Coinstar CFO to Keynote NIRI Investor Awards

The Seattle Chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute (NIRI) announced J.Scott Di Valerio, Coinstar CFO, will be the keynote speaker for the NIRI-Seattle 2010 Investor Communications Awards Gala. The event will be held Thursday, June 24 at the Woodmark Hotel in Kirkland, WA, beginning at 5:30 p.m. with a hosted cocktail reception, followed by dinner and awards presentations. The judges are Neil Neroutsos, president, Puget Sound Public Relations Society of America and Jeffery L. Lippens, principal, Garde Capital, Inc.

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Cardlytics Named 2010 Red Herring Award Finalist

Cardlytics transaction marketing has been named among the 200 finalists for Red Herring’s North America 100 award, a list that honors the year’s most promising 100 private technology ventures from the North American business region. Red Herring’s editorial staff selected the 200 finalists according to their technological innovation, management strength, market size, investor record, customer acquisition and financial health. During the several months leading up to the announcement, hundreds of other companies in the telecommunications, security, Web 2.0, software, hardware, biotech, and clean tech industries applied for the award.

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CITI SHELL

Maxatec is launching its “RDT-150” all-in-one POS Terminal. A cost effective POS System solution with excellent functionality and reliability, as well as easy upgrade options, the “RDT-150” standardizes a 5-wire resistive touch panel but there are other options, including Capacitive, SAW and IR. The modular design allows the terminal to be upgraded with VFD customer display, MSR card reader, fingerprint scanner, 3-in-1 MSR+Smartcard+I-Button reader, a second LCD screen with or without touchscreen. Connectivity includes multiple external serial and USB 2.0 ports, a PS/2 and Ethernet connection as well as 2 x RJ-12 cash drawer ports which can be powered with 12 or 24 volts and a VGA port.

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VALIDSOFT

London-based ValidSoft, a subsidiary of Amsterdam-based Elephant Talk Communications is introducing new software to helps banks overcome the current rate of 90% false-positive card fraud flagging. Lost revenues for the banks is felt when, for example, the 9 out of every 10 legitimate cross-border transactions are flagged as fraudulent. These cost banks up to $10 per case, as the bank’s fraud unit processes the transaction and calls the cardholder to try to verify its validity. In response, “VALid-POS” software determines the proximity of the card owner’s cell phone to the actual location of the transaction in less than half a second to verify if a transaction is fraudulent or legitimate.

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SELECTCORE & REGALOCARD

SelectCore prepaid telecom and financial solutions for the credit challenged and unbanked has signed distribution agreements with RegaloCard mobile payments. With this, SelectCore will make available to its customers RegaloCard’s free and instant replacement mpayment solution, the “micro money transfer.” RegaloCard allows consumers to send free and instant transfers of as little as $10, directed to specific uses. The RegaloCard service works with any mobile phone and carrier worldwide and is as easy to use as a prepaid calling card. This agreement is the first to expand RegaloCard’s distribution footprint outside the US.

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WU Appoints Executive VP, Alternative Channels

David G. Yates has been appointed executive vice president, alternative channels with Western Union. Yates joins Western Union from First Data, most recently as executive vice president and president of First Data’s International Division. He has served in executive roles with several major international corporations, including IBM, General Electric and American Management Systems. Subsequently, Yates brings to his new role extensive international information technology, banking and payment systems experience involving major systems projects throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. He holds a master’s degree in law from Oxford University.

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Treasury Seeks Reducing Interchange Fees $42m

If you ask the National Retail Federation, the Senate hearing being held to discuss the $116 million in credit and debit card swipe fees paid annually by the federal government is evidence card fees need to be brought under control. Led by Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., discussions will involve witnesses from the Treasury Department, Government Accountability Office, Amtrak, Visa, a convenience store owner and consumer group representatives. Durbin is expected to lead points based on a Treasury report released earlier in the week showing federal government agencies received more than 80 million credit and debit card payments for goods, services, fees and fines totaling $8.6 billion last year. The government paid more than $116 million in swipe fees, making plastic its single most-expensive form of collecting payment. Interchange fees average between 1 and 2% for debit cards and 2 % or more for credit cards, amounting to $48 billion in 2008 Visa and MasterCard banks charged retailers and other business. This equates to an estimated $427 charged annually to the average household. In response, the Treasury report proposes that the government negotiate with card companies for a single percentage to be charged for all credit card transactions; for a flat fee to be charged for all debit card transactions; and a $10,000 limit on the size of transactions that could be accepted via cards, all to reduce interchange costs between $35 million and $42 million annually.

