OBERTHUR SCA OSCA

Oberthur Technologies has been recognized with the 2008 award for “Outstanding Smart Card Achievement” by the Smart Card Alliance
multi-industry association for its roles and leadership in the North
American smart card marketplace. Initiatives such as these demonstrate
the SCA focus on stimulating the understanding, adoption and widespread
application of smart card technology and has recognized Oberthur with
the OSCA for its innovative achievements. Oberthur is actively involved in a wide range of smart card-based products including: “SIMphonIC Flybuy; the “Dual Hybrid ID One Cosmo” card for physical and logical access; and the “VersaFOB.”

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Sub-Prime Indigo MasterCard Goes Online

OR-based Genesis Financial Solutions has launched its web page to allow non-prime consumers to apply for the “Indigo” MasterCard online, expanding accessibility of credit. Specializing in purchasing portfolio portions issuers are looking to shed, Genesis Bankcard Services provides partner banks with origination, credit card management/service, customized strategies and programs focusing on relationship management while providing customers with reasonable pricing and customer service.

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Dave & Buster’s Card Hackers Get Busted

For having hacked into cash register terminals at 11 Dave & Buster’s Inc. restaurants across the U.S. in order to acquire “Track 2” payment card information (account numbers and expiration dates), three defendants have been charged in a federal grand jury indictment. The U.S. DOJ alleges the group, which included men from the Ukraine, Estonia and Miami, around May 2007 gained unauthorized access to the cash register terminals and installed at each restaurant a “packet sniffer.” At one restaurant location the “packet sniffer” captured track 2 data for approximately 5,000 credit and debit cards, eventually causing losses of at least $600,000 to the financial institutions that issued the credit and debit cards.

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VISA Adds Transparency to Operating Rules

Starting tomorrow Visa Inc., for the first time, will make its VISA International and Regional Operating Regulations available publicly via its corporate Website. VISA also released its first calendar quarter 10-Q yesterday. In regard to the operating rules disclosure, Visa has omitted proprietary and competitive information, as well as certain details from the rules relating to the security of the network. For example, in the merchant rules, Visa has omitted authorization limits by country and processing codes which could aid fraudsters. Previously, Visa Inc. made its Visa USA Operating Regulations available to merchants and third party agents under a non-disclosure agreement. In its 10-Q VISA Inc. reported first quarter operating revenues of $1.45 billion, a 79% increase over the year ago quarter and net income of $314 million, a 74% increase over 1Q/07. On a pro forma basis, operating revenues increased 22% and net income rose 28%. VISA noted that growth in its operating revenues exceeded growth in payments and transactions volumes due to newly introduced service fees in April 2007, and changes in pricing for various services outside the U.S. since December 31, 2006. Operating expenses increased by 39% to $307 million in 1Q/08 to $1.10 billion. Following VISA’s recent IPO a $3.0 billion deposit was made into an escrow account from which settlements of, or judgments in, covered litigation will be paid. During the first quarter VISA also recorded an additional litigation provision of $285 million related to the covered litigation as a charge against income. VISA will release its first quarter operational performance data in the third quarter. VISA shares closed yesterday at $82 per share after closing at $55 per share on its first day of trading March 19th. For complete details on VISA’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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DeluxeCard Agent Bank Program Launched

The Bancorp Payment Solutions Group has partnered with Deluxe Corporation offer the DeluxeCard agent bank program. The DeluxeCard program allows financial institutions to expand their current product portfolio and offer their customers a prepaid card solution with potential to drive in-branch traffic, increase share of wallet, create revenue and enhance brand recognition. The variety of Bancorp solutions, including instant issue gift cards, bulk gift card ordering, and consumer gift card programs helps financial institutions tap the $2.1 billion gift card market. DeluxeCard is one of several new programs Deluxe has introduced to help monetary institutions grow their businesses through a wide range of products and services beyond checks including consumer loyalty programs, identity theft and fraud prevention solutions, industry thought leadership initiatives and brand-building programs.

