Oyster Smart Transport Card Wins an Award

The “Oyster” smart card transport ticketing system has won a “2006 RFID Breakthrough Award.” The award was presented to
TranSys, the consortium that Cubic and EDS founded to deliver, maintain
and operate the “PRESTIGE” project a/k/a “Oyster” card system. Cubic provides and maintains the system and EDS provides all operational
services. The system was developed by Cubic and EDS. Transport for London awarded the “PRESTIGE” contract to TranSys in 1998 under a Private Finance Initiative. In 2003 the customer, Transport for London, began its roll-out of the “Oyster” smart card to the public. Today more than six million cards have been distributed.

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Rounding-Up Program Spreads to U.K.

The U.K.’s Lloyds TSB is launching a new debit card purchase program that enables cardholders to round-up to the nearest full pound and have the excess automatically swept into a savings account. The new “Save the Change” program mirrors a highly successful program launched in the U.S. by Bank of America one-year ago. The new Lloyds TSB program will begin next year and is a U.K. first. BofA’s “Keep the Change” program has signed-up more than 3 million customers in its first year, including 1.3 million new checking customers and an additional 1.8 million new savings accounts. Over $200 million have been saved by consumers nationwide in the U.S. since then. (CF Library 11/15/06)

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Online Card Personalization Catches-On

Enabling customers to personally customize their payment cards online looks like a new hot button for consumers, especially in Europe. Belgian Bank KBC reported that 120,000 of its customers have uploaded a favorite picture onto their payment cards in the four months after it began offering the service. KBC says 20% of this figure is made up of new cards and 80% replacements of existing cards. The new KBC personalization program is powered by London-based Serverside Graphics which serves 33 major issuers worldwide including Advanta and First National Bank of Omaha in the USA. KBC says it abandoned the traditional direct mail channel altogether opting for online marketing for the new program. KBC has not charged a fee for the new service but has recently begun testing a fee of about $13.

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Trintech Introduces ReconNET 7.3

Dallas-based Trintech has introduced its latest version of “ReconNET” which provides multi-levels of security for handling credit card data. Trintech’s ReconNET 7.3 provides multi-levels of security to protect sensitive data and gives administrators the ability to measure, manage and reduce security risk, and comply with the foremost industry standard – the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard. Trintech Group Plc (NASDAQ: TTPA) is a leading global provider of financial software and technology services specializing in transaction verification, reconciliation management, process automation and compliance for commercial, financial and healthcare markets.

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Lloyds TSB to Launch “Save the Change” Program

Lloyds TSB is launching a new debit card purchase program that enables cardholders to round-up to the nearest full pound and have the excess automatically swept into a savings account. The new “Save the Change” program mirrors a highly successful program launched in the U.S. by Bank of America one-year ago. The new Lloyds TSB program will begin next year and is a U.K. first. Lloyds says its research shows that nearly a third of people are using their debit card more often than they were twelve months ago and 36% are using their debit card for smaller
purchases. The bank also noted that 23% of the population confess that they don’t have any savings and of these, one in ten say they have never saved.

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AmEx Acquires Harbor Payments

American Express is launching a suite of “Source-to-Settle” electronic solutions to strengthen its commercial card business and procurement capabilities. The new “S2S” suite will be marketed to corporations in the U.S. beginning in January, with plans to expand on a global basis. To add the new service AmEx is acquiring Atlanta-based Harbor Payments, a technology provider that delivers e-invoice and e-payment capabilities. The product functionality helps companies eliminate paper processing and make their supply chain more efficient. Harbor Payments has approximately 200 clients. The acquisition is expected to close this month.

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RBS Lynk Offers Discover Network Services

Atlanta-based RBS Lynk has completed integration and roll-out of direct Discover Network card processing. As one of the first payment processors to directly acquire Discover Network card transactions, RBS Lynk now offers Discover credit card processing service as part of its standard credit card processing service offerings (along with Visa and MasterCard) for new merchants. RBS Lynk is a leading, single-source provider of electronic payment processing services – including credit, debit, EBT, checks, gift cards, e-commerce, customer loyalty cards, fleet cards, prepaid cards, ATM processing and cash management services. Discover Financial Services LLC, a business unit of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), operates the Discover Card with more than 50 million Cardmembers, and the Discover Network, which is the largest proprietary credit card network in the U.S. with more than 4 million merchant and cash access locations.

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Diebold Hires an Info Security Officer

Diebold has hired Scott Angelo, formerly with SecureState, as VP and chief information security officer. During the past four years, Angelo has been a principal with SecureState LLC in Cleveland, Ohio, where he advised clients in business, government, financial services and other industries regarding many aspects of their security, including compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self- service delivery and security systems and services.

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More Cardholders are Using Leverage

A new study has found that more than three out of four U.S. cardholders have received an interest rate reduction when they ask for it. However, the research revealed that only 44% of credit card customers that revolve have asked for a rate reduction. The report by Atlanta-based Synergistics Research found that 33% of card users report that they have at some point asked one of their credit card providers for a lower interest rate in order to keep them as customers. Surprisingly, 24% of convenience users have asked for a rate reduction. About one-tenth of all cardholders that did not get a lower rate when requested ended up canceling their card. Overall, 89% of those who asked for a lower rate either got a lower rate or canceled their card. The national Internet survey was conducted in September with 1,000 cardholders age 18 or older.

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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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