Merrick Bank Acquires 22 Provident Bank ISOs

CardWork’s Merrick Bank has acquired a portion of Provident Bank’s VISA and MasterCard ISOs sponsorship merchant business, bringing its total merchant base to 70,000 merchants. Merrick bank will now administer 22 of Provident Bank’s ISOs and merchants, along with their associated transaction volume. CardSystems, Inc. was the data processor for the VISA and MasterCard merchants and will process for them under Merrick. Merrick Bank issues non-prime credit cards. The bank serves more than 550,000 cardholders and has roughly $500 million in assets. CardWorks provides banks, financial guarantors, and credit card issuers with services, enabling them to economically pursue goals and objectives in addition to meeting service requirements.

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Signature Classic Advantage Catalog Card is Sold

CA-based Trycera Financial has closed an acquisition with Signature Credit Corp. to take over the “Classic Advantage Card” catalog shopping card. The company plans to use the purchased assets to enable its new in-house catalog shopping card program to grow more rapidly. The program is marketed under the Tru Platinum brand. The Signature Credit assets will also help provide the integration of proprietary technology and management solutions at Trycera Financial, which will serve as the foundation of management for the Tru Platinum and Classic Advantage shopping card programs. Trycera Financial is a reporting financial services company that specializes in serving consumers that are self-banked. The company focuses on consumer-based stored-value products, private-label catalog shopping cards, customized stored-value program management, and accretive acquisitions of synergistic product and service providers.

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Citi Launches Commercial Cards in Asia-Pacific

Citigroup Global Transaction Services and MasterCard International have inked a multi-year deal to launch commercial cards throughout the Asia/Pacific region. Citigroup says it will initially target multinational corporate clients in Hong Kong and Australia and then expand into Malaysia and Singapore. Citigroup is the only bankcard provider that can issue commercial card products in over thirty countries. Citigroup commercial cards are currently used by over one million corporate and government cardholders globally. The Citibank “Commercial Cards” suite includes – “Citibank Corporate Card,” “Purchasing Card,” “One Card,” and “Electronic Account.”

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BlueSteps AESC Selects E4X for Foreign Exchange

NY-based E4X and the Association of Executive Search Consultants have launched multi-currency acceptance on the AESC’s Executive Career Management Service, “BlueSteps UK”. The new site enables members in the UK to use British pounds to pay for memberships and services. BlueSteps used E4X’s solution to streamline the management of foreign exchange and multi currency issues faced by the company while conducting business in the UK. The E4X solution omits currency conversion risks and minimizes complexities associated with accounting, forecasting, and reporting in more than one currency. BlueSteps will be able to manage business in their operating currency as they offer this new service to their members. BlueSteps is the only career management service that provides executives with continuous exposure to the best search firms in the world. It is the largest online global community of senior executives. E4X, Inc. is a provider of multi currency services that are designed to reduce the complexities of currency conversion related to cross border sales and payments in order to facilitate global business.

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Liquor Gift Cards Introduced in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has launched the sale of gift cards in the state’s 637 Wine and Spirits Stores. The gift cards are available in any dollar amount and have no expiration date. The cards represent a series of PLCB initiatives to improve customer service and convenience. Such initiatives include the launch of a monthly wine club, the expansion of the selection of wines and spirits available at PLCB stores, and the opening of six outlet stores.

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Joint Standard Set for Class 2 Readers

SCM Microsystems, OMNIKEY, and Kobil Systems have agreed on a joint standard for developing smart card readers with integrated PINpads. Using smart cards with PINs (Class 2 readers) increases the security of transactions. The companies are working under TeleTrusT, a company who aims to promote trustworthy information and communication technology. Class 2 PINpad readers protect smart cards, preventing unauthorized copying or use of information that is stored on the card. SCM Microsystems develops, markets, and sells smart card reader technology, OMINKEY is a world leading manufacturer of smart card readers, and Kobil Systems specializes in developing and marketing smart card based IT and multifunctional smart card terminals.

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Capital One Acquires Home Equity Loan Broker

Capital One has signed a definitive agreement to privately held HFS Group, a major home equity loan broker in the UK. Cap One will pay $117 million in cash. HFS originated a volume of approximately 15,000 loans, with a value of approximately $630 million in the twelve months ending March 31st. Cap One has about four million credit cardholders in the UK. The acquisition is part of Cap One’s plans to diversify its business beyond the mature credit card market. In September, Capital One acquired Onyx Acceptance Corporation, a major auto loan originator, for $191 million in cash.

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PBS Wins Cartes Award for PSAM

PBS won an award for the development of the PSAM application, that ensures uniform and secure chip-based transactions via chip terminals on the market. “Payment Secure Application Module” is a small application module, which performs secure checking and approval
of chip-based cards in terminal solutions. “PSAM” is responsible for validating individual cards used in chip-based terminals and can function as a common standard in international terminal solutions, in the same way as SIM cards in mobile phones, which define the service provider in use. This makes the terminal much more flexible at a time of growing international competition if a business wishes to change its clearing bank.

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LaunchPAD Initiative for Implementation of PAD

VeriFone, Mosaic Software and ID Data announced the launch of a major new program aimed at helping card-issuing and acquiring banks maximize their investment in EMV. “LaunchPAD” is an joint agreement to deliver an end-to-end solution for the implementation of “Pre-Authorized Debit,” a new offline payment method that slots into existing EMV infrastructure as an extension to credit and debit. The pre-authorized debit payment method leverages the infrastructure that is already being put in place for EMV, i.e. smart card readers and PIN pads, thereby minimizing further investment for the introduction of a wholly new
payment product.

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OTI’s Saturn 5000 Certified for PayPass

On Track Innovations’s “Saturn 5000” contactless reader has received certification from MasterCard, certifying the reader’s application and electronics for use in the MasterCard “PayPass” contactless payment program. This makes OTI the first and only company to date to obtain certification on both its MasterCard “PayPass” compatible card and reader solutions. The “Saturn 5000” can support multiple applications and is currently compatible with all major POS terminal providers.

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