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December 21, 2012

Happy Holidays from Glenbrook Partners

GP Logo Horizontal 140pxSeason's Greetings and a Happy New Year from Glenbrook Partners. Thank you for reading Payments News throughout 2012. We'll be on holiday the rest of the year and will return to industry news coverage on January 2nd, 2013.

Chase to Acquire Merchant Offer Provider

Chase logo 140pxChase and Bloomspot have announced that they have signed an agreement and plan of merger whereby Chase will acquire Bloomspot, a provider of targeted merchant offers.
“Chase has millions of strong relationships with consumers and merchants, and we are committed to building value in those relationships,” said Jeff Kinder, president of Chase Offers. “Merchant partners are continually looking for ways to engage the right customers, and consumers have shown a clear interest in receiving offers from their favorite merchants. We believe Chase has a unique set of assets to bring these customers together and deliver highly targeted, relevant merchant offers at scale.”

Discover Reports Financial Results for 4Q2012

Discover logo 140pxDiscover Financial Services has reported financial results for the fourth quarter 2012. "The company said card sales volume grew 6% from the prior year to $26.5 billion. Credit card loans ended the quarter at $49.6 billion, up 6%, from the prior year. The delinquency rate for credit card loans over 30 days past due was 1.86%, an improvement of 53 basis points from the prior year, and a seasonal increase of 5 basis points from the prior quarter. The credit card net charge-off rate improved to 2.29% for the fourth quarter of 2012, down 95 basis points from the prior year, and 14 basis points from the prior quarter."

Payza Launches New Service to Facilitate Money Transfers to Bangladesh

Payza logo 140x60px Payza has announced a new service, SimplySendBD, to facilitate money transfers to Bangladesh.
This new low-cost, convenient and fast online service will enable Payza members to send money to friends and family in Bangladesh, regardless of whether or not they have a Payza account. Earlier this year, Payza became the first online payment processor to be licensed by the country’s central bank, Bangladesh Bank. According to the bank’s estimate, there was more than $14 billion in remittances that entered the country in 2012.

Why Don’t Most Merchants Use Price Discounts to Steer Payment Choice?

Boston fed logo 140px The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston has published a public policy discussion document entitled, "Why Don’t Most Merchants Use Price Discounts to Steer Consumer Payment Choice?"
We find that steering consumers to debit and cash via price discounts reduces some merchants’ card costs. However, this cost reduction may be insufficient to offset the cost increase of administering price menus that vary by payment instrument. In addition, rewards buyers receive on credit card transactions may exceed the price discounts that merchants can provide. These factors may explain why steering via price discounts is not widely observed.

The full paper is here.

December 20, 2012

December 19, 2012

December 18, 2012

Swipely Expands Service to Reveal the Customer Behind Every Transaction

Swipely logo 150px Swipely has announced new payment acceptance functionality to help its merchants understand the customer behind every transaction.
Swipely brings the very first Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool that updates automatically with every card swipe to Main Street. Swipely builds a profile for each card-paying customer to help merchants remember spending recency, frequency and lifetime value - automatically. Merchants can add notes about customer preferences or edit contact information to quickly save insights and re-engage customers online after they leave the store.

QSecure Announces IMAGO Powered Payment Card

QSecure logo 140pxQSecure has announced IMAGO (pronounced ee-ma-go), a new powered payment card and mobile app for iPhone, Android, and Windows mobile devices.
"The war of the wallets is on between big players like Visa, MasterCard, Google, Square, and Apple, but merchants and consumers are waiting to see which of these platforms will become predominant," explains QSecure CEO Mike Cummings, "Because our solution uses the phone’s display to communicate with the card, it can be used with any smartphone running our IMAGO App. There is no need for consumers to wait for the next generation smartphone or for merchants to change their credit card terminals to take advantage of mobile wallets."

Users load their existing cards by swiping them through a dongle, sync their IMAGO card with their smartphone screen, and then use their IMAGO card at existing card terminals. Visit www.qsecure.com to see a video that demonstrates how the whole thing works.

