GPN Inks a New Pennsylvania Casino

Global Payments has announced an agreement to provide its “VIP LightSpeed” suite of cash access products and services to the Mount Airy Casino Resort in Paradise Township, Pennsylvania. “VIP LightSpeed” is an Internet-accessible, PC-based platform that provides cash access services for traditional and electronic check cashing, ATM check cashing, credit and debit card cash advances, player histories, and credit reports. In addition, VIP LightSpeed provides a full spectrum of management reporting tools that speed the processing of transactions and reduce the risk associated with check-cashing and cash advance services. The Mount Airy Casino Resort, located in the Pocono Mountains, is the first stand-alone casino to open in Pennsylvania.

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ACS to Expand Pennsylvania Card Program

Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services is supporting Pennsylvania’s expanded use of electronic payment cards for the distribution of program benefits. Cash benefits distributed to Pennsylvania citizens by means of EPC will be expanded to include Unemployment Compensation and State Workers’ Insurance Fund benefits. A MasterCard-branded debit card will be issued to 80,000 claimants by the end of this year. ACS currently provides EPC services to child support recipients for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare under a program initiated in 2004. Currently, there are more than 250,000 cards issued that access more than 355,000 monthly deposits to child support recipients, totaling more than $55 million.

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CO-OP Financial Signs a Dakotas Deal

CO-OP Financial Services and Mid-America Service Corporation have signed a partnership agreement to promote CO-OP throughout the Dakotas. Within the first stages of the agreement, Flasher Community Credit Union in North Dakota has already signed a five-year full processing agreement. CO-OP Financial Services operates CO-OP Network, which consists of more than 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs in 50 states and Canada.

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American Bank Note Holographics Up 177%

American Bank Note Holographics reported third quarter sales of $8.5 million, a year-over-year increase of 29.4%, and a sequential increase of 6.9%. The growth were driven by increased sales of holographic products to the transaction card industry, in particular the recently introduced second generation “HoloMag,” “HoloStripe,” and “HoloCard.” Net income in the third quarter increased 177% to $2.1 million. On October 23rd, MasterCard notified ABNH that it is seeking reimbursement for certain costs associated with the previously-disclosed suspension of its “HoloMag” program. MasterCard has stated that those costs now exceed $1.9 million. For complete details on ABNH’s third quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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CANADA CARDS

Recent research conducted by the Lafferty Group shows the U.S. and
Canadian credit card market trends are currently opposite one another.
While the Canadian credit cards have been increasing by 7% annually
over the past 3 years the U.S. market has dropped 1% over the same
time period. Furthermore, Canadians on average use their card three times
a month while the average American uses theirs less than twice a month
and Canadians rollover only 50% of outstanding card balances per
month while Americans rollover an average of 75% of their balance. Aside
from these findings, the research shows that profits per card in both
countries is relatively equal at CAD $58 for Canadian-issued cards and
CAD $55 for American. Further research by the company shows that
nearly half of all cards offer a reward program in one form or another.

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AvalonBay Communities Signs with RentPayment

RentPayment has delivered a fully-integrated A/R automation solution for AvalonBay Communities to accept electronic payment for rent, security deposits, and other rent-related expenses. Following a successful pilot in March 2006, AvalonBay Communities has successfully integrated RentPayment’s technology platform across its entire portfolio resulting in substantial cost savings and enhanced efficiency. Personal checks, business checks, money orders and cashier’s checks are electronically converted to images and seamlessly integrated into AvalonBay’s property management software and its resident portal. They are now able to scan checks at the community or from a centralized location. RentPayment provided all necessary hardware and software integration, as well as technical support. RentPayment is the largest electronic payments processor in the multi-family industry.

