ClickandBuy Version 2.0 Released

NY-based ClickandBuy released “ClickandBuy Version 2.0,” enabling merchants to provide more billing options and allow consumers to create new accounts where they can hold money on balance in a personal “ClickandBuy” account. Phone billing, which is popular in Europe, will be introduced by ClickandBuy during the Spring of 2007. With this new version, the company will also unveil a peer-to-peer payment system in 2007 where consumers can buy and sell digital goods to one another. The new platform offers consumers more options, such as the ability to create a personal account – similar to a bank account – with a balance, eliminating the need to “pay as you go.” ClickAndBuy is the leading payment provider for digital content and e-services for online and mobile content.

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VISA Contactless Hits the Road Running

VISA USA announced the launch of its first contactless prepaid cards. MetaBank will be the first financial institution to issue the cards. Beginning this month, the “VISA Contactless” prepaid cards became available to clients of Meta Payment Systems. The new “VISA Contactless” prepaid cards are embedded with a radio-frequency chip that allows consumers to make a contactless transaction by holding their card in front of a reader at checkout, instead of swiping it or handing it to a cashier. In the U.S., more than 30,000 merchant locations accept contactless payments. Consumer adoption of “VISA Contactless” volume has grown an average of 34% per month over the last fiscal year, with the average transaction worth nearly $17. For the same time period, the number of “VISA Contactless” transactions has grown an average of 34% each month.

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December 23rd to Hit Record Card Volume

VISA USA anticipates that Dec 23rd will be the busiest shopping day of the 2006 holiday season followed closely by Dec 22nd, as consumers take advantage of an extra shopping day and deeper discounts at retail outlets. VISA also notes that early procrastination by consumers this holiday season contributed to moderate sales heading into “Black Friday. Consumers were late getting to the shopping malls and online retailers in November, but VISA anticipates that the strongest shopping days are yet to come. VISA did not release “SpendTrak” data to the media this year as the Company prepares for an IPO in 2007.

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Synovus Selects Corillian Intelligent Authentication

Corillian announced that Synovus has selected Corillian “Intelligent Authentication” to provide enhanced security protection to Synovus’ online banking service. Corillian Intelligent Authentication validates the identities of online customers by asking personally relevant challenge questions beyond a user name and password. Synovus (NYSE:SNV) is a diversified financial services holding company with more than $31 billion in assets based in Columbus, GA. Synovus provides integrated financial services including banking, financial management, insurance, mortgage and leasing services through 40 banks and other Synovus offices. Corillian is the market leader of online banking, payment and security solutions to the financial services industry.

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Monster Makes PayPal Available on its eCommerce Site

Monster this week announced PayPal will be available as a payment method on Monster’s eCommerce site.. Millions of merchants already use PayPal to accept payments for their e-commerce sites. Now it is even more convenient for merchants to use the funds already stored in their PayPal accounts to help them staff their businesses for the new year with Monster’s recruiting services. Monster(R) is the leading global online careers and recruitment resource. PayPal, an eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY) company, enables any individual or business with an email address to send and receive payments online securely and easily using a bank account, credit card or stored balance.

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Home Depot Links to the Citi ThankYou Network

Citi and The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, are expanding their strategic relationship. “The Home Depot Rewards MasterCard” and “The Home Depot Business Rewards MasterCard,” both of which have no annual fees, will join the “ThankYou Network” rewards program. As part of the “ThankYou Network,” “The Home Depot Rewards” cardholders – both consumers and business owners — will continue to earn two points for every dollar spent at over 1,800 The Home Depot and EXPO Design Center locations and one “ThankYou Point” per dollar spent on all other purchases made with their card in the United States. In addition, cardholders earn bonus points with their first purchase equivalent to a $25 gift card reward. The transition to the “ThankYou Network” will occur in the spring of 2007.

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Fair Isaac Enhances its Loan Center

Fair Isaac has enhanced its “Loan Center” for consumers at its consumer Web site to provide an online “one-stop shop” for consumers to obtain their FICO credit scores and related information and apply it to pursue personal financial goals such as purchasing a home or refinancing a mortgage. myFICO’s website introduces consumers to the lending process and loan types, and helps them decide if the timing is right. Then based on their FICO score, consumers can learn in real time what lenders will likely offer them in estimated annual percentage rate (APR) and monthly payment. Consumers can also learn if refinancing an existing loan would be worthwhile, perhaps in response to a new interest rate or an improved FICO score.

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Hypercom Names a New Multi-Lane Systems Group Exec

AZ-based Hypercom has named Gary Franza as Vice President and General Manager for the Multi-Lane Systems Group, replacing the former general manager. Mr. Franza brings to the organization a wealth of experience including substantial background in managing indirect and direct distribution sales channels. His background includes over 15 years of global sales and general management experience at WatchGuard Technologies, Insight Enterprises and Hayes Microcomputer Products. Hypercom Corporation (NYSE: HYC) delivers a full suite of high security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services.

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Experian Names a New SVP/Corporate Marketing

Experian has named Kim Hosmer, formerly with First Data and Western Union, as SVP/Corporate Marketing. Hosmer brings more than 15 years of senior management experience to Experian. In her previous role as vice president of global marketing at First Data Corporation, Western Union, Hosmer oversaw strategic pricing and product positioning for the global business units and new product development teams. Experian is a global leader in providing analytical and information services to organizations and consumers to help manage the risk and reward of commercial and financial decisions.

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Internet Barometer Says Consumers Want Incentives

Consumers are willing to spend more for the holidays, but only if retailers offer free shipping and exclusive online incentives, according to the latest “Consumer Internet Barometer.” The “Barometer,” produced by The Conference Board and TNS, covers 10,000 households across the country and tracks who is doing what on the Internet. More than 90% of consumers said free shipping would serve as an incentive to spend more online this holiday season and more than 65% said special offers or deals not available in stores would boost their online spending. Half of holiday shoppers would be willing to spend more if the merchandise offered was available exclusively online. An equal proportion said that the ability to return items to a store would make them point and click more often. And, 35% said free return postage would increase their online holiday purchases.

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Global Hyatt Deploys NCR EasyPoint Xpress

Global Hyatt has deployed NCR “EasyPoint Xpress” Check-In” kiosks throughout its recently launched Hyatt Place chain. NCR Xpress Check-In kiosks are designed to offer intuitive, contemporary and efficient service by providing faster check-in/out and shorter lines. The solution confirms reservations; encodes, validates and dispenses room keys; and prints guests’ folios in most cases in under a minute. Hyatt Place combines The Hyatt Touch with stylish design, purposeful amenities and forward-thinking technology to serve as a new kind of Hyatt for today’s relaxed lifestyle. NCR Corporation (NYSE:NCR) is a leading global technology company helping businesses build stronger relationships with their customers.

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Chase Travel Card Drives Moen Credit Card Usage

MN-based Moen, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of faucets, sinks, showering products and bath accessories reports it has seen significant cash management successes as a result of integrating their “JPMorgan Chase Travel Card” program with their expense management solution from Gelco Expense Management, raising card utilization to 94%, a rate significantly higher than the industry average. Moen’s finance department manages more than 1,000 processed expense reports per month. The expense management solution combines JPMorgan Chase’s corporate travel and entertainment card offering and online PaymentNet reporting system with Gelco’s comprehensive expense management solution. Since integrating their corporate travel card and expense management program, Moen has reported improvements in process efficiencies, cost and time savings. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.3 trillion and operations in more than 50 countries.

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