BestBuy Gift Cards Offered Over the HD Battle

Best Buy is giving $50 gift cards to customers who purchased an HD-DVD player or HD-DVD attachment. Best Buy will proactively mail cards to all customers that the company can identify as having purchased an HD-DVD player. Members of the Best Buy Reward Zone program, customers who purchased Performance Service Plans (PSPs) or who made their purchase on BestBuy.com should look for their gift cards in the mail by May 1. Other customers who may not be easily identified can call (888) BEST BUY to receive their gift cards with proof of purchase through a credit card or their Best Buy receipt.

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MSN Money Cites NestEggz VISA Card

The “NestEggz VISA” credit card rewards program has been named best 15 savings programs in the nation by MSN Money. Through the NestEggz program, consumers can earn rebates of up to 1% on virtually all purchases made with the card. Cardholders can also earn additional rebates of up to 26% on their purchases at retailers like Eddie Bauer, Best Buy, Gap.com, Lands’ End and Banana Republic- representing over 100,000 store locations and service providers, hundreds of catalogs and gift cards, and more than 600 leading online retailers. The card program is offered by MXT Card Services, in partnership with Vesdia Corporation.

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VISA Inc. IPO Raises a Record $17.9 Billion

Visa Inc. last night confirmed it priced the initial public offering of 406 million shares of Class A common stock at $44 per share. Visa’s shares will begin trading this morning on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “V”. The closing of the offering is scheduled to take place on March 25th. Visa expects net proceeds from the offering, after deducting underwriting discounts, commissions and estimated offering expenses, to be approximately $17.3 billion. The underwriters have a 30-day option to purchase up to 40.6 million additional shares of Class A common stock to cover over- allotments, if any. JPMorgan, Goldman, Sachs, Banc of America Securities, Citi, HSBC, Merrill Lynch, UBS Investment Bank and Wachovia Securities are acting as joint bookrunners with respect to the offering.

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Zipidee Integrates the TrialPay Payment Option

Zipidee has partnered with payment provider TrialPay to offer alternative online payments. Zipidee has integrated the TrialPay payment option into its e-commerce platform which dramatically boosts conversion rates by ensuring that every customer can find an offer that compels him or her to complete a transaction. For example, if a customer cannot be convinced to pay for a video, he or she could buy clothes from a premier retailer, sign up for monthly magazine subscription or sign up for a credit card, and get the video for free. The advertiser pays a bounty that equals or exceeds the video merchant’s regular price, creating a profitable transaction out of a stalled or abandoned cart. Using TrialPay, Zipidee merchants generate revenue from lost or unlikely transactions and customers get a free product when they complete an advertiser offer from one of their favorite brands.

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AccountNow and MetaBank Offer Money 411

Non-tradition financial service provider AccountNow has teamed with MetaBank to introduce ” iAdvance Line of Credit” and “Money 411” with no upfront fees for new accounts with direct deposit. “iAdvance”, available with the AccountNow Vantage Prepaid MasterCard from MetaBank, provides a line of credit that can be accessed 24/7 via a customer’s prepaid card. Available to cardholders with direct deposit, iAdvance is a more convenient and less costly alternative to other options, with no rollovers, no multiple outstanding loans and lower fees than other high-cost, nonbank credit alternatives. Money 411 is the first comprehensive information network designed specifically for those who do not use, or have been unable to get, a traditional bank account.

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AIG & INVERSORA PICHINCHA

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) has signed agreements to
acquire Inversora Pichincha consumer finance, and its 17 operating
branches throughout the country, for undisclosed terms. With this
development, AIG Consumer Finance Group can provide consumers
with credit cards, auto loans, consumer loans and sales finance to the
Colombian consumers. This is in addition to the Organization’s already
existing operations in over 130 countries.

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TNB Joins the PCI Security Council

Credit union payment processor TNB has joined the PCI Security Standards Council as a new “Participating Organization”. As a participating organization, TNB will now have access to the latest payment card security standards from the Council and be able to provide feedback on the standards. In an era of increasingly sophisticated attacks on electronic systems, adhering to the PCI DSS represents an entity’s best protection against cyber criminals and data thieves. TNB will work with the Council and its members to further develop the PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) to improve security of card processing for the credit unions it serves.

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SCM 4Q/07

SCM Microsystems reported its revenue for 4Q07, which was up $9.7
million, a 3% change since 4Q06, thanks in part to smart card reader sales
of $7.3 million, little change since the same period of the year prior,
and Digital
Media Reader sales of $2.4 million, up 12% since the same period of the
year prior. Moreover, the company reported a gross margin of 43%, up 1%
since 4Q06, operating expenses of $4.1 million, an operating income of
$0.1 million, compared with an operating income of $0.4 million in 4Q06,
and
an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of
$27,000.
SCM Microsystems also reported its 2007 annual revenue of $30.4 million,
down 9% from the year prior, a PC Security revenue of $24.4 million, a
Digital Media Reader revenue of $6.0 million a gross margin in 2007 of 42%,
compared with 35% in 2006 and a loss from continuing operations of $3.3
million. Furthermore, SCM reported a total net loss of $1.9 million, up
$.9million from the year prior, and reported a 2007 cash and cash
equivalents
of $32.4 million, down 4.5 from 2006. SCM Microsystems provides digital
content and services with smart card reader technology for organizations
around the world and is headquartered in Ismaning, Germany.

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RISK STATUS TRANSLATOR

Aconite smart card software has launched its “Risk Status Translator”
(RST), software focal on helping card issuers manage fraud and risk
through EMV migration, with South African Investec Private Bank.
RST links fraud, risk management and the scripting engine for the
implementation of preventative measures and is an extension to
Aconite’s EMV Script Processor (ESP) and Transaction Enabler
(TRxE) solutions. ESP provides for the generating and managing of
scripts, enabling issuers to change card parameters in a single transaction,
while TRxE enhances existing authorization systems to process EMV
transactions, both of which Investec has also deployed.

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Merchant Warehouse Offers PCI Ed

Merchant Warehouse has introduced a program that provides merchant education strategies for those independent merchants seeking reliable direction in addressing the payment card industry data security standard (PCI DSS). Level 4 merchants are defined as those companies who process up to 20,000 Visa and MasterCard e-commerce transactions per year and all other merchants, regardless of acceptance channel, who process up to one million Visa or MasterCard transactions per year. Without the proper leadership and tools to become PCI compliant, they run the risk of damage to their reputation, audit fees, fines from credit card companies, and disrupted operations.

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