Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bank of America "No Debit Fee" Announcement (Video Spoof from Ellen))

From the Ellen Show:




Bank of America Will Not Implement Debit Usage Fee

CHARLOTTE, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In response to customer feedback and the changing competitive marketplace, Bank of America no longer intends to implement a debit usage fee.
“We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee”
“We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee,” said David Darnell, co-chief operating officer. “Our customers’ voices are most important to us. As a result, we are not currently charging the fee and will not be moving forward with any additional plans to do so.”
Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small- and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 58 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 5,700 retail banking offices and approximately 17,750 ATMs and award-winning online banking with 30 million active users. Bank of America is among the world's leading wealth management companies and is a global leader in corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in more than 40 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Consumer Demand Driving Multibillion-Dollar NFC-Enabled Mobile Wallet Solutions


Parks Associates Report Shows Mobile Shopping Will Create Multibillion-Dollar Industry for Credit-Card Companies, eCommerce Retailers, and Mobile Operators
CONNECTIONS Europe
DALLAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NFC (near field communication) will become a standard feature on smartphones over the next few years as consumers respond to the convenience of the "mobile wallet" for making payments, according to Mobile Payment: Technologies and Business Models, a new report from Parks Associates.
“Google recently launched its Wallet app, and Isis, a joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, expanded its business model to include more payment partners. Each deal signals serious interest to build scale and technology advantage over competing solutions.”
The firm reports almost 50% of U.S. smartphone owners find an NFC-enabled mobile wallet application appealing. "The convenience of e-Wallet solutions, specifically for eliminating the need to carry multiple or any credit cards, is driving the majority of consumer interest," said Harry Wang, director, mobile research, Parks Associates.
Already 16% of smartphone owners use PayPal or other types of e-Wallet solutions as their preferred method for mobile payments, and one in four Millennials regularly use their mobile phones to research products or services prior to a purchase.
These factors will create a commerce opportunity on smartphones of more than $800 billion U.S. in 2015 and boost business for merchants, retailers, financial institutions, and mobile carriers. Industry heavyweights Amazon.com and eBay reported robust mobile eCommerce growth in 2011. Siemens, which will keynote CONNECTIONS™ Europe, November 8-9 in Amsterdam, recently announced its new walletXpress mobile payment platform.
“We are witnessing a groundswell of activities,” Wang said. “Google recently launched its Wallet app, and Isis, a joint venture between AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, expanded its business model to include more payment partners. Each deal signals serious interest to build scale and technology advantage over competing solutions.”
"The mobile payment space will become less fragmented over time," said Jennifer Kent, Parks Associates' research analyst. “All major players are planning for a converged payments future where one digital wallet can be used across all product categories. Consumers will gravitate toward a single, trusted provider, so development of a reliable wallet with diverse capabilities is crucial."
About Parks Associates
Parks Associates is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start-ups through market reports, primary studies, consumer research, custom research, workshops, executive conferences, and annual service subscriptions. http://www.parksassociates.com

Verayo NFC Technology Honored with The Wall Street Journal’s 2011 Technology Innovation Award


“Silicon DNA” technology named runner-up in the semiconductor category
SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Verayo, a security and authentication solutions provider, today announced that it has been recognized by the prominent Wall Street Journal 2011 Technology Innovation Awards. The company was honored for the second time as the runner-up in the semiconductor category for the world’s first Physical Unclonable Functions (PUF) chip technology, designed to provide a cost-efficient secret key generation solution for secure use of NFC payment and other service applications.
“This year we received 605 entries from over 31 countries and only about six percent received an award”
“This year we received 605 entries from over 31 countries and only about six percent received an award,” said John Leger, News Editor of The Wall Street Journal. “With fierce competition from both start-ups and established large companies, Verayo received recognition for its technological achievement.”
Verayo’s silicon chip technology is based on Physical Unclonable Functions. PUFs exploit random variations to give each chip unique characteristics, or “DNA.” Since it is effectively impossible to clone, model or control the manufacturing variations, even for the chip manufacturers, PUFs makes each chip unique and unclonable. This innovative advancement in semiconductor security eliminates the need for stored secret keys as it can re-generate the fingerprints on-demand. As a low-cost security and authentication solution, the PUF KeyGen technology or Silicon “DNA” can be used in various applications including security on devices such as mobile phones and personal connected devices for identification, service access or secure transactions for banking, NFC payments and more.
“We are proud to be recognized for a second time as runner-up in the semiconductor category for The Wall Street Journal’s Technology Innovation Awards,” said Eric Duprat, CEO of Verayo. “Our silicon DNA technology based on PUFs is both a unique and low-cost secure authentication solution that can benefit many applications. We believe our technology provides the answer to the expensive and cumbersome legacy secret key generation solutions.”
Verayo will be recognized at an awards ceremony and dinner on November 8 in Redwood City, California. To learn more about Verayo’s innovative PUF technology, visit the company’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/verayovideo.
About Verayo
Verayo was founded in Silicon Valley in 2005. The company is focused on delivering security and authentication solutions based on its Silicon DNA technology. Verayo’s Silicon DNA technology is based on Physical Unclonable Functions (PUF) technology, which was invented and first implemented at MIT by Prof. Srini Devadas and his team. Verayo is funded by Khosla Ventures and has assembled a world-class executive team drawn from the mobile and security industries. In addition to developing commercial products for mobile and other connected devices to address the need for higher trust and security in the fast growing mobile and NFC commerce markets, the company is working on various projects for U.S. Department of Defense agencies.
For more information, visit http://verayo.com/.

