Elavon & Bank of the West Expand Deal

CA-based Bank of the West has extended its marketing alliance agreement with card processor Elavon. Bank of the West markets Elavon’s merchant processing services to business customers throughout its 19-state banking network of more than 700 commercial office and retail branch locations. Bank of the West is the fourth-largest commercial bank based in the western United States with $62 billion in assets. Elavon provides end-to-end payment processing services to more than one million merchants in the United States, Europe, Canada and Puerto Rico and provide solutions that include credit and debit card processing, electronic check services, gift cards, dynamic currency conversion, multi-currency support, and cross-border acquiring.

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Dress Barn Renews its ADS Contract

Alliance Data Systems has signed a multi-year contract extension with retailer Dress Barn to continue providing private label credit card services. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will continue providing private label credit card services including account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services. Alliance Data is a provider of marketing, loyalty and transaction services, managing over 120 million consumer relationships

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AmEx Intros a Spring Gift Card Promo

American Express is offering free $25 “Spring Fling” gift cards when customers purchase two American Express gift cards. Shoppers can take advantage of this promotion by purchasing any two American Express Gift Cards or themed Gift Cards at American Express Travel Service offices and at participating retailers, completing a rebate form found at the in-store display and mailing it to the address noted on the rebate form. All rebate forms must be received by July 22, 2008, with a limit of two Spring Fling Cards per household. Participating retailers include: CVS, Walgreens, Safeway, Kroger, Rite Aid, Ahold, Albertsons / Supervalu, A&P, Wawa, Winn Dixie, Longs Drugs, Stater Brothers, Pathmark, Shop Rite / Wakefern, Bi-Lo, Wegman’s, AAFES, King Kullen, Kings, Quick Chek, Price Chopper, Raley’s, Lowes, Harmons, Bashas, and Big Y. The American Express Spring Fling Card can be redeemed for three months after the date of issue at U.S. locations of participating entertainment retailers: Best Buy, Borders, Fandango and SpaFinder.

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Biz Card Issuers Should Analyze Behavior

A new report from Aite Group suggests small-business credit card payment behavior can assist financial institutions attempting to segment small-business customers for insight into the size-behavior correlation. Unlike segmenting small business based on revenue, which is not always a good predictor of financial product needs nor is it very accurate, segmenting businesses based on purchasing behavior with payment cards provides an accurate depiction of business’ size, annual sales, habits and preferences. Aite says identifying the type of card a customer uses for business purchases can enable a cash management product offering to be specifically targeted to a customer’s needs.

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AirDefense to Offer PCI Podcasts

GA-based AirDefense has partnered with Motorola to debut its series of PCI compliance podcasts, sponsored by the Stratix Corporation. The series of podcasts will feature Dr. Amit Sinha, AirDefense’s CTO, and Mark Self, Motorola’s VP of retail solutions, who will both examine payment card industry data and security compliance across the retail Industry. Stratix Corporation is a mobile systems integrator for supply chain solutions, Motorola provides wireless and broadband communications around the world with a 2006 sales of US $42.8 billion while AirDefense provides wireless security across various industries, serving 700 agencies and corporations.

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FALCON TRANSFER

Fair Isaac has introduced a new anti-fraud solution that employs the same mathematical techniques used in missile interception to identify fraudulent activity, and can react according to user-defined business rules in just 200 milliseconds. The new “Falcon Transfer” was designed to meet the challenges of the UK’s “Faster Payments” initiative. Fair Isaac says criminals will try to exploit the real-time
speed of “Faster Payments” as banks will take “Standing Orders”
up to GBP 100,000, irrevocably processed “24/7/365.” “Falcon Transfer” was created by expanding on the proven capabilities of Fair Isaac’s “Falcon Fraud Manager,” which monitors more than 1.5 billion
active payment cards worldwide. Fair Isaac’s modeling technology supports rapid data analysis and non-linear modeling of transactions to spot anomalies in behavior which could point to fraud. Falcon Transfer also reviews both the sender’s and receiver’s account profile.

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Visa Inc. Introduces a Meetings Card

Visa has introduced a new card product to give corporate expense managers the most cost effective method for managing meetings and related expenses. The new “Visa Meetings” card includes the features of the existing “Visa Purchasing” and “Visa Corporate” payment cards. The new card builds upon a strategic alliance with Arcaneo to integrate “Visa Meetings” card transaction data into Arcaneo’s “Metron” strategic meetings management system. Web-based data and reporting tools available through Visa Information Management, an integral component of the Visa Meetings card, further improves company visibility into meetings spending. These tools provide access to transaction details and e-folio data from hotels, airlines, car rental agencies and other suppliers through easy-to-read reports, expense reporting tools, cardholder statements and file extract capabilities. According to research by the Aberdeen Group, surveyed companies spent on average nearly three percent of their annual revenues, or $17.3 million, on meetings-related expenses during 2007.

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FDC & KOTAK MAHINDRA

First Data’s e-commerce and payment service has signed a 5-year card
processing agreement with Kotak Mahindra Bank, ensuring a greater
presence in India. The agreement requires First Data to provide
processing services for Kotak’s unsecured lending portfolio, which
includes credit cards and loans, and client services support through the
First Data Mumbai offices. The First Data services will provide Kotak
Mahindra Bank speed to market by implementing the processing
infrastructure within four months. First Data has operations in 37
countries serving over 5.4 million merchant locations and 2,000 card
issuers while Kotak Mahindra has a net worth of over Rs. 5,609 crore and
17,000 employees serving 3.6 million customer accounts.

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Branded Gift Cards Become Personal

A new survey has concluded that American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa gift cards have crossed the threshold from an impersonal gift to one that is preferred by recipients and shared among close friends and family members in high numbers. The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association also found that more than 90% of respondents expressed enjoyment at the freedom to choose their perfect gift and 75% suggested they prefer to pick out their own gifts when given a choice; about 64% suggested that gift cards are better than traditional gifts and 50% thought that gift cards are better than receiving cash; only 7% of respondents felt that they received too many gift cards. The NBPCA says 29% of the population received at least one branded gift card during the 2007 holiday season and the average load on the card was $116. The association predicts a growth rate for 2008 of 137%.

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METAVANTE & PABP

Metavante Technologies prepaid and debit card processing has been
granted “Payment Application Best Practice” (PABP) certification from Visa Europe for both its card issuing and transaction acquiring,
conducted by the first of payments software vendors to have received the
certification. This development confirms Metavante Technologies meets
industry standards for cardholder data security on the necessary
platform for PCI DSS, the comprehensive payments industry security
standard ensuring customer account protection. The audit of the
Metavante Technologies “CORTEX” card processing software platform, which
provides banking/payments technologies to over 8,000 businesses
worldwide, was conducted by qualified security assessor of PCI
compliance, Ambersail Ltd.

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UATP & GOL

UATP has announced its further expansion in Brazil with the addition of
GOL Transportes Aereos as a new merchant and the first Brazilian airline
to accept UATP payment through its website. With this development, GOL
is catering to the demands of corporate travelers with the availability
of this internet payment option and fulfilling its strategy of
profitable growth with low cost structures and high quality customer
service while UATP has achieved a higher Brazilian market share. UATP is
currently accepted by airlines and travel agencies worldwide while GOL
Transportes Aereos offers travelers over 640 daily flights to 57
destinations with its fleet of Boeing 737 aircraft.

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