Discover Named Official Six Flags US Card

Discover has been named the official credit card of all of Six Flags
Entertainment U.S. theme, water and animal parks. Across 11 markets,
providing Discover cardmembers with money-saving benefits and exclusive
experiences, the agreement offers cardholders a 5% instant discount
incentive on Six Flags admission tickets, season passes, food, retail,
games and attractions. Discover cardmembers also will have access to a
family four-pack of tickets for $99 ; a Discover-branded gate providing
cardmembers an expedited entrance experience; a Discover-branded family
meal packages at significant savings; access to “Coasters After Dark”
events for Discover cardmembers after regular operating hours; “Discover
Preview Days” allowing Discover cardmembers special access to parks at
a discounted price.

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OMV to Offer Western Union Money Transfer

Western Union global payment services has inked agreements to provide Western Union “Money Transfer” services at more than 1,800 OMV retail locations in Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. This is part of Western Union’s strategy to expand and diversify its Agent network into different classes of trade and complements the company’s strategy to sign up retail locations under the “European Union Payment Services Directive” allowing non-bank entities to offer financial services under a payment institution’s license. The cooperation with OMV will also help Western Union attract mainstream customers to its money transfer service, as well as promote intra-Euro and domestic money transfers.

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Barclays Implements SAS for Capital Calculation and Reporting

Barclays is using SAS, the leader in Business Analytics software and services, to consistently improve standards in how economic and regulatory capital is calculated and reported. SAS has helped Barclays address the challenge of calculating capital, in line with revised internal and external methodology, across many of its business units. Barclays currently holds 16 months of detailed asset information on line in the SAS solution. Across economic and regulatory capital this equates to some 3 billion lines of data. Barclays global financial services provider is engaged in credit card services in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia while SAS helps customers at more than 45,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster.

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nuBridges Tokenization Expands PII Protection

nuBridges announced its “Token Manager Release 2.0,” the newest version of nuBridges’ “Format Preserving Tokenization” solution. It offers support for a new architectural model, coordinated tokenization by multiple data centers simultaneously, and greater protection and configuration flexibility for personally identifiable information (PII), helping enterprises comply with U.S. and international privacy laws. nuBridges offers a variety of solutions for protecting data at rest and data in transit. nuBridges “Protect” now offers the ability for sensitive data to be encrypted at the POS then securely transmitted to the centralized “Token Manager,” which tokenizes the data so that a highly configurable token can be used in all downstream systems, generated in multiple data center locations simultaneously. Overall, the new “Token Manager 2.0” offers Scalability, serving tokens from multiple data centers for geographically-dispersed, high-volume operations; Disaster Recover/High Availability; Centralized Key Management.

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Americans To Spend $76b on 2010 Summer Vacations

Americans plan to spend $76 billion on summer vacations in 2010, with nearly 6 million more American households disclosing said plans for a nearly $7 billion projected increase in spending over last year. Additionally, 40% are confident they’ll take a vacation in the next three months, up from 35% who took a summer vacation in 2009, while 49% typically take a summer vacation. This, according to a survey released by Mondial Assistance USA global travel assistance company, also showed the average expected vacation spending reported by respondents is $1,653 per household, slightly less than the $1,730 reported in 2009. Additional findings show 42% who plan to take a summer vacation do so to relieve stress; 26 cite special occasions, such as a wedding; 46% of men are confident they’ll take a summer vacation this year, compared to only 34% of women; 43% overall say their plans include going to the ocean or beach, 20% will be drawn to the mountains, and 15% will head to an international location.

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83% of Americans Oppose Interchange Card Fee Bill

Regarding regulation giving the federal government the ability to set the rates retailers pay for accepting debit products at the consumer’s expense, 83% are specifically oppose to the amendment. Additionally, 60% believe retailers – not cardholders – should bear the fair cost of accepting credit and debit cards. This according to a study released by Visa examines the provision to the financial regulatory reform bill, designed to address the Interchange fees of $48 billion in 2008 Visa and MasterCard banks charged retailers and other business, for an estimated $427 charged annually to the average American household. The amendment was written by Senator Durbin proposes Americans who benefit from the security and convenience of electronic payments could find themselves forced to spend a minimum amount when they choose to pay for goods and services with a credit card, of which 68% of consumers are opposed and 55% are strongly opposed. Additionally, the government alone paid more than $116 million in swipe fees, making plastic its single most-expensive form of collecting payment, which the National Retail Federation cites as evidence card fees need to be corralled (CardFlash Library 6/17/10), (CardFlash Library 6/18/10).

