Semtek Hires a New CEO

San Diego-based Semtek Innovative Solutions has named Patrick Hazel, formerly CEO of EWI Holdings, as CEO. Hazel brings vast experience in the payment processing and technology industries to Semtek, a developer of solutions for the mobile payments sector. He has also been active in early stage technology ventures, serving as a director of several high growth companies on the West Coast as well as an active advisor to the venture capital and private equity world on issues such as technology commercialization, IP portfolio development, and payment processing opportunities. Semtek Innovative Solutions provides mobile commerce devices and applications, magnetic stripe security solutions, and wireless gateway services to the mobile payments sector.

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Alliance to Acquire ICOM

Alliance Data has reached an agreement to acquire ICOM Information and
Communication Inc., a provider of targeted list, marketing data
and communication solutions for the direct response, consumer packaged
goods and over-the-counter pharmaceutical industries in North
America. These include the AIR MILES Reward Program, Canada’s premiere
coalition loyalty marketing program, Epsilon, a leading provider of
integrated direct marketing solutions and COLLOQUY, a leading provider
of loyalty-marketing publishing, research, educational and consulting
services. ICOM will remain a distinct business within Alliance Data.

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Thales Completes Metro Line Ticketing System

Thales has completed Turin’s first metro “Access
Control and Ticketing System”. The new 13 kilometre line links the
northwest commuter belt of the city, Collegno, with Porta Nuova, a
central station in the heart of Turin. It will be the first system in
Europe in which public transport ticketing has been integrated with car
park ticketing, allowing customers to use one ticket for both. Thales’
system comprises access control equipment with tickets and card readers at
all sites, intrusion
detection systems and a supervision and control center. The system
consists of 183 access control gates, 183 magnetic ticket handling units,
183 contactless card and ticket handling units and 36 automatic ticket
vending machines. Thales is an international electronics and systems
group serving defense, aerospace, security and services markets with
generated revenues of 10.3 billion euros in 2004.

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Ohio Set to Enact New Gift Card Rules

The State of Ohio is ready to enact new gift card rules that requires a two year minimum period before inactivity fees can be assessed. The new law will prohibit dormancy fees, latency fees or administrative fees, that have the effect of reducing the total amount for which the holder of the gift card may redeem the gift card during the two-year initial period. Also, a gift card sold without an expiration date is valid until redeemed or replaced with a new gift card. The new law does not apply to a gift card that is distributed by the issuer as part of a loyalty program; a gift card sold below face value at a volume discount to employers or to nonprofit and charitable organizations for fundraising purposes; a gift card that an employer gives to an employee if use of the gift card is limited to the employer’s business establishment; or a gift card that an employer issues to an employee in recognition of services performed by the employee. Nearly 20 states have enacted some type of gift card regulations.

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Ingrian DataSecure Adds a New ETL Tool

Redwood City, CA-based Ingrian Networks has launched a new “DataSecure” data security tool for encrypting and decrypting large amounts of data typical in large-scale credit card processing environments. The new “ETL” (Extraction, Transformation, Load) utility enables customers to achieve performance levels of over 45,000 encryptions/decryptions per second with a single “DataSecure” appliance and near linear scalability when adding additional appliances (more than 100,000 encryptions/decryptions per second can be achieved with three DataSecure appliances). It also seamlessly integrates with existing ETL processes, regardless of where the sensitive data is ultimately stored and encrypts sensitive data within flat files by reading information in the clear from an input file and writing it encrypted to an output file. Additionally, “ETL” decrypts sensitive data within flat files by reading encrypted information from an input file and writing it in the clear to an output file.

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Dynamic Card Solutions Hits Alabama

The Alabama Credit Union selected Dynamic Card Solutions, developer of “CardWizard,” to expand instant issue technology throughout the state. DCS’ CardWizard instant issue software provides an easy and secure method to instantly issue and re-PIN cards, along with a user-friendly administration component that allows for full reporting, card inventory management, robust security and monitoring features required for instant issue. Alabama Credit Union provides service to its 34,000 with $216-million in assets. Dynamic Card Solutions is a developer of instant issuance and PIN selection solutions for banks, credit unions and retailers.

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MasterCard & AFFN Expand POS/ATM Acceptance

MasterCard and the Armed Forces Financial Network are expanding service for deployed troops with access to “Maestro” merchant and “Cirrus” ATM terminals. AFFN currently serves more than 337 financial institutions and 92 million cardholders. Under the new pact, AFFN cardholders will now have access to more than 9.4 million merchants and 1.1 million ATM locations worldwide. AFFN utilizes MasterCard’s global end-to-end debit transaction processing service, “MasterCard Complete Debit Processing,” for routing “Maestro” and “Cirrus” transactions to its switch provider. AFFN-qualified BINs have been added to “Maestro/Cirrus” BIN tables and merchants are being instructed to treat AFFN as synonymous with “Maestro” acceptance globally.

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Heartland Payment Systems Buys Debitek

NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems has acquired Chattanooga-based Debitek, a stored value card specialist. Debitek has an established client base utilizing approximately 130,000 payment devices. Among its many applications, Debitek provides its cashless solution to numerous university and business campuses across the country – including the Universities of Florida and Minnesota, Northwestern University, and BMW, Coca-Cola and Morgan Stanley – as well as the entire Federal penitentiary system. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Users Invest $2MM in GreenZap

San Diego-based GreenZap says it recently raised $2 million by inviting a select group of its users to invest in the Company. The company invited a select group of its users to invest in GreenZap, by purchasing 10% Convertible Debentures, which will convert to restricted stock 12 months from the original purchase date, at 50% of the market value. The company was able to close the offering to its members in just nine days. GreenZap enables any business or individual with an email address to send and receive money securely and cost-effectively online.

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Signature Debit Rewards Help to Drive Volume

A new survey has found that the number of consumers enrolled in debit rewards programs has increased 63% over the past two years. Of cardholders enrolled in a rewards program, 46% plan to use signature debit more often because of rewards versus 16% indicating a likelihood of using PIN debit more. The study, conducted by the American Bankers Association and Boston-based Dove Consulting, also found that 83% of consumers report having a debit card and of those 95% have signature-capable cards that can be used for both PIN and signature debit transactions. There are currently more than 250 million signature debit cards-in-force in the U.S. according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Le Credit Lyonnais Implements Nexus INvolve Software

Paris-based LCL has implemented the Nexus “SoftwareDeveloper” and “Self-Service” versions of the “INvolve” middleware in order to port and upgrade its automated teller machine software solution. Nexus provided LCL with migration services that accelerated integration of the application into the open-standard “INvolve” middleware. LCL’s existing self-service ATM software solution was based on a LCL proprietary application specific to each manufacturer and implemented on
the DOS and Windows NT operating systems. The “INvolve” family of cross-channel client middleware can be used in either single or multiple channel solution architectures to connect financial services solutions to multiple and varied sets of more than 300 banking-specific devices used with branch teller workstations, kiosks and ATMs.

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