AUG DEBT

Credit card debt flattened again in August, rising a mere A$138 million to A$44.6 billion, but still setting a new record. However, credit card volume sank in August dropping to A$17.8 billion, 1.7% lower August 2007 and down 6.3% sequentially. Year-on-year credit card debt growth has slowed to 8.5%, compared to 10% in June. Credit card volume has been slowing over the past year due to merchant surcharges imposed on consumer card transactions. However, the dip in volume is also a reflection of the global economic depression currently underway. Three months ago credit card volume was up 16% year-on-year. Credit card limits reached a new high at A$121.3 billion, marking the 24th consecutive month of A$100+ billion. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia there are currently 14.2 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 13.7 million one-year ago.

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Voiceprints May Stop Career Card Fraudsters

A Silicon Valley-based firm has developed a new credit risk management
solution that identifies fraudsters by their voice during credit card
authorization phone calls. Victrio says its patented technology works by
comparing the caller’s voice against a database of known criminals. The
Victrio voiceprint call screening process is completely transparent to
customers. The Company notes this is the first technology that can
actually target the career fraudster. The company plans to pool
information across its client base to build the world’s largest fraud
voiceprint database. Victrio is targeting big-ticket online merchants as
well as banks and other credit card issuers.
Founder and CEO Tony Rajakumar is a technologist specializing in voice
recognition. Mark Goines, former chief marketing officer of PassMark
Security, is a board advisor to Victrio.

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Aruba Releases a PCI DSS V1.2 White Paper

Aruba Networks has released “Security Is In The Air” which details how
merchants can meet PCI-DSS v1.2 requirements. The
white paper describes compliance solutions for both wired and wireless
networks. The v1.2 standard defines security guidelines for merchants and
service providers that store, process and transmit cardholder data.
Firewalls, encryption, authentication, and wireless intrusion detection
are mandated for use with all wireless LANs, and some safeguards are
required even if the wireless LAN does not transmit cardholder data.
Aruba offers integrated security and wireless/wired access solutions
that meet or exceed the wireless LAN-specific security requirements in
PCI DSS v1.2. Merchants using an Aruba solution can cost-effectively
implement the security controls required for PCI compliance without
compromising the performance of business applications or upgrading
legacy networks.

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Holiday Shoppers Prefer Bytes Over Bricks

A holiday survey has found that for the first time the web has
surpassed the store as the preferred way for multi-channel shoppers to
purchase holiday gifts. The poll, sponsored by e-commerce specialist
ATG, found that 49% intend to do their holiday gift buying online while
44% plan to do so in-store. ATG predicts that 42% of consumers will
purchase gift cards this holiday season, compared to 30% last year. Of
those buying gift cards it will account for 11% to 50% of their online
holiday spending. More than half of consumers plan to buy fewer holiday
gifts this year. ATG noted that the #1 reason for shopping online was to
save time while the #1 customer reason for not buying or buying more
online is the high cost of shipping.

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ThankYou Net to Offer Prepaid Visa Cards

Citi’s ThankYou Network has partnered with Citi Prepaid
Services to introduce a new prepaid card rewards option for members of
“ThankYou Network”. The prepaid cards are available in $25, $50 and $100
denominations that can be used everywhere Visa debit cards are accepted
and feature Visa’s “Zero Liability” protection against fraudulent
charges. ThankYou Network has grown to 13 million members, who can now earn
points by making purchases with their “Smith Barney Financial Management”
account cards and by booking qualified travel on Expedia. They can also
earn even more points by shopping through ThankYou Network’s Online
Shopping Mall, which features more than 300 brand-name online and
in-store retailers.

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Payment Related Patents Go to Auction

Ocean Tomo Auctions is offering several strategic and essential patents
at the upcoming Live Intellectual Property Auction at the
Chicago Cultural Center on October 30th. Several innovative offerings
related to e-commerce systems and security
are included in the Online & Mobile Commerce category. Among them, Lot
36 allows for a more convenient and less confusing online shopping
experience by improving the interface of each step in the shopping and
check-out processes; Lot 38 relates to a system allowing a user to
complete a number of transaction types (i.e., online shopping,
securities trading, etc.), via a personal cell phone, with convenience
and security; and Lot 38a is directed to the field of social e-commerce,
allowing shoppers to form groups determined by a commonly desired
product, potentially accumulating demand and increasing buying power.
Patents in the Transactions & Financial Services category may be useful
to credit card companies; Lot 51a relates to a method for correcting
credit report errors in conjunction with processing a loan application.
Ocean Tomo Auctions is the auctions arm of
Ocean Tomo, LLC, an Intellectual Capital Merchant Banc firm.

