Hypercom Powers Wawa’s Contactless Payments

Pennsylvania-based Wawa has purchased and installed more than 2,000 “Optimum L4100” high-speed card payment terminals with contactless payment capability at 540 retail stores in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Wawa has also named Hypercom its preferred supplier of card payment devices. The Hypercom terminals are configured to Wawa’s specifications to accept magnetic stripe credit/debit cards and smart cards as well as contactless cards or key fobs that communicate with the terminal without any physical contact.

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Huntington Bancshares Tops 900 ATMs

Ohio-based Huntington Bancshares and Cardtronics have closed a deal that adds 77 Huntington-branded ATMs to CVS/pharmacy stores in Cincinnati, Dayton and Springfield, Ohio and Northern Kentucky, bringing Huntington’s total ATM coverage to over 900 machines. Cardtronics manages more than 26,000 ATMs across the United States, 10,000 of which are positioned in major merchant locations. Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a $33 billion regional bank holding company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

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RBS Lynk Lands the Dari Mart Contract

RBS Lynk has been chosen by Dari Mart Stores to process credit, debit and EBT transactions for its 43 convenience stores and two Chevron fuel outlets in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Dari Mart’s transition to RBS Lynk included certification of Pinnacle Corporation’s Palm POS and Pharoh applications with broadband communications support. Dari Mart Stores is a family owned company based in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

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VISA USA to Add 8 Outsiders to its Board

To help mute criticism of its governance and fee setting practices, VISA USA yesterday announced plans to add a majority of independent directors to its board. The proposed new board will have 17 seats comprising eight independent directors, seven financial institution directors and two non-voting VISA management directors. The current board has 14 financial institution directors and two VISA management directors. VISA says the change is a result an comprehensive evaluation undertaken by its board and management beginning April 2004. VISA says the new board will strengthen the organization competitively, organizationally and legally. The full board will continue to govern business matters including operating regulations and rules, brand management and strategic planning. The independent directors will oversee core economic decisions such as pricing, member transaction processing and service fees and economic relationships. Financial institution members will retain responsibility for control and disposition of assets, membership eligibility requirements and corporate governance. Like MasterCard, VISA is facing a slew of recent lawsuits alleging price fixing, collusion and conspiracy in setting interchange. However, MasterCard is planning to go public early next year by selling 49% in an IPO, hoping to raise about $2.5 billion while changing its structure and governance. There is much speculation that VISA will eventually go public as well. (CF Library 9/1/05; 9/16/05)

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Moneris Offers Consumer Spending Data

Moneris Solutions has launched the “Holiday Essentials” guide. The
guide is a collection of consumer spending data compiled from Moneris’
database of historical credit and debit card transactions and includes
analysis of consumer behaviour and expectations during the holiday
season to provide retailers with information and provides tips to
properly plan for the year’s most important sales period. During the
eight-week holiday sales season a significant portion of sales are
generated online and through gift cards. Moneris provides credit, debit
and gift card payment services for merchants in virtually every industry
segment, handling more than 2 billion transactions a year.

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Wachovia to Re-Enter Card Biz Next Year

Wachovia yesterday confirmed it is re-entering the credit card market as a direct issuer beginning in January. The bank decided to terminate its agent contract with MBNA that has been in place since 2000. Wachovia will formally conclude its joint marketing agreement with MBNA in October of next year, or nine months after the proposed Bank of America/MBNA merger, which is expected to occur in January. Upon consummation of that merger, MBNA is required to pay Wachovia a $100 million termination fee, which will offset Wachovia’s cost to re-enter the business. In August 2000, MBNA and First Union signed an agreement under which MBNA marketed personal, business, corporate and purchasing card products and services to the bank’s customers. MBNA subsequently acquired Wachovia’s portfolio in April 2002 after the September 2001 merger of First Union and Wachovia. In June 2004, MBNA acquired SouthTrust’s credit card portfolio at the same time Wachovia announced its acquisition of SouthTrust. Wachovia has about 13 million banking customers.

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US Bank Issues CSU VISA Affinity Cards

U.S. Bank has signed a deal to offer three affinity VISA cards for Colorado State University. The three card options depict various CSU logos and the Colorado State University Administration Building. Cardholders may choose the standard Visa Platinum Card, or one of three rewards programs including the Travel Rewards Visa Platinum Card, Cash Rewards Visa Platinum Card or Select Rewards Visa Platinum Card.

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Encore Capital Revenues Climb 27% in Q3

San Diego-based Encore Capital Group reported that revenues rose 27% in the third quarter to $59.2 million while net income increased 32% to $7.8 million. Gross collections were $83.9 million, the highest level in the Company’s history and a 40% increase over the $59.9 million in the same period of the prior year. During the third quarter the Company spent $14.2 million to purchase $381.5 million in face value of debt. Encore is a systems-driven purchaser and manager of charged-off consumer receivables portfolios. For complete detail on Encore’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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MasterCard Presents First Leadership Summit

MasterCard Canada will present “The Financial and Payment Services
Leadership Summit” on November 7-8, 2005 in Toronto. The
first Canadian event of its kind, the theme of the summit is “Beyond
Credit: The Future of Payments in Canada” and will examine the future
evolution of the Canadian payments system, the role of consumer credit in the Canadian economy and the coming wave of innovation in the industry. Key topics will include how credit cards enable economic growth and spur
commerce, emerging trends in the Canadian payments market, social impact
of payments, major technical innovations and trends impacting the
global market and managing corporate and government payments.

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