Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Visa and Better ATM Services® Debut First ATM-Dispensed Visa Gift Cards

Three Arizona Credit Unions Pilot First-of-its-Kind Gift Card Program
MESA, Ariz.--()--Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) and Better ATM Services® (www.betteratmservices.com), a technology innovator in the ATM industry, today announced the ability to dispense Visa Gift cards in addition to cash at existing ATMs, expanding the value and services delivered by ATMs. An in-market pilot program is currently underway offering Visa Gift cards at walk-up and drive-through ATMs in select locations throughout Arizona. Credit Union West, MariSol Federal Credit Union, and Pinal County Federal Credit Union are participating in the first pilot programs, and have already begun offering their members this quick and easy way to purchase Visa Gift cards.
“Our focus is on delivering value and convenience to our members who regularly purchase gift cards for special occasions”
“Our focus is on delivering value and convenience to our members who regularly purchase gift cards for special occasions,” said Robert W. MacGregor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Credit Union West. “We’re seeing gift cards become more popular as a way to give family and friends the opportunity to choose a gift they really want or need. Our relationship with Better ATM Services® and Visa is a terrific way to meet our customer’s needs, while increasing our line of value driven products and services.”
With this introduction, ATM menu screens now include a “Purchase Visa Gift Card” option and prompt to designate the value to load on each card. Cards are available with no activation fee in $25 denominations during the pilot. The new ATM-dispensed Visa Gift card is made of a durable yet thinner material, which allows cards to easily pass through the cash mechanisms of ATMs.
Mesa, Arizona-based Better ATM Services® is the technology innovator that conceived the groundbreaking, patented technology thatenables the secure and convenient sale of prepaid cards through ATMs. Better ATM Services® CEO Todd L. Nuttall said this is just the first step. “When ATMs were first introduced in the 1970s, consumers began a love affair with the very best in time and place convenient banking services and today we continue to expand those benefits through new innovations. We are working with ATM manufacturers, independent sales organizations, and financial institutions to make ATM-dispensed gift cards a common offering at ATMs throughout the country,” said Nuttall.
“Our participation in this pilot with Better ATM Services® and three Arizona credit unions is part of our ongoing commitment to supporting prepaid innovation and expanding access to Visa prepaid products; delivering value to our financial institution clients, consumers and merchants,” said Hyung Choi, Head of US Prepaid, Visa Inc.
According to Visa’s recent gift giving survey, 85 percent of U.S. consumers would appreciate receiving a branded gift card, like a Visa Gift card. More than eight in 10 consumers planned to give friends and family gift cards over the holiday shopping season, according to a survey by BIGresearch and the National Retail Federation (NRF). The study shows to date, gift cards are the most requested holiday gift – the fifth year in a row they have topped the list.
About Better ATM Services®:
Better ATM Services® (www.betteratmservices.com), a Mesa, Arizona-based company, supplies patented technology that enables an ATM to dispense gift cards and other prepaid media like currency. To find out more about this technology innovator, visitwww.betteratmservices.com or email pr@betteratmservices.com.

First Data Releases December 2011 SpendTrend®

Discounting Drove Consumer Spending Growth in December
ATLANTA--()--First Data Corporation, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing, today released its First Data SpendTrend® analysis for the full month of December 2011 compared to December 2010. SpendTrend tracks same-store consumer spending by credit, signature debit, PIN debit, EBT cards and checks at U.S. merchant locations.
“Consumer willingness to spend in December was based largely on the ability to find bargains and merchants utilized steep discounting to drive traffic”
Dollar volume growth on cards overall was a healthy 6.9% in December. However, strong auto sales, driven by low interest rates, likely diverted consumer spending to car sales from other retail areas. Auto sales are not captured in SpendTrend figures.
Overall year-over-year average tickets declined 0.1% in December, the first negative reading since January 2011. Merchants resorted to steep discounting to spur holiday traffic. Consumers responded favorably to bargain pricing, as overall transaction growth was up 7.0% in December. In particular, most retail merchant categories had higher sales growth in December versus November.
“Consumer willingness to spend in December was based largely on the ability to find bargains and merchants utilized steep discounting to drive traffic,” said Silvio Tavares, SVP and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions, which publishes SpendTrend.
Dec. Transaction Growth
Dec. Dollar Volume Growth
Signature Debit+7.0%Signature Debit+6.2%
PIN Debit+8.3%PIN Debit+7.9%
Note: All transactions are same-store growth.
For more information on First Data SpendTrend, visit www.firstdata.com/infoanalytics or call SpendTrend Customer Care at 800-430-0169. A supplementary podcast including further analysis of the SpendTrend December 2011 report is available here.
To participate in the SpendTrend conversation, please follow First Data at http://twitter.com/FirstData and join us athttp://on.fb.me/spendtrend.
Around the world, every second of every day, First Data makes payment transactions secure, fast and easy for merchants, financial institutions and their customers. First Data leverages its vast product portfolio and expertise to drive customer revenue and profitability. Whether the choice of payment is by debit or credit card, gift card, check or mobile phone, online or at the checkout counter, First Data takes every opportunity to go beyond the transaction.
First Data SpendTrend, a macro-economic indicator, is based on aggregate same-store sales activity in the First Data Point of Sale Network. First Data SpendTrend does not represent First Data’s financial performance.

