Monday, March 28, 2011

Google Teams with MasterCard and Citigroup on NFC Mobile Payments

From CNET:  Google is partnering with MasterCard and Citigroup to deliver a mobile-payment service to Android smartphones, according to a report. Citing anonymous sources, The Wall Street Journal reports that Google will allow people with debit and credit cards from the two financial giants to turn on an app and pay for a purchase from their smartphones. At no point would they need to take those cards out of their wallets to make a purchase.  The Nexus S Android phone is equipped with NFC abilities.  Google plans to launch the program later this year, according to today's WSJ article.

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Visa Adds Another $400 Million into Litigation Escrow Account

Visa Inc. Announces Decision to (Additionally) Fund Litigation Escrow Account (Put in $700 million in June 2009)

SAN FRANCISCOMarch 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) today announced that the Company had decided to deposit $400 million into the litigation escrow account previously established under the Company's retrospective responsibility plan (the "Plan"). The deposit will be conducted in accordance with the Company's certificate of incorporation currently in effect. Under the terms of the Plan, when the Company funds the litigation escrow, its U.S. financial institutions and their affiliates and successors, the sole holders of class B shares, bear a corresponding financial impact via a reduction in their as-converted share count. As a result, the deposit will have the effect of a repurchase by the Company of $400 million of class A common stock on an as-converted basis. Accordingly, the Company will make this deposit by using funds previously allocated to the $1 billion class A repurchase program announced on October 27, 2010.

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Consumer Comfort in U.S. Falls to Seven-Month Low on Gas Prices

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index Was Minus 48.9 in the Period to March 20
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Consumer confidence in the U.S. fell last week to the lowest level since August as more Americans became despondent over the economy.

The highest gasoline prices in more than two years weighed on families already dealing with rising grocery bills. The report showed confidence among households with annual incomes exceeding $50,000 fell to the lowest level since March 2010, representing a risk to consumer spending, the biggest part of the U.S. economy.The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index dropped to minus 48.9 in the period to March 20 from minus 48.5 the prior week. The measure of the current state of the economy slumped to a 15-month low.
For full CCI results, see:
“Given the rise in fuel and food costs, households are clearly indicating frustration over the need to reduce discretionary spending to meet demand for basic necessities,” said Joseph Brusuelas, a senior economist at Bloomberg LP in New York. “Even better-off households are feeling the pinch of rising prices, primarily at the pump.”
A report from the Labor Department today showed the number of Americans applying for unemployment insurance fell last week. Orders for U.S. durable goods, meant to last at least three years, decreased in February, according to figures released by the Commerce Department.
Stocks rose on optimism European leaders will be able to find a solution to the region’s debt crisis. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index increased 0.3 percent to 1,301.5 at 9:40 a.m. in New York.
The Bloomberg Comfort Index, with records dating back to December 1985, fell to a record low of minus 54 in November 2008, while the peak of 38 was reached in January 2000. Readings averaged minus 45.7 last year.
The latest results for the comfort index reflected worsening results for one of the three components.
A gauge of Americans’ views of the economy fell to minus 86 last week, the lowest level since December 2009, from minus 80.3 the prior week. The share of households with a positive view of the economy dropped to 7 percent from 10 percent.
The measure of personal finances improved to minus 5.5 last week from minus 7.7, the report showed. Forty-seven percent of those polled held positive views on their financial situation, up from 46 percent the previous week.
The buying-climate index rose to minus 55.1 from minus 57.4. Those saying it was a good time to buy needed items climbed to 23 percent from 21 percent.
Today’s report showed the strengthening labor market is doing little to lift consumers’ moods. The confidence index for Americans with full-time jobs fell to minus 38.4 last week, the lowest level since August, while it improved for those who were unemployed.
Jobless claims declined by 5,000 to 382,000 in the week ended March 19, Labor Department figures showed today, in line with the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The total number of people receiving benefits dropped to the lowest level in almost three years.
Sentiment among women dropped last week to the lowest level since October 2009, the comfort report also showed.
Although elevated, little change in fuel costs last week may have prevented the comfort index from dropping even more.
The average price of regular gasoline at the pump was $3.55 a gallon on March 20, compared with $3.56 a week earlier, the highest since October 2008, according to AAA, the nation’s biggest motoring organization. The price jumped 39 cents in the three weeks ended March 13.
“Consumer confidence paused this week after a two-week rout, continuing to march in time with the price of a gallon of gasoline,” Gary Langer, president of Langer Research Associates LLC in New York, which compiles the index for Bloomberg, said in a statement. At the same time, the index is “uncomfortably near its historic low” of minus 54, he said.
Gasoline prices and the comfort index have shown a strong inverse correlation since 2004, according to calculations by Bloomberg economist Brusuelas. Additionally, changes in the four-week average of claims for jobless benefits have been in sync with the comfort gauge about 72 percent of the time.
Americans are paying more for staple food items like cereal, and costs may climb further in the next few months.
“In recent months we have announced a variety of pricing actions across our businesses,” Ken Powell, chief executive officer of General Mills Inc., the maker of Cheerios, said yesterday on a conference call. “Food manufacturers are managing through a period of rising and volatile costs for food ingredients and energy.”
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index is based on responses to telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,000 consumers aged 18 and over. Each week, 250 respondents are asked for their views on the economy, personal finances and buying climate; the percentage of negative responses is subtracted from the share of positive views and divided by three. The most recent reading is based on the average of responses over the previous four weeks.
The comfort index can range from 100, indicating every participant in the survey had a positive response to all three components, to minus 100, signaling all views were negative. The margin of error for the headline reading is 3 percentage points.
The responses are broken down by participants’ sex, age, income level, race, region of residence, political affiliation, marital and employment status.
Field work for the index is done by SSRS/Social Science Research Solutions in Media, Pennsylvania.


