CPI Expands Gift Card Personalization

The CO-based CPI Card Group facility offers a complete portfolio of services for secure gift card personalization. Capabilities in the new personalization area include secure gift card embossing, attaching and packaging at a capacity of two and a half million cards per month. Services include end-to-end card and carrier fulfillment capabilities from manufacturing to shipment of packages to distribution centers.Future enhancements include distribution services for open loop gift cards. CPI Card Group is a manufacturer of plastic cards. All facilities are outfitted with the latest in card technology and are ISO 9001:2000 certified.

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Loose Change to Fund the CVS Gift Card

CVS/pharmacy will offer its own gift card in Coinstar’s “Coin to Card” program. WA-based Coinstar, a self-service coin counting specialist, notes that CVS is the first Coinstar retailer to offer its own gift card via the program. CVS is expected to have gift cards available in more than 360 Coinstar kiosks in its stores this summer. The “Coin to Card” service allows consumers to convert their loose change to a CVS card at the Coinstar kiosk and pay no coin-counting fee. The CVS card and eCertificates, such as Amazon.com, Circuit City, Eddie Bauer and iTunes, are expected to be available at Coinstar Centers located in CVS/pharmacy stores in 11 Mid-West and Western states. CVS has approximately 6,200 retail locations nationwide.

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TNS Adds 3-D Secure to Tackle CNP Fraud

Transaction Network Services (TNS) has added “3D Secure” anti-fraud
service to its merchant card services. “3D Secure” was developed by
Visa and Arcot Systems as authentication protocol for merchants and
card issuers as a second line of defense against fraud. For cardholders to
use the service, they must register a secondary password with their card
issuers, which they are to use whenever they shop on a 3-D Secure
enabled website. Merchants benefit from using “3D Secure” in its
substantial reduction of fraud.

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Bill Ackman Takes on the Ceridian Deal

Ceridian, which includes major payment processor Comdata, is coming under fire from its largest shareholder over its $5.3 billion merger with Thomas H. Lee Partners and Fidelity National Financial. Pershing Square Capital Management says the deal isn’t valued fully and the company should be split up. Pershing, which holds nearly a nearly 15% stake in Ceridian, has hired Lazard Freres and Sullivan & Cromwell to explore alternatives. The activist hedge fund, managed by Bill Ackman, says it may also extend its long feud with Ceridian’s management while it continues its proxy contest. Ceridian says within the next several days it expects to file its proxy statement, which will contain more information about the Board’s process and review of strategic alternatives. Ceridian also says its Board welcomes involvement by shareholders and is prepared to review any proposals that might result in a superior proposal per the merger agreement. The Board says it remains committed to its goal of maximizing shareholder value through its review of all alternatives. Ceridian’s Comdata division is a processor and issuer of credit, debit and stored value cards, primarily for the trucking and retail industries in the USA. (CF Library 5/31/07)

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Visa Introduces Inaugural Tourism Forum

With the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, Visa International introduces an
inaugural “Tourism Forum” emphasizing the importance of electronic
payments in the tourism industry and what can be done to contribute to
growth. Sources of cooperation are also being examined for contribution
to the expanding industry in the country. Partnerships that are being
examined concern the tourism industry and financial institutions and
establishments whom accept electronic and online payments. Also
discussed is banks’ fundamental role in expanding the payments cards
industry.

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Fitch Expands SMARTView to U.S. Cards

Fitch Ratings has added U.S. asset-backed credit card transactions to its SMARTView eligible transactions. 663 credit card deals totaling $345.6 billion were designated June 12, indicating that no immediate action is necessary. SMARTView is available on the Fitch Ratings web site at www.fitchratings.com, along with the report titled “SMARTView, Fitch U.S. Structured Finance Monthly Public Reviews.”Fitch’s rating definitions and the terms of use of such ratings are available on the agency’s public site, www.fitchratings.com.

