Friday, February 5, 2010

Ex-BofA Chief Ken Lewis Charged with Fraud

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 15:  Bank of America CEO ...

Ex-BofA chief Lewis charged with fraud

By David Ellis, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said Thursday it was bringing civil charges against senior Bank of America executives, including former company CEO Ken Lewis, for their role in the company's controversial purchase of Merrill Lynch.

Separately, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it had struck a $150 million settlement agreement with BofA over its decision to pay billions of dollars in bonuses to former Merrill employees.

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Visa Europe to Invest $273 Million in Development of Contactless Payments by Card and Mobile

Visa Europe has announced plans to spend more than $273 million on R&D for contactless payments via card and mobile device, according to

The announcement was made by Marc O’Brien, Visa Europe’s head of UK and Ireland, during a visit to Dublin to market contactless cards and NFC payment to Irish banks.

According to O’Brien, Visa spent €800 million over the last five years on R&D, out of which €170 million went into chip and PIN.

“[Visa Europe] envisages spending a further €200 million on R&D into low-value contactless payments by card and mobile device,” O’Brien added.

Irish banks Ulster and Halifax have already begun issuing contactless Visa Debit cards, with more to follow as the investment comes to fruition.

Looking to the future, O'Brien said Visa is hard at work researching and developing new ways for people to pay and one of the areas being given serious consideration is contactless payments via mobile phones using near field communication (NFC). 

"M-commerce is a strategic priority," says Visa Europe's head of UK and Ireland, "we are working and talking with all the mobile operators and handset manufacturers to develop standards for payment on mobile phones."

O'Brien says Visa spent €800 million over the last five years on R&D, out of which €170 million went into chip and PIN. "We envisage spending a further €200 million on R&D into low-value contactless payments by card and mobile device."

Read more here.

Featured Post: How Dangerous is Online Banking?...asks MSN Money

I have blogged about the inherent dangers of online banking for some time now. Here is a great article from MSN Money wondering just exactly...

How Dangerous is Online Banking?

By Carolyn Salazar, MSN Money

Joe Lopez will never forget the day he checked his Bank of America account online and realized that more than $90,000 had vanished.

Months before, the Miami business owner had stopped making weekly visits to his local branch, opting instead to conduct his financial transactions entirely over the Internet.

"I absolutely thought it was safe," Lopez said. "And it was convenient."

What he didn't realize were the risks.

A malicious virus had infected his computer and, in a matter of minutes, captured his user name and password -- allowing a hacker to transfer $90,348 to a rogue overseas account.

Lopez got most of his money back months later, after a federal investigation and, eventually, a lawsuit. But his experience taught him the hard way, he says, what many experts have concluded: "Online banking is a danger."

Since its debut just a decade ago, online banking has become one of the fastest-growing Internet activities. Roughly 43% of people who use the Internet, or about 63 million Americans, do some banking there, according to a 2006 survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project -- even more than make travel reservations online.

But that growing popularity has also brought increasing anxiety over whether something as private and personal as a bank account can be fully protected in the relatively unregulated and unpoliced world of the Internet.

"It's pretty hard not to do online banking because it is so convenient, and people want convenience," said Atul Prakash, a University of Michigan researcher who conducted a study on the risks of Internet banking. "Nevertheless, there are reasons to worry."

Mia Jozwick, a student at Wagner College in New York City, was duped by a “phishing” e-mail made to look like a message from her bank. Thinking it was an important financial notification, Jozwick responded by firing off her user name and password; she learned it was a scam only after someone emptied her account.

To make matters worse: Thieves were also able to steal her identity, because her password was her Social Security number. It took her a year and help from Identity Theft 911, a service agency, to unravel the mess she found herself in.

"It was a nightmare," she said.

Since the birth of electronic commerce, financial institutions have stepped up online security measures to try to make the process less vulnerable to attacks.

Some have spent millions (on band-aids) adding more layers of authentication, toughening encryption schemes and going after and shutting down bogus bank sites.

But that hasn't stopped hackers, who continue to look for ways to exploit security gaps.

Among the most popular attacks are phishing schemes that duplicate bank Web sites and ask customers to log on to their accounts. Others send e-mails, purportedly from bank employees, asking for sensitive financial information. Often the two work in tandem, with an e-mail containing a link that directs recipients to a bogus bank site. Both scams are designed to steal user IDs and passwords as a customer types them in, giving a cyberthief access to the person's financial accounts.

Other cyberthieves embed viruses, spyware or "Trojan horses" -- programs that can give thieves unauthorized access to a computer by recording and sending out a user’s keystrokes.

These programs allow thieves to look over your virtual shoulder as you type in sensitive financial information. Within seconds, your savings and checking accounts, even your investments, could disappear.

