Tuesday, March 6, 2012

InComm Wins Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Blackhawk Network

Image representing InComm as depicted in Crunc...
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InComm Wins Patent Infringement Lawsuit Against Blackhawk Network
ATLANTA – MARCH 6, 2012 – InComm, a leading prepaid product and transaction services company, announced today that a jury in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin returned a unanimous verdict last week finding Blackhawk Network liable for infringing two claims of InComm’s U.S. Patent No. 7,578,439, entitled “System and Method for Authorizing Stored Value Card Transactions.” The jury further awarded InComm approximately $3.5 million in damages as a result of Blackhawk’s repeated use of InComm’s patented computer system and method over the past two years.

After apologizing to the jury for its behavior, Blackhawk, which describes itself as “not a technology company,” announced that it had begun taking steps to remove the infringing source code, and thus the related computer program capabilities, from its platform immediately following the infringement verdict. InComm will now seek a permanent injunction prohibiting Blackhawk from further infringement for the remaining life of its patent. 

InComm continues to grow its patent portfolio, which currently includes over 110 patents worldwide relating to stored value card processing technologies and related fields, and will continue to vigorously enforce its rights.

About InComm
InComm is an industry leading marketer, distributor and technology innovator of stored-value gift and prepaid products using its state-of-the-art point-of-sale transaction technology and payment solutions to revolutionize retail product sales and customer experiences. With approximately $15 billion in retail sales transactions processed in 2011, InComm is the nation’s largest provider of gift cards, prepaid wireless products, reloadable debit cards, digital music downloads, content, games, software and bill payment solutions. InComm partners with consumer brand leaders around the world to provide approximately 250,000 retail locations the products and services their customers demand. Since 1992, InComm's patented technologies have made the buying process easier for consumers, while streamlining the selling process for product and retail partners. InComm is headquartered in Atlanta with offices in Australia/New Zealand, Brazil, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin. To learn more about InComm, visit www.incomm.com or call (800) 352-3084.

Media Contact:
Leah Gladu
Source: InComm                                                                    

Apple granted major patent for iWallet, drawings depict iPhone with NFC

Apple granted major patent for iWallet, drawings depict iPhone with NFC, transactions via iTunes billing backend

March 6, 2012 at 10:10 am
Ever since we first sampled that Starbucks app in September 2009, we could not help but wax eloquently how your iPhone will become your wallet. A deluge of ideas Apple has patented with NFC over time and some interesting hirings both hinted the company is heavy into NFC. Then, in January, 9to5Mac heard from a developer at Macworld that iPhone 5 would have NFC and that MasterCard/Paypass would launch partners for an Apple-branded payment service that would span both iOS devices and Macs.  read more

Risks to Virtual Wallets Can Be Very Real

Just how safe is near field communication (NFC) technology? NFC tech lets phones establish radio communication with each other, or with similar devices such as point-of sale terminals, when they touch or are brought within a few inches of each other. The process is secure but the fact remains data is being broadcast and could be intercepted.

 Waving your phone at the checkout counter will make it easier than ever to pay for your purchases, but will it be safe? That's one of the big questions about the latest "must-have" technology for top-end smartphones, near field communication, or NFC, which allows phones to establish radio communication with each other, or with similar devices such as point-of sale terminals, when they touch or are brought within a few inches of each other.As with all broadcast technologies -- even such short-range range ones -- there are big questions about how secure the technology is..  read more

Mazooma Chosen by Virgin Gaming to be U.S. Payments Partner

Collaboration enables pay to play gamers to use online banking 

TORONTO, ON, March 6, 2012 – Virgin Gaming, the most advanced competitive gaming platform online, and Mazooma, the leading online bank transfer payment option for the U.S., today announced an agreement that will enable Virgin’s players to use funds directly from their bank accounts for cash-based tournament and head-to-head game play. Players in the U.S. can easily deposit money into their Virgin Gaming account to compete for cash prizes in top EA Sports® titles such as Madden NFL 12, FIFA 12, and NHL 12, available on the Xbox 360® and PlayStation® 3 gaming consoles.

Mazooma is a real-time payment option optimized for ecommerce that allows consumers to fund a digital wallet or pay for digital goods using their online bank account.

“Mazooma is an ideal payment option for our target customer demographic,” says Virgin Gaming’s CFO Harp Gahunia. “Not all of our gamers have access to credit cards, but they do have bank accounts. Mazooma lets us reach this entirely new player base.”

“We’re excited to be working with Virgin Gaming, the most recognized brand in the skills-based gaming industry,” says Wilson Lee, President of Mazooma. “Our solution supports the unique requirements of cash-based competitive gaming play – an exciting industry poised for explosive growth.”

