First Tennessee Expands PULSE Contract

First Tennessee Bank has inked a seven-year participation agreement with Discover’s PULSE EFT unit and will now utilize the “PULSE” network exclusively for PIN debit transactions at the POS. First Tennessee has about 500,000 debit cards. First Tennessee also will utilize “PULSE” as its primary ATM network. Additionally, Mike Marzec, SVP of strategic planning and manager of electronic banking for First Tennessee Bank, has been named to the PULSE “Financial Institution Oversight Committee.” PULSE currently serving more than 4,200 banks, credit unions and savings institutions and links cardholders with nearly 250,000 ATMs and approximately 3.4 million POS terminals at retail locations nationwide.

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Axalto and Ghirlanda Deliver CartaSi EMV Cards

Axalto is working alongside Ghirlanda to supply high-end EMV (Europay
MasterCard Visa) cards to credit card issuer CartaSi. Under the
contract, Axalto supplies the modules and the related digital security
technology, while Ghirlanda is in charge of local card production and
personalization. Adopting the EMV standard puts CartaSi in a position
to provide cardholders with a secure and convenient means of payment.
Issuing EMV smart cards will help to eliminate fraudulent card usage and
open up multiple opportunities to provide their customers with
differentiated value-added services such as loyalty programs and
cardholder authentication for
e-commerce and on-line services, as well as smart ticketing. CartaSi
SpA has more than 7.5 million cards in circulation.

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M-Payments Critical Mass 5-10 Years Away

New research from Edgar, Dunn & Company reveals that payments professionals are optimistic about the future for mobile payments, but they expect it will take time for the industry to mature and develop. Significantly, more than eight out of 10 survey respondents believe that mobile payments will reach a critical mass of consumers and become as important as other types of payments, such as credit and debit cards. Most respondents view the achievement of critical mass as a long-term proposition, at least five and perhaps more than 10 years. Only a handful of optimists thought it could be achieved within the next two years. The “2006 Mobile Payments Survey” was released this week.

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OFT & LATE FEES

The Office of Fair Trading says credit card default charges are not fair and are ripping-off British consumers to the tune of GBP 300 million per year. The OFT expects all credit card issuers to cap their late fee at GBP 12 compared to the current average of GBP 22. The OFT says setting a threshold for intervention is a pragmatic pro-consumer action that is designed to give the industry the opportunity to change its practice without litigation. It is giving the industry until May 31st to respond to its statement.

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CyberSource Names a New President/COO

CyberSource has named Scott Cruickshank as President/COO and David Hansen as President of BidPay.com, a subsidiary. Cruickshank has been a member of CyberSource’s Board of Directors since August of 2005 and will remain on the Board. He was most recently president and chief operating officer of Qsent, a privately-held provider of contact data authentication services. Prior to Qsent, Cruickshank served as chief marketing officer at Paymentech, L.P., now Chase Paymentech Solutions, L.L.C., where he led that company’s sales, customer care, marketing and service operations functions. David Hansen was most recently vice president and general manager of BidPay as well as vice president, global operations for First Data’s Western Union subsidiary. Prior to BidPay, he served as vice president in the areas of new product development and operations for First Data’s payments group. Hansen’s career at First Data/Western Union spanned over 19 years. CyberSource Corporation is a leading provider of electronic payment and risk management solutions.

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Pipeline Data Revenues Up 55% in 05

MA-based Pipeline Data reported that revenue rose 54.8% last year to $24.1 million. Gross profit more than doubled to $6.5 million. In addition to completing three substantial financings last year, the company acquired two portfolios aggregating more than 1,600 merchant accounts and relocated three of its business locations. The Company also acquired Charge.com (within the Internet transaction processing space) and World Products, Inc dba AIRCHARGE (within the wireless transaction processing space). For complete details on Pipeline’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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BMIBABY MASTERCARD

The U.K.’s second largest discount airline has launched a co-branded credit card with Citi Cards. The new “bmibaby MasterCard” offers a free return flight on the first purchase. Cardholders earn an additional return flight if they spend GBP 5,000 or more within 12 months from obtaining the card. The same offer is then available to cardholders for every subsequent twelve-month period. The card also offers a 15.9% APR on purchases and 0% for the first six months on all balance transfers. bmibaby was established in January 2002 and operates about 4,000 flights a month throughout Europe.

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Bankruptcy Weighs Down ARM Index

The latest indicator of economic conditions affecting the accounts receivable management industry fell in January. The “Kaulkin Ginsberg Index” was weighed down by the historic rise in bankruptcy statistics last year. The “Index” fell 2.8% to 1222.8. The Company says these numbers suggest that it will be more difficult for creditors and collectors to convert receivables in to cash, at least on certain accounts.

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NACM’s CMI Gathers More Strength

The “Credit Manager’s Index” shows even stronger indicators for March The strength was widespread as the 4.9 percent monthly increase for the entire Index tied the record increase set three years ago. Favorable factors in the service sector showed significant growth. Both sales and dollar collections posted growth over 1,000 basis points-1,380 and 1,170, respectively; and significant growth in the amount of credit extended is indicated. New sales recorded higher levels in both the manufacturing and service sector, compared to one year ago. Within the manufacturing sector, credit managers indicated fewer rejected credit applications and saw slightly lower levels of bankruptcy filings. This trend was repeated in the service sector; which also showed lower levels of disputes. The CMI survey asks credit managers to rate favorable and unfavorable factors in their monthly business cycle. Favorable factors include sales, new credit applications, dollar collections and amount of credit extended.

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CompuCredit Builds a New Card Portal

CompuCredit has selected iRise to help build a new online credit card portal for customers. CompuCredit is in the process of delivering a series of new online bill presentment and payment systems designed to make it easier for customers to manage their credit card accounts. iRise provides simulation of the functionality of proposed systems before coding. The visual interactive prototypes create a user experience that enables stakeholders to provide immediate feedback on proposed systems. The simulations can then be adjusted to meet expectations.

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MC Supports Financial Literacy Month

MasterCard yesterday announced the launch of a series of consumer education initiatives across the country during this year’s upcoming “Financial Literacy Month.” On April 12 MasterCard will launch a Spanish language version of its “Debt Know How” Web site. On April 25th, MasterCard is participating in the “2006 Financial Literacy Day” on Capitol Hill showcasing its consumer education programs to Members of Congress and their staff. On April 26th, MasterCard participate in the “2006 California Summit on Financial Literacy.” On May 1st, MasterCard and Wright College co-host a “Debt Know How” seminar during “Money Smart Week” in Chicago.

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Calence Becomes a VISA QDSC Provider

Phoenix-based Calence has achieved the “Qualified Data Security Company” status from VISA USA. Calence is now qualified to perform onsite Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards validation audits for all Level 1 merchants and Levels 1 and 2 service providers. These audits are required by the security programs of major card brands. Calence’s status as a QDSC is an integral component of the company’s information security services.

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