Smart Card Alliance Conference Focuses on EMV and Secure ID

The Smart Card Alliance’ theme of its 2011 Annual Conference will be “The Roadmap to EMV Payments and Secure ID.” Attendees will participate in presentations and discussions on the advancement and growing adoption of smart card technology in EMV, contactless and mobile payments, and secure identification. The conference will be held May 3rd through May 5th, with pre-conference workshops on May 2nd, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago. The Conference will allow professionals in the payments and security markets to gather together to share use cases and best practices, meet vendors in the large exhibit hall, witness live demonstrations, network with industry peers, and more.

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Wells Fargo Reports Remittance Transactions Up 43%

Wells Fargo & Company announced record growth for its Global Remittance Services business, with transaction volume growth of 43% and dollar value growth of 41% from 2009 to 2010. Total value remitted in 2010 totaled more than $1.41 billion to 15 countries. The number of customers using the service increased 41% from 2009 to 2010. During fourth quarter 2010, overall remittance transaction volume growth was 43% over fourth quarter 2009 and total dollar value remitted growth was 49%. Wachovia financial centers that converted to Wells Fargo stores drove 31% of the total dollar growth during the fourth quarter of 2010. The Wells Fargo distribution includes over 27,000 remittance payout locations with 26 remittance network companies in 15 countries, including: Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, the Philippines, India, Vietnam and China.

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PaymentOne Expands Global Coverage

PaymentOne mobile payments and carrier billing has made available its “AnyPhone” carrier-based billing service in 67 countries. The “AnyPhone Network” now reaches over 3 billion consumers, and allows them to simply charge purchases to their mobile phone, home phone and/or broadband/ISP account. Consumers pay in their own currency and their own language without the need of a credit card, and merchants and publishers can receive their funds in one consolidated settlement without the need to convert currencies, study international tax laws or speak multiple languages. By 2014 mobile payment transactions is projected to exceed $1 trillion.

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JPMorgan Chase Commits $5mm to Japan Earthquake Relief

JPMorgan Chase will commit $5 million to near-term relief and recovery efforts in Japan in the aftermath of its worst earthquake on record, for which it will also match employee contributions. The $5 million will be used to support charitable and relief organizations helping with for the recovery efforts, in addition to the $1.1 million already pledged by JPMorgan Chase Japan. This commitment will assist with efforts such as setting up temporary shelters, offering medical assistance, helping with sanitation and handling the most pressing issues immediately following the disaster. Exact allocations will be determined in the coming weeks following a full assessment of the earthquake’s damage and the country’s needs.

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Caribbean Casino and Gaming Launches New Models

Caribbean Casino and Gaming “Gamebase” is now available with new looks, models with different designs, hardware, accessories and applications. Models range from a Basic version for lottery betting stands, to a fully loaded version for casinos with a much more elaborate finish and a more esthetic look. The prices for these units range from USD$2,995.00 for the basic, up to USD$9,995.00 for the fully loaded casino version. The model will be built for the needs of each buyer, upgrades in applications and accessories such as bigger screen, credit card acceptor, processor speed, speakers, outer shell, live dealer games, slots, lottery sales and many other features will be available. With this any company purchasing the Gamebase ® for their business will be able to adapt it to the needs they have, and at a price they can afford.

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American Express Contributes $100,000 to Japan Earthquake Relief

American Express Company will donate $100,000 to the Red Cross and Save the Children to support relief efforts, for which the Company will also match employee donations for relief efforts. American Express will rebate the merchant discount rate for charitable contributions made on the American Express Card directly to the U.S. entity of non-profit organizations listed on the USAID website for Japan earthquake and tsunami relief. The rebate is effective retroactively from March 11 through May 15, 2011.

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Western Union Donates to Earthquake Relief Efforts

The Western Union Foundation announced a $50,000 contribution to the Mercy Corps international nonprofit organization in support of Peace Winds Japan.The Western Union Company has also set up a special account to enable consumers in the U.S. to support disaster-relief efforts in Japan. Consumers can donate to Mercy Corps by sending a no- fee money transfer using the Western Union “Quick Collect” service (code city: Japan Relief, CO) through a participating Western Union Agent location. Individuals can send up to $5,000 over the next 30 days, concluding April 14, 2011.

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AmEx Kicksoff Second Annual Unstaged Event

Duran Duran will kick-off the second year of “Unstaged: An Original Series from American Express” on March 23rd at the Mayan Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif. The 2011 “Unstaged” kick-off performance will be live-streamed at 10:00PM ET / 7:00PM PT at www.YouTube.com/DuranDuranVEVO. American Express, in partnership with VEVO online premium music video and entertainment service and YouTube will provide Duran Duran fans worldwide with access to their “Unstaged” performance, which coincides with the start of the band’s first official tour since 2008. Award-winning filmmaker David Lynch has been enlisted to capture the performance.

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Lombard Odier selects Volante For Payments Network Integration

Lombard Odier has chosen Volante technology for integration of Swiss Interbank Clearing (SIC) network messages. Part of a larger payment automation initiative, the project is projected to go into production late in the second quarter. Volante is developing a SIC plug-in for the project, which will be used with Volante Composer integration software, providing built-in dictionaries and automated validations for the SIC network.

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SmartMetric Primed for Global Smart Card Expansion

SmartMetric is readying its mass production and global distribution center for its Biometric activated Smart Cards. The smart cards will apply to driver’s licenses, identity cards, health insurance cards, Bank and Credit Cards. With this, SmartMetric projects the market size for its cards to be in excess of 800 million cards globally. The European Payments Council (EPC) is considering a ban on magnetic stripe cards within the next couple of years, essentially forcing the United States to adopt Smart Cards and replace the insecure old mag-stripe cards. Even without Smart Card adoption in the United States the existing global market for Smart Cards, it is projected the SmartMetric “Biometric Card” would generate more than $US500 million in Global Revenues.

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