Heartland Payment Systems Acquires ECSI

HeartlandPayments logo 140px Heartland Payment Systems announced that it has expanded its Campus Solutions division by acquiring ECSI, "a leading provider of cost-effective, customized payments processing solutions for the higher education industry."
“As the Heartland Campus Solutions division grows to become a more significant portion of Heartland’s business, we’re confident that acquisitions such as ECSI will better position us for faster growth,” said Michael A. Lawler, president, strategic markets group, Heartland Payment Systems. “Our combined suite of products, services and solutions offers higher education institutions opportunities to streamline processes and increase operational efficiency while providing enhanced convenience and value to students.”

VeriFone to Exit Mobile POS Acquiring Business

Verifone logo 140pxDuring the fourth-quarter teleconference with analysts, VeriFone announced that it is stepping back from its role as an direct acquirer for SAIL merchants.
Earlier this year, we launched SAIL as a way to bridge the gap between the way our traditional channel partners conduct business and the specific needs of very small micro-merchants. Our experience through 2012 with tens of thousands of these micro-merchants tells us that the standalone economics of micro-merchant acquiring is fundamentally unprofitable and destined to be a negative gross margin business. Customer acquisition costs either through search engines or TV advertising cannot and will never justify the razor-thin margins produced by merchants with infrequent volume and extremely high attrition.
The company will continue to market SAIL products through banking partners and ISOs. Digital Transactions has a good story on the strategy shift.

December 13, 2012

C-SAM and MasterCard Announce Strategic Partnership and Investment

MasterCard logo 140pxMobile wallet and transactions platform provider C-SAM and MasterCard have announced a global strategic partnership, as well as a minority investment by MasterCard.
“This partnership further strengthens our ongoing efforts to work with industry-leading companies to deploy our technologies and help drive innovation and adoption in the rapidly evolving digital payments space,” said Ed McLaughlin, chief emerging payments officer, MasterCard. “C-SAM’s proven track record and expertise in developing mobile platforms, combined with our worldwide network and suite of industry-leading payments solutions, will help enable us to deliver new, innovative solutions to a wide range of global customers.”

InComm Acquires Adility to Offer Integrated Commerce Solutions

InComm logo 140pxInComm announced its acquisition of Adility, a platform for online-to-offline commerce, with a network of more than 500 mobile applications and online publishers.
“We created Adility, recognizing the tremendous impact online and mobile-influenced commerce has today on offline retailers and brands,” said Thomas Cornelius, Adility founder and president. “InComm has one of the largest retail networks in the country, and a fantastic team with a track record of delivering innovative solutions to their retail partners. Through our retailer-specific platform, Adility provides the ability to expand in-store sales to a completely new category, offering targeted and measurable promotions that serve the interests of their specific customer base.”

First Data Releases November 2012 SpendTrend

First data logo 140x60pxFirst Data has released its First Data SpendTrend analysis for the full month of November 2012 compared to November 2011.
Dollar volume growth remained solid at 5.8% in November, down from 6.7% in October. The growth was considered healthy as November 2011 was a strong month with dollar volume growth of 7.3%. The growth significantly weighted to spending at retailers during the latter half of the month. Although Black Friday retail spending was weaker this year with growth at 8.3% compared to 9.7% last year, overall November dollar volume growth still performed well.

SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT, closed-loop prepaid cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.

Clutch Mobile Commerce Platform to Unite Shopping, Loyalty, and Gifting

Clutch logo 140x60px Clutch has announced its new platform that unites shopping, loyalty and gifting to deliver the most relevant offers to consumers and the most targeted customers to merchants. Its consumer-facing app "eliminates the need for multiple apps, enabling consumers to manage gift and loyalty cards, daily deals, coupons, offer searches, purchases, shopping comparisons, social gifting and mobile payments all in one place."

Federal Reserve Reports Consumer Credit for October 2012

FedThe US Federal Reserve has reported its latest G.19 Consumer Credit statistics - finding that "consumer credit increased at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.25%. Revolving credit increased at an annual rate of 4.75%, while nonrevolving credit increased at an annual rate of 7.0%."

December 12, 2012

Headline News - December 12, 2012

On the web:

On the wires:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated.

