HANMI & NCR

NCR Corporation has partnered its “APTRA Mobile Banking and Mobile
Business Banking” with Hanmi Bank to rebuild its online
banking to be a mobile banking experience for both
consumers and businesses. The “NCR APTRA Mobile Banking” portfolio is
available as a Software as a Service
(SaaS) model, hosted by NCR, including different technology choices for
interacting with customers in the way that best suits them, including
SMS text messaging, browser-based mobile banking, and downloadable
applications. APTRA Mobile Banking –
Browser/SMS refactors a bank’s online site and is designed to create an
optimum user experience, transferring and repositioning online content
on the mobile browser page to fit the handset screen.

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maurices Deploys Columbitech VPN

VPN security provider Columbitech announced that specialty retailer
maurices has deployed Columbitech’s mobile VPN in over 650 retail
stores. Utilizing Columbitech’s mobile VPN
solution, maurices has enhanced its overall security with secure access
to its wireless network, added protection and authentication features to
its existing Fujitsu iPAD handheld computers and meets PCI compliance
requirements. Store managers use Fujitsu iPADs for real-time data to
complete store transfers as well as manage pricing updates.
Columbitech’s mobile VPN provides authentication and secure access and
allows the store managers to focus on productivity with Single Sign
On (SSO) functionality, providing uninterrupted connectivity and session
persistence, avoiding the purchase of new hardware and replacement of
current equipment while providing uninterrupted customer data integrity.

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DISNEY JCB

JCB has introduced a suite of six new co-branded Disney credit cards. The new “Disney-JCB Card” rewards 1 point for every 200 yen charged to a standard card and 1 point for every 100 yen spent using the
gold card version. Points can be shared by family members. Once a cardholder earns 500 points they can exchange 1 point for 1 yen when
using your card for shopping at Disney facilities, or for Disney
merchandise, services, and other special offers. Starting in February, points can be redeemed directly from the card at Disney Stores nationwide. Beginning in summer 2009, points will also be redeemable directly from the card at selected shops and restaurants at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Other card benefits include a chance to win a private “Meet and Greet” with Disney characters. JCB is charging an annual fee 2,100 yen for the standard card and per year 13,650 yen for the gold card. There is also a “Disney Kids Point Card” for a one-time processing fee of 1,050 yen. The card is not credit card and is intended for children aged 6
– 12. Walt Disney Japan and JCB are also staging various campaigns in which non-cardmembers can join, or cardholders can win a discount voucher for Disney Stores and One Day Passports at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.

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Holiday Sales May Actual Contract for 2008

While many market research firms are projecting a slight increase in holiday sales, one global business advisory firm, which has a track record of accurate projections, is forecasting a 1.0% decrease in holiday season sales. The key factors driving down this year’s sales are the deceleration of real income growth and the severe deterioration in consumer confidence. FTI Consulting says that year-over-year real disposable income and wage growth has slowed sharply since mid-2007 and is now close to zero for various measures of real personal income. Real wage growth is currently running slightly negative, something
that has only occurred during the previous six recessions. FTI’s analysis shows that the previous stimulus checks sent out in May and June barely moved the economic needle in the subsequent three months. Additionally, FTI concurs that shoppers have become a bit wary of gift card purchases with so many retailers failing and liquidating this year.

HOLIDAY SALES HISTORICAL
2002: +2.0%
2003: +4.8%
2004: +2.9%
2005: +5.5%
2006: +5.0%
2007: +3.0%
2008: -1.0%
Source: FTI Consulting

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PAYPAL GLOBAL

Alternative payment provider PayPal has added fully localized sites in
Mexico, Hong Kong and
Singapore, extending PayPal’s leading online payments service to more
than 120 million people and bringing the total number of localized
PayPal sites to 18. Customers in these countries can quickly and
confidently pay online using their local currencies. Sellers in these
countries can receive payments from PayPal’s large network of 65 million
active accounts around the globe, and withdraw their PayPal balances
directly to any local bank. PayPal also
launched nine new languages on its Web site including Bahasa Indonesian,
Danish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Traditional
Chinese and Turkish and has introduced new PayPal domains for 18
countries, including Argentina, Chile, Hungary, India, Luxembourg,
Malta, The Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey
and Venezuela.

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U.S. Consumers Demand ATM Availability

More than one-third of U.S. adults have had ATMs unavailable for their
use in the past 12 months. A new survey by Harris Interactive for Level
Four Americas also found that 42% have experienced unavailability at the
ATM three or more times in the past 12 months. About 45% of U.S. banking
consumers would be likely to switch banks if their bank’s network of
ATMs was often unreliable. Level Four Americas says it is crucial for
banks to ensure that their ATM networks are thoroughly tested prior to
deployment, and employ modern monitoring techniques to minimize ATM
downtime and preserve customer loyalty.

