OTI’s EasyFuel Payment Solution Introduced

On Track Innovations announced the installation of its “EasyFuel”
wireless petroleum payment solution at gas stations in central Peru with
partner Automation Service S.A.C. (ASSAC). After a successful pilot
program, Minera Yanacocha S.R.L., the largest gold producer in South
America, has signed a contract to implement the “EasyFuel” system on
their fleet. This includes the upgrade of vehicles currently equipped
with OTI’s “FuelMaster”. Operators can take advantage of the system’s
pay-at-the-pump capabilities and benefit from built-in loyalty programs.
OTI is a provider of secure contactless microprocessor-based smart
card technology.

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ClickPay Acquires SimpleCash Funding

ClickPay Solutions is acquiring SimpleCash Funding, a short-term funding solution that is secured by the merchants’ check and credit card sales volume based on historical performance as a predicate for future revenue. The program uses a proprietary credit-scoring model to mitigate the risk and assures an active assessment of the financial health of the business in real time. SimpleCash provides access to working capital to merchants needing working capital or have a difficult time finding a timely funding source to bridge the gap between existing cash-flow and the required cash-outlay to meet expenses or take advantage of growth opportunities. ClickPay Solutions provides ‘Cashless-Check-Cashing’ services to retail locations nationwide, enabling consumers to cash paychecks and have the funds loaded onto a stored value card.

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Total France to Deploy Axalto Rechargeable Cards

Total France has introduced rechargeable loyalty cards as part of a new
business offering for car washes. Customers choose the credit amount
expressed in euros and no longer in wash credits. Axalto has been Total
France’s provider of car wash cards since 1994 and has already supplied
the oil group with 14 million non-rechargeable memory cards. Total
France is planning to distribute 500,000 units to 800 petrol stations by
the end of 2006.

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2005 Bankruptcy Filings Up 32%; Top 2MM

As expected, consumer bankruptcy filings hit a new record last year, rising nearly 32%, driven by the implementation of new bankruptcy laws. Over the past five years, a record 8.2 million Americans filed personal bankruptcy petitions. CA-based Lundquist Consulting released figures this morning showing consumer bankruptcy filings for 2005 were 2,043,535, up from 1,552,967 in 2004. The firm noted that the total number of filings since the enactment of the legislation on October 17 through December 31st was just over 38,000. Nearly 60% of all filings since October 17th have been filed as Chapter 13, as compared to about 30% historically under the old law. The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts reported last month that filings for the third quarter hit a record 542,002. During the 12-month period ending September 30th, 1,782,643 bankruptcies were filed.

CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY FILINGS
2001: 1,452,030
2002: 1,539,111
2003: 1,625,208
2004: 1,552,967
2005: 2,043,535
Sources: Lundquist Consulting
Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts

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ZVV Selects ACS Fare Collection System

Affiliated Computer Services has been selected by the Zurich
transportation authority to deliver its automated fare collection
system. Under the contract ACS will supply the Zurich public
transportation network with 1,100 automatic ticket vending
machines, plus 500 mobile ticketing devices for operation by bus drivers
by the end of 2008. A contract for the first part of the project, worth CHF 1.37 million, is in place and ACS will be awarded the remainder of the work in the form of further contracts following the successful commissioning of the first phase of the project.The new user-friendly machines will accept electronic payment methods such as direct debit and credit cards. ACS provides business process outsourcing and information technology solutions.

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Thales Introduces Artema Compact Terminal

Weston, FL-based Thales e-Security has introduced the next generation of its “Artema Compact” payment terminal. The “Compact” uses 32-bit RISC processing and a large memory coupled with a sleek compact design and small footprint. The “Compact” handles smart cards, gift and loyalty cards, check services, check imaging, age verification and electronic purses. The new terminal also offers SSL, 3-DES encryption, EMV Level 1 and 2, and VISA PED certification. Several Class B certifications for the “Compact” have been issued by major processing networks.

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Everlink Acquires CGI Assets

Everlink Payment Services and CGI Group announced that Everlink Services
has acquired CGI’s electronic switching assets for CDN$28 million.
Everlink Payment Services is an electronic transaction switching provider
that specializes in gateway transaction switching, ATM driving and
monitoring, and debit card processing for credit unions, banks, and
independent service organizations. CGI is an information technology and
business process services firm with annual revenue of CDN$3.7 billion.

