TSYS Managed Services EMEA JV is Formed

GA-based TSYS has formed a joint-venture agreement with Merchants to create TSYS Managed Services EMEA for delivery of a comprehensive range of managed services to financial institutions across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The new venture will be called TSYS Managed Services EMEA, and includes existing Merchants centers that comprise more than 200 seats in Milton Keynes, England, near London, and Barneveld, The Netherlands, near Amsterdam. Merchants (merchants.co.uk) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dimension Data (www.dimensiondata.com), an IT solutions and services provider headquartered in South Africa. TSYS (tsys.com) is one of the world’s largest payment-services companies, offering a broad range of packaged and outsourced issuer- and acquirer-processing technologies that support consumer-finance, credit, debit and prepaid services for financial institutions and retail companies worldwide.

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INSIDE and CPI to Supply VISA Contactless

CPI Card Group and INSIDE Contactless, has been selected by Visa Latin America to provide cards with contactless technology for three major banks in Guatemala. The contactless cards, manufactured by CPI and powered by MicroPass from INSIDE Contactless, will be issued at Banco Uno, Banco Custcatlan and Bi-Credit. MicroPass is a contactless card chip platform in use within the U.S. market offering best-in-class cardholder experience.

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Retailers Benefit from Gift Card Breakage

A new study has concluded that the unused value on gift cards, or “breakage”, has a bigger impact on consumers than the combined total of both debit and credit card fraud. The research found that nearly $8 billion is lost due to unredeemed value, expiration or loss of gift cards. Unlike dormant accounts in the traditional credit card realm, which typically fall under escheatment laws regulated by states, anonymous gift cards often languish on retailers’ accounting books. TowerGroup says that retailers do not generate revenue until a card is either used or permitted to be declared as dormant, they do receive a “free float” on unused cards. One large retailer recently showed a $42 million benefit to its income statement for unused gift cards more than two years old. As a result, TowerGroup says gift cards appear to make better presents for retailers and card issuers than the actual gifter or receiver. Debit and credit card fraud in the U.S. totals $3.5 billion annually.

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DBS Bank to Issue Gemalto/VISA Java EMV cards

Gemalto has delivered the first “VISA Java EMV” cards to DBS Bank in Hong Kong. In taking the lead in DBS Bank’s EMV migration project, Gemalto’s card solution enables the bank to introduce to
Hong Kong market its “ComPass VISA” card program, involving in particular two major cards issued by the bank: “ComPass VISA” and “ComPass Everyday VISA.” Gemalto also provided full consulting support to the DBS Information Technology team, to point of sales
vendors, to loyalty program providers, and to personalization service
providers throughout the entire process.

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Ticketmaster and GoDaddy Offer Gift Cards

Ticketmaster and GoDaddy.com have introduced gift cards this year. Ticketmaster’s first-ever gift card enables consumers and corporate buyers to purchase cards redeemable toward tickets to events in the USA. “Ticketmaster Gift Cards” are available in denominations ranging from $25 to $250 and have no expiration date, plus multiple gift cards can be redeemed toward a single purchase. The new cards are available for purchase and redemption online, by phone, and at most retail Ticket Centers and select venue box offices. Ticketmaster has approximately 6,500 retail outlets and 20 worldwide telephone call centers. Go Daddy, a rapidly emerging provider of domain name registration and Web site hosting services, has launched gift cards in any amount from $2 up to $1,000. The “Go Daddy Gift Card” can be used to register a domain name or purchase any of more than 35 products, including “WebSite Tonight,” “Quick Podcast” or “QuickBlog.” Go Daddy Group has more than 16.8 million domain names under management.

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INGENICO 3Q/06

Credit card debt soared to a new record, hitting A$37.2 billion in September. However, credit card volume retreated from a record high set in August, while credit card limits reached a new high. Card volume declined to A$15.4 billion during September, compared to A$16.5 billion in August. During the past twelve months, credit card debt has increased 17% in Australia. For September, credit card balances increased A$200 million from the previous month. One-year ago credit card debt stood at A$31.9 billion. Gross dollar volume on credit card and charge cards was A$14.5 billion one-year ago. Year-on-year credit card volume has increased 6% in Australia. Card credit limits reached A$100.8 billion at the end of September, compared to A$89.1 billion for September 2005. There are currently 13.2 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 12.3 million one-year ago.

