First Data Secure Transaction Management Unveiled

First Data and RSA have teamed up to provide a new service called
“First Data Secure Transaction Management.” The new service is powered
by the “RSA SafeProxy” architecture, designed to dramatically reduce the
cost and complexity of complying with “PCI DSS.” using the “First Data
Secure Transaction Management” service, payment card data is encrypted
at the time it is captured by the merchant’s existing point-of-sale
application and remains encrypted until it is securely delivered to the
First Data authorization switch where decryption occurs. Once authorized
through the switch, the card number is replaced by a token value that
cannot be linked back to the original card data, but otherwise behaves
like a card number. This enables the merchant to eliminate card numbers
from various business applications without the need for costly
application or point-of-sale hardware modifications. When needed,
merchants can access the original card number through a secure vault
that First Data maintains for controlled authorized look-ups. This
outsourced service helps merchants to reduce the risks associated with
the loss of cardholder data, avoid fines, and help prevent the loss of
brand equity and trust.

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Credit Card ROAA Returns to Positive Terriotory

The “Return on Average Assets” for the U.S. credit card industry rebounded in August, after a year of steady decline. The record low was reached in June at a negative ten basis points, For August the figure returned to positive territory at a positive six basis points. According to CardData, the ROAA for Visa and MasterCard portfolios peaked in February 2007 at 263 basis points. ROAA is determined by dividing the after-tax return by the average managed card outstandings and then annualizing. According to R.K. Hammer Investment Bankers, pre-tax profit for the U.S. credit card industry declined 2.7% in 2008 to $39.6 billion driven by rising expense streams, especially charge-offs. For the latest portfolio metrics visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

RETURN ON AVERAGE ASSETS
Aug 08: 1.48%
Sep 08: 1.11%
Oct 08: 1.04%
Nov 08: 0.95%
Dec 08: 0.88%
Jan 09: 0.79%
Feb 09: 0.68%
Mar 09: 0.61%
Apr 09: 0.31%
May 09: 0.27%
Jun 09: -0.10%
Jul 09: -0.02%
Aug 09: 0.06%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Mocapay Relocates Headquarters to Denver

Mobile loyalty and marketing provider Mocapay will relocate its
corporate headquarters to Denver.
As the most highly educated city in America, and top 20 cities for
business and careers according to Forbes magazine, Denver offers the
right environment to provide Mocapay employees with the ability to
maintain a work/life balance with access to the largest park
system, keeping it in the top 10 healthiest cities in the U.S.
Mocapay provides the only mobile commerce platform that supports
integrated mobile payments, marketing and distribution at point-of-sale.

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Visa and the NFL Extend Contract Thru 2014

Visa has renewed its sponsorship with the NFL for another five seasons. Under terms of the new deal Visa will get a top-tier sponsorship of the “NFL Draft” and “NFL Kickoff,” exclusive experiences for Visa clients to utilize in their Visa card marketing programs, a Visa and NFL co-branded online portal on NFL.com for “Visa Signature” cardholders to obtain access to one-of-a-kind NFL experiences and expanded presence and preference for NFL-related transactions through various sales channels. Visa will unveil an NFL-themed national television advertising campaign with extensions across multiple environments. Throughout the season, print advertisements will also appear in in-stadium game day team programs of Visa-sponsored teams as well as in “Pro Bowl” and “Super Bowl” programs. For the fifth consecutive season, Visa also presents the “Visa Halftime Report” on FOX NFL broadcasts. In the current financial year, 600 financial institutions and merchants utilized Visa’s sponsorship of the NFL and generated 32 million pieces of communication for their customers.

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Elavon and Santander Target U.K. Acquiring

Elavon and Santander have launched its new alliance for merchant
services in the U.K. Combining the U.S. Bancorp global payments provider
with Santander bank, the partnership hopes to become a market leader in
UK acquiring by leveraging the Elavon end-to-end control of the
processing relationship. In doing so Elavon will afford the bank risk;
underwriting; payment processing; and funding customer support and
increase their presence across the country. This will subsequently
provide Santander corporate and business customers access to Elavon’s
secure international processing platform with cross border and
multi-currency processing, eliminating the need for pan-European clients
to contract with multiple processors on one point of service for all
processing and customer support. Elavon represents the former brands of
NOVA Information Systems and its affiliates FHMS and euroConex. In the UK, Santander operates three brands which provide services to
businesses, Abbey Business Banking, Alliance & Leicester Business
Banking and Santander Corporate Banking.

