The Discover Financial Services Small Business Watch, a monthly index measuring the relative economic confidence of U.S. small business owners with less than five employees - a segment with 22 million businesses generating more than $1 trillion annually - said confidence among these business owners rebounded in July. Businesses experiencing cash flow difficulties also decreased significantly.
"Given the substantial decrease in cash flow concerns that were reported this month, it's not surprising that economic confidence also rebounded with a double-digit increase," said Ryan Scully, Director of Discover's Marketing division. July statistics from the small business watch found:
Research and advisory firm TowerGroup Inc. published a report based on its own findings - as well as information drawn from the 2007 Federal Reserve Payments Study - that said checks remain an important part of the United States' payment environment due to the difficulties in sending and receiving business-to-business (B2B) payments. B2B payments comprised nearly 60 percent of U.S. check dollar volume in 2007.
"Checks will remain an important part and increasingly high-value part of the U.S. payments landscape until all potential payees are willing and able to receive electronic payments," said Andrew Schmidt, a Research Director at TowerGroup. "Until e-payments become more readily accepted by all businesses, checks will remain the most frequently used noncash payment type in the U.S."
As the result of a U.S. Department of Justice antitrust investigation, Visa Inc. rescinded a rule requiring merchants to treat Visa-branded debit cards differently when used as a PIN-debit card - and processed via non-Visa networks - as opposed to the same cards used as signature debit cards and processed on the Visa network.
The Justice Department said they started the investigation to determine whether the rule adversely affected competition in the debit card industry by restricting certain PIN debit transactions from taking place at the POS. The investigation focused on small-value and Internet-based transactions and whether Visa interfered with the introduction of new types of PIN debit services.
DataMatrix Promotions, a division of Giltedge InfoTech Services PVT Ltd., is offering JPMorgan Chase & Co. rebate cards as part of its suite of payment methods. DataMatrix's customers can choose prepaid debit cards, check disbursement, or both, to create customized rebate programs.
The Chase Rebate card is an alternative to paper checks and reportedly saves DataMatrix's customers the time and costs associated with check printing, bank processing, handling fees and postage.
Hypercom Corp. and MSC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Moneris Solutions Corp., reported Hypercom's Artema Modular unattended payment terminal with MSC's PIN Pad API received the Interac Association Chip 2.0 PIN Entry Device certification for use within the Interac Direct Payment network. MSC sells the Artema Module as the K800.
This certification from Canada's biggest electronic payments association means that integrators can use the device securely in all types of indoor and outdoor vending and ticketing machines and multimedia kiosks.
Kofax PLC, specialists in intelligent capture and exchange solutions, introduced Kofax Transformation Modules, a new suite of applications for Kofax Capture, an information capture platform. The suite automates the classification, sorting and separation of paper and electronic documents, then extracts and validates the data.
Metavante Technologies Inc. reported its second quarter 2008 revenue was up 7 percent, from $395.7 million to $424.8 million, compared with the second quarter of 2007. Acquisitions, higher transaction volumes and stronger professional services fueled the company's growth.
MyECheck Inc., a transaction processor and alternative payments solutions company, lassoed Calif.-based Ranger Supply Store as a client and provided the online retailer with its comprehensive suite of electronic check processing services.
This agreement allows Ranger customers to use their checking accounts as an additional form of online payment. MyECheck's software can debit every U.S. checking account, including accounts that automated clearing house (ACH) cannot debit.
The Navy Federal Credit Union, said to be the largest credit union in the world and the 22nd largest receiving financial institution of ACH payments in the United States, enlisted with NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association.
NFCU brings its 3 million members and $35 billion in assets to the relationship. Additionally, NFCU recently expanded its membership base to include all branches of the U.S. military.
Roseburg, Ore.-based Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corp., selected Fiserv Inc., an information technology services company, to provide next-generation online banking and payment services to its 250,000 customers.
Fiserv will expands its partnership with Umpqua by adding the Corillian financial management banking solutions as part of a strategic initiative to enhance online customer confidence.
Unisys Corp. added SmartCash Currency Processing to its line of payment products and services.
The system complements Unisys' SmartSource Series check image capture products, aiming to improve quality, accuracy, productivity and customer service for financial institutions.
According to Unisys, SmartCash products automatically and accurately count, verify, authenticate, sort, store and dispense currency throughout the daily transaction cycle. It includes one currency dispenser and two currency recyclers, each with capabilities to suit a variety of banking environments.
Advanceit Financial Corp., Canada's largest merchant cash advance organization, signed data share agreements with over 70 percent of the Canadian debit and credit card processing market.
Some of those processors include Moneris Solutions Corp., Global Payments Inc., Collective POS Ltd., Federated Payments Canada Corp., Monex Express POS Solutions Group and POS West Ltd.
Receiving merchant data directly from processors mean Advanceit merchants won't need to switch processors or bank accounts to obtain cash advances.
