CPI Cards Makes 100 Millionth Contactless Card

CPI Card Group, a global leader in financial and commercial card production and related services, announced the production of the 100 millionth contactless card in its Colorado facility. Demand for contactless cards in the financial payment card market has increased significantly over the past several years. For retailers or merchants, contactless cards offer lower costs and faster transaction time. Leading financial brands such as Visa, MasterCard and Discover have adopted contactless payment technology to offer increased security, convenience and speed for consumers when making purchases. CPI Card Group is the largest global manufacturer of contactless cards and is a leader due to the investment made years ago in automated systems and contactless smart chip technology.
“We have strong partners in the financial market who have helped us reach this unprecedented benchmark, and we will continue to lead this industry in technology and new innovation,” says Benoit Guez, Director of Smart Cards & New Technologies. “We want to meet our client’s needs by providing secure, high-quality cards at a competitive price and in a quick timeframe.”
The contactless card has a higher level of security and protection than that available with traditional cards. Each transaction is unique and digitally signed, which prevents duplication and data theft. Industries using contactless smart card technology include government and corporate ID cards, transit fare payment cards, passports and visas, and financial payment cards. In addition, CPI provides personalization services for mobile secure payment form factors including contactless stickers and MicroSD.
“CPI and INSIDE Contactless share a commitment to contactless technology and have worked together over the years on many successful projects, including the first open-loop contactless payment stickers, which were powered by our MicroPass™ Platform,” said Didier Serra, executive vice president, sales, and general manager for the United States for INSIDE Contactless. “We congratulate CPI on achieving this impressive milestone and will continue working with them in the future on more exciting and innovative contactless solutions.”
CPI Card Group has delivered contactless cards for the leading financial payment card issuers in the U.S. and Canada including Barclays, U.S. Bank, Capital One and others.
About CPI Card Group
CPI, a global leader in financial and commercial card production and related services, offers a single source for card production, data personalization, security packaging, and card fulfillment services. CPI is a certified producer of products and services under the VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Interac and JCB card association brands. CPI has seven production facilities in the United States, Canada and Western Europe and offers the largest network of certified secure facilities in North America. For more information, visit http://www.cpicardgroup.com.

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Consumer Risk Conditions Improve

TransUnion’s proprietary Credit Risk Index (CRI) declined for the third consecutive quarter by 0.9% in 3Q/10 and now stands at 126.79. The CRI dropped 87 basis points (from 127.66), pushing down consumer risk to a risk level not witnessed in the U.S. since 1Q/09 thanks mostly to fewer borrowers delinquent on one or more accounts and lower outstanding debt. This, coupled with a 6.5% increase quarterly compounded demand for credit, suggests consumer credit activity will be stronger in terms of quality and volume. The indicator is 1.9% lower than in the year ago period, with 43 states and the District of Columbia having experienced declines in their respective credit risk indices.

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AmEx Rolls Out New Reward Benefits

American Express has added four new ‘Packs’ to “ZYNC” from American Express pay-in-full Charge Card. The card lets Cardmembers customize their Card with benefits and rewards tailored to specific lifestyle interests and spending habits. The four new ‘Packs’ focus on Art, Health & Fitness, Spa, and Vegas to offer special benefits, from discounts to bonus Membership Rewards points in each category. These add to an existing roster of 10 which offer exclusive access, special discounts and customized rewards in Charitable Giving, Travel, Music, Fashion, Food and Wine. All ZYNC Cardmembers are automatically enrolled in the Membership Rewards Express program, rewarding one point for virtually every dollar charged with many opportunities to earn points even faster for redemption toward more than a million rewards from over 500 brands. Points do not expire.

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BankServ and BirchStreet Partner to Payment

Bankserv and BirchStreet announced they have entered into a strategic partnership to package remote check capture capability with BirchStreet’s award-winning procure-to-pay platform. Under the terms of the deal, BirchStreet clients will gain the option to use BankServ’s DepositNow online check deposit and receivables management system to speed and simplify payments related to the global procurement-to-pay process.

More than 100,000 businesses use BankServ’s receivables management solutions to get paid faster by scanning inbound check payments directly into their bank accounts. BirchStreet Systems brings deep procure-to-pay automation expertise and a network of over 160,000 suppliers in 35 countries. The company offers the only procure-to-pay platform specifically designed for the hospitality and food service sector, which automates over $2 billion a year in food and beverage (F&B), maintenance, repair and operations (MRO), and operating supplies and equipment (OS&E) transactions for thousands of hotels, clubs, restaurants and assisted living facilities.

