Plastic Jungle and Offerpal Launch Virtual Currency Exchange Deal

Web-based gift card exchange Plastic Jungle has partnered with CA-based
virtual currency payment provider Offerpal Media to enable consumers to
convert unused and partially redeemed gift cards into a payment method
for virtual currencies. Through this agreement, consumers will be able
to exchange gift cards for purchasing power within thousands of the
Web’s top online games, virtual worlds and social networks, tapping the
estimated $30 billion unredeemed gift card economy. Offerpal’s
alternative payment platform gives consumers the opportunity to earn
virtual currency for free by taking part in targeted advertising offers,
shopping at big-brand retailers, completing online surveys, watching
videos or otherwise engaging with brands. Plastic Jungle has deployed
a customized site, which will allow consumers to exchange gift cards for
Game Points on Offerpal’s new portal, GamePoints.com. Gift cards will
soon be presented as an alternative payment method available for
Offerpal’s 2000+ publishers.

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WORLD BANK & GEMALTO ICT

The World Bank and Gemalto have signed a Memorandum
of Understanding to join efforts in supporting social and economic
advancement in developing countries, by leveraging innovative
information and communication technology (ICT).This joint effort will provide knowledge sharing with the aim of
leveraging Gemalto’s international experience in areas such as secure
electronic identity and mobile financial services, to help governments
gain greater and wider access to best-in-class technology, expertise and
practices. The eTransform Initiative seeks to leverage the power of ICT in
developing countries to transform the lives of their citizens by
connecting governments with the best experts from around the world. The
initiative seeks to fast-track the use of ICT in government projects and
in the way services are delivered to citizens and business.
This collaboration forms
a part of the World Bank’s new eTransform Initiative, which was formally
launched on April 23rd at a World Bank Spring Meetings event attended by
developing country ministers of finance and communications.

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MasterCard 1Q/10 Sees Net Revenue Up 13%

MasterCard’s 1Q/10 net income totaled $455 million while net revenue was $1.3 billion, a 13.1% increase on the year-ago quarter and was up 10.2% on a constant currency basis. This positive performance was thanks to an increase in cross border volumes of 10.9%; growth in MasterCard’s gross dollar volume by 8.3% on a local currency basis to $631 billion; and a 4.6% increase in processed transactions. Worldwide purchase volume during the quarter was up 8.7% on a local currency basis versus the first quarter of 2009, to $473 billion. The number of processed transactions increased 4.6% compared to the same period in 2009, to 5.4 billion, using the 1.6 billion issued MasterCard and Maestro-branded cards. The increase in total operating expenses was partially offset by a 0.7% decrease in advertising and marketing expenses versus the year-ago period. The operating margin was 53.5% for the first quarter of 2010, up 4.9 percentage points over the year-ago period.

MASTERCARD TRANSACTIONS (millions)
(purchases + cash)
TRANSACTIONS
Mar 31, 2010 8,500
Dec 31, 2009 8,460
Sep 30, 2009 8,228
Jun 30, 2009 7,985
Mar 31, 2009 6,475
Dec 31, 2008 7,768
Sep 30, 2008 7,638
Jun 30, 2008 7,462
Mar 31, 2008 6,972
Dec 31, 2007 7,306
Sep 30, 2007 6,842
Note: All MasterCard Credit, Charge and
Debit Programs processed on MasterCard’s
networks. Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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TNS Payment Division Posts 7.5% Revenue Increase

TNS data communications services posted total revenue for the 1Q/10 up a massive 72.2% to $129.6 million from the 1Q/09 revenue of $75.3 million. On a constant dollar basis, revenues increased 67.1% to $125.7 million while GAAP net income was $1.1 million, versus first quarter 2009 GAAP net loss of $24,000. Revenue from the Payments Division alone increased 7.5% to $47.7 million from $44.4 million in first quarter 2009. Adjusted earnings more than doubled to $15.0 million compared to the adjusted earnings of $7.3 million in 1Q/09. Revenues generated outside North America, formerly reported as the International Services Division (ISD), are now incorporated into Payments and Financial Services, respectively. Meanwhile, revenue from the Financial Services Division increased 3.3% to $16.4 million from first quarter 2009 revenue of $15.9 million.

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GCA & DiamondStream Deploy Proprietary Marketing Tool

Global Cash Access has launched its proprietary marketing and business
intelligence tool, Casino Share Intelligence (CSI), powered by
DiamondStream. A Web-based data analysis tool that provides gaming
operators a full picture of where and how patrons are spending their
gaming dollars, DiamondStream evaluates the success of existing and
future marketing strategies. Using GCA’s rich data, CSI presents
weekly trended market share reports over the last twelve months,
including: Market Share, Wallet Share, Patron Share, and Top Patron
Module; all with drill-down diagnostic capability. From this data,
casino operators can assess the success of their current marketing
strategy and prioritize where to focus marketing dollars in order to
drive additional business to their casino floor. They can also evaluate
the success of new marketing initiatives in driving improved market
share, patron share and wallet share. Furthermore, the Top Patron Module
allows marketing departments and player development the opportunity to
predict defection and identify the total wallet value of its most
valuable patrons. This can be used to prioritize on whom to spend to get
the biggest return on that investment.

