SuperPIN Technology Becomes Available

IT GlobalSecure has launched its “SuperPIN” password technology. “SuperPIN” works by taking a regular PIN or password, divides it into several pieces, and shuffles in some other sets of random letters or numbers. It can be used for face-to-face, online, and phone-based transactions. Consumers create a new “SuperPIN” from their password for every new transaction. This creates an audit trail that both protects transactions. The Company holds U.S. and worldwide patents for “SuperPIN,” the “SecurePlay” protocols and has additional patents pending.

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eFunds Names a New U.S. President

AZ-based eFunds Corporation has named Nelson Eng as its U.S. president. Eng will oversee all aspects of eFunds domestic operations as he succeeds Rahul Gupta who is leaving the company next month. Most recently, Eng was general manager and group vice president of the financial services sector for Oracle Corporation where he achieved double-digit growth running sales for Oracle’s CRM business. Prior to this role, Eng held various senior management positions at IBM, Vignette and Dell. eFunds offers payment processing and information intelligence expertise.

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Wincor Nixdorf Posts a Banner Year in 2006

TX-based Wincor Nixdorf says it has exceeded it’s annual projections as operating profit rose 18% and sales grew 12%. These figures mean that Wincor Nixdorf has again clearly surpassed its own growth forecasts, which had already been upgraded during the year to at least 15 percent for EBITA and at least 10 percent for net sales. Wincor Nixdorf is one of the world’s leading suppliers of IT solutions to the retail and banking industries.

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OCT DEBT

Credit card outstandings edged down slightly in October by GBP 200 million. However, the GBP 55.4 billion figure remains well below December’s peak of GBP 59.0 billion. Year-on-year credit card outstandings (not seasonally adjusted) are running about 4% lower than one-year ago. According to the The Bank of England, lending to other financial corporations increased by GBP 5.1 billion in Q3. Lending to other financial intermediaries rose strongly (+GBP 11.8 billion), but securities dealers reduced their borrowings by GBP 17.6 billion. Lending to non-financial corporations rose by GBP 22.6 billion, driven by increases in development, buying, selling and renting of real estate (+GBP 6.1 billion), transport, storage and communication (+GBP 4.4 billion), construction (+GBP 2.6 billion) and legal, accountancy, consultancy and other business activities (+GBP 2.6 billion).

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Commerce Bank Adds More Gift Card Options

NJ-based Commerce Bank has added the “We Deliver” mail order service to its gift card, through which customers can personalize a “Commerce Gift Card” and have it shipped to the recipient, plus print the recipient’s name on the gift card and a custom message on the accompanying card carrier. Commerce customers can purchase the instant-issue Commerce Gift Card for free, in any whole dollar amount between $25 and $500, in any of Commerce Bank’s more than 400 retail locations. Commerce Gift Cards are elegantly gift-wrapped in an upscale, signature red box and tied with a white satin ribbon. Commerce Bank, “America’s Most Convenient Bank,” is a leading retailer of financial services with 400+ convenient stores in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Florida.

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More Cardholders Use Their Leverage More Than Ever

A new poll has concluded that credit card customers have gained the upper hand in negotiating rates. Atlanta-based Synergistics Research says one-third 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. More than four in ten revolvers and about one-quarter of convenience users have asked for a rate reduction. Slightly more than three-fourths of those asking for a rate reduction report that they were successful. About one-tenth did not get a lower rate and canceled their card. Overall, 89% of those who asked for a lower rate either got a lower rate or canceled their card. The Company says card issuers have few choices — they either agree to lower rates or lose relationships.

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CGG Agrees to Distribute No Borders Cards

NV-based No Borders has inked a deal with Corregidora Global Group to market and distribute co-branded No Borders’ U.S. bank-issued debit cards to consumers who regularly send remittances to family members in Mexico. The initial focus of CGG targets one of the largest Mexican credit unions with over 650,000 members. It is estimated that 50% of those members are regular recipients of remittances from the United States. CGG is to pay No Borders for the cost of producing and distributing the cards. No Borders, Inc., a Nevada Corporation, is in the business of providing financial services and products that include a debit and stored value card platform through which a variety of financial and commercial services and products can be offered to residents of developing countries and to immigrants from those countries who reside in the United States and send money back home on a regular basis.