TSYS Signs Payment Services Agreement with Pivotal Payments

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COLUMBUS, Ga.--()--TSYS (NYSE: TSS) announced today that it has signed an agreement with Pivotal Payments to serve as the preferred provider of authorization, settlement and dispute resolution services for the North America-based company. With more than 60,000 merchants and processing in excess of $10 billion in credit card payments annually, Pivotal Payments will leverage TSYS’ proven payment solutions to enable the capture of additional market share.
“Pivotal Payments has created one of the fastest growing and most successful organizations in the payments industry, and TSYS is set to be a catalyst to aid in its continued growth.”
“We are extremely excited to be Pivotal Payment’s preferred partner,” said Mark Pyke, president of TSYS Merchant Services. “Pivotal Payments has created one of the fastest growing and most successful organizations in the payments industry, and TSYS is set to be a catalyst to aid in its continued growth.”
“We are pleased and confident with our selection of TSYS as a preferred partner,” said Philip Fayer, president and chief executive officer, Pivotal Payments. “After a very thorough selection process, TSYS clearly rose to the top. Its reputation for unparalleled service, commitment to the TSYS ‘Customer Covenant’, and ability to execute were all key factors in our selection.”

Open, Says Me: Continental Turns Smartphones into Clever Car Keys

With modern information technology and intelligent networking, Continental showcases new comfort and service functions at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show