“This partnership has the potential to revolutionize business-to-business payments in our industry,” said Doug Sanborn, president of BirchStreet Systems. “BankServ has the electronic payments expertise to serve the receivables management side of hundreds of thousands of businesses. BirchStreet has the know-how and technology to serve the procurement and payables side of thousands of companies, including many of the world’s largest hospitality organizations. Together, we can deliver unprecedented value on both sides.”

BirchStreet Systems is the choice procure-to-pay provider of many of the world’s largest hotel companies, including Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels, Marriott International, Inc., Omni Hotels & Resorts and Interstate Hotels & Resorts.

“We are tremendously excited to work with BirchStreet Systems,” said David Kvederis, CEO of BankServ. “Both buyers and suppliers want faster, easier payment processing — and by adding our receivables management tools to BirchStreet’s procurement and payables solutions, we can deliver end-to-end value in a totally synergistic way. We look forward to rounding out a comprehensive payments suite for an industry in which our companies’ respective specialties truly complement each other.”

About BankServ
BankServ is a leading provider of banking and payment technology for businesses and financial institutions. With its SaaS delivery model, BankServ offers world-class service bureau products for remote deposit capture, online and wireless payment acceptance, as well as Fedwire and SWIFT systems for banks. Founded in 1996, BankServ is a privately held company headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. More information on BankServ can be found at www.bankserv.com.

About BirchStreet Systems, Inc.
BirchStreet Systems, Inc., a recognized leader in hospitality technology, provides its web-based procure-to-pay platform, inventory control, recipe management and capital projects solution to restaurants chains, country clubs, assisted living facilities and some of the world’s largest hotel companies, including Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels, Marriott International, Inc., Omni Hotels and Interstate Hotels and Resorts. BirchStreet’s applications are delivered over the Internet, using the “Software-as-a-Service” (SaaS) model. Currently, thousands of businesses in over 35 countries utilize BirchStreet to access and manage more than 160,000 suppliers. Founded in 2002, BirchStreet is privately held and has offices in Newport Beach, Calif., New Delhi, India and Dallas, Texas. For more information on BirchStreet Systems, please visit www.BirchStreet.net or follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/BirchStreetSys.

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Major Retailers Add PhoneFactor for PCI-DSS

PhoneFactor phone-based multi-factor authentication services announced several major retail chains have enabled PhoneFactor to secure access to credit card data, critical in the holidays. Retailers who have recently joined PhoneFactor’s customer list include New York & Company, Uno Chicago Grill, and Party City. Large retailers face a number of unique challenges in addressing PCI-DSS with geographically diverse retail locations, high employee turnover rates, and seasonal workers. These risks all are compounded during the holiday season, making them a key target for hackers. With PhoneFactor, all user data is stored within the customer’s network and advanced logging is available for auditing purposes. In addition to meeting PCI DSS requirements for two-factor authentication, many retailers incorporate PhoneFactor’s fraud alerting capabilities into their incident response plans.

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Elavon to Market VeriFone mPayment

Elavon global payments provider is set to market the VeriFone “PAYware Mobile” secure card payment system for iPhone. Transforming the iPhone into a mobile payment device with a card encryption sleeve that allows merchants to capture data via card swipe, “PAYware Mobile” will be marketed through Elavon’s established channels with bank relationships, telesales, third-party providers and associations. It extends the flexibility of accepting card payments wherever and whenever a merchant requires, and offers real-time reporting including extensive transaction search capabilities. The PAYware Mobile app is PCI compliant, and the card encryption sleeve is compatible with the iPhone 3G and 3GS. The solution incorporates a stylus for signature capture and a mini-USB port for charging the iPhone while the ergonomic card encryption sleeve is attached.

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American Express Examines Consumer Trends

American Express research on consumer spending behavior shows a “New Era of Pause and Purchase” reflective of more thought to their purchasing decisions and redefining what it means to be a smart shopper. The new report, “American Express: Consumer Spending Futures: The New Era of Pause and Purchase,” found urban consumers report that they are shifting their habits towards those of their rural neighbors, seeking more local, home-grown and community-focused interactions, both in-person and online. With this, 31% want to be part of their local community so they purchase from more local brands and vendors; 55% are concerned about the quality of products over quantity; and 54% try to support their local economy. This implies consumers will continue to patronize smaller, community shops, local vendors and brands with more ethical products being prioritized. Also, 83% wish more products, services and retailers would support worthy causes; 36% say they expect brands to be ethical; 30% expect brands to be environmentally friendly; 25% of consumers say GPS use affects their shopping; and 23% say the availability of smartphones impacts their spending.