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Zong Intros a Monthly Subscription Service

Online game payment specialist Zong has launched the first mobile
payments platform to offer a subscription service. Photobucket, the
premier standalone photo and video sharing site with 45 million unique
monthly visitors, and OMGPOP, a real-time social gaming platform with
more than a million daily game plays, are each extending Zong’s
“Recurring Payment Service” as a payment option to their users.
Photobucket users interested in upgrading to the site’s Pro service and
OMGPOP users interested in upgrading to its “Star Membership” no longer
have to enter up to 70 characters of identifying and financial
information. Instead they can bill the membership fees to their mobile
phone simply by entering their 10 digit mobile phone number online,
receiving a four digit confirmation PIN by SMS text, then entering that
PIN online to complete the purchase. The monthly membership fee then
appears as a line item on the user’s monthly mobile phone bill.

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ISTS Extends Core Retail and Payment Frameworks

Card processing tech consultants ISTS Worldwide will extend its use of the
Microsoft technology stack to deliver innovative payment processing
solutions based on “SQL Server 2008” and “BizTalk Server 2009”. The new
solutions will provide ISTS customers with leading applications for
payment switching, authorization, settlement, card-issuing and
reporting. The ISTS solution competency also extends to gift and prepaid
cards, loyalty, mobile payments, enrollment applications, promotions at
POS, ecommerce and the mobile channels.
Sequoia Retail Systems, an independent provider of point of sale,
inventory control, mobility and ecommerce solutions for higher education
institutions, contracted ISTS to implement a secure, token-based
ecommerce application known as “ePOS”. The completion of this project
means that its customers are assured of the highest level of security
for all transactions on their site. The solution is based on Microsoft
.NET 3.0 infrastructure

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Discover Ranks Tops in ID Fraud Detection

Javelin Strategy has ranked Discover “best” in identity fraud detection among the top 25 U.S. credit card issuers.
In the yearly assessment of identity safety in the credit card
industry, Discover has ranked among the top-scoring issuers since Javelin began
the Identity Safety Scorecard five years ago. Researchers score issuers on more than 40 criteria across the
prevention, detection and resolution spectrum, including the
establishment of various forms of authentication, transaction alerts and
24/7 account suspension and customer service. In addition to the top rating on detection, Discover came in second
overall on the fifth annual Card Issuers’ Identity Safety Scorecard by
Javelin, a leading independent provider of financial services research
and analysis. The scorecard also rates issuers on identity fraud
resolution and prevention.

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Tyfone Lands a Second e-Wallet Patent

Mobile and NFC financial services provider Tyfone has been awarded a
patent for its smart card-based electronic wallet technology.
Using time-varying magnetic fields, Tyfone’s patented technology enables
the use of a memory card as an electronic wallet and/or the ability to
use that memory card for the secure transmission of financial
information. Unlike other software-only technologies that refer to their
application
as an electronic wallet, Tyfone’s platform includes a neutral secure
element thereby making it a true electronic container or “wallet.”
This solution allows a TSM to securely manage different consumer credit,
debit, transportation and pre-paid accounts for use in a wide range of
payment and other secure transactions. A key application for Tyfone’s
newly patented technology is using
“SideTap” to conduct a contactless payment transaction. Using “SideTap”,
consumers purchase goods at point of sale simply by tapping their mobile
device at point of sale.This groundbreaking technology is used in the
company’s
“u4ia” (euphoria) Mobile Financial Services platform, which completed
successful beta testing in June of this year.

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Flat Holiday Retail Sales is Forecasted

Retailers should expect sales to remain flat compared with the 2008
holiday shopping season. Deloitte’s Retail group expects total holiday
sales to reach $810 billion, which would represent a zero percent change
in November – January holiday sales, excluding motor vehicles and
gasoline, over last year. This would be an improvement over last
season’s 2.4% decrease, the first decline in holiday sales according to
Deloitte’s analysis of Commerce Department data dating back to 1967. The
research firm says many consumers remain burdened by restricted credit
availability, high unemployment and foreclosures.
Deloitte says Americans continue to save at historically high rates
while also paying down debt and these factors combined suggest another
chilly holiday season for retailers.

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FLEXIBLE SAVER ACCOUNT

The Citibank has made available its “Flexible Saver Account” savings
account to new customers with deposits from GBP1 and up to GBP1,000,000.
The account offers an introductory fixed rate bonus together with the
underlying rate results with an overall rate at over six times the
current base rate.It pays 3.30% AER / 3.25% gross variable with an
introductory rate of 2.25% gross p.a. for the first 12 months and allows
customers to watch their savings grow with access to their money
whenever they need it. The Annual Equivalent Rate notional rate
illustrates the contractual interest rate as if paid and compounded on
an annual basis and interest will be paid monthly. Existing customers
who open a new account will receive the underlying variable rate of
1.00% gross pa/AER.

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