TOUCH & TRAVEL

Vodafone is teaming up with Deutsche Bahn to test a mobile payment system for mass transportation in Berlin and Hanover. The “Touch & Travel” project will enable passengers to press the “Handy” button on their mobile phone near a “Touchpoint” when they board and disembark from a train. They will then receive a monthly bill for the total of their travel. The first test is set for October and will involve volunteers with a full test planned for Berlin early next year.
The Companies said they would like to integrate Deutsche Bahn’s car sharing and “Call-a-Bike” services into the system too. Other partners supporting the program include: Motorola, Atron, NXP and Giesecke&Devrient.

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Debit Card Q4 PDV Posts a 15% CAGR

Purchase dollar volume on U.S. signature-based debit cards rose 18% in the fourth quarter to a record $176 billion. The growth rate is on par with the prior year’s gain when fourth quarter PDV neared the $150 billion mark. MasterCard reported $61 billion in U.S. debit card purchase volume, however about $20 billion of the total is PIN debit and online debit. VISA, which has not officially released fourth quarter figures, logged an estimated $135 billion in fourth quarter signature purchase dollar volume. U.S. signature debit card purchase volume for the fourth quarter has been rising at a 15% CAGR since 2002. Debit card purchase volume broke through the $100 billion milestone in 2003, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

Q4 PURCHASE VOLUME
(VISA & MC)
2002: $ 88 billion
2003: $106 billion
2004: $126 billion
2005: $149 billion
2006: $176 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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shop.org to Feature Digital Marketing Guru

Shop.org will host an “Online Marketing Workshop” with guest speaker Mitch Joel, President of Canadian-based Twist Image, in April in Florida. At the two-day workshop, Joel will enlighten guests with his presentation, “Six Pixels of Separation,” which will discuss cutting-edge marketing channels like social networking, blogs, and podcasting and how they result in increased consumer loyalty and positive ROI. Other sessions and presentations during the event will focus on how to “Achieve, Measure and Communicate Positive ROI.” Shop.org is the network for retailers online and is a division of the National Retail Federation.

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Accel Powers Bojangles’ Wireless Network

Quick serve restaurant Bojangles’ has completed a roll-out with Accel Networks for the delivery of fixed wireless broadband connectivity between 140 store locations. “Accelerator” fuses the availability, reliability, management and security of frame relay with the data throughput and price point of DSL and therefore competes very effectively with both DSL and frame relay. The Accel network is PCI compliant, private end-to-end, fully redundant and secure. The network is physically isolated from the internet. Accel provides high speed wireless data communications to retail organizations across the United States.

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Priority Payment Systems Launches New Venture

GA-based Priority Payment Systems has hired Ryan O’Connor, previously with TransFirst, as SVP of Mergers & Acquisitions. This new venture of Priority Payment Systems is called Priority Finance. O’Connor will be responsible for overseeing Priority Finance’s acquisition strategy including ISO/Agent residuals and bank portfolio purchases. O’Connor brings over a decade of experience in the financial industry to his new role, most recently serving as president of Business Development for TransFirst. O’Connor has also held executive management positions with creditcards.com and Card Payment Systems. Priority Payment Systems provides merchant services to credit card accepting businesses and facilitates sales of merchant processing, provides credit/underwriting functions, and manages fraud prevention, settlement and account reconciliation.

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PC Magazine Praises MyTruston Solution

Truston announced “MyTruston” received a 4 out of 5 rating by PC Magazine for its step-by-step approach to detecting and recovering from the loss of private financial information. “MyTruston” is the only free credit inspecting service available today, helping members obtain free credit reports every four months, instead of charging the annual fee of $130 requested by most credit monitoring services. “MyTruston” tailors the ID theft recovery process to meet each individual’s needs, and it customizes instructions for each user every step along the way. This service manages recovery from a central location by handling a range of details including scheduling tasks, sending email reminders, and providing follow-up documents for download. Truston is dedicated to helping people deal with identity theft without putting personal information at risk.

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Source Technologies and ChoicePay Partner

Charlotte-based Source Technologies has partnered with ChoicePay to create a network of self-service bill payment kiosks. “ChoicePay” kiosks will accept cash to pay any local, regional or national billers active on the kiosk. Source Technologies will integrate the “ChoicePay” multi-biller, bill payment functionality into the “CONCOURSE” line of self-service kiosks, to enable bill payment for cash paying consumers nationwide. Billers that support walk-up payments for cash-preferred customers can reduce the cost associated with processing attended payments, which can average $1.501 or more per transaction. ChoicePay is an electronic bill payment solutions provider and a subsidiary of Tulsa National Bancshares. Source Technologies is a leading provider of integrated solutions for managing financial transactions and other secure business processes.

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Americans Prefer Fingerprint Biometrics

More Americans favor the use of fingerprint recognition for securing financial transactions than any other biometric technology including retinal scanning, signature verification and voice recognition. A new study found that 41% are most comfortable with fingerprint recognition compared to 26% who favor retinal scanning. Atlanta-based Synergistics Research found signature verification was favored by only 12% while voice recognition came in last at 9%. The research firm says its latest study also discovered that 75% of all respondents say they are more concerned now with fraud and identity theft than they were five years ago. Slightly more than one-fifth say their level of concern is the same. In addition, six in ten strongly agree with the statement, “Financial institutions should be doing more to protect their customers from identity theft and fraud.”

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Vodafone to Pilot Touch & Travel in Germany

Vodafone is teaming up with Deutsche Bahn to test a mobile payment system for mass transportation in Germany’s cities of Berlin and Hanover. The “Touch & Travel” project will enable passengers to press the “Handy” button on their mobile phone near a “Touchpoint” when they board and disembark from a train. They will then receive a monthly bill for the total of their travel. The first test is set for October and will involve volunteers with a full test planned for Berlin early next year. The Companies said they would like to integrate Deutsche Bahn’s car sharing and “Call-a-Bike” services into the system too. Other partners supporting the program include: Motorola, Atron, NXP and Giesecke & Devrient.

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Price Chopper Empowers its AdvantEdge Card

NY-based Price Chopper Supermarket has introduced a new coupon kiosk linked to their loyalty card. The new “iSaveToday” program delivers relevant offers and messages to consumers at the start of their shopping trip. Shoppers scan their “AdvantEdge Card” at the “iSaveToday” dispenser located at the store’s entrance and within seconds receive a sheet of up to eight offers and messages selected just for them based on their shopping history. The program is available in all 115 Price Chopper Supermarkets in six Northeastern states. Entry Point Communications developed the “iSaveToday” technology last year.

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