Bloomberg LP
Meghan Womack
+1 212-617-8514

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Discover® Small Business WatchSM: Most Small Business Owners Still Looking for Recovery Signs

Economic Confidence Drops as More See U.S. Economy Getting Worse
LONGER RECOVERY: 45% of Owners Whose Profitability Suffered in Downturn Don’t Expect Sustained Recovery for Another Year; Two-Thirds of All Owners Likely to Tap Personal Assets
GAS PRICES: 76% Say Rising Fuel Prices Affect Profitability
RIVERWOODS, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--If the overall economy is improving in 2011, small business owners aren’t feeling it. Their outlook on the direction of the economy and the climate for their particular businesses has been in decline since January, and more than half of them have rated the economy as poor for 19 consecutive months, according to the March Discover® Small Business WatchSM. The monthly barometer of economic confidence dropped to 86.5 in March, down from 90.2 in February.
“Nearly a third of small business owners told us they have contemplated going out of business sometime during the past two months, which is up from spring of 2008.”
“Our surveys have shown that the economic events of the recent past have hit small businesses hard, and many are still struggling to sustain an individual recovery of their own,” said Ryan Scully, director of Discover’s business credit card. “Nearly a third of small business owners told us they have contemplated going out of business sometime during the past two months, which is up from spring of 2008.”
March Confidence Indicators
  • 54 percent of small business owners said the U.S. economy is getting worse, up from 41 percent in February and the highest since September 2010; 27 percent of small business owners said conditions are improving, down from 34 percent; and 15 percent said conditions are the same, down from 20 percent in February.
  • Small business owners’ outlook for their own businesses over the next six months also declined: 42 percent say conditions are getting worse, up from 40 percent in February; 30 percent say conditions are getting better, down from 33 percent; and 24 percent say conditions are the same, down from 25 percent.
  • 56 percent rate the current U.S. economy as poor, equal to February; 35 percent rate it fair, up from 32 percent; 6 percent rate it good, down from 7 percent; and 3 percent rate it excellent, unchanged from the prior month.
  • On the upside, fewer small business owners report temporary cash flow issues. Over the past 90 days, 52 percent of small business owners reported no temporary cash flow issues that affected their ability to pay bills on time, up from 46 percent in February; 43 percent of small business owners reported having cash flow issues, down from 50 percent.
  • 29 percent of small business owners plan to increase spending on business development in the next six month, up from 28 percent in February; 40 percent will decrease spending, down from 41 percent last month; and 27 percent say they will make no changes, down from 30 percent last month.
Profitability Hurt by Downturn, 14% May Never Recover
Seventy-seven percent of small business owners said their profitability was hurt by the economic climate of the past three years, and only 22 percent of that group has experienced a sustained recovery, while 57 percent have not, and 21 percent aren’t sure.
Among those who have not experienced a comeback for their businesses, 14 percent said they may never recover, 45 percent expect it to take more than a year, 16 percent say they will recover in six to 12 months, 10 percent predict three to six months and 7 percent are expecting a sustained recovery in the next three months. Only 1 percent said they are already experiencing recovery.
Two-thirds of small business owners, 66 percent, say it is very likely or somewhat likely that they will have to use personal assets in the next 12 months to stay in business, up from 61 percent who reported the same in October 2009.
The number of small business owners who extend credit to their customers has dropped: 27 percent said they extend credit, compared to 32 percent who extended credit in April 2008.
The news in March is slightly better for small business owners who extend credit: While 63 percent of small business owners now say customers have asked to delay a payment in the past three months, that number was up to 73 percent in April 2008.
Small Business Owners Feel Squeeze from Gas Prices
Seventy-six percent of small business owners say rising gasoline prices are affecting the profitability of their businesses. Of those, 90 percent say prices are having either a somewhat negative or very negative impact, which is on par with their sentiments in April 2008, when government statistics show that the national average for gasoline hovered near $3.42 per gallon.
See the full survey at
The views and opinions expressed by small business owners and consumers who participate in the Small Business Watch survey are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Discover Financial Services or its affiliates.
About the Small Business Watch
The Discover Small Business Watch is a monthly index measuring the relative economic confidence of U.S. small business owners who have less than five employees, a segment that consists of 22 million businesses producing more than a trillion dollars in annual receipts. The Watch is based on a national random survey of 750 small business owners. It is commissioned by Discover Business card, which strives to offer the best business credit card for American small businesses, and is conducted by Rasmussen Reports, LLC (, an independent survey research firm. The numeric index is calculated by assigning values to responses to a set of five consistent questions. The base value of the Watch was established at 100.0 based on surveys conducted in August 2006. In addition to generating the index, the Small Business Watch surveys small business owners every month on key issues, and polls 3,000 consumers four times per year to gauge purchasing behavior and attitudes towards small businesses. For past results and survey data, visit For information on Discover Business card,
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, visit


