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Article published in Issue Number: 061202

Industry Update


Hey, big spender

Men reported spending more than women on gifts and entertaining over the holiday season, according to a Visa U.S.A. survey. Men said they spend an average of $1,288 for the holidays, whereas women report spending $1,186.

Visa to offer PCI financial incentives, levies $4.6 million in fines in '06

Visa will offer $20 million in financial incentives and create new sanctions to further merchant compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.

Visa will create an incentive fund payable to the acquiring financial institutions (FIs) of the largest U.S. merchants who validate PCI compliance by Aug. 31, 2007, and have not been involved in a data compromise. Called the PCI Compliance Acceleration Program, it is the first of its kind to provide positive reinforcement to the industry's traditional, fine-only approach.

Additionally, Visa will link the benefits of tiered interchange rates to PCI compliance. Effective Oct. 1, 2007, acquirers whose transactions qualify for lower interchange rates available in the Visa and Interlink tiers must ensure that merchants are PCI compliant in order to receive this benefit.

Acquirers must demonstrate the establishment of a comprehensive compliance program for levels 3 and 4 merchants. In 2006, Visa levied $4.6 million in fines, up from a 2005 total of $3.4 million. Additionally, Visa is adding new fines to acquirers whose level 2 merchant customers retain full-track, Cardholder Verification Value 2 or PIN data after the transaction authorization.

Americans putting small payments on plastic

More than 67 million Americans had used a credit or debit card for a purchase of less than $5 in the previous 30 days, according to a November survey conducted by Ipsos Insight and Peppercoin Inc.

Single-merchant gift cards more popular

About eight out of 10 (78%) Americans responding to an online survey purchased or received a gift card in the previous 12 months, and nearly half (43%) did both, according to a study commissioned by First Data Corp.

The study also indicates that single-merchant gift cards are more frequently purchased, with an average of 4.7 cards per purchaser. However, multimerchant gift cards, averaging 2.6 cards per purchaser, are increasing in popularity as choice and convenience drive the market.


Teen card wins innovation award

Allow Card of America Inc.'s Allow Card, a stored-value card for teenagers, was awarded the Oscards award, sponsored by France's Publi-News. The annual award honors the most innovative credit, debit and stored-value cards.

Gateway issues Verified Merchant Seal

Authorize.Net Corp. launched its Verified Merchant Seal, which confirms to consumers that Web sites displaying the seal are verified Authorize.Net merchants. The seal is available free to the company's 158,000 merchants for display on their Web sites.

Co-Op Financial certifies its ATM check system

Co-Op Financial Services has certified all of the components required to support ATM check imaging, offering member credit unions a complete solution to capture, proof and clear digital check images from the ATM.

The system was beta-tested at California Center Credit Union, where staff visits to remote ATMs to retrieve checks have been reduced to twice a month as a result, according to CCCU.

Debitman becomes Tempo Payments

Debitman Card Inc. changed its name to Tempo Payments Inc. The company intends to build visibility for the Tempo Payment Network. Retailers will be able to issue their own branded cards with a unifying Tempo logo, according to the company.

FAC offers referral program incentives

First Atlantic Commerce Ltd. is an e-commerce payment solutions provider for merchants seeking direct banking relationships in the Latin America-Caribbean Region, Bermuda and Europe.

The company is offering its referral-program marketing representatives protection from merchant attrition, immediate income with sign-on bonuses, and lifetime, profit-building residuals in multiple currencies.

Leaders adds outside sales agents

Leaders Merchant Services, an ISO/merchant service provider for JPMorgan Chase, introduced an outside sales agent program, supplementing its traditional model of acquiring merchants through an in-house sales force.

NFC Forum tops 100 members

The NFC Forum, a nonprofit advancing the use of near field communication technology, announced its membership has grown to over 100 organizations. Among the new members are AuthenTec Inc., ecash corp. and Ingenico.

NOVA enhances electronic check service

NOVA Information Systems, a subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp, has enhanced its electronic check service to meet the needs of multilane retailers, combining real-time check authorization and risk-mitigation services with back-office image uploads.