LAS VEGASJan. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumer Electronics Show -- As part of the industry megatrend of information, international automotive supplier Continental is focusing on a very special key experience at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Continental is showing how car drivers will be able to open and start their vehicles in future by using their cell phone. For this purpose, one of the market leaders in electronic vehicle access systems is developing a virtual car key integrated in a mobile phone that wirelessly swaps data with the chosen vehicle. This key within a cell phone also makes it possible to personalize vehicles and exchange information to an extent never before seen, and paves the way for new, intelligent mobility concepts. "The secret of success for new innovations in the automotive industry continues to be derived from ease of use, intuitive operation and a way of functioning that seems almost like magic. More and more often, the basis of these innovations is the ever tighter networking of the consumer electronics industry with the automotive industry, and the digital car key in the cell phone is an excellent example of just that," explains Helmut Matschi, Executive Board member of Continental AG and head of the Interior division. "Various information channels play an ever greater role in our lives, and Continental makes sure that, thanks to intelligent processing of information, drivers can concentrate on what's important – driving the car."
The technology for the key experience
The virtual cell phone car key hinges on a forge-proof data packet stored in encrypted format on the cell phone's SIM card. The actual access authorization is checked and exchanged between cell phone and vehicle via a wireless interface (Near Field Communication – NFC). The data is transmitted over a very short distance from a transmitter in the phone to a NFC reader in the vehicle. A receiver in the dashboard then verifies the digital key in the cell phone when the car is started.
Key technology for many new functions expands Simplify your Drive
With its Simplify your Drive concept, Continental has already demonstrated that networking different vehicle domains with an optimized human machine interface creates a whole new driving experience. Thanks to the networking of the various systems, a wide variety of functions can now be adapted to the driver's preferences automatically with the cell phone key. The individual settings for the infotainment system, such as favorite radio stations, popular navigation destinations or preferred internet applications from AutoLinQ are connected with the key. With the help of an app, the location of a parked car will be saved automatically, creating a car finder tool out of the cell phone – particularly useful in large parking lots and when sharing one car. When NFC technology is used, the cell phone can also be charged wirelessly during travel. Continental is offering vehicle manufacturers a package of hardware, software and infrastructure services. Continental is working with telecom companies to deliver services like Deutsche Telekom's "mobile wallet" for storing and organizing the electronic car key in the cell phone. This enables customers also to organize their bank account or credit card data and to pay car sharing or car rental services.
Key stimulus for establishing new mobility services
Together with its partners, Continental is using its new key technology to help out with the growing number of innovative mobility concepts that rental cars and car-sharing rely on. With all these projects, handing over the vehicle key has constituted one of the most sensitive and often complicated points. After all, even though people can locate and reserve a car on the internet at any time, day or night, they still have to somehow get the key from the person who last used the car. Nowadays, at least some special safety boxes or mailboxes are required, but with the technology from Continental and the mobile wallet of Deutsche Telekom, internet access does the trick. After the customer has selected a vehicle on the website and received a confirmation notice the temporary digital key from Continental and the drivers profile is loaded onto the cell phone's SIM card via a secure data link. At the same time, the cell phone receives the license plate number and the location of the car. At the Continental hospitality salon during CES, Continental will demonstrate just how easy such a car sharing system could be to operate in the future using NFC technology.
Information holds the key to the vehicle functions of the future
Whether it is intelligent tires, predictive transmission controls, intelligent accelerator pedals or digital car keys in mobile phones, Continental is working with automotive manufacturers all over the world to develop products and systems that provide solutions for future mobility concepts for greater efficiency, safer road transport and more comfortable driving with the help of state-of-the-art information processing. "Its portfolio – and particularly that of its Interior division – puts Continental in an excellent position to meet the challenges of the future in the fields of information processing and presentation," commented Matschi.
Continental will showcase a version of this technology during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las VegasJanuary 8-13, 2012.  Continental will host a private hospitality salon during the event, and executives will be on hand for on-site interviews to share additional information about these and other Continental technologies.
With sales of EUR 26 billion in 2010, Continental is among the leading automotive suppliers worldwide. As a supplier of brake systems, systems and components for powertrains and chassis, instrumentation, infotainment solutions, vehicle electronics, tires and technical elastomers, Continental contributes to enhanced driving safety and global climate protection. Continental is also an expert partner in networked automobile communication. Continental currently has approximately 164,000 employees in 45 countries.
SOURCE Continental

