American Express Supports Ellis Island Restoration

American Express announced a $100,000 grant to the National Trust for Historic Preservation to support Save Ellis Island to facilitate the launch the next phase of rehabilitating and re-opening the 29 unrestored buildings on Ellis Island. This includes the expansion of Save Ellis Island’s Board of Directors and organizational infrastructure to meet the challenges of the project. American Express is deeply committed to historic preservation and in partnership with the National Trust will contribute $10 million to support preservation projects in five cities over the next five years. The Company has already provided more than $5 million in grants to historic sites across the U.S. over the past five years through Partners in Preservation, and has also supported the restoration of iconic international sites including St Paul’s Cathedral, London, England; Mexico City’s Historic Center, Mexico; Delhi Heritage City, India; Route 66 and Easter Island, Chile.

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AmEx Expands Merchant Relations Internationally

American Express is set to acquire Loyalty Partner marketing services with the intention of expanding merchant relationships in international markets for US $660 million. The payment agreement is structured with an upfront cash purchase price of $566 million and an additional $94 million equity interest. Best known for the loyalty program it operates in Germany, Poland and India, Loyalty Partner also provides market analysis, operating platforms and consulting services that help merchants grow their businesses. This transaction will add more than 34 million consumers to the American Express international customer base, thus expanding its range of rewards and loyalty marketing services around the world. Loyalty Partner will become a subsidiary of American Express and will be part of the company’s International Consumer and Small Business Services group.

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FICO FALCON

Absa Bank is adopting FICO “Falcon Fraud Manager 6”
to control fraud in its debit and credit card portfolios. Serving over
10 million retail banking clients, Absa acquiring the “Falcon Fraud
Manager 6” allows FICO to protect more than half of the credit and debit
cards issued in South Africa. The FICO solution will help Absa Bank
improve fraud prevention, detection, investigation, recovery and
remediation and implement real-time fraud capabilities to score debit
and credit card transactions as they occur. These let the bank stop the
highest-risk transactions if needed, without slowing down transaction
speeds for legitimate transactions. FICO “Falcon Fraud Manager 6”
comprehensive solution for detecting payment card fraud reduces losses
by up to 50% while 17 of the top 20 credit card issuers rely on the FICO
“Falcon” system to protect over 2.1 billion active card accounts.

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I2Core Live at Bank of Alma

IBT financial services products and best of breed solutions in process innovation and customer experience announced the Bank of Alma has implemented its “i2Core” banking solution. With approximately $200 million in assets, the Wisconsin-based bank has deployed IBT’s complete suite of financial services products, including image and e-delivery solutions throughout the enterprise. i2Core platform utilizes the latest in available technology to deliver real time information across all customer delivery channels.

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MONEYGRAM

MoneyGram remittance has added 4,200 new locations to its network in India through Bank of Baroda, Axis Bank and Vijaya Bank. The Bank of Baroda offers MoneyGram money transfer services at 2,000 locations. Axis Bank has introduced MoneyGram services into 1,100 new locations in rural and urban areas and Vijaya Bank introduced MoneyGram services in 1,100 branch locations. MoneyGram has served the Indian market over 10 years ago and has since partnered with 26 banks, having added 5,726 agent locations this year alone.

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PlaySpan and IP Commerce Offer Global Payment

IP Commerce Platform-as-a-Service for Commerce providing an open API platform and workflow engine has partnered to facilitate the delivery of PlaySpan’s monetization solutions to social & digital content developers through IP Commerce’s Managed Services Platform. This lets the $2.1 billion digital goods market for social & digital content developers to attract, convert and retain more customers by offering a large variety of secure and convenient in-app payment methods bundled within segment-specific Workflow Templates that contain value-added services, modules and business rules enabled through the IP Commerce Managed Services Platform. PlaySpan’s “UltimatePay” global payments product delivers over 85 global payment methods in 180 countries including credit cards, PayPal, mobile payments, and PlaySpan’s “ULTIMATE GAME CARD” multi-game pre-paid card.

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Absa Bank Deploys FICO Fraud Management

South African-based Absa Bank is adopting FICO “Falcon Fraud Manager 6” to control fraud in its debit and credit card portfolios. Serving over 10 million retail banking clients, Absa acquiring the “Falcon Fraud Manager 6” allows FICO to protect more than half of the credit and debit cards issued in South Africa. The FICO solution will help Absa Bank improve fraud prevention, detection, investigation, recovery and remediation and implement real-time fraud capabilities to score debit and credit card transactions as they occur. These let the bank stop the highest-risk transactions if needed, without slowing down transaction speeds for legitimate transactions. FICO “Falcon Fraud Manager 6” comprehensive solution for detecting payment card fraud reduces losses by up to 50% while 17 of the top 20 credit card issuers rely on the FICO “Falcon” system to protect over 2.1 billion active card accounts.