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CREDIT EDUCATION WEEK

Visa Canada is pleased
to return as a sponsor and active participant in Credit Canada’s “Credit
Education Week”. Credit Education Week’s theme is ‘Youth and Financial
Literacy’. A recent Visa Canada survey of more than one thousand high
school students showed that while more than one-third of respondents had
never created a budget, about three quarters of respondents agree that
money management and budgeting should be mandatory school curriculum.
Visa Canada’s Practical Money Skills website has helped thousands
of consumers develop budget, saving, investing and spending strategies.
In an effort to expand the reach of its financial literacy materials,
Visa Canada published a companion brochure to the Practical Money Skills
website in Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Punjabi as well as English and
French, and offers consumers Credit Cards: An Owner’s Manual, a
bilingual guide that provides important tips on how to use credit cards
wisely.

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Bling Nation Launches a DDA/Debit Network

A new payment network for financial institutions, Bling Nation has been
launched. Bling Nation enables financial institutions to more
support payments between their local demand deposit account (DDA)
customers and their merchant customers by bypassing the current global
debit payment model and replacing it with an efficient, cost-effective
and local payment network. Through the use of proprietary technology,
Bling Nation enables local debit
payments to be conducted as contactless payments through the simple tap
of a customer’s mobile phone to a supporting contactless payments reader
at the merchant customer’s point-of-sale. Within a matter of seconds,
the customer’s phone receives an SMS text message confirming the
transaction and reporting the account holder’s
remaining account balance, resulting in significant cost savings
on the high fees associated with the traditional method of processing a
debit transaction. Bling Nation was founded by co-CEOs, Wences Casares
and Meyer Malka, who together
have a proven track record of successful entrepreneurialism through the
founding of Banco Lemon, a Brazilian retail bank and Patagon, the
largest online brokerage in Latin America.

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INTERAC & OPTIMUM

Hypercom Corporation announced that its new “Optimum
M4200” series have received Interac Association Chip PED Device
Certification for use within the Interac Direct Payment (IDP) network.
The Optimum M4200 mobile series has already received PCI PED approval,
MasterCard Worldwide Payment Terminal Security approval for IP and
wireless transactions and EMV Level 1 & 2 certifications for global
merchant markets. The M4200 family shares the same application
development toolkit and user interface as the T4200, enabling business
applications written for one platform to be quickly repurposed for the
other for fast deployment. The new certification from Interac covers the
Optimum M4240 Bluetooth and M4230 GPRS models with integrated smart card
readers.

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Firethorn Powers Citi Mobile for Cards

Citi and mobile wallet Firethorn have introduced “Citi Mobile for Cards”
that gives customers immediate access to real-time credit card account
information via mobile phones. “Citi Mobile for Cards” transactions are
secure with data encryption and are monitored for fraud. In addition, no
personal information is stored on the phone and if a cell phone is lost
or stolen, “Citi Mobile for Cards” can be deactivated instantly. For
added security, “Citi Mobile for Cards” only permits access to accounts
from the phone that is registered with the service and PIN authorization
is required. “Citi Mobile for Cards” is now
available to AT&T subscribers as part of AT&T Mobile Banking, and to
Verizon Wireless customers who download and use the free mobile banking
application on Get It Now.

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SKYWAYS & UATP

Skyways Express is now accepting UATP all UATP corporate cards and is a
part of the UATP global corporate travel payment network. Skyways
Express is the largest Swedish regional airline and has more
than 900,000 passengers yearly and utilizes a multi-channel strategy to
maximize bookings and also offers buyers the option of booking hotels,
rentals cars and other travel
related bookings through all lines of distribution with Skyways. UATP
accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business
travel by
airlines and travel agencies worldwide.

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RevolutionCard Offers Holiday Cash-Back

A holiday promotion has been launched for the new “RevolutionCard.”
Between now and January 31st cardholders will receive a $5 credit for
each purchase of $50 or more. There is a $100 cap on the total cash-back
earned during the promotion. The “RevolutionCard” is accepted by more
than 300,000 store locations including Barnes& Noble,
BJ’s Wholesale Club, Circuit City, CVS/Pharmacy, KOHL’S, MACY’S,
Nordstrom, Office Depot, Office Max, T.J.Maxx, U-Haul and Walgreen’s.
The new card is a PIN-based credit card that has no cardholder name or
account number on the card. It is issued by First Bank & Trust of
Brookings, SD. Last month, Revolution Money signed a deal for RBS
WorldPay to offer its “RevolutionCard” as a payment option to RBS
merchant clients. Merchants will be charged absolutely no interchange
fee and a nominal 0.50% transaction fee. St. Petersburg, Florida-based
Revolution Money is part of the family of companies within Revolution
LLC, which was founded by AOL’s former CEO, Steve Case, to drive
“transformative change by shifting power to consumers.” Jason Hogg is
Revolution Money’s CEO. RBS WorldPay (formerly RBS Lynk) is the U.S.
payment processing division of the Royal Bank of Scotland Group. (CF
Library 10/17/08)

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