GZS Launches eMAXS Acquiring-Processing Platform

Frankfurt-based GZS Gesellschaft fŸr Zahlungssysteme has introduced the next generation acquiring-processing platform. The new “eMAXS” offers features such as customer intervention, multi-brand and multi-currency processing, as well as a multi-lingual user interface and multi-lingual merchant correspondence and is optimally positioned for the international market. A wide range of evaluation options (such as access to statistics on changes in sales volumes in specific sectors etc.) enables contractual relationships with individual trading partners to be adjusted, optimized and tuned to improve profits at any time. Customized payment and statement points can also be used in the modelling of acquiring clients’ sale and organizational structures. GZS is the guarantor for the professional processing of cashless and card-based payments for 2,200 banks. It also services about 350,000 acquiring-processing merchants.

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OSI Emerges Bankruptcy with New Credit Line

St. Louis-based Outsourcing Solutions has emerged from Chapter 11 with long-term debt of approximately $175 million, compared with $600 million in debt at the time of the Chapter 11 filing in May, and has landed a new multi-year, $90 million credit facility from Merrill Lynch for the purchase of portfolios of charged-off receivables. OSI’s secured creditors now will receive approximately 69 percent of the reorganized company’s fully diluted common stock. The company’s former Senior Subordinated Noteholders and certain other unsecured creditors will receive approximately 5 percent of the reorganized company’s common stock, and 7.5 percent of the common stock of the reorganized company will be held by the company’s management. OSI is a leading business process outsourcing firm providing receivables management services, which link a company’s cash flow objectives with credit management policies from beginning to end of the credit-to-cash cycle.

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Fingerprint Cards Receives European Patent for its Swipe Sensor System

Fingerprint Cards has received an European patent for its swipe sensor system. The patent describes a system based on a sensor that reads partial images from a moving fingerprint, and where the sensor surface is considerably smaller than the fingerprint area itself. When the fingertip is moved over the sensor surface unique information is read from each partial image of the fingerprint for later verification of the user’s identity. When the information extraction from each partial image is completed then the memory unit is cleared before the next one is read and dealt with similarly. This method makes it possible to extract information, and from that to store the individual’s biometric identity without having to build up an actual picture of the fingerprint. The procedure to extract information from partial images minimizes the need for processor memory making the system less costly for product implementation. As information is captured on the move the verification process is completed when the finger leaves the sensor surface, making the total verification process extremely fast and user friendly. The Company is filing for patents in Japan and the USA.

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Lipman Wins NURIT Terminal Deal and Names New CFO

Israel-based Lipman Electronics Engineering Ltd has won a bid to supply thousands of terminals in various models to China’s ICBC Bank. The deal, valued at more than US$2 million, includes the “NURIT 2085,” “NURIT 3010, “NURIT 3020,” and the “NURIT 202.” Last year, Lipman had sales in China of about US$2.5 million. Lipman has been active in China since 2000, and maintains a local office with approximately thirty employees. The “NURIT 2085” was recently awarded the title of “Best POS terminal in the USA”. The “NURIT 3010” is a wireless payment solution. The “NURIT 3020” is a countertop payment solution. The “NURIT 202” is a secure PIN pad. The majority of the terminals will be supplied in January. Lipman also recently announced that Mike Lilo, former CFO at AudioCodes, will take up the position of CFO at Lipman in February 2004.

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ING Bank Slaski Expands ATM Access to More than 1,000 Machines Nationwide

ING Bank Slaski has signed a multi-year ATM Network agreement with Euronet Worldwide. The bank will now offer expanded ATM services to its 1.4 million cardholders via Euronet’s 450 ATMs in Poland.
When combining Euronet’s ATM count and the bank’s 553 ATMs, Bank Slaski customers will have access to more than 1,000 ATMs. The ING Bank Slaski transactions initiated at Euronet’s ATMs will be switched directly to the bank for authorization and settlement. The bank has agreed to minimum monthly transaction amounts within the Euronet network and will pay a fixed fee per transaction to Euronet. Euronet has ATM network participation agreements with six of Poland’s 10 largest retail banks.

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NexTran Introduces New ATM Camera

NJ-based NexTran Industries introduced its “ComNet ATM” security camera this week. The camera takes a 240 x 200 pixel digital photo when the consumer enters his PIN code. The image file is then attached to the journal record of each ATM transaction. The camera, can be added to any of the company’s “ComNet 1000” or “4000” ATM models. The Company may add the new camera option to its “ComNet 2000” and “3000” ATM models. NextTran says the system provides additional data to handle chargeback claims. The ComNet security camera is offered to owners of ComNet ATMs for $250. NexTran Industries is a subsidiary of Chungho ComNet Co., Ltd., based in South Korea. NexTran provides end-to-end ATM solutions, including hardware, software, installation, training, ATM maintenance and monitoring, processing and customer service.