Jon Drummond
Jessica Douglas

MasterCard Incorporated to Host Conference Call on First-Quarter 2011 Financial Results

PURCHASE, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On Tuesday, May 3, 2011, MasterCard Incorporated (NYSE: MA) will release its first-quarter 2011 financial results. The company will host a conference call to discuss these results at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time.
The dial-in information for this call is 866-362-4832 (within the U.S.) and 617-597-5364 (outside the U.S.) and the passcode is 63290866. 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 7982810.
This call can also be accessed through the Investor Relations section of the company’s website at
About MasterCard Incorporated
As a leading global payments company, MasterCard Incorporated prides itself on being at the heart of commerce, helping to make life easier and more efficient for everyone, everywhere. MasterCard serves as a franchisor, processor and advisor to the payments industry, and makes commerce happen by providing a critical economic link among financial institutions, governments, businesses, merchants, and cardholders worldwide. In 2010, $2.7 trillion in gross dollar volume was generated on its products by consumers around the world. Powered by the MasterCard Worldwide Network – the fastest payment processing network in the world – MasterCard processes over 23 billion transactions each year and has the capacity to handle 160 million transactions per hour, with an average network response time of 130 milliseconds and with 99.99 percent reliability. MasterCard advances global commerce through its family of brands, including MasterCard®, Maestro®, and Cirrus®; its suite of core products such as credit, debit, and prepaid; and its innovative platforms and functionalities, such as MasterCard PayPass™ and MasterCard inControl®. MasterCard serves consumers, governments, and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. For more information, please visit us at


MasterCard Incorporated
Investor Relations:
Greg Boosin, 914-249-4565
Media Relations:
Chris Monteiro, 914-249-5826