New Secure Browsing Service from IronKey Introduced by East Carolina Bank


Hi John, East Carolina Bank is now offering IronKey Trusted Access to protect its customer’s from online banking fraud.  Available initially to business customers in a Trusted Access portable USB form factor, the bank plans to offer retail customers Trusted Access as a downloadable software application in the future.  Both form factors provide customers an easy-to-use and safe way to access their online accounts. East Carolina Bank and IronKey executives are available to answer any questions on this announcement or any other report you are working on that we can help with related to defending against fraud threats.  As an FYI Dave Jevans will be presenting on “Strategies to Fight Online Account Takeover  and Payments Fraud” at Global Concepts 2011 Payments Operations & Strategy Forum Wednesday November 16th.  The release can be found here. Thank you.  Deb Montner

East Carolina Bank Introduces New Secure Browsing Service from IronKey

IronKey Trusted Access protects online banking customers from cyber thieves 

ENGELHARD, N.C., AND SUNNYVALE, Calif. – Nov. 2, 2011 – East Carolina Bank, a community banking innovator in North Carolina, is stepping up its protection for customers against escalating threats from cyber thieves targeting ACH, wire transfers and online banking. East Carolina Bank will offer its customers IronKey Trusted Access, the secure browsing solution that prevents identity theft, payments fraud and online banking account takeover.

Available initially to business customers in a Trusted Access portable USB form factor, the bank plans to offer retail customers Trusted Access as a downloadable software application in the future.  Both form factors provide customers an easy-to-use and safe way to access their online accounts. Offering Trusted Access is part of East Carolina Bank’s strategy to compete for customer business with highly differentiated banking products that offer substantive value. Trusted Access also allows the bank to meet and exceed new Federal Financial Institutions Examinations Council (FFIEC) guidance to reduce the risk of online banking fraud.

"Our customers’ security is one of the highest priorities at our bank. Businesses, local governments, and consumers across the country are unknowingly being targeted on their computers by criminal gangs. As a foundational part of our local North Carolina commitment, East Carolina Bank is pleased to partner with IronKey to keep our customers and their assets safe," said James J. Burson, executive vice president and chief revenue officer. "IronKey Trusted Access brings the security and safety our customers feel when visiting our bank locations to their online banking. This is just one more way that East Carolina Bank is innovating to leapfrog our competition. Trusted Access is part of our bank’s strategy to grow our customer base." 

East Carolina Bank's new Trusted Access service is an affordable online security solution that protects its customers from the growing number of online threats. The Anti-Phishing Working Group estimates that 25 percent of all computers are infected with crimeware designed to steal money. Today's anti-malware software fails to detect these threats at least 75 percent of the time according to real-time research from SpyEye Tracker[1]. As a result, online banking account takeovers grew more than 150 percent based on new research published by FS-ISAC (Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center). (Video: Executives of East Carolina Bank explain the Trusted Access secure browsing service)

With Trusted Access, customers know they are accessing an authentic site and that their transactions are not being monitored or tampered with by criminals. East Carolina Bank is first offering this new service to their business customers, building on the bank's commitment to personalized service and high levels of security. The secure browser is one part of the IronKey Trusted Access Platform that provides financial institutions with multiple layers of security integrated to dramatically reduce the risk of online banking fraud. Banks can start with secure browsing to immediately reduce the risk of account takeovers where criminal attacks begin — on the bank customers' computers — and add additional layers of security as needed.

Unlike other approaches, Trusted Access assumes a client’s computer is infected with the latest zero-day attack that would go undetected by anti-virus and other software technologies. Trusted Access provides a secure Web browser protected in a fully virtualized, read-only environment tailored to protect online banking sessions from known and unknown crimeware. Even if a computer is infected with malware, the online banking session should remain safe, secure, and private.

“East Carolina Bank is bringing the highest level of online banking security to its customers in North Carolina by offering IronKey Trusted Access,” said Arthur Wong, CEO of IronKey. “The bank's customers can now feel confident when they go online to conduct business that their transactions and assets are safe. This puts East Carolina Bank well ahead of their competition.”

The IronKey Trusted Access method is one of the effective security controls recognized by the FFEIC in its new guidelines for stronger online security that go into effect starting January 2012. Trusted Access also meets NACHA and FBI recommendations for safe online banking by providing a dedicated, isolated and secure browser environment. And the secure browser approach is recognized by research firm Gartner, Inc. as one of most critical security controls for preventing online banking fraud.