About Virgin Gaming

Introduced in June 2010, Virgin Gaming is the premier destination for competitive console gamers to meet, challenge and play in head-to-head matches and tournaments for cash and prizes. With an array of proprietary features, including a Fair Play Guarantee™ (with automatic game results validation), Virgin Gaming allows gamers of all skill levels from around the world to safely and easily compete online against friends and other members in some of their favorite multiplayer games. A leading-edge convergence of competitive online gaming and video games, Virgin Gaming offers robust community features with member pages, community reputation and skill ratings, a variety of exciting tournament formats and more. For additional information, visit Virgin Gaming.

About Mazooma

Mazooma is an innovative payment solution provider for online commerce. The company’s patented payment system provides an alternative clearing network to credit cards, combining the security of online banking with the speed of a simple transaction process to enable a safe, instant checkout for consumers. Mazooma currently supports the sixteen largest U.S. banks, serving the 55 million American households that actively use online banking. The company’s micropayment solution for digital merchants was launched in August, 2011. Mazooma is headquartered in Toronto and has offices in Miami and Chicago. For more information, visit www.mazooma.com.

mopay and Wargaming.net Join Forces In Enhancing Monetization Services

Wargaming.net now offers mopay’s flexible, globally available alternative payment solution to more than 18 million online gamers
Game Developers Conference 2012
PALO ALTO, Calif. & SAN FRANCISCO--()--mopay, a global leader in innovative payment solutions for online merchants, today announced it has been selected as the alternative payment solution of choice for Wargaming.net, the leading international developer and publisher of free-to-play MMO games. Using mopay’s simple and secure mobile payment solution, consumers around the globe are now able to bill purchases directly to their wireless, landline and broadband accounts.
“By choosing mopay, Wargaming.net is trusting us to do what we do best – offering the ideal monetization solution for every purchase around the world.”
Wargaming.net is an award-winning online game developer and publisher and one of the leaders in the free-to-play MMO market. Nick Katselapov, Chief Business Development Officer of Wargaming.net, on why he chose mopay: "mopay allows us to monetize our free-to-play online games via a very popular channel among our international target groups – mobile and landline phones. Our global presence and worldwide recognition of World of Tanks among players drove our decision to find a mobile payments solution with global coverage while also accounting for regional differences. Offering the ideal payment process for every single user enables us to provide maximum user experience even throughout the purchasing process. mopay offers all of that and much more.”
mopay provides direct carrier, landline and broadband billing options for online merchants in more than 80 countries through its industry-leading payments platform. Implemented in Wargaming.net offerings, mopay enables players to easily, quickly and securely make in-game purchases of the virtual currency "Gold”, allowing them to buy virtual goods such as tanks or other weapons. The purchases will be billed directly to any available telecommunications account. Since mopay only requires a mobile phone number, landline phone number or a broadband account, consumers using mopay are much more likely to actually complete a transaction then consumers going through a tiresome credit card purchasing process.
"mopay is one of the most cutting-edge, experienced and widely available providers of alternative monetization solutions for the online gaming industry. Wargaming.net is an ambitious game publisher and developer on a mission to sweep the online free-to-play market with a fresh breeze. Joining forces was the logical thing to do to provide users with an overall experience of true innovation," said Kolja Reiss, Managing Director of mopay Inc. "By choosing mopay, Wargaming.net is trusting us to do what we do best – offering the ideal monetization solution for every purchase around the world.”
Wargaming.net (Booth #1602) and mopay (Booth #2331) will be exhibiting at the Game Developers Conference 2012 in San Francisco starting March 6, 2012.
About Wargaming.net
Wargaming.net® is an award-winning online game developer and publisher and one of the leaders in the free-to-play MMO market. Since 1998, the company has published more than 15 titles, including the highly acclaimed Massive Assault and Order of War series. Currently Wargaming.net is focused on establishing an MMO war trilogy that will include their flagship armored World of Tanks, the flight combat World of Warplanes (one of the most anticipated MMOs for 2012), and the naval World of Battleships scheduled for release in 2013.
About mopay:
mopay is a global leader in innovative payment solutions for online merchants. mopay’s core platform enables merchants of virtual, digital and physical goods to bill charges directly to consumers’ cell phone and land line accounts. mopay operates in more than 80 countries across the globe, reaching more than 4.3 billion consumers. The company has a blue-chip customer base including major brands such as Bigpoint, Gameforge, Innogames, Sulake and Travian. mopay, part of the MindMatics group, has more than 100 employees at locations in the United States, Germany, Austria, the United Kingdom, China and Brazil. For more information, visit www.mopay.com.

