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Industry Update


Growth expected in credit card acquiring

New research from TowerGroup estimates that merchant acquirers worldwide will process 2 trillion transactions in 2006. The report, "Taking charge: Essentials of U.S. bank card acquiring," predicts the volume driven by the top five merchant acquirers alone will approach 46 billion transactions in 2006.

But to continue its success, the merchant acquiring industry must improve security to control fraud at the POS and manage the implications of emerging tech-nologies, the report stated.

Sole proprietors lack time, resources

According to a survey from Visa U.S.A. and the nonprofit SCORE Association (Service Corps of Retired Executives), 35% of sole proprietors say their primary challenge in maintaining and growing a small business is an inability to focus on generating new business. Twenty-seven percent cite stretching themselves across multiple roles and projects as the biggest challenge.

Small-purchase card use increases

According to a new Visa U.S.A.-sponsored survey of cardholders, 55% of respondents use payment cards for small-ticket items priced under $25. Consumers cited convenience (86%), ease of use (62%), speed (45%) and expense management (35%) as reasons for use. Visa's volume on purchases less than $25 in targeted small-ticket segments totaled $27.3 billion in the first six months of the year, an increase of 17% from 2005.


CommercialWare validated

CommercialWare Inc.'s CWDirect v10.0 has been validated as being compliant with Visa's Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP) Payment App-lication Best Practices (PABP).

New center to examine financial regulation

The Competitive Enterprise Institute recently launched a new center of study, the Center for Entrepreneurship. The Center will study how financial regulations impede entrepreneurs in attracting investors and capital. John Berlau, CEI fellow in economic policy and former financial journalist, will serve as Director.

FastLane unveils sales promotion

FastLane Secure Payments debuted a sales promotion running until Nov. 30, 2006. The Business Payment Systems' agent who submits the most approved merchant applications will receive $5,000. The agents who submit the second and third most will be awarded $3,000 and $2,000, respectively. Also, for the first 900 approved applications, FastLane will pay a one-time $100-per-merchant incentive fee to the submitting BPS agents.

First Data to restate financials

First Data Corp. will restate its annual report for the year ended Dec. 31, 2005, and its quarterly reports for the quarters ended March 31, 2006, and June 30, 2006. Based on discussions with the Securities and Exchange Commission, First Data concluded that interest rate swap and foreign exchange forward instruments may not have qualified for cash flow hedge accounting.

The effect of these changes is a noncash earnings increase of approximately $30 million. The company does not expect the restatements to affect cash flow or stock-holders' equity.

Innovative Card Technologies joins OATH

Innovative Card Technologies Inc. joined the Initiative for Open AuTHentication (OATH) as a Coordinating Member.

MLS Direct Network moves up

MLS Direct Network Inc. relocated to a new office. The company now occupies a 4,000-square-foot building and has the option of adding another 2,000 square feet. MLS Direct now has its own customer support center, terminal control and download facility, and partner support department.

New Edge Networks to add service

By Oct. 1, New Edge Networks expects to introduce five service classes that will allow businesses to prioritize application data traffic over their Internet protocol-based virtual private networks.

NFC Forum issues specifications

The NFC Forum, a nonprofit association advancing the use of near field communication (NFC) technology, published its first four specifications. The specs are available at

Radiant Systems validated

Radiant Systems Inc.'s Convenience Store Point of Sale solution has achieved validation for PABP under Visa's CISP.

SafeMerchant CISP compliant

SafeMerchant Payment Solutions fulfilled and completed a Visa CISP assessment.

WesPay to honor three

Three industry executives will be honored by the Western Payments Alliance (WesPay) at Payments Symposium 2006.

James B. Ramsey will receive the Russell L. Fenwick Award for Payments System Leadership. Ramsey is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, First National Bank of Northern California and serves on WesPay's board of directors. Phillip E. Holmes will also receive the Russell L. Fenwick Award for Payments System Leadership. Holmes is the Senior Vice President, Education and Member Services, for WesPay. Richard Williams will receive the George E. Lowther Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Payments Industry. Williams is First Vice President, Operations Planning and Support for Washington Mutual Bank and a long-term WesPay Director.


Advanta launches PayPass card

MasterCard Worldwide and Advanta Corp. will begin issuing the PayPass-enabled Advanta MasterCard Small Business card, the first small business credit card to be equipped with PayPass contactless payment technology.

ACS selects TNS

Affiliated Computer Services Inc. selected Transaction Network Services to provide transaction processing networking for more than 20,000 POS terminals across the nation.

Washington Mutual and Cardtronics form branding agreement

Cardtronics Inc. entered into an agreement with Washington Mutual that will enable the latter company to brand 160 cash dispensing ATMs in select Walgreens locations. Initial roll-out is scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of 2006.

WESCO joins Debitman

Debitman Card Inc. announced that WESCO Stores joined the payment network and now issues its own branded debit cards to customers at its 51 Michigan locations. WESCO is combining the debit card with a consumer loyalty program.

