Kroger to Offer Blackhawk’s Gift Card Mall

OH-based Kroger has inked a deal to offer Blackhawk Network’s “Gift Card Mall” program in its 2,491 supermarkets and multi-department stores in 31 states. Kroger plans to support the launch of the new “Gift Card Malls” with aggressive and innovative marketing campaigns that include television, radio and in-store promotions. Kroger will display Blackhawk Network’s gift cards on end caps and at check stands. Blackhawk Network, a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., is a prepaid and payments network that includes more than 82,000 store fronts and reaches more than 165 million consumers each week.

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TIO & PCI DSS

TIO Networks has announced its achievement of PCI DSS compliance.
This standard ensures a certain level of payment card data security for the
prevention of card fraud and was originally implemented to promote secure
practice among merchants and service providers. First deployed in 2004
by the card association, which is composed of American Express, Discover
Financial Services, JCB, MasterCard Worldwide and Visa International, the
PCI DSS standard will protect the TIO network with high security standards.
TIO Networks operates cash accepting ATMs for bill payment, prepaid
services, processes bill payment services to POS sale systems and web
enabled PCs.

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ID Theft Impacts Cards of 3MM U.S. Adults

A new FTC survey has discovered that 3.2 million Americans experienced misuse of their existing credit card accounts in 2005. About 1.8 million victims found that new accounts were opened or other frauds were committed using their personal identifying information. Overall, 8.3 million American adults, or 3.7% of all American adults, were victims of identity theft in 2005. The FTC also found that 10% of victims spent at least 55 hours resolving ID theft issues, and half of those spent at least 130 hours. Approximately 10% of all victims reported out-of-pocket expenses of $1,200 or more to resolve the problem. Where the theft was limited to the misuse of existing accounts, the median value of goods and services obtained by the thieves was less than $500. Where the thieves opened new accounts or committed other frauds, the median value of goods and services they obtained was $1,350. Eighty-five percent of all ID theft victims reported that one or more of their existing accounts had been misused, including credit card, checking, or savings accounts; telephone service accounts; internet payment accounts; e-mail and other Internet accounts; and medical insurance accounts.

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POS ID CHECK

Legal Age ID and Chase have signed collaborative agreements to
incorporate age verification software with retail POS terminals to
help merchants prevent sales of alcohol and tobacco to underage
consumers. The POS software verifies customer age with a swipe
of the driver’s license, to read and determine authentic information,
and relays to the clerk whether or not to complete the sale. The
verification solution is compatible with more than 270 government-
issued cards from across both the Canada and U.S., of particular
importance in border and tourist towns. Legal Age ID Systems
provides age verification for establishments and outlets across North
America and is compatible with POS terminals from such designers
as Hypercom, VeriFone and Ingenico.

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IdeaEdge Gift Cards Lands a New CFO

San Diego-based gift card specialist IdeaEdge has hired Jonathan Shultz as CFO. Shultz has more than 20 years of diversified business and financial management experience spanning both Big 4 public accounting and private industry. He began his career as an auditor and computer specialist with Ernst & Young, serving seven years in the firm’s San Diego office. Subsequent to his tenure with Ernst & Young, Shultz served as vice president of finance and CFO for several public and private sector companies, with responsibilities for finance and accounting, IT, HR, and legal affairs. IdeaEdge develops innovative gift card programs based on high-equity entertainment brands and has obtained commitments for gift card distribution with grocery, drug, and specialty chains comprising over 10,000 retail outlets.

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CARD TRANSACTIONS

According to the Bank of Korea, credit card transactions are currently
skyrocketing while cash advances are adversely plummeting. The bank’s
statistics show that over 11 million card transactions are conducted daily
and has increased by 12.7% during 3Q07 while card spending rose
7.9%. Meanwhile, the number of cash advances fell
7.6 % during the same period, in comparison to the 3Q06 decline of 2.4%. The first 3 quarters of 2007 saw a total of W63.7 trillion in cash advances, despite the dwindling frequency of this type of transaction. However, this figure pales in comparison to the credit card cash advances in 2002 of W357.47. At this rate, the total volume of advances is expected to drop to W85 trillion by 2008.

