ViVOwallet and Obopay to Integrate in 07

Contactless specialist, ViVOtech, has teamed with mobile payment specialist, Obopay, to expand NFC mobile phone payment options. Under the deal Obopay users will have access to the “ViVOwallet” to pay for retail goods by waving their NFC mobile devices in front of the more than 160,000 retail outlets equipped with a ViVOtech POS device. The companies plan to offer “ViVOwallet” and Obopay as a single integrated application in 2007. Obopay accounts can be managed from the mobile handset, allowing users to check balances, request payments from other mobile users and view transaction histories. The service also allows e-commerce sites to accept payments directly from Obopay accounts, eliminating the awkward process of inputting credit card information.

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ICMA SURVEY

For the eighth consecutive year, the North American Region leads the world in the total number of cards manufactured but Europe continues to be the most lucrative market as measured in dollars. The “Annual Card Manufacturing Global Market Survey” by the International Card Manufacturers Association found that globally there were approximately 14.7 billion cards manufactured last year, an 11.4% gain over 2004. The global card marketing measure in U.S. dollars increased 11.5% to $9.1 billion, compared to 33% growth rate the prior year. The ICMA survey also found that chip card units grew robustly to 2.6 billion units for a 13.5% increase, while dollars grew to $7.45 billion, influenced by transit card growth, national IDs and EMV migration.

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Economic Indicators Show No Recession

The Conference Board released an analysis today that shows that economic indicators are pointing to slow growth ahead in the U.S., but not a recession. The CB says the challenge for both the Federal Reserve Board and the U.S. economy is that this period of sub-par growth is likely to have little impact on inflation and short-term interest rates. One of the biggest disconnects in the U.S. economy has been between the rapid growth in the capital goods and manufacturing sectors and the systemic weakness of the consumer sector. Meanwhile, corporate profitability is making stunning gains. Over the past three months, The Conference Board index of leading economic indicators has turned down relative to its level six months ago for the first time in this expansion.

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Keycorp Acquires Optimal Services Group for A$3 MM

Keycorp has acquired Montreal-based Optimal Services Group for A$3 million. OSG is currently the largest service provider to the payments and point of sale industry in Canada, and provides services to leading payment processors and major retailers in that market. The business is similar in nature to Keycorp’s EFTPOS Engineering (Customer Service) business in Australia, however has the additional capability of providing enterprise wide point of sale systems support for major retailers. The total business in Canada, after the acquisition of OSG, will generate around A$35 million in revenue for the current financial year and approximately A$50 million in financial year 2008.

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Slide Show on Universal Default Offered

San Diego-based Institute of Consumer Financial Education is making available on-line, a free 26-slide “PowerPoint” presentation, designed to help explain universal default and what happens when a creditor invokes the clause against a borrower. The ICFE’s free online PowerPoint Show explains how universal default works, show examples of its wording in credit card agreements and provides some interesting facts and figures about the institutions which apply it to their delinquent accounts. For instance, more than one-third of major credit card issuers now say they act on these clauses regularly. A recent survey found that a staggering 44 percent of credit card issuers said they apply the rule to customers, even if they had no late payments on their own card.

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Sparkasse Leipzig Signs a Deal with Diebold

Sparkasse Leipzig has signed an agreement with Diebold to purchase and install 42 Diebold “Opteva” cash dispensers. The deal also covers an upgrade of the bank’s existing ATM software, configuring 209 Diebold statement printers to make them compatible with the bank’s new central self-service architecture. Upgrades to Sparkasse Leipzig ATMs will continue throughout 2006 in branches across Germany. Diebold also recently signed an agreement with Sparkasse Dresden, another German bank, for the purchase of 200 “Opteva” ATMs.

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USA Technologies’ Q3 Revenues Up 43%

PA-based USA Technologies reported third quarter revenue of $2.0 million, compared to $1.4 million one-year ago. In addition, the Company experienced a significant increase in gross profit compared to the three months ended September 30, 2005. The Company expects to announce its full first quarter results in mid-November. USA Technologies is a leader in the networking of wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management.

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Krediidiinfo to be Acquired by Experian

Krediidiinfo A/S has signed a deal to be acquired by Experian.
Krediidiinfo is the country’s primary consumer and commercial credit information group and employs 30 people in Tallinn and Tartu. After the deal the Company will be known as Krediidiinfo A/S, an Experian company.
Krediidiinfo’s clients include most of the country’s leading financial services providers, utilities, telecommunications and retail companies, as well as many Nordic banks with operations in Estonia.

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Crandy Payments to be Offered in the USA

“Crandy” mobile phone-based payment system is now being offered in the USA. “Crandy” has over 350,000 users in five European countries. Users register by calling an 800 number to open a free mobile bank account and receive a registration SMS. The mobile number is also the “Crandy” account number. Users reload their “Crandy” account by credit card and can transfer money anonymously to other “Crandy” users. NCS also offers “Mcells” in the USA, an e-Wallet which banks can easily connect and consequently add to their existing payment systems. “Mcells” works as a white label ASP-solution, which is hosted in a secure, bank standard-compliant data center in Germany.

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Consumer Spending Rises 70 BPS in September

Consumers spent A$18.3 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis for September, an increase of 0.7% from the prior month. Raw spending reached A$17.8, a 0.4% increase sequentially. The “Cashcard Retail Activity Index” is based on EFTPOS activity and is calculated using only EFTPOS transaction data processed by Cashcard, and modeling the relationship of EFTPOS transactions to all transactions. Cashcard is a member of the First Data Group which is the country’s largest and independent payments services provider. The “Index” is independently prepared by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

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Paz’s Yellow C-Stores to Distribute OTI’s EasyPark

Paz, the country’s top energy company, will distribute On Track Innovations’ “EasyPark” devices and integrate contactless readers into its point-of-sale terminals to enable loading of “EasyPark” devices.
With about 250 Yellow Convenience stores nationwide Paz’s Yellow will more than double the number of loading stations for “EasyPark” across the country. Yellow now sells “EasyPark devices as well as enables adding value to “EasyPark” devices. Today “EasyPark” total volume is approximately $1 million per month. The addition of the readers to Yellow stores is expected to increase “EasyPark” volume by about 20%.

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FreeStar Revenue Up 30%; Transactions Rise 16%

Dublin-based FreeStar Technology reported that revenue rose 30% and that the number of transactions processed climbed 16% in the fiscal year, ended June 30th. Revenue hit $2.1 million from $1.6 million in fiscal 2005 driven by software development income and higher payment processing volume. FreeStar’s wholly owned subsidiary Rahaxi Processing had transaction volume of 18 million, up from 15.5 million in fiscal 2005. The Company’s net loss for the period narrowed 36% to $13.99 million from $22.10 million in the prior fiscal year, largely as a result of a reduction in SG&A costs.

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