OKI Data Cleared by U.S. ITC of Infringement

OKI Data Americas has been cleared by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) with no violation occurred in the patent infringement investigation filed by the Ricoh Company. The ITC found that OKI Data Corporation and OKI Data Americas had not violated section 337 with respect to any of the 5 patents asserted by Ricoh, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,209,048; 6,212,343; 5,863,690; 6,388,771; and 5,764,866. This is the final decision in the investigation; therefore, Ricoh’s allegations have no impact to the company or its ability to sell its products.

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BofA Named Most Valuable Banking Brand

Bank of America has been recognized as the most valuable banking brand in the world, according to the fifth edition of BrandFinance Global Banking 500. The report details how proactive marketing strategies and an improving domestic consumer banking market have seen the U.S. regain its place as the world’s financial capital, and with it, Bank of America increased in overall brand value by 15% to $30.6 billion. Founded in 1996, Brand Finance has performed thousands of branded business, brand and intangible asset valuations worth trillions of dollars.

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Banking Sector Central to EUR2.9T Carbon Transition

The banking sector will be pivotal to Europe’s low carbon transition, and will finance and intermediate the vast majority of the EUR2.9 trillion capital required to implement low carbon infrastructure from 2011 – 2020. This is meant to help the Continent bring its emissions to 83% of 1990 levels by 2020 for a carbon abatement of 2.2 Gt CO2e. This, according to the “Carbon Capital” report published by Accenture and Barclays, also shows capital markets are to unlock EUR1.4 trillion for low carbon technology while 73% (EUR1.65 trillion) is to come externally from unprecedented demand for private capital and associated bank products and services. The largest share will be debt to finance the development of low carbon technology assets. The report calculates that securitization of the debt into “green bonds” – low carbon technology asset-backed securities – could provide access to secondary markets for €1.4 trillion of capital required, providing new products for pension funds, individual and other institutional investors.

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SafetyPay and JetPay Launch Secure Online Payment

SafetyPay secure payment facilitator and clearinghouse for online shoppers, online merchants and banks partnered with Texas-based JetPay payment services provider. Processing more than 20 billion in transactions domestically with a rapidly growing international group of merchants, to which they offer payment services and features, including batch processing, high-speed authorization, check guarantee and check conversion, split automated clearinghouse transactions, fraud protection and 24-hour customer service, Jetpay services can be developed and executed according to the specific needs of each individual merchant. SafetyPay has partnered and integrated with 23 financial institutions and 2,000 merchants worldwide.

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NetSpend Launches iPhone Application

NetSpend general purpose reloadable prepaid debit cards and underbanked services launched its second-generation iPhone application as a free download. This lets NetSpend cardholders send mobile person-to-person payments to other NetSpend cardholders through their iPhones for access to account and savings transaction histories; account and bank routing information; and a geo-locator for ATM and reload locations. This is part of Company efforts to develop industry-leading technology that provides cardholders unparalleled access to their account through Web, IVR, Mobile, SMS, and now smart-phone applications.

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Small Business Owner Confidence on the Mend

After falling in December, confidence among small business owners rebounded in January to 91.0 in January on the Discover “Small Business Watch” index, up 9.4 points from December 2010 and 5.5 points higher than one year ago, the highest the index has been since December 2007 at 92.7. With this, 31% of small business owners say the economy is getting better this month, up from 25% in December; 41% say it is getting worse, down from 51% last month; 24% say it’s the same, up from 22%; and 3% were unsure. Meanwhile, 31% of small business owners say economic conditions for their businesses are getting better, up from 25% the month prior; 38% see conditions getting worse, down from 43% in December; 26% say they are the same, even with December; 5% were unsure. Additional indicators show 30% will increase spending on business development , up 9 points to its highest point since March 2008; 40% will decrease business development spending, down from 42% last month; 27% do not plan any changes, down from 32%. Moreover, 57% reported the economy as poor, down 5 points from last month while 34% report it as fair, up 5 points.

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Bancorp Bank to Serve as NetSpend Issuer

NetSpend Holdings and The Bancorp Bank Payment Solutions Group forged multi-year agreements under which The Bancorp will serve as a new issuing bank for NetSpend managed and processed card programs. NetSpend is a leading provider of general-purpose reloadable prepaid debit cards designed to be a more convenient and less expensive alternative to cash and traditional banking products for the estimated 60 million underbanked consumers in the United States. NetSpend markets its cards through direct-to-consumer and online programs, corporate employers and retail distributors across the country. NetSpend expects to begin issuing general-purpose reloadable prepaid debit cards in collaboration with The Bancorp Bank in April 2011.

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Transaction Network Services Achieves PA DSS Validation

Transaction Network Services has achieved PA DSS validation for the POS payment client; a component of its TNSPay gateway solution for multi-channel retailers. PA DSS is a software specific validation that sits within the PCI DSS compliancy framework and ensures software vendors develop secure payment applications, reducing the risk of security breaches and fraudulent activity. Any new merchant purchasing a commercially available payment application can now only purchase PA DSS validated products. Additionally, any commercially available payment applications which have already been deployed by merchants cannot be used from 1st July 2012 if not PA DSS validated. The “TNSPay” is payment gateway offering strong security, reliability and availability.

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FICO and TransUnion Introduce Score Solution

FICO credit scoring and TransUnion credit and information management have launched their new service offering a highly predictive general risk score. Indicating customers will receive three-to-five times the incremental improvement in risk prediction typically generated by an enhanced scoring model, the service will be available for full implementation in March 2011. Over the preceding two decades, FICO and TransUnion have partnered to deliver a unique combination of powerful analytics, agile service infrastructure and robust data to an extensive customer base in Canada, which includes leading national, regional and international lenders. Canadian credit grantors use FICO® Scores across the entire credit lifecycle, from booking new accounts to managing current customers.

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eBillme & TheFind Offer More Online Savings

eBillme online cash payment using online banking and walk-in locations has made available products for purchase to TheFind’s online shopping search engine bringing new deals and discounts to shoppers who spend with cash. And for eBillme’s network of over 800 online merchants, it’s an opportunity to reach new customers and generate sales. When customers search for a product on TheFind they will be presented with additional offers available only to eBillme customers and merchants. eBillme lets users choose the option at checkout, their order is confirmed with a bill sent to their e-mail address. Consumers simply pay the bill the same way they pay utilities, loans, insurance, and other bills, either through their online bank account or at one of over 75,000 walk-in locations.

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Credit Card Solicitations Are On the Rise

Credit card solicitations last year rose to 2.73 billion from 1.39 billion in 2009 and are approving increasingly more credit card applications and are projected to increase throughout 2011. However, getting a card will probably cost them more, due to higher interest rates and fees. This, according to market research firm Synovate’s “Mail Monitor,” is despite the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 (CARD). Card companies are finding new ways to charge consumers while the Act was passed to prevent American Consumers from severe financial hardship.

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