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Roamware Makes Available Cardless ATM

Roamware mobile roaming solutions and financial services has made available its “Cardless ATM” service. Allowing customers to withdraw cash from an ATM without the use of a cash card, “Cardless ATM” can be used in case of loss or theft of a cash card as well as to send money to friends or family at home or abroad. “Cardless ATM” is already in use in Europe and is one of many mobile financial products that Roamware has made available to banks and mobile operators since the acquisition of mobile financial services developer Macalla Software in 2009. Other m-commerce and mobile banking solutions offered by Roamware include credit transfers, international remittance, adding prepaid minutes, person to person transactions and bill payment.

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PayPal Launches Second Annual Developer Challenge

PayPal has announced its second “PayPal X Developer Challenge” global competition to award innovative applications using the PayPal X open global payments platform. For this second annual challenge, PayPal is expanding the contest by adding new sponsors and giving away more prizes. The first “Developer Challenge” launched at the PayPal X Innovate event in November 2009 and attracted hundreds of submissions. The grand prize winner of this year’s “PayPal X Developer Challenge” will receive an award totaling up to $100,000, including $50,000 into the winner’s PayPal account and $50,000 in waived transaction fees. PayPal is also introducing “X Awards,” the People’s Choice Award and the Audience Award. The “X Awards” will go to best application built from the PayPal X Mobile Payments Library; best application built by university students; best consumer application; best application for cross-border commerce; best application built on the Yahoo! platform; and the best application built on the eBay platform.

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SMB Advocates Fully Support Swipe Fee Reform

On Thursday, June 17, small business owners with Reform Swipe Fees NOW! will converge on Washington, D.C. to urge Congress to pass commonsense swipe fee reform. The Senate passed an amendment last month offered by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) to rein in excessive debit card fees on a broad, bipartisan basis as part of financial reform. As the differences between the House and Senate version of the financial reform legislation get ironed out in conference committee, small businesses are urging Senators and Congressmen to ensure the Durbin amendment is part of the final bill. The U.S. currently pays higher swipe fees than any other industrialized nation and has seen rates triple in less than a decade. These fees totaled $48 billion in 2008 Visa and MasterCard banks charged retailers and other business, equating to an average $427 charged annually to the average household. The Durbin Legislation will reduce interchange costs between $35 million and $42 million annually.

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Cubic Launches Bay Area Transportation Card

Clipper card reader technology and decals have been installed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area transportation network and is now set to distribute its smart cards to local commuters. The reloadable Clipper card allows riders to transfer from one transit agency to another by simply touching the card to the Clipper card reader on board each bus or at rail stations for one card to pay for all the rides. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), the agency that plans, coordinates and finances transportation projects in the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area, chose the name Clipper because of its connection with the region’s transportation history. Cubic joined with MTC officials in officially launching the new smart card on June 16 and will be useful on the Muni, BART, AC Transit, Golden Gate Transit, Golden Gate Ferry and Caltrain for about 80% of Bay area transit riders. The Clipper system will eventually extend to 25 transit agencies.

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Bling Nation Expands to Valley National Bank

Valley National Bank is making available mobile payments to its customers thanks to its partnership with Bling Nation mobile payments services. Connecting financial institutions, businesses and consumers through tap-and-pay for purchases at the point of sale, Bling Nation is offering Valley National Bank customers its “BlingTag” microchip sticker that adheres to the back of a mobile phone. Allowing debit transactions directly from their account, the “BlingTag” provides the user a transaction confirmation and account balance by text message with every purchase. The “BlingTag” will provide Valley National Bank customers instant 5% cash back with every Bling transaction up to $100 and does not store any personal information, to avoid any chance of identity theft or fraud.

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