How big a problem are we talking about? The numbers are tough to pin down: 

Experts say there are no reliable studies showing how much money is lost through online banking alone, primarily because banks themselves can't always pinpoint the source of how a crime occurred, whether on the Web or through an ATM. (Note: "from skimmers and hidden camera's")

But various reports offer hints at the magnitude. For instance, about $3.2 billion was lost to phishing attacks in 2007, according to a survey by Gartner, a technology research firm -- with about 3.6 million people losing money to these attacks over 12 months.

"It's a huge business," said Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, a spam-fighting security firm. "The scammers are literally making millions, and they can be based anywhere in the world."

And the attacks are increasing.

Take the so-called Sinowal Trojan, a virus that injects what seem like legitimate pages on someone's browser, then steals the user's log-in credentials. In probably one of the largest online banking breaches known to date, the virus has compromised 300,000 online bank accounts and about 250,000 credit and debit card accounts over the past three years, according to a study published in October by California's RSA FraudAction Research Lab -- with more than 100,000 online bank accounts hit in the past six months alone.

And there are thousands more Trojans out there, many of them specifically targeting online banking customers.

"There is definitely more risk than there was one or two years ago," said Avivah Litan, a Gartner analyst.

She said her clients have told her they've noticed the assaults have doubled in the past six months: "The attacks are so vociferous and manipulative that even the big banks can't stop them."

One World Ventures updates sponsor bank's approval status

Las Vegas, - One World Ventures, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: OWVI) 1World Card, a provider of prepaid cards, announced that its Sponsor Bank's bid for approval is considered to be in fast track status and expect to have approval within the next 30 to 45 days.

"This process has taken much longer than we initially anticipated," explained Mr. Stephen Prior, CEO of One World Ventures, Inc. "We are at their mercy, but we are excited to know that nothing is holding up the approval other than the process itself. This approval will represent a major milestone in bringing the 1World Card to the under-banked and under-served in the U.S. market, as we are doing in other parts of the world."

One World is currently implementing the three critical phases of the card/remittance process. The most significant is the technology and processing which One World has completed and will start testing in the next few weeks. The sponsor and settlement bank in the U.S. is the second most important. Lastly, the banking and money collection centers in the home countries round out the process.

One World has established relationships in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam and the Philippines. "We have moved forward with the retail side of the business in Hong Kong and the Philippines -- this is very significant. It has given us confidence in the technology component of virtual accounts and remittance," Prior said.

About One World Ventures, Inc.

One World Ventures, Inc. is a holding company with management resourced in Asia and the United States that invests in technologies, communities and systems that facilitate trade, finance, communication and travel across international boundaries, cultures and languages.

Source: Company press release.

Square Executives Dorsey, McKelvey to Keynote PAYMENTS 2010

Herndon, Va., Feb. 4, 2010 -- Twitter co-founder and Square CEO Jack Dorsey and Square chairman Jim McKelvey will be the keynote speakers at the opening general session of PAYMENTS, the annual conference of NACHA—The Electronic Payments Association. This session will take place at 9:15 a.m. Pacific on Monday, April 26, 2010, at the Washington State Trade and Convention Center in Seattle.

As the financial services industry starts investing again in innovation, the PAYMENTS conference provides unmatched access to and analysis of the newest developments in emerging technologies. Illustrating this point, the opening general session will offer an in-depth review of Square, the smart phone card terminal that allows individuals to accept credit card payments.

Dorsey and McKelvey will take questions from a panel of payments industry experts and respond to real-time tweets (Follow PAYMENTS at ). The speakers will share their insights on the Twitter phenomenon, Square, mobile payments, and what it will take to electronify the last mile.

The no-holds-barred approach to the session with expert panel interviews and audience-member tweets will ensure that the industry’s most pressing questions are answered.

“PAYMENTS educational sessions are designed to be on the cutting-edge of innovation, and it’s our goal for sessions to reflect the latest, most-discussed breakthroughs in the industry,” said conference chair Laura J. Listwan, AAP, CCM, senior vice president, U.S. Bank.

“Square certainly has generated a wave of supporters, skeptics, and critics alike, and in this keynote discussion, we’re providing an unparalleled opportunity to hear first-hand about the product from its creators and find out what it really means for payments.”

Square was born out of necessity and frustration, according to McKelvey. He could not sell a piece of his handcrafted glass artwork because he was unable to accept the customer’s preferred payment choice, and that lost transaction resulted in Square. The dialogue at the PAYMENTS opening session will provide insights into plans for the future of Square and the role it may play in the payments industry. This session also will be simulcast, allowing industry stakeholders worldwide to participate.

