Affluent Parents Spend Big on Children’s Travel

The “Third Annual American Express Platinum Luxury Survey” has found that 69% of affluent parents say they planned three vacations with their children in 2006 with a total expenditure of $10,067 — more than double the average annual expenditure by affluent parents for vacations taken without children ($4,524). The survey, which included 1,170 respondents with an average of two children and an average household income of $472,000, also revealed that children are being given a view of the world at an earlier age than their parents. American Express Travel is the largest travel agency in the world, committed to delivering superior quality, expertise, value, 24/7 service, and the choice and flexibility to plan and book a trip online, by phone, or in- person. American Express Company (http://www.americanexpress.com) is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

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OTI to Provide Contactless Readers for G6 e-Port

USA Technologies has selected OTI to provide its next generation contactless reader solution to be integrated into its “Generation Six e-Port” cashless transaction solution, developed specifically to accept contactless payments for vending machines. To use this technology, consumers simply tap their contactless-enabled card or device on the vending machine’s e-Port payment terminal. Within seconds, the terminal will flash a light and produce a tone signaling the transaction is complete. OTI *(NASDAQ: OTIV)* designs, develops and markets secure contactless microprocessor-based smart card technology to address the needs of a wide variety of markets. USA Technologies is a leader in the networking of wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management.

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BofA Chooses USA Technologies’ e-Port Vending

Bank of America has chosen USA Technologies’ “e-Port” cashless vending services for their program to evaluate RFID cashless payment devices. The bank’s evaluation follows the deployment earlier this year of 1,000 cashless Coca-Cola vending machines in Philadelphia equipped with the e-Port G6 to accept MasterCard’s “PayPass” contactless card payment system. The Philadelphia deployment was the first mass installation of the e-Port G6 in a major market. Bank of America, one of the world’s largest financial institutions and card issuing companies, is the first bank to target the $40 billion vending market for credit card and other cashless payment transactions. USA Technologies is a leader in the networking of wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management.

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Aon Warranty to Back-Up Hypercom’s Optimum

AZ-based Hypercom and Chicago-based Aon Warranty Group have inked a multi-year agreement to provide extended five-year warranty plans for select Hypercom electronic payment terminals. Under the terms of the current agreement, Aon Warranty Group will serve as the primary obligor and provide underwriting, consulting services and claims administration of its enhanced service contracts for U.S. retailers that purchase Hypercom’s Optimum series of multi-lane card payment terminals. Aon Warranty Group, soon to be acquired by Onex Corporation (TSX:OCX, www.onex.com) and renamed “the warranty group”, is a world leader in sales, service and underwriting of mechanical repair agreements with over $4 billion in assets and $1.5 billion in revenue. Global payment technology leader Hypercom Corporation delivers a full suite of high security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services.

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U.S. Banks are Laggards in Fraud Detection

A new report found that at least a third of large U.S. financial institutions won’t have an advanced fraud detection and transaction monitoring solution in place by the end of the year. At least a third won’t have a stronger user authentication solution fully rolled out by the end of 2006, either. The Aite Group study also says that financial institutions will need to better secure the phone channel and ensure that fraud attempts don’t successfully trickle down to their weakest link — their employees. Aite interviewed Bharosa, Corillian, EMC’s RSA Security, Entrust, and Verisign for the report.

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GEMPLUS 3Q/06

Smart card specialist Gemplus International reported that third quarter sales dropped more than 11% primarily due to strong price pressure in the wireless segment. Third quarter revenues came in at $278 million, compared to $313 million in the prior quarter and $314 million for 3Q/05. Gemplus shipped 20.8 million units of payment microprocessor cards during the quarter, down 6% year-on-year, reflecting maturity of the U.K., France, Turkey markets and delays in EMV roll-outs in Southern Europe and in some emerging countries. Payment microprocessor card revenue was down 17% year-on-year, due to price pressure in mature markets and a greater share of modules in emerging countries. Last month, Gemplus announced that it no longer expects to meet its financial performance outlook for 2006 due market conditions that will remain challenging, and uncertainties in the global economic environment. Gemplus is currently merging with Axalto to create Gemalto. For complete details on Gemplus’ third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com). (CF Library 9/13/06)

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Pay Rent, Build Credit Names a New CEO

