MasterCard Acquires Travelex Prepaid Assets

MasterCard has purchased the prepaid Card Program Management (CPM) operations of Travelex for $458 million in cash, with an earn-out of up to an additional US $55 million if certain performance targets are met. The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2011. MasterCard is acquiring the Travelex operations that manage and deliver consumer and corporate prepaid travel cards to business partners around the world, including financial institutions, retailers, travel agents and foreign exchange bureaus. These operations also manage cross-border payroll, per-diem and expense-management prepaid cards for corporations. MasterCard has no plans to issue cards directly as a result of this transaction. The deal is an extension of a strong and long-term partnership between MasterCard and Travelex. Last year, the two companies expanded their relationship by agreeing to convert the majority of Travelex card programs to the MasterCard brand and by implementing the global prepaid transaction-processing capabilities of MasterCard Integrated Processing Solutions™ (IPS). MasterCard IPS provides financial institutions world-class debit and prepaid processing solutions that are scalable, reliable, secure and flexible.

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Renesas Deploys Microcontroller Integrating NFC

Renesas Electronics advanced semiconductor solutions introduced its “RF21S” of the RF20 series of microcontrollers. Combines on a single chip an NFC controller supporting the ISO/IEC 18092 international standard along with secure element functionality for use in consumer electronic products such as smartphones and other mobile phones, notebook PCs, and PC peripherals, the “RF21S” integrates on a single chip an NFC controller and security functions to enable the capabilities of financial transaction cards, transit system cards, and ID cards. With the adoption of mobile phones incorporating NFC functionality having been expanding rapidly, “RF21S” replaces conventional design configurations with two separate chips for the NFC controller and security element. The “RF21S” integrates Renesas Electronics’ RS-4 secure MCU, an NFC controller, and security functions.

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Coinstar & Land Bank Develop Remittance in Italy

Coinstar Money Transfer has inked agreements with state owned bank of Philippines Land Bank to develop remittances business from Italy. This is another key component of the Coinstar Money Transfer aggressive development strategy in Italy to broaden consumer’s options for a fast and reliable money transfer service aiming to the Filipino community, who will finally be able to send money from any Land Bank branch in Italy at competitive fees.

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Zebra Technologies Rolls-Out Card Design Software

Zebra Technologies specialty printing and automatic identification solutions has introduced its “ZMotif CardStudio” card design and issuance software suite at the CARTES & Identification Expo. The “CardStudio” card design software application for intuitive design, encoding and printing of simple to complex design cards is currently available in 11 different languages worldwide and ideal for a variety of markets. Users are able to design cards for access control, gift cards, loyalty and club cards, school identification and library cards, and visitor badges. Its Direct-to-Printer (D2P) technology optimises print quality and performance by providing advanced print control functionality from card design elements directly to the printer. New capabilities and features such as new software only license manager, and D2P print technology demonstrate Zebra’s commitment to deliver and innovate productivity software for ID cards across a wide range of industries and hardware/software solutions. The Zebra “QuikCard ID” Solution bundle will include the Standard edition of “CardStudio” and will include a printer, card design software, a Web camera, ribbon and blank cards.

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USA Tech Connects More Than 100,000 to Network

USA Technologies networking of wireless cashless transactions has connected 100,000 devices to its “USALive Network”- a goal set as part of its 2010 strategic plan- and is on course to achieve positive EBITDA in 4Q/10. USA Technologies customers on the “USALive Network” were up 100% 3Q/10, year-over-year, having added approximately 150 new clients throughout the quarter for a total of more than 1,200. USA Technologies also achieved a quarterly processing volume of nearly 14 million transactions worth $24.5 million for increases of 89% and 68%, respectively, since the year ago period and an annualized run rate of cashless payments up nearly $100 million.