This partnership is also designed to allow payment processors to generate incremental revenue from their existing base and increase merchant retention with active cash advance capabilities.
Processor Adventity Inc. and FMT Worldwide Pty Ltd., a front-end Web application developer, formed an alliance for end-to-end managed service solutions to combat card not present Internet fraud.
According to APACS, the UK payments association, UK card not present fraud losses increased 37 percent in 2007 and accounted for more than half of all card fraud losses.
In an effort to grow its credit card portfolio, Emery Federal Credit Union moved its $5.8 million card program to TNB Card Services, a division of Town North Bank N.A.
Through this alliance, Emery will consolidate its two credit card processors into one, enabling Emery to establish new pricing so its card products can compete with national issuers.
Emery will also offer its cardholders a customized loyalty program through Rewards2U, TNB's rewards program. The credit union is evaluating other card options as well, such as the MasterCard Family Account and the MasterCard Business Card.
Global Payments Inc. and Spokane, Wash.-based ISO The CashLINQ Group, extended their long-term relationship for payment processing services.
Through this new multiyear agreement, Global Payments will continue to provide CashLINQ with payment card authorization and settlement services and customized merchant support services for CashLINQ's expanding market base.
Heartland Payment Systems Inc. teamed up with the Identification Systems Group (ISG), a supplier of ID card issuing systems for U.S. colleges and universities, to bring Heartland's campus card programs - provided through its Campus Solutions division - to institutions of higher learning nationwide.
ISG will offer its clients Heartland's OneCard System. OneCard accommodates all aspects of card technology, including student, faculty and staff ID; dining; access control; security; vending; print control; recreation and event management; equipment rental; parking; voting; and activity verification.
RapidAdvance LLC, merchant cash advance provider in the United States, Canada and the UK, partnered with processor Humboldt Merchant Services LP to assist its customers with merchant cash advances. The companies will supply small and mid-sized business customers with working capital so they can expand their businesses, purchase new inventory or reduce other financial obligations.
EPayments Corp., an electronic payment processing and support services company, purchased Hastings, Minn.-based ACH Technologies Inc. EPayments will assume control of ACH Tech and manage the company's check recovery accounts from Denver. The move will also allow ePayments to offer additional services to the newly acquired accounts, including credit card processing and electronic check conversion.
In an effort to increase its footprint in the southeastern United States, Moneris Solutions Corp., Canada's largest processor, is adding Alabama National Bancorp. (ANB) to its portfolio.
Financial details were not disclosed. Moneris' acquisition includes 103 banking centers in Alabama, Florida and Georgia, as well as ANB's merchant portfolio.
Atlanta-based Veracity Payment Solutions Inc. acquired PinnaclePay Merchant Services' merchant portfolio to increase Veracity's merchant base and expand sales distribution networks.
Cindy Stewart, President of PinnaclePay, said, "Together we can expand our industry-leading service offerings more rapidly, utilize scale to maintain competitive rates, and introduce new and innovative products. I am thrilled to be a part of the Veracity team."
Wright Express Corp., processor for the North American fleet industry, agreed to acquire the assets of Financial Automation Ltd., a New Zealand-based fuel card processing solutions processor, for approximately $9 million. The transaction is expected to close during the third quarter 2008.
Merchant service provider Nxgen Payment Services Canada Corp. named Eliza Kauder its Director of Financial Institutions.
Kauder will oversee marketing operations pertaining to the agent bank and credit union vertical marketplace in the United States and Canada.
Purepay, an acquirer and operator of payment companies with locations in Tennessee, Wisconsin and Miss-issippi, hired Jane Keller as Vice President - Strategy for the Electronic Payments Division. Keller takes over a division that processes over 1 million return items annually.
Futura Card Services, a division of Stored Value Cards, Inc. and distributor of prepaid cards to the retail and enterprise channels, named Keven Lake as its new Chief Executive Officer and President. Lake reports directly to Stored Value Card's board of directors.
ExaDigm tacks on two
ExaDigm Inc. appointed Tim McWeeney, a member of The Green Sheet's advisory board, as Vice President, North American Sales, and Chase Oelkers as Vice President, Major Account Sales. McWeeney and Oelkers bring extensive senior level sales management and business development experience to ExaDigm.
Postilion, a self-service banking company and payment processor, named Doug Parr as General Manager of Postilion's payment business in the Americas.
Parr brings more than 25 years of financial services technology experience to Postilion, a division of S1 Corp. Previously, Parr served as Senior Vice President, Americas, at ACI Worldwide Inc.
Comdata Corp. promoted Keela Wofford to Senior Vice President, Financial Services. Wofford will manage the sales and operations aspects of Comdata's receivables financing portfolio. Wofford joined Comdata in 1993 and brings 15 years of marketing, sales and customer relations experience with her.
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