MetaBank Says it Will Not Renew Bank Freedom (Prepaid Card Holdings) Contract

Prepaid Debit Card Company Bank Freedom Leaving MetaBank

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Bank Freedom, a wholly owned subsidiary of Prepaid Card Holdings, Inc. (Pink Sheets:PPDC), announced today that it is leaving MetaBank (NASDAQ:CASH). Bank Freedom intends to begin issuing its new prepaid cards through a new issuing Bank in May or June 2011 and phase out of MetaBank completely by November 2011.
MetaBank recently informed Bank Freedom that it is not going to renew the existing agreement between Meta and Bank Freedom which expires November 17, 2011."
“In 2010 we switched processors to reduce our processing costs. Our business model since inception has been to offer consumers innovative prepaid card programs with low pricing and robust features. By switching issuing banks we can further reduce our cardholder fees without decreasing our profit margins,” stated Bruce Berman, CEO of Bank Freedom.
Bank Freedom recently informed MetaBank that it had contracted with a new issuing bank for the Bank Freedom Prepaid Cards. MetaBank recently informed Bank Freedom that it is not going to renew the existing agreement between Meta and Bank Freedom which expires November 17, 2011.
About Prepaid Card Holdings, Inc.
Prepaid Card Holdings, Inc. is a provider of financial services in the prepaid debit card industry. The company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, offers prepaid debit cards to America’s estimated 60 million underbanked citizens. In addition to the underbanked consumer demographic, small and mid-size businesses have found a much needed product with the company’s Prepaid Business Expense Card Program. With the diminishing credit card markets, companies need a new way to fund employees’ expenses other than through traditional credit cards or cash reimbursements. For more information about Prepaid Card Holdings, Inc. visit

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American Express Company Plans Investor Conference Call Following the Launch of Serve

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Express Company (NYSE: AXP) said today that it plans to host a live audio webcast of its investor conference call today, March 28, 2011, at 11:00 am (EDT)during which Dan Schulman, President of Enterprise Growth will discuss the launch of Serve, a next generation digital platform which combines person to person, online, mobile, and traditional card capabilities into a single account. audio of the conference call will be accessible to the general public at A replay of the conference call will also be available that day at the same website address.
About American Express:
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more and connect with us on and

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American Express Serves Up Next Generation Digital Payment Platform

Serve Offers Person-to-Person, Online, Mobile, and Traditional Card Capabilities in a Single Account