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Chips are Up for Atmel and OTI in PayPass

The upcoming expansion of “MasterCard PayPass” deployments in the USA has created a windfall opportunity for San Jose-based Atmel and the Israeli firm On Track Innovations. Atmel and OTI provide the chip in both a contactless module form and in an inlay form, providing easy card embedding for card suppliers. The contactless chip used is an 8-bit secure microcontroller from Atmel’s “AT05SC” highly secure product family, currently used for a variety of banking applications. The chip features 40KB ROM, 2KB EEPROM, hardware DES and hosts Atmel’s high security mechanisms. The contactless chip is compliant with “lSO-14443B” and “ISO-7816” industry standards. Last month, MasterCard declared its “PayPass” system a success, following trials in Orlando and Dallas. More than 16,000 cardholders and more than 60 retail locations participated in the nine month Orlando trial. MasterCard says its biggest success was in the QSR environment where “PayPass” shaved between 12-18 seconds off the purchase time as compared to cash. Earlier this year, MasterCard began working with Nokia to incorporate “PayPass” into mobile phones for a trial in Dallas. MasterCard says the Dallas trial showed that the average “PayPass” payment made using a mobile phone was six seconds faster than using a card. OTI has worked with MasterCard on its “PayPass” program since its inception.

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Retail Holiday Card Volume Tops $47 Billion To-Date

Retail spending on credit and debit cards for the first three weeks of the current holiday season has topped $47.0 billion. Americans pulled out major credit cards to charge more than $38 billion in retail purchases, and used off-line or signature debit cards to charge nearly $10.0 billion in holiday purchases. VISA reports that overall retail spending on its payment cards for last week was up more than 7%. For the first three weeks of the shopping season, VISA logged $15.9 billion in credit card retail activity, and $8.5 billion in signature debit card retail activity. VISA currently has a 42.5% share of the U.S. general purpose credit card market, and a 78.1% share of the U.S. off-line debit card market.

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Smart Card Integrators and Rapidtron to Integrate Technologies

Los Angeles-based Smart Card Integrators, which provides its “s-Choice” OS and electronic purse for “Navy Cash” and “Marine Cash” cards, has partnered with Rapidtron to integrate their contact and contactless technologies, software and smart card products. Rapidtron intends to become the leading provider of Radio Frequency (RF) smart card access control and ticketing/membership systems by providing the premier technology for operator-free entry and exit turnstiles. SCI is a leading North American smart card technology company that designs, develops and markets end-to-end systems, provides project management and software integration services for the smart card and cashless payment markets and offers the s-Choice family of Products and Services which include its operating system, electronic purse, application design and development and customer support.

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Last Minute Surge in Retail Sales Expected

More Americans than last year report say they are waiting until this month to start their holiday shopping, and one in five don’t expect to complete their purchases until the last week before the holiday. Overall, 80% of Americans plan to complete their shopping sometime between mid-December and the eve of Chanukah or Christmas. About 16% will finish just one day before the holiday. More online purchasers than overall holiday shoppers plan to complete shopping during the last week, according to the “American Express Retail Index” on holiday shopping. Among the most popular gifts on the purchasing lists of shoppers who complete their shopping the week before the holiday are gift cards, gift certificates or gift cheques (69%). Those who complete their shopping during the last week are slightly more likely to charge their purchases than other shoppers: 67% will charge all, most or some gifts, compared to 62% of all shoppers. All but a very few (94%) say they prefer charging because it’s convenient compared to 89% of shoppers generally.

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Century Bankcard Services Renews GPN

Chatsworth, CA-based Century Bankcard Services has renewed its multi-year agreement for end-to-end payment processing services with Global Payments that includes front-end and back-end processing services and technical support for credit card, debit card, EBT and check processing services. Century Bankcard Services is located in Chatsworth, CA and was formed in 1999 by the management team of American Heritage Bankcard. Century Bankcard practices a hands-on, customer-focused approach to the market, providing a level of service that is among the best in the industry. CBS has over 60 years collective experience in the merchant acquiring business and manages over four thousand active merchants, generating nearly $750 million in annual credit card sales. Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to consumers, merchants, Independent Sales Organizations, financial institutions, government agencies and multi- national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America and Europe.

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AAdvantage Marketing Programs Gets New President

American Airlines has promoted Dennis Cary, to president of its AAdvantage Marketing Programs, which services 45 million loyalty cardholders. Cary originally joined American in 1991. He has held management positions within the airline’s Alliance Planning, Cargo and Distribution Planning departments. Before being selected to lead sales efforts in Europe, Cary served as managing director-Revenue Management. American Airlines is the world’s largest carrier. American, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection regional carriers serve more than 250 cities in over 40 countries with more than 3,900 daily flights.

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