TeleCheck Services Acquires ClearCheck

First Data’s TeleCheck Services has acquired the assets of ClearCheck, a full-service provider of return check management systems for major U.S. retailers and supermarkets. The acquisition of ClearCheck will allow for significant enhancements to TeleCheck’s existing check processing and collections technology. The ClearCheck services include web-based products and tools that provide clients easy access to view and analyze their check collection portfolio and a streamlined process to handle returned checks.

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Asia Payment Systems and Global Uplink Team

Asia Payment Systems has signed an agreement with Guangdong-based Global Uplink Communications. With this alliance, Uplink and Asia Pay will cooperate in developing loyalty card programs, initially in Guangdong Province followed by other major Chinese markets and have initiated planning for a joint business development program which will soon get under way. The initial focus of this program will be to grow the existing CRM business to provide a sound foundation for a loyalty card program targeted for 2006. The loyalty card program will provide a stepping stone to the eventual issuance of credit cards. Uplink provides customer relationship management and related services sector.

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BIG TICKET CARD

Dubai-based Emirates Bank has introduced a new credit card that enables cardholders to automatically split all their transactions into installments of either 12 or 24 months. The new “OPTIONS MasterCard Installment Card” is designed for large purchases of at least AED 1000 and up to a maximum of 4 times the cardholder’s monthly salary. The card carries a flat interest rate of just 0.80% per month, lower than most prevailing credit card interest rates in the country. Emirates says the new card is a pre-approved personal loan in your pocket.

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GCA Beefs-Up its Company Web Site

Las Vegas-based Global Cash Access has beefed-up its Web site to make it more visually appealing and easier to navigate. GCA’s Web site has significant content improvements, with new information on some of the company’s newest cash access products for the gaming environment, including the 3-in-1 enabled QuickJack(TM) Plus redemption kiosk and its cashless gaming kiosk, EDITH. More detail about key employees and their involvement with the company also have been added. In an effort to make information more accessible for the growing investor interest in GCA, the Web site features an in-depth investor relations section with company presentations, stock price and financial and corporate governance information.

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ChinaGoHi Launches a Stored-Value Card

PacificNet announced that its ChinaGoHi subsidiary has launched a stored-value point card for its financial content services in China.
The value of a card is measured by points and will be credited to each
customers account when they purchase the points. After successful
transactions, customers will then be given an access code and password
that enables customers to log into ChinaGoHi’s hot-line IVR system or to
its internet portal in order to listen, watch and read audio and video
programs, access research reports that contain stock analysis, market
review, investment recommendation etc. Charges are deducted against the
stored-value points provided by the pre-paid cards/accounts based on the
access times of customers utilizing the services. PacificNet Inc.
through its subsidiaries, invests in and operates companies that provide
outsourcing and Value-Added Telecom Services. ChinaGoHi is an
information content provider of Chinese stock market information,
analysis and investment advisory services.

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Experian Offers a Signaling Service

Experian has unveiled a highly customizable and intelligent solution for credit grantors that analyzes the credit behavior of customers and prospects to make acquisition, portfolio management and collections decisions. “Credit Migration Solutions” signals when consumers meet predetermined thresholds for credit scores and attributes, such as changes in balances, utilization or delinquency behaviors. The suite of products that make up “Credit Migration Solutions” is driven by Experian’s “Customer Prospecting and Portfolio Services” relational database.

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Systech and Switch Team for ATM IP

San Diego-based Systech has teamed with Switch Commerce to convert dial-up ATM transactions to IP-based transactions. Switch Commerce has agreed to integrate and certify Systech’s “IPG/7000” family of dial-to-IP converters for production deployment to merchants transitioning ATM processing to the Internet. The gateways connect both legacy and new ATMs to the Switch Commerce processing host over the public Internet using secure SSL IP protocols. No changes are required to the installed ATM applications. Merchants with existing, private IP networks can also use the Systech solution to convert and re-route dial transactions through existing WAN links.

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MobileLime Snags a Sales Executive

MobileLime has appointed James Cooper to SVP of sales. Cooper brings more than twenty years of high-profile executive level experience building world class international sales teams with leading Silicon Valley companies funded by top-tier venture capital firms. He maintains long standing relationships with Fortune 500 senior executives throughout the retail industry. Cooper will lead and oversee a growing nationwide sales force with locations in key markets. Prior to joining MobileLime, Cooper was vice president, worldwide sales & field operations of Troux Technologies. MobileLime is the first U.S.-based company to turn the mobile phone into a marketing, loyalty and payment device, enabling merchants to build sales and loyalty.

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Lawmakers Mull Financial Data Protection

The U.S House Committee on Financial Services today will hold a markup session the the “Financial Data Protection Act” or “H.R. 3997.” The hearing comes on the heels of a disclosure of a massive “PIN block” card fraud that forced several issuers, including Citibank, to replace debit cards. In February, Congressman Barney Frank, the Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee, wrote to the CEO’s of VISA and MasterCard regarding their unwillingness to name the retailer involved with the most recent serious data breach. Last summer, Congressman Frank, along with Reps. Melissa Bean and Artur Davis introduced “H.R. 3140” to provide tough consumer protections and enforcement against credit card fraud and identity theft. Frank says he will push to end the future shielding of companies where the breach originated.

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Contactless Awareness Grows in 2005

A new survey shows that four out of ten consumers are aware of ExxonMobil’s “Speedpass” contactless program while only 20% are aware of the American Express “Express Pay” and MasterCard “PayPass” contactless programs. Less than 10% say they have heard of “blink” from Chase or “VISA Contactless.” Overall, more than half indicated awareness of at least one of the programs according to the September survey by Atlanta-based SYNERGISTICS RESEARCH. However, the recent aggressive issuance of “blink” cards from Chase is likely to raise consumer awareness of all contactless cards in the USA. In January, Chase reported it issued more than six million of its credit cards with “blink” in nine states. SYNERGISTICS says 20% report that they are aware of contactless payment compared to one in seven who reported awareness in 2004. (CF Library 1/11/06)

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