AmbironTrustWave Acquires ReddShell

Data security specialist, AmbironTrustWave has acquired ReddShell. ReddShell provides risk management and data security solutions that help companies and organizations secure business information in support of compliance with a variety of regulatory and industry requirements including the “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard.” AmbironTrustWave says the deal enhances its technological capability to serve the growing demand for managing multiple compliance requirements and to build a global solutions provider. James Paul, President of ReddShell, will remain with the company as vice president.

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Peninsula Software to Offer Intercept Cards

VA-based Peninsula Software has entered into a strategic partnership with Fargo-based InterceptEFT to offer VISA payroll cards. Payroll cards benefit part-time or seasonal staff, student employees, contractors, and the unbanked. The payroll cards are reloadable and employees are able to allocate all or a portion of their earnings to the card, providing more options for saving earnings. PenSoft develops payroll software for small to mid-sized businesses and payroll service providers. InterceptEFT provides payment-processing services and software and processed 30 million transactions in 2006.

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First Tennessee to Deploy Diebold’s Pathway

First Tennessee Bank has signed a deal to use Diebold’s “PathWay” communications technology throughout its extensive network of ATMs to enhance communications with off-premises ATMs. “PathWay” has a wireless connectivity option that allows for remote and mobile deployment of ATMs without having to run costly telecommunication lines to the site or wait for installation. This will help First Tennessee expand more quickly and enable it to test locations prior to construction or acquisition of a branch. First Tennessee Bank is a division of First Horizon National Corp.

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BBVA Banco Continental to Use SAF-T-PAY

Miami-based SAF-T-PAY has signed an agreement with BBVA Banco Continental and is announcing the launch of their e-payment solution in Peru. “SAF-T-PAY” customers will be able to purchase items from top Peruvian and international e-retailers and pay for their purchases in local currency through their local bank. The solution does not require users to disclose any personal financial information, thereby eliminating potential risk of identity fraud. There are more than 65 million internet users in Latin America’s nine largest markets, and e-commerce is expected to reach US $40 billion by 2011. BBVA Banco Continental is Peru’s second largest commercial bank with 219 branches and 356 ATMs.

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VISA USA Invests in dotMobi and Ecrio

VISA USA yesterday announced a number of strategic alliances and partnerships for mobile payment at the widely attended CTIA Wireless conference. VISA announced a strategic investment in dotMobi, a consortium of wireless industry leaders that is pioneering the use of the “.mobi” domain address and is enabling the integration of enhanced mobile commerce into the mobile Internet experience for consumers. VISA also announced a strategic alliance and investment in Ecrio, a provider of software for mobile phones on 3G networks that enables the redemption of barcode-enabled coupons and tickets from mobile devices at existing POS systems. Additionally, VeriSign announced it will support the Visa mobile platform. As part of the agreement, VISA will use VeriSign’s content delivery services to provide mobile offer management capabilities. VISA also announced it will continue to work with Qualcomm and Kyocera Wireless for mobile payments.

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Credit Card Delinquency Stays Calm in Q4

Credit card delinquencies, based on total dollars outstanding, continued to head north during the fourth quarter, rising to its highest level since the third quarter of 2005. Sequentially, delinquent dollars edged up by four basis points while the number of past-due credit card accounts dropped by one basis point. According to the American Bankers Association’s “Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin,” delinquencies based on total dollars outstanding for 4Q/06 were 3.54%, compared to 3.50% in the third quarter and 3.21% for 4Q/05. Based on the number of accounts past-due, the figures were 4.56% for 4Q/06, 4.57% for 3Q/06, and 4.27% one-year ago. The ABA also reports that the composite ratio, which tracks delinquencies in eight closed-end installment loan categories, increased to 2.23% in the fourth quarter, compared to 2.12% in the third quarter. This increase was driven by delinquencies in indirect auto loans, which are arranged through dealerships and home equity loans. Composite ratio delinquencies are in line with the 10-year average of 2.20%.