U.S. Bank Rolls Out In-Store Credit Card App for iPad®

Latest innovation giving retailers convenient way to offer instant credit to shoppers
MINNEAPOLIS--()--U.S. Bank has launched a new Instant Line Access App for the iPad® that makes applying for a U.S. Bank credit card easier, safer and more convenient for customers.
“The opportunity to offer instant credit with the in-store iPad technology, developed by our partner U.S. Bank, supports our core values of providing our customers with an easy and better shopping experience.”
The app is being piloted with Sport Chalet, a leading full-service specialty sporting goods retailer that partners with U.S. Bank to offer the Sport Chalet Visa® Credit Card. U.S. Bank provides the iPad and the application, which is not available for download directly. Sport Chalet customers can apply for and, if approved, receive on-the-spot credit to begin making purchases and earning rewards.
U.S. Bank, a leader in payments technology, also launched an instant application program for iPhone last year. U.S. Bank plans to launch both the iPhone and iPad programs with other co-branded partners, as well as a U.S. Bank branded version of the iPad credit application program in select U.S. Bank branches during the second quarter of 2012.
“This new approach to in-store credit applications leverages the latest in mobile technology and security to provide for an improved customer experience allowing partners, such as Sport Chalet, to connect more directly with their customers,” said Dominic Venturo, chief innovation officer for U.S. Bank Payment Services. “In addition to eliminating paper applications, giving them a way to offer their customers an instant line of credit while they are shopping are examples of how U.S. Bank is working to bring the best possible banking experience to its partners and customers.”
Upon visiting the store, customers can work directly with a Sport Chalet store expert to apply for a Sport Chalet Visa Credit Card. The expert accesses the app via the iPad, which connects with U.S. Bank’s privately hosted server. The expert hands the iPad to the customer to privately complete and submit the application. If a customer is instantly approved and accepts the offer, the new cardholder receives a temporary shopping pass for immediate use in the store. Customers can use the temporary shopping pass until the permanent, personalized credit card arrives in the mail.
“Sport Chalet is dedicated to enhancing our customers’ shopping experience,” states Howard Kaminsky, chief financial officer for Sport Chalet. “The opportunity to offer instant credit with the in-store iPad technology, developed by our partner U.S. Bank, supports our core values of providing our customers with an easy and better shopping experience.”
U.S. Bank is a leader in payment and mobile innovation. In addition to being among the first to offer instant credit card applications on mobile devices, U.S. Bank issued the first payment solution that combines EMV chip, Visa payWave and magnetic stripe technologies to enhance acceptance and compatibility with credit cards systems worldwide. The company is also leading exploration of how the camera on mobile devices can be used to make banking simpler, such as for depositing checks remotely. U.S. Bank was also a bank leader in the area of contactless payment with a card or mobile device.
The iPhone and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the United States and other countries.
About Sport Chalet
Sport Chalet is a leading full-service and specialty sporting goods retailer with 54 stores in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah; Sport Chalet online at sportchalet.com; and a Team Sales division. The Company offers over 50 specialty services for the sports enthusiast, including snowboard and ski rental and repair, Scuba training and certification, Scuba boat charters, car rack installation, custom golf club fitting, racquet stringing, and bicycle tune-up and repair at its store locations.
About U.S. Bank
U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), with $340 billion in assets as of Dec. 31, 2011, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States. The company operates 3,085 banking offices in 25 states and 5,053 ATMs, and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. U.S. Bancorp and its employees are dedicated to improving the communities they serve, for which the company earned the 2011 Spirit of America Award, the highest honor bestowed on a company by United Way. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at www.usbank.com.

