ABNH Board Member

American Bank Note Holographics has named Mark Bonney, formerly with Axsys Technologies, to its Board of Directors. From 1993 through 1999, Mr. Bonney was a senior executive of Zygo Corporation (NASDAQ: ZIGO), serving as both Chief Financial Officer and VP Operations. Zygo manufactures measurement systems and leading edge optical products. Mr. Bonney earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Hartford in 1979.

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Proximity Payments

Texas Instruments RFid Systems has developed a highly flexible and secure “ISO/IEC 14443 Type B” technology platform for proximity payment transactions. The “14443” standard, endorsed by American Express, MasterCard and VISA for contactless payments, allows for increased security due to a faster rate of data exchange. TI is currently sampling a low-cost standards-based “Proximity Coupling Device” reader module to key customers and is developing “Proximity Integrated Circuit Card” chips, which will be fully compliant with “14443”. The chip features include a flexible and configurable memory architecture and file system that support multiple applications, and dynamic encryption capability using NIST-approved “Triple DES” and “SHA-1” crypto algorithms. Samples of the new chips will be available in early by Summer.

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LiveProcessor 4.0

NJ-based Retail Decisions has released “LiveProcessor 4.0,” which combines a significant number of new payment and billing capabilities to its electronic payment processing solution. With over 100 installations in the US, LiveProcessor customers complete an estimated 13 million card-not-present transactions in 23 currencies on a monthly basis. Designed to run within the retailer’s data center, LiveProcessor eliminates gateway transaction fees and provides a secure payment processing application that supports Visa CVV2, MasterCard CVC2 and Amex CID security codes, procurement level 2 and 3 cards, electronic check processing, foreign currency settlement support and multiple bank interfaces in a single product.

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ICMA WORKSHOP

The International Card Manufacturers Association Educational
Institute will host a workshop at The Intercontinental Zurich on May 27-28.
The chairmen for the workshop is Gordon Kramer, president of Continental
Plastic Card and ICMA President; and Frank Dorner, managing director of
Digicard and ICMA Board member. The topics are based on feedback from
previous workshops and will cover a range of subjects pertinent to each
region including new materials, technologies and trends in traditional and
smart cards, smart labels, contactless cards, techniques, personalization,
and new industry initiatives and standards. The workshop is suitable for
all card manufacturing and personalization production managers,
supervisors, executives and line workers.

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Interoperable M-Payments

The new London-based New Mobile Payment Services Association announced plans today to create an open, interoperable, commonly branded solution for payments by mobile phone after inking an agreement with Orange, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone. In addition to the four founding members, 3, debitel, KPN Mobile group, O2 and TMN have expressed interest in joining the MPSA. The MPSA will be managed by a newly appointed CEO, Tim Jones, according to tomorrow’s edition of The RAM Report ([www.ramreport.com][1]). He has held a number of senior executive positions, including that of Chief Executive, Retail Banking at National Westminster Bank Plc in the UK. He also co-founded and headed the Mondex electronic cash initiative within National Westminster Bank.

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

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Accesspoint Check Services

Los Angeles-based Accesspoint/Processing Source International have expanded their services to deliver check services including, verification, electronic conversion, guarantee, and collection; and expects to provide loyalty and ATM/debit card services this Spring. Additionally, the Company will be offering its merchants a new version of its payment processing software, which now incorporates a card swipe capability.

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INTEROPERABLE M-PAYMENTS

The London-based New Mobile Payment Services Association announced plans
to create an open, interoperable, commonly branded solution for payments by
mobile phone after inking an agreement with
Orange, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone. In addition to the four
founding members, 3, debitel, KPN Mobile group, O2 and TMN have expressed
interest in joining the MPSA. The MPSA will be managed by a newly appointed
CEO, Tim Jones. He has held a number of senior executive positions,
including that of Chief Executive, Retail Banking at National Westminster
Bank Plc in the UK. He also co-founded and headed the Mondex electronic
cash initiative within National Westminster Bank.