NOVA leverages three hosted processing methods: direct demand deposit account access, automated clearing house processing and a banking network adhering to Check 21.

PayChest launches online gateway products

PayChest Inc. launched its online payment gateway products: PayChest ACHnet, PayChest E-Check, PayChest RD21 and PayChest Credit Card Processing. In addition, PayChest will offer a turnkey online solution for prospective e-commerce businesses, comprising the setup of a Web site, an e-commerce shopping cart, Web hosting, e-mail server solutions and merchant services.

UBC licenses marketing e-book

United Bank Card Inc. purchased a license for unlimited downloads of the e-book Marketing Secrets of Gift & Loyalty Cards, by author Jay Stuart, for UBC's agents. The book can be found at

Visa announces test requirements for cards

Visa announced a new set of test requirements to help card manufacturers ensure that emerging card technologies, such as battery-powered and display cards, meet Visa standards for security and interoperability.


Meijer joins Discover's Cash Over program

Meijer Inc. joined Discover Network's nationwide Cash Over program and now offers cash over the amount of purchase for customers paying with a Discover Network credit card at all of its 176 locations.

ReadyLink launches at Safeway

Visa partnered with Blackhawk Network, a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., to introduce ReadyLink, Visa's prepaid load network, to Blackhawk's alliance partner stores. Safeway stores will be Blackhawk's first implementation of ReadyLink. The service allows consumers to add funds to reloadable Visa prepaid cards. Fifth Third Bank will serve as the acquiring FI.

Retailers renew with Fifth Third Processing

Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Belk Department Stores and Stein Mart Inc. have renewed merchant contracts with Fifth Third Processing Solutions.

Software developers integrate Heartland's Express Funds

CodePartners, the software division of Terrell & Terrell CPAs LLP, is integrating Heartland Payment Systems' Express Funds remote deposit capture service with major mid-market accounting programs to bring the service to businesses nationwide.

WAY Systems certified on two more networks

Comstar Interactive certified the WAY Systems Inc. family of Mobile Transaction Terminals (MTT) on the Comstar Payment Gateway, for credit, offline debit and PIN debit transactions. Wireless solution provider Apriva also certified the MTT on the Apriva Intelligent Gateway; WAY Systems and Apriva also became reseller partners.

Credit unions partner with Co-Op Financial Services

New England Credit Union Services LLC, a partnership owned by the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island credit union leagues, has partnered with Co-Op Financial Services to promote the sale of network memberships in the greater New England market. The agreement gives members access to Co-Op's 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs throughout the country.

Polish post offices install VeriFone equipment

EService, the acquiring arm of PKO Bank Polski, will use VeriFone's Vx 510 payment platform and PIN pad 1000SE to deliver cash-advance and electronic bill-payment services at post offices in Poland.

Pharmacists endorse HealthCard Systems

The New Jersey Pharmacists Association endorsed HealthCard Systems as its transaction-processing partner of choice for itself and its members.

Rapattoni software users to access JetPay network

Users of Rapattoni Corp.'s Magic real estate association management software may now transact electronic payments on the credit card authorization and settlement system from JetPay Merchant Services LLC.

RBS Lynk completes Discover processing integration

RBS Lynk Inc., the U.S. payment processing division of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, has completed the rollout of direct Discover Network card processing.

New Bangkok airport chooses Hypercom

Thailand's Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok has chosen Hypercom Corp.'s Optimum T2100 payment terminal for its retail shops.


First Data completes acquisition of Argencard

First Data International completed the acquisition of Argencard S.A., a leading processor of payment transactions in Argentina and Uruguay. The business will operate under the name First Data International. Guillermo Laje will continue to lead the business as part of the First Data team. The acquisition establishes First Data's presence in South America, according to the company.

Pay By Touch fills green stamp booklet, redeemed for century-old S&H

Pay By Touch has acquired S&H Solutions and its parent company, S&H greenpoints, for more than $100 million in cash and stock. In connection with the acquisition, J. Stuart Moore, a Director of S&H Solutions, will join the Pay By Touch board of directors. Moore is also Co-Founder and Director, and formerly Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, of Sapient Corp.