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Express (NYSE: AXP) today unveiled ServeSM, a digital payment and commerce platform that gives consumers a new way to spend, send and receive money with services that go beyond the existing global payment networks.
Serve is an easy-to-use, digital alternative aimed at consumers who currently rely on cash, check and debit card. Serve accounts can be accessed via Serve Apple iOS and Android applications, at and through Facebook. Through Serve, American Express aims to expand into new segments of the market that do not rely on traditional charge and credit cards to manage their day-to-day finances.With Serve, consumers can make purchases and person-to-person (P2P) payments online (, via mobile phones, and at millions of merchants who accept American Express cards. Serve unifies multiple payment options into a single account that can be funded from a bank account, debit, credit or charge card, or by receiving money from another Serve account.
“Serve is a new type of payment platform that isn’t tied to a single card or mobile operating system. It’s a flexible, easy to use platform, which from day one brings tremendous assets to the alternative payments space and gives consumers an option to shop on-line and off-line at millions of merchants who accept American Express,” said Dan Schulman, Group President, Enterprise Growth, American Express.
“We intend to quickly evolve the Serve platform by adding new features and functionality as we learn from consumer and merchant experiences. To encourage a broad cross-section of people to experience the benefits and convenience of Serve, we are working with a range of partners to integrate Serve as a payment method and deliver customized offers, and we will waive most consumer fees for the next six months,” said Mr. Schulman.
How it worksConsumers set up an online account at or through a smartphone app. Funds can be added from bank accounts, debit cards, credit and charge cards, or other Serve accounts. Customers can use those accounts to send and receive money to friends, pay bills and make purchases online. Serve bridges online and offline commerce – each customer will be issued a Serve reloadable prepaid card linked to their Serve account that can be used at any merchant or ATM that accepts American Express cards.  Unlike traditional debit card accounts, Serve offers users the ability to easily create, manage, and specify sub-accounts for their friends, family members or colleagues. Sub-accounts are linked to the master account and allow users to set spending profiles for everything from children’s allowances to dog walker fees. The Serve platform evolved from technology obtained through the acquisition of Revolution Money in early 2010.
Serve is available immediately to anyone in the U.S. and is expected to launch into other international markets over the coming year. American Express will continue to evolve the features and functionality of Serve based on market feedback. To gain consumer and merchant insights about Serve and to help shape upcoming releases, a marketing pilot will also be conducted in Eugene, Oregon.
While payments are the foundation of the Serve platform, American Express is also announcing a number of partners who will use the platform to deliver relevant offers that drive spend and build loyalty. Three of the first partners are Ticketmaster®, Concur® and Flipswap.
“A cornerstone of the long-term vision for Serve is developing partnerships with commerce, gaming, entertainment, and social networking organizations,” said Mr. Schulman. Partnerships, with players such as Ticketmaster, Concur and Flipswap will introduce Serve to new customers and help build scale. These companies have loyal communities of customers, and we are thrilled to partner with them as we grow and expand Serve's reach.”
Ticketmaster will offer Serve as a platform for customers to make and collect payments toward ticket purchases from other customers. Concur will utilize Serve as an expense management and reimbursement method for transactions processed via Concur’s small business expense reporting service, Concur Breeze. Flipswap will utilize Serve to issue refunds more quickly to consumers who sell or trade in their old mobile and cell phones for reuse or recycling.
Details around these and a number of additional partnerships will be announced over the coming months.
Giving Back Widget
Serve is also partnering with five major charities – Autism Speaks, Best Friends Animal Society, Malaria No More, Save The Children and Stand Up For Kids – to enable each organization to raise funds via a donations widget. Widgets can be downloaded on and at, and shared on other Web sites, including Facebook, to encourage donations. Serve will match all contributions via the widget up to $100,000 for each charity.
In the coming months, Serve will offer selling widgets that give customers the ability to sell items through their own social networks.
Highly Competitive Fees Waived for Launch
Serve consumer fees will be highly competitive. There are only two fees for consumers and we are waiving the fee to put money into the Serve account for the next six (6) months. The two fees are:
  • Putting money into a Serve account: 2.9% + 30c/per load, discounted to 0% for cash, debit and ACH.
  • ATM cash withdrawal (after first one each month free): $2.00
Unlike some other products in the market, Serve has no fees to open an account, no monthly fees, no fees for P2P transactions, no fees to set up sub-accounts (up to four accounts) and no fees to use the widgets.
Merchants who accept American Express cards will pay a prepaid discount rate for transactions made both in stores and online with a Serve prepaid card.
Investor Conference Call – Live Audio Webcast
A conference call with members of the investment community will be held today March 28, 2011, at 11:00 am EDT. The call will be hosted by Dan Schulman, Group President, Enterprise Growth, American Express.
Live audio of the conference call will be accessible to the general public at A replay of the conference call will also be available at the same Web site address.
About Serve
Serve, by American Express, is a next generation payment platform designed to deliver emerging payments and services to address the changing ways consumers interact and exchange money -- with one another -- as well as merchants. Learn more at and connect with us on and
About American Express
American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more and connect with us on and
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-looking Statements
This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contain words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “optimistic,” “intend,” “plan,” “aim,” “will,” “may,” “should,” “could,” “would,” “likely,” and similar expressions. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they are made. The company undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements, include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • the willingness of consumers to use the Serve product, and in particular consumers that do not traditionally rely on charge and credit cards to manage their day-to-day finances, which will depend in part on their willingness to try the Serve product instead of competing payment products and their satisfaction with the operability, fee structure and other features of the Serve product;
  • the ability of the Company to add new features and functionality and ease of use to the Serve platform on an accelerated basis that reflect the needs and desires of consumers, merchants and other participants in the payments space, which will depend in part on the Company's ability to retrieve and effectively assess information from users and other parties on a real-time basis and then make the right judgments in how to build-out the existing Serve platform;
  • the success of the Company in developing relationships with partners, both in and outside the U.S., who will effectively integrate Serve as a payment method for their customers, which will be critical in facilitating the Company's ability to expand the scope and number of Serve users; and
  • technology trends that will impact the environment within which Serve operates and influence how the Serve product will have to evolve to remain compatible and competitive.
A further description of these uncertainties and other risks can be found in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, under Item 1A. Risk Factors and Cautionary Note Regarding Forward Looking Statements, and the Company’s other reports filed with the SEC.