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SPARTANICS EXEC

Spartanics has appointed Jaun A. Zacares as European Sales Director
to oversee and coordinate the company’s major product lines.
Spartanics provides companies that make products from plastic, paper,
and metal flat stocks, such as credit cards and IDs, with equipment
and services. Zacares was most recently employed with Valencia as
GM of sales of security document printing equipment. His advanced
education is composed of two engineering degrees from Universidad
Politecnica (UPV) de Valencia. The first of the degrees is for
Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in machinery construction
while the 2nd is for Production with a concentration in mechanics,
automation and ergonomics.

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Rihanna-Endorsed Vanity Gift Cards Come Aboard

Los Angeles-based Retail Entertainment Design has signed a new relationship between Def Jam artist Rihanna and fashion clothing giant Vanity to run a special promotion and to issue Vanity gift cards. The Rihanna-Vanity enterprise is the latest in a series of high impact associations that RED has brokered between artists and brands over the past few years. Retail Entertainment Design (RED) specializes in high-level creative visual content, promotions, content licensing, ad placement and marketing solutions for retail, hospitality, entertainment, music and film industries.

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ICMA Names the 2007 Elan Card Awards

The International Card Manufacturers Association announced the winners of the annual “Elan Awards for Card Manufacturing Excellence”, recognizing design innovation and technical achievement. Categories included, but were not limited to, “The Best Non-Secure Card” awarded to JCPenney, “Best Technical Achievement” awarded to Credit Card Embedded Authentication Device, “The Best Gift Card” awarded to Stained Glass Flower and the “Best ID Card” awarded to Laser Pass Access. “The Elan Awards” recognize design innovation and technical achievement around the world. ICMA is a non-profit association of plastic card manufacturers with over 200 members globally.

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Art.com Gets Hacked and Cards are Compromised

Online retailer Art.com has alerted its customers that a hacker recently broke through Art.com’s multiple security layers and illegally gained access to names and encrypted credit card account numbers for some transactions made on its websites from July through September. The company is unaware of any unauthorized use of those credit card numbers or any attempted identity theft related to the intrusion. Art.com is an online retailer of posters, prints, framed art, and operates websites including Art.com and Allposters.com.

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Business Economic Confidence Sinks Again

Economic confidence among small business owners declined again in October for the third consecutive month, falling to its lowest point in a year. The downshift was largely driven by cash flow issues with 42% of small business owners saying that they experienced cash flow issues in the last 90 days. The “Discover Small Business Watch” index dipped to 96.8, down more than two points from September’s 99.2. However, Discover found that 35% of small business owners feel that economic conditions for their businesses are getting better, a decrease from the 40% in September and two percentage points lower than a year ago in October. Those who saw their conditions getting worse were 41% compared to 35% in 2006. Also, 32% of owners said that they rate the overall U.S. economy as excellent or good, down from last month’s 39% and the lowest rating in this category since the “Watch’s” inception. In October 2006, 44% of owners rated the economy excellent or good. Additionally, 42% said they had experienced cash flow issues over the last 90 days, a decrease from 46% in September, but higher than 34% from a year ago.

Discover Small Business Watch
Oct 06: 120.0
Nov 06: 130.0
Dec 06: 109.7
Jan 07: 114.3
Feb 07: 113.4
Mar 07: 117.7
Apr 07: 110.3
May 07: 110.0
Jun 07: 102.5
Jul 07: 107.3
Aug 07: 102.4
Sep 07: 99.2
Oct 07: 96.8
Source: Discover Business Card

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VISA USA Gift Cards Get Real Personal

For the first time mass personalization is offering organizations of all shapes and sizes the opportunity to simply and easily create their own branded gift card that members, supporters or employees can personalize with their own images. GiftCardLab.com’s turn-key customizable photo gift card program is available to a wide range of third party organizations, from financial institutions and credit unions to retailers and major online portals, enabling them to benefit financially by producing their own branded program, which their users can customize with pictures and designs. The service is now being launched to the business market. The GiftCardLab program goes live on November 15th and which will offer “VISA Gift” cards, is the joint creation of Serverside Group and PAYjr. The “VISA Gift” card is issued by BankFirst.

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