TrustKeeper Upgraded with SAQ v1.1

Security and compliance management provider Trustwave has upgraded “TrustKeeper” with the new PCI SSC Self Assessment Questionnaire. The SAQ is a validation tool used primarily by Level 2, 3 and 4 merchants (and some smaller service providers), as defined by the major card brands to validate compliance with the PCI DSS. The PCI SSC updated SAQ version 1.0 to better align with PCI DSS version 1.1 and created four variants to ensure merchants only answer questions relevant to their environment. Each of the four variants, labeled A, B, C and D have qualifying questions used to determine which of the four questionnaires a merchant is required to complete: They are A11 – Card-not-present (e-commerce or mail/telephone-order) merchants, all cardholder data functions outsourced. B21 – Imprint-only merchants with no electronic cardholder data storage. B21 – Stand-alone terminal merchants, no electronic cardholder data storage. C38- Merchants with POS systems connected to the Internet, no electronic cardholder data storage. All other merchants (not included in Types 1-4 above) and all service providers defined by a payment brand as eligible to complete an SAQ. D 226

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Bank Freedom Prepaid Card is Launched

Berman Marketing Group has rolled out the “Bank Freedom Prepaid Debit Card for purchase on its website. The card is a personalized, reusable prepaid debit card for America’s unbanked and underbanked population. The company states that subject to verification of ID the prepaid debit cards will be offered to America’s estimated 40-80 million unbanked and underbanked consumers with a 100% guaranteed approval policy. The company is offering the prepaid debit card with no activation fee, no signature user fee, free direct deposit and no monthly fee if users direct deposit $500 a month or more. Users deposit cash onto the prepaid card at one of 40,000 retail locations or have their paycheck directly deposited onto the prepaid card for free. The Berman Marketing Group is a multi-channel direct market firm specializing in direct response marketing.

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Better ATM Lights Creates Better Signage

Better ATM Services has introduced “Better ATM Lights,” an electroluminescent signage involving the usage of extremely thin layers of conductive and non-conductive plastic and a layer of phosphor along with a flat light source joined together to create one paper-thin, lightweight, highly durable panel that becomes a print medium which lights up like a backlit sign. Because it uses one-tenth of the electricity of an incandescent bulb, it is so cool that panels can be used in any variety of ways without the risk of overheating or melting. These attention-grabbing panels don’t require any special hardware leaving users free to configure them in frames, displays, custom-designed fixtures, or even wrapped around hardware. Space and cost limitations are eliminated with the striking new signage.

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Oliver Wyman Acquires Researcher Celent

Oliver Wyman has acquired Celent, a research and consulting firm focused on the global financial services industry. Celent’s operations and staff in Boston, New York City, San Francisco, London, Paris, Milan, Tokyo and Beijing will become a separate unit in Oliver Wyman’s financial services practice. Oliver Wyman has more than 2,500 professionals in over 40 cities around the globe. Celent was founded in 1999.

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MC to Debut a Priceless BusinessCard Spot

MasterCard unveiled a new “Priceless” television spot for its “BusinessCard” set to debut during the broadcast of the “Academy Awards” this weekend. The “Land” spot is one of two new TV executions breaking during the broadcast of the show. Last week, MasterCard announced that it would debut a 60-second spot, entitled “Studious Pupil,” to officially launch the new Priceless Search campaign. A third spot, entitled “Dinner Out,” will also appear on the broadcast. That spot debuted in mid-January and has since been appearing in general brand rotation. “Land” conveys an entrepreneur’s dream to break away from the corporate world in favor of running one’s own business. It is the second MasterCard spot for small business featuring this themed animation. Creative for the MasterCard Priceless campaign is handled by McCann Erickson/New York.

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UK INDEX

Moody’s Investors Service’s recent index report, “UK Credit Card Indices:
December 2007” demonstrate credit cards have made performance
improvements during the period. Charge-off and delinquency rates both
decreased in December 2007 from December 2006 to 6.04% by 133 basis
points and to 5.83% by 37 basis points, respectively. The report also
reflects
payment rates and gross yields performance with a December 2007 rate of
16.38%, down from 17.69% in November, and 19.50%, respectively. With
these findings, however, uncertainty in performance trends persist for
the latter
half of ’08 and beyond. Additionally, Moody’s reports now include
unstressed
assumption ranges, payment rates and gross yields.

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Smart Circle Cards Go Digital

Marketing and direct sale provider Smart Circle International has introduced digital format “Smart Circle Cards.” The Smart Circle’s new card, once only available to consumers in the form of a tear-away coupon card, includes an easy to use digital format that’s designed to look and function like a gift card. Among the card’s newly added features is the ability to hold multiple Smart Circle offerings from multiple businesses in one card. Once the savings are “cashed in,” consumers can reload new offers online, giving them the ability to easily stock up on their favorite discounts and incentives at their convenience. Merchants also reap a number of new rewards as well, including a convenient processing application that allows them to scan the cards digitally with standard credit card terminals and redemption capabilities which enables The Smart Circle to monitor purchases, to manage overall campaign efficiency and effectiveness.

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AFFINION & ISO

Affinion International, global affinity marketer, has been awarded the
“ISO 27001” Information Security Certification for the 2nd consecutive
time and the ISO certification for its North America operations. Nearly
50 companies in the United States carry the latter credential and 4,100
worldwide have been awarded the former. Affinion’s information security
management was awarded based on the adoption of best practice across
information security domains, risk management, security framework
operation, consistency in security requirement compliance, continuous
security management and the Organization’s published international
standard. Affinion Group helps generate incremental revenue for over
5,200 affinity partners, employs 3,000 employees and oversees
operations in the U.S. and Europe.

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WaMu and PetSmart Launch a VISA Card

WaMu and PetSmart have teamed to issue a co-branded credit card. The new “PetSmart PetPerks VISA” enables consumers to upload a photo of their pet when they apply and the image will be printed directly on their card after their application is approved. Alternatively, the customer can choose one of several standard pet-themed card designs. The card also awards three points for every dollar spent on purchases at PetSmart, PetSmart.com and Banfield, The Pet Hospital, and one point per dollar spent everywhere. Points can be redeemed for PetSmart gift cards, donations to PetSmart Charities, travel rewards and statement credits, starting at just 2,000 points. Cardholders also receive a $20 PetSmart gift card after using the card for the first time within one year. Online applicants receive 0% introductory APR for the first six months on purchases and balance transfers requested at the time of application. PetSmart operates more than 993 pet stores in the USA and Canada.

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CARIFS

Alaric International will be providing the Barbados Public Workers’
Co-operative Credit Union Ltd (BPWCCUL) with its
debit card solution. In doing so, Alaric will be providing EFT
authorization and switching for the implementation of the national
CarIFS (Caribbean Integrated Financial Services) debit solution, which
has just recently made available debit switching to credit unions.
Authentic will link the Union to the CarIFS Network while Prism Services,
the network manager, is fully endorsing the development.

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Citi Lands the DoD Travel Card Contract

Citi announced it has been selected to administer the U.S. DoD “Travel Card” program. The program, the largest under the GSA’s umbrella “SmartPay 2” master contract, currently has 1.2 million cardholders accounting for 61% of government-wide travel spending in 2007. Citi will immediately begin working with the Defense Travel Management Office and the DOD Service Commands to implement a program customized to meet their requirements, as well as to plan for an effective and smooth transition from the previous provider. The DTMO was established in 2006 to serve as the central point of contact for commercial travel within the DOD. It is responsible for establishing strategic direction and managing all commercial travel programs, including the travel card program. The new official travel cards will activate on November 30th.

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