Hitachi/Dove Consulting to Launch a PCI Practice

Hitachi Consulting has created a Payments Compliance practice through its Dove Consulting division and appointed Paul Turgeon to lead the practice. Turgeon has held senior leadership roles with First Data Corporation, NYCE and ACI as well as founding Schema Corporation. The new practice will help industry participants assimilate the myriad association release changes such as “Release Requirements Normalization”, “Release Management”, “Back Office Optimization”, “Portfolio Optimization” and “Release Opportunity Maximization”. Dove Consulting specializes in strategy and organization consulting for banks, payment networks and processors, broadband companies and consumer goods companies. Hitachi is a global electronics company with consolidated sales totaled 9,464 billion yen ($80.9 billion).

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EMV Migration to Stimulate Smart Card Growth

By the year 2010, the number of smart cards in circulation in Canada is
expected to reach 54.8 million cards as a result of EMV migration. This
will represent 43.6% of all payment cards in circulation that year. A
strategic assessment of Canada’s EMV migration program has been issued
by Technology Surveys, a leading technology market research firm. EMV
migration is a complex process, and many delays in implementing the
system in the country are expected. According to Technology Surveys’
assessment, among the many hurdles, the investment required will exceed
$1 billion. Also, most retailers have not been engaged in EMV migration
planning thus are likely to resist the change. According to the
assessment, the most significant threat to EMV migration, however, is in
the area of contactless and wireless payments.

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Chase Commits to $1.3MM for Financial Literacy

Chase Card Services is donating $1.3 million per year for three years to multiple organizations across the United States through its new “Financial Literacy Grant Program”. The new nationwide program is part of Chase’s multi-million dollar commitment to supporting financial literacy for people of all ages. Chase’s donations support several critical initiatives such as consumer education, community outreach and awareness programs and conducting research to design better financial literacy programs. These grants will be donated to more than 30 organizations, including Consumer Credit Counseling Service of the Delaware Valley, Novadebt, George Washington University’s Financial Services Research Program, Take Charge America Institute’s “Duel in the Desert Program,” which supports more than 80 universities’ financial literacy efforts, and the Delaware Financial Literacy Institute, in which a $30,000 grant funds a week-long entrepreneurship camp – called “Chasing the Dream” – to teach middle and junior high school students about how to launch and manage their own businesses.

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Banco Colpatria and GE Money Form a Joint Venture

GE Money, has announced its’
acquisition of a minority position in Banco Colpatria – Red Multibanca
Colpatria. Based in Bogota, Banco Colpatria is a consumer and
commercial bank of which GE Money will acquire 39.3% and the option for
an additional 25% by 2012. Columbia is a growing market for GE Money and
will provide the bank with expanded product offerings and accelerated
growth. Banco Colpatria has over $2.4 billion in assets and is the
second largest credit card issuer in Colombia. The bank has 139 branches
and serves over 1 million customers. GE Money’s Latin American division
has approximately $7 billion in assets and offers a wide range of
financial products in more than 430 branches and locations.

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VISA Europe Launches Account Updater & Stop Service

The Visa “Account Updater & Stop Service”, a new solution designed to
manage regular payments on VISA cards, will allow merchants to validate
and update card details held on file for customers. The solution will also
allow cardholders to cancel regular payment instructions more easily. The
VISA “Account Updater” is a database that keeps a record of VISA card
holders’ card numbers. Therefore, prior to processing a
payment, a merchant can confirm customer information. Meanwhile, the “Stop
Service” allows a customer, through their card issuer / bank, to alert the
retailers in case a regular payment, that has been set up on their VISA
card, needs to be canceled. All VISA UK acquiring and issuing banks will
be mandated to use the service.

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BS/2 Expands its ATM Security Solution

BS/2, a division of the Penki Kontinentai Group has
announced the availability of their ATM security service in Western
Europe. The security service, “ATMeye”, monitors ATM activity triggered
only when the machine is approached, resulting in less ‘dead’ time on
recordings. This system also helps banks address complaints regarding
ATM failure. BS/2 has developed products to suit self-service networks
and ATM’s and services more than 10,000 installations at banks in 54
countries.

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Nomad Reports Massive 4Q 2006 Expansion

Nomad, a pre-paid gift card processor, has reported massive expansion in
the number of sites offering their cards and a rise in sales during the
last quarter of 2006. Nomad operations rose to 14, including eleven that
were launched in the last quarter. A site location that offers the
pre-paid cards reported a 33% increase in sales in 2006. The largest
increase, however, comes from the Dublin site reporting that 20,000
prepaid gift cards were sold in December 2006. Nomad is working with a
range of program managers on delivering prepaid solutions from its
portfolio of services. The company is approved by MasterCard.

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NYCE Logs 3MM Canadian Transactions

The debit network introduced by NYCE in 2004,”Canadian Cross-Border
Debit”, has reached the transaction number of 3 million. On the NYCE
Network, Canadians are outpacing U.S. transactions by 34%. Furthermore,
while the U.S. figure averages $47 USD per purchase, the Canadian
average sits ahead at $63 USD. Through “Canadian Cross-Border Debit”,
NYCE Payments Network enables widespread PIN debit access at the point
of sale for purchases initiated with debit cards issued by participating
Canadian financial institutions. This allows Canadians to make PIN debit
purchases at more than 1.5 million U.S. retailers participating in the
network. NYCE connects the accounts of more than 74 million cards with
280,000 ATMs, and 1.5 million point-of-sale locations nationwide.

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First Data Expands its Presence in Poland

First Data payment service has announced it will be establishing offices
in Warsaw, Poland resulting in expansion in the country for the second
half of 2007. The company’s focus will be on bringing advanced payment
processing solutions to the Polish market. This market is considered to
be fundamental for First Data because of steady economic growth and
well-developed card industry. The company serves 4.9 million merchant
locations, 1,900 card issuers and their customers. Their STAR Network
offers debit acceptance at 2 million ATM and retail locations worldwide.

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Card Providers Improve Travel Insurance Perks

Analysis conducted by MoneyExpert.com has concluded that card providers
have improved travel insurance perks for cardholders. The average amount
of travel accident coverage on a credit card has increased in the last 10
months alone from around GBP 84,534 to GBP 107,547. Around three quarters
of all cards offer travel accident insurance and lost luggage coverage
reflects an average GBP 1,168. Average lost luggage coverage is almost
six times as much as it was in April last year. For travel insurance,
122 different cards will provide up to GBP 100,000 worth of coverage or
more and the lowest amount available is GBP 25,000.

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Sharper Image Adds the Bill Me Later Option

MD-based I4 Commerce has announced that its “Bill Me Later” payment service has been implemented through The Sharper Image to attract new customers and help increase sales online. “Bill Me Later” offers Sharper Image customers a fast, convenient and secure way to pay for online purchases without providing credit card information. With I4 Commerce’s promotional financing program, customers can also enjoy no payments for 90 days. The Sharper Image is a specialty retailer. I4 Commerce has more than 400 retailers in its trusted network.

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GPN Inks a Card & Check Deal with IADA

Atlanta-based Global Payments has established a referral relationship with the Illinois Automobile Dealers Association dealer members to provide payment card and check services. IADA will refer members to Global Payments for payment card and check processing solutions, including “eHold Check”, an electronic check solution allowing dealerships to hold checks for payment, until the customer’s funds are available; credit and debit card processing; electronic check conversion; check guarantee; check recovery services; as well as a full spectrum of management reporting tools and comprehensive software. Global Payments is a provider of electronic transaction processing services for consumers, merchants, Independent Sales Organizations, financial institutions, government agencies and multi- national corporations.

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