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BluePay Forges New Affiliate Partnership

BluePay secure credit card processing solutions has partnered with the Arizona Dental Association (AzDA) Services to connect directly with organized dentistry with streamlined payment processing. This partnership lets dentists improve their business with streamlined credit card processing solutions and accept all major credit and debit cards, as well as ACH payments, for secure, efficient transactions. Additional services include electronic invoicing, recurring billing, and credit card payment gateways that comply with PCI DSS standards. BluePay allows U.S. and Canadian credit card processing on a full-service, Tier 1 credit card processor, leveraging extensive industry experience and a comprehensive suite of credit card merchant processing services.

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84% Not Done Holiday Shopping

With the holiday shopping season nearing a close, 84% have yet to finish. This coincides with findings 26% of those who started their shopping are spending more this year compared to last, 45% of whom blame expanded gift lists; 35% are buying more expensive items; while 33% are making purchases for themselves while shopping for others; and 43% are planning to make a purchase the day after Christmas to save a buck. These findings, according to the American Express “Spending & Saving Tracker,” also indicated holiday shoppers will be most generous with their children, planning to spend $341 on average; $189 on their spouse/significant other; $72 on average on Mom versus $45 on Dad; and 31% will spend an average of $18 on their pet. This is in conjunction with projections for a 2.3% increase in holiday retail sales this season, according to the CardFlash Library, with 40% of consumers projected to spend less while 10% intended to not buy gifts at all. Moreover, 90% planned to use cash this holiday season, up from 85% in the year ago period and more than double the 41% planning to use a credit card while 76% are planning to stick to budget, compared to the 56% last year. U.S. consumers were planning to spend an average of $688.87, compared with the $681.83 last season, and are spending 2.1% more than last year on gifts. Additional “Spending & Saving Tracker Data show 30% will make most of their purchases online; 64% will do most of their shopping in stores; and 63% will do some of their shopping at small business retailers(CardFlash News Library (2010/11/01).

WHO GETS WHAT
Children $341
Other 1/2 $189
Siblings $77
Friends $73
Mother $72
In-laws $56
Father $45
Colleagues $27
Grandparents $27
Service $24
Pets $18
SOURCE: AMEX

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Emida Deploys Global mWallet Service

Emida Technologies prepaid solutions announced its Cash and Transact (CAT) Mobile Wallet platform has been integrated with its industry leading Debisys direct top-up platform. The most difficult element of any m-wallet system, the cash-in network, is solved for all Emida customers in the 37 countries where Emida systems are deployed. CAT is specifically designed for developing markets where customers do not have bank accounts, credit or debit cards. CAT Mobile Wallet application is useful for loading cash, or e-value, to any phone to pay bills, pay for goods and services, get cash out, buy content like ring tones and airtime, play the lottery, and even shop on the internet using the cash on the phone.

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TNSPAY

Transaction Network Services “TNSPay” gateway solution now lets shoppers conduct online shopping through the Westfield online shopping mall. The Westfield online mall uses the TNS’ payments technology to offer the shopping center’s merchants end-to-end payment processing, authorisation and card transaction settlement to accept online shopping purchases. This offers the high availability, scalability and reliability required to process payments with major Australian and global banks. The “TNSPay” gateway incorporates processing alternate payment types (PayPal) and helping combat payment fraud while TNS payments extends to more than 40 countries.

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Blackhawk & eBay Roll Out Prepaid Cards

Blackhawk Network prepaid and financial payments products for consumers and businesses has partnered with eBay to offer premium prepaid cards. Blackhawk Network’s “Gift Card Mall on eBay” will include a variety of branded prepaid cards in dining, entertainment, fashion and home improvement categories; including the eBay gift card, which consumers can use to shop eBay’s expansive selection ranging from tech to fashion. Customers will receive free standard shipping on purchases made from November 24 through December 15, 2010. Blackhawk Network is a subsidiary of Safeway prepaid and financial payments products for consumers and businesses while its “Gift Card Mall” offers popular prepaid gift card and telecom products to more than 165 million people each week through an exclusive network of leading grocery, big box, convenience, drug, and specialty stores.

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