Alliance & Leicester Opts for PassMark

The U.K.’s Alliance & Leicester has decided to use the PassMark Security “Two-Factor Two-Way Authentication” system. Alliance has nearly five million customers. It is the first bank in the UK to provide its customers with this added level of security. Using PassMark online customers log on to their accounts with secure, mutual authentication and get additional layers of risk-based transaction security that prevent phishing, key logging and man-in-the-middle attacks.

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NETS Selects ASK for its Contactless CashCard

ASK has been selected by NETS to supply a new generation of its
contactless payment card “CashCard.” The “CashCard”
e-purse was originally launched in 1996 on a contact-based smart card
and is being re-packaged with “Cepass,” a new contactless payment
standard. “CashCard” is currently used in 30,000 access points available
at more than 12,500 merchants in Singapore. “CashCard” is based on ASK’s
advanced “TanGO” platform, enhancing transaction speed and security for
dual interface cards used in both contact and contactless applications.
“CashCard/Cepass” complies with ISO7816 and 14443 type B standards.

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Credit Card Charge-Offs Rise 23% in Q4

According to call reports collected by the FDIC, credit card charge-offs spiked by 23% in the fourth quarter compared to 4Q/04. NJ-based A.M. Best Co. says its statistical study indicates the risk appetite of banks for new accounts and underwriting standards may be impacted this year by the recent charge-off spike. Best says that in the week before the deadline for bankruptcy filings under the old law, as many as 480,000 reported cases were filed and that as many as 2 million filings may have been recorded last year. In the month immediately following the Oct. 17 deadline date, the number of bankruptcy filings dropped to one-tenth the typical level.

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NBD-DNATA MC

National Bank of Dubai and Dnata, a large supplier of travel services in the Middle East, have teamed to launch a MasterCard credit card with rewards. The new card enables cardholders to earn reward points for each purchase with a maximum reward of 10% on the amount spent. Points can then be redeemed at selected Dnata outlets for any of their products or services, including tickets at more than 130 airlines, exotic holiday packages and various other services. The new “Dnata MasterCard” is available in gold and silver variants to all residents of the UAE. NBD is one of the leading providers of POS terminals to over 2500 merchants in UAE.

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USAT Launches PC Express for Hotels

PA-based USA Technologies has launched “PC Express,” a credit card activated, self service PC and Internet terminal. PC Express is a credit card activated, self service PC and Internet terminal. The terminals may be sold with a printer or networked to the hotel’s printer where users can collect their print outs, or have the print outs, such as boarding passes, delivered to their rooms by hotel staff. The terminals are also networked and provide online reporting so hoteliers know exactly what their PC Express sales are in real time.

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Kahuna to Resell Systech’s Dial-to-IP

San Diego-based Systech has teamed with Kahuna ATM Solutions to resell Systech’s dial-to-IP converters for ATMs. Systech Internet Payment Gateways convert dial-up payment transactions to high-speed IP transactions. The gateways connect both legacy and new ATMs to Kahuna-sponsored processing hosts over the public Internet using secure SSL IP protocols. No changes are required to the installed ATM software dial applications. Merchants with existing, private IP networks can also use the Systech/Kahuna solution to convert and re-route dial transactions through existing WAN links.

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Texas CIRA Selects OPC for E-Payments

The County Information Resources Agency of the Texas Association of Counties has selected Official Payments as its exclusive electronic payment services vendor. Through this new agreement, Official Payments’ services are available to all CIRA members. CIRA is exclusively offering Official Payments’ convenient and secure options for member counties to accept credit card and electronic check payments made via the Internet, by telephone or through kiosks. CIRA provides central, cooperative and coordinated assistance and services to its member counties in all matters relating to information resources and technologies.

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Walk-In Bill Payment Revenues to Double

A new study projects that walk-in bill payment revenues for processors will grow from $1.0 billion in 2005 to $1.9 billion in 2010. The research also found that the number of walk-in bill payments in the USA, including cell phone top-up, will top 1.3 billion by 2010. Boston-based Aite Group predicts strong growth for cell phone top-up at the POS and that walk-in locations’ share of total prepaid mobile top-up volumes will fall from 92% in 2005 down to 79% by 2010. Virtual top-up (when the reload is made directly from the handset using bankcards or ACH) will grow its market share as an alternative to the walk-in channel from 10% in 2006 to 21% by 2010. Aite says it expects further consolidation between mobile top-up processors and postpaid bill payment providers.

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ABS Settles Down After Bankruptcy Spike

Last fall’s spike in personal bankruptcy filings may have finally worked its way through U.S. credit card master trusts. Fitch Ratings affirmed 623 classes from 27 U.S. ABS credit card transactions based on the performance data for the most recent reporting period ended January 31st. The cumulative dollar amount affected by Fitch’s rating action is approximately $246 billion. The spike in personal bankruptcies followed the implementation of the new Federal statutes that took effect on Oct. 17, 2005.

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V12 Group Names a New Insert President

NY-based V12 Group, a provider of below-the-line marketing services, has hired Anthony Aquino, former Senior Manager of Instatement and Outbound Telemarketing at Citi Cards, as President of its insert media services group. Aquino will leverage his experience at Citi Cards to increase the market dominance of V12 Group’s insert media organization. Mr. Aquino worked in both the Citibank, NA Retail Bank running one of its 20 largest franchises in North America and held several positions in the Citi Cards organization. The V12 Group is a provider of below-the-line marketing initiatives, using our proprietary databases and multi-channel delivery model to provide measurable results for customer acquisition campaigns.

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JAN 06 DEBT

Credit card debt took its typical post-holiday downturn in January,
dropping A$700 million from the prior month, compared to an A$800
million drop one-year ago. During the past twelve months, credit card
debt has increased 14% while credit card volume rose 12%. For January,
credit card balances dropped to A$33.5 billion after reaching a record
high of A$34.3 billion in December. One-year ago credit card debt stood
at A$29.4 billion. Gross dollar volume on credit card and charge cards
in January was A$13.8 billion, compared to A$12.3 billion one-year ago.
Card credit limits reached A$92.6 billion at the end of January,
compared to A$82.4 billion for January 2005. There are currently 12.6
million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to
11.7 million one-year ago.

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