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INSIDE CONTACTLESS & ATMEL

INSIDE Contactless has entered into an agreement to purchase for cash
consideration Atmel’s Secure Microcontroller Solutions (SMS) business.
The transaction will be financed by the existing INSIDE investors led by
Gimv and Sofinnova Partners, along with the French sovereign wealth
fund, Fonds Stratégique d’Investissement (FSI). Atmel also will make an
investment in INSIDE. After completion of the information and consultation process with its
Works Council, in accordance with French law, Atmel will seek
authorization from its board of directors to enter into the purchase
agreement with INSIDE, with the transaction expected to close in the
third quarter of 2010, subject to certain closing conditions.

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MASTERCARD

MasterCard Worldwide has introduced its multiple innovative enhancements
to the MasterCard Worldwide Network. Offering its financial-institution
customers and merchant partners opportunities to improve the shopping
experience for cardholders, the enhancements identify new business
opportunities and improve operational efficiencies. With this network
upgrade, MasterCard will introduce “authorization response time
reduction” to increase approval rates and improve the cardholder
experience at the POS by reducing the time it takes to authorize a
transaction and “Authorization Message Expansion” to enable additional
transaction information and intelligence to be exchanged during
authorization, allowing financial institutions to support new business
opportunities. With this, “Pay with Rewards” allows EU financial
institutions Private Label Services Card Activation, helping
increase usage of private label prepaid cards by enabling customers to
immediately activate and load value on their cards as they make purchases.

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SmartCard Marketing Introduces Credit Card Payment Processing

SmartCard Marketing Systems has introduced Credit Card Payment Processing services for its merchants. The services will be made available to the Company’s “Velocitymoney.com” merchants, their customers, and eventually to new merchants boarding velocitymoney.com services. The processing service is being introduced with with the intention of enhancing existing methods of processing and offer merchants the full suite of transaction management they require to better serve their customers online and off-net. SmartCard Marketing Systems also hopes to establish new thresholds of transactions and to increase the number of transfers done by individuals by as much as 35%.

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GEMALTO EPASSPORT

Gemalto has renewed its multi-year contract to personalize and issue ePassports for Norwegian citizens. The company manages the entire delivery process from the production of the travel document through to personalization and operated issuance services, which are performed in Gemalto’s Oslo-based secure service center.
Gemalto has deployed ePassports to Norway since 2005, placing the country as a pioneer in nationwide deployments of biometric passports compliant with international standards. The new ePassports and issuance solution feature the EAC (Extended Access Control – an International Civil Aviation Organization standard for second-generation ePassports) for increased protection of biometric and privacy sensitive data, as well as innovative security features in the polycarbonate data page.

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STAR Network Adds SunTrust Bank to Network

First Data Corporation’s STAR Network has signed a multi-year agreement with top-ten debit
card issuer SunTrust Banks to provide PIN-secured debit point-of-sale (POS) and ATM access
to its cardholders. Through the merchant
processing alliance, SunTrust can offer a full suite of electronic
payment products and services including credit, debit, check, and gift
card programs to its business customers throughout the Southeastern
United States. First Data provides signature debit and credit card processing and
production to SunTrust, as well as merchant processing services to the
bank’s business and commercial customers. As of March 31, 2010,
SunTrust had total assets of $171.8 billion and total deposits of $118.7
billion and operates an extensive branch and ATM network
throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states and a full
array of technology-based, 24-hour delivery channels.

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nuBridges VP Joins Panel to Counsel on Preventing Data Breaches

nuBridges information security expert and VP, Gary Palgon, will take part in a panel discussion on how financial services companies can better protect financial databases to prevent data security breaches at the 2010 FS-ISAC, FSTC, BITS Annual Summit on May 4 at the Don Cesar Beach Resort in St. Pete Beach. Gary is VP, Product Management for nuBridges, and a member of the PCI Security Standards Council. A frequent speaker on information security, Palgon was named Best New Speaker and inducted into the Speaker Excellence Hall of Fame at IBM Common in 2008. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, there were 461 breaches and more than 222,000,000 records compromised last year.

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Visa Signature Named James Beard Official Payment Card

The James Beard Foundation has named Visa Signature the preferred payment method for all of the culinary organization’s events and provides Visa Signature cardholders access to exclusive epicurean experiences featuring some of the world’s most renown chefs. Visa Signature cardholders will receive a number of benefits through this partnership, including exclusive Visa Signature presale and preferred pricing on tickets to Celebrity Chef Tour dinners benefiting the James Beard Foundation. The 2010 Celebrity Chef Tour will visit cities including New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Toronto, Atlanta, Boston, Seattle, Phoenix, Baltimore, San Francisco, Denver, Minneapolis, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Michael Schlow, Marcus Samuelsson and Walter “The American Chef” Scheib are among the host of celebrity chefs participating. Visa Signature is a premium payment card which offers cardholders a range of benefits, in addition to rewards programs that may be offered by Visa Signature partners, such as airline, hotel and cash back programs.

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