iCarte 110 Paves the Way for NFC/RFID Payments

Canada-based Wireless Dynamics has rolled-out the “iCarte 110” a NFC and RFID reader/writer to provide NFC two way communications and
RFID read/write and contactless payment capability for iPhones. The “iCarte” also contains an embedded smart-chip which can be configured as debit, credit, pre-paid and loyalty cards turning the iPhone into an electronic wallet. The new “iCarte” works with iPhone 3G and 3GS with OS version 3.0 or higher and has a mini-USB connector that can be used to charge the iPhone and sync with iTunes. Wireless Dynamics says the new “iCarte” is ideal for iPhone users who want to use their iPhone for fast and secure contactless payments, transit payments, loyalty rewards, checking balances, top-up pre-paid credit, discovering new services from smart posters or kiosks and exchanging information with other NFC phones.

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TRAVELEX CASH PASSPORT

Travelex has announced its 100th global corporate prepaid program with
its “partnership with passports” educational travel tour provider. With
this, the “Travelex Cash Passport” prepaid MasterCard can be used for
business expenses to provide their traveling employees with funds for
expenses incurred during trips. Passports will also use the cards to
provide their contracted tour guides with funds for tour expenses. The
“Travelex Cash Passport” Mastercard acts as an alternative to carrying
cash; gives passports greater flexibility and control over funds and it
is the first business expense program from Travelex to launch in the
United States. It also gives individuals and companies the ability to
manage foreign exchange expenses to secure the best exchange rates and
control spend on overseas currency with secure, online management with
reporting.

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Sears and Kmart Unveil ShopYourWay Rewards

Sears and Kmart have rolled-out their new “ShopYourWay Rewards” program that offers customers a new way to shop and accumulate rewards. “ShopYourWay Rewards” allows customers to earn rewards toward purchases regardless of their method of payment – cash or credit. The rewards are issued within 48 hours of earning and there is no threshold that needs to be met in order to receive rewards. The rewards are stored on the “ShopYourWay Rewards” Card and members can redeem rewards where and how they desire. Customers will receive a “ShopYourWay Rewards” card immediately when they enroll in a Kmart store and receive their card via mail when they enroll online. Each time a customer shows their “ShopYourWay Rewards” card with a purchase, card holders will earn 1% in rewards as well and are eligible for storewide bonus rewards – K’ching Surprises at Kmart, and Craftsman Club and KidVantage rewards at Sears. Customers will earn 1% in “ShopYourWay Rewards” plus bonus reward offers in apparel. Customers who sign up for KidVantage will continue to get 15 percent off after they reach $100 in purchases and Craftsman Club members who sign up for Craftsman Club Rewards will see bonus rewards added to their “ShopYourWay Rewards” and will receive coupons via e-mail.

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I-CARTE 110

Alberta-based Wireless Dynamics has rolled-out the “iCarte 110” a NFC and RFID reader/writer to provide NFC two way communications and
RFID read/write and contactless payment capability for iPhones. The “iCarte” also contains an embedded smart-chip which can be configured as debit, credit, pre-paid and loyalty cards turning the iPhone into an electronic wallet. The new “iCarte” works with iPhone 3G and 3GS with OS version 3.0 or higher and has a mini-USB connector that can be used to charge the iPhone and sync with iTunes. Wireless Dynamics says the new “iCarte” is ideal for iPhone users who want to use their iPhone for fast and secure contactless payments, transit payments, loyalty rewards, checking balances, top-up pre-paid credit, discovering new services from smart posters or kiosks and exchanging information with other NFC phones.

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Bancorp Bank to Offer InsurCard Prepaid Visa

The Bancorp Bank Payment Solutions Group has partnered with NJ-based Franklin
Mutual Insurance to offer “The InsurCard Visa Prepaid Card” for quick access to insurance claims
funds. The program offers
policyholders immediate access to insurance claims funds and can be used
to make purchases wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. Field adjusters will carry a supply of payment cards as they assess
damage. These cards are inactive and have no value until authorized by
the insurer. Upon arrival, adjusters will make an initial claim
evaluation and the cards will be loaded with the appropriate value by
the adjuster either by phone or an internet connection. Once activated,
InsurCard enables access to critical needs such as food, shelter and
emergency repairs. As the recovery process continues, the card can be
reloaded to pay for additional living expenses and permanent repairs. Policyholders
can obtain account balance and transaction information 24-hours a day as
well as access to thousands of ATMs worldwide.

