Hypercom Names a New Sales VP for HBNet

Hypercom Corporation has announced the appointment of Connie Festa, previously Director of Strategic Sales and National Sales Manager at TNS, as HBNet VP of Sales. At TNS, she spearheaded all aspects of the company’s sales and customer support to the retail, banking and processing markets in the US and Canada. She previously served as Director of Strategic Sales and National Sales Director – US, for WAY Systems, where she developed new markets and increased revenues for wireless payments.

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EMV SPECS

EMVCo has launched its EMV “Entry Point Terminal Specification” for the
processing of contactless payments. This solution supports the processing
of token and card payments regardless of the payment application and
ultimately allows applications to co-exist on a terminal with various
contactless
applications using multiple migration paths. To support the “Entry Point”
solution, the organization has published its “EMV Contactless
Specification for
Payments Systems, Framework for Contactless Evolution v1.0” providing
context and detail for the payments infrastructure. Established as a
joint venture
among Europay International, Mastercard International and VISA
International,
EMVCo was conceived in 1999 to manage EMV payment and specifications.

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PCI Security Standards Council Names Chair

The PCI Security Standards Council has named Rob Tourt, VP, Network Services at Discover Financial Services as chairperson of the Council effective January 1, 2008. Tourt has been with Discover Financial Services since 1986 and has held a variety of roles during his tenure ranging from fraud investigator, recovery collections manager, director of national sales support, vice president of network products to vice president of network operations and risk management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from The Ohio State University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

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OKI & FUJITSU

Oki Electric and Fujitsu Limited are collaborating on developing ATM
software to provide more services for the enhancement of the user-
friendliness of their teller machines. The partnership ultimately intends on
providing ATM application software that allows services to be deployed
at low cost using Web-based architecture. This architecture implements
a fee structure that charges per transaction, reducing software development
costs, to streamline asset management operations and is managed using a
central server. Oki and Fujitsu have slated the initial release of this
software
for April 2008 across Japan and plan to acquire 200 new customers by
2011.

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MasterCard Expands its Smart Data Products

MasterCard has released a new version of its “Smart Data” suite of products for reporting and expense management. The new “MasterCard smartdata.gen2” is powered by the MasterCard “Global Data Repository,” a technology repository that houses transactional information, including data from airlines, hotels and additional sources. For businesses the solution offers integrated reporting views and insights; single sign-on capabilities; local currency transactions translated into a single currency; supports 14 languages; provides spend data detail; a streamlined accounting process; customizable expense monitoring; and exports to other software programs or ERP systems. For issuers “MasterCard smartdata.gen2” provides flexible capabilities; greater control of SME card programs; electronic reporting; seamless integration into existing platforms; and offers dedicated customer support.

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Discover Introduces a Virtual Gift Card

Discover has introduced a prepaid, stored value card for purchases online. The new “eGift Card” enables purchasers to buy denominations from $20 to $500 and have it immediately delivered to its recipient. Additionally, “eGift Cards” can be personalized by virtual embossing. Up to 10 cards can be purchased at one time. Once activated, the “eGift Card” funds never expire, but is subject to similar fees as that of traditional gift cards. If the card is not activated within 30 days of purchase, the funds will be returned to the purchaser. Discover also offers traditional gift cards in more than 40 different card designs. Discover launched its gift card program in October 2003. (CardTrak 10/15/03)

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Currency Conversion Settlement Hearing Set

The law firms of Berger & Montague and Coughlin, Stoia, Geller, Rudman & Robbins reported that the settlement approval hearing for its foreign currency conversion lawsuit against VISA, MasterCard and Diners Club has been scheduled for March 31st. The settlement provides $336 million to pay claims, the costs of administering the settlement and notice, and court-awarded attorneys’ fees. All class members who made a foreign transaction with a VISA, MasterCard, or Diners Club credit or debit/ATM card between February 1, 1996 and November 8, 2006 are eligible for a refund.

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City Furniture Renews GE Money Card Deal

GE Money and FL-based City Furniture have extended their consumer financing agreement. The City Furniture Card program is managed by GE Money’s Sales Finance unit and provides instant credit at the point of sale, a simplified application process, same day delivery and account maintenance via the Web. City Furniture has 14 showroom locations in Broward, Dade and Palm Beach counties.

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Senate Panel to Explore Card Practices Today

A congressional panel will explore a variety of credit card business practices this morning. The Senate Subcommittee on Investigations indicated it will focus on the “universal default” practice among the nation’s leading issuers, even though some of the top issuers rescinded the practice this year. Representatives from Bank of America, Capital One and Discover are expected to testify today. Citi and Chase refused to participate. In March, the same Senate subcommittee, headed by Democratic Senator Carl Levin, held a hearing on “Credit Card Practices: Fees, Interest Rates, and Grace Periods.” In May Senators Carl Levin and Claire McCaskill introduced “The Stop Unfair Practices in Credit Cards Act.” Democrat Barack Obama is also seeking a “credit card bill of rights” to stop alleged credit card abuses by issuers. Ahead of today’s hearing the American Bankers Association released a report titled: “Myths vs. Facts: Credit Cards.” (CF Library 3/7/07; 5/16/07)

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ESAVE PREPAID CARD

The eGroup and PrePay Technologies have partnered to launch the “eSave”
prepaid card. To be managed using PrePaid Technologies’ “360money
platform”, the prepaid card is available through the organization’s
website and
will provide customers with the convenience of a credit card to allow
retail
purchases at over 9 million merchants around the world who display the
MAESTRO logo. The “eSave” card is re-loadable at 34,000 Post Office
locations across the country through either credit/debit cards or bank
transfers.

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Discover Takes a Goldfish Impairment Charge

Discover Financial Services says it will take a $422 million impairment charge related to its “Goldfish MasterCard” and “Goldfish VISA” credit card business in the U.K. for the quarter ending November 30th. The charge involves substantially all of the goodwill and other intangible assets of the “Goldfish” business. Discover says it concluded that continued disruption in the U.K. financial markets, higher interest rates and its decision to reduce loan exposure to the U.K. market have negatively affected the book value of its “Goldfish” business. However, the Company is refocusing the business and will continue implementation of significant actions to improve the performance of the “Goldfish” business. Two years ago Morgan Stanley/Discover agreed to purchase Lloyds TSB “Goldfish” credit card program for $1.76 billion for a 22% premium. The deal included 800,000 credit card accounts. Discover also announced today that its Board of Directors approved a share repurchase program, authorizing the company to purchase up to $1 billion of its common stock through 2010. (CF Library 12/20/05)

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CUP & MEPS

China Unionpay(CUP) and Malaysian Electronic Payment System (MEPS)
have partnered to launch an ATM cash withdrawal service in Malaysia. This
partnership will provide Chinese visitors to the country with access to
funds
when using the CUP card and is made possible with the 3 member banks
participating in the agreement, including Hong Leong Bank, Maybank and
Public Bank. With this solution, MEPS & CUP aim to extend coverage
with all 15 member banks to 6,000+ ATMs before 2009 and hopes to
refine the offering with 2 new initiatives soon thereafter.

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