WU

MTN Group EMEA mobile operator and Western Union global payment services have inked commercial agreements to introduce international mobile remittance services in the 21 countries where MTN operates. This service will allow MTN subscribers to conveniently send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions using their MTN MobileMoney accounts, which will first be introduced in Uganda. Uganda receives nearly US$500 million in remittances every year, making up 3% of the country’s GDP. An MTN subscriber who receives a Western Union Money Transfer transaction in his MobileMoney account will be able to use the funds to pay bills or withdraw cash at MobileMoney Agents or any participating ATM.

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Discover to Join Tournament of Roses Parade

Discover Financial Services announced its participation in the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade to be held on Jan. 1, 2011, in Pasadena, Calif. Discover’s involvement with the Tournament of Roses complements its commitment to college football and the company’s partnership with the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), which includes a four-year title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl and status as the Official Credit Card of the BCS. In doing so, Discover has selected Fiesta Parade Floats to design and construct a float entitled “A State Fair to Remember” and will feature six members of its customer service team on its float.

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SMARTSWIPE

NetSecure Technologies online transaction security hardware and software has received the TIA (Technology-in-Action) New Saskatchewan Product Award for its “SmartSwipe” online purchase security system. The Annual Achievement in Business Excellence (ABEX) Awards honor outstanding achievements in business excellence. The “SmartSwipe” solution secures sensitive data at the point of origin, before it ever reaches the computer, protecting sensitive financial and personal information from endpoint threats such as keylogging, spyware and man-in-the-middle attacks. Credit card holders can swipe their credit card from their home computer just like in a store. Using the same level of encryption found in ATM’s, SmartSwipe encrypts the card information while being swiped, rendering it unreadable to hackers and malicious programs.

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American Express Launches Rewards Shopping Tool

American Express has unveiled its “inSite” shopping tool that delivers Membership Rewards bonus points, discounts, free shipping and other special benefits for its Cardmembers as they shop online. Currently available for Cardmembers enrolled in “Membership Rewards” at insite.americanexpress.com, “inSite” lets Cardmembers search online results with the blue American Express icon, for which the offer is revealed when the cursor is placed over it. The tool also advises Cardmembers of offers when they directly visit participating retail websites, which span more than 250 popular brands like Banana Republic, Crate & Barrel and Barnes & Noble.com. American Express will continue to evolve “inSite” by incorporating additional features and offers to ensure ongoing customer value.

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G&D US

Giesecke & Devrient “Convego Air” contactless payment cards shipments to the U.S. has now surpassed the 50 million unit mark, the first card vendor to do so. With this, the G&D contactless platform has captured a leadership position in the U.S. among Visa and MasterCard branded contactless payment cards through its mobile payment sticker for mobile phones and contactless payment cards products. G&D’s contactless payment cards are issued by many of the major U.S. banks and is now expanding with new form factors and into new market applications. German-based Giesecke & Devrient employs more than 10,000 and generated sales of EUR 1.7 billion in fiscal 2009.

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Discover Gives Double Cashback For Holidays

Discover is announcing extra cardmember benefits to provide gift buyers with greater value when they use their Discover cards this season, awarding “Double Cashback Bonus” of 2% on up to $1,000 in holiday purchases on any online shopping through December 31. Once Cardmembers reach the $1,000 spending limit, they will still automatically earn up to 1% Cashback Bonus. Discover is also helping cardmembers maximize holiday spending with a 5% Cashback Bonus in rotating categories throughout the year; Increase Cashback Bonus at “ShopDiscover”, where members can earn 5%-20% Cashback Bonus on purchases; and Expanded Redemption Options to include more ways for cardmembers to redeem their Cashback Bonus, including the ability to redeem for brand-name merchandise.

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Western Union Intros Cross-Border mRemittance

MTN Group EMEA mobile operator and Western Union global payment services have inked commercial agreements to introduce international mobile remittance services in the 21 countries where MTN operates. This service will allow MTN subscribers to conveniently send and receive Western Union Money Transfer transactions using their MTN MobileMoney accounts, which will first be introduced in Uganda. Uganda receives nearly US$500 million in remittances every year, making up 3% of the country´s GDP. An MTN subscriber who receives a Western Union Money Transfer transaction in his MobileMoney account will be able to use the funds to pay bills or withdraw cash at MobileMoney Agents or any participating ATM.

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48% of Americans to Give Less Gifts Y/Y

Across all income levels, American consumers are planning to decrease their holiday spending, with 45% to spend less than last year while 47% plan to spend about the same and just 7% intend to spend more. With this, 42% of households making less than $50,000 annually plan to decrease holiday spending, compared to 40% of households earning $50,000 to $75,000 annually and 37% of households earning $75,000 to $150,000 annually. Also, 28% of those making $150,000 annually or more plan to decrease the amount they spend this holiday season; 48% will cut back on the cost of gifts they give this year; 19% plan to spend under $200 this year; 24% plan to spend $200 to $499; 21% plan to spend $500 to $999; while only 23% plan to spend more than $1000. This, according to a recent Citi nationwide survey, also indicates 10% plan to travel within a day’s drive but simply stay overnight with family; 8% plan to travel to another part of the country; and only 2% plan to travel internationally. This on the heels of CardWeb.com research concluding consumers plan to spend an average of 8% less on holiday products and gifts than they did during last year’s holiday season, 60% of whom citing concerns over the economy while 47% cited rising household expenses. Meanwhile, 41% plan to spend less on holiday-specific travel than the 11% of those who plan an increase with 30% travelling to friends or family outside their local area, and 10% planning holiday vacations and those who feel their personal finances are getting worse dropped to 47% from 49% in September and subsequently plan to cut out discretionary spending (CardFlash Library, 2010/9/04).

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Heartland Named Nevada Payment Provider

The Nevada Restaurant Association (NvRA) has selected Heartland Payment Systems payments processors as its exclusively endorsed provider of card processing, gift marketing and check management services. This integrated offering is part of “Full Course Business Solutions” comprehensive suite of tools and resources founded on the industry’s first-ever unified payments processing platform. With this, NvRa becomes the 43rd state restaurant association in the alliance. Heartland is the founding supporter of The Merchant Bill of Rights public advocacy initiative that educates merchants about fair credit and debit card processing practices.

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G&D Ship Over 50mm Contactless US Cards

Giesecke & Devrient “Convego Air” contactless payment cards shipments to the U.S. has now surpassed the 50 million unit mark, the first card vendor to do so. With this, the G&D contactless platform has captured a leadership position in the U.S. among Visa and MasterCard branded contactless payment cards through its mobile payment sticker for mobile phones and contactless payment cards products. G&D’s contactless payment cards are issued by many of the major U.S. banks and is now expanding with new form factors and into new market applications. German-based Giesecke & Devrient employs more than 10,000 and generated sales of EUR 1.7 billion in fiscal 2009.

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Crédit Agricole Deploys Hypercom Terminals

Hypercom Corporation announced that Paris-based Crédit Agricole banking group, holding 28% French market share of household accounts and the top bank for businesses, has begun rolling out an estimated 25,000+ Hypercom “Optimum” card payment terminals to merchants. This mass deployment that will continue into 2011 to further expands the Hypercom footprint and represent a significant endorsement by one of the largest banking groups in Europe.

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