For more information about East Carolina Bank and their Trusted Access offering, visit www.MyECB.com or call 1-800-849-2265.  More information about IronKey’s Trusted Access Platform and downloadable secure browser is available online.

Discover and NHL Agree to Extend Partnership; Discover Will Become Title Sponsor of the Inaugural NHL Thanksgiving Friday Game on NBC

Original NHL logo, used before 2005. A version... 
Visit NHL.2blog.com
November 02, 2011 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time 


Multi-Year Relationship to include First-Ever Co-Branded Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade® Float Featuring a Performance from Grammy®-Award Winning Artist Cee-Lo Green
NEW YORK & RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) and the National Hockey League (NHL) today announced the intention to renew a multi-year sponsorship agreement naming Discover as an Official Partner of the NHL® in the U.S.
The float, featuring a live performance of Grammy-Award winning artist Cee-Lo Green, is 36-feet long by 20-feet wide and is designed to reflect a fall hockey theme. Also created to showcase the Discover and NHL partnership, the float will feature NHL stars from the past, a synthetic ice rink, a 12-foot tall turkey that serves as a hockey goal, plus an assortment of colorful fall d├ęcor. As part of this agreement, Discover will become title sponsor of the inaugural NHL on NBC broadcast on Thanksgiving Friday, now titled the 2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown™. This broadcast launches NBC’s coverage of the NHL for the season, making it the earliest NHL regular season broadcast on national U.S. television in more than 20 years. In promotion for this game, featuring the Boston Bruins hosting the Detroit Red Wings (1:00 pm ET, NBC), Discover and the NHL also will introduce a co-branded float titled “Frozen Fall Fun,” which will make its first-ever appearance in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
“Having a new ownership platform on a day that is synonymous with shopping was a natural fit to renew our partnership with Discover, but we wanted to make it even bigger,” said David Lehanski, group vice president of integrated sales. The idea of incorporating a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade gives us a unique way to not only promote this partnership, but also the 2011 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown in front of an audience that traditionally reaches nearly 50 million viewers.”
The commitment to the NHL will deepen Discover’s investment in hockey, giving the company increased opportunities to engage with U.S. hockey fans nationwide and develop exclusive hockey-themed rewards and experiences across various NHL special events.
“We’re proud to work with our partners at the NHL to participate in some of America’s favorite holiday traditions, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and watching a great hockey match-up on NBC,” said Jennifer Murillo, vice president of brand communications for Discover.
Throughout the NHL season, Discover will offer opportunities for cardmembers to redeem their Cashback® Bonus rewards for tickets to the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® in Philadelphia. Discover cardmembers also receive discounts to Shop.NHL.com and theNHL Powered by Reebok store in New York City, NHL GameCenter Live™ subscriptions, and more.
Discover will remain the Official Card of the NHL, NHL All-Star Weekend, NHL Winter Classic, NHL Awards™ and the NHL Draft™.
Discover Launches Two New Ads Featuring Patrick Kane and Tim Thomas
As a tie-in to its NHL sponsorship, Discover also launched two new national television ads yesterday featuring the popular Peggy character along with Blackhawks center Patrick Kane (http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=1083&id=131938) and Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas (http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=1083&id=131939). Both 30-second spots showcase each player’s frustration as they face some of the challenges consumers face when calling their card’s customer service departments. The television ads highlight Discover’s award-winning customer service while positioning Peggy, a likable, but incapable customer service representative of the fictitious U.S.A. Prime Credit Company, as a person who frustrates callers with long hold times, excessive transfers and the inability to solve problems. The new ads are a follow-up to the “Peggy” ad Discover launched earlier this year that featured curator of the Hockey Hall of Fame and Stanley Cup® handler Phil Pritchard.
About the NHL
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL® consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other major professional sport. The NHL entertains more than 250 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, MTG and NHL Network™) and radio (NHL Radio™, Sirius XM Satellite Radio). Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer™ and NHL Youth Development, and supports the charitable efforts of NHL players. For more information on the NHL, log on to NHL.com.
About Discover
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S. financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company operates the Discover card, America's cash rewards pioneer, and offers personal and student loans, online savings accounts, certificates of deposit and money market accounts through its Discover Bank subsidiary. Its payment businesses consist of Discover Network, with millions of merchant and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation's leading ATM/debit networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more information, visitwww.discoverfinancial.com.
NHL, the NHL Shield, Stanley Cup, and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and NHL Thanksgiving Showdown name and logo, Frozen Fall Fun, NHL GameCenter LIVE, NHL Awards and NHL Entry Draft are trademarks of the National Hockey League. NHL and NHL team marks are the property of the NHL and its teams. All Rights Reserved.

