ARM M&A Deal Value Hits Another Record

Merger and acquisition activity in the Accounts Receivable Management industry set a new deal value record for the third consecutive year in 2006. Kaulkin Ginsberg says deal value was $3.1 billion last year. The record was mostly driven by two major transactions in the fourth quarter. Key private equity transactions included the management-led buyout of NCO Group for $1.26 billion; and the recapitalization of West Corporation $4.1 billion. Kaulkin Ginsberg estimates the ARM-related deal value of these two transactions amounted to $1.625 billion. Kaulkin Ginsberg expects activity to remain high in 2007, but the key drivers of activity will shift from platform investments to strategic acquisitions. There are apparently several large deals pending that may close this quarter.

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VISA MOBILE

VISA has launched a broad initiative to bring mobile payments to consumers worldwide. The new platform includes technology tools, applications, security standards, and business models to bring together
VISA issuers and mobile operators for market trials to drive
product development and commercialization of mobile payment services.
The initial version of the platform offers solutions for contactless mobile payment, OTA personalization, coupons and direct marketing.
Recent VISA-led market activities leveraging NFC technology include the industry’s first large-scale mobile payment trial at Philips Arena in Atlanta last year. Partners included Atlanta Spirit, Chase, Cingular, Nokia, NXP Semiconductors, and ViVOtech. In Malaysia VISA partnered with Maybank, Maxis Communications, Nokia and ViVOtech to pilot a mobile payment program. Other partners VISA has worked with for the new mobile platform include: CASSIS International, Ecrio, Giesecke & Devrient, Venyon, IBM, VeriSign, INSIDE Contactless, and mFormation Technologies.

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ePayments Acquires Automated Check Recovery

ePayments has acquired AL-based Automated Check Recovery, which serves regional clients including school districts in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. Under terms of the acquisition, Automated Check Recovery managing partner Sean Ros joins the ePayments organization. Ros will serve as National Sales Manager of Educational Financial Services. The division specializes in helping schools of all sizes – and the many organizations and activities associated with education – process and collect check payments.

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TNB Card Services Saves a VA CU Card Program

VA-based Freedom First FCU reports it changed processors to TNB Card Services and launched an overhaul of its card program that has paid off in 9.5% growth in outstanding balances and a 15% increase in credit lines over the pre-conversion portfolio average. Freedom First FCU also uses TNB for its card activation program, card reissuing, and other administrative functions. Freedom First FCU has more than $190 million in assets and 36,000 members.

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Tampa Electric Offers Metavante Card Options

Tampa Electric has expanded its Metavante relationship to include the “Just Pay It Convenience” solution, which offers credit and debit card payment options to Tampa Electric’s nearly 650,000 customers. The Just Pay It Convenience solution through Tampa Electric features one-time, expedited payments with same-day posting capability. In addition to credit and debit cards, Tampa Electric customers can initiate expedited payments with their checking account and make phone payments with optional bilingual support.

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BofA Banks & ATMs Located via GPS Systems

Bank of America has teamed up with Tele Atlas to make BofA ATM and branch locations available via digital maps and navigation/location solutions. Tele Atlas Brand Icons enhance Tele Atlas-powered navigation systems by visually representing the points of interest (POIs) of participating businesses as instantly recognizable logos to help mobile consumers to accurately identify specific brands of interest. Through the program, these branded icons are available for digital map application developers to incorporate into personal and in-car navigation systems and mobile, wireless and Internet map applications.

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VISA Assembles Global Mobile Pay Platform

VISA has launched a broad initiative to bring mobile payments to consumers worldwide. The new platform includes technology tools, applications, security standards, and business models to bring together VISA issuers and mobile operators for market trials to drive product development and commercialization of mobile payment services. The initial version of the platform offers solutions for contactless mobile payment, OTA personalization, coupons and direct marketing. Recent VISA-led market activities leveraging NFC technology include the industry’s first large-scale mobile payment trial at Philips Arena in Atlanta last year. Partners included Atlanta Spirit, Chase, Cingular, Nokia, NXP Semiconductors, and ViVOtech. In Malaysia VISA partnered with Maybank, Maxis Communications, Nokia and ViVOtech to pilot a mobile payment program. Other partners VISA has worked with for the new mobile platform include: CASSIS International, Ecrio, Giesecke & Devrient, Venyon, IBM, VeriSign, INSIDE Contactless, and mFormation Technologies.

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Triton and Ventus Team for Wireless ATMs

MS-based ATM manufacturer Triton has signed an agreement with Ventus Networks to bring a comprehensive, managed wireless network infrastructure to the U.S. ATM market. The agreement with Ventus Networks, a provider of managed networked telecommunications solutions throughout the financial services industry, will ensure that U.S. customers who buy or lease Triton equipment will benefit from Ventus Networks’ wireless connectivity to drive in-house and off-premise financial devices. This agreement also includes monitoring, maintenance and management services

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