CARD HEARING

The representatives of Canadian businesses will descend on Ottawa for
the start of House of Commons joint House Finance/Industry Committee
inquiry focused on the fees merchants are forced
to pay to accept credit cards. At the centre of the inquiry are the fee
practices of Canada’s two major
credit card companies, Visa and MasterCard, who have hiked merchant
charges over the past year. Merchants have asked Parliament to examine
the uncontrolled escalation in credit card fees as well as the imminent
destruction of Canada’s low-cost and efficient debit system as Visa and
MasterCard prepare to enter the Canadian market with their own debit
products. Merchants have also been alarmed by the explosion of premium
cards into the Canadian market – cards that carry an increased cost for
merchants. In year’s past these more expensive cards would typically
represent a small percentage of a merchant’s credit card transactions,
but they’ve jumped to more than 30% for many merchants in less than a
year. The hearings signal the first time that credit and debit card
issues have been examined by Parliament.

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BARCLAYCARD & DELOITTE

Barclaycard, Deloitte and Visa Europe are piloting an
innovative new payment card that
card enables Deloitte employees to remotely access their company IT
system via a virtual private network (VPN). The card has a keypad and
LCD screen embedded into it, to allow users to enter their PIN and
generate a one-time use passcode. This passcode is then authenticated,
in this case, by Deloitte’s VPN. In addition the card ensures that
cardholders have the convenience of only having to carry their Corporate
Barclaycard, without the need to carry a separate security token or
device. The Barclaycard pilot is the first corporate card pilot of the
Visa Card with one-time code functionality in Europe and is expected to
reduce
user costs substantially compared to using a separate token device for
remote network access. In addition, Barclaycard’s proven capability will
provide improved information on card usage with up to date transaction
statements available online. The technology that the card uses was
developed in conjunction with EMUE Technologies.

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PAYMENT PRACTICES

The “Atradius Payment Practices Barometer”, a twice-yearly survey
amongst 1,800 firms in nine European countries that indicates there are
significant differences in payment terms of countries surveyed: German
companies set the shortest term of payment, 24 days on
average, followed by Swedish companies with 30 days. Companies in
Spain set the longest term of payment with 75 days, followed by Italy
with 67 days; Southern European countries have worst payment practices
Italy (76% of respondents), France (74%) and Spain (64%) rate
domestic payment practices as “poor” or “fair”. Sweden and Denmark (62%
of respondents in both Countries) rate domestic payment
practices as “good”, “very good” or “excellent”. In general, foreign
payment practices rated better than domestic payment practices
Great Britain (70% of companies surveyed) and Sweden (59%) rate foreign
payment practices as “good”, “very good” or “excellent”;
France (56%) and Spain (57%) rate foreign payment practices as “poor”
or “fair”. Sweden and Denmark only countries surveyed that rated
domestic payment practices higher than foreign payment practices. The
Atradius Group provides trade credit insurance, surety and
collections services worldwide.

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ARTEMA & GASODATA

Hypercom Corporation announced that Gasodata has selected the “Artema
Modular” EMV
payment terminal for installation at fuel retailers throughout Portugal.
The rollout and installation of over 700 “Artema” Modular kits integrated
with Dresser Wayne pay-at-the-pump systems has already begun. The
PCI-certified unattended payment terminal will be used for chip and
magnetic stripe cards, supporting debit, credit and other private label
card schemes. All transaction data is transmitted via an IP module which
is installed in the pump system. Hypercom’s best-in-class unattended
card payment solution can be found
in self-service machines deployed throughout Asia Pacific, Europe,
Middle East, and North America.

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G&D STARSIGN

MasterCard Worldwide and The Travelex
Group will extend its brand relationship
with MasterCard and implement the global prepaid transaction processing
capabilities of MasterCard Integrated Processing Solutions (IPS). As
part of the new global agreement Travelex, which already issues and
distributes MasterCard Cash Passport™ cards, will launch new MasterCard
branded consumer and corporate Cash Passport programs around the world
utilizing IPS. Travelex will also convert existing programs to MasterCard. Travelex serves 1.75 million cardholders through a network of more than
25,000 agents and 700 retail branches in 35 countries as well as
corporate relationships in more than 100 countries. With this
enhancement to its global offering, Travelex will be able to re-engineer
its existing prepaid offerings and efficiently pursue new growth
opportunities in the consumer travel, airline and maritime industries
with minimal infrastructure investment. In addition, Travelex is tapping
into the expertise of MasterCard Advisors to optimize its global prepaid
card portfolio.

