American Express Launches the Platinum Club

As part of their “Membership Changes Everything” campaign,
American Express has launched “The Platinum Club” in Bangalore, India
aimed at the wealthy. Economic boom in the country has generated desire
for exclusivity amongst the affluent in the city and the “Platinum Club”
will
offer them benefits including automatic membership of the American Express
Platinum Credit Card, 10X Membership Rewards program, travel and
dining benefits from various partners. American Express has also signed
agreements with 500 Platinum Partners across India, Singapore and
Thailand to offer members 10X membership rewards points. Nearly
65,000 Bangloreans travel abroad each year and eat out an average of
more than once a week.

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Fortis & An Post Bank Collaborate

“Postbank” community based banking service, the joint venture of Fortis
and An Post, began operations in 250 post offices. By May of next year,
the service will be in 1,000 post offices across Ireland and will be the largest retail bank service in the country by the end of 2008. Currently, “Postbank” provides a demand deposit accounts and a guaranteed investment product. Eventually, it will also provide ATM, current account and credit card facilities. Research shows that 40% of adults visit a post office at least once a week and 75 % at least once a month. Existing post office staff will be trained on “Postbank” and will employ an additional 500 within three years.

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Clearent Selects Ingrian DataSecure Platform

Clearent, a provider of debit and credit card payment processing to ISOs and agent banks, has selected Ingrian “DataSecure Platforms” to protect confidential cardholder data collected during digital transactions. Ingrian’s hardware-based solutions provide users an advantage by enabling centralized key storage within the appliances and requiring multiple administrators to be involved in policy changes. Clearent’s ISO and Agent Bank customers have online access to merchant boarding, residual management, and search and reporting functions, all backed up by outstanding customer service. Ingrian DataSecure Platforms protect critical data from both internal and external threats, and ensure compliance with legislative and policy mandates for security.

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Rights Group Advocates For Indian Cardholders

The Credit Card-Holders’ Association of India (CCHAI) is
advocating for credit cardholders, according to The Hindu.
CCHAI claims that over the past 10 years banks have capitalized
nearly 6,000 crore in extra charges, including late fees, cash advance
fees, billed finance fees, over-limit fees, cash withdrawal fees, and
check pick up fees from credit card customers. The Association also
says that the country’s credit card customers are charged the highest
interest rates in the world. In response, they plan to file with the
Supreme Court to have banks pay back a portion of the fees. Experts
say banks charge more for credit card transactions due to the higher
risk of default and because of the convenience of easy borrowing.

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APACS Says 5MM NFC Cards by 2008

Visa Europe and Mastercard “Paypass” are leading a roll-out of contactless
credit and debit cards for financial institutions. For the 1st phase, these
institutions include Bank of Scotland, Barclaycard, Citi, Euroconex
Technologies Ltd, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, and The Royal Bank of
Scotland Group. APACS estimates suggest that over 5 million contactless
cards will be issued by the end of 2008, and that they will be accepted by
at least 100,000 merchants. There are 20 billion payments under GBP 10
in the
UK with a value of approximately GBP 200 billion per year. This new
technology is expected to increase small value transactions and places
they are
accepted, such as coffee shops, newsagents, and in taxis.

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Caixa Galicia Offers Western Union Transfers

Western Union has signed agreements with Caixa Galicia to offer
WU Money Transfers through the company’s Spain offices.
This agreement means that Caixa Galicia will join WU’s network
of 305,000 agent locations including 8,400 service points and
offices in Spain. Caixa Galicia has 800 banks in 10 countries
while Western Union agents operate in over 200 countries and
territories.

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TNS’ Financial Services Q1 Revenue Rises 16%

VA-based TNS reported that first quarter revenue rose 10% to $72.7 million, a record first quarter for the Company. The first quarter GAAP net loss was $3.2 million which included a pre-tax charge of $900,000 for executive severance and a $700,000 pre-tax charge for its litigation reserve and special legal expenses. Revenue from the Financial Services Division increased 16.4% to $9.7 million, compared to 1Q/06 driven by increases in new endpoint installations, increases in connectivity between existing customer and increased demand for greater bandwidth connectivity. Revenue from the POS Division increased 5.4% to $19.8 million on 1.4 billion transactions. TNS expects total revenue growth of 2% to 6% to $74 to $77 million for the second quarter. For complete details on TNS’ first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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ID Data Acquires CredEcard

ID Data has inked acquisition agreements with CredEcard prepaid card
solutions
for GBP 725,000 in cash and shares, stipulating performance objectives
over the
next 2 years. This acquisition allows CredEcard to run independently and
become
an integrated solutions provider utilizing its MasterCard and VISA
platforms, resulting
in a stronger relationship between MasterCard and ID Data. This
development will
also increase ID Data’s value, allowing the company to provide broader
financial
services. MasterCard has estimated that the European market for prepaid
cards
will reach 360 million by 2010. The partnership will allow earlier
development of the prepaid business considering that CredEcard made an operating loss of 351,167GBP on turnover of 567,347 GBP in 1Q06 and an operating loss of 571,170 GBP on turnover of 173,335GBP in the 6 months ended 3Q06.

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VISA PAYWAVE

VISA’s new “payWave” contactless card payments will see a commercial roll-out as early as September throughout London. HSBC, HBOS, Lloyds TSB, and Barclays all indicated they will launch contactless payments by year’s end. September will see the commercial roll-out of the new “Barclaycard VISA” credit card, developed with Transport for London and Transys and featuring “payWave” technology combined on the same card with the “Oyster” transit function. VISA is now introducing contactless facilities at retailers in Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, Fenchurch Street, London Bridge, Charing Cross and Waterloo Stations. At this initial stage, it is expected around 200,000 consumers and about 2,000 retailers will participate in a trial. Further “VISA payWave” launches are expected throughout Europe, and the
next one has just been announced in Turkey. Denizbank’s “Sea&Miles” cards will feature “payWave” that can be used on Istanbul Seabuses and a number of retailers. Other “VISA payWave” plans are already well developed in France, Spain and Switzerland.

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Pay By Touch Adds a Card Option to SmartShop

San Francisco-based Pay By Touch has added a card-based option to its biometric “SmartShop” service. The service gives shoppers customized offers on the products they buy most when they enter a store. The biometric “SmartShop” service was launched in January. Card-based SmartShop has been implemented by Shop ‘n Save stores in the Pittsburgh, as well as Foodtown stores in New York and New Jersey. The product is targeted at consumer packaged goods companies as well as merchants. Pay By Touch says early results shows an 8% to 12% sales lift among customers using “SmartShop.” More than 3.7 million consumers are using Pay By Touch services to identify themselves, make purchases, cash checks and get personalized savings using their finger.

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CardinalCommerce to Utilize Green Dot MoneyPak

CardinalCommerce is deploying Green Dot’s “MoneyPak” cash payment product through “Cardinal Centinel,” its universal platform for eCommerce merchants to reach non-banked consumers. Through “MoneyPak”, underserved consumers will be able to purchase goods and services previously out of their reach. MoneyPak is available at tens of thousands of retailers nationwide and allows consumers to easily and conveniently convert cash into a digital form of payment. The MoneyPak is located in stores where other prepaid products are displayed. Consumers select the Green Dot MoneyPak, pay the $4.95 access fee at the register and have the cashier load their cash — from $20 to $500 — onto the MoneyPak. Consumers can then use the number on the MoneyPak to make online purchases wherever they see the MoneyPak payment logo. Green Dot Corporation is a provider of retail-based financial services for America’s underserved community. CardinalCommerce Corporation is a provider of authentication services for banks, merchants, processors and financial service providers.

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