VeriFone Reports Results for the First Quarter of Fiscal 2012

SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--VeriFone Systems, Inc. (NYSE: PAY), the global leader in secure electronic payment solutions, today announced financial results for the three months ended January 31, 2012 (“Q1 FY12”).
“The Point business is performing ahead of plan. Their ‘payment-as-a-service’ model is positioned to serve as the new North American paradigm for quickly deploying and maintaining advanced EMV software and mobile wallet software updates for Visa, Isis, Google, PayPal and others.”
Non-GAAP net revenues for Q1 FY12 were $425 million, compared to $416 million in the previous quarter and $284 million for the comparable period of fiscal 2011 (“Q1 FY11”), a 50% year-over-year increase. GAAP net revenues were $420 million for the latest quarter, $411 million for the prior quarter and $284 million for Q1 FY11.
Non-GAAP gross margins were 43% for Q1 FY12, compared to 40% in the prior quarter and 41% in Q1 FY11. GAAP gross margins were 37% for the latest quarter, 31% for the prior quarter and 39% for Q1 FY11.
Non-GAAP net income per diluted share for Q1 FY12 was $0.58, compared to $0.53 in the prior quarter and $0.43 for Q1 FY11, a 35% year-over-year increase. GAAP net income per diluted share for the latest quarter was a $0.03 loss, compared to $1.84 income in the prior quarter and $0.35 income in Q1 FY11.
“We are delighted with our strong start to fiscal year 2012. We reported record revenues and non-GAAP EPS, the highest non-GAAP operating margin in over five years and continued double-digit organic growth,” said Douglas G. Bergeron, Chief Executive Officer. “The Point business is performing ahead of plan. Their ‘payment-as-a-service’ model is positioned to serve as the new North American paradigm for quickly deploying and maintaining advanced EMV software and mobile wallet software updates for Visa, Isis, Google, PayPal and others.”
Highlights Since Last Earnings Release
Today VeriFone announced an agreement with Isis, the joint venture between AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless, to integrate the Isis Mobile Commerce Application in current and future NFC-enabled product lines. The companies have also agreed that their sales, marketing and implementation teams will collaborate to target large retail and petroleum/convenience merchants in previously announced Isis launch markets of Salt Lake City and Austin. VeriFone’s leading market share of U.S. retailers, NFC-ready product portfolio and “payment-as-a-service” delivery model will help accelerate the wide-scale adoption of mobile commerce.
On March 1, VeriFone announced the acquisition of LIFT Retail Marketing Technology, the provider of the LIFT Station – a digital marketing system that integrates with leading point-of-sale systems and increases sales by convenience stores and gas station shops. Leveraging an advertiser-funded model, the LIFT Station personalizes the experience for each shopper by determining optimal offers based on the products being scanned, presenting the offers with compelling digital ads on a touchscreen display and providing cashiers with friendly transaction-specific selling scripts. The VeriFone LiftRetail Solutions offering is another way VeriFone is bringing intelligence to retail checkout.
On January 16, at the National Retail Federation Expo, VeriFone highlighted several new payment solutions, including the GlobalBay Mobile POS and Retailing solutions. Global Bay, acquired by VeriFone on November 1, provides technology that, when coupled with VeriFone’s secure mobile payment technology, offers the retailer an unparalleled comprehensive and integrated suite of mobile applications that will transform the in-store experience. Mobile retailing is spreading as merchants seek to interact with customers away from the check-out to deliver personalized and interactive service, up-sell and cross-sell, close the sale and accept payment.
On December 30, VeriFone completed the acquisition of Point, Northern Europe’s largest provider of payment and gateway services and solutions for retailers. Point, based in Stockholm, with operations in 11 Northern European countries, serves a contracted network encompassing almost 475,000 merchant accounts. VeriFone intends to extend the Point platform throughout the region and beyond, creating the world’s largest infrastructure for rapid deployment of alternative payments. VeriFone paid approximately EUR 600 million to acquire all of the equity of Point, and also retired existing Point debt of approximately EUR 190 million at closing.
To finance the Point acquisition and refinance existing debt, VeriFone executed a credit agreement for $1.5 billion led by J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, Wells Fargo Securities, LLC, Barclays Capital and RBC Capital Markets. The facility provides VeriFone with long-term debt capital at economical interest rates. The debt consists of 5-year Term A Loans for $918 million, a 5-year revolving line of credit for $350 million, and 7-year Term B Loans for $232 million. The company’s previously arranged credit facility has been repaid in full; a portion of the proceeds will be used to repay VeriFone’s outstanding 1.375% Convertible Notes due June 2012.
Guidance for Second Quarter 2012 and Full Fiscal Year
VeriFone has updated its guidance. For the second fiscal quarter ending April 30, 2012, VeriFone expects to report non-GAAP net revenues in the range of $465 million to $470 million. Non-GAAP net income per diluted share is projected to range from $0.59 to $0.60. For the full year of fiscal 2012, VeriFone expects to report non-GAAP net revenues in the range of $1.900 billion to $1.925 billion. Non-GAAP net income per diluted share is expected to range from $2.60 to $2.66 in FY12.

