Tickets.com to Integrate Interceptas

IL-based fraud prevention provider Accertify has been selected by
Tickets.com to integrate its “Interceptas” platform.
Accertify has significantly reduced the total cost of fraud for the
web’s leading ticketing merchants. Its advanced, front-end screening
features help merchants identify more suspicious orders and spend less
time validating legitimate orders. Its unmatched features and
functionality reduce manual reviews and make the review process faster
and more efficient. Merchants become less dependent on internal IT
resources and gain control over their fraud prevention efforts so they
can quickly modify and implement new rules, strategies and tools.
Tickets.com is a provider of fully integrated event
ticketing solutions and services for thousands of top arts,
entertainment, and sports organizations worldwide.

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Travelocity Intros TravelPass e-Toll

Highway Toll Administration has partnered with Travelocity to offer the
“TravelPass” e-toll devices for car rentals. Customers can book their
car rental through Travelocity and
choose the ‘Add a Toll Device’ option. A “TravelPass” electronic toll tag
is sent first-class mail or an expedited service on request.
At the end of the trip, the renter sends the
“TravelPass” tag back to HTA in a postage-paid return
envelope, and the credit or debit card will be charged $1.99 for each
day’s usage, plus the cost of all tolls incurred. The “TravelPass” toll
tag is initially being accepted
in the Northeast and Midwest.

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DEC ABS

Charge-offs among credit card-backed securities for December hit its highest level in 18 months as delinquency hit an all-time high. Credit card debt dropped 3.6% from from the prior quarter and is now down 3.9% from December 2007. The Fitch “Charge-off Index” increased in December by 80 basis points to 7.2%, having improved slightly in the previous month when it dropped 20 basis points. Fitch expects a further rises in 2009. In December, the Fitch 60 to 180 days “Delinquency Index” increased for the fourth month in a row, moving to 4.3% from 4.1% in November. Having increased for each quarter of 2008, the outstanding amount of credit card debt held by U.K. borrowers rose to GBP 53.9 billion in December from GBP 53.3 billion in November. Fitch also reports that its “Monthly Payment Rate Index” was 16.2% in December, a quarter-on-quarter drop of 100 basis points from September and a 40 basis points fall from December 2007. The Fitch “Yield Index” also dropped from September to December, to 20.6% from 20.9%.

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POCIT

Communications provider Aricent has entered into a joint partnership to develop Tradebridge’s “Pocit” mobile banking application. The “Pocit” application, allows anyone with a credit card or bank account to make payments directly from the mobile application via a cell phone without having to know the recipient’s specific banking details. Once registered with “Pocit”, a user can receive, send, request and store money. In December 2008 the company launched Pocit Money which is similar to a shopping voucher; it allows money to be stored in the phone for multiple uses. Pocit Elect is a world first for elections, based on the model used by Barack Obama and his team, Pocit Elect takes the idea of cellphone fundraising for political parties further by giving a single sms number for donating to any one of multiple political parties.

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TAGPAY NSDT

France-based Tagattitude has introduced the first turnkey mobile payment platform that works on four billion mobile phones worldwide. The new “TagPay” uses Tagattitude’s “Near Sound Data Transfer” technology, to allow any mobile to function as a payment means. “NSDT” has received multiple “GSMA” innovation awards and is now proven to be secure, reliable, and efficient. “TagPay” can be used for retail transactions at the point of sale, money transfer, ATM cash withdrawal, microfinance operations and budget or savings management. “TagPay” is being piloted in Zambia, India, South Africa, Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and is operational in several African countries.

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DECEMBER LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic
Index (LEI) declined 0.5% and The Conference Board
Coincident Economic Index (CEI) decreased 0.4% in December.
The positive contributors are the Spanish contribution to
Euro M2, the inverted long-term government bond yield and the Spanish
equity price index. The negative contributors are the capital
equipment component of industrial production, order books survey, and
job placings. Between June and December 2008, the LEI declined by 2.1%
(about a -4.1% annual
rate), roughly the same rate as the 2.0% (about a -3.9% annual rate)
between December 2007 and June 2008. In addition,
the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been widespread in
recent months. The LEI for Spain has been falling since the first
quarter of
2008, decreasing by 4.1%
since February, its largest decrease
since 1992. The CEI for Spain, a measure of current economic activity,
has also been falling since its peak in February 2008, experiencing its
largest contraction since 1984. Taken together, the recent behavior of
the composite indexes suggests that the contraction in economic activity
will continue in the near term. The LEI now stands at
107.9 (2004=100).