In addition to the opening session, PAYMENTS 2010 offers more than 125 educational sessions and workshops and features speakers from financial institutions, companies, government agencies, consulting and research firms, service providers, and more. Sessions are organized along seven tracks — Automated Clearing House (ACH), risk & compliance, payments biz, corporate payment solutions, check electronification, global focus, and card solutions.

Hot conference topics include ACH/check convergence, IAT and opportunities in international payments, mobile, P2P and B2B innovations, healthcare payments, social media and payments, prevailing risk management and security practices, and legal and regulatory developments.

To learn more about PAYMENTS 2010 sessions, workshops, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors, or to take advantage of early registration discounts, visit .

Source: Company press release.

Carrefour Selects Hypercom for Upgrade Program at 200+ Hypermarkets in France

World’s Second Largest Retailer Migrates to Hypercom Integrated Payment Solution

Scottdale AZ & Paris: Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) today announced that Carrefour, the largest retailer in Europe and second largest worldwide, will deploy Hypercom’s Wynid® server-based payment solution and more than 12,000 PIN Pads with EMV contactless readers at 210 of its French hypermarkets, as well as at all of Carrefour’s petrol stations in France.

The multi-million dollar agreement is believed to represent one of the world’s largest deployments of EMV contactless readers and represents a significant expansion to Hypercom’s existing business with Carrefour. The giant retailer already uses Hypercom’s Wynid secure payment solution at 15,000 cash registers in its Market, City and Contact stores.

“Hypercom clearly demonstrated its ability to deliver innovative, state-of-the-art payment technology that reduces this influential global retailer’s cost of accepting non-cash payment options and greatly improves operational efficiency. In parallel, the Hypercom solution gives Carrefour’s customers the ability to quickly and safely pay for their purchases,” said Philippe Tartavull, Chief Executive Officer and President, Hypercom Corporation.

“Carrefour’s migration to Hypercom technology significantly expands our regional footprint, boosts our market share in large retail environments globally and represents a major endorsement of our Wynid server-based payment solution by one of the most globally recognized and respected retail brands; it marks one of the largest deployments of EMV contactless readers worldwide,” said Kazem Aminaee, Managing Director, Hypercom Southern EMEA.

The Carrefour Group is the largest retailer in Europe, and the second largest worldwide, with more than 15,000 stores under banner in 33 countries and more than 490,000 employees.

The Group combines different store formats – hypermarkets, supermarkets, hard discount, convenience stores and cash & carry outlets – constantly adapting to its customers’ consumption patterns.

The Carrefour Group has selected Hypercom’s electronic payment solution for its hypermarkets in France. Country-wide deployment of the solution started in October 2009.

Additional product resources:

About Hypercom (

Global payment technology leader Hypercom Corporation delivers a full suite of high security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services. The Company's solutions address the high security electronic transaction needs of banks and other financial institutions, processors, large scale retailers, smaller merchants, quick service restaurants, and users in the transportation, petroleum, healthcare, prepaid, unattended and many other markets. Hypercom solutions enable businesses in more than 100 countries to securely expand their revenues and profits. Hypercom is a founding member of the Secure POS Vendor Alliance (SPVA) and is the second largest provider of electronic payment solutions and services in Western Europe and third largest provider globally.

Surcharge Proposed for Canadian Credit Card Payments

Dana Flavelle, a Business Reporter for The Star reports that a C.D.Howe report is recommending that Interac should be allowed to go for profit in order to better compete with Visa and MasterCard and that retailers should be allowed to surcharge credit/debit transactions.  

Paying cash may benefit consumers under surcharge plan

C. D. Howe report suggests fee be charged depending on type of payment

Retailers should be allowed to surcharge consumers based on the type of payment used, a study finds, saying it would be fairer to customers who pay with cash.

The C. D. Howe Institute also recommends that Canada's existing debit provider, Interac, be allowed to go for profit so it can compete more effectively with Visa and MasterCard as those two multinational giants enter Canada's debit market.

The study by the Toronto-based think-tank, released Thursday, comes as federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty continues to review stakeholders' comments on a proposed voluntary code of conduct for the debit and credit card industry.

The code would allow retailers to discount but not surcharge consumers depending on whether they presented cash or a card.

But some retailers and small business groups say they need the threat of surcharging card users to negotiate more reasonable fees with credit card processors.

Credit card companies and consumer groups oppose surcharging.
Continue Reading at The Star

Hillsborough Community College Launches Its First Campus Card Program with Heartland Payment Systems

Tampa students and merchants benefit from Heartland’s Give Something Back Network

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hillsborough Community College (HCC) has selected Heartland Payment Systems’ (NYSE: HPY) Campus SolutionsSM to develop and implement its first campus card program. The HCC Hawk Card program ― built on Heartland’s Campus OneCard platform and designed specifically to meet the school’s unique needs ― will provide students, faculty and staff with a quick, flexible tool to access a multitude of key services on- and off-campus.

