TransUnion Integrates with ID Score

TransUnion has integrated ID Analytics’ “ID Score” into its “Fraud and Identity Management Services.” Under the terms of the agreement, TransUnion becomes a contributing member of the ID Analytics ID Network. “ID Score” is a standardized, predictive risk metric that helps organizations focus their identity risk management efforts on individuals with the highest likelihood of fraud. The solution is in use by over half the credit card and wireless telecommunication markets in the U.S., as well as leading retailer, retail bank and online consumer finance companies.

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Fast Food Card Volume Rises 47% in 2005

Americans charged $33.2 billion worth of fast food to their credit and debit cards last year, compared to $22.5 billion one-year ago. The 47% increase was driven by merchant expansion and promotion of card usage during 2005. Last year, McDonald’s increased payment credit acceptance from 3,000 locations in 2004 to 13,000 in 2005. McDonald’s has also geared up for contactless payments. The average QSR credit card ticket, based on the most recent VISA data, is $10.75. Americans spend about $150 billion per year in quick service restaurants.

QSR ON PLASTIC HISTORICAL
2000: $ 1.7 billion
2001: $ 3.7 billion
2002: $ 6.1 billion
2003: $12.9 billion
2004: $22.5 billion
2005: $33.2 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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MoneyGram Purchases Money Express

MoneyGram announced the signing of an agreement to buy the business
of Money Express. The Rome-based Money Express has an active network of
about 800 independent retailers throughout Italy who provide MoneyGram’s
money transfer service. MoneyGram expects to continue to expand its
network in Italy through a newly created company named MoneyGram Payment
Systems Italy S.R.L. when the sale is completed sometime in late April.
The MoneyGram money transfer service is now available in more than 9,000 Poste Italiane locations and plans are underway to add the MoneyGram service in another 4,000 Poste Italiane locations across the country.

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ICMA Schedules Spring Academy Workshops

The International Card Manufacturers Association has scheduled its annual Spring Academy workshops in Munich, Germany in late May and in Chicago in early June. Each workshop will address the latest issues and applications in the card manufacturing and production industry, with topics that reflect the industry trends in each individual market. Both venues will feature sessions on the issues and challenges of laying down holomagnetic tape; card overlay films and why different markets take different solutions; and Teslin and its utilization in the card Industry. Additionally, the US-based workshop will offer sessions on preparing for an OSHA inspection, new challenges in RFID personalization, what happens in the lamination cycle, card durability, Visa card standards and innovation, as well as understanding the methodology and processes behind a capital expenditure.

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ICGE Makes an Investment in Vcommerce

Pennsylvania-based Internet Capital Group has acquired a 36% interest in AZ-based Vcommerce Corporation. Vcommerce provides on-demand commerce and fulfillment solutions for multi-channel retailers and direct-to-consumer companies of all types. Vcommerce generates revenue primarily through usage-based transactions. Internet Capital Group owns and builds Internet software companies.

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GCA Launches a Central Credit Interface

Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access has added a real-time, high-speed interface to its Central Credit service. Central Credit Real Time is an interface that bridges a casino’s in-house casino management software with the Central Credit gaming patron credit bureau, which provides access to gaming patron credit history and transaction data on millions of gaming patrons worldwide. When a gaming patron makes a credit request, the casino will consult as many sources as possible, including the Central Credit database, to help make its decision to grant credit.

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Mint and Now Prepay Launch a Prepaid Card Network

Now Prepay has joined with Mint to launch the first retail-based cash acceptance network designed for reloading prepaid financial products. Initially 1,000 of Now Prepay’s 8,500 retail partner locations
across Canada will provide a secure point-of-sale system for activating
and reloading prepaid credit card products from Mint’s portfolio of cards over Now Prepay’s existing national prepaid network. Now Prepay has also included a “location look up” feature on its Web site so that customers can locate a merchant near them. There are an estimated 3,000,000 or more Canadians who are the target consumers for these cards.

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Extra Paycheck Goes to Debt Repayment

A new survey has found that U.S. workers would pay down debt with an extra paycheck, rather than use the money to buy themselves an extravagant gift or make a down payment on a new car. The Ceridian poll found that 29% of respondents would use the extra money to pay down debt compared to the 15% who would save the money. Managers were more likely than executives to report that they would pay down debt with an extra paycheck; managers were largely split between paying down debt and investing the money. Ceridian notes that March 2006 is just one month in which U.S. workers who are paid every other week (rather than monthly or semi-monthly, for example) receive three paychecks.

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FleetCor Names a FleetSource President

Atlanta-based FleetCor has named Benton Routh, former Global Manager of the Commercial Vehicles and Card Business at Exxon Mobil Fuels Marketing Company, as President of FleetSource. Routh, a 15-year veteran of the oil and credit card industry will transition from his current Chief Marketing Officer position at FleetCor into this new role as President of FleetSource. Prior to joining FleetCor, Benton was the Global Manager of the Commercial Vehicles and Card Business at Exxon Mobil Fuels Marketing Company.

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Citi Direct Offers Complete Bank Access

Citibank has launched a new online bank that enables any U.S. consumer to open a bank account and have access to a broad range of services including credit cards. “Citibank Direct” offers bill payment, money transfers and access to Citibank’s more than 900 branches and 3,100 ATMs. Citi says 40% of the customers who open accounts on Citibank.com, live outside of the bank’s branch network areas. In addition to “Citibank Direct,” Citibank plans to open 100 new branches in 2006 and launch “Citi Mobile,” a mobile phone banking service, later this year.

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Ukash Payment System Now Available

New Media Lottery Services has announced that the Ukash payment system is
now available at over 1,000 retailers through Alphyra’s
“PAYzone” terminals, promoting NMLS’ lottery games and client charities
throughout Ireland. The Ukash payment system allows customers to use cash
instead of a card when buying goods and services over the Internet. To
exchange cash for Ukash, customers simply pay the shopkeeper for Ukash to
their desired value from EUR 10 up to EUR 150. The shopkeeper then issues
a Ukash voucher, which customers can redeem online. New Media Lottery
Services operates and markets a variety of lottery games for charities
and other lottery license holders.

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