FINANCE

First Data: Overall transaction growth up 7.0% in December

BY CSA STAFF

Atlanta — Dollar volume growth on cards overall was a healthy 6.9% in December, according to First Data Corporation’s 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.

However, strong auto sales, driven by low interest rates, likely diverted consumer spending to car sales from other retail areas, the report said. 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 as 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, senior VP and division manager of First Data Global Information and Analytics Solutions, which publishes SpendTrend.

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News

Columbia Sportswear implementing tokenization and encryption solution from Merchant Link, Equinox and Voltage Security

BY Staff Writer

New York City — In response to Columbia Sportswear Co.’s desire to reduce its PCI scope for its retail locations by minimizing or eliminating the need to store any payment data on its network environment, payment processing and security vendors, Equinox Payments Voltage Security, and Merchant Link have collaborated to create a reliable, cloud-based payment solution to protect sensitive point-of-sale payment data.

In a joint effort to meet Columbia’s challenge and push the envelope on payment data security, Equinox’s payment terminals were combined with Voltage SecureData Payments solutions and Merchant Link’s TransactionVault tokenization and Payment Gateway.

“Our customers have high expectations when it comes to the quality of our products and the security of the payment information they entrust us with,” said Susan Leafe, retail application manager, Columbia Sportswear Company. “Equinox Payments, Voltage Security and Merchant Link have come together to enable a comprehensive, reliable payment solution that significantly reduces information security risk for us and for our customers while providing the scalability and ease of maintenance we desired.”

The initial pilot programs were completed prior to the holiday shopping season. Implementation across Columbia Sportswear’s 54 U.S. retail locations is expected to be completed by April 2012.

By integrating the latest payment technologies and security into a single solution, Columbia Sportswear will not only be able to secure transactions today, but will also be able to adjust and scale the solution when future payment methods such as contactless, electronic wallets and EMV become more mainstream.

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OPERATIONS

Glen Senk named CEO of David Yurman

BY Marianne Wilson

New York City — David Yurman on Wednesday announced that Glen T. Senk will join the fine-jewelry company as CEO, effective Feb. 27. Senk, who on Tuesday announced he was stepping down as CEO of Urban Outfitters, will take an ownership stake in the privately owned company.

“We have known and respected Glen for more than a decade — as much for his creative vision and inspired leadership as for his exceptional management and operational ability. His arrival will allow us to truly focus on what we love doing – designing – while we collectively build an even greater global brand and the company we’ve always wanted,” said founders David and Sybil Yurman.

Senk, 55, joined Urban Outfitters in 1994 as president of its Anthropologie brand. He was named CEO in 2007. Prior to joining the company, Senk served as senior VP and general merchandise manager of Williams-Sonoma, Inc. and CEO for the London-based Habitat International Merchandise and Marketing Group.

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