December 10, 2012

MasterCard launches rePower in Europe with CQR Payment Group

MasterCard logo 140pxMasterCard announced that its rePower service that transforms cash into electronic money on a prepaid account was recently launched in Europe. The cash reload service which is provided by CQR Payment Group is now available in the UK with other European markets to follow in coming months.
“By enabling cash electronification to take place at a far wider range of merchants or online, MasterCard is creating a series of environments where prepaid can be disruptive to the normal flow of cash in our society and where those people bound to cash can take advantage of the security, convenience and control offered by prepaid," said Matt Lanford Head of Prepaid at MasterCard Europe .

December 05, 2012

NCR Announces NCR Mobile Pay for Restaurants

Ncr logo 140pxNCR has announced the launch of NCR Mobile Pay, a new solution that enables restaurant patrons with a smartphone to browse their bill, re-order menu items and alert their server, among other features.
“We want restaurant patrons to have the best experience possible while dining. NCR Mobile Pay is the newest way we do that. Review your order, add to it, take a survey, tip and pay. We’ve put all of those abilities in the consumer’s control,” said Mike Finley, vice president and chief technology officer of hosted solutions, NCR Hospitality. “With NCR Mobile Pay, consumers take action instead of waiting. It’s the promise of mobility, delivered by NCR.”

NCR Mobile Pay is designed for restaurants that use NCR Aloha point-of-sale (POS) technology, enabling cloud-based credit card processing on mobile devices.

December 04, 2012

Headline News - December 4, 2012

On the web:

On the wires:

Note: Headline News is compiled by Glenbrook Partners. Throughout the day, as we spot interesting developments, this post is updated.

December 03, 2012

US Airways Becomes First Airline to Accept Contactless Cards In-Flight

MasterCard logo 140px MasterCard announced that US Airways has become the first airline in the world to accept MasterCard PayPass-enabled cards and devices for in-flight purchases.
“MasterCard has been at the forefront of contactless payment innovations, bringing the convenience and speed of PayPass technology to environments where faster transactions are essential for both consumers and merchants,” said Dave Meadon, group head of Global Chip Solutions & Engineering, MasterCard. ”With the broad acceptance of electronic payments, consumers today can travel virtually cash free, eliminating the hassle of carrying cash and without having to fumble through their wallet or purse for exact change.”

USA Technologies and Isis Bring Mobile Commerce to Vending Machines

USATechnologies logo 140x60pxUSA Technologies announced up to 7,500 vending machines in Austin and Salt Lake City will be targeted for mobile payment acceptance powered by USAT’s NFC-enabled ePort technology and ePort Connect service in order to participate in the Isis Mobile Wallet market trial.
“Our work with Isis is a great example of how we are executing our comprehensive mobile payments strategy, including leveraging USAT’s growing footprint of NFC enabled touch points to bring more value to our customers,” said Stephen P. Herbert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of USA Technologies. “We also believe that our work with Isis sends a clear message to vending companies in these two cities—and to the broader market we serve—that there is tremendous opportunity in cashless adoption. Through the Isis Mobile Wallet, we believe these merchants will have unparalleled new opportunity to attract consumers as well as participate in marketing programs with global brand names.”

VeriFone Initiates 'Play at the Pump' Lottery Sales

Verifone logo 140px VeriFone announced that it and partner Linq3 have implemented “play at the pump” at 9 locations in Minneapolis under auspices of the Minnesota State Lottery. At gas pumps equipped with VeriFone’s payment enabled media solution, PAYMEDIA, consumers can buy quick pick numbers for Powerball and Mega Millions drawings utilizing debit card payments at the same time they fill up their tanks.

EVO Payments International To Acquire Deutsche Card Services

Evo logo 140x60px EVO Payments International announced that it will acquire 100% of Deutsche Card Services, the merchant services arm of Deutsche Bank, with operates in 39 European markets
“Our goal for EVO Payments International is to continue its path in becoming a truly global leader in the payment transaction sector and financial services industry,” added Ray Sidhom, Chairman of EVO Payments International. “This transaction represents the next step in having our company achieve this mission, and through supporting the Deutsche Bank relationship, we are confident in our ability to rapidly expand our market share.”

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