InfiCorp Buys $4MM Texas CU Card Portfolio

Atlanta-based InfiCorp Holdings has purchased the $4 million credit card portfolio of TX-based 1st Garland Community Federal Credit Union, with AssetExchange serving as the portfolio brokerage firm. 1st Garland Community Federal Credit Union is a full-service, community-based, not-for-profit, cooperative financial institution, and is owned by the members who save and borrow at the Credit Union. AssetExchange is a leading credit card portfolio brokerage firm for credit unions and other financial institutions. Services include credit card portfolio brokerage, free performance assessments and market valuations, and best practices consulting.

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New York Times Travel Show Scheduled for 2004

American Express has been named as the presenting sponsor for the first annual “New York Times Travel Show.” The show will be held February 27 – 29, 2004 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. American Express will offer its Cardmembers special discounts and travel packages at the show, including opportunities to book vacations and weekend getaways at kiosks located around the show. American Express will also offer special packages to travel agents, tour operators, meeting professionals and suppliers traveling to the show. The New York Times Company, a leading media company with 2002 revenues of $3.1 billion, includes The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 16 other newspapers, eight network-affiliated television stations, two New York City radio stations and more than 40 Web sites, including NYTimes.com and Boston.com.

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Ready Hosting to Resell Terra Payments’ Services

Montreal-based Terra Payments has signed an agreement with Web hosting company Ready Hosting. Under terms of the agreement, Ready Hosting will resell Terra Payments’ credit card processing services and offer Terra’s electronic cheques. Ready Hosting is a Web hosting and domain name service provider with over 100,000 domain names under management. Terra Payments, formerly SureFire Commerce, provides technology and services that businesses require to accept credit card, electronic cheque and direct debit payments.

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Certegy Nails Check Contract with Knight Ridder

Knight Ridder has selected Certegy to provide full check warranty and ACH/electronic check processing for telephone orders for classified ads, subscriptions and advertising. Their decision to select Certegy’s PayNet Checks by Phone service was based on a growing need to offer an efficient and convenient ACH/electronic check payment solution to their customers. Knight Ridder is the nation’s second-largest newspaper publisher, with products in print and online and this includes 31 daily newspapers in 28 U.S. markets, with a readership of 8.3 million daily and 12.1 million Sunday. Certegy provides credit and debit processing, check risk management and check cashing services, merchant processing and e-banking services to over 6,000 financial institutions, 117,000 retailers and 100 million consumers worldwide.

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AmEx Launches OPEN Platinum Business Credit Card

American Express has launched a “Platinum Business Credit Card” through its “OPEN: The Small Business Network. AmEx says it is launching the new card with an aggressive advertising and marketing campaign that includes national and local television, radio and print ads. The new card will offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first nine months and an ongoing rate as low as Prime +2.99%. The card will not carry an annual fee. Cardholders will also receive automatic savings at FedEx, Kinko’s and Staples as well as access to expense management reports and online account management tools.

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American Express Triples Miles for Delta’s Song

American Express is awarding triple “SkyMiles” and a special 1,000 mile bonus for the first in-flight purchase to “SkyMiles” consumer and business cardholders who charge tickets and make in-flight purchases on Delta’s new “Song” low-fare service between today and the end of this year. Song was developed to change customer expectations for high-quality, low-fare air travel and provides direct non-stop service between major cities in the Northeast United States and key Florida leisure destinations, plus Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Juan. The Delta SkyMiles program offers many mileage-building opportunities including: the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, participating hotels, car rental companies, restaurants and cruise lines. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company

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MasterCard Adds 350 Merchants to SecureCode Program

Warsaw-based eCard S.A. and iBIZ Software of Texas have started to run live “MasterCard SecureCode” transactions for eCard’s “CommerSafe MPI” solution. eCard added the “MasterCard SecureCode” payer authentication process to their offering in May after launching a similar service for the “Verified by Visa” program. Both programs work on the same multi-merchants, multi-brand “CommerSafe MPI” platform. eCard has become one of the first payment processors in Europe to launch a live “SecureCode” service. eCard S.A focuses on secure Internet transactions processing and settlement.

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Smart Card Alliance Names New Chairman

The Smart Card Alliance has named Kevin Gillick, head of corporate marketing for the Datacard Group, as its new chairman. As head of corporate marketing for the Datacard Group, Kevin is responsible for worldwide marketing activities associated with the company’s broad range of identity solutions, card personalization and card life cycle management systems. The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association working to accelerate the acceptance of smart card technology. Through specific projects such as education programs, market research, advocacy, industry relations and open forums, the Alliance keeps its members connected to industry leaders and innovative thought.

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Smart Chip Technologies Names Sales Guy

Las Vegas-based Smart Chip Technologies has named Neale Brown as VP/Sales. Neale’s track record of building professional and competitive sales organizations is exciting to SCTN. SCTN will continue to expand its direct sales presence throughout North America and its other patented countries. Smart Chip Technologies’ patent-protected, end-to-end Loyalty Program Management system offers powerful, personalized, one-to-one marketing tools to identify and engage the best customers.

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Smart Chip Technologies Joins ACT Canada

Smart Chip Technologies has joined the Advanced Card Technology Association of Canada. Smart Chip Technologies provides end-to-end loyalty program management systems including its “e-llegiance” and “LoyaltyCentral.” ACT Canada is a non-profit association for the advancement of card technologies, including optical, smart, capacitive, and emerging technologies across a wide range of applications. ACT Canada’s 14th annual conference, “Breaking Through Card Barriers,” is being held October 16 and 17 in Toronto.

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BEAM-FEST

The first “Infrared Financial Messaging” “Point and Pay” “BeamFest” is scheduled for next month at Waseda University in Tokyo. The Infrared Data Association is producing the event in an effort to support the recent release of its “IrFM” specification and the rapid adoption of the specification by Korean and Japanese OEMs. “IrFM” qualification, using authorized “IrDA” test tools, is a pre-requisite for entry into VISA’s certification test and final approval process. The purpose of the “Beamfest” is to allow “IrFM” product manufacturers to test interoperability with other “IrFM” enabled devices.

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IRS Targets Tax Exempt Credit Counseling Firms

The FTC, IRS and state regulators yesterday issued a consumer alert in regard to tax-exempt credit counseling organizations. They said that some credit counseling organizations are using questionable practices and have sought a tax-exempt status in order to circumvent state and federal consumer protection laws. State and federal statutes regulating credit counseling agencies often do not apply to Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. The IRS said it is stepping up its enforcement efforts to ensure that existing tax exempt organizations are complying with the applicable rules and regulations.

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