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Ariane Systems Integrates Hypercom’s SmartPayments

Ariane Systems, the worldwide leader in self-service check-in / check-out kiosk technology for the hospitality industry, and Hypercom Corporation announce that Hypercom’s SmartPayments Wynid integrated payment solution has been integrated into the Ariane Systems service offering. As the official reseller of the SmartPayments Wynid integrated payment solution to the hospitality industry in France, Ariane now offers an extremely

secure universal payment system to maximize security and offer flexibility to hotel chains. Ideal for properties with multiple points of sale, the SmartPayments Wynid solution allows payment to be processed from the check-in/out kiosk itself, from the payment terminal at the front desk or by e-payment, depending on the guests’ preferences. This not only significantly reduces the cost associated with each transaction for the hotel, but also reduces the risk of errors and decreases the length of each transaction to only a few seconds, providing added convenience to the property’s guests.

The SmartPayments Wynid integrated solution uses an international EMV Level 2 certified kernel and meets the latest requirements for data security (PCI-PED and PCI-DSS). Ariane Systems in France has implemented and supports more than 1,600 points of sale already operating in major hotel chains, such as Pullman, Concorde Hotels & Resorts, Campanile and Balladins.

“Ariane Systems’ adoption of our SmartPayments Wynid solution is a splendid endorsement of our innovative technology and represents a boost to our market share in the fast growing European hospitality sector,” said Kazem Aminaee, President and Managing Director, Hypercom Southern EMEA.

Reliable and Cost-Effective

The SmartPayments Wynid integrated solution’s proven reliability enables efficient and cost-effective management of large volumes of electronic transactions from multiple sites. Since it is integrated into the hotel’s POS system, existing infrastructure and equipment can be utilized. This avoids hardware redundancy and minimizes operational costs. Well-developed management and analysis tools allow users full control of relevant transaction data.

Single Client/Server Architecture for All Points of Sale

The SmartPayments Wynid integrated solution is based on distributed thin-client architecture, linking several points of sale to a single in-store server, which allows a simpler and more efficient interface between the POS and the EFT peripherals. This open architecture, based on market standards, makes it possible to use the latest technology available from all integrated vendors at the property.

Modular and Scalable

This multi-application and multiple merchant solution can be adapted to all single and multiple points of sale at a hotel, including food and beverage, spas, and retail outlets, providing a range of payment applications for bank cards, private label cards, loyalty cards, cheques and electronic folios.

As a leader in self-service check-in/out kiosk technology with more than 1,600 installations at properties around the globe, Ariane leverages an extensive set of deployment and support services, as well as numerous business partner relationships, to develop what are widely considered the best self-service solutions for guest check-in/out in the hotel industry. These solutions incorporate top-tier business-class hardware components, software and warranties designed to minimize downtime and reduce operational support costs, while maximizing the guest experience.
For more information, please visit www.ariane-systems.com : .

About Ariane Systems | Ariane Systems is the world’s leading provider of self check-in / check-out technology solutions for the hospitality industry. Founded in 1998 by Michel Lavandier and Laurent Cardot, Ariane now has over 1,600 installations running at hotel properties in 20 countries. Numerous hotel chains utilize Ariane’s electronic kiosk solutions to streamline the check-in/out process. These include Accor, B&B Hotels, Choice Hotels, Fasthotel, InterContinental Hotels Group and Starwood Capital’s Louvre Hotels, among others. With corporate headquarters based in Paris, France, Ariane Systems maintains regional offices in the UK, Germany, Spain, Benelux, Scandinavia, the Middle East and North America. For more information, please visit www.ariane-systems.com : .

About Hypercom : | Global payment technology leader Hypercom Corporation delivers a full suite of high security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services. The company’s solutions address the high security electronic transaction needs of banks and other financial institutions, processors, large scale retailers, smaller merchants, quick service restaurants, and users in the transportation, petroleum, healthcare, prepaid, unattended and many other markets. Hypercom solutions enable businesses in more than 100 countries to securely expand their revenues and profits.
Hypercom is a founding member of the Secure POS Vendor Alliance (SPVA) and is the second largest provider of electronic payment solutions and services in Western Europe and third largest provider globally. Visit www.hypercom.com : .