“The Hawk Card also affords local Tampa merchants a unique opportunity to help grow their businesses and stimulate the local economy.”

The Hawk Card — HCC’s campus ID card — is required to print and make copies on-campus as well as access library services, parking facilities and HCC’s student living community, Hawks Landing.

As part of Heartland’s Give Something Back NetworkSM, the Hawk Card also serves as an FDIC-insured, prepaid card that enables cardholders to make purchases on-campus at the bookstores and dining locations, as well as off-campus at participating merchants. The Give Something Back Network is a growing, nationwide network that provides cardholders a convenient way to access services and purchase goods using one card. The Hawk Card will be accepted at many local merchants around campus ― including Bennigan’s, Subway, CVS and Channelside Cinemas ― and across the country.

“The Hawk Card will enhance the landscape of campus life at HCC. Having an all-in-one card program provides unprecedented convenience for cardholders and campus administrators alike,” said Fred Emery, vice president and general manager, Heartland Campus Solutions. “The Hawk Card also affords local Tampa merchants a unique opportunity to help grow their businesses and stimulate the local economy.”

Participating merchants pay a reduced fee for processing transactions made with the Hawk Card so they save on every transaction. They also benefit from unique advertising and merchandising materials to help drive foot traffic, as well as exclusive promotional opportunities to help encourage customer loyalty. Local Tampa businesses can join Heartland’s Give Something Back Network and sign up to accept the Hawk Card by visiting

With five campuses throughout the Tampa area, HCC will issue more than 30,000 Hawk Cards beginning Monday, February 8th, at the Dale Mabry campus. The program will be rolled out to the other four campuses over the following weeks.

About Hillsborough Community College

Hillsborough Community College is a public institution of higher education, with a mission to empower students to excel through its superior teaching and service in an innovative learning environment. Fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Hillsborough Community College has multiple locations in the Tampa Bay area in Florida. For more information, please visit

About Heartland Campus Solutions

Heartland Campus Solutions is changing the landscape for academic institutions nationwide with unique campus card programs, state-of-the-art access control/security systems and cost-effective payments processing. Heartland and the Give Something Back Network was recognized in 2008 by Card & Payments magazine as a pioneering payment solution and visionary approach to campus payment solutions. For more information, please visit

About Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE: HPY), the 5th largest payments processor in the United States, delivers credit/debit/prepaid card processing, payroll, check management and payments solutions to more than 250,000 business locations nationwide. Heartland is the founding supporter of The Merchant Bill of Rights, a public advocacy initiative that educates merchants about fair credit and debit card processing practices. For more information, please visit,, and

Mercator Report Evaluates Real Costs Associated with Merchant Acceptance of Debit Cards

The Economics of Debit Acquiring

Boston, MA - - February 4, 2010 - At the point that the paper-based payment card market began to become the electronic payments industry, point-of-sale payment acquirers had not predicted debit's current ascendency.

Even without the final full-year statistics for 2009, we can say with confidence that growth in debit card transaction numbers and dollar volume has outpaced credit.

The trend is sure to continue as cash and check payments at the point-of-sale are increasingly replaced by card transactions, as credit issuers dial down lending to existing accounts, and as credit-conscious consumers reign in borrowing.

Coupled with debit's growing share of consumer payments has been the rising cost associated with merchants' acceptance of debit instruments at their points-of-sale. Consumers' preference for using their PINs has also been growing faster than signature debit, deepening the impact on acquirers and merchants.

Mercator Advisory Group's The Economics of Debit Acquiring report provides an overview of the costs associated with enabling merchants to accept debit cards for payment. Evaluated are EFT network pricing trends and offer additional commentary regarding the implications of these trends for acquirers. This report presents an overview of U.S. market share for the top companies in payment acquiring, discuss ways in which share can be measured, and analyze PIN debit's role in skewing market share depending on which metric is used.

"Acquirers must eke out some profit margin from the amount they earn on interchange mark-ups - an already daunting task given the current level of merchant price sensitivity, but one that is all the more challenging on PIN debit because of the industry's propensity to rely on a flat fee for PIN debit processing," David Fish, Senior Analyst in Mercator Advisory Group's Debit Advisory Service and author of the report comments. "Since acquirers' core business is still heavily credit-dependent, shifts in business models will need to catch up with consumer behavior. Acquirers should essentially be attacking debit as a potential profit center as the market and regulatory environments surrounding bankcard payments encounter significant and potentially strengthening headwinds."