MasterCard Incorporated Reports Q3 2011 Financial Results

MasterCardImage via Wikipedia
  • Third-quarter net income of $717 million, or $5.63 per diluted share
  • Third-quarter net revenue increase of 27.3%, to $1.8 billion
  • Third-quarter gross dollar volume up 18.1% and purchase volume up 17.2%
PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) today announced financial results for the third quarter of 2011. The company reported net income of $717 million, up 38.4%, and earnings per diluted share of $5.63, up 42.9%, in each case versus the year-ago period.
“Debit portfolio conversions in the U.S. and new transaction processing in Brazil and the Netherlands continue to contribute to this growth.”
Net revenue for the third quarter of 2011 was $1.8 billion, a 27.3% increase versus the same period in 2010. On a constant currency basis, net revenue increased 23.8%. Net revenue growth was primarily driven by the impact of the following:
  • An 18.1% increase in gross dollar volume on a local currency basis, to $844 billion;
  • An increase in cross-border volumes of 19.3%; and
  • An increase in processed transactions of 20.5%.
These factors were partially offset by an increase in rebates and incentives primarily due to increased volumes and new and renewed customer agreements.
Worldwide purchase volume during the quarter was up 17.2% on a local currency basis versus the third quarter of 2010, to $628 billion. As of September 30, 2011, the company’s customers had issued 1.7 billion MasterCard and Maestro-branded cards.
“We are pleased with our strong results this quarter, which were driven by several factors including double-digit increases in volumes and processed transactions in most regions across the globe,” said Ajay Banga, MasterCard president and chief executive officer. “Debit portfolio conversions in the U.S. and new transaction processing in Brazil and the Netherlands continue to contribute to this growth.
“Economic indicators across the world remain mixed, with the uncertainties in Europe and the United States weighing on sentiment and dominating headlines. Nonetheless, we continue to focus on displacing cash and winning share across markets. We will be adding to our domestic processing in Italy as we have signed a multi-year agreement with a major bank to convert their debit cards to Maestro-only from a co-brand with a domestic scheme. In the U.S., Huntington Bank recently announced a conversion to MasterCard debit cards and will be implementing our IPS platform. We also continue to work with governments around the world, most recently in India and Mexico, to replace some of their paper-based, manual procurement systems with MasterCard commercial products.”
Total operating expenses increased 23.1%, to $816 million, during the third quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. Excluding currency fluctuations, operating expenses were up 20.8%. The increase in total operating expenses was driven by:
  • An increase in general and administrative expenses of 27.3%, or 25.2% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to expenses related to strategic initiatives and the inclusion of acquisitions;
  • An increase in advertising and marketing of 9.8%, or 6.8% on a constant currency basis, driven by sponsorships and promotional initiatives; and
  • An increase in depreciation and amortization of 38.9%, or 37.6% on a constant currency basis, primarily due to the amortization of intangible assets from our recent acquisitions and continued investments in technology.
In the third quarter of 2011, excluding acquisitions, net revenue grew approximately 24% and operating expenses grew approximately 15%.
Operating income increased 30.9%, or 26.3% on a constant currency basis, over the year-ago quarter. Operating margin was 55.1%, up from 53.6% in the third quarter of 2010.
MasterCard reported other income of $28 million in the third quarter of 2011 versus other income of $1 million in the third quarter of 2010. The increase was mainly driven by realized gains on sales of investments, an adjustment to acquisition-related provisions and a decrease in the interest accretion on litigation settlements.
MasterCard's effective tax rate was 30.5% in the third quarter of 2011, versus a rate of 32.3% in the comparable period in 2010. This decrease was primarily due to a more favorable geographic mix of earnings in the third quarter of 2011.
During the third quarter of 2011, MasterCard repurchased 250,100 shares at a cost of approximately $77 million. Quarter-to-date through October 27, the company repurchased an additional 10,900 shares of class A common stock at a cost of approximately $3 million, with $879 million remaining under the current repurchase program authorization.
Year-to-Date 2011 Results
For the nine months ended September 30, 2011, MasterCard reported net income of $1.9 billion, up 31.9%, and earnings per diluted share of $14.66, up 34.6%, in each case versus the year-ago period.
Net revenue for the nine months ended September 30, 2011 was $5.0 billion, an increase of 21.6% versus the same period in 2010, or 19.0% on a constant currency basis. Cross-border volume growth of 19.1%, gross dollar volume growth of 16.0%, transaction processing growth of 16.5% and the net impact of pricing changes of approximately 3 percentage points contributed to the net revenue growth in the year-to-date period. These factors were partially offset by an increase in rebates and incentives primarily due to increased volumes and new and renewed customer agreements.
Total operating expenses increased 18.0%, to $2.3 billion, for the nine-month period compared to the same period in 2010. Excluding currency fluctuations, total operating expenses increased 16.0%.
Year-to-date through September 30, 2011, excluding acquisitions, net revenue grew approximately 19% and operating expenses grew approximately 11%.
Operating margin was 54.6% for the nine months ending September 30, 2011, up from 53.2% in the same period last year.
Total other income was $35 million for the nine-month period versus other expense of $8 million for the same period in 2010. The change was mainly driven by realized gains on sales of investments, an adjustment to acquisition-related provisions and a decrease in the interest accretion on litigation settlements.
MasterCard’s effective tax rate was 31.6% in the nine months ended September 30, 2011, versus a rate of 34.2% in the comparable period in 2010. This decrease was primarily due to a more favorable geographic mix of earnings for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, as well as discrete adjustments recognized for the nine months ended September 30, 2010.
Third-Quarter Financial Results Conference Call Details
At 9:00 a.m. ET today, the company will host a conference call to discuss its third-quarter financial results.
The dial-in information for this call is 866-202-3109 (within the U.S.) and 617-213-8844 (outside the U.S.) and the passcode is 18636458. A replay of the call will be available for one week following the meeting. The replay can be accessed by dialing 888-286-8010 (within the U.S.) and 617-801-6888 (outside the U.S.) and using passcode 80200067.
The live call and the replay, along with supporting materials, can also be accessed through the Investor Relations section of the company’s website at mastercard.com.
About MasterCard Incorporated
MasterCard (NYSE: MA) is a global payments and technology company. It operates the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Learn more at mastercard.com.