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Delta Eliminates a $1.1B Card Holdback

Delta Air Lines has an extra $800 million in unrestricted cash to use after the elimination of a cash holdback required under its VISA/MasterCard processing agreement. The holdback also included a $300 million letter of credit provided by Merrill Lynch which was likewise terminated. Under the amended agreement, which was extended to October 31, 2008, no future holdback or cash reserve is required except in limited circumstances. The holdback was required to protect the processor’s potential liability for tickets purchased with VISA or MasterCard which have not yet been used for travel. Delta also announced that it has changed the accounting method for its “SkyMiles” program. Delta has historically accounted for frequent flyer miles earned on Delta flights on an incremental cost basis as an accrued liability and as operating expense, while miles sold to airline and non-airline business partners were accounted for on a deferred revenue basis. Effective with its emergence from bankruptcy on April 30th, Delta is now using a deferred revenue model for all frequent flyer miles. Miles earned after April 30th, will be valued and the related revenue deferred using a rate of $0.0054 per mile.

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Hypercom SmartPayments is Vista Certified

Hypercom’s “SmartPayments” solution suite has become the first electronic payment processing software to pass certification tests ensuring compatibility with “Windows Vista”. SmartPayments Server is a complete electronic payment processing solution that combines a comprehensive front-end payment application for retail, restaurant, mail-order/telephone-order and Internet transactions with a centralized transaction processing gateway that can run as an inexpensive in-store controller for smaller merchants, at corporate headquarters of multi-store operations, or in datacenters that process payments for multiple businesses. The product has a built-in browser-based virtual terminal for anytime/anywhere management by merchants or ISO/resellers. Hypercom SmartPayments products still maintain their certifications for earlier-generation operating systems, including Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

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CPSB & VERIFONE

The China Postal Savings Bank has selected VeriFone as the sole provider of its electronic payment systems. CPSB will use the “VeriFone Vx 510” and the wireless “NURIT 8000.” CPSB chartered as a lending institution last year and opened for business earlier this year. It succeeded the depository-only postal savings service making it China’s fifth largest bank. The bank operates 36,000 branch offices throughout the country. VeriFone’s “Vx 510” countertop system, with dual dial and IP connectivity, provides payment and value-added applications, including data-intensive, EMV smart card transactions. The “NURIT 8000,” with GPRS connectivity, is a handheld system and supports credit, debit, EBT, smart cards, prepaid, loyalty, gift and proprietary cards.

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GFI Software Releases the GFI PCI Suite

GFI Software has released the GFI “PCI Suite” to help companies meet the strict requirements and tight deadlines imposed by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards. The GFI PCI Suite provides a centralized management console through which systems administrators can deploy the PCI DSS enhanced versions of GFI EventsManager and GFI LANguard N.S.S. GFI EventsManager boosts PCI DSS compliancy efforts by alerting administrators on key events occurring on the network while GFI LANguard N.S.S. allows IT professionals to proactively identify network security weaknesses and fix them. GFI’s PCI Suite also contains enhanced reporting mechanisms that include “The GFI EventsManager ReportPack” , with eight new reports specifically designed to provide more granular information on the activity of network users and components. The GFI LANguard Network Security Scanner ReportPack features a new report which presents the status of antivirus solutions deployed on the network and new data filters which provide even more granular control over the information presented in the reports. GFI is a software developer for network administrators to address their network security, content security and messaging needs.

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HPS CEO Receives 2007 Stevie Award

Heartland Payment Systems’ CEO Robert O. Carr received a 2007 “Stevie Award” from the American Business Awards, the only national, all-encompassing awards program honoring great performances in business. Carr received the “Best Executive – Other Industries” award which recognizes the efforts and achievements of individual performers in American business. Carr competed with more than 2,000 executives from companies of all sizes and in virtually every industry. The Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, The Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Selling Power Sales Excellence Awards Honoring companies of all types and sizes and the people behind them. 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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PaySimple and Billeo form Partnership

Denver-based PaySimple has entered into a partnership with Billeo to address the business demand for online payment capability and the consumer demand for easy, online bill pay. Billeo allows consumers to store their passwords, credit card and bank information securely on their own computers. Customers select the payment option they would like to use, and Billeo automatically stores the transaction confirmation pages and gives customers a choice of payment optionsâ”with a credit or debit card or directly from their bank account. PaySimple both hosts secure online payment forms and provides a robust online payment gateway that enables businesses to set up recurring billing as well as accept credit cards and ACH direct-debits from checking accounts. The PaySimple/Billeo approach enables the merchant to retain complete control of the transaction and the customer by keeping customers on the merchants’ websites during the purchase and bill pay process, rather than diverting them to other payment sitesâ”a key benefit that promotes customer loyalty. PaySimple is a provider of payment management solutions. Billeo gives consumers a way to exercise choice and control over their online purchases and payments.

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