NBPCA Issues a Prepaid Card & Laundering Report

The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association has released “Recommended Practices for Anti-Money Laundering Compliance for U.S.-based Prepaid Card Programs.” The report recommends how to implement internal controls, monitor and manage third-parties involved with prepaid card processes and mitigate risks associated with money laundering. It is the result of 11 months of work by the NBPCA AML Task Force, which drew on the extensive experience of the NBPCA membership, which includes card brands, financial institutions, issuers, program managers, law firms, distributors and processors. The NBPCA’s Working Groups drive the activities of the Association for its more than 35 members.

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CU of Texas and FIA Sign an Agreement

For its 19,000 accounts and its portfolio of $44 million in outstanding loans, The Credit Union of Texas has chosen FIA Card Services as its credit card partner following the recommendation of Brookwood Capital and extensive consideration. The decision to partner has been made based on the quality of the FIA’s card products, which has a record of member satisfaction, has demonstrated portfolio growth and, according to the Credit Union, is committed to providing exceptional service to provide members with tangible benefits through programs, rates and rewards. During the transaction, Brookwood Capital served as an advisor to The Credit Union of Texas, which serves its 175,000 members through 10 branches in the Dallas area and has over $1 billion in assets.

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Port Authority and NJ Transit to Test PayPass

Initially available to MasterCard “PayPass” customers, The Port Authority, MasterCard and NJ TRANSIT have been authorized by The Board of Commissioners to launch an 8-month pilot to test contactless bank cards, key fobs, cell phones and other devices for NFC transit fare settlement. After the first 2 months of the pilot, which will determine compatibility of the solution with the regional transit systems, the NFC pilot will be available for all commuters who travel from any of the 13 PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) train stations and 2 of the system’s bus routes. This development is in response to an earlier pilot launched for the NYC Metro Transit Authority with MasterCard during July of 2006 for the Lexington Avenue subway line at 80 fare gates in 30 stations. A permanent solution is expected to launch in early 2009 following the pilot and additional testing.

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VISA Expands its Olympic Game Initiatives

VISA has introduced its team of athletes for the “Beijing 2008 Olympic” and the “Paralympic Games” at the “VISA Olympic Media Summit,” for which the organization has contributed over $14 million to U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Team hopefuls since VISA initial designation as “America’s Olympic Team Partner” in 1986. Additionally, VISA has extended its partnership for “Play Every Day,” supporting the initiative for children to get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day with funding for parks, playgrounds, trails and open spaces. With the launch of the organization’s Integrated Marketing Programs, VISA has provided 225 issuing U.S. banks and 300 merchant partners with means of participation and producing over 48 million pieces of marketing collateral to enhance card-marketing efforts.

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Asset Acceptance Posts a Slight Q4 Increase

MI-based Asset Acceptance Capital reported that total revenues increased 1.1% to $62.2 million for the fourth quarter, compared to 4Q/06. Cash collections increased 10.1% to $89.1 million. In the fourth quarter, Asset Acceptance invested $62.8 million to purchase charged-off consumer debt portfolios, net of buybacks, with a face value of $1.5 billion, representing a blended rate of 4.10% of face value. The Company expects to report net income in the fourth quarter of $4.0 million, compared to net income of $9.8 million in the prior year period. For complete details on AACC’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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BRIT AWARDS

For the first annual “BRIT Awards”, ID Data and MasterCard
supplied the 5,350 attendees with a “BRIT Awards MasterCard
PrePaid PayPass”, each pre-loaded with GBP10. The card allowed for
purchases at the event, such as the “BRITs Hits” album from kiosks,
food and drinks, and wherever the payment solution is accepted through
“Tap & Go” card readers. There are over 23 million “PayPass” cards in
use, accepted at more than 95,000 merchant locations in over 24
countries. MasterCard Worldwide provides payment services in nearly
210 countries, processing more than 16 billion transactions per annum,
while ID Data supplies plastic cards and solutions across Europe in the
banking, retail, travel and government sectors.

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Hypercom Lands MasterCard’s Goff as President

Hypercom has hired former MasterCard executive Heidi Goff as President and Managing Director, the Americas. Goff will join Hypercom next week to drive the Company’s sales, service and support throughout North America, South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America. Goff served for 11 years with MasterCard International in leadership roles including SVP/Global Merchant Services and SVP and General Manager, Merchant Services. She was a founding executive and EVP of Global Payment Systems, EVP and GM of Transaction Network Services? North America division, and President and COO of U.S. Wireless Data. Hypercom recently purchased Thales’ e-Transactions business. (CF Library 2/14/08)

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Affinion Relaunches PrivacyGuard.com

In response to research showing that there have been 27.3 million victims of identity theft since 2003, costing over $56 billion per annum, Affinion Group global affinity marketer has relaunched a more user-friendly version of its PrivacyGuard.com website. The website provides consumers with an ID theft protection service, reiterated by its new product tag-line, “Don’t be caught off-guard”. The website allows users to determine their individual vulnerability with an ID Theft Quiz, access to expert fraud prevention consultants, ID theft tips and its “PrivacyGuard ID” theft protection service, which provides daily credit monitoring, fraud resolution support, fraud insurance, credit report access and online financial tools. Affinion provides services to its nearly 5,200 partners worldwide and employs nearly 3,000.

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DCPCU

The APACS-sponsored Dedicated Check and Plastic Crime Unit (DCPCU),
which focuses on the prevention of payment card/check fraud and is based
in London, has shown great effectiveness throughout the year. For 2007,
the unit demonstrated a fraud prevention volume of GBP 107 million, just
GBP23
million less than reported combined volumes for the first 5 years of the
Unit’s
deployment. Responsible for a significant increase in fraud prevention, the
DCPCU disrupted 421 organized crime networks, recovered 103,000
compromised card details, 16,500 counterfeit cards and 7,000 fraudulent
checks. Collectively, these efforts led to a 94% conviction rate of the
offenders.

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Advance America and NetSpend Ink a Deal

For availability in 2,600 “Cash Advance Centers” across 35 states, Advance America has chosen NetSpend as a partner to launch prepaid and re-loadable debit cards, which will be issued by MetaBank. Advance America provides payday cash advance and prepaid card services with its 85 limited licensees across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada while NetSpend offers prepaid debit cards to the under-banked segment. The “Meta Payment Systems” division of MetaBank serves financial institutions and payment processors from its U.S. headquarters.

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PET SUBSTRATE

KSW Microtec has launched “PET substrate”, a contactless card inlay in
sheet format which can be directly laminated into PVC layers, affording
card manufacturers more options. The Company’s RFID inlays are attached
using palladium bump technology and are available in various colors and
formats. The inlays also provide contactless credit card manufacturers with
UHF RFID for conversion into UHF PVC cards. KSW Microtec AG
operates out of Germany, supplying Radio Frequency Identification
components for applications around the world through its employee base
of 60.

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