British Airways Takes UATP Online

British Airways customers can now use their UATP account to pay for flights online at ba.com. Business travelers are also able to take advantage of a range of ba.com services, such as changing their bookings and online check-in. Additionally, customers can print their boarding pass from home on selected routes or collect their boarding passes at the Self-Service Check-in kiosks at the airport. British Airways is a UATP shareholder and merchant. AirPlus International, UATP’s largest account Issuer manages British Airways’ UATP account. UATP accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by more than 200 airlines worldwide.

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Experian Acquires Baker Hill

Experian has acquired a provider of relationship-management, credit-origination and risk-management solutions. IN-based Baker Hill provides services to more than 1,100 banking, credit union and financial services clients with installations across the USA. Baker Hill will operate as a business unit within Experian’s Business Information Solutions division and will be known as Baker Hill, an Experian company. The company will continue operations in Carmel, Indiana and current management and employees will be retained.

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Super-Ageing Population Brings Opportunities

MasterCard released findings from its latest Insights Report showing Japan’s older women as a powerful and important segment, expected to command some US$313 billion of spending power by 2013.
A declining fertility rate, shrinking population and an ageing
population will result in Japan becoming a “super-ageing” population,
with women generally outliving men. These healthy, active and
financially well-off older Japanese have been characterized as the
“silver aristocrats.” For this older women segment, the demand for services is expected to be greater than the demand for consumer goods and products. The latest report is part of the “MasterCard Insights” series of ongoing research and analysis of business dynamics, financial policies and regulatory activities in the Asia/Pacific region.

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Digipass Receives MC Chip Authentication Approval

VASCO Data Security International has announced that its “Digipass”
unconnected secure smart card readers has been EMV-CAP 2004 certified by
MasterCard. “Digipass” secure smart card readers used in conjunction
with an EMV smart card allow customers to use the same EMV card and PIN
at ATMs, pay for purchases and perform secure online transactions. VASCO
provides user authentication products for over 390 international
financial institutions and approximately 1,700 corporations and
governments worldwide. VASCO has sold over 6 million
smart card readers worldwide.

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MasterCard Delays Foreign Conversion Fees

MasterCard International has postponed plans to levy fees on all foreign transactions. MasterCard had planned, effective October 1st, to charge a fee of 0.8% for all cross-border transactions and an additional 0.2% whenever a merchant’s foreign currency needed to be converted into dollars. VISA previously suspended its 1% foreign transaction fee which also applied to all transactions including dynamic currency conversion transactions. MasterCard says the new fees will now go into effect on April 7th. Some issuers, such as MBNA, levy a 3% conversion fee on all foreign transactions including transactions converted to U.S. dollars at the point of sale.

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Standard Bank Expands Experian-Scorex Deal

Standard Bank of South Africa is implementing “Strategy Management Generation 3” from Experian-Scorex. Standard Bank has been working in partnership with Experian-Scorex for more than 10 years. It was one of the first users of Experian’s credit bureau in South Africa and an early adopter of credit scoring and customer-level decisioning.
“Strategy Management Generation 3” will allow the bank to maximize the power of this data and further enhance decisioning for its customer base, enabling both reactive and proactive customer management.

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Vegas Takes Parking to the Next Gen

The City of Las Vegas has deployed pay by cell phone service for parking using Reino Enforcement Technology and payments processed by Peppercoin. The city has replaced old parking meters with 15 new meters, covering 150 parking spots, in the city’s downtown business district. The service has free registration and can helps drivers avoid parking tickets by sending a reminder SMS text message to a subscriber’s phone approximately 10 minutes before their meter time expires. Drivers can then purchase more time by making a cell phone call. Reino is the supplier of parking solutions. Peppercoin provides small payment products.

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Smart Cards Move Toward Convergence

The banking and payment sectors in the Asia Pacific region
continue to migrate from magnetic stripe-cards to chip- or smart
card-based cards. Companies now have to attempt to make optimal use of
the infrastructure they have invested in to break even or make profits.
Although no clear post migration “killer application” has been developed
yet, the financial card industry is definitely moving toward
convergence. For most countries in the Asia Pacific, ATM, debit, credit,
loyalty and transit applications are some applications that are
expected to appear on a single card. Frost & Sullivan has launched a
research service that provides data and analysis on the Asia Pacific
banking and payment sector. It provides rapid updates, forecasts, and
estimates on several markets such as banking cards, payment cards,
banking terminals and payment terminals in Japan, South Korea,
Malaysia, Taiwan and Thailand. It enables companies to align their
positioning strategies to benefit from the changing sectors and obtain
maximum return on investment.

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Providian Approves WaMu Merger

Providian overwhelmingly approved the acquisition by Washington Mutual with 67% of the total outstanding shares. 83 percent of the 237,791,081 shares voted were in favor of the merger (67 percent of the total outstanding shares). A majority of the total outstanding shares were needed to approve the transaction. Washington Mutual operates more than 2,400 retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial banking and financial services offices with $323.53 billion in assets.

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VISA and USD Offer Courses for Teachers

VISA USA and the University of San Diego’s Division of Continuing Education have teamed to offer two online graduate level money management courses for elementary and secondary teachers designed to help them improve their financial literacy skills while earning graduate level extension credits. Both courses are taught online by an instructor and they can be taken simultaneously. Students have 60 days to complete the online portion of the course and are given up to six months to complete additional assignments. Visa USA is the nation’s leading payment brand and largest payment system. Cardholders in over 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume. The University of San Diego enrolls some 7,200 students and is known for its commitment to teaching, the liberal arts, the formation of values and community service.

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Q Comm’s 2Q/05 Revenues Quadruple Y/Y

UT-based Q Comm International reported second quarter revenues of $13.3 million, compared to $3.0 million in revenues (as restated) for 2Q/04. The Company’s net loss in the quarter increased to $3.3 million, compared to a loss of $883,000 in the second quarter of 2004. The Company reported that net activations of 623 terminals during the quarter raised its net activated terminals to 3,342 as of June 30th. Q Comm says expenses increased significantly during the second quarter as the Company accounted for asset impairment, legal settlement, bad debt expenses and legal and accounting expenses related to the SEC review of the Company’s recent “1934 Act” filings, while concurrently investing in personnel. For complete details on Q Comm’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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