Higher Min Payments Impact May be Minimal

A new survey suggests the impact of higher minimum credit card payments may only affect 10% of U.S. cardholders. The study also found that nearly half of consumers prefer to use credit/debit cards over cash/checks at the point of sale. The research, commissioned by the American Bankers Association, showed that 42% of cardholders pay-off their credit card balances in full each month. Approximately one-third revolve card balances and pay more than the minimum amount. Six percent of customers on occasion make minimum payments. And just 4% pay only the minimum due each month. The study of 1,000 consumers, conducted in late July, also found that 31% of consumers chose debit cards and 18% prefer credit cards at the point of sale. Thirty-seven percent of consumers choose cash more often and 14% still use checks. The poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid.

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Pipeline Data Acquires AIRCHARGE

Massachusetts-based Pipeline Data has acquired IL-based World Products, d/b/a AIRCHARGE, for $200,000 in cash, $525,000 in the form of a promissory note and 900,000 shares of Pipeline’s stock. An additional one million shares of Pipeline Data common stock will be granted subject to performance incentives. Pipeline Data Inc. provides integrated transaction processing services for all major credit cards. World Products, Inc. provides wireless payment products and value-added services to the credit card and check-processing marketplace.

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Peppercoin Gets More Funding and a CEO

Peppercoin has secured $8 million in funding and has named Mark Friedman as president and CEO. The financing round, led by venture capital firm Wall Street Technology Partners includes previous investor Pod Holding. Wall Street Technology Partners LP invests in mid-to-late stage US-based technology and media companies with $125 million of capital under management. Pod Holding is a private equity firm that invests in leading Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies.

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e-Port Integrates with the ScanPlus Card

Pennsylvania-based USA Technologies'”e-Port” is now compatible with “ScanPlus,” ARAMARK’s proprietary stored-value card, enabling college students to purchase snacks or beverages from vending machines using their student ID card in addition to commercial debit and credit cards and cash. ARAMARK Education provides a wide range of food, facility and other support services to approximately 600 colleges and universities in the U.S. USA Technologies provides networking of wireless non-cash transactions, associated financial/network services and energy management.

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Hypercom’s New PIN Pad Earns PCI PED

Hypercom is now shipping the first handheld PIN entry device to meet the new “Payment Card Industry” security standards established by VISA and MasterCard. The new “P1300 PIN Pad” integrates with all Hypercom card payment terminals and many other electronic cash register systems. Besides “PCI PED” certification, the new device also offers “Triple DES” encryption, “DUKPT” key management and “Message Authentication Code.” The “P1300” also has an alphanumeric LCD screen, large, hard-rubber keys and tamper-proof construction.

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Government Orders Card and E-Commerce Expansion

Iran’s Management and Planning Organization has requested that all banks issue credit cards. The government also wants state and private banks to expand ATMs and Internet-based transaction systems.
Iran wants its electronic banking system to be fully operational by 2007. Under the plan, up to 12 million cards will be issued by 2010. ATMs will increase to 4,000 and POS locations will rise to 60,000 by 2010. The government also wants all state employees to receive salaries through electronic cards by March 2006.

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Pipeline Data Q2 Revenues Post a 52% Gain

Massachusettes-based Pipeline Data posted a 52% gain in revenue during the second quarter to $4.1 million. The rise in revenue was attributed to the full integration of small portfolio acquisitions and strong organic growth. Gross profit for 2Q/05 grew 72% to $1.5 million over the comparable period in 2004. In March, Pipeline Data signed a letter of intent to acquire Florida-based Charge.com. The merger agreement was executed in July for $17 million. Pipeline is required to close the transaction by December 19th of this year. The Company currently provides integrated transaction processing services to 15,000 companies. For complete details on Pipeline’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).(CF Library 3/16/05; 7/20/05)

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

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FDC Lands a ConocoPhillips Card Executive

First Data has hired Robert Murtagh, former Director of Credit Card Operations at ConocoPhillips, as VP/Vertical Market Specialist for the petroleum industry. Previously as Director, Credit Card Operations at ConocoPhillips, Murtagh was responsible for credit policy, fraud prevention, strategic planning and vendor management. First Data Corp.is a provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for 4.1 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers.

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Sobeys Renews the AIR MILES Reward Program

Three Sobeys-branded grocery stores, IGA and IGA extra grocery
stores in the province of Quebec, and Lawtons Drug Stores will all
continue as participating “Sponsors” in the Canadian “AIR MILES Reward Program.” Sobey’s signed a multi-year contract renewal with Alliance Data Systems, the program’s owner. Sobeys, an “AIR MILES Sponsor” since 2001, has 81 Sobeys-branded supermarkets across Atlantic Canada’s four provinces. A “Sponsor” since 2004, Lawtons Drug Stores has 60 locations also in Atlantic Canada, while IGA, a “Sponsor” in the program since 1999 has 251 grocery locations throughout Quebec. More than 70 percent of Canadian households actively collect “AIR MILES” reward miles at
more than 100 leading brand-name “Sponsors” representing over 14,000 retail and service locations across Canada.

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MC’s Folio Program Expands to 8K Hotels

Marriott and Carlson Hotels have expanded their participation in MasterCard’s hotel folio data program. With this addition, over 40% of corporate hotel transactions will now have folio data available. The enhanced data is available from approximately 8,000 properties in the U.S. and Canada. Other participants in MasterCard’s hotel folio data program include Hilton Hotels and Choice Hotels. MasterCard issuers currently offering hotel folio data to their customers include GE’s Corporate Payments Services unit, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. The program gives corporate customers access to room, tax, meal, telephone, business center fees and other itemized expense details at participating hotels. The transactions are presented back to the corporation electronically and can be reconciled to its monthly invoice.

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Guardium’s SQL Guard Adds a PCI Feature

Massachusettes-based Guardium, a database security specialist, has expanded its “SQL Guard” platform with the introduction of the “SQL Guard PCI Accelerator.” The PCI module delivers specific solutions for key requirements. These include security modules for planning/organizing, tracking/monitoring, ongoing assessment/validation, and monitoring policy violations. Guardium provides database security assessment, access policy control and enforcement, auditing, and regulatory compliance.

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