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Metavante/Monitise U.S. JV Goes Live

The joint venture between Metavante and the U.K.’s Monitise has produced the launch of mobile financial services in the USA. Monitise Americas is fully integrated into the Metavante’s “NYCE Payments Network.” Initial launch partners include Harvard Employees CU, North Jersey Community Bank, Sutton Bank and Sutton Bank’s Greenlink Payment division. Monitise has deployed its technology in the U.K. with the “MONILINK” mobile banking and payments network. With an agreement in place with seven of Britain’s largest banks and dedicated secure connections into all of the country’s cellular operators, “MONILINK” is currently available to over one in three of all adult U.K. banking customers. Current partners of MONILINK include: HSBC, first direct, Alliance & Leicester, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Vodafone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile and Hutchison 3G.

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GLOBALPLATFORM BOARD

GlobalPlatform has announced its 6 new Board of Directors and Board Officers for FY 2007-2008. Among those elected is Bob Beer, VP for
Datacard Group; Yves Moulart, Director at STMicroelectronics; Marc Birkner, Gemalto Development Director; Dr. Toni Merschen, Group Head for MasterCard Worldwide; Carmen Carnero Silvo, SERMEPA manager and Sebastian Hans, the manager for Sun
Microsystems. GlobalPlatform is a member driven association with cross-industry representation from around the world
and has accomplished numerous marketing advances with its smart card infrastructure.

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Wynn Vegas Vacation Earns a $200 MasterCard

US Airways Vacations is offering a $200 MasterCard gift card for passengers who book a three night or more vacation package at Wynn Las Vegas through December 31st. Wynn Las Vegas is the only casino resort in the world with both the Mobil Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond ratings. US Airways, US Airways Shuttle and US Airways Express operate approximately 3,800 flights per day.

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DELTA AIRLINES & GUESTLOGIX

Delta Airlines has implemented the GuestLogix “Mobile Virtual Store”
for its flight passengers, representing service on nearly 125 million
annual flights. With this development, the solution is made available in
addition to the already 400 million flights that offer the “Mobile Virtual
Store” annually and provides a profitable retail solution. In providing
this new revenue stream, GuestLogix implements retail supply
subsequent only to on-board retail demand and is currently realizing
multi-millions of dollars in annual sales. Furthermore, experts project
that 20% of total airline profits will be generated by on-board sales such
as these in the near future. Delta Air Lines provides flights to 315
destinations in 54 countries, 36 trans-Atlantic markets and allows
passengers to redeem SkyMiles on nearly 15,000 flights.

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NPC Expands Distribution of Orion Terminal

KY-based National Processing Company is expanding its use of the “Orion” all-in-one payment terminal by 4Access Communications, now offering the Orion through its NPC unit . Orion is a comprehensive payment processing terminal that reads and images checks, and has applications for handling credit, gift, and loyalty cards. Orion’s recognition technology integrates MICR with optical character recognition in real-time to produce the most accurate check read possible. It securely transfers the check images to the 4Access Archive and Retrieval System via IP or dial access. 4Access also provides a Web-hosted Configuration Server to manage Orion terminal configurations. NPC is a provider of payment processing services exclusively focused on small and medium sized merchants in the United States, and the leading merchant acquirer focused on the ISO segment. 4Access Communications,is a provider of point-of-transaction software and hardware

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GEMALTO & REDEBAN MULTICOLOR

Gemalto digital security and Redeban Multicolor have launched its
mobile banking solution for Colombian mobile subscribers. The newly
introduced solution allows these subscribers to perform everyday
banking transactions, including money transfers, checking balances and
paying bills. The service is made available to nearly 20 million consumers
through Colombian GSM operators, such as Comcel, with Bancolombia
and Banco AVVillas. Projections foresee 20% of this customer base to
perform nearly 5 transactions monthly. Gemalto had a 2006 revenue of
EUR1.7 billion with over 85 offices in 40 countries and employs nearly
10,000.

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