Small Businesses Can Save with Visa Discount Program

Image representing Visa as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase
Visa SavingsEdge delivers automatic savings for small businesses at leading retailers
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) today announced the expansion of Visa SavingsEdge, a program that provides automatic discounts on qualifying small business expenses. The program now includes more than 1,600 financial institutions and 39 participating merchants and is now available to 24 million eligible small business account holders in the U.S. Participation in the program is free for Visa small business account holders.
“Visa SavingsEdge now provides a much wider range of brands and offers –and connects more merchants to more cardholders than ever before”
“Visa SavingsEdge now provides a much wider range of brands and offers –and connects more merchants to more cardholders than ever before,” said Janet Zablock, head of global small business for Visa Inc. “It’s one of the ways Visa is extending the utility of its network to deliver more value and efficiency to small businesses, clients and merchants.”
Harnessing the analytics and processing capabilities of Visa’s network, Visa SavingsEdge automatically processes discounts on small businesses’ qualifying purchases in the form of a statement credit, and provides program performance reporting for merchants. Visa’s network does all the heavy lifting, saving businesses valuable time. In addition, the program provides financial institutions and participating merchants an opportunity to create stronger relationships with their customers.
Visa small business account holders only need to enroll once, at visasavingsedge.com, to access all of the program discounts. Once enrolled, account holders get instant access to discount offers at participating merchants specializing in products and services for small businesses. Products range from electronics to business services and office supplies. Some participating merchants include: Advance Auto Parts, Barnes & Noble, Health Advocate, HyperOffice, iContact, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Red Robin, Sears PartsDirect, and Support.com.
“Our research indicates that small business owners show strong interest in the availability of merchant offers1. And with a base of 24 million eligible small business account holders, we expect to continue adding merchants looking for ways to grow their business.” Zablock said.
For additional information about all the merchant offers please visit: www.visasavingsedge.com/offers
1Visa Small Business Privileges Research, C&R Research Services, February 2010
About Visa Inc.:
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks—VisaNet—that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.

Gemalto Launches Ezio Plug & Sign for Unmatched Online Transaction Security


New authentication device to tackle online transaction security with superior convenience
Ezio Plug & Sign is a truly zero footprint device, and enables new services
With Ezio Plug & Sign integrity is assured even if the platform of connection has been compromised
AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Gemalto, the world leader in digital security, today launches the Ezio Plug & Sign, the pioneering corporate banking device that tackles automated clearing house (ACH) and wire transfer fraud. Ezio Plug & Sign is a truly zero footprint device. It provides a secure web browser for online banking, also called a “safe zone”, to overcome the inherent risks of an open online environment.
This capability in addition provides the ability to extend the services that can be offered to the users, including secure email, secure electronic bank account management and secure statement viewing.
Easy to use - the user simply plugs the USB device into any computer, launching by doing so a safe online portal that permits to review, approve and sign all types and volumes of banking transactions without risk.
With Ezio Plug & Sign corporate users and consumers can safely log into any online banking session and be assured of the session integrity even if the platform they connect from has been compromised.
“Wire transfer and ACH fraud are on the rise, and many corporate banking customers, including small-to-medium businesses, schools and non-profits, are unprotected”
Wire transfer and ACH fraud are on the rise, and many corporate banking customers, including small-to-medium businesses, schools and non-profits, are unprotected,” said Adam Dolby, Gemalto eBanking manager for the Americas. “In the U.S. alone, the FBI is already investigating more than 400 cases of ACH and wire transfer fraud resulting in losses of approximately $85 million. Ezio Plug & Sign is the only product on the market that answers this problem, and it does so in a quick, easy and elegant solution for banks and their customers.”
PKI-ready, Ezio Plug & Sign integrates a smart card secure microprocessor and operating system, and is built on Gemalto’s Ezio technology already used by more than 40 million bank customers worldwide.
This upgradeable, multi-application platform can be remotely managed, enabling banks to update certificates and deploy new services and applications without the need for new hardware. Gemalto can deliver a complete solution that also includes full provisioning of the devices to corporate users and consumers, and professional services to customize the branding of the applications. Ezio Plug & Sign provides a positive, consistent, safe banking experience to users, which reduces the need for helpdesk support, saving time and cost for the bank.
Available now for the North American markets, Ezio Plug & Sign is fully IdenTrust compliant and can help U.S. banks comply with recent FFIEC guidelines.
Combining IdenTrust’s globally interoperable digital identities with the zero footprint Ezio Plug&Sign, creates a more efficient, user-friendly solution, while providing the highest level of fraud mitigation available for online transactions. It’s an important advancement in the space, and one we are proud to be a part of.“ – added Karen J. Wendel, Chief Executive Officer, IdenTrust.
About Gemalto
Gemalto (Euronext NL0000400653 GTO) is the world leader in digital security with 2010 annual revenues of €1.9 billion and over 10,000 employees operating out of 87 offices and 13 Research & Development centers in 45 countries.

