BitArmor Systems Joins the PCI Alliance

Pittsburgh-based BitArmor Systems has joined the Payment Card Industry Security Vendor Alliance. BitArmor’s flagship product is a distributed enterprise encryption software solution that helps organizations protect sensitive data assets through advanced encryption technology that secures data in flight over both wired and wireless networks and stored on personal computers, removable media, servers, and storage devices. The “BitArmor Security Suite” provides data lifecycle management functionality to address PCI DSS requirements for retailers, financial institutions and other organizations with automatic data classification, retention policies and programmatic data destruction for any data under protection. The PCI Security Vendor Alliance (SVA) was formed by leading security vendors to help members of the payment card industry achieve compliance with the PCI Data Security Standard, a global benchmark that guides organizations in protecting sensitive data and reducing the risk associated with security breaches.

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Trycera Financial Revenues Soar in March

CA-based prepaid card specialist Trycera Financial reports that gross revenues for February increased 196% and that monthly GDV for the first 10 days of March has already exceeded the $3.2 million in full month GDV recently reported for February. Gross revenues for February 2007 increased from $96K in January 2007 to $283K. Stored value revenues for February 2007 increased $76K to $264K. Quarter-to-date stored value card fee revenues have increased from $70K in 4 QTR 2006 to $700K. Trycera Financial is a financial services company specializing in the delivery of prepaid card programs, prepaid card program management and private label catalog shopping cards.

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ID Protection Software Could Drive E-Banking

A new study has found that more than 88 million online banking customers would switch banks or reduce online banking usage if news reports exposed their individual institution as compromised. The TriCipher “Consumer Online Banking Study,” conducted by Javelin Strategy & Research, also reveals that the industry could realize a gain of $8.3 billion per year through customer adoption and increased loyalty by offering strong identity protection software to their customers. When asked if they would download identity protection software from their financial institution, 62% of consumers said that they would be likely to do so. Consumers’ willingness to download security software to protect financial information was further confirmed when 69% of respondents reported having downloaded some form of security software in the last six months.

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FTC Plans a Debt Collection Workshop

The FTC is planning a debt collection workshop in October to learn about changes in the debt collection industry and to examine how those changes have affected consumers and businesses. To aid preparation for the workshop, FTC staff welcomes original research, surveys, and academic papers regarding consumer debt collection issues. The Federal Trade Commission works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them.

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UATP Names a Manager for China

UATP travel payment network has added a commercial manager in China
expanding operations in the area. Steven Luan will be promoting the company’s corporate payment network services with
airline issuers throughout the region. Luan brings to UATP talents as a
consultant and ten years experience in sales that have generated
important relationships with airlines. His education includes an
undergraduate degree from the Beijing Institute of Business and an MBA
from the University of Queensland, Australia.

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Exclusive Deal Signed for Carmen Electra Card

Commerce Planet’s subsidiary Legacy Media has signed an exclusive marketing agreement with Payment Data Systems for the “Carmen Electra Prepaid MasterCard” and “Carmen Electra Gift MasterCard”. Legacy will assist with market development and has exclusive online distribution through its affiliate network, www.legacynetwork.com. Both the “Carmen Electra Prepaid MasterCard” and “Carmen Electra Gift MasterCard” offer an opportunity to win a $1,000 gift card each quarter and are issued by Iowa-based MetaBank. Commerce Planet offers online media products, lead generation services and direct marketing tools to its client partners. Payment Data Systems is an integrated payment solutions provider to merchants and billers.

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SmartPay & Lu Hai Kong Launch Mobile Payment Solution

SmartPay has announced partnership with The Lu Hai Kong travel agency in
launching a mobile phone and telephone payment solution for airline
tickets. With the new service, customers who register use interactive
voice response and short messaging service, eliminating the
inconvenience of cash transactions and any need for paper tickets.
SmartPay provides remote payment services in China under the brand name
“Jieyin.”

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Credit Card Annual GDV Passes $2 Trillion

General purpose U.S. credit card gross dollar volume crossed the $2 trillion milestone last year. During 2006, GDV grew nearly 11% from $1.8 trillion for 2005. According to CardData, VISA led the charge with more than $900 billion in volume. MasterCard reported $609 billion in year-to-date volume, while American Express posted about $407 billion and Discover handled $115 billion during 2006. Last year’s pace was slightly better than the prior year’s, when credit card GDV expanded by 10%.

Credit Card GDV
2002: $1426.5 billion
2003: $1524.6 billion
2004: $1673.3 billion
2005: $1837.7 billion
2006: $2039.6 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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PayPal Opens Nearly 35MM Accounts in Europe

Paypal has announced that it has reached the milestone of 35 million
accounts in Europe. Further demonstrating the services’ growing
popularity, 23% of European online consumers use the company’s protected
payment service. Without ever having to retype their financial
information or share it with the merchant, in 2006 Paypal users spent
$8.4 billion in Europe. The service has a presence in 15 countries,
supports payments from 103 markets using 17 global currencies, and has
more than 133 million accounts.

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First Data to License PrivaSys Technology

First Data has signed a long-term licensing agreement with PrivaSys, a provider of patented software and card technology. The deal will enhance First Data’s capability to process contactless and other emerging payments for its financial institution and merchant clients. The PrivaSys solution leverages patented software and card technology to generate a transaction-specific “Dynamic Authentication Code.” The “DAC” generates a unique set of trailing data in the discretionary data fields of the legacy magnetic stripe data packet for each transaction. The trailing data is decrypted to authenticate the cardholder. PrivaSys’ solution for card security enables issuers to preclude card skimming/cloning because each “DAC” is used for only one transaction. The PrivaSys solution is available in various form factors: conventional plastic cards as well as other devices such as cell phones, PDAs or electronic key fobs.

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GratisCard Seeks a Piece of the Card Pie

A PIN-based anonymous payment card with only a bar code and an account number encoded on its mag stripe is set to debut nationally next month after being tested at some sports arenas. The new “GratisCard” is part of a revolutionary new payment network being established by several seasoned industry veterans with the financial backing of AOL’s founder. The Florida-based Company says the card system essentially eliminates interchange fees, thereby producing cost savings of 2% to 7% in sales, resulting in gross profit increases of 10% to 70%. GratisCard Inc. will charge 50 basis points on each transaction. The card will be targeted at merchants that process low-value payments. GratisCard says the card requires no incremental investment by merchants since its software works with magnetic stripe and barcode scanners, or simple numeric keypads. The Company also noted its system will reduce transaction time with average processing speed of 30 milliseconds. As a credit card or prepaid card the initial market will be consumers with poor to medium credit. For consumers, GratisCard says the new card can aggregate prepaid and credit cards, as well as other loyalty cards so there is only one card to manage. The system can also store other information such as health insurance, auto insurance, medical records and emergency contact information. Also, it can restrict access to sensitive information. Steve Case, founder of AOL, is backing the new company via his investment company, Revolution Inc. Other key executives include: Jason Hogg, President and CEO, founder of MBNA Canada; Dax Cummings, COO, formerly with MBNA; Patrick Graf, CTO, formerly SVP at QI Solutions; and Darren Thompson, CFO, former President and CEO of Avenue Mortgage Corp. Russell Hogg, former CEO of MasterCard, is also on the board.

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Global Debt Registry Names a President

Dennis Hammond has joined the the Global Debt Registry as President. Hammond was the founder of the Debt Buyer’s Association. Global Debt Registry is a registration system designed to maintain and establish accurate ownership of delinquent receivable accounts. Not only can the registry identify the true owner of an account, but it can also validate account level attributes, such as charge-off date and balance, to provide a clear title at the account level for a debt portfolio.

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