S&H Solutions provides customer-based loyalty marketing and retail solutions. With the purchase, Pay By Touch acquires the greenpoints Rewards Program - a digital reinvention of the Sperry & Hutchinson Co.'s Green Stamps loyalty marketing program begun in 1896 - in which merchant patrons received stamps redeemable for household products.

At one time, the company reportedly printed three times as many stamps as the U.S. Post Office, and the S&H catalog was the largest publication in the country.


Hypercom reorganizes Multi-Lane Systems Group

Hypercom has strengthened its Multi-Lane Systems Group with the appointment of Gary Franza as Vice President and General Manager of the team. His experience includes over 15 years of global sales and management at WatchGuard Technologies Inc., Insight Enterprises Inc. and Hayes Microcomputer Products.

Robert De Bona was named Vice President for National Multi-Lane Sales. He has been with Hypercom for almost three years and served at Symbol Technologies for 14 years.

In addition, Russ Dhooge was named Vice President of Operations for the group. He previously held management positions at Ingenico SA and Chase Paymentech Solutions LLC.

WRG promotes Griffis

ATM provider WRG Services Inc. named Jeff Griffis Total Quality Manager. He began his career with WRG in 2002, serving most recently in the quality department.

Han joins Panini North America

Panini North America appointed Kevin Han Vice President of Sales. Previously, Kevin was Senior Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for VoEx Inc.

Henry steps aside, Euronet hires three

Euronet Worldwide Inc. announced that at the end of 2006 Daniel R. Henry will step back from his day-to-day role in the company as President and Chief Operating Officer.

He will continue as a Director for at least the remainder of his three-year term ending in 2009. The company does not plan to replace Henry immediately and will divide his daily responsibilities among CEO Mike Brown and other key executives. During the first quarter of 2007, Henry will assist with the transition.

Euronet also announced the appointments of Larry Fogelson, Steve Adams and Karyn Clewes Zaborny. Fogelson was named Managing Director of Euronet's Veloz money transfer business. He spent 20 years with First Data in senior management positions at Western Union Financial Services and First Data Merchant Services.

Adams joins as Director of operations of Euronet's Europe, Middle East and Africa EFT business segment, overseeing ATM and POS networks. Most recently, he was Chief Operating Officer of Barclaycard's international division.

Clewes Zaborny is Senior Vice President of Human Resources. She joined Euronet from Swiss Re.

TransFirst names Sheridan VP of FI sales

Thomas Sheridan has been named Vice President, FI Sales, for TransFirst. Previously, he was Vice President, Domestic Bank Sales, for First Data. He also served in sales and management at Hypercom, CES-Card Establishment Services and Citicorp Establishment Services.

McAfee exec joins TriCipher

TriCipher Inc. named Vatsal Sonecha Vice President of strategy and business development. He joins TriCipher from McAfee Inc., where he was Vice President of market development.

Wheeler is ExaDigm VP of sales

ExaDigm Inc. appointed Randall R. Wheeler Executive Vice President of Sales. Wheeler previously held executive positions with Lipman USA Inc., MasterCard Worldwide and Diebold Inc.


  • The number of people traveling 50 miles or more this holiday season is up 2.2%, from 63.5 million last year. Most travelers - 52.6 million, or 81% - plan to drive, according to AAA. The average price nationwide of regular gasoline is hovering at $2.29 a gallon, after climbing $0.066 a gallon from the middle of November.

  • Estimated U.S. retail and food services sales for November were up 5.6% from November 2005, according to the Commerce Department. Retail trade sales were 5.3% above last year.

  • Restaurant sales are expected to reach $537 billion in 2007, a 5% increase over 2006 sales, according to the National Restaurant Association. Forty-six percent of Americans say they are likely to use customer-activated ordering and payment terminals, if available in their favorite table-service restaurant.
Article published in issue number 061202

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