Visa Certifies NFC Enabled Smartphones for Use as Visa Mobile Payment Devices

English: Visa logo
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NFC-enabled smartphones from Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, and Research In Motion approved for use with Visa payWave, Visa’s mobile application for payments at the point-of-sale
SAN FRANCISCO--Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) and Visa Europe today announced that NFC-enabled smartphones from Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and Research In Motion (RIM) have been certified for use with Visa’s mobile application for payments at the point-of-sale, Visa payWave. The Samsung Galaxy SII, LG Optimus NET NFC, BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900, BlackBerry Bold 9790, BlackBerry® Curve™ 9360 and BlackBerry Curve 9380 have been added to the list of Visa compliant payment products available for commercial deployment by financial institutions.
“Yankee Group predicts that the value of NFC-based transactions will grow significantly, from $27 million in 2010 to $40 billion in 2014.”
All the new devices certified by Visa host the Visa payWave application on a secure SIM card and feature NFC (Near Field Communication) technology, the short range communications standard that enables mobile phones to securely transmit payment information to a contactless payment terminal.
“This is an important step for Visa, its financial institution partners and the mobile industry,” said Bill Gajda, Global Head of Mobile Product, Visa Inc. “In addition to issuing plastic magnetic stripe or chip-enabled payment cards, financial institutions can now consider offering their accountholders a way to transform their smartphones into fully functional mobile payment devices.”
Visa’s certification of these smartphones paves the way for mobile device manufacturers, mobile operators and retailers to partner with financial institutions to offer Visa mobile payment functionality to consumers globally.
Visa’s Certification Process
Visa has played a leadership role in establishing global standards for mobile payments, making sure that they are aligned with existing technology and security standards for chip payment cards and can easily be integrated into the existing payments ecosystem. For example: Visa payWave on mobile devices is compatible with existing contactless (NFC) payment terminals already installed at retail outlets worldwide, enabling Visa accountholders to simply wave their enabled phone in front of a payment terminal in order to pay.
Visa has a compliance testing process for both mobile devices and the secure elements that host the Visa payWave mobile application. The process includes extensive technical and usability testing with respect to the Visa mobile payment functionality. This helps to ensure reliable and secure Visa transactions which are compatible with the global standard for chip-enabled payments, and establishes a required signal range for all mobile (NFC-enabled) Visa payment devices. Visa’s compliance testing process helps to ensure the combination of the phone; secure chip and Visa’s mobile payment application will provide the level of security and user experience Visa accountholders have come to expect from Visa.
“Today’s announcement is another example of the momentum we are seeing behind NFC as an industry standard for mobile payments,” said Nick Holland, senior analyst Yankee Group. “Yankee Group predicts that the value of NFC-based transactions will grow significantly, from $27 million in 2010 to $40 billion in 2014.”
About Visa Inc.:
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit www.corporate.visa.com.
About Visa Europe:
In Europe, there are 438 million Visa debit, credit and commercial cards. In the 12 months ending June 2011 those cards were used to make purchases and cash withdrawals to the value of €1.7 trillion. 12.5% of consumer spending at point of sale in Europe is with a Visa card, and more than 70% of that is on Visa debit cards.
There are around 30 million contactless Visa cards across Europe, distributed by 54 different issuing banks, with over 175,000 contactless terminals. By the end of 2012 there are expected to be more than 50 million contactless Visa cards in circulation across Europe.
Visa Europe is owned and operated by more than 4,000 European member banks and was incorporated in July 2004. Visa Europe is independent of global Visa Inc., with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe, while both companies operate to ensure global interoperability. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.
For more information, visit www.visaeurope.com.
The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited.

Motorola Solutions Demonstrates Why ‘Experience is Everything’ for Shoppers at NRF’s Big Show

NRF 101st Annual Convention & Expo
SCHAUMBURG, Ill.--()--Motorola Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MSI), a leading provider of mission-critical communication solutions and services for enterprise and government customers, will be showcasing its latest retail solutions and innovations in Booth 1702 at the NRF 101st Annual Convention & EXPO on Jan. 15-18, 2012 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.
“Driving Shopper Loyalty through optimized store design and mobile technology.”
In retail today, the shopper’s experience is everything, and the experience is a retailer’s biggest differentiator. Under the theme “The Experience is Everything,” Motorola, along with 25 partners, will be demonstrating innovative solutions that can help retailers anticipate shopper needs and desires, innovate to drive trips, orchestrate desired shopper behavior, close sales, and inspire shopper loyalty and advocacy.
  • Among the solutions featuring new products on display for the first time at NRF will be:
    • Device Management for enterprise-issued devices and bring your own device (BYOD) instances utilizing the new Mobility Services Platform (MSP) 4.0The MSP 4.0 is a multi-operating system, agnostic management and security application that will enable enterprises to take control of mobile devices, smart phones and tablets to ensure employees comply with corporate IT policies while enabling productivity by allowing employees to choose their own devices.
    • Mobile Bar Code Scanning featuring the new LI4278 linear imager. With the ability to read both mobile and traditional paper-based barcodes, the cordless LI4278 1D linear imager can be used for point of sale (POS), in-store inventory tracking, returns processing and loyalty card/digital couponing applications.
    • Mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) for credit, debit, smart card and near field communication (NFC) contactless payments with Motorola’s new Bluetooth Mobile Payment Module. Motorola’s payment solution coupled with an ES400, MC55A0, MC65, MC75, MC9500 or ET1 provides retailers with flexible and secure payment transaction capabilities backed with leading technologies from VeriFone.
  • Motorola also will showcase several recently introduced products including:
    • ET1 tablet – Designed for applications such as assisted selling, mPOS, item locator and planogram management and compliance, the Android-based ET1 enterprise-class tablet features enhanced durability, data security, optional integrated bar code scanner and magnetic stripe reader, hot-swappable battery packs and secure system software.
    • MC2100 – The lightweight and ergonomic, MC2100 addresses the needs of value-conscious enterprises for a smaller, rugged mobile computer and is ideal for inventory management, stock replenishment, price marking and shelf labeling applications.
    • RhoElements – A state-of-the-art, web-based application framework designed to allow businesses to quickly and cost-effectively develop and deploy HTML5 applications on existing Motorola Windows Embedded Handheld and Windows Embedded Compact (Win-CE) mobile computers as well as the Android-based ET1.
  • On Monday, Jan. 16, 2012 at 2:15 p.m. on the Room Pavilion Stage in the Expo Hall, Eduardo Conrado, chief marketing officer, Motorola Solutions, and Bill Chidley, senior vice president of shopper sciences, Interbrand Design Forum, will present “Driving Shopper Loyalty through optimized store design and mobile technology.” This session will provide insights into the shopper’s frame of mind before, during and after the shopping experience and show how the proper store design and technology help drive loyalty and increase revenue while minimizing operational expenses.
Eduardo Conrado, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Motorola Solutions
“With the many shopping options available today, retailers need to give shoppers a reason to choose their brand - and the strategic advantage they offer is the experience. At NRF 2012, Motorola Solutions will showcase the tools, support and insight that retailers need to create innovative and exciting ways to interact with their customers.”
Motorola NRF Website: Motorola Solutions NRF 2012