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AEIS Discounts its Prepaid Corp Gift Cards

American Express Incentive Services’ has introduced its online store
“RewardCardStore.com”, offering a portfolio of prepaid gift cards
specifically designed to be ideal employee recognition gifts, drive
sales, and foster
strong corporate relationships. The product portfolio includes a mixture
of universal prepaid cards and card products utilizing “DirectSpend”,
patented prepaid card acceptance process that strategically directs
cardholder spend to a specific merchant or group of merchants.
The one-stop business gifting and incentive solutions available at
RewardCardStore.com were developed to appeal to the special needs of
small business customers. In
addition, the Select Shopping Card is ideal for those seeking discounted
gift cards for the holidays. RewardCardStore.com is offering the
“Select Shopping Card” at 5% off the card value now through the end of
the year. AEIS is a joint venture between American Express Travel
Related Services Company, Inc. and Maritz Inc. and provides
business-to-business reward solutions.

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NCR ATMS

NCR has secured
orders for approximately 6,000 automated teller machines from
China’s top five commercial banks which include Agricultural Bank of China, Bank of
China, Bank of Communications, China Construction Bank and Industrial &
Commercial Bank of China. NCR also achieved positive
results from small- and medium-sized commercial banks.
According to the latest report from Retail Banking Research
“Global ATM Market and Forecasts to 2013” NCR is the largest ATM
manufacturer in China and globally, as of the end of 2007. With these
most recent orders from China’s banks in 2008, NCR continues to maintain
its market leadership position in China. RBR forecasts the China ATM
market will continue double-digit growth from 2008 to 2013.

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HYPERCOM MANAGING DIRECTOR

Hypercom has appointed Samia Christine Bounaira as Managing Director, Hypercom Mexico.
Bounaira has more than 20 years of international sales and
management experience in card-based products and services. As Oberthur Technologies
Sales Director for Mexico and Central America from 2004 to present, Ms.
Bounaira directed all aspects of the company’s in-country sales and
marketing to the banking, government and transport sectors. Among her
many accomplishments, she opened the lead office in Mexico City
and in less than one year generated significant market share and doubled
sales revenues.

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PAYVISION & TRUSTWAVE

Card-not-present solution provider Payvision has partnered with Trustwave
to provide its global merchant base with
best-in-breed security and compliance services. Payvision will offer its merchant population access to additional
Trustwave technology and services to support real-time compliance. Such
services include “TrustKeeper Agent”, an on-site monitoring software that
performs policy checks and inspects for prohibited data storage on any
system in which it is installed. The new alliance will afford Payvision customers the ability to take
advantage of Trustwave’s outstanding suite of technology and services,
including its flagship “TrustKeeper” on-demand compliance management
technology, which provides the tools necessary to validate PCI DSS
compliance. Other services include SSL certificates
for e-commerce merchants and help-desk support for those organizations
requiring additional assistance to become PCI DSS compliant.

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Citi Launches Paylink & Obopay Pilot

Citi announced the launch of “Citibank Paylink for Commercial Cards” and the launch of a pilot of a new mobile person-to-person money transfer service with Obopay. “Citibank Paylink for Cards” integrates a purchasing card into a client’s accounts payable system. The MasterCard “Payment Gateway” acts as the network between Citi, the buyer and the supplier. Prior to the availability of this new service, buyers had multiple interfaces and inefficiencies in their payment processes.
Beginning this week, the Citi Obopay mobile payment service will be offered to all Citibank customers in the U.S., with a focus on Boston, Chicago, Maryland, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. Citi says this is the first time that a real-time, person-to-person mobile money transfer service with the ability to link directly to a bank account has
been offered in the U.S. By using a phone’s Web browser, SMS text messaging or the downloadable mobile application, customers can send and receive money nearly instantly needing only the mobile phone numbers of friends and family members.

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