First Data Reports Third Quarter 2011 Financial Results

Montage of Atlanta images. From top to bottom ...Image via Wikipedia
  • Third Quarter 2011 Consolidated Revenue of $2.7 Billion, up 4%; Third Quarter 2011 Adjusted Revenue of $1.7 Billion, up 2%
  • Generated $766 Million in Operating Cash Flow in the Last Twelve Months and Ended the Quarter with $1.5 Billion in Unrestricted Liquidity
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--First Data Corporation today reported its financial results for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, 2011. Consolidated revenue for the third quarter increased $99 million to $2.7 billion, up 4% compared to $2.6 billion a year ago. Revenue growth was primarily attributable to increases in debit network fees and favorable impacts of changes in foreign currency. Adjusted revenue, which excludes certain items including reimbursables, increased $37 million, or 2%, year-over-year to $1.7 billion.
“Net loss attributable to First Data Corporation”
For the third quarter, the net loss attributable to First Data was $54 million, compared to $431 million a year ago. The improvement was largely driven by a $111 million pretax increase in mark-to-market gains related to changes in the fair value of interest rate swaps, a $55 million pretax benefit to reflect the correction of depreciation and amortization errors relating to purchase accounting, and a charge in the prior year of $178 million associated with changes in U.S. tax legislation. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $564 million, up $38 million, or 7% compared to $526 million in the third quarter of 2010, driven by revenue growth in the international segment and cost management across the business.
For the quarter, cash flows used in operations were $96 million, after interest payments of $735 million. The Company finished the quarter with $1.5 billion in unrestricted liquidity—$79 million in cash available for corporate use plus $1.4 billion under the revolving credit facility.
“First Data again delivered solid earnings growth. Revenues continued to grow in our international regions helping to improve the overall profitability of our business,” said Chief Executive Officer Jonathan J. Judge. “With the launch of the first mobile wallet, the reality of new debit interchange regulations and positive secular trends, there are many exciting opportunities for our business to continue to innovate and serve our customers with the best products available in the marketplace.”
Segment Results
Retail and Alliance Services segment revenue for the third quarter was $848 million, down $3 million, or essentially flat, compared to $851 million in 2010. Core merchant revenue was flat partially due to prior year revenue including a $23 million benefit from a card association fee. Excluding this impact, core merchant revenue grew 4% driven by 8% dollar volume and 5% transaction growth. Credit mix was stable at 73% and regional average ticket was $69, flat compared to a year ago. Product revenue was down slightly as growth in prepaid and point-of-sale terminals was offset by declines in check-processing as consumers continue to migrate from paper checks to electronic payments. Segment EBITDA was $354 million, down $2 million, compared to 2010 driven by the revenue factors noted above, coupled with flat expense. Margin for the third quarter was 42%. During the quarter, Retail and Alliance Services added 13 bank referral agreements, 10 new independent sales organizations and 2 new revenue sharing agreements.
Financial Services segment revenue for the third quarter was $344 million, down $10 million, or 3%, compared to $354 million in the same quarter of 2010 as new business and volume growth were offset by lost business and normal levels of pricing pressure. Active card accounts on file were up 3% compared to the prior year. Debit issuer transactions were up 12% excluding the impact of the loss of Washington Mutual. Segment EBITDA was $156 million, up $12 million, or 8%, compared to $144 million in 2010. Expenses declined by $22 million compared to a year ago driven by lower technology and operations costs and a $9 million sales tax recovery. Margin for the third quarter was 45%. During the quarter, Financial Services renewed more than 300 contracts with financial institutions.
International segment revenue for the third quarter was $453 million, up $51 million, or 13%, compared to $402 million in the prior year. On a constant currency basis, segment revenue was up 5% driven by growth in merchant acquiring and issuing businesses. Merchant acquiring volumes in bank alliances and direct channels continued to drive revenue growth in Europe. Growth in Latin America was driven by acquiring transaction volume and higher terminal sales, while revenue growth in the Asia Pacific region was attributable to the completion of an IT professional services engagement. Segment EBITDA was $112 million, up $30 million compared to $82 million in 2010 on higher revenue, favorable impacts of changes in foreign currency, and continued cost structure management. The current quarter segment EBITDA was negatively impacted by $12 million from the purchase accounting correction referenced above, which was partially offset by a $9 million asset write-off in the prior year. Margin was 25% compared to 20% in the third quarter of 2010.
Recent Events
First Data-Powered Google Wallet Launches
On Sept. 19, 2011, Google launched the first version of the Google Wallet, an app that enables consumers to transform their phone into a virtual wallet, enabling them to tap, pay and save money and time while shopping. Google Wallet also enables businesses to strengthen customer relationships by offering a faster, easier shopping experience with relevant deals, promotions and loyalty rewards. The First Data Trusted Service Manager (TSM) solution enables over-the-air provisioning of payment card credentials to Google Wallet. Additionally, the Google Prepaid Card is powered by Money Network, and First Data is helping to drive adoption of the wallet and contactless acceptance, especially among small merchants.
First Data to Provide Merchant Processing Services to Mutual of Omaha Bank
First Data has signed a long-term merchant services agreement with Mutual of Omaha Bank, a subsidiary of Mutual of Omaha. Through the agreement, First Data will provide merchant processing services to the bank’s business clients nationwide, from large national merchants to local business owners. The bank’s clients will now have access to a comprehensive line of electronic payment solutions, including acceptance of all major credit cards including PIN and signature-based debit cards, gift cards and electronic check verification services.
Non-GAAP Measures
In certain circumstances, results have been presented that are non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) measures and should be viewed in addition to, and not in lieu of, the company's reported results. Reconciliations to comparable GAAP measures are available in the accompanying schedules and in the "Investor Relations" section of the company's website at investor.firstdata.com.
Investor Conference Call
The company will host an investor conference call and webcast on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2011 at 10 a.m. ET to review third quarter 2011 financial results. First Data Chief Financial Officer Ray Winborne, will lead the call and will be joined by CEO Jon Judge.
The call will be webcast on the “Investor Relations” section of the First Data website at investor.firstdata.com and a slide presentation will accompany the call.
To listen to the call via teleconference, dial 800-510-9836 (U.S.) or 617-614-3670 (outside the U.S.), pass code 10066071.
A replay of the call will be available through Nov. 18, 2011, at 888-286-8010 (U.S.) or 617-801-6888 (outside the U.S.), pass code 52667146, and via webcast at investor.firstdata.com.