TAGSYS and Think&Go NFC Combine Forces to Offer Retailers an Integrated RFID Item-Level Tracking and NFC Shopping Solution

N-Mark Logo for certified devices
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The first integrated RFID/NFC solution for deploying all-in-one RFID infrastructure for inventory & security to retailers opens new marketing channels to consumers
NRF 101st Annual Convention & Expo
MARSEILLE, France--()--TAGSYSthe leading provider of item-level RFID infrastructure, and Think&Go, a leader in Near Field Communication (NFC)-enabled services and solutions to the retail industry, today announced that they have combined forces to offer retailers a complete RFID/NFC integrated solution to not only manage inventory and security but also enhance the customer shopping experience, keeping the same RFID Tag infrastructure.
“This partnership expands the reach of traditional item-level RFID and NFC applications”
The partnership grew out of collaboration on several projects to extend the reach of RFID item-level tracking beyond the scope of inventory and security management to the consumer shopping experience. Using the same RFID infrastructure, manufacturers can benefit from distributed product information—and consumers, through their NFC-enabled smartphones—can access personalized information and services.
The combined TAGSYS and Think&Go NFC solution offers new benefits to retailers and consumers, without adding large infrastructure costs.
More and more Retailers and Brands are adopting RFID technology: A recent announcement indicated that 850Macy's and Bloomingdale's stores will deploy radio frequency identification technology at product level in 2012.
Many RFID projects use tags that can be read with the increasingly available NFC phones. When RFID tags are used to track high-value spare parts in the Luxury market, or to verify product authentication in the medical industry, the item-level tracking is used by the distribution network and by the point of sale. By using widely available NFC phones, Brands and Retailers can now offer extended product information (i.e. marketing, couponing, alerting) to their customers and consumers, and therefore optimize costs and reactivity of their extended distribution network .
In the Apparel market, where item-level RFID tracking goes as far as the retail outlet, existing RFID tags being used for regular inventory control and for security purposes can also be read by consumers equipped with NFC phones to provide additional product information, collect coupons and link to social networks, allowing an integrated brand-to-consumer information system with benefits in cost control and consumer loyalty.
"This partnership expands the reach of traditional item-level RFID and NFC applications," said Alain Fanet CEO of TAGSYS. "By integrating our respective technologies, TAGSYS will not only simplify the deployment of real-time wireless tracking and communications technologies over the cloud, but also provide valuable customer and product data to retailers and manufacturers, while enhancing the shopping experience for consumers and building brand loyalty."
“We have been delighted to discover the complementarity of our solutions and we are confident that the combination of our NFC-Shopping solution which has been deployed with several leading chain stores with TAGSYS’ widely successful solutions will bring far reaching benefits to our retail customers,” added Vincent Berge, CEO and Founder of Think&Go NFC.
TAGSYS and Think&Go NFC will both be present at NRF Retail’s Big Show from 15th to 18th January 2012 in New York City, USA.

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