PSCU Signs Firstmark CU for Processing

San Antonio, TX-based Firstmark Credit Union with 21,000 credit cardholders has signed a long-term credit card processing agreement with PSCU Financial Services. The credit union is launching an ambitious campaign to grow its credit portfolio, so it had very high requirements for its new credit processor, according to Connie Shoemaker, Firstmark Credit Union’s Vice President of Retail Lending. Firstmark Credit Union (formerly San Antonio Teachers Credit Union) is a member owned, locally controlled, not-for-profit financial cooperative. PSCU Financial Services is owned by more than 500 member credit unions representing 10 million cardholder accounts and more than 345,000 online bill payment subscribers.

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TNS to Support 20K ACS POS Terminals

Affiliated Computer Services has selected TNS to provide cohesive transaction processing networking for more than 20,000 POS terminals nationwide for EBT. EBT is the electronic system that allows a recipient to authorize transfer of their government benefits from a Federal account to a retailer account to pay for products received. ACS, a global FORTUNE 500 company with more than 55,000 people supporting client operations reaching nearly 100 countries, provides business process outsourcing and information technology solutions to world-class commercial and government clients. Transaction Network Services is one of the leading providers of business-critical, cost-effective data communications services for transaction-oriented applications.

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Zebra Intros Desk-Top Dual-Sided Printer

Zebra Technologies has unveiled the “Zebra P430i” desktop plastic full-color card printer/encoder with dual-sided printing. The Zebra P430i uses the same wide range of options as Zebra’s industry-leading P330i single-sided printer. A patented card feeder system provides reliability via simplicity, using the weight of the card stack itself to ensure consistent feeding. Zebra Card Printer Solutions is a division of Zebra Technologies Corporation, which delivers innovative and reliable on-demand printing solutions to businesses and governments in 100 countries around the world.

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ICMA Opens Registration for Athens EXPO

The International Card Manufacturers Association’s “Annual EXPO” has been scheduled for October 8 to 11 in Athens. Seminar topics will range from contactless technology, card design and personalization trends to advanced ID technologies and card materials. In addition to the main conference program, ICMA will also reveal the results of the “Annual ICMA Global Market Survey.” Participating sponsors include Kurz, Lucchesi, Pittsburgh Embossing Services, Waytek, Spartanics, Digicard, Bayer Material Science and MasterCard.

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ZAO Citibank Gets a New Country Business Manager

Citigroup has named a new Country Business Manager
for ZAO Citibank, with responsibility for all consumer financial
services in Russia, including banking, lending, wealth management,
credit cards and consumer finance. Joel Kornreich, who joined Citigroup’s Global Consumer Group in 1991, will lead the fast growing Russian market. Since launching consumer banking in November 2002, Citibank has opened 38 branches, more than 200 ATMs in Moscow and St. Petersburg and gained over 400,000 consumer accounts.

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Wells Rolls-Out VISA Contactless Nationwide

Wells Fargo is now issuing cards with the “VISA Contactless” option. The issuer, which first announced the new cards in June, says it expects to issue 400,000 cards by year end. Wells is distributing contactless cards to select customers as a replacement to their expired “VISA Platinum” or “VISA Signature” credit cards. Customers can also request their current cards be upgraded to include the contactless feature and customers opening new credit card accounts will have the opportunity to request the feature later this year. Wells is initially sourcing its contactless cards through the “VISA Smart Breakthrough” program, and is currently using cards manufactured by CPI Card Group powered by the “MicroPass” platform from INSIDE Contactless. The new cards will be personalized by First Data. The industry has been pushing contactless cards since last May when Chase introduced the “blink” VISA and MasterCards. Since then Chase has issued nearly seven million cards in the USA. (CF Library 6/14/06; 7/31/06)

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Convenient Cards Partners with i2c

CA-based i2c has been chosen as a transaction processing partner by Convenient Cards. Using MCP’s flexible design, Convenient Cards can specify card parameters, set transaction limits, establish fees and charges, manage sales channel activity, and define services they wish to offer to cardholders. Convenient Cards has developed a Co-branded Turnkey Program with multiple cards, offering a variety of functions and applications reaching numerous markets. i2c is a leading, global technology provider of electronic payment processing solutions.

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MBNA Discounts European Football Credit Cards

MBNA Europe has launched special pricing on its football credit cards. MBNA is offering a 0% interest on card purchases for 3 months from the date the account is opened and a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 12 months. After the introductory period the card will revert to a typical interest rate of 15.9%. “Premiership” cardholders also generate a contribution to football clubs each time the credit card is used. MBNA is the largest provider of football affinity credit cards in the U.K. and currently provides branded credit cards to all twenty “Premiership” clubs.

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AmEx Exec Joins Fitch to Monitor Card ABS

Fitch Ratings has hired Les Scharfstein, formerly a VP in American Express’ Corporate Treasury group, as a Director focusing on credit cards. While at American Express, Scharfstein was key in developing Amex’s securitization strategy and helped to establish Amex as one of the premier ABS issuers. Scharfstein will be joining the Consumer ABS Group, headed by Managing Director Claire Mezzanotte, where he will focus on various consumer assets, particularly credit cards.

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TRINTECH & VERIFONE

Dublin-based Trintech has agreed to sell off its payment systems business to VeriFone for $12.1 million in cash. The deal is expected to close this month following the formation of a new subsidiary which will hold substantially all of the assets and liabilities of the payment systems business of Trintech. The Company says it is divesting its payment systems business to concentrate on its transaction reconciliation software products and services. VeriFone says the acquisition will enhance its ability to deliver self-service payment, vending, and pay-at-the-pump applications. Trintech reported first quarter revenues of $11.1 million, a 15% decline over 1Q/05 due to lower product and license revenues. The net loss for the quarter was $2.1 million, compared to net income of nearly $400,000 one-year ago.

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