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Forbes Ranks Affinion Group Among Top U.S. Firms

CT-based Affinion Group has been ranked #321 on the Forbes annual survey of top private companies, and is the third largest private company in Connecticut, 10th in Tennessee and eighth in Virginia. The list represents some $1.25 trillion in sales and 4.4 million employees, a big part of the U.S. economy. Forbes ranked nearly 400 companies that have at least $1 billion in annual revenue, and noted that America’s Largest Private Companies list saw a rush of deals in the last 12 months, with 85 private transactions representing a combined price tag of $89 billion. Affinion Group is a leading affinity direct marketer of value-added membership, insurance and package enhancement programs and services to consumers. With more than 30 years of experience, Affinion Group currently offers its programs and services worldwide through more than 4,500 affinity partners.

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Financial Services Must Restore Consumer Confidence

A new report has found that the global financial services industry will need to address reinventing financial services at its core; repurposing financial services relative to the global diversity of a changing customer base; and helping restore confidence in an uncertain world. TowerGroup says understanding core business drivers, strategic responses, and technology initiatives for 2007 and beyond will help financial services executives embark on the dialogue regarding innovation that each institution must have relative to its future. None of the industry’s traditional risks (such as those related to credit, catastrophes, investments, or interest rates) have dissipated. To date, most institutions have pursued the single strategy of playing defense against the universe of global threats. Yet institutions have an obligation to take greater control by making an offensive foray into the global need for assurance, responsibility, and security.

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Small Payments Market Heats Up in the USA

More than 67 million Americans have used a credit or debit card for a purchase of less than $5 in the past 30 days. Additionally, the survey found that merchants face limited growth opportunities with traditional membership rewards cards used today as part of loyalty programs. Less than 20% of survey respondents indicated they would be willing to carry additional reward cards. The Peppercoin “2006 Micro and Small Payments” poll also found that younger Americans are more likely to adopt a prepaid program with a positive response rate of 42% for those ages 18 to 34. Peppercoin also noted that more than 57 million consumers have used a card to make am purchase at a quick service restaurant; roughly 42 million consumers used a credit or debit card to purchase coffee; and about 26 million consumers used a credit or debit card to pay for the subway or tolls.

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Half of Consumers Exceed a Gift Card’s Value

A new survey has found that consumers plan to spend more than a gift card’s value when they redeem it. The study by Accenture reveals that 48% plan to spend more than the value of the card. Almost two-thirds of respondents plan on using the cards to treat themselves to something they would not otherwise buy, while 33% plan to use their gift cards to buy sale items. Just 23% intend to spend a gift card on necessities or practical items. Almost three out of four survey respondents have given or received gift cards, and most reported that those gift cards were for apparel, electronics and entertainment. The survey also reports that 91% of consumers purchase gift cards at the issuing store, versus 16% who do so over the Internet and 2% who buy them via telephone or mail order. One in five respondents (20%) said they spend more on a gift card than they would on a gift.

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AmEx Adds More Juice to its Gift Card Programs

American Express has jazzed-up its gift card program, now offering extras at 20 retailers, restaurants and other partners, such as a free dessert, two games of bowling for the price of one, or 5% to 20% off the purchase of merchandise. AmEx also added three new themed “Gift Cards” including “Gift Cards Especially for Kids,” “Especially for Teens,” and “Especially for Birthdays.” AmEx “Gift Cards” are available in denominations ranging from $25 to $500 and are replaceable if lost or stolen for a fee. “Specialty Gift Cards” come with extras related to the theme of the card. For example, recipients of the “Especially for Birthdays Gift Card” receive a free game at AMF Bowling lanes, $10 off a purchase of $50 or more at Foot Locker or Champs Sports, and access to the American Express Ticket Savings Center at Ticketmaster, among other choices.

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