ACE Cash Acquires 111 Stores for $36MM

Dallas-based check casher ACE Cash Express is acquiring 111 stores owned by Popular Cash Express for $36 million and noted the Company will take a $1 million charge this quarter for Katrina losses. The Popular Cash Express stores being acquired offer check cashing, money order, wire transfer and bill pay services. The Cash Express stores do not currently offer short-term consumer loans, but ACE plans to introduce this product in approximately 95 of the acquired stores. ACE Cash Express is a leading retailer of financial services.

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Oberthur Moneytic Gets EMV Certified in China

Oberthur Card Systems announced the certification of its “Moneytic
Chrysalis” payment card product range by the Chinese Bank Card Test Centre
(BCTC). This new product is fully compliant with the recently “PBOC1 V2
Debit Credit” card specifications which will be used by Chinese Banks in
the forthcoming EMV migration. Both Visa and MasterCard current EMV card
specifications are supported in order to manage the requirements from
“dual currency” issuers. To date, Oberthur Card Systems has supported
over 100 EMV programs and has delivered over 150 million EMV compliant
cards at that time.

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I.C.E. Signs it Largest ISO To-Date

Camarillo, CA-based International Card Establishment has signed the fifth new member of its “ISO Rep Program” which should immediately increase the Company’s new merchant account applications by approximately 40%. Together with the recently announced agreement with a Utah based ISO, consolidated gross merchant services revenues for I.C.E.’s credit card subsidiary should increase to between $14 million and $18 million over the next twelve months. I.C.E. is a rapidly growing provider of diversified products and services to the electronic transaction processing industry.

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First General Insurance Tri-Brand Card

ICICI Lombard, Hindustan Petroleum, and American Express have introduced India’s first general insurance tri-brand credit card.
The new “American Express RPM Credit Card” enables customers to
enjoy the convenience of paying their motor insurance premium over a
period of 3, 6, 9, or 12, months at zero interest. In addition, the new card enables cardholders to speed up savings to 10% and more on fuel. Cardholders can also earn bonus “Membership Rewards” points by charging
their “Everyday Expenses.” RPM credit cards have a minimum line of credit of Rs.50,000.

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GE BIZ MASTERCARD

GE Money Canada has launched its first MasterCard and the only no fee business MasterCard with cash rewards in the Canadian market. The new “GE Money Business MasterCard” offers cash rewards of up to 2.0% on purchases and interest rates beginning at 13.9%. The card is targeted at small and medium businesses. Last month, GE applied to Canada’s Minister of Finance to set up a bank. The bank will carry on business in Canada under the name GE Money Bank Canada in English and Banque GE Money du Canada in French and its principal office will be located in Mississauga, Ontario. GECF has recently been expanding its bank credit card businesses in Australia, Span, Turkey and Russia.

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Retalix USA to Integrate Pay By Touch

Dallas-based Retalix USA has signed a deal to integrate Pay By Touch’s biometric authentication payment system with Retalix’s point of sale solutions for grocery retailers. The partnership between Retalix and Pay By Touch expands the biometric payment service offering into new vertical markets. Pay By Touch provides authentication, age verification and check cashing to payment processing merchant services for ACH, debit card, and credit card transactions. Retalix Ltd. provides integrated enterprise-wide software solutions globally.

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Barclaycard Tests a Repayment Booster

Barclaycard is testing a new credit card product in the U.K. designed to encourage higher monthly payments. The new “Repayment Rewards” is experimenting with interest rates ranging from 9.9% to 16.9% with repayments ranging from 2.5% to 10% or more. A repayment of 2.5% of the outstanding balance will be charged 16.9%; 5.05% to 9.99% of balance will be 12.9%; and 10% or more of the balance will quality for the 9.9% annual interest rate. No launch date has yet been confirmed, although the company is aiming to make the product more widely available by the end of the year. In March, Barclaycard began testing another credit card to encourage responsible debt management. The “Combinations VISA” comes with a separate line of credit with a lower interest rate and set repayment terms. The issuer has 11.2 million cardholders in the UK.

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VISA and Marriott to Launch 2X Points

Marriott and VISA will kick-off a double points promotion on October 1st. Members can earn double points on all Visa-paid Marriott hotel stays through Jan. 31, 2006, starting with their Visa-paid second stay. Marriott Rewards includes more than 2,500 participating hotels and has 22 million members worldwide. In fiscal year 2004, Marriott International reported sales from continuing operations of $10 billion.

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VISA Asia Pacific To Provide Free Security Service

VISA Asia Pacific has taken another step in the fight against payment
system fraud by offering the world’s first free security assessment
service to help boost cardholder data security in the region. All
parties that handle VISA cardholder data, such as VISA’s member
financial institutions, internet payment service providers and
merchants are entitled to access a free self-assessment service and to
receive quarterly network vulnerability
scans to validate the security of their Internet-connected systems. The
service is part of VISA’s Asia Pacific’s Account Information Security
Program (AIS). VISA will partner with ScanAlert to provide the free
security assessment and validation service and will provide VISA’s member
financial institutions in the Asia Pacific with a comprehensive reporting
system to track the AIS validation status of their merchants and service
providers. VISA Asia Pacific captures 62 percent of all card purchases in
the region. ScanAlert is the world’s largest website security
certification company, protecting over 65,000 web sites worldwide through
the HACKER SAFE certification program.

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Nestle Cafe Launch a Gift Card Nationwide

The five-year-old Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip franchise has inked a deal to launch a gift card. CO-based Mercury Payment Systems launched the card this week at a franchise conference. Mercury also teamed with CRS to enable a total credit and gift card processing solution throughout the entire franchise. Howell ECR Systems of Dallas, initiated the solution for Nestle. The Mercury platform is integrated to the Samsung “7000” registers in use at most franchise locations and is also configured to facilitate processing for those using Samsung “4000” registers with stand-alone terminals. The Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip franchise currently has about 70 locations nationwide.

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JCCA Survey Tracks Smart Card Awareness

In late July, The Japan Credit Card Association (JCCA)
conducted an online survey of men and women in their 20s to 60s on their
awareness of smart credit cards embedded with a processor.
Of the 684 respondents, 54% were aware that credit card companies are
replacing their magnetic cards with smart cards. When asked about what
type of card they want to use, 93% of the respondents answered that they
prefer chip-embedded cards. Respondents indicated they want to use smart
cards in the future because there is “no worry about counterfeiting
(64%)”, followed by “no concern for forgery because pin numbers are needed
(50%)”, “cards are used in visible proximity (42%)”, and “ease-of-use
because all you need is your pin number, not signature
(36%)”.

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