ALSTOM & ACS

Affiliated Computer Services'(ACS) public transport division has signed
agreements with Alstom to supply its intelligent ticketing system for
the new Persian Gulf 13-station tram line. Scheduled to commence
commercial service in early 2011, ACS will be equipping the tram system
with a 100% contactless ticketing solution compatible with the
interoperability standards set by the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority
(RTA) for all public transport in the Emirate, including buses, metros,
trams and waterbuses. ACS will supply all validation terminals, control
terminals and vending machines capable of issuing and recharging
contactless cards and selling single-use contactless tickets through its
own central management system. ACS public transportation technology
services reach into 30 countries while ACS employs 74,000 people
supporting client operations in more than 100 countries.

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Fiserv Names a New EVP/CIO

WI-based financial services provider
Fiserv has tapped Maryann Goebel, previously with DHL, as EVP/CIO
Previously, she served as
executive vice president and CIO for DHL Express in Bonn, Germany where
she managed an organization of 1,500 employees with responsibility for
service delivery in more than 200 countries. Maryann has multiple
experiences managing very large, complex technology organizations where
technology was a key enabler in defining the markets in which those
companies conducted business. Prior to DHL Express, she held executive positions with a variety of
sophisticated technology organizations including seven years
cumulatively with General Motors, where she rose to CIO, North America,
and CIO for GM Europe. Goebel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Worcester
Polytechnic Institute.

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GE Money to Issue the Art Van Card

GE Money has signed an agreement to provide MI-based furniture retailer
Art Van a private label card. The multi-year agreement will
provide consumer financing through the home furnishing retailer’s 30
locations and online store via “The Art Van Card”, issued through GE
Money’s Sales Finance unit that provides
flexible financing promotions and extended terms, including no-interest
and minimum payment plans.

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MasterCard PayPass to Top 60MM Cards/Devices WW

The number of “MasterCard PayPass”-enabled cards and devices has soared by 62% over the past year after more than doubling between 2Q/07 and 2Q/08. The number of global merchants accepting the contactless payment option has grown by 46% during the same period. At the end of the first quarter there were 55 million “MasterCard PayPass” cards and devices in use worldwide, compared to 28 million for 1Q/08. At mid-year 2009 it is estimated there are 60 million “MasterCard PayPass” cards and devices, compared to 37 million for mid-year 2008 and 17 million for mid-year 2007. At the end of the first quarter there were 146,000 global merchants accepting “PayPass.” MasterCard reports that the top merchants that have received a visit from a new customer because of their “PayPass” acceptance include quick-service restaurants (20%), pharmacies (17%), and supermarkets (13%). A 2009 survey found that 77% of consumers that have a “PayPass”–enabled card or device use it as their primary form of payment, which demonstrates its ability to bolster relationships for financial institutions with cardholders. (CF Library 3/19/09)

PAYPASS CARDS/DEVICES
1Q/08: 28 million
2Q/08: 37 million
3Q/08: 44 million
4Q/08: 50 million
1Q/09: 55 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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U.S. POS Recycled Thermal Paper Introduced

FL-based POSPaper.com has introduced recycled thermal paper rolls.
Recycled thermal paper consists of 50% post-consumer waste.
Its performance and quality of printing contrast are both
very good. While slightly less bright than non-recycled thermal paper,
printing on recycled paper is very dark black and legible.
POSPaper.com is an leading Internet provider of point of sale paper and
credit card supplies in the United States.

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North American Smart Payment Card Shipments Double

Shipments of payment smart cards to North America doubled last year. Also, open-platform is gaining ground and now represents 15% of
all global shipments, a 72% increase compared to 2007. The Smart Payment Association’s “2008 Global Payment Card Market Survey” reports that more than 580 million payment smart cards were delivered by its members last year, a 39% growth rate over the prior year driven by EMV deployments. The SPA members are Gemalto, Giesecke & Devrient, Oberthur Technologies and Sagem Orga. Both dual interface and pure contactless cards confirm SPA’s expectations, outperforming the market with year-on-year growth rates of 140% and 66% respectively. DDA technology is continuing to gain importance, with 69% growth year-on-year, representing 25% of SPA members’ shipments in 2008. Migration to DDA has started worldwide and both Visa and MasterCard mandate that all cards should support DDA by 2011 in Europe.

