TMG Adds Two Execs to Card Services

TMG has hired Kathy Rhoads as TMG’s card services unit manager and Sandy Bland as cards education services manager.
Rhoads will provide department leadership, guide employee
development and ensure TMG’s customer service standards are being met.
Previously, Rhoads held positions as a premium auditor, first for
Servcom and then for Information Providers, Inc.
Bland’s role will involve both internal and external training and development
strategies for the card processor. Bland has held several marketing and training management positions. Most
recently, she worked for Dice Career Solutions as a marketing manager.

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Debt Settlement Weighs in as Best Option for Relief

At the consumer level, a debt crisis is underway and has been since the beginning of the recession, signaling a need for credit card debt relief programs. For much of the last 30 years, consumers and businesses that struggling under the weight of credit card debt had only bankruptcy and debt consolidation/home equity loans as life raft. These, however, can be extremely risky endeavors to undertake. According to Total Debt Relief, the modern day debt relief programs offer the most effective credit card debt relief programs. This includes Debt Settlement, allowing consumers and businesses to collectively have shed debt by the hundreds of millions of dollars in 2009 alone. In this program, a debt settlement firm will aggressively negotiate on behalf of the consumer or business in debt to reach a compromise settlement, which in most cases is a 50 percent reduction in the amount of debt that is owed.

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Main Issuers Approve Western Data Encoding

Visa, MasterCard, and Discover have all approved Western Graphics & Data to provide card personalization and encoding services. This is in addition to previous approvals certifying Western to package, ship, and store Visa, MasterCard, and Discover card products. Western has also added the availability of Duplex Drop-on-Demand (DoD) data imaging for prepaid cards. Having achieved Visa, MasterCard, and Discover certification for card personalization, Western’s new capability will dramatically increase the speed in the personalization process for prepaid open-loop cards in comparison to traditional thermal or embossed personalization.

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WORLDNET IPHONE TERMINAL

E-payment service provider WorldNet has announced the launch of Europe’s first “iPhone Virtual Terminal” card payment facility.
The application allows businesses to accept secure card payment transactions through their iPhone. The product supports the secure processing of card transactions through major domestic and international payment processors such as Elavon Merchant Services, AIB Merchant Services and Barclaycard International and is available now for download from the Apple iPhone App Store. With Vodafone due to join O2 as an iPhone service provider later this month, WorldNet will have access to over 500,000 potential business users for the iPhone Virtual Terminal application, in the Ireland and the UK.

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GEMALTO & KIM-2000

SIA-SSB has won the tender called by the Bank of Italy for the
management of the Interbank Computerised Archive of bad
cheques and payment cards (CAI – Centrale di Allarme Interbancaria).
The total value of the five-year contract with a possible further
three-year extension, is EUR23,174,800. Bank of Italy’s interbank computerised archive of bad cheques and
payment cards (CAI) contains data on irregular bank and postal
cheques and payment cards. SIA-SSB will manage the entire IT system at CAI
headquarters, controlled by the Bank of Italy, as well as the
interconnections with the remote sites (local archives) located at the
notifying bodies’ premises (banks, Poste Italiane, supervised financial
intermediaries issuing payment cards, prefectures through the Interior
Ministry, Judicial Authorities through the Ministry of Justice).
Also planned are additional new functions, among which the link to
already available network infrastructures participating in SITRAD, the
system for electronic data transmission, and the strengthening of
“disaster recovery” procedures. The Italian Interbank Network will guarantee the interconnection between
CAI headquarters and the remote sites at the notifying
bodies (banks, Poste Italiane, supervised financial intermediaries
issuing payment cards, Prefectures, Judicial Authorities)

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TIO NETWORK

TIO Networks multi-channel expedited bill payment processor has launched a mobile bill payment platform, allowing customers to manage and pay bills anytime and from anywhere using their mobile smartphone. TIO’s mobile payment platform will soon enable consumers to make expedited wireless, utility, cable and other payments on their iPhone OS or Android powered smartphones. TIO’s mobile platform empowers customers with real time access to their account through an intuitive and rich user interface. Payments can be made using a credit / debit card or other electronic means. TIO has over 18,000 endpoints to its processing network for secure access to expedited payment services.