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VOICE COMMERCE

Payment processor Voice Commerce Group has
completed the acquisition of Perpetual Payments,
a specialist credit card and merchant services processing business.
Perpetual Payments offers a range of merchant services, including
advisory support for merchants on customer payment acceptance methods.
The company specialised in providing payment systems for SME’s and new
business start ups where service and costs are a vital consideration.
Voice Commerce Group is the company behind VoicePay and the Voice
Transact Network, a global voice signature based payment and financial
transaction processing service. The Voice Transact network already
covers over 50 countries and is enabling Banks and Financial Services
organisation to change the way that their customers sign securely for
all their financial transactions and payments.
The acquisition will make Perpetual Payments a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Voice Commerce Group.

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EMVCO

Standards body EMVCo has launched a web based subscription program.
EMVCo’s royalty-free final and published versions of EMV Specifications,
bulletins and application notes, type approval process documents and
approval lists will remain accessible without charge. EMVCo remains
committed to ensuring free industry access to these documents from the
EMVCo website. For a nominal annual fee of 750 USD per
user, the service will provide key stakeholders of EMVCo an opportunity
to monitor and participate in the document creation and review processes
of the organization. The subscription fees generated by the new website
service will be reinvested into the organization to support its ongoing
industry initiatives. The EMVCo subscription program has been
introduced to establish a new
communication channel that will broaden industry participation in the
development work of the organization and promote greater transparency
regarding EMVCo activities.

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MASTERCARD GROWTH

During the fourth quarter of 2008, MasterCard cardholders in the Latin
America and Caribbean region used their MasterCard(R)-branded cards
for 635 million purchase and cash transactions, generating gross dollar
volume (GDV) of US $44 billion, up 11.4% on a local
currency basis, over the same period in 2007. Additionally, purchase
volume reached US $24 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, increasing
13.3% on a local currency basis, compared to the same period in 2007.
The number of MasterCard-branded cards increased 16.6% as of the end of
the fourth quarter of 2008, totaling 115 million cards, and MasterCard
cardholders could use their cards at 28.5 million acceptance locations
worldwide. MasterCard cardholders in the Latin America and Caribbean
region used their MasterCard-branded cards for 2.35
billion purchase and cash transactions, generating a gross dollar volume
(GDV) of US $184 billion, up 16.1% on a local currency basis as compared
to 2007. Additionally, purchase volume reached US $96 billion in 2008,
increasing 18.6% on a local currency basis as compared to 2007.

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Fifth Third Processing Signs Two

Fifth Third Processing Solutions has signed contracts with TN-based
restaurant chain O’Charley’s and Old Time Pottery for merchant
processing services. O’Charley’s is a multi-concept restaurant company
that operates or franchises a total of
371 restaurants in 28 states under three brands: O’Charley’s, Ninety
Nine Restaurant, and Stoney River Legendary Steaks. The Organization has
signed with Fifth Third for credit card processing. Old Time Pottery has
38 stores
throughout the Southeast and Midwest and has signed with Fifth Third for
debit, credit and gift card processing. Fifth Third Processing Solutions
processes over 28.4 billion ATM and POS
transactions per year for more than 2,900 financial institutions and
over 169,000 retail locations worldwide.

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MICROREAD

Digital security provider Gemalto and NFC platform specialist INSIDE
Contactless have introduced the new “Inside MicroRead NFC” chip
solution that complies with the latest ETSI
standards. The solution also meets the new GSM Association
“Pay-Buy-Mobile” mobile handset requirements based on the Single Wire
Protocol (SWP). The chip, combined with the
Gemalto latest “UpTeq” 300 m-NFC SIM card embarking a Common Criteria
EAL4+ security certified chip, gives handset makers and mobile operators
the first fully compliant, interoperable, full-speed SWP solution to
support proximity payments, transport and ticketing. To date, Gemalto
and Inside have participated in seven “Pay-Buy-Mobile”
pilot programs around the world.

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VCT Deploys Silk Screen Press

IL-based card manufacture Versatile Card Technology
has installed a new silk screen press in its South Plainfield, NJ
facility. Silk screen presses are vital printing machines for much of
the card printing industry. These presses support printing of metallic
inks as well as post-lamination custom features. VCT now supports two
silk screen lines in its NJ facility as well as two
silk screen lines in its Downers Grove, IL facility, with a third silk
screen line being added in Downers Grove later this quarter.
Versatile Card Technology is the largest US
manufacturer of plastic cards with globally facilities in Turkey,
Germany, Mexico, Singapore, South America and India.

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