Alliance creates major ATM
outsourcing opportunity for NCR

Opening the door to significant
outsourcing revenue, NCR Corporation has formed an alliance with
Co-op Financial Services (CFS), the US’ largest credit union
payments services organisation, to offer a comprehensive managed
ATM service to US credit unions.

Indicative of the potential the alliance
represents for the US financial services hardware vendor, CFS has
3,000 credit union members encompassing around 26 million
cardholders, 28,000 surcharge-free ATMs and 3,700 shared branch

Offering services such as ATM processing,
electronic funds transfers and credit and debit card processing,
CFS undertakes processes some 2 billion transactions annually.

Commenting on the alliance, CFS’s CEO Stan
Hollen said: “The partnership between NCR and Co-op Financial
Services is focused on helping credit unions increase operational
efficiencies and reduce the cost of support services associated
with maintaining an ATM network.”

The new service, branded as Co-op ATM Managed
Services, offers ATM terminal driving, implementation support, cash
management, terminal monitoring, IP data communication and the
options to add features like cheque imaging, content distribution
and other advanced ATM functionality.

NCR will handle ATM sales, deployment and
servicing as part of the service.


First American looks for
non-profit sector growth

Marking its entry into the
non-profit sector, US card payments processor First American
Payment Systems (FAPS) has acquired Canada-based International
Automated Transaction Service (IATS) from entertainment ticketing
specialist Ticketmaster Canada for an undisclosed sum.

Specialising in the processing of donations
made via credit card and direct debit, IATS provides payment
processing solutions to about 9,000 non-profit organisations in
Canada, the US, the UK, Europe, Australia, Hong Kong and New

Commenting on the acquisition, FAPS’ chairman
and CEO Neil Randel stressed that it provided a “tremendous
opportunity for growth.”

Randal predicted that in the US where donors
make almost 80 percent of payments – totalling $307 billion
annually – by cheque, there will be a shift towards the use of
credit cards and debit payments.

Based in Forth Worth, Texas, FAPS provides
payment processing services to about 100,000 merchants in the


VeriFone goes for growth in
electronic payments-linked advertising

A pioneer of electronic payments in
the taxi industry, VeriFone has announced plans to build on its
success by increasingly utilising onboard payment systems for
advertising purposes.

Explaining the rationale behind the strategy,
Douglas Bergeron, VeriFones’ CEO, said: “The payment experience
provides a unique opportunity to reach a variety of audience
segments, such as premium business travelers heading to and from an
airport, utilising large, interactive colour displays that are in
front of the consumer for a considerable period.”

Taxis and other specialised POS venues
automatically segment audiences to provide “highly desirable
advertising efficiency” he added.

The US-based company provides advertising
opportunities on a number of its taxi payment systems in New York
City and intends to broaden this to include taxi advertising
nationwide, as well as beginning a major initiative introducing
other payment-enabled media opportunities.

Separately, VeriFone announced a licensing
agreement with a South African company, iMobilise Transportation
Systems (iMTS), for deployment of its taxi payment and media
solutions in South Africa.

iMTS anticipates installation of systems in
1,500 taxis in time for the 2010 World Soccer Cup in June 2010.

Systems to be deployed incorporate credit
card, chip and PIN-based debit and contactless payments.


End of the road for payments
processing high-flier in US

Established in 2004, Canopy
Financial shot to the forefront of the US’ health care and health
insurance electronic payments market, earning business publication
INC Magazine’s ranking as the country’s 12th-fastest growing
private company in 2009.

This growth ended in December 2009, when the
US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Canopy’s
co-founder and former chief operating officer, Jeremy Blackburn,
with defrauding investors in a $75 million private placement
offering and misappropriating investor funds.

Among numerous allegations, the SEC stated
that Blackburn provided investors with falsified financial
statements, a falsified bank statement and a falsified audit
opinion purported to be from financial services firm KPMG.

The SEC noted that the fraud came to light
when KPMG discovered that Canopy had been claiming that KPMG had
audited its 2007 and 2008 financial statements.

Canopy’s services included HealthDirect, an
account management and electronic payment platform for banks, and
CareGain, a solution for health plans and administrators to, among
others functions, manage accounts and electronic payments.

Canopy’s products incorporated online bill
payment, automated clearing house processing and card management

Canopy is now in the process of being


Western Union expands online

Expanding the availability of its
internet-based money services, Western Union has launched
transactional websites in Belgium and Portugal.

This bring the number of countries in which
the money transfer specialist now offers online services to 18.

“The Western Union dotcom business is a
high-growth and profitable channel,” commented Gail Galuppo,
executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, Western

“Our international sites posted 40 percent
transaction growth in the third quarter of 2009.”

Countries in which Western Union’s online
service is available are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New
Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the US.
Payouts of online money transfers are undertaken by Western Union’s
400,000 Western Union Agent locations in some 200 countries and


CT-Payment increases its
Canadian footprint

Telus, Canada’s second-largest
telecommunications company, is exiting the payments processing
market with the sale of its Assure Pay debit and credit card
processing business to CT-Payment.

For CT-Payment, the payments processing unit
of Canadian property tax management company Central Tax, the deal
brings capabilities in new markets including all major credit
cards, fleet cards and the travel and entertainment sectors.

The deal will increase CT-Payment’s annual
processing volume to about 110 million transactions.