MD-based Pay Rent, Build Credit, Inc. has hired Corey Stone, formerly VP/Business Development at CheckFree and EVP of American Payment Systems, as CEO. Corey Stone joined CheckFree in 2004 when it acquired American Payment Systems, which at that point was the country’s largest processor of in-person bill payments for telephone and utility customers. As Executive Vice President, Stone spearheaded APS’ revenue growth through expansion of its retail footprint, introduction of new products, and acquisitions. He previously worked for more than a decade at Easton Consultants serving financial institutions such as Citigroup, MasterCard and Wachovia. PRBC accumulates, scores, and reports bill payment data such as rent, mortgage, auto loans, utilities, phone, insurance and other recurring payments, operating as a credit reporting agency as defined under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

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BofA to Launch a Caremark VISA this Quarter

TN-based Caremark Rx and Bank of America have partnered to launch a credit card program offering cardholders incentives for managing their prescription drug costs. The new “Caremark VISA” will offer “WorldPoints” to cardholders for all retail purchases plus bonus points for choosing generic and preferred drugs. Points also will be awarded to cardholders who refill existing prescription orders using Caremark’s Web site or automated phone system. In addition, cardholders will receive reward points for registering online or updating an existing profile on Caremark.com with their credit card account number. The new, no-annual-fee credit card will be available to all individuals covered by a Caremark administered prescription drug plan or enrolled in one of Caremark’s discount card programs. The card will launch in the fourth quarter.

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Americans Feel They Are Credit Responsible

A new survey reveals that 89% of Americans feel they use credit, but, 43% admitted that credit does not become a concern until there is a problem. According to the Fair Isaac/myFICO.com and Opinion Research Corporation survey, it’s not due to lack of information. Nearly two-thirds of consumers said they received information about their credit score or credit rating, but only one-third of respondents said they are very likely to act on personal financial information provided to them about topics such as retirement, household spending and investing. Also, while 58% of women believe they do a better job of managing credit, only 43% of men agreed that women do better. However, men and women equally felt that they use credit responsibly. Fair Isaac also found that 73% of Americans claim they understand what goes into a credit score, such as a “FICO” score.

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FIS’ Transaction Processing Revenues Up 14%

Jacksonville, FL-based Fidelity National Information Services, f/k/a/ Certegy, reported that its “Transaction Processing Services” unit generated revenue of $650.4 million in the third quarter, up 14.1% over the prior-year period. “Lender Processing Services” revenue increased 4.7% to $432.9 million. Overall, FIS posted consolidated revenue of $1.08 billion and net earnings for the third quarter of $78.6 million. FIS and Certegy merged on February 1st. During the third quarter, BB&T Bankcard signed a multi-year consumer and commercial credit card processing agreement with FIS’ Card Services division. Also, the Company settled a dispute over an ATM patent with Global Cash Access. The Company says it expects revenue growth of 7% to 8% for full year 2006. For complete details on FIS’ third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 9/5/06; 9/28/06)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Bankrate 3Q/06 Revenues Rise 58%

Bankrate reported that third quarter revenue increased by 58% to $19.5 million, but, net income sunk to $1.2 million from $2.7 million one-year ago. The quarter included a $3 million legal settlement, $1.7 million in a stock compensation expense and $675,000 in legal expense. Online publishing revenue was up 41% to $15.8 million. Graphic advertising increased 39% to $9.2 million. Hyperlink revenue grew 58% to $6.6 million. Print publishing and licensing revenue for the third quarter was $3.7 million, compared to the $1.2 million for the third quarter of last year. Page views for third payment were 126.7 million, up 17% compared to 107.8 million in 3Q/05. For complete details on Bankrate’s third quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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HSBC to Issue the Petland Credit Card

Petland, with 190 stores nationwide, has signed a private label credit card deal with HSBC Retail Services. The new credit card offers Petland customers a convenient way to purchase pets, food and accessories, grooming supplies and more. Cardholders will receive a complimentary membership in Petland’s ClubPet customer loyalty program, as well as an exclusive 5% discount on all regularly-priced merchandise every time they use their Petland credit card to make purchases. Petland, Inc. is a franchise operation with more than 190 quality, full service, retail pet centers across the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Chile and South Africa. HSBC Retail Services is a leading issuer of private label (merchant branded) credit cards in the United States.

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