Aug Conference Board ETI Down Slightly

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) dropped 0.1%
from the revised July number. The improving
indicators were “Percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find Jobs Hard
to Get” from The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Survey, Percentage
of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now, Industrial
Production and Real Manufacturing and Trade Sales.
The Employment Trends Index(TM) aggregates eight labor-market
indicators, each of which has proven accurate in its own area.
Aggregating individual indicators into a composite index filters out
so-called “noise” to show underlying trends more clearly. The index now stands at 88.1 and
is down 18.5% from a year ago.

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Robust Prepaid Cards Buck the Recession

Despite the nasty recession the prepaid industry is expanding or thriving. An annual study found the total load for all 33 prepaid segments last year, including open loop and closed loop, grew 12.4% to $247.7 billion. Mercator Advisory Group also found network-branded solutions had $60.42 billion loaded in 2008, an increase of
48.6% increase from the previous year and that open loop gift cards continue to penetrate the sale of closed loop gift cards with a 54.3% increase. Mercator says it is clear that no other payments market is riding out the current economic downturn as effectively as prepaid.
The “6th Annual Network Branded Prepaid Market Assessment” also includes a special section on the utilization of “Restricted Authorization Network” (RAN) technology. In conducting its surveys, Mercator discovered an increasing use of the technology to enhance card programs. “RAN” is typically used to create an infrastructure that lowers costs and delivers added revenue to prepaid programs by steering consumers
to specific merchants.

PREPAID CARDS
2004: $120.7 billion
2005: $160.3 billion
2006: $198.6 billion
2007: $220.3 billion
2008: $247.7 billion
Source: Mercator

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EZIO AUTHENTICATION

InterSwitch is deploying the “Ezio” strong authentication solution from
Gemalto digital security to secure e-payment services in Nigeria. Having
acted as server integration partner for the deployment, Gemalto is also
providing EMV card readers and unconnected tokens customized with the
InterSwitch visual corporate identity. “Ezio” enables InterSwitch member
banks to enhance security for e-commerce by replacing static passwords
with strong authentication, allowing users to pay their bills and taxes
or buy airline tickets in a more secure and convenient manner through a
One-Time-Password using the device.
InterSwitch offers secure electronic payment solutions to its 25 member
banks across the country.

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Coinstar in Search of a New CFO

Self service retail service provider Coinstar is seeking a new CFO to
replace John Harvey. Harvey has decided to leave
due to the extensive time his position required for him
to spend away from his family. Harvey, appointed CFO in June 2009, has
been commuting between Bellevue, Wash. and Chicago on a weekly basis.
The Company will begin a search immediately to replace Harvey, who has
committed to assist the Company with transition matters, including
continuing as CFO through the reporting of third quarter financial
results in November. Coinstar’s core automated retail businesses are
self-service coin counting and self-service DVD rental. Other Coinstar
products and services found at the retail front-end include e-payment
products such as gift cards, prepaid debit cards and other prepaid
products; money transfer services; and entertainment products and
services, including skill crane machines and bulk vending.

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Merchant Accts Promotes More Pay Options

Merchant Accounts is advising clients to add additional payment options
to attract new customers. As the use of cash has been declining, the
convenience of the debit/credit card has made carrying around the “exact
change” unnecessary. Many consumers don’t even worry about whether or
not they have cash before they head out to make a purchase. Businesses
that don’t yet accept payment by credit card are really hindering their
company’s ability to expand. Merchant Accounts LLC offers a full range
of affordable merchant
services to retail, mail/phone order, E-Commerce, and wireless programs.

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ATM Network Launches a New Promotion

ATM Network is offering a six month payment program for purchasers of
new ATMs. Under this program, ATM Network ships and
installs the atm, and also provides signage, toll-free customer support,
and real-time internet monitoring. Customers can either pay for the atm
machine in full after the six month period or have it converted to a
traditional lease with monthly payments. The owner of an atm machine
collects revenue in the form of a
transaction fee or surcharge that is assessed on each cash withdrawal.
With ATM Network’s zero down program, the atm owner receives a check for
the surcharge revenue every month, even during the six month, no-payment
period.

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EPX and ClaimLogic Team for Medical PCI

Payment solution provider Electronic Payment Exchange and healthcare
payment solution provider ClaimLogic have partnered to provide
PCI-compliant credit card processing services. ClaimLogic’s suite of
all-payer claims and payment products is installed in practices ranging
from the largest academic medical centers and multi-physician groups, to
the small- to mid-sized medical practices in the USA. Their web native
applications are focused on improving the operational efficiencies and
streamlining electronic transactions for providers of healthcare
services. ClaimLogic clients will begin processing credit card
transactions through EPX this fall. EPX is “PCI v1.2” compliant, a VISA
USA “CISP” and a MasterCard “SDP.”

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ETSI & GLOBALPLATFORM

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and
GlobalPlatform have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to
advance joint initiatives. The agreement will allow the organizations to
share industry and technical knowledge and synchronize specification
development to advance mobile services across a range of industries.
GlobalPlatform smart card international specifications and ETSI’s Smart
Card Platform (SCP) committee have agreed to formally strengthen a
general liaison relationship, to harmonize respective activities in the
fields of OTA application download and management of applications. These
original agreements resulted in over two billion SIM cards worldwide
deploying the organizations to enable OTA application downloads for 3G
and GSM mobile networks. The renewed agreements will focus on developing
technology that will facilitate the delivery through the SIM of
contactless services across multiple sectors.

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Cvent is Level 1 PCI-DSS Certified

Meeting planner software provider Cvent has been upgraded from Level 2
to Level 1 compliance with PCI-DSS.
In order to achieve PCI Level 1 status, Cvent networks and data security
procedures went through an extensive and thorough third-party audit
process. Among many security enhancing initiatives, Cvent also
implemented upgrades to the event management system. Cvent offers
web-based software with features including meeting site selection, event
sourcing, online event registration, event management, event website
creation, and web surveys.

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GEMALTO & TRUSTED LOGIC

Gemalto has acquired Trusted Logic digital security for undisclosed
terms. Gemalto, which already held 32% before the transaction, hopes to
accelerate the international development of Trusted Logic technologies
with the acquisition with secure software for personal portable devices.
With operations in France, Ireland, Singapore and South Africa, Trusted
Logic employs approximately 100 people and revenue of EUR9.8 million in
2008. Gemalto digital security saw 2008 annual revenues of EUR1.68
billion, and 10,000 employees operating out of 75 offices, research and
service centers in 40 countries. Gemalto delivers mobile connectivity,
identity and data protection, credit card safety, health and
transportation services, e-government and national security.

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