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Citi and Tractor Supply Renew Private Label Card

Citi announced the renewal of its long-standing partnership with Tractor Supply Company, the largest operator of retail farm and ranch stores in the United States, to administer the private label credit card program for an additional five years, effective November 1, 2010.

Citi has offered private label financing products to Tractor Supply Company customers since 2000, providing quick and efficient processing, valuable financing offers as well as flexible billing and payment options.

“Citi is proud of our long-standing relationship with Tractor Supply Company, the industry leader serving recreational farmers and ranchers across the country,” said Craig Vallorano, Executive Vice President, Partnership Management, Citi Retail Partner Cards. “This partnership renewal, along with other recent announcements, demonstrates our long-term commitment to provide best-in-class credit programs to market leaders in the Retail industry.”

Gregory A. Sandfort, President and Chief Merchandising Officer of Tractor Supply Company, commented, “We are pleased to continue working with Citi as the administrator of our private label credit card program. This partnership enables us to focus on serving our customers while leveraging the strengths of Citi’s financial expertise. This program helps us tailor our marketing and merchandise to fit our customers’ needs and build on-going relationships with them.”

Retail Partner Cards, within Citi Holdings, provides consumer and commercial credit card products and services, including private label credit cards, for national and regional retailers across the U.S. The business services more than 40 million customers and consists of managed assets of approximately $50 billion. Retail partners include The Home Depot, Shell, Macy’s, Sears, and ExxonMobil, among others.

Citi, the leading global financial services company, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management. Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com or www.citi.com.

Tractor Supply Company operates 976 stores in 44 states. The Company’s stores are focused on supplying the lifestyle needs of recreational farmers and ranchers. The Company also serves the maintenance needs of those who enjoy the rural lifestyle, as well as tradesmen and small businesses. Stores are located in towns outlying major metropolitan markets and in rural communities. The Company offers the following comprehensive selection of merchandise: (1) equine, pet and small animal products, including items necessary for their health, care, growth and containment; (2) hardware and seasonal products, including lawn and garden power equipment; (3) truck, towing and tool products; (4) work/recreational clothing and footwear for the entire family; (5) maintenance products for agricultural and rural use; and (6) home décor, candy, snack food and toys. Additional information may be found at www.TractorSupply.com.

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U.S. Bank Expands mPayment with Visa

U.S. Bank and Visa have partnered with DeviceFidelity, FIS and Monitise to launch contactless m-payment. With this, Customers can wave their phone in front of a Visa “payWave” contactless payment terminal in order to pay. U.S. Bank is one of the first major card issuers in the United States to pilot this landmark technology as employees in multiple states will begin testing this month. Issued by U.S. Bank, a DeviceFidelity “In2Pay” microSD is inserted in the customer’s mobile phone or within a specially-designed iPhone case (In2Pay iCaisse) which conforms to the industry standard for memory cards; fits into the memory card slot found in many existing mobile devices; is password protected; and uses security technology to uniquely identify each contactless transaction. Visa and DeviceFidelity recently introduced the patent-pending In2Pay microSD based mobile contactless technology and the associated In2Pay iCaisse solution. FIS and Monitise developed the application that enables customers to make mobile purchases and access account information as part of the U.S. Bank pilot.

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PayFlex Names MasterCard Health Card Provider

PayFlex Systems USA employee benefit programs announced MasterCard Worldwide will be the preferred payment card provider for its “PayFlex HealthHub.” Offering a website that links healthcare, financial and wellness information with a single prepaid or debit card and customer call center at a central destination, PayFlex will facilitate its more than $1 billion in transactions annually for nearly one million participants nationwide with the “PayFlex HealthHub.” By extending its relationship with MasterCard, PayFlex will continue to provide a single, convenient card for employees to pay for all qualified healthcare expenses, whether through flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) or health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). This will allow companies to increase spending account adoption and significantly enhance their incentive management programs.

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CFSI Underbanked Solutions Exchange Expands

The Underbanked Solutions Exchange collaborative network of mid‐sized banks and credit unions created by the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) is meeting in San Jose, California. At this meeting, the Exchange welcomes its tenth participant, Redstone Federal Credit Union, and incorporates the first site visit. At this convening of the Underbanked Solutions Exchange, participating institutions will also hear and discuss comprehensive updates on product innovation inside participant organizations, get a first look at promising approaches to financial capability, benefit from new research on under‐documented Latino customers from Exchange co‐sponsor FIS, and meet Piggymojo, a new savings innovator in the underbanked space.

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