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MasterCard Offers SecureCode Incentives

MasterCard has launched a new multi-faceted campaign to help merchants protect consumer data. To support deployment of MasterCard’s “SecureCode” cardholder authentication solution, online merchants are eligible for up to a 16% reduction over face-to-face transactions. MasterCard also announced the global availability of free network vulnerability scans for merchants. Participating companies include AmbironTrustWave, Cybertrust, One-Sec, Qualys and SecurityMetrics. Additionally, the new security campaign includes an educational campaign that uses advertising, Web content and Webinars to inform merchants about security issues and resources.

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AIRCHARGE Marketed to Tow Truck Group

Massachusetts-based Pipeline Data has signed a deal with towPartners to market its “AIRCHARGE” wireless credit card acceptance and check guarantee technology to towPartners’ 7,000 members. The AIRCHARGE payment solution will enable tow truck drivers to receive payments on the road via swiped credit card and check guarantee transactions over their cell phones. towPartners reports that its members currently use over 25,000 AIRCHARGE compatible mobile phones and activate an additional 400 mobile phones per month. The agreement requires towPartners to promote the AIRCHARGE payment solution to its membership. AIRCHARGE provides credit card processing and wireless check guarantee solutions using Java-enabled cell phones on nearly all major US cellular carriers. Pipeline Data Inc. provides integrated transaction processing services for all major credit cards.

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Navy FCU Card Loans Pass $2B at EOY 2005

The nation’s largest credit union bank credit card issuer posted an 19% annual gain in outstandings, topping $2 billion for the first time. VA-based Navy FCU reported 4Q/05 outstandings of $2.11 billion, ranking it as the 20th largest U.S. issuer according to CardData. Fourth quarter volume was $1.3 billion, compared to $1.1 billion for 4Q/04. For the full year, Navy FCU posted gross dollar volume of $4.64 billion, compared to $3.98 billion for 2004. The issuer’s account base increased 12%, to 1,104,547 accounts. However, active accounts increased only 8%, to 580,376 accounts. At the end of 2005, Navy FCU had 1,196,084 cardholders. The credit union issues “Classic,” “Gold,” and “Platinum” VISA and MasterCards, as well as the “nRewards” VISA and MasterCard, “TravelValue” VISA and a “Student” VISA card. In July, TSYS renewed its agreement to process Navy FCU’s credit card accounts for an additional five years. For complete details on Navy FCU’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 7/7/05)

NAVY FCU EOY OUTSTANDINGS
2001: $1,308,114,643
2002: $1,458,404,990
2003: $1,604,048,644
2004: $1,775,319,090
2005: $2,110,159,600
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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SAGE & VERUS

The U.K.’s largest software company is acquiring a U.S. credit card
processor that focuses on small and medium-sized businesses.
London-based Sage Group has signed a deal to buy Nashville-based Verus
Financial Management for GBP 184 million in cash. Verus posted 2005
revenues of GBP 36 million compared to GBP 29 million in 2004. Operating
profit, before depreciation and amortization was approximately GBP 12
million compared to GBP 4 million in the prior year. At the end of 2005,
Verus had gross assets of approximately GBP 14 million. Verus was found
in April 2002 by Rich Roberts. Roberts was the previous founder and CEO
of PMT Services which was sold to NOVA for $1.3 billion in 1998. Verus
acquired Network 1 in July 2002. Sage says Verus will form the core of
its North American Merchant Services Division, complementing Sage’s
existing North American Payroll Services.

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CardOne Plus Deploys NFR Security System

CardOne Plus, which offers customized, branded debit card solutions for a global client base of merchant resellers, corporations, and users of eWallet solutions, has deployed NFR Security’s “Sentivist Intrusion Prevention System” for its real-time monitoring and alert capabilities against all network threats. NFR Security is a provider of real-time threat protection systems to secure business networks CardOne Plus provides customized, branded debit card solutions for a global client base of merchant resellers, corporations, and users of eWallet solutions.

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