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Panini and FDC Expand Remote Deposit Capture

OH-based Panini has signed an agreement with TASQ Technology, a subsidiary of First Data, to add the “Panini My Vision X” check scanner to their single-source solution for “Remote Deposit Capture”. TASQ will provide the Panini My Vision X through a variety of purchase, rental and lease options while offering a suite of customer services including phone training, fulfillment service, call center services, supplies and inventory management. Additionally, TASQ will continue to offer a wide range of service programs that complement their RDC solution, including asset and warranty management. Panini has a successful sixty year history of enabling clients to capitalize on shifts in the global payments processing market. TASQ Technology, a subsidiary of First Data Corporation (NYSE:FDC), is one of the largest providers of Point of Sale (POS) equipment and services in North America.

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Kabira Technologies Hires a Marketing Exec

CA-based Kabira Technologies has hired Doug Doyle, formerly with ILOG, as VP/Worldwide Marketing. While at ILOG, Doyle’s team delivered new product initiatives, corporate rebranding, Web PR and other programs that significantly increased ILOG’s in-bound lead flow, revenue and market share. Prior to ILOG, Doyle served as vice president of product marketing at Bigvine. Doyle has also held senior marketing and management positions at E*TRADE, where he spearheaded retail and Internet marketing initiatives. Kabira provides high performance transaction processing software for global enterprises to manage high volumes at a substantially lower cost.

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EcoEnergizer Launches an Online Payment System

GA-based EcoEnergizer, an Internet-based company specializing in automotive fuel enhancers, has launched an online payment system including VISA and MasterCard acceptance at www.MyEcoPay.com. The company installed the online payment solution to cut costs associated with preparing and mailing checks to over 15,000 independent distributors globally, while driving sales momentum by paying its representatives in real-time. In addition to making it easier for its distributors to receive their commissions, EcoEnergizer is increasing its customers’ ability to purchase products by adding Visa and MasterCard to their online checkout. With only the acceptance of online checks during the first three months of the company’s inception, EcoEnergizer impressively generated nearly $2 million in gross revenue.

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Bankrate Says Bank-Issued Gift Cards Are Expensive

A new study shows that the average delivery fee on a major credit card gift card is $3.60. Also, the major credit card issuers continue to charge monthly “maintenance fees” if the gift card isn’t used within a certain period of time, ranging from $2 per month to $3. The “Third Annual Holiday Gift Card Study” by Bankrate found that States that forbid expiration dates now include: CA, CT, LA, ME, MD, MA, NV, NH, ND, OK, RI, VT and WA. Bankrate says Discover Card had no shipping fees last year; this year they charge $3.95 for each gift card or $6.95 for a premium gift card package. American Express now offers personalized gift cards on which the recipient’s name can be embossed. AmEx gift cards can also be purchased in stores this year, whereas last year they were available only online. Of the electronic cards surveyed, only JCPenney allows the cards to be used to purchase merchandise in stores. The others — Wal-Mart, Costco, Target, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Kohls — allow electronic gift cards to be used only online or for catalog items.

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Chordiant Software Releases Fraud Manager

CA-based Chordiant Software has released “Fraud Manager,” a software application that automates fraud investigations and recovery processes while strengthening compliance with association rules. Chordiant Fraud Manager, created using the innovative Chordiant Mesh(TM) collaborative development model, increases the efficiency of investigation representatives and minimizes the impact of financial losses by helping card issuers determine the best course of action in fraud cases. Chordiant Fraud Manager evaluates data in industry-standard fraud detection systems to build cases and determine appropriate next actions. Chordiant helps leading global brands such as HSBC, Barclay’s, CIBC and Capital One deliver the best possible customer experience.

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TransLink Smart Fare Card Penetrates Bay Area

The San Francisco area-based TransLink has launched it’s smart transit card on all AC Transit and Dumbarton Express buses, all Golden Gate Transit buses and in Golden Gate Ferry terminals with a roll-out to all other Bay Area transit agencies scheduled for next year. Over the next several weeks, AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit and Golden Gate Ferry will begin recruiting several hundred riders to use TransLink cards and to troubleshoot the new high-tech fare payment system. This “pre-launch” initiative allows regular customers to help identify and resolve any issues. TransLink card reader devices are installed at the Golden Gate Larkspur and San Francisco Ferry Terminal fare gates. Golden Gate Transit Routes 40 and 42 services across the Richmond Bridge and AC Transit, the TransLink card will automatically process the transfer electronically and deduct the correct fare.

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