EchoStar expands First Data relationship

First Data's remittance division, Remitco, has been awarded additional business from EchoStar Communication Corp. Remitco will begin processing an additional 1 million payments per month received from EchoStar's DISH Network users.

Fleet One accepted at Meineke

Fleet One LLC signed a contract with Meineke Car Care Center to provide fuel cards for its more than 800 locations throughout the United States. The partnership expands Fleet One's services to additional commercial fleet markets across the country.

I2c allies with Convenient Cards

Convenient Cards LLC chose i2c inc. as a transaction processing partner.

Lipman receives China UnionPay order

Lipman Electronic Engineering Ltd.'s subsidiary Lipman China has received an order for 20,000 POS units from China UnionPay to facilitate CUP's migration to EMV-compliant payment systems. The order is for Lipman's NURIT 8320 POS terminals and NURIT 222 PIN pads.

PayByCash integrates with Google Checkout

PayByCash became one of the first major alternate payment option providers to roll out gateway services for Google Checkout.

Global eTelecom signs two

Impact PaySystem and Nations Transaction Services have separately chosen Global eTelecom Inc.'s check, gift and loyalty solutions for their partners and merchants.

Integrating Global eTelecom's customized technology into each company's existing programs will enable merchants to accept and process checks, gift and loyalty cards electronically.

Intura Solutions signs with MSN

Intura Solutions signed a co-marketing agreement with Merchant Services Network. Intura will promote MSN's products and services for the merchant bankcard industry, and MSN will promote Intura's POS line of products for the restaurant industry.

PaySpot and Wilson Farms sign agreement

Wilson Farms signed a multiyear agreement with PaySpot Inc. PaySpot, a prepaid provider, will supply electronic prepaid products, including prepaid wireless, long distance and international calling cards, gift cards, debit cards, and handsets, to Wilson Farms' 198 locations throughout New York.

TSYS certifies PayTrace

PayTrace is certified to process Level III data through the TSYS network for merchants in the retail, direct marketing and e-commerce industries through its virtual terminal, shopping cart, application protocol interface, recurring payments and batch upload products.

Visa expands availability of TravelMoney

Visa TravelMoney cards are now available in more than 1,550 Safeway store locations nationwide. NetSpend will market the reloadable prepaid travel cards and process transactions for Inter National Bank, the issuer.

Wells Fargo goes contactless

Wells Fargo & Co. is issuing Wells Fargo Visa Platinum credit cards and Wells Fargo Visa Signature credit cards enabled with Visa Contactless technology. The companies expect to distribute 400,000 cards by the end of the year.


First Data completes acquisition; plans another

First Data completed its acquisition of Peace Software, a customer information system product company that develops software for managing utility billing and customer care. Financial terms were not disclosed. First Data International will acquire Argencard S.A., a payment processor in Argentina and Uruguay. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. The acquisition is expected to be completed by year end.

VeriFone to acquire payment systems business

VeriFone will acquire the payment systems business of Trintech Group for $12.1 million. VeriFone will take over distribution of a range of unattended and outdoor payment systems and provide existing customers with service and support.


Devitt named to ETA committee

WAY Systems' Chief Marketing Officer, George Devitt, has been invited to join the Electronic Transactions Association's Technology Committee.

The Committee is responsible for identifying current and emerging technology-related issues and assisting with communication on these issues to the association's membership.

Acies expands sales team

Acies Corp. expanded its national sales leadership team with the appointment of Marc Moeller as Vice President - Direct Sales. Prior to joining Acies, Moeller served as Director of Bank Integration, Chase Merchant Services at First Data. Previously, he served as Area Sales Manager for Wells Fargo Merchant Services.

Global eTelecom appoints Murray

Global eTelecom Inc. appointed Christian Murray as National Sales Director, Stored Value & Business Development. Murray has 10 years' experience in the bankcard and stored-value industry.

He joined GETI in 2004 as Program Manager, Stored Value Products.

FastLane hires Senior VP

FastLane appointed Don Roscelli to serve as Senior Vice President of Business Integration. Roscelli comes to the company with an extensive technical background.

He previously worked with Wells Fargo, IBM, MasterCard, Supervalu and Pay By Touch.

Wine named President and CEO

Larry C. Wine is the new President and Chief Executive Officer of RBS Lynk Inc. Wine came to RBS Lynk from Moneris Solutions, where he was President of the U.S. Group. Previously he was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Union Bank of Florida.

He also held senior management positions at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Chase Merchant Services and founded


  • Consumer confidence dropped 7% in August," target="_blank">The Conference Board reported, based on its survey of 5,000 households. The board attributed the drop, the biggest since Hurricane Katrina, to less favorable business and job-outlook conditions.

  • Restaurant and bar sales totaled a record $35.5 billion in July, up 0.6% from the previous month, the National Restaurant Association reported, based on figures from the U.S. Census Bureau. Menu prices rose 0.3%.

  • Nonstore retail sales (including online and mail-order houses) were up nearly 16% in July over the same period for 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau reported in August. The category rose 2% over the previous month. Total retail sales in July were an estimated 4.5% ahead of July 2005.
Article published in issue number 060901

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