American Express’ Portal Set For Black Friday

American Express’ online marketplace “Daily Wish” announced its special holiday sales and “Wish-A-Day
Giveaway” sweepstakes. These sales provide added value to cardmembers by offering items from popular brands at discounted prices. In addition, this year’s first-ever Wish-A-Day Giveaway sweepstakes leverages social media channels to give entrants the chance to win valuable prizes. From Black Friday through Thursday, Dec. 16, DailyWish.com will feature sales with deep discounts on desirable gifts. Each week, Daily Wish offers all American Express Cardmembers incredible sales on a variety of sought-after, hand-selected products and experiences.

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Teen Designs GameStop 2010 Holiday Gift Card

One of GameStop Corp’s most popular holiday gift cards honors the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and this year’s card should prove to be no exception. The 2010 holiday card features original artwork from an actual wish kid, 14-year-old Brett from York, Pennsylvania. Brett’s design, which depicts owls frolicking in a fun holiday setting, is now available in more than 4,500 GameStop stores in the U.S. and online at www.GameStop.com. The world’s largest video game and entertainment software retailer supports the world’s largest wish-granting organization by donating $1 for every gift card sold, up to $100,000, between now and Dec. 12. This program is currently in its third year.

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TCHOTCHO MOBILE

Digicel and Scotiabank launched their mobile money solution, “TchoTcho Mobile,” to allow users to complete basic banking functions such as cash withdrawals, deposits and transfers through their mobile phone with out a traditional bank account. During the first three months, the program will offer up to 20,000 users the ability to do cash withdrawal and deposits, domestic money transfer to another mobile user, purchase top-up and manage their TchoTcho Mobile account. In the future, “TchoTcho Mobile” will deliver an extended range of additional mobile money services. In addition, NGO, World Vision is using the service to pay its staff working on the ground in Haiti. There are currently around 130 World Vision employees receiving their salaries via TchoTcho Mobile and World Vision will equally use the service to perform cash-for-work payments. This targets the only 10% of the population with a commercial bank pre-earthquake while 35% have a mobile phone.

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eBay Updates iPhone Apps

eBay online marketplace and mobile shopping kicked-off its iPhone application that adds selling functionality and leading RedLaser barcode-scanning technology. It bridges in-store and mobile shopping allowing users to scan to comparison shop across a wider selection of merchandise including electronics, movies and videogames. With more than 200 million live listings available at any given time on eBay, shoppers have access to a wide selection of merchandise right from their mobile phone. Additional new features include My eBay ‘Quick View’; Buyer Protection; Instant Access to Daily Deals; Quick PayPal Payment; Saved Searches; Reminders and lets the user Choose Sizes and Colors.

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SafetyPay to Present at TechVenture 2010

SafetyPay secure payment facilitator and clearinghouse benefiting online shoppers, online merchants and banks worldwide, has been selected to showcase its secure online payment solution at TechVenture 2010, Dec. 2-3 at the Sonesta Orlando Downtown Hotel. TechVenture 2010 provides a forum for Florida-based executives and entrepreneurs of early and growth stage companies to network and showcase emerging technology. To qualify, companies must be headquartered in Florida, privately owned with up to 50 employees and have annual revenues from pre-revenue up to $50 million. SafetyPay has partnered and integrated 22 financial institutions with a combined customer base of 90 million banking customers because of its new revenue stream provisions.

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Gift Cards See Exponential Growth This Year

With 34% of consumers intending to purchase gift cards this holiday, 39% female, 30% male, 30% now feel it is nicer to give a gift than a gift card, 38% of whom are female. More 25 to 34 year olds and 55 to 64 year olds, 37 and 40 percent respectively, said that giving a gift is nicer. This, according to the NPD Group market research organization, also shows 22% say gift card availability is influential while 27% of those older than 65 say their availability is influential. More than 1,800 manufacturers, retailers, and service companies rely on NPD to help them drive critical business decisions at the global, national, and local market levels.

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AIRTIGHT

AirTight Networks is presenting its study on wireless data security in retail environments covered by the PCI DSS at the PCI Europe conference. The Conference takes place on November 25th at The Hotel Okura, Amsterdam, Netherlands. The presentation titled, “PCI still misses the mark on wireless data security: a study of over 200 retail credit card data environments,” will be given by AirTight experts, addressing what wireless vulnerabilities are still present in retail credit card data environments (CDEs) and going undetected; why PCI DSS requirement 1.2 matters and why you should go beyond the checkmark; and the limitations of the various approaches to satisfying PCI scanning.

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69% of Shoppers to Rely on Funds, Avoid Credit

Avoiding credit card use, 69% of shoppers are planning to primarily use only debit cards, cash, checks, gift cards and prepaid cards to pay for gifts this holiday season. Overall, 43.0% plan to use debit cards as their primary form of payment for the holidays and 25.7% plan to use cash. Moreover, 25% of consumers who used their credit card for holiday shopping last year said that they are less likely to use credit cards for purchases this year while 10% intend to not use them at all. These findings, according to the Bedford Report and the Green Dot Corporation, also show only 27.6% of shoppers plan to use credit cards at all. Meanwhile, more than half those age 35-44 and 45-54 were concerned about accumulating holiday shopping debt; women are more likely than men to say they are at least somewhat concerned about accruing debt at 52% vs. 45%, respectively. This is in conjunction with findings the number of open credit card accounts has dropped 24% since 2Q/08 while revolving credit dropped for a 25th consecutive month at the annual rate of $8.3 billion by 12.1%.

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DeviceFidelity Adds Support for Android OS

The DeviceFidelity microSD-based “In2Pay” technology for plug and play mobile contactless transactions is now available on the Android OS, in addition to BlackBerry, iPhone, Windows and Symbian platforms. Android is the second most popular mobile phone operating system with 25.5% global market share, up from 3.5% last year and leads the US market with a 44% share, followed by Apple and RIM. Mobile payment using the DeviceFidelity “In2Pay” solution is compatible with most Android OS based devices popular in the US, Europe and Asia, including handsets from Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony Ericsson and Huawei. The “In2Pay” solution for Android allows issuers and wireless carriers the choice of either using existing third party applications or developing their own custom applications for mobile contactless transactions.

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4TRESS

ActivIdentity authentication and credential management announced Metro Bank will use its “4TRESS’ authentication server to secure access to the bank’s “Temenos T24” core banking solution. With “4TRESS” Authentication, Metro can significantly reduced the cost and complexity of deploying strong authentication with the bank’s online banking platform, based on “Temenos'” ARC Internet. ActivIdentity provided the “4TRESS” Authentication Server plus professional services to help Metro Bank go live with the solution, which will let the bank respond quickly to new online attacks, evolving business requirements and changing customer needs. Metro Bank gains the flexibility to meet security requirements for a wide range of deployment, end-user, and device options that are scalable to millions of users.

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FlashBanc Selects ControlScan PCI

FlashBanc has selected ControlScan to provide PCI DSS compliance services to its merchant portfolio. ControlScan is the leading provider of PCI compliance solutions to small businesses. With this, FlashBanc’s merchants will be able to manage their compliance via mycontrolscan.com, a tool that provides merchants with an easy-to-use assessment and validation solutions. By utilizing ControlScan’s PCI 1-2-3 compliance solution as part of their overall offering, FlashBanc will help their merchant community meet all regulatory requirements in protecting cardholder data.

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