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CFSA Question Focus of Consumer Credit Reform

The Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) is bringing into question activities of certain large Wall Street financial institutions for promoting their own interests over those of consumers. Facing stricter regulations and tightening credit criteria and recognizing the demand for short-term credit, large financial institutions and credit unions are attempting to offer similar products while lobbying Congress to eliminate the payday lending industry as competition. Some federally chartered credit unions charge fees that drive the effective rate of short-term loans over the APR allowed by law, prompting an admonition from the National Credit Union Administration in August. Demonstrating the relatively low systemic risk of the payday loan industry, CFSA disclosed;

TOTAL /AVG. BORROWED
Payday Loans $48 billion $345
Auto Loans $80 billion $12,040
Mortgage Loans $1.5 trillion $192,287
Credit Card Loans $2.1 trillion $5,729
Source:CFSA

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InComm Acquires Virtual Currency Provider

GA-based prepaid product provider InComm has acquired open virtual
currency provider Zeevex to build its prepaid gaming vertical.
The Zeevex platform supports token-based and point-based virtual
currency models, and it represents a true online payment
microtransaction solution for users. It also has the advantage of being
an open virtual currency that allows consumers of all ages to
participate fully in today’s digital economy. InComm is the industry
leading marketer, distributor and technology
innovator of stored-value gift and prepaid products using its
state-of-the-art point-of-sale transaction technology and payment
solutions to revolutionize retail product sales and customer
experiences.

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OPUS & SBI

Opus Software Solutions payments industry software has signed a $10 million deal with State Bank of India (SBI) to replace their existing ATM platform with “electraSWITCH.” Powering 25,000 ATMs and 500,000 POS devices to authorize 80 million debit cards by next year, “electraSWITCH” will be implemented through the Opus subsidiary, ElectraCard Services. Opus is also providing other solutions from its /electra/ suite to enable SBI to implement ‘Go-To-Market’ strategies quickly and deliver value added services to its customers. These include an Internet payment gateway, 3-D Secure authentication software, debit card management software and a fraud management solution.

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Wells Fargo Envelope Free ATMs Saves 100,000 Trees

Wells Fargo& Company has exceeded a milestone of saving more than 100,000 trees through
its Online Statements and Envelope-Free ATMs. By year-end 2009, Wells Fargo’s Envelope-Free ATMs had processed more
than 100 million checks – which means 97 million fewer paper envelopes,
and the benefits of 550 tons of paper or 9,883 trees saved. In addition, it announced
a $30,000 contribution to the Arbor Day Foundation to support the
planting of trees and honor customers who have chosen to turn off their
paper statements. Customers can access online statements for checking and savings
accounts, credit cards, mortgages, brokerage accounts, personal loans
and lines of credit, home equity loans and lines of credit, and student
loans. Through online only statements, customers stay organized and
secure online, and help the environment. Customers who receive their
statements online only receive email alerts letting them know when
statements are ready.

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First Data Reports Full Year 4Q/09 Fiscals

First Data has reported consolidated revenue for 4Q/09 up 12% to $2.6 billion, primarily driven by the
formation of the Bank of America Merchant Services alliance. Adjusted Revenue increased 1% for the quarter
due mainly to growth in International Segment Revenue helped by a weaker U.S. dollar. Meanwhile, adjusted
earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $530 million compared to
$645 million for the year ago period. For the full year, consolidated revenue was up 6% to $9.3 billion while Adjusted Revenue declined 7% thanks to lower revenue in the Retail and Alliance Services segment and the stronger U.S. dollar. For 2009, Adjusted EBITDA was $2.1 billion compared to $2.6 billion for 2008, unfavorably impacted by the weaker economy, a stronger U.S. dollar and lower royalty revenues. The full-year net loss attributable to First Data was $1.1 billion, which includes after-tax interest expense of $1.1 billion. For complete details on First Data’s third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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LifeLock Identity Alert System Hits Six Month Milestone

Proactive identity alert provider LifeLock “Identity Alert” has blocked
6,200 risky or miskeyed applications for both credit and non-credit
services for members since its introduction in September 2009. With this,
more than 221,000 applications have been successfully monitored and
reported to LifeLock members, fulfilling
the service’s mission of providing even broader identity theft protection.
The “LifeLock Identity Alert” system uses multiple technologies and data
sources to help better defend LifeLock members against the inherent
risks of identity theft.

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