The Rise of the Overdraft


LAKE BLUFF, Ill.--()--According to Moebs Services, an economic research firm in Lake Bluff, IL, three major factors have contributed to the rise and propensity for consumers to overdraw their checking account:
“This dramatic shift in payment and transaction processing has acted like a silent sleuth on consumers. With these variables playing out against the backdrop of a sluggish economic recovery, consumers found themselves caught in a perfect storm.”
1. A reduction in the time it takes for checks to clear the bank, known in banking industry as “float’”
2. Increase in debit card usage and volume
3. Sluggish economic conditions
In 2003, float averaged $10 billion a day. Since then it has steadily declined, down 96 percent to an average of $400 million per day in 2011. During the same period, debit card usage went from less than 9 billion transactions in 2000 to almost 48 billion today, or a compound increase of more than 16 percent per year – an unprecedented boost in volume. “This decline in float combined with the explosion of debit cards, increased the speed in which funds flow out of consumer checking accounts,” said Michael Moebs, economist and CEO of Moebs Services. “This dramatic shift in payment and transaction processing has acted like a silent sleuth on consumers. With these variables playing out against the backdrop of a sluggish economic recovery, consumers found themselves caught in a perfect storm.”
Congress Directed No More Float
Float is a term not understood by those under the age of 30. In the past a check took up to 10 days to process. In 2003, Congress passed the Check 21 Act – Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act. This allowed banks and credit unions to digitize checks at the bank. The digitized images are now sent thru the Federal Reserve System, other processing systems, thus eliminating the need to transport the physical check. The Check 21 Act also reduced the number of locations the Fed utilized to collect checks (endpoints) from more than 120 in 2003, to a single location in Cleveland. Checks now clear the bank overnight.
Debit Card Usage Takes off
In 2000 only 11.6 percent of payments were completed via debit card, and checks were used almost six times as much. By the end of 2011, debit card transactions constituted 43 percent of all payments totaling 48 billion transactions. This was more than twice the amount of transactions involving checks.
Why the $39 Latte
When a consumer buys a $4 latte and gets hit with a $35 fee the stark reality of: instant payment, no float, and no money become very genuine. 67% of overdraft consumers (approximately 40-45 million Americans), who overdraw their checking account, do so unintentionally, and about one third do so intentionally, Moebs Research shows. “Regulating the price of overdrafts is not the solution to help these consumers avoid the harsh realities of the market place. More information and greater clarity of message is what is needed. Notice needs to be made via text messaging and email messages within hours of the checking account going negative, and communication needs to be provided in non-legalize, common sense, junior high language,” concludes Moebs.
About Moebs $ervices
Since 1983, Moebs Services has been collecting primary empirical data about financial institutions’ services, pricing, operating expenses and financial condition and analyzing the data in a counter intuitive manner, which provides solutions that make sense. For more info please visit www.moebs.com

This News Would Have Made Steve Jobs Ecstatic

Google and Motorola Mobility have been ordered by a Chicago judge to hand over Android development data to Apple as part of a patent lawsuit, reports Bloomberg.

This would be a banner day for Steve Jobs, who maintained that Android was "grand theft" of iOS and said, "I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple's $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong."

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/apple-google-motorola-lawsuit-2012 utm_source=Triggermail&utm_medium=email&utm_term=10%20Things%20In%20Tech%20You%20Need%20To%20Know&utm_campaign=Post%20Blast%20%28sai%29%3A%2010%20Things%20You%20Need%20To%20Know%20This%20Morning#ixzz1oLUmLHCl

FIS Announces Pricing of $700 Million of Senior Notes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.--()--FIS™ (NYSE: FIS), the world’s largest provider of banking and payments technology, today announced that it has agreed to sell $700 million of 5.0% senior notes due 2022 (the “Notes”). The Notes will be guaranteed by certain subsidiaries of FIS. The offering of the Notes is expected to close on March 19, 2012. FIS intends to use the net proceeds of the Notes to repay certain indebtedness and to pay fees and expenses related to the offering.
The offering of the Notes will be made only to qualified institutional buyers in accordance with Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and to certain non-U.S. persons in accordance with Regulation S under the Securities Act. The Notes will not be registered under the Securities Act and may not be offered or sold without registration unless pursuant to an exemption from, or in a transaction not subject to, the registration requirements of the Securities Act and all applicable state laws. This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any sale of the Notes in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state. Any offers of the Notes will be made only by means of a private offering memorandum.
FIS (NYSE: FIS) is the world’s largest global provider dedicated to banking and payments technologies. With a long history deeply rooted in the financial services sector, FIS serves more than 14,000 institutions in over 100 countries. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., FIS employs approximately 33,000 people worldwide and holds leadership positions in payment processing and banking solutions, providing software, services and outsourcing of the technology that drives financial institutions. First in financial technology, FIS tops the annual FinTech 100 list, is ranked third on the Barron’s 500, 426 on the Fortune 500 and is a member of Standard & Poor’s 500® Index. For more information about FIS, visit http://www.fisglobal.com/.

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