First Natl Merchant Solutions Targets Prepaid

Omaha-based First National Merchant Solutions has expanded its offerings in the business-to-business market with the addition of a prepaid solutions team. The prepaid card issuing and prepaid program management solutions allow merchants to brand and manage a variety of program needs. In addition to prepaid card solutions, First National Merchant Solutions provides credit and debit card processing, secure Internet commerce processing, Electronic Benefit Transfer card processing and check guarantee, authorization and collection, designed to help merchants control costs and fraud.

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UBNICS & MULTOS CONSORTIUM

UBnics has released an initial implementation of “MULTOS step/one” on the
“NXP P5SD009 dual interface chip”, a module for contactless payments. The
new product comes with 12K of E2PROM programmable memory to support
Paypass, M/Chip, VSDC, ATM, Mifare and will be interoperable with existing
MULTOS terminals. With the product launch also comes an agreement for
UBnics to be the 18th MULTOS Consortium as a Business & Systems
Member. As a member Consortium, UBnics, as a smart card industry
organization, will be supporting and managing the open standard for MULTOS.
With over 75 million smart cards issued in 32 countries, the open
standard is
overseen and provided by a consortium of 18 smart card and silicon
manufacturers, payment schemes, card management system providers, and
integrators.

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PPI Powers Auburn’s ProSchool Software

Payment Processing has integrated with Auburn’s “ProSchool” software, allowing schools to process card payments and establish automatic payment for tuition billings. The comprehensive PPI solution includes credit card processing technology , free unlimited 24/7/365 technical and administrative support for developers and their customers to call regarding transaction processing questions and merchant account services. PPI provides integrated payment processing, supporting over 600 software developers and more than 17,000 merchants and processed over $3 billion in VISA and MasterCard payments. Auburn Electronics Group developed the hardware scoring systems for ProScore and class management system called ProSchool.

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Wells & VISA to Extensively Test M-Payments

Wells Fargo and VISA USA are planning to launch an extensive mobile pilot to test consumer mobile payments and services. The pilot has three phases and will test over-the-air delivery of payment account information to the mobile device; mobile payments in stores and restaurants accepting “VISA payWave” technology; receiving and redeeming mobile coupons; and account management services. The first phase of the pilot was completed with a group of employees in April, testing the use of mobile payment and mobile banking applications in the Wells Fargo “Customer Experience Research Lab.” The second phase is expected to launch this summer with 30 to 50 Wells Fargo employees testing mobile payments at merchants that accept “VISA payWave”-enabled products. The third phase will expand to a public trial with 300 to 500 Wells Fargo VISA cardholders, and will include additional pilot partners. In this phase, expected to launch in the fourth quarter of this year, Wells Fargo and VISA will build on learnings from previous phases and expand to a larger user base.

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AA & MC to Launch a Bourne Ultimatum Promo

American Airlines and MasterCard announce the “Sum It Up Sweepstakes” together with Universal Studio’s “The Bourne Ultimatum,” which will be released in theaters starting August 3rd. During the promotion, from June 28 through July 31, consumers are invited to join the American Airlines AAdvantage program and participate in the Sum It Up Sweepstakes where they can guess how many AAdvantage miles Jason Bourne has accumulated in his chase around the world. The winner will run away with all of Bourne’s miles. Participants can submit a guess online and be automatically entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize of over one million AAdvantage bonus miles and a $6,000 MasterCard gift card.

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HPS CEO Cited as Entrepreneur of the Year

Bob Carr, chairman and CEO of Heartland Payment Systems has been named a 2007 “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young. Carr was recognized not only for his achievements as the founder and CEO of Heartland Payment Systems, but also for his charitable contributions as the founder of the Give Something Back Foundation. The Give Something Back Foundation currently works with public, parochial, private schools and universities to provide quality educational opportunities to students. The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who are building and leading dynamic and growing businesses. Heartland Payment Systems provides credit/debit/prepaid card processing, payroll and payment solutions to more than 150,000 small and mid-sized businesses nationwide.

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Rising Gas Prices Cut Discretionary Spend

A new survey from Discover has found that consumers are more likely to cut discretionary spending when gas prices rise. About 70% of car owners said they will cut back on entertainment spending if gas prices were to increase a dollar, 66% said they will change their vacation plans, and 64% said they will postpone a major purchase. Nearly 60% of consumers are paying more than $100 a month for gas. Discover noted that 52% of those polled said they were somewhat or very likely to cut back on grocery spending if gas prices rose a $1. The “Discover Spending Confidence Monitor” says that consumers are likely to cut back discretionary spending, but rising gas prices may force some to go a step further by cutting into living expenses as well.

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Fidelity National to Acquire EFD/eFunds

Jacksonville, FL-based Fidelity National Information Services has agreed to acquire Scottsdale, AZ-based EFD/eFunds for $1.8 billion in cash. The deal will give FIS greater scale, extending its presence in the U.S. and international banking markets, and expands the distribution channel for its core processing and risk analytic services. EFD also gives FIS EFT and prepaid card processing capabilities. EFD provides services to more than 10,000 financial services companies in more than 80 countries. EFD also provides POS fraud prevention solutions to retailers and electronic benefits processing services to government entities. In 2006, EFD generated total revenue of $552 million and operating income of $83 million. FIS expects to realize approximately $65 million in annual cost savings due to synergies. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter. Last month EFD/eFunds confirmed it received interest for a potential merger and formed a special committee to explore its strategic options. The Company reported that first quarter revenues declined 4% year-on-year to $134 million however, operating income grew 10% to $17 million compared to 1Q/06. ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 5/9/07)

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

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Cash Systems’ powercash Gains More Traction

Las Vegas-based payment specialist Cash Systems announced another multi year contract for “powercash” with the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino. “powercash” is the first product of the Company’s joint venture with Bally Technologies and Scotch Twist. With the “powercash” patented technology enrolled patrons have access funds from their desired credit, debit or checking accounts while sitting at the gaming device. Players are able to request funds from the designated financial account, transfer those funds into their player’s club account and then transfer down to the gaming device the amount of money that they want to use. Additionally, “powercash” is the first product that has the ability to touch every aspect of the casino resort facilities through the Company’s suite of products such as “tablecash” and “play-n-shop.” Patrons can use their player’s club card to make purchases in the retail shops, restaurants, spa, hotel, golf and any of the entertainment facilities offered by a casino resort property.

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Japan’s JCB/JCBI Names a New Top Executive

Japan’s JCB has named Tamio Takakura, Deputy President since 2002, as its new President and CEO. Takakura succeeds Hiroya Nobuhara who had served as JCB’s President and CEO for the past 4 years. JCB International also announced management changes as Takakura will succeed Nobuhara as Chairman and CEO of JCBI. Kenji Seto, formerly Senior Deputy President, has become President and COO. Kunio Yoshizawa, who held the position of President and COO of JCBI for the past 4 years, is retiring after 13 years. JCB’s merchant network includes 13.5 million merchants and spans 190 countries and territories. JCB cards are now issued in 20 countries and territories, with more than 55.75 million cardholders.

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