Media Contacts:
Joanna Lambert, +1-212-640-9668 or +1-646-705-4671
Sarah Meron, +1-917-727-2430
Ron Stovall, +1-212-640-5574
Toby Willard, +1-212-640-1958

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Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council: Open Bank Card Payments, Convergence and NFC Are Priority Topics for 2011

PRINCETON JUNCTION, NJ--(Marketwire - March 24, 2011) -  Educating on the benefits of open bank card payments, as well as convergence of smart card-based ID and transit applications and NFC in transit is the focus for the upcoming year, the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council said today, also announcing the 2011/2012 officers and steering committee.
"The Transportation Council's goal is to be a solid, reliable resource for transit agencies of all sizes working on updating their fare collection systems," said Craig Roberts, Utah Transit Authority, and chair of the Transportation Council. "This is why we stay up-to-date and provide resources on what is happening today in the transit industry, such as current pilots and open bank card implementations. For 2011, we are also asking 'what's next,' answering the questions agencies have on new technologies and solutions and exploring the ways they can fit into their transit systems."
2010 was a busy year for the Transportation Council, with activities revolving around opportunities for transit agencies to collaborate with the financial bank card industry in accepting open contactless bank cards for fare payment. The Council held a successful Transportation Council members' summit in New York City in September, hosted by MTA NYC Transit, to discuss open contactless bank card payments for transit and learn from the pilot conducted by the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) with New York City Transit (NYCT), Port Authority New York New Jersey (PANYNJ) and NJ TRANSIT. Other accomplishments included an update to the white paper "A Guide to Prepaid Cards for Transit Agencies" for 2011, and the development of an open bank card payments for transit workshop that will be delivered in Miami on March 27th in cooperation with the APTA Fare Collection Workshop. 
For 2011, the Council will continue the focus on open bank card payments, while adding new projects that reflect the changing transportation and financial industries. This includes projects on convergence, including the possibilities for the convergence of smart card-based ID and transit applications and among transit, parking and toll payments, as well as projects on Near Field Communication (NFC) and the impact NFC is expected to have on transit. 
"In the last few years, the transit and payments industries have become more closely linked. With regulations in the United States facing changes, and new technologies like NFC emerging, it is a good time to seriously look at how these changes will affect the future of transit," said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Smart Card Alliance. "The Transportation Council can always be counted on to address and educate the industry on developing issues like these, so we can expect many additions to their extensive resources in 2011."
The 2011/2012 Transportation Council officers are:
  • Chair - Craig Roberts, Utah Transit Authority
  • Vice chair, transit - Gerald Kane, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA)
  • Vice chair, parking - Peter Burrows, Parkeon
  • Vice chair, transit - Mike Nash, ACS, A Xerox Company
The Council is managed by a steering committee that includes a broad spectrum of leaders from the transportation, financial services and smart card industries. Current steering committee members include:
  • Dave Blue, Cubic
  • Doug Deckert, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Mike Dinning, U.S. Dept. of Transportation/Volpe Center
  • Steve Frazzini, MTA NYC Transit
  • Margaret Free, Giesecke & Devrient
  • Greg Garback, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
  • Linh Huynh, INSIDE Secure
  • Paul Korczak, Korczak & Associates
  • Mike Meringer, VeriFone
  • Bob Merkert, SCM Microsystems
  • Eric Reese, Chicago Transit Authority
  • Martin Schroeder, American Public Transportation Association (APTA)
  • Brian Stein, Accenture
  • Faye Surrette, MasterCard Worldwide
  • Sandy Thaw, Visa Inc.
To download the white papers free of charge, and for more resources from the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council, visit
About the Smart Card Alliance Transportation CouncilThe Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council is focused on promoting the adoption of interoperable contactless smart card payment systems for transit and other transportation services. The Council is engaged in projects that support applications of smart card use. The overall goal of the Transportation Council is to help accelerate the deployment of standards-based smart card payment programs within the transportation industry.
About the Smart Card AllianceThe Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread application of smart card technology. 
Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought. The Alliance is the single industry voice for smart cards, leading industry discussion on the impact and value of smart cards in the U.S. and Latin America. For more information please visit
Contact:Deb Montner
Montner & Associates

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