4Q CREDIT CARD DELINQUENCY HISTORY
(based on total dollars outstanding)
1999: 4.28%
2000: 4.25%
2001: 4.67%
2002: 4.63%
2003: 4.92%
2004: 4.19%
2005: 3.21%
2006: 3.54%
Source: ABA Delinquency Bulletin

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Frontier Airlines Goes to a Cashless Cabin

Denver-based Frontier Airlines introduces “Cashless Cabins” on its mainline aircraft beginning April 1, 2007. In-flight amenities can be purchased using credit or debit cards. Frontier’s flight attendants will carry a state-of-the-art personal digital assistant (PDA) equipped with a card reader, eliminating the complications that come with cash transactions. Frontier offers routes linking its Denver hub to 56 destinations including 49 U.S. cities in 29 states spanning the nation from coast to coast, eight cities in Mexico and one city in Canada.

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Rapid7 Joins the PCI Vendor Alliance

Boston-based Rapid7, provider of the “NeXpose” vulnerability scanning solution and the NeXpose “PCI Compliance Portal,” has joined the Payment Card Industry Security Vendor Alliance. Rapid7 is certified by the payment card industry to help merchants, service providers and others achieve compliance with the PCI DSS by performing onsite security assessments and quarterly network scans. The Rapid7 PCI Compliance Portal is a remote scanning solution that meets the security requirements of all credit card companies by going beyond scanning network devices to locate the website and database vulnerabilities that hackers commonly exploit to capture credit card data. Using the NeXpose expert system, the Rapid7 PCI Compliance Portal searches for vulnerabilities. Like NeXpose, the Rapid7 PCI Compliance Portal generates detailed remediation reports containing project plans, system links, vulnerability definitions and a step-by-step guide for fixing any exposures, allowing companies to achieve compliance quickly. Rapid7’s PCI Compliance Portal is a hosted, self-service solution that requires no software or hardware and is accessed via a Web browser.

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Experian & US Biometrics Partner

Experian announced a joint technology sharing and marketing referral agreement with US Biometrics, a biometric technology software company. The initial joint offering will include Experian’s “Knowledge IQ”, featuring challenge-based questions, and US Biometrics’ authentication product, “Qrl”. The integration will result in the essential component of positively identifying an individual during an enrollment process for online services, at a teller location or during other remote-access interfaces. Once the identity is verified and enrollment proceeds, a fingerprint is captured that can be used for ongoing identity verification purposes. Experian provides analytical and information services to organizations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions. US Biometrics designs and deploys a range of biometric technologies for financial, corporate, governmental, health care, manufacturing and educational clients who require absolute authentication of customers and employees.

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Age 18-34 Credit Card Ownership Declines

A new report has found that only 33% of consumers 18-34 are using online banking services. Chicago-based Mintel also found that 80% of those 18-24 years old and 83% of those 25-34 years old own a debit cards and that credit card ownership has been dropping in recent years for these age groups. However, contactless credit cards provide a new outlet for attracting new consumers, with over 60% of consumers in this age range showing interest in the newer option. Mintel noted that younger consumers more cautious when it comes to using credit cards. Over 70% of respondents in the 22-24 age range stated that they do not like the idea of being in debt, and that can significantly impact their relationship with credit card companies.

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Arkansas Bank to Use DSC’ CardWizard

AR-based ANB Financial has selected Dynamic Card Solutions’ “CardWizard” to instantly issue bank cards to customers. DCS’ CardWizard system has enabled ANB to issue cards to customers who come into any location to open new accounts or those needing cards immediately. DCS’ technology enables the bank to also replace cards that have been lost, stolen, compromised or damaged. With instant issuance, which requires that customers present identification to receive a new or replacement card, financial institutions provide an added level of security to protect customers’ personal and financial information. Dynamic Card Solutions is an innovative developer of instant issuance and PIN selection solutions for banks, credit unions and retailers. ANB Financial is a $1.7 billion bank with offices currently serving Arkansas, Wyoming and Utah.

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