Reuters' peHUB is reporting that private equity firms are fighting for Stored Value Solutions, the gift card and prepaid card subsidiary of Brentwood-based transaction processor Comdata, in an auction that could bring in more than $600 million. Stored Value Solutions, which is based in Louisville, has annual sales of about $90 million and will not make the move with Comdata into the world of Fleetcor, which last summer said it would pay more than $3 billion for Comdata. Sources have told peHUB that Barclays is managing the auction, which has entered its second round.
The team at credit, debit and ATM card maker EFT Source in September churned out more than 3 million items from their Nashville and Colorado Springs locations, helped in no small part by the need to replace cards compromised by high-profile data breaches. At one point last month, weekly production ran 37 percent higher than the company's previous record.
SEE ALSO: Colorado company buys EFT Source from August
Executives at First Tennessee say they will next year begin replacing customers' credit cards with chip cards, which have a much higher level of security. The bank's announcement came on the same day that JPMorgan Chase disclosed that it was hacked this summer and that information on 83 million accounts was compromised.
"There will be a period of adjustment for consumers," said Dondi Black, who manages retail payments for First Tennessee. "For example, chip cards are not swiped, but rather inserted into the terminal where they remain for the duration of the transaction." With some terminals, customers will be able to touch the EMV card to the terminal to complete the payment. First Tennessee's EMV cards will have this capability right away. "We believe customers are fatigued by numerous merchant breaches and will welcome a solution like ours that provides an additional layer of protection and makes the purchase process faster and more convenient," Black said.
A Mexican company marketing a pre-paid debit card that connects to any smartphone or tablet won this week's startup competition at the Southland Southern Culture and Technology Conference. The company will receive $110,000 from the contest's 11 judges — with the stipulation that that money be the final $110,000 of a $4 million round that Sr. Pago executives plan to raising.
Sr. Pago was selected from a group of 10 early-stage companies that pitched at the conference. Its card will be sold at Best Buy or about $50.
“We were pretty surprised,” said Pablo Gonzalez Vargas, CEO of Sr. Pago. “As a Mexico-based company, we knew we would bring diversity to this conference, and it’s a very good thing for Southland to be this open to an international company.”
Separately at Southland, PandoDaily Editorial Director Paul Carr revealed that the staff of the website selected Nashville-based musical instrument maker Artiphon as their favorite company and said they will fork over a financial prize soon.
Local credit card manufacturer EFT Source has recruited an expert in chip-based payment cards to help it prepare for the U.S. rollout of that technology, which looks to be gathering steam in the wake of the data breaches at Target and elsewhere. Dmitry Tarusov comes to the company from German company Giesecke & Devrient and also has worked at Threshold Financial Technologies.
“The recent data breaches have increased the discussion around EMV and created a new sense of urgency for its implementation, however there is still no step-by-step plan in place and many unanswered questions,” said Bill Dinker, president of EFT Source. “Dmitry’s experience and comprehensive knowledge of EMV and its outlying considerations offset the unknown. His expertise will be invaluable to us and the customers we serve as the industry’s migration approaches.”
POSTDATA: WARRANTY DEEDS