Highlights of
The Economics of Debit Acquiring report include:

  • Merchant acquirers have historically priced PIN debit with a flat fee to the merchant. The old paradigm needs to shift as EFT network pricing continues to rise and as PIN debit's average ticket also increases.

  • Signature debit pricing has held steady, but with Visa controlling about four-fifths of the market, competition from other networks for issuers likely means more rising costs.

  • Enterprising acquirers looking to exploit the shifting consumer payments mix should be casting a fresh eye on selling PIN debit acceptance services.

  • The July 2010 deadline for PCI PED compliance has created some opportunity for merchant acquirers - optimizing the opportunity requires a new, more flexible attitude toward PIN debit.

  • Acquirers' market share can vary greatly based on the dollar volume and number of PIN debit transactions they acquire.

This report is 18 pages long and has 10 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: American Express; Banc of America Merchant Services; Chase Paymentech; Citi Merchant Services; Discover; Elavon; Fifth Third; First Data; First National Merchant Solutions; FIS; Fiserv; Global Payments Inc.; Heartland Payment Systems; MasterCard; Metavante; RBS WorldPay; SunTrust Merchant Services; Visa; Wells Fargo Merchant Services.

Members of Mercator Advisory Group have access to these reports as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access and other membership benefits. Please visit us online at

For more information and media inquiries, please call Mercator Advisory Group's main line: (781) 419-1700 or send E-mail to

Heartland Payment Systems Announces Conference Call to Discuss Fourth Quarter 2009 Results

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE: HPY), a leading provider of credit/debit/prepaid card processing, payroll, check management and payments services, today announced that its results for the fourth quarter 2009 will be released before the market opens on Thursday, February 18, 2010. A copy of the earnings release will be available on the investor relations portion of the Company’s website at:

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Robert Carr and President & Chief Financial Officer Robert Baldwin will host a conference call beginning at 8:30 AM Eastern Time, Thursday, February 18, 2010, to discuss fourth quarter 2009 results and conduct a question and answer session.

Heartland Payment Systems invites all interested parties to listen to its conference call broadcast through a webcast on the Company’s website. To access the call, please visit the Investor Relations portion of the Company’s website at: The webcast will be archived on the Company’s website within two hours of the live call and will remain available through Tuesday, May 18, 2010.

You may also participate by calling (866) 431-2040 and providing the operator with PIN Number 9173947.

About Heartland Payment Systems

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (NYSE: HPY), the 5th largest payments processor in the United States, delivers credit/debit/prepaid card processing, payroll, check management and payments solutions to more than 250,000 business locations nationwide. Heartland is the founding supporter of The Merchant Bill of Rights, a public advocacy initiative that educates merchants about fair credit and debit card processing practices. For more information, please visit,, and

FIS Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Results

Reiterates 2010 Outlook for 17% to 23% Growth in Adjusted EPS

Fourth Quarter Highlights:

  • Adjusted EPS of $0.44

  • Adjusted revenue of $1.3 billion, up 2.7%

  • Adjusted EBITDA margin of 29.5%, up 240 basis points

  • Adjusted free cash flow of $237 million

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FIS (NYSE:FIS), a leading global provider of technology services to financial institutions, today reported financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2009. These results include three months of operations from Metavante Technologies, Inc., which FIS acquired on October 1, 2009. For comparative purposes, references to pro forma measures assume that the merger was completed on January 1, 2008 and reflect adjustments in a manner consistent with 2009 adjusted results.

Adjusted revenue (which excludes the $15 million negative impact to deferred revenue from purchase accounting) increased 2.7% to $1.316 billion in U.S. dollars in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to pro forma revenue of $1.281 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, and increased 0.4% in constant currency. Adjusted net earnings from continuing operations totaled $167.0 million, or $0.44 per diluted share. Adjusted EBITDA was $387.7 million, 11.5% higher as compared to $347.7 million in the prior year quarter. The adjusted EBITDA margin expanded 240 basis points to 29.5%, driven by improved operating performance across all reporting segments, including the benefit of acquisition related cost savings. Strong earnings, higher deferred revenues and a favorable impact from the timing and amount of tax payments drove strong improvement in adjusted free cash flow to $237 million in the quarter. On a GAAP basis, fourth quarter consolidated revenue totaled $1.301 billion. During the quarter, FIS recorded acquisition related after-tax costs totaling $82.2 million, or $0.22 per diluted share. Additionally, the company incurred $87.6 million, or $0.23 per share, in after-tax charges related to the write-down of previously acquired trademarks and other assets in conjunction with the combination of FIS and Metavante and the company’s comprehensive re-branding initiative. The deferred revenue adjustment impacted after-tax earnings by $9.8 million, or $0.03 per share. These combined charges, along with purchase price amortization on intangible assets acquired through various acquisitions, resulted in a net (loss) from continuing operations attributable to common stockholders of ($54.2 million), or( $0.14) per diluted share.