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LifeLock Service Provides Lost Wallet Remediation

LifeLock is introducing its “WalletLock” solution, designed to cancel or replace the contents in users’ lost or stolen wallet. The “WalletLock” recovery specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist the member in contacting each credit card, bank or document-issuing company, canceling the individual’s accounts, and completing all of the necessary paperwork and steps to replace the lost documents. This protection applies to credit and debit cards, driver’s license, Social Security card, insurance cards, checkbooks, and traveler’s checks (pictures, cash and other monies excluded). Members who enroll in LifeLock service or LifeLock “Command Center” protection will receive the “WalletLock” service benefit as a part of their membership.

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VeriFone End-to-End Encryption Meets Visa Standards

VeriFone’s “VeriShield Protect” end-to-end encryption solution meets all Visa Data Field Encryption guidelines as well as other industry standards, according to Coalfire Payment Card Industry (PCI) Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). The Verifone Coalfire assessment included technical testing, architectural assessment, industry analysis, compliance validation and peer review of VeriShield Protect. Coalfire also determined that with VeriShield Protect, a payment application or POS system that is not Payment Application Best Practices (PABP) or Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) validated can be taken out of PCI scope if all payment data is captured through the VeriShield Protect solution and the system is cleansed of all legacy card data. Additionally, VeriFone’s format-preserving “VeriShield Hidden Encryption” meets encryption best practices and standards for cryptographic algorithms and key strength; “VeriShield Protect” integrates securely with PC based POS or cash registers; and “VeriShield Hidden Encryption” provided successful integration with all payment application, POS and back-office servers tested.

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Patients Want Self-Service to Better Manage Expenses

Consumers are increasingly seeking self-service convenience when managing the financial aspects of their healthcare experience, with 51% preferring to view payment history and settling outstanding balances via online and mobile channels. At least half would be willing to expedite the payment process by pre-authorizing a credit card charge for co-pays and balances not covered by their insurance provider if offered; a 10% discount on their bill, preferred by 73%; a room and/or amenity upgrades during a hospital stay, preferred by 51%; or a discount at the pharmacy or hospital gift shop, preferred by 50%. These findings, according to NCR payment processing, also discloses self-service can help to speed the payment pre-authorization process online during pre-registration or at a kiosk during patient check-in.

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Synovus Chairman and CEO to Take Medical Leave of Absence

Effective immediately, Synovus Financial CFO and Chairman of the Board, Richard E. Anthony, will take a medical leave of absence from his roles. This is a result of a blood vessel disorder called Wegener’s Syndrome. The Board has subsequently named the current President and COO, Kessel D. Stelling, Jr., as acting CEO. In addition, the Board has appointed James D. Yancey, Chairman of the Board of Columbus Bank and Trust Company, a division of Synovus Bank, and former Chairman and current member of the Board of Synovus, as acting Chairman of the Board. He is currently undergoing treatment at the University of Alabama Medical Center in Birmingham.

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FTSI to Expand, Hires New Sales Manager

CA-based FTSI ATM sales and service provider has named Jim Vedenti senior sales manager to assist financial institutions from San Diego to Los Angeles. A former Pendum senior territory sales executive and graduate of the University of Phoenix with a degree in business marketing, Vedenti will focus on community banks, credit unions and consulting at FTSI. He has spent his entire career working with ATMs in nearly every capacity, ranging from software installation to sales along the west coast. FTSI was Founded in 1998 to connect bank clients with technologies, solutions and ATMs.

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ATM PROTOTYPE

Minaean Habitat (India) (MHI) has secured a Purchase Order from Axis Bank for the supply and installation of a prototype of an ATM Kiosk. Axis Bank joins MHI’s other clients who have ordered ATM Kiosks including State Bank of India, ICICI Bank and Canara Bank. Axis Bank is one of the top four Indian banks, previously known as UTI Bank (Unit Trust of India), and is aggressively pursuing its mandate to expand in to semi-urban regions of India. The award of this trial order gives MHI an opportunity to tap in to the bank’s ATM kiosk requirements as it continues its expansion efforts. ATM Kiosks remain a key product in the Modular Buildings division of MHI. The units are wholly manufactured and prefabricated in-house and then shipped to site for installation under the supervision of MHI engineers.

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