Online," an annual study conducted by Forrester Research Inc. Sales, excluding travel, will reach $138 billion, a 22% increase over 2005.
Article published in issue number 060601

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