For the full year 2009, pro forma adjusted revenue decreased 0.8% to $5.052 billion in U.S. dollars compared to pro forma revenue of $5.092 billion in 2008, and increased 0.3% in constant currency. Pro forma adjusted EBITDA increased 9.7% to $1.428 billion, compared to pro forma adjusted EBITDA of $1.302 billion in the prior year, and the adjusted EBITDA margin expanded 270 basis points to 28.3% compared to 25.6% in 2008. On a GAAP basis, FIS reported consolidated revenue of $3.770 billion and net earnings from continuing operations attributable to common stockholders of $101.3 million, or $0.42 per diluted share.

“Despite the highly challenging economic environment, 2009 was a very successful year for our company,” stated FIS Chairman William P. Foley, II. “FIS generated excellent operating results and also completed the most significant acquisition in the company’s history. These achievements provide a strong foundation for our continued growth and success.”

FIS President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Martire added, “We are very pleased with the solid execution by our management team and employees around the world. We remain highly focused on serving the needs of our clients, and are encouraged by the pace of recent new customer wins. We are reaffirming our outlook for 17% to 23% growth in adjusted earnings per share in 2010, combined with strong margin expansion and increased cash flow.”

Acquisitions and Discontinued Operations

On October 1, 2009, FIS completed the acquisition of Metavante Technologies, Inc. The transaction was treated as a purchase and the results of Metavante are included in the consolidated results of FIS beginning October 1, 2009. For comparative purposes, in accordance with management’s desire to improve the understanding of the company’s operating performance, the supplemental information provided below assumes the merger was completed on January 1, 2008 and combines Metavante’s results with FIS’s historical results on a pro forma basis.

In addition, FIS completed the sale of its ClearPar automated syndicated loan trade settlement business on January 1, 2010. The results of ClearPar are reported as discontinued operations for all periods presented.

Supplemental Information

The following supplemental information is presented on an adjusted pro forma basis, which management believes provides more meaningful comparisons between the periods presented. Reconciliations of non-GAAP measures to related GAAP measures are provided in the attached schedules and in the Investor Relations section of the FIS Web site,

Consolidated fourth quarter revenue increased 2.7% to $1.316 billion in U.S. dollars, compared with $1.281 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008. Excluding a $29.3 million favorable foreign currency impact, consolidated revenue increased 0.4%.

  • Financial Solutions revenue declined 1.3% to $452.5 million compared to $458.4 million in the prior period, as increases in global commercial services revenue and software sales were more than offset by a reduction in professional services revenue.

  • Payment Solutions revenue declined 1.0% to $629.6 million compared to $635.9 million in the 2008 quarter as growth in debit and network solutions was more than offset by reduced termination fees and lower item processing, prepaid card and retail check activity.

  • International Solutions revenue increased 24.0% to $232.3 million in U.S. dollars, and 8.4% in constant currency compared to $187.3 million in the prior year quarter. Core processing revenue increased 6.4% driven by increased software sales and strong services revenue, while payments revenue increased 9.7% driven by organic account growth across all regions.

Adjusted EBITDA increased 11.5% to $387.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 compared to $347.7 million in the 2008 quarter. The adjusted EBITDA margin improved 240 basis points to 29.5% compared to 27.1% in the prior-year quarter, driven by the realization of acquisition related synergies and ongoing expense management across all operating segments.

  •  Financial Solutions EBITDA increased 0.6% to $197.6 million, while the margin improved 80 basis points to 43.7% compared to 42.9% in the prior year.

  • Payment Solutions EBITDA increased 0.3% to $219.0 million, and the margin increased 50 basis points to 34.8% compared to 34.3% in the prior year.

  • International EBITDA increased 90.2% to $63.9 million, which included a $5.3 million favorable currency impact. The EBITDA margin improved 960 basis points to 27.5% compared to 17.9% in the prior year due to increased software sales, improved operating leverage in payment and processing services and ongoing cost management activity.

The effective tax rate in the fourth quarter of 2009 was 36.0%

Balance Sheet

FIS had $430.9 million in cash and cash equivalents and total debt outstanding of $3.3 billion at December 31, 2009. The majority of FIS’s debt has been swapped to fixed interest rates. The effective interest rate was 3.6% at year end.

Capital expenditures totaled $66.8 million in the quarter, compared to $85.9 million in pro forma capital expenditures in the fourth quarter of 2008.

