Springbok Launches Denver Gift Cards

Denver-based Springbok Services has launched an e-commerce site offering custom-designed MasterCard gift cards specific to Denver and Colorado. The site includes a variety of gift card designs, including several that highlight famous Denver and Colorado landmarks, such as The Denver Civic Center, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Maroon Bells. A portion of each denvergiftcard.com card design sale will be donated to The Denver Rescue Mission. Springbok is a leading provider of prepaid MasterCard programs issued through KeyCorp.

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Pinnacle Multi-Functional Kiosk Unveiled

TN-based Brown Investments has unveiled the “Pinnacle Multi-Functional 10-in-1” kiosk for $25,995 retail. Brown Investments Inc. Automated Teller Machine Division also carries a variety of ATMs including the Trition, Tranax, Tidel and WRG Genesis as well as cashless machines. Our lowest cost ATM, the WRG Genesis cost only $3995 including shipping and installation.

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Capital One’s Football Promotions Grows in 06

Capital One, the nation’s fifth largest credit card issuer, pulled in more than 6 million votes this year for its annual college football “Mascot of the Year” contest. The top six vote-getters this season include North Carolina State’s “Mr. Wuf, Maryland’s “Testudo,” Auburn’s “Aubie,” Western Kentucky’s “Big Red,” Tennessee’s “Smokey,” and Washington State’s “Butch T. Cougar.” The playoffs take place over the next three weeks, with the winner being announced on January 1st during the “Capital One Bowl.” This year’s fuzzy crew was chosen from Division IA and IAA athletic programs with college football teams. They made the squad after being ranked on mascot musts such as interaction with fans, originality and pedigree. In addition to the bragging rights, each mascot receives $5,000 for its school’s mascot program. The “Capital One National Mascot of the Year” will receive an additional $5,000 scholarship to help fund its school’s mascot program.

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Fargo Electronics Joins GlobalPlatform

Fargo Electronics has joined the membership of international standards body, GlobalPlatform. The Systems Committee designs infrastructures for single and multi-application smart card programs and develops associated requirements, specifications and guidelines. A current work priority of the committee is to finalize the GlobalPlatform Systems Compliance Program, the first phase of which was launched in November 2006.

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ABS Charge-Offs Edge for Past 3 Months

Credit card charge-offs, among “prime” asset-backed securities, edged down during October, but, the 60+ day delinquency ratio edged upward. It is expected that overall charge-offs will increase next year to historically observed levels. According to FitchRatings, “prime” charge-offs for October were 3.78%, 10 basis points lower than the prior month but up 59 basis points since May. The “prime” 60-plus day delinquency index for October was 2.40%, compared to 2.33% in September. Overall, Fitch maintains a positive outlook in the prime sector; however, as economic factors affecting the subprime sector continue to worsen, performance is expected to deteriorate.

ABS PRIME CHARGE-OFFS HISTORICAL
May 06: 3.19%
Jun 06: 3.58%
Jul 06: 3.44%
Aug 06: 3.94%
Sep 06: 3.88%
Oct 06: 3.78%
Source: FitchRatings

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COLLOQUY Adds Three Consulting Executives

Cincinnati-based loyalty specialist, COLLOQUY, has hired Tom Buecking as Consulting Program Manager; Julie Murphy as Consulting Program Manager; and Colleen Ryan, Consulting Program Specialist. Since its inception in 1990 the COLLOQUY brand has grown to include the most comprehensive loyalty marketing web site in the world as well as a quarterly magazine with 25,000 subscribers representing more than 100 countries. COLLOQUY comprises a collection of resources devoted to the global loyalty-marketing industry.

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Online Retail Spending Rises 24% in Nov

Total online retail spending reached $11.7 billion between November 1st and December 1st, a 24% jump over year-ago levels. For the total holiday season online retail spending is also expected to climb by 24% to $24.3 billion, compared to $19.6 billion in 2005 and $15.8 billion in 2004. VA-based comScore Networks also reports that the number of visitors to retail sites has grown 13% while the total number of visits has grown 12%. The says “Cyber Monday” (November 27th) and Tuesday November 28th each produced $608 million in spending.

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New Bangkok Airport Deploys Optimum T2100

The new Thailand Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok has selected Hypercom’s “Optimum T2100” payment terminal as the preferred choice for card payment solutions. More than 1,000 units are being deployed in the airport’s retail outlets and duty free shops. The adoption adds to the 20,000 “T2100” units that have been installed by retailers in the country since its introduction in October 2005. The terminals at the airport were offered to retailers by the country’s two major banks: Siam Commercial Bank and TMB Bank. The “Optimum T2100” is a high-speed 32-bit EMV 4.0 and VISA PED-certified device with an integrated EMV-compliant smart card reader, built-in printer, large memory to accommodate multiple applications, support for multiple languages and currencies, hand-over countertop design and graphical interface that guides customers through transactions with clear prompts.

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Safeway to Offer VISA ReadyLink Service

VISA’s prepaid load network, “VISA ReadyLink, has signed a major client with 60,000 store alliances. Blackhawk Network says it will roll-out the service this month at more than 1,550 retail locations nationwide including participating Safeway, Carrs, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Pak ‘n Save, Pavilions, Randalls, Vons, and Tom Thumb stores. Fifth Third Bank will serve as the acquiring financial institution. The new VisaNet service enables consumers, particularly unbanked consumers, to easily add funds to eligible VISA reloadable prepaid cards.

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MasterCard Announces SEPA Interchange for Maestro

MasterCard announced SEPA fall-back interchange rates for “Maestro” POS transactions effective January 1st, 2008. MasterCard says the rates are designed to promote convergence to a single interchange rate structure across the Euro Zone, in line with the objective as set out recently by the European Central Bank. With these new rates and increased competition resulting from the introduction of a “Maestro”
four-party model it is anticipated that total costs to merchants for
SEPA transactions will come down, on average, across the SEPA region over time. A four-party SEPA model opens up the market to new entrants, leading to competitive offers on all major cost items for merchants
such as the merchant service charges (MSC), terminals and telecommunications. In particular, for cross-border Maestro® POS transactions, the fall-back interchange rates are significantly reduced versus current intra-EEA cross-border rates.

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