Samsung to Deploy Philips Near Field Technology

Samsung Electronics has signed a deal to deploy cellular devices that use Philips “Near Field Communication” chip solutions. With “NFC,” the mobile phone transitions from running primarily voice applications to becoming a more personalized device that can let you conduct secure payment transactions, gain access to public transportation, building access and store digital rights. In essence, the mobile phone becomes a
point-of-sale terminal, a ticket counter, keys to your building, a
transport card, a debit/credit card and an electronic business card all
in one easy to use device. “NFC” technology combines the functions of a
contactless reader, a contactless card and peer-to-peer functionality on
a single chip. It operates in the 13.56 MHz frequency range, typically
over a distance of a few centimeters.

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E-Mart Bulks at New Transaction Fees

The country’s largest discount retailer has filed a lawsuit against three major credit card firms over new transaction fees set to go into effect on September 1st. E-Mart has sued KB Card, BC Card, and LG Card alleging collusion in raising fees. KB Card and LG Card are raising E-Mart’s rate from 1.5% to 2.2%, while BC Card is increasing its fee from 2.0% to 2.35%. E-Mart has already begin terminating its BC Card credit card contract in some of its outlets, according to the Korea Times. E-Mart has 63 outlets nationwide. E-Mart says it is taking its dispute to the Fair Trade Commission.

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Epitome Systems gets New EVP/COO

PA-based Epitome Systems has hired Eric Panepinto, formerly with Sanchez Data Systems, as EVP/COO. Mr. Panepinto’s responsibilities will include directing Epitome Systems’ global day-to-day business operations and helping guide the company’s strategic development and its products in order to support an increasing group of customers. Panepinto has an extensive background in financial services having served as a SVP, VP, and other positions for companies such as Citigroup Global Consumer Bank, Citicorp Investment Services, NY Guardian Mortgage Corporation, First Federal Savings and Loan of Rochester, and Sony Music Entertainment. Epitome Systems is a chief provider of Enterprise Productivity Management software solutions, enabling companies to achieve increased productivity, profitability, and competitive advantage.

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South Korean Retailer Fights New TX Fees

South Korea’s largest discount retailer has filed a lawsuit against three major credit card firms over new transaction fees set to go into effect on September 1st. E-Mart has sued KB Card, BC Card, and LG Card alleging collusion in raising fees. KB Card and LG Card are raising E-Mart’s rate from 1.5% to 2.2%, while BC Card is increasing its fee from 2.0% to 2.35%. E-Mart has already begin terminating its BC Card credit card contract in some of its outlets, according to the Korea Times. E-Mart has 63 outlets nationwide. E-Mart says it is taking its dispute to the Fair Trade Commission.

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Inbound Call Centers Get a New Tool

Austin Logistics has launched a new product for inbound call centers that uses predictive analytics and value-driven queuing to achieve near-zero wait times, pre-emptive retention offers, and appropriate cross-sell promotions. “Valeo” uses real-time customer and prospect data to determine each inbound caller’s future value and the caller’s reaction to all available service levels. Valeo then tags each call for the appropriate service level, for example, self-service resolution or retention agent. High-future-value, wait-intolerant callers can be answered quickly and appropriately to increase their loyalty, reduce attrition, and increase sales. According to “StreetTalk” by CQ Research, 20% of the general population has stopped using credit cards because they had to wait too long when they called into customer service. For high-income callers, the loss climbs to 26%.

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Oberthur Gets E-Passport Certification for ID-One

Oberthur Card Systems’ “ID-One” 64K dual interface contact and contactless smart card has received certification for use in the next phase of the U.S. DoD’s “Common Access Card” program. The card is also fully compliant with the “GSC-IS 2.1” specification, a standard that will help to ensure interoperability across government agencies and departments. Oberthur has already issued significant quantities of 32K smart cards for ID and security to the Defense Manpower Data Center. The U.S. government intends to issues its “CAC” card to as many as 40 million individuals.

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July Consumer Spending Up; Income Slows

The U.S. Commerce Department reported that consumer spending on durable goods increased 4.1% in July, after declining 3.2% in the prior month. Spending on nondurable goods increased 20 basis points for a second consecutive month. Spending on services was up 40 basis points, compared to 30 basis points in June. However, personal income only edged up 10 basis points, the slowest since November 2002.

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ACE Cash Express uses MasterCard RPPS

Dallas-based ACE Cash Express is processing online payments through MasterCard’s “RPPS” for the payment of bills for utilities, retailers, and finance companies, and has about 85 partners. ACE customers are now able to make payments to a variety of businesses across the nation at many of ACE’s company-owned stores. ACE is adding over 20 new bill payment partners through MasterCard RPPS. ACE processed more than 9 million walk-in bill payment transactions in fiscal year 2004. ACE Cash Express, Inc. is a leading financial services retailer. It is the largest owner, operator, and franchiser of check cashing stores in the U.S. MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that supports its global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business, and related payment programs by providing a variety of services. MasterCard serves financial institutions, consumers, and businesses in over 210 countries and territories.

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Toronto Card Spending Recovers from SARS

The SARS scare that plagued Canada’s tourism industry in the Greater Toronto Area over the past year appears to faded according to new consumer spending data. Moneris Solutions reports overall travel and entertainment spending is up 25% in Toronto compared to a nationwide 13% increase. Overall retail spending is up 14% in Toronto compared to a nationwide 9% increase. Moneris analyzed the total dollar volumes spent on debit and credit cards in hundreds of merchant categories in the Greater Toronto Area through July.

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FastFunds Financial Attracts a London Investor

MN-based FastFunds Financial has signed an agreement with a London-based private investment company for the purchase of $2.94 million of FastFunds’ stock. The investment company has a “lock-up” agreement with FastFunds in which the company agrees not to trade the FastFund shares it receives from this transaction for one year, starting from the closing date. The Company filed a registration statement with the SEC, which allows the public resale of common shares by the investment company after the lock-up period has expired. 30% of FastFunds shares that are issued to the investment company will be held in escrow for one year. The investment company will be entitled to receive out of escrow, a percentage of shares equal to the percentage of a decline if the per-share market price of the FastFunds common stock, in the one-year escrow period, is less than the per share value of the stock at the time of closing. FastFunds Financial Corporation is a holding company that operates through Chex Services, Inc., its wholly owned subsidiary, which provides cash access services to casinos and other gaming facilities under the FastFunds trademarked name.

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Intelli-Check and SiVault System Team

Intelli-Check and SiVault Systems have teamed to fight ID theft. The two companies have created a solution for retail, healthcare, financial services, government credentialing, and security applications to help them eliminate identity theft. SiVault will license Intelli-Check’s “ID-CHECK” technology and integrate it with the Company’s advanced biometric signature-identity verification, credential authentication, and paperless-document solutions. Intelli-Check assures the authenticity of driver licenses, state issued non-driver, and military identification cards that are used to prove identity. SiVault Systems is a leader regarding the secure storage and retrieval of signed documents and biometric signature-based authentication for processing transactions that are made online.

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