2010 Outlook

The company reiterated the following 2010 guidance provided at its December 7, 2009 analyst day:
  • 2% to 4% growth in adjusted revenues (1% to 3% growth in constant currency)

  • Adjusted EBITDA margin expansion of at least 300 basis points

  • Adjusted earnings per diluted share of $1.91 to $2.01, which is an increase of 17% to 23% compared to $1.63 in 2009

  • Adjusted free cash flow of more than $750 million.

Conference Call and Webcast

FIS will host a call with investors and analysts to discuss fourth quarter and full year 2009 results on Thursday, February 4, 2010 beginning at 5:00 p.m. Eastern daylight time. To register for the live event and to access a supplemental slide presentation, go to the Investor Relations section at and click on “Events and Multimedia.” A webcast replay will be available on FIS’ Investor Relations website, and a telephone replay will be available through February 18, 2010, by dialing 800-475-6701 (USA) or 320-365-3844 (International). The access code will be 141855. To access a PDF version of this release and accompanying financial tables, go to

About FIS

FIS delivers banking and payments technologies to more than 14,000 financial institutions and businesses in more than 100 countries worldwide. FIS provides financial institution core processing, and card issuer and transaction processing services, including the NYCE® Network. FIS maintains processing and technology relationships with 40 of the top 50 global banks, including nine of the top 10. FIS is a member of Standard and Poor's (S&P) 500® Index and consistently holds a leading ranking in the annual FinTech 100 rankings. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., FIS employs approximately 30,000 on a global basis. FIS is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the “FIS” ticker symbol. For more information about FIS see

Read the Entire Press Release

MasterCard Cracking Down Against Online Gambling

eGaming Review is reporting that MasterCard is cracking down on online gaming:

US-FACING operators have been hit by an overnight crackdown on online gambling payments by credit card giant Mastercard.

The US company is believed to have toughened its stance on the widespread practice of operators coding egaming transaction as other kinds of online commerce, which will all its US customers from using their cards to gamble online.

Rival US card giant Visa is rumoured to have taken a similar measure, although this could not be confirmed at the time of writing.

The action is a sign that banks and payment companies are preparing for implementation of America’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which bans the facilitation of online gambling by payment companies.

Continue Reading

iPhone Sales Nearly Double...Global Smartphone Market Grows 39%

Apple iPhone shipments nearly double compared to the same period last year

Global converged mobile device (smartphone) market grew 39% to a total of 54.5 million unit shipments in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared to 39.2 million units in the same quarter a year ago, according to IDC.

“Four of the top five vendors established new shipment records for a single quarter, indicating strong demand in the market”

According to IDC, Nokia gained the top spot with a market share of 38.2%. The company shipped 20.8 million units, an increase of 37.7% compared to 15.1 million units in the same period last year. Research In Motion stood at the second place with 10.7 million units shipments, accounting for a market share of 19.6%.

Apple iPhone shipments nearly doubled from the same quarter a year ago. Apple recorded highest growth of 97.7% year over year, with shipments reaching 8.7 million from 4.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2008. It gained the third spot with a market share of 16%. Motorola was the fourth best vendor for the quarter with 2.5 million units shipped, followed by HTC which shipped 2.4 million units.

For the full year 2009, vendors shipped a total of 174.2 million units in 2009, up 15.1% from the 151.4 million units in 2008. Converged mobile devices accounted for 15.4% of all mobile phones shipped in 2009, up slightly from 12.7% in 2008.  Here is the press release:

http://www.idc.comWorldwide Converged Mobile Device Market Grows 39.0% Year Over Year in Fourth Quarter, Says IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--The worldwide converged mobile device market (commonly referred to as smartphones) reached a new record level in a single quarter. According to IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, vendors shipped a total of 54.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2009 (4Q09), up 39.0% from the same quarter a year ago. For the full year, vendors shipped a total of 174.2 million units in 2009, up 15.1% from the 151.4 million units in 2008. Converged mobile devices accounted for 15.4% of all mobile phones shipped in 2009, up slightly from 12.7% in 2008.

"Four of the top five vendors established new shipment records for a single quarter, indicating strong demand in the market," said Ramon Llamas, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Devices Technology and Trends team. "Increasingly, mobile phone users are seeking greater utility from their devices beyond telephony and messaging, and converged mobile devices fulfill that need. To help address demand, carriers took advantage of lower prices on many older devices, ordering additional units and, in turn, offering reduced prices to end users. It was the perfect set of conditions to push shipments to a record level."