“This acquisition is consistent with our
strategy and makes us the largest third-party payment processor
with actual connections to all Canadian acquirers,” said
CT-Payment’s CEO Denis Savard.

The acquisition of Assure Pay for an
undisclosed sum was financed by CT-Payment’s major financial
backer, The Solidarity Fund QFL, a Quebec-based non-profit
organisation focused on investment in small and medium-sized

Financial backing was also provided by
Quebec-based development agency Investissement and National Bank of

CT-Payment was established in March 2009
following Central Tax’s acquisition of Canadian business process
services company CGI Group’s internet-based credit and debit card
processing unit, which has as its primary customer the Quebec
Ministry of Finance.


Travelex aims to let travelers
pay by mobile

UK foreign exchange specialist
Travelex will soon be offering customers an alternative to paper
travelers cheques and its prepaid travel card, Cash Passport – the
mobile phone.

The alternative – to be developed by UK mobile
banking and payments technology vendor Monitise – will be
downloadable to a Cash Passport cardholder’s handset, allowing them
to check balances, reload the card over the air and set up balance

“Mobilising our Cash Passport is a landmark
product development step for us,” commented Mark Horgan, MD of
cards and mobile payments at Travelex.

“The prepaid travel card market is growing
fast, it is essential that we innovate and bring new value-added
services to our cardholders.”

Travelex has some 1.75 million Cash Passport


Barclays card for budget-minded

Barclays Bank unit Barclaycard’s
ambitious contactless payments strategy in the UK has taken another
step forward with the launch of the Orange credit card in a joint
initiative with mobile network operator Orange.

Enabling contactless payments for purchases up
to £10 ($16) each, the card also offers services for
budget-conscious users delivered via mobile short message service

As standard features, SMSs alert card users
weekly about their balance, limit and credit remaining and monthly
about payments due and received.

Customers can also set SMS alerts and blocks
on card spending online, abroad or for high-value transactions, set
a weekly or monthly budget and set alerts when the budget is
reached or automatically decline transactions if the budget is


Gemalto ramps up mobile
payments reach

Consolidating a long-standing
relationship, Gemalto has acquired a majority stake in Netsize and
an option to acquire the French mobile payments specialist outright
at a later stage.

No financial details of the deal – which
increases the Dutch payments technology vendor’s stake from the 24
percent it has held since 2001 – were disclosed.

Founded in 1998, Netsize offers mobile payment
solutions based on operator billing through, for example, premium
short message services for 100 mobile operators, reaching over 1
billion billable subscribers in 28 countries.

Commenting on the transaction, Netsize’s
founder and CEO Stanislas Chesnais said the capital injection from
Gemalto will facilitate expansion into new markets such Latin
America, Africa and South-East Asia.

Chesnais will stay on as CEO of Netsize, which
will operate as stand-alone company within the Gemalto group.


Luup aims to link UAE and

Following hard on the heels of the
launch of its Mobile Salary Disbursement solution in the Middle
East in December 2009, Norwegian mobile payments technology
developer Luup International has announced plans to establish a
mobile phone-based remittance service between the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) and Indonesia.

Partnering with Luup is Koinstar Dhasatra
Indonesia Remittance, an Indonesia-based company with a network of
120 banks and 5,000 post offices around the country. In Luup’s
sights as users of its planned service are some 300,000 Indonesians
living in the UAE.

Luup’s first involvement in the UAE came in
July 2009 when it was awarded a contract by the National Bank of
Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s largest bank, to establish a mobile money
transfer service across the bank’s network spanning nine


First Data powers into Indian

Providing it with a major strategic
position in India’s merchant acquiring market, First Data has
teamed up with ICICI Bank, India’s second-largest bank, to
establish ICICI Merchant Services, a merchant acquiring joint
venture (JV) which has absorbed ICICI Bank’s merchant acquiring

Though financial details of the deal were not
announced, Indian newspaper The Economic Times reported that First
Data paid $80 million for an 81 percent stake in the JV.

Commenting on the formation of ICICI Merchant
Services, David Yates, president of First Data’s international
business, said: “This new alliance gives us the scale and presence
that we can build from, with a highly-regarded partner.”

With some 150,000 merchants ICICI Bank’s
portfolio is one of India’s largest, representing about 30 percent
of the country’s merchant acquiring market.


Deal gives Temenos a major
boost in France

In its largest acquisition ever,
Swiss core banking systems vendor Temenos has acquired rival French
company Viveo Group for $81 million in cash. The deal, which
Temenos anticipates will be “strongly accretive” to its earnings
from 2010, is being financed by existing debt facilities.

“Viveo brings a large, very high-quality
customer base, deep domain expertise in sales and development, as
well as market-leading complementary products,” commented Temenos’
CEO Andreas Andreades.

Viveo comes with an impressive 400-strong
customer-base in France including banks such as BNP Paribas, Caisse
d’Epargne, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, Banques Populaires
and La Compagnie Financière Edmond de Rothschild. Viveo also serves
another 350 financial institutions in 35 countries.

In addition to core banking solutions, Viveo
provides solutions for payments, compliance, securities and
anti-money laundering.

According to Temenos, Viveo’s anti-money
laundering and payments products in particular are “highly prized”
and used globally by Tier 1 banks.

Indicative of the scale of the acquisition
from Temenos’ perspective, Viveo reported turnover of $66 million
in 2008 while Temenos reported turnover of $407 million.