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FDC & HBOS

First Data has expanded its UK and European acquiring presence with the signing of a new agreement this morning. HBOS PLC confirmed the signing of a long-term “Revenue Sharing Alliance” agreement with FDC. Under the terms of the contract, FDC will provide full merchant processing for HBOS’ 14,000 merchant outlets. The transactions will be processed via First Data’s “MerchantStar International” platform in the UK and will include VISA, MasterCard and Switch payment cards. In 2001, the Bank of Scotland merged with Halifax to create HBOS PLC.

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Sears MC 2003

Sears admitted Tuesday that going outside its extensive customer base for credit card customers has not been profitable. In a meeting with investors yesterday, the retailer said that 15% of the “Gold MasterCard” balances it acquired last year, through direct mail, have proven to be low quality with higher than average loss rates. Sears introduced the “Gold MasterCard” in 2000, converting 12 million of its 60 million retail cardholders to the “Sears Gold MasterCard” within the first twelve months. Sears National Bank initially targeted inactive and non-revolving cardholders of its store credit card for the MasterCard product. However, the migration from private label to bank card began to slow last year as Sears topped 24 million bank MasterCard accounts. Launching a direct mail campaign to non-Sears store cardholders in 2002, the company regained growth, ending 2002 with more than 31 million cardholders. In January, Sears reported “Gold MasterCard” outstandings of $12.3 billion, compared to $5.3 billion one year ago. Revenues for credit services was $1.5 billion for 4Q/02, a 4.1% increase over 4Q/01. Overall credit card outstandings at EOY 2002 hit $30.8 billion, an 11.5% increase. However, the overall net charge-off rate for the fourth quarter increased to 5.40% from 5.23%. The charge-off rate for the “Gold MasterCard” segment was 6.36% for 4Q/02, compared to 5.77% one year ago. Sears said Tuesday it expects MasterCard charge-offs to average between 6.5% and 7.0% in 2003. For complete details on Sears’ 4Q/02 performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 5/7/01; 1/16/03).

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

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Pitney Bowes & TSYS

TSYS and Pitney Bowes have signed a seven-year agreement to process Pitney Bowes’ 1.5 million postage payment and credit accounts in the USA, the UK and Canada. TSYS can process in multiple languages and currencies on one platform. TSYS also provides corporate customers with a consolidated invoice for multiple products and services. With an 86 percent share of the U.S. Visa and MasterCard commercial card market, TSYS processes more corporate and commercial cards than any other processor.

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Chase Debit

Chase reported this morning that cardholders of its cobranded “Continental Airlines MasterCard” debit card earned over a billion miles last year. Chase is the only institution offering “Continental One Pass Miles” on both signature and PIN POS debit card transactions. Chase also announced yesterday it has launched a 30-day sweepstakes to offer individuals who open a new Chase checking account, between now and March 25th, the chance to win 250,000 “OnePass Miles.” Each day Chase will give away 250,000 miles. Chase is also offering new checking customers a 10,000 mile bonus for signing up for a “Chase/Continental Airlines Debit Card.” The special promotion is only open to legal residents of CT, NJ, NY and TX. Chase said it will blanket these markets with visible print advertising, TV advertising, frequent radio spots, digital taxi tops and branch window merchandising. In February 1999, Chase Manhattan launched the first co-branded debit card program in the USA with the Continental Airlines deal. In 1998 Chase took over the Continental co-branded credit card program from Marine Midland Bank. Earlier this month, Cleveland-based KeyCorp introduced a MasterCard debit card offering Continental “OnePass” miles for off-line purchase transactions. Key plans to offer its two million “MasterMoney” debit cardholders the opportunity to upgrade to the new rewards debit card in the second quarter. (CF Library 3/20/98; 5/4/98; 2/23/99; 8/3/99; 2/7/03)

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MASTERCARD & UNICERT

Baltimore Technologies has been selected by MasterCard International to
provide the PKI for the MasterCard “SecureCode.” “UniCERT,” Baltimore’s
flagship PKI product, will allow MasterCard to issue and manage digital
certificates for its member financial institutions, providing enhanced
payment guarantees for online transactions. The MasterCard “SecureCode”
solution helps overcome two of the most pressing issues in e-commerce
today: cardholder concerns about the safety of online shopping and Internet
merchants’ need for an enhanced payment guarantee. The program provides
card issuers a way to authenticate the identity of the person completing
Internet payment transactions, significantly reducing online fraud and the
number of related chargebacks.

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