Market Outlook for 2010

IDC anticipates that ongoing demand will drive the worldwide converged mobile device market to a new shipment record in 2010, with additional impetus from the shifting landscape of mobile operating systems. "2009 was the coming-out party for Google's Android and Palm's webOS as both operating systems revealed new ways to surround the users with increased functionality," says Kevin Restivo, senior research analyst with IDC's Mobile Phone Tracker. "More advances are in store for 2010 as Symbian and Windows are expected to unveil new versions of their respective operating systems. These and other operating systems will compete with attention-grabbing intuitiveness and seamlessness, a thriving mobile application library, and a compelling user experience that tightly holds on to the user. In the end, users will benefit from not only greater usability, but greater personalization and customization as well."

Top Five Converged Mobile Device Vendors, 4Q09

Nokia ended the year the same way that it began: as the undisputed leader of converged mobile devices worldwide. Nokia's shift to bring more touchscreen-enabled smartphones to market began to pay off, as its 5800, N97, N97 mini, and 5530 models drove both revenue and profits. In addition, Nokia quickly pointed out the competitiveness of its Eseries devices. While these results signify important milestones for the company's converged mobile device unit, it should be pointed out that reduced prices on many older models helped drive unit growth.

Research In Motion topped the ten million unit mark for the first time in the company's history. New device launches, including the high-end Bold 9700, touchscreen-enabled Storm 2 9550, and the mass-market targeted 8520, deepened the company's product portfolio, and lower prices on its popular Curve and Pearl models - in some cases being given away for free with a two-year service agreement - propelled shipments further.

Apple's iconic iPhone added another chapter to its short history by nearly doubling its shipments from the same quarter a year ago. Demand for the Apple iPhone continued unabated during the holiday quarter, and agreements with multiple carriers within the same market enabled further distribution. The fourth quarter also saw the launch of the iPhone at one of the world's largest carriers: China Unicom.

Motorola returned to the top five vendor list after a year-long hiatus. The company fulfilled its promise of launching its first Android-powered devices before the end of the year, and earned a warm reception as combined shipments of its DROID at Verizon Wireless and the CLIQ/DEXT at multiple carriers reached two million units in their debut. Motorola still offered versions of its legacy devices, including versions of the Windows Mobile-powered Q and the Linux powered MING A1800, RAZR 2V8, and Tundra in multiple markets.

HTC launched a new marketing campaign in 4Q09 showing how 'you don't need a phone, you need a phone that gets you.' This approach speaks to how its multifaceted devices align with users' multifaceted lives. While it may be too early to gauge the success of the campaign, it does bring the company's brand to the forefront. HTC continues to enjoy the success of its deep touchscreen-enabled device portfolio, and added the Android-powered Eris and Hero to its growing Android selection.

Top Five Converged Mobile Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, Q4 2009 (Units in Millions)

4Q09 Unit

4Q09 Market

  4Q08 Unit

4Q08 Market


1. Nokia 20.8 38.2% 15.1 38.5% 37.7%
2. Research In Motion 10.7 19.6% 7.6 19.4% 40.8%
3. Apple 8.7 16.0% 4.4 11.2% 97.7%
4. Motorola 2.5 4.6% 1.6 4.1% 56.3%
5. HTC 2.4 4.4% 2.2 5.6% 9.1%
Others 9.4 17.2% 8.3 21.2% 13.3%
Total 54.5 100.0% 39.2 100.0% 39.0%

Top Five Converged Mobile Device Vendors, Shipments, and Market Share, 2009
(Units in Millions)

Vendor   2009 Unit

2009 Market

  2008 Unit

2008 Market


1. Nokia 67.7 38.9% 60.5 40.0% 11.9%
2. Research In Motion 34.5 19.8% 23.6 15.6% 46.2%
3. Apple 25.1 14.4% 13.8 9.1% 81.9%
4. HTC 8.1 4.6% 7.5 5.0% 8.0%
5. Samsung 5.7 3.3% 5.4 3.6% 5.6%
Others 33.1 19.0% 40.6 26.8% -18.5%
Total 174.2 100.0% 151.4 100.0% 15.1%

Source: IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, February 4, 2010

Note: Vendor shipments are branded shipments and exclude OEM sales for all vendors.

Mobile Phones – These small, battery-powered, voice-centric devices utilize operator-provided cellular/PCS air interfaces for voice communication. They are designed primarily, in both form factor and feature set, for a compelling mobile telephony experience, but may also include text-messaging capability. Mobile phones may include a headset jack for hands-free operation as well as a variety of features, such as personal information management, multimedia, games, or office applications. Mobile phones exist at all points along the form factor, price point, and feature set continua. Mobile phones that combine voice communications capabilities with pen or keypad handheld data features are tracked within the Converged Devices category.

For more information about IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine at 650-350-6423 or

About IDC

IDC is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,000 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries worldwide. For more than 46 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world's leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting

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