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SEPT LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Germany increased
for the 6th consecutive month by 1.2% while The Conference Board
Coincident Economic Index (CEI) increased 0.2% in September. With the
1.2% increase, the Conference Board LEI for Germany now stands at 91.4
(2004=100), which increased 1.6% in August and increased 0.9% in July.
Meanwhile, the CEI now stands at 102.0 (2004=100), which decreased 0.1%
in August and remained unchanged in July. LEI results for the month were
attributed to positive gains in six of the seven components in The
Conference Board LEI, including consumer confidence, the yield spread,
new orders in investment goods industries, stock prices, inventory
change series and new residential construction orders while the gross
enterprises and properties income made the only negative contribution.

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BNP & OBERTHUR

BNP Paribas has selected Oberthur Technologies smart card solutions to
supply NFC Services Management Solution for its NFC mobile payment
service project in Nice, France. Starting in the spring of 2010 over
3,000 residents will be able to pay for public transport tickets and
obtain information on routes and timetables using NFC handsets, with
plans for similar services at local museums, cultural events and on
campus at the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis. Through Oberthur
Technologies’ “NFC Now” offering for banks and financial institutions,
customers are provided an integrated solution for secured remote
personalization, PIN management and EMV parameter updates. BNP Paribas
will offer NFC mobile payment services to its customers in the area,
which will allow them to pay for goods with their mobile phones.

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SANTANDER GEMALTO

Four million students are now using the university smart card Gemalto
digital security is developing for Santander Universities Global
Division of Banco Santander. This university smart card (USC) acts as an
identity credential in 200 universities around the world and is key to a
number of value added services including EMV payment, secure contactless
access to facilities as well as digital signature. The Gemalto
multi-application card verifies students’ identity and grants them
access to university premises such as libraries, dormitories and sport
facilities. Students also use the card for secure access to the campus
electronic networks, to pay in cafeterias, take out books from the
library, store grades and personal documents, pay for laundry and
photocopies and have the option to use it as a debit card. It may also
be used to access public transportation in major cities in Brazil,
Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Spain.

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LVR INFOKOM & HYPERCOM

LVR InfoKom, IT service provider for social organizations across the
North Rhine region has rolled out up to 230 Hypercom “medCompact”
e-Health terminals to support approximately 7,000 health care
professionals at 10 hospitals. The electronic health card (eGK) requires
the LVR InfoKom-operated system for the 10 hospitals integrate
decentralized points of transaction into a centrally driven KIS
architecture using terminal servers. With leading hospital information
systems provider NEXUS, LVR ensured the system would process both the
new electronic health cards and current health insurance cards; health
data was routed to the central primary system; and health card data
processing was done at the terminal server farm.

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BANK CRED

Throughout their lifetime, 76% of consumers will experience a hardship
to seriously compromise their financial circumstances. K&G Debt & Credit
Professionals debt settlement assists consumers in rating the lenders by
their true character and consumer care, in the event of hardship for
example. When applying for credit, K&G Debt urges consumers to question
if the creditor provides great customer service or do they treat their
consumer like a minority; has the creditor been sued or counter sued;
and to ask for a word of mouth referral from a service provider that
defends consumers. K&G also warns warm and fuzzy marketing is not a true
indication of an institutions credibility.

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EBANKING GROWTH

The adoption and use of branchless banking services is forecast to be
higher in 2020 than it is today, with bursts of rapid acceleration
followed by periods of flatter growth. This, according to the CGAP
“Scenarios for Branchless Banking in 2020” six month scenario-building
project, discloses branchless banking is inevitable in most countries
but questions whether large numbers of the unbanked poor will use the
alternative channels for savings or credit. The report engaged nearly
200 leaders from the fields of technology and finance from more than 30
countries, demonstrating financial inclusion is growing in most
countries; bricks-and-mortar growth is inherently limited by its cost;
where branchless banking is occurring, there is industry belief in
future profitability, enabling regulatory change, a fall in connectivity
costs and the creation of cash-handling agents using existing networks;
and the potential of branchless banking is running ahead of reality.

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SEPT LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Spain increased
for the sixth consecutive month by 1.2% while The Conference Board
Coincident Economic Index (CEI) remained unchanged in September. With
the 1.2% increase, the Conference Board LEI for France now stands at
103.5 (2004=100), which increased 0.8% in August and increased 0.4% in
July. Meanwhile, the CEI results for the month was preceded by no change
in either of the previous 2 months and now stands at 103.2. LEI results
for the month were attributed to positive gains in five of the seven
components and include production expectations, the yield spread,
industrial new orders, building permits and the stock price index while
new unemployment claims were the only negative contributor.

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