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RAHAXI & PCI-DSS

Card payment processor Rahaxi Processing Oy has successfully renewed its
PCI-DSS compliance in
Finland for a third consecutive year. This achievement of PCI compliance
demonstrates that Rahaxi has
met the stringent compliance requirements of the Payment Card Industry
Security Standards Council. PCI-DSS is a set of industry-wide
requirements and processes (instituted
by Visa, MasterCard, Diners, AMEX, JCB and Discover) that ensure the
security of valuable cardholder account data. PCI-DSS includes
requirements for security management, policies, procedures, network
architecture, software design and other critical protective measures.

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CITI CARD DISCOUNTS

Citi Handlowy has introduced “The Discount Program for Cards”, linked to
the Personal Account with Citi
Handlowy, offers customers up to 20% discounts at almost 500 points of
sale across Poland. The Program also covers special seasonal offers,
e.g. Christmas promotions and special offers. The number of shops and
points of sale in the Discount Program for Cards, linked to the Personal
Account, is constantly growing. A brochure listing points of sale that
offer discounts, listed by regions, is available to customers in Citi
Handlowy branches and on the Bank’s website. The Citibank Credit Card
Discount Program and the Discount Program
for Cards linked to the Personal Account are some of the most robust
offers on discounts for the holders of payment cards in Poland.

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CHIP CARDS

MasterCard credit cards issued by National Bank to new applicants will
contain an electronic chip, providing greater security and protection
against counterfeit and fraud when cards are lost or stolen. These new
cards are also equipped with MasterCard’s exclusive “PayPass”
functionality. Over the next few months, National Bank Financial Group
will gradually replace its clients’ credit cards with chip-enabled
credit cards equipped with a personal identification number (PIN) and
the PayPass functionality. National Bank has close to $137 billion in
assets.

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RFID REPORTING

Market researchers firm Research and
Markets have added “RFID Forecasts, Players and
Opportunities 2009-2019” report to their offering. In 2009 the value of
the entire RFID market will be $5.56 billion, up
from $5.25 billion in 2008. This includes tags, readers and
software/services for RFID cards, labels, fobs and all other form
factors. By far the biggest segment of this is RFID cards, and $2.57
billion of the total $5.56 billion being spent on all other forms of
RFID – from RFID labels to active tags. This report is the summation of
extensive research including interviews
with RFID adopters and solution providers in the various applicational
RFID markets, giving an unprecedented level of insight into the total
RFID industry and what is really happening.

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RETALIX Q1

Retalix Ltd., a provider of software solutions for retailers
and distributors, has announced results for the first quarter ended
March 31, 2009. Total Revenues for the period were $46.9 million,
compared to $53.9 million in the first quarter of 2008. Income (Loss)
from Operations for the quarter was $3.4 million,
compared to a loss of $(0.9) million in the first quarter of 2008. The
2009 amount includes $1.7 million in revenues and a
$0.2 million reduction in expenses due to the outcome of an
arbitration in favor of the Company with Adjusted Income from Operations
(Non-GAAP) of $5.0 million, compared to $1.3 million in the first
quarter of 2008.

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ICICI VISA DEBIT

ICICI Bank Limited and Visa
have announced a strategic relationship to offer Visa Debit cards to its
Global Indian Account and other checking account customers at its New
York branch. The Global Indian Account provides customers with
simultaneous access to
a US$ Checking account at the Bank’s New York Branch for use in the U.S.
and a Rupee NRE account at ICICI Bank Limited for their use in India.
The US$ Checking account will come with a Visa Debit card that can be
used at millions of merchant locations and ATMs worldwide; the accounts
will have Internet banking capabilities for electronic fund transfers –
including cross border remittances – and will primarily be targeted at
the large Indian expatriate community working in the U.S.

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