Fiserv Reports Third Quarter 2011 Results

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Adjusted internal revenue growth of 2 percent;
Adjusted earnings per share increases 12 percent to $1.16;
Full year outlook affirmed and adjusted EPS guidance raised
BROOKFIELD, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, today reported financial results for the third quarter of 2011.
“Revenue, earnings and sales results in the quarter were in line with our expectations and the stage is set for a strong finish to the year”
GAAP revenue in the third quarter was $1.06 billion compared with $1.03 billion in the third quarter of 2010. Adjusted revenue increased 2 percent to $1.00 billion in the third quarter compared with $978 million in 2010. For the first nine months of 2011, total GAAP revenue was $3.18 billion compared with $3.06 billion in 2010, and total adjusted revenue increased 3 percent to $2.99 billion compared with $2.90 billion in 2010.
GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations for the quarter was $0.89, which included a loss from early debt extinguishment of $0.11 per share, compared with $0.89 in the third quarter of 2010. GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations for the first nine months of 2011 was $2.33, which included a loss from early debt extinguishment and severance expenses of $0.45 per share, compared with $2.54 in 2010.
Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations in the quarter increased 12 percent to $1.16 compared with $1.04 in the comparable quarter of 2010. Adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations for the first nine months of 2011 grew 11 percent to $3.31 compared with $2.99 in 2010.
“Revenue, earnings and sales results in the quarter were in line with our expectations and the stage is set for a strong finish to the year,” said Jeffery Yabuki, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fiserv. “Continuing traction with our new solutions should provide increased momentum entering 2012.”
Third Quarter 2011
  • Adjusted internal revenue growth for the quarter was 2 percent driven by Payments segment growth of 4 percent compared to the prior year.
  • Adjusted operating margin was 29.0 percent in the quarter, down 40 basis points compared with the prior year.
  • Adjusted earnings per share increased 12 percent to $1.16 in the quarter compared with $1.04 in the prior year period.
  • Net cash provided by operating activities increased to $681 million in the first nine months of 2011 compared with $654 million in the first nine months of 2010.
  • Free cash flow was $507 million in the first nine months of 2011 compared with $532 million in the first nine months of 2010, a decrease of 5 percent.
  • The company received a $54 million cash dividend in the quarter from StoneRiver Group, L.P., a company in which Fiserv owns a 49% interest.
  • On September 13, 2011, the company completed the acquisition of CashEdge Inc., a leading provider of consumer and business payments solutions such as account-to-account transfer, account opening and funding, data aggregation, small business invoicing and payments, and person-to-person payments.
  • The company has repurchased 7.8 million shares for a total of $475 million through September 30. The company had approximately 5.7 million shares remaining under its existing authorization at quarter-end.
  • The company expanded its payments footprint in the quarter by signing 114 electronic bill payment clients and 48 debit clients. The company has signed 321 bill payment clients and 142 debit clients through the first nine months of the year.
  • During the quarter, 105 clients committed to offer ZashPay®, the person-to-person payments service launched by Fiserv in mid-2010. Nearly 1,000 financial institutions have agreed to offer the service since inception.
  • On October 11, 2011, Rahul Gupta was named Group President leading the Digital Payment Solutions area. Formerly President of the Card Services Division, Gupta now will provide oversight for several of the company's strategic payment platforms including electronic bill payment and presentment, biller solutions and card services.
  • Javelin Strategy & Research has named Fiserv the "Best in Class" mobile banking provider for the second year in a row in its "2011-2012 Mobile Banking Vendor Scorecard."
  • A number of new and expanded client relationships occurred in the quarter including:

    • Anchor Bank, headquartered in Aberdeen, Wash., with $489 million in assets, selected the Premier® account processing platform from Fiserv. The bank also selected CheckFree® RXP® and CheckFree Small Business for bill payment, Business Online™ and Retail Online™ for online banking, WireXchange®, and solutions for card services including the ACCEL/Exchange® PIN-debit network. The bank already utilizes Branch Source Capture™ and Merchant Source Capture™ for remote deposits, Prologue™ for financial management, EasyLender® and item processing services.
    • BMO Harris Bank, a Chicago-based financial institution that is a member of the BMO Financial Group and that has a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion, selected Fiserv for ACH outsourcing solutions.
    • Bremer Financial Corporation, a privately held $7.9 billion regional financial services company headquartered in St. Paul, Minn., will upgrade its current Fiserv online banking platform to Corillian Online® and add CheckFree RXP from Fiserv for electronic bill delivery and payments. Bremer will leverage adoption marketing services from Fiserv to boost customer adoption and utilization of the new services. The company will also deploy Campaign Manager from Fiserv to enable targeted marketing campaigns via its online banking site.
    • Community Bank of Tri-County, located in Waldorf, Md. with $902 million in assets, selected Fiserv for a full banking solution based on the Precision® account processing platform. In addition, the bank selected a variety of other solutions to help streamline business processes and enhance productivity.
    • First Citizens Bank, a $21 billion wholly owned subsidiary of First Citizens BancShares, Inc. headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., will expand its use of the CheckFree RXP payment suite with the addition of same day payment capabilities along with account-to-account transfers and person-to-person payments. First Citizens will also add Financial Crime Risk Management capabilities from Fiserv for multi-payment type, cross-channel anti-money laundering detection and fraud mitigation.
    • FirstMerit Bank, a subsidiary of FirstMerit Corporation, a $14.7 billion diversified financial services company headquartered in Akron, Ohio, selected and implemented MobilitiTM from Fiserv. FirstMerit customers can access the new mobile banking service via an AndroidTM, iPhone® or BlackBerry® application, or via SMS (text messaging).
    • Opus Bank selected the Premier account processing platform from Fiserv. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with $2.1 billion in assets, the bank also selected CheckFree RXP for bill payment, Prologue for financial management, item processing, and solutions for card services including Financial Crime Risk Management, debit processing and the ACCEL/Exchange PIN-debit network.
    • Zions Bancorporation, a $51.9 billion financial services company that operates banking businesses in 10 western and southwestern states, selected Fiserv to support multi-channel digital payments for retail and business customers. The bank will add the CheckFree RXP suite for electronic bill delivery, payments and account-to-account transfers, and ZashPay for person-to-person payments. The bank will also add CheckFree Small Business for integrated electronic bill payment and invoicing, and will utilize FraudNet™ from Fiserv, an automated fraud detection system, to mitigate the risk of fraudulent transactions across these solutions. A former CheckFree RXP client, Zions is returning to the service after using a competing platform.
Outlook for 2011
Fiserv continues to expect 2011 adjusted internal revenue growth to be in a range of 2 to 4 percent. The company has raised its expectation for 2011 adjusted earnings per share from a range of $4.42 to $4.54 to a range of $4.54 to $4.60, which represents growth of 12 to 14 percent over $4.05 in 2010.
Earnings Conference Call
The company will discuss its third quarter 2011 results on a conference call and webcast at 4 p.m. CDT on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. To register for the event, go to www.fiserv.com and click on the Q3 Earnings Webcast icon. Supplemental materials will be available in the “Investor Relations” section of the website.

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