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Chase Offers mGift Card Solution

Chase Card Services has introduced its “GiftShelf” mobile gift card application through the Apple iTunes App Store, powered by CashStar. The Chase “GiftShelf” facilitates mobile gift card purchases from an array of merchants and allows Chase credit cardmembers to send a gift card to anyone instantly via text message or email. It lets users browse for gift cards from a diverse and growing set of retailers and restaurants. Gift card recipients can use their cards in-store or online instantly with a smart phone or, in some instances, a printed copy of the confirmation email, creating a spontaneous gifting experience. It incorporates a high level of security and encryption technologies similar to ones utilized in Chase’s mobile banking application and does not store any personal or account information on the device.

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CREDICARD

Credicard of Citigroup and Elavon Global Payments of U.S. Bancorp have signed a binding agreement to establish a JV creating a merchant services company that will offer a full suite of payment solutions. The new company will compete in a growing market that demands scale, experience, service quality and innovation. Combined with Credicard’s market expertise and brand recognition, Elavon will deliver a robust processing platform, financial efficiency, innovative payment solutions and secure point-of-sale devices for mobile acceptance environments. The new company will be branded as “Elavon” and will be supported with the launch of a sales force with national coverage, as well as in-market operations, technology and product resources.

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VESTA

OR-based Vesta Corporation electronic payment solutions has begun managing “Tele2 Latvia’s” electronic Web & IVR top-up channels. Vesta will also support live agent top-ups hosted by Tele2. This lets Tele2 prepaid customers use streamlined, secure top-ups via a wide variety of payment devices and payment channels. Vesta’s payment technology is also fully PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)-compliant. Mandated by leading credit card issuers, PCI compliance assures that requirements for payment data security are being met.

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Plastic Jungle Names New VP, Business Development

Loren Scott has been appointed Plastic Jungle Vice President, Business Development. Loren has held executive responsibility for Gap gift card programs and brings with her more than 15 years’ experience in gift credit and other prepaid card programs to Plastic Jungle. Through the Plastic Jungle marketplace and its proprietary payments applications, users can sell unredeemed gift cards for up to 92% of the verified gift card balance or buy gift cards to their favorite stores at up to 30% off.

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SINOPAC DISPLAY CARD

NagraID Security has confirmed its successful pilot with MasterCard and Bank Sinopac for its display cards. With this, NagraID Security will keep developing and bring innovative products that enhance security for online payments and transactions, namely to Taiwan. The rise in e-commerce transactions has increased demand for payment security, the innovative features of the new display card, now available through the “SinoPac Display Card” cardholders can take advantage of a wide range of mobile financial services such as online transactions using 3D authentication security and non-predesignated account transfers.

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Revolving Consumer Credit Drops 8.5% Y/Y

Consumer credit increased 1.75% in October 2010 since the year ago period but revolving credit outstanding was down 8.5% over the same period. With this,
nonrevolving credit was up 6.75% since October 2009. This is compared to the September figure when revolving credit outstanding was down 13% since the
previous year to $806.1 billion and the year ago figure when revolving credit was down 12.4% to $865.8 billion. Top revolving credit issuers, in order,
include commercial banks with $598.6 billion outstandings, compared to $362.4 billion last year; finance companies with $67.7 billion outstanding, compared
to $46.4 billion last year; Credit unions with $35.3 billion outstanding compared to the year ago figure of $35.4 billion; and savings institutions with
$38.1 billion, compared to $45.5 billion.

Top Revolving Credit Issuers 2009/2010($B)
Commercial banks 362.4 598.6
Finance companies 46.4 67.7
Credit unions 35.4 35.3
Savings institutions 38.1 45.5
Nonfinancial business 8.8 8.4
Pools of securitized assets 6,7 402.8 46.2
SOURCE: FEDERAL RESERVE

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Phones 4U Escape

Prepaid credit card comparison website www.compareprepaid.co.uk has launched its prepaid credit card deal in conjunction with Phones4U. The “Phones 4U Escape” Prepaid MasterCard comes with a free Companion Card, as well as a SIM card with GBP10 credit included. The card also includes international Money Transfer in 60 seconds, text top-up and the facility to earn 1% cash back. The new card is one of a number of exclusive prepaid credit card deals available on the website.

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