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Coinstar Investor Wants Board Changes

Shamrock Activist Value Fund (“SAVF”) has released an open letter to stockholders in CA-based Coinstar, in which it currently owns 13.3% of the outstanding shares, to promote their nominees for election to the board. The Shamrock nominees for the Coinstar Board include Eugene I. Krieger, John M. Panettiere and Arik Ahitov, collectively focal on improving operational performance and capital allocation policies. This focus is in response to figures showing, during the past 5 years, the organization has spent over $550 million in acquisitions and capital expenditures, but its “ROIC” has plummeted by over 50% from 12.7% in 2002 to 5.7% by the end of 2007. Additionally, the nominees intend to improve corporate governance, compensation practices (which the organization has only recently began to improve), and to rebuild trust/confidence with stockholders through improved communication. This improved communication includes providing more transparency to shareholders regarding the direction and plans of its fiduciaries. The nominees will be decided on at the 2008 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.

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MobiClear Names a New CEO and COO

Personal identity verifier MobiClear has appointed Stephen P. Cutler as CEO and Lt. Colonel Edward C. Pooley as COO. Cutler has a solid background in e-commerce and cyber business, as well as security and international relations. At the FBI, he was instrumental in the development of innovative international collaborative efforts in cyber investigations, as well as security, money laundering, and similar issues. Pooley is a former member of the Michigan State Bar, as well as the US Federal Bar Association. He has successfully operated several companies in very competitive business environments on the international level. Due to his efforts, he has successfully improved the operating environments within these companies and successfully improved overall business efficiency, effectiveness, and profits.

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MasterCard Foundation Funds Microfinance

The MasterCard Foundation has awarded $600,000 to six microfinance training institutes to fund 200 scholarships. According to a recent study by the Center for the Study of Financial Innovation, the greatest risk facing the microfinance sector, which provides access to financial services to low-income populations in developing countries, is the uneven quality of management and limited staff capacity. The Scholars Program will help meet this need by extending educational and training opportunities to microfinance staff at the regional and local levels. The MasterCard Foundation is an independent, private charitable foundation headquartered in Toronto, Canada. It was established through MasterCard’s customer financial institutions at the time of the company’s initial public offering, to fuel economic growth and opportunity for underserved people around the world.

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Travelex Cash Passport Card Takes-Off

The first prepaid foreign currency card in the U.S. is off to a flying start. Launched this month, the “Travelex Cash Passport MasterCard” enables cardholders to lock-in their rate for British Pounds or Euros. The new card is available at more than 100 Travelex retail locations in the U.S. Two cards can be purchased with different account numbers that can access the same pool of money so travelers can share cards or have a back-up card should one be lost or stolen. Travelex says that if the card is lost or stolen the balance is protected and can be replaced in as little as 20 minutes around the world. It also carries with it all of the buyer protections and guarantees that come with any “Debit MasterCard” and includes “Global Emergency Assistance.” Travelex is the world’s foreign exchange and business payments specialist.

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Nearly Half of Tenants Prefer Credit Cards

A new survey has found that 45% of tenants and 52% of landlords of those using checks would prefer to use a credit card or an e-check in place of paper checks. The survey by Investment Instruments discovered that 75% of tenants and 71% of landlords currently use bank checks. Additional findings show 71% of the landlords have less than 10 apartment units, 65% rely on property revenue as only a fraction of their income, around 25% rely solely on property revenue as their only income and 80% of tenants responded as having a decent landlord relationship, with 77% claiming problems are dealt with in a timely manner.

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Ifbyphone Unveils Verify-Me-Now

Phone platform provider Ifbyphone has introduced the “Verify-Me-Now” fraud prevention solution for ISPs and e-commerce sites to reduce fraud. “Verify-Me-Now” turns risk into a security feature with a simple process that validates that the person providing a credit card, banking information, or other form of payment is who they say they are by enabling ISPs to incorporate the hosted Verify-Me-Now application into their existing process that customers use to sign up for a Web hosting account or any other service. A telephone number is then collected as part of each registration or purchase transaction and a PIN of up to ten digits is displayed on the customer’s screen. The Verify-Me-Now service is then invoked, either transparently or via a user-pressed button, with an easy-to-use API that is compatible with most Web-programming environments. The Ifbyphone server instantly places a call to the customer at the number entered in step one and then asks the customer to enter the previously displayed PIN using their telephone keypad. Depending on whether the PIN entered matches the one provided in step two, the API returns a success or failure message.

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