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Only 4% of Americans Say Card Issuers are Honest

A new survey reveals that 58% of Americans would not believe a statement by someone who works for a top financial institution and insurance company. Only 25% of U.S. consumers say banks are honest and trustworthy while 14% say the same of accounting firms and 13% say both life insurance companies and financial planning firms are honest and trustworthy. According to the Harris Poll conducted in mid-May, only 12% say health insurance companies are honest and trustworthy, while 7% say the same about investment firms, mortgage companies (6%), Wall Street (4%) and credit card companies (4%). The poll discovered that 64% of “Gen Xers” (those aged 33-44) and 61% of “Baby Boomers” (those aged 45-63) say they do not consider financial services firms to be honest and trustworthy compared to 52% of “Echo Boomers” (those aged 18-32) and 53% of “Matures” (those aged 64 and older). Additionally, 30% of “Echo Boomers” say banks are honest and trustworthy compared to just 18% of “Gen Xers.”

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NCB & MONEYGRAM

Tapping the more than 6 million Saudi Arabian expatriates as the largest kingdom-wide money transfer network, MoneyGram International
has partnered with National Commercial Bank (NCB) to offer its
international money transfer service through the Bank’s 1,400 ATM
locations. Offering consumers convenience and access to money transfer
services through its network, MoneyGram transfers will be sent using
NCB’s “Quickpay” platform and initially only providing a sending option.
Thanks to the 27% foreign born Saudi Arabian population, remittances
grew to more than $17 billion in 2006. MoneyGram International has been
operating in Saudi Arabia since 1998 and is comprised of 180,000 agent
locations in 190 countries while NCB was established as Saudi Arabia’s
first in 1953.

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Major Calling Card Settles a FTC Lawsuit

A major prepaid calling card provider has agreed to pay $1.3 million to settle with the FTC for cards that did not deliver on the minutes advertised. The settlement resolves a lawsuit the FTC filed against Clifton Telecard Alliance One in April, 2008 which charged that the company misrepresented the number of calling minutes consumers would get with its calling cards, charged hidden fees, and failed to disclose that consumers’ cards will be charged whether or not the calls are connected. As part of the settlement, the court entered a judgment of $24.4 million against CTA, suspending all but $1.3 million. CTA marketed cards under a variety of brand names, including “African Dream” and “CTA Mexico,” primarily to immigrants who rely on the cards to call friends and family in other countries. The cards were sold through a large network of retailers, gas stations, and other outlets. The cards were offered in denominations ranging from $2 to $20.

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SUMMER SPECTACULAR

In response to the effect the economic downturn has had on consumers,
Visa is launching its “Hong Kong Summer Spectacular” from June 29 to
August 31, 2009, in conjunction with its “Go Discover Hong Kong” Lucky
Draw. Where the U.S. dollar is very strong, the summer sale season is
under way, making for a great opportunity for US consumers to save on
events, activities, retail shopping and dining. Additionally, to help
shoppers plan their daily shopping sprees, the “Hong Kong Summer
Spectacular” is making available its “Hip Hot Guide” magazine featuring
shops, restaurants and hotels with the best deals and is listing on its
website hotel discounts available all over Hong Kong for
three-day/two-night packages of US$65 to US$430. Meanwhile, the Visa “Go
Discover Hong Kong” Lucky Draw offers participants a chance to win
prizes, who are entitled to one entry for every HK$300 spent (under
US$39). See www.visa.com.hk for registration and details.

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Heartland Completes Phase One of its E3 AES Pilot

NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems has completed the first phase of its “E3” end-to-end encryption pilot project, having transmitted live AES (“Advanced Encryption Standard”)-encrypted card transactions from a merchant to its own processing platform. AES is the highest level of encryption and is currently on track to replace DES (Data Encryption Standard) and Triple DES as the desired standard for sensitive data. Composed of five payment zones for transaction encryption of card reads through the Heartland network, four of which were confirmed with the completion of the first phase, “E3” focuses on protecting data in transit. The five payment zones include; Zone 1- from data entry/card read at the merchant to the authorization network of the processor; Zone 2-from the entry into the authorization network of the processor and through all points in which data is in motion within the network(s) of the processor and its sub-contractors; Zone 3- while the data resides in a central processing unit (CPU) or a host security module (HSM); Zone 4-in a direct access storage device (DASD) or archival storage; and Zone 5- from the processor to the authorization and settlement centers of the card brand or issuer.

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