Bling & State Bank Donate to Salvation Army

Mobile payment provider Bling Nation is teaming with CO-based The State Bank and Park State Bank to help facilitate donations to The Salvation Army for Haiti earthquake relief. Money donated to The Salvation Army will go to The Salvation Army Haiti, which will determine the country’s immediate needs, including water,
food, medicine and transportation. Bling Nation mobile payment services connect financial institutions,
businesses and consumers. The company’s mobile payments services work through consumers’ mobile phones, enabling them to purchase, redeem
loyalty incentives and receive transaction information in real time. Businesses and financial institutions differentiate their services,
while supporting their communities and “shop local” programs.

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NEW EMPIRICA V4

Credit analytics provider TransUnion has announced the release of Empirica® V4 score.
Scores designed using FICO 8 analytics are expected to provide
incremental improvement in predictive power compared to those built on
prior FICO scoring models. For the new Empirica V4 score, this uplift in
predictiveness can be up to 17 percent over prior score versions.
The new FICO score in South Africa is expected to provide lenders with
significant improvements in the precision of risk assessments compared
to previous versions. In developing the score, FICO leveraged
enhancements in TransUnion’s robust credit report data for the country,
including additional installment, micro-finance and leasing reporting,
to provide a more detailed and thorough picture of consumer credit usage
and risk. The score is also intended to improve lenders’ decisions on applicants
with little or no prior credit history. Key features include an enhanced
Expansion Risk Indicator, which refines risk assessments to help lenders
extend credit to consumers who may have had limited access to credit
previously.

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First Capital Payments Adds 40 New Jobs

NY-based card processor First Capital Payments is expanding its operations and adding 40 new jobs. The firm will be occupying additional space in its current location in downtown Rochester. The firm, which handles over $200 million dollars in sales volume annually, currently employs 26 persons. First Capital Payments is a complete payment solution company that processes payment transactions for all major credit and debit card networks, including VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, JCB and all national debit networks. In addition First Capital Payments is an authorized dealer for Pixel Point and Info Touch integrated POS systems. The company has also established First Capital Funding, a serve that provides funding to merchant customers.

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Aruba to Provide Lawson Stores Wireless LAN

Secure mobility provider Aruba Networks is providing Japanese C-store
chain Lawson with Aruba’s 802.11n wireless LANs to access its new
unified communication system, and Aruba’s Virtual Branch Networking
solution for its teleworker program.The “Lawson 3.0” business process improvement initiative is compliant with the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard (DSS) Version 1.2, which defines security guidelines for merchants and service providers that store, process and transmit cardholder data. Firewalls, encryption, authentication, and wireless intrusion detection are mandated in the standard for use with all wireless LANs, and these features are provided by Aruba’s Mobility Controllers and AMP. A white paper on PCI compliance, Security Is In The Air, can be downloaded from Aruba’s Web site. Subsequent to the wireless deployment, Lawson launched a broad teleworker initiative using Aruba’s VBN solution to minimize the cost and complexity of the program. Teleworkers are provided with inexpensive RAP-2WG Remote Access Points, which provide secure, authenticated remote access to Lawson’s data center. Controllers in the data center handle all VBN-related configuration, management, and security tasks. Centralizing these services in the controllers simplifies the design and installation of the RAPs. By enabling employees to work from home, with the same secure access to corporate resources as they would have in the office, the teleworker program is expected to achieve significant carbon footprint and real estate cost savings.

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Sandy Spring Renews Allpoint ATM Contract

Allpoint Network “Cardtronics” surcharge-free ATM network
operator has renewed contracts with Maryland-based Sandy Spring Bank. A
$3.6 billion asset bank with forty-three full-service locations, Sandy Spring has
continued to expand since its founding in 1868. Offering 37,000 Sandy
Spring surcharge-free ATMs worldwide at such retailers as 7-Eleven,
Target, and CVS/pharmacy, the Allpoint Network provides greater access,
convenience and savings to customers of financial institutions while
providing institutions the tools to compete more effectively for
customers.

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First Data to Donate USD100K to Haiti

First Data Corporation is donating $100,000 for Haitian earthquake disaster relief. Half of the donation will aid in immediate relief and ongoing recovery efforts and half will be contributed toward future rebuilding efforts.
The company also is
encouraging its more than 25,000 global employees to help by donating to
any eligible U.S.-based relief agency responding to the disaster and
will match employee donations. First Data has established a way for employees to donate directly to
UNICEF, where the company will automatically match any eligible employee
donation with a two-for-one match through January 31, 2010. According to
UNICEF, children account for half of the United Nations-estimated three
million people affected by this catastrophe. First Data will continue
its practice of matching its employees’ donations to all other eligible
charities dollar-for dollar, with no time limits.

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TotalDebtRelief Breaks Down Debt Relief

With credit cardholders trying to play catch up from the holiday
shopping season, TotalDebtRelief.net is advocating ways to manage,
reduce and eliminate credit card debit. In doing so, the consumer
advocate group is familiarizing consumers with various terminology such
as “Debt Relief,” programs and services designed to reduce and/or
eliminate credit card debt; “Debt Consolidation,” relief programs
combining multiple existing loan payments into a single, smaller monthly
loan payment; and “Debt Settlement,” debt relief through a debt
settlement firm negotiating on behalf of the consumer in debt with
creditors to reduce debt. There is also “Consumer Credit Counseling,”
consisting of credit counselors and financial planners determining and
executing a means to cut spending, increase savings, and pay down credit
card debt. These are all in place to avoid “Bankruptcy,” which brings a
host of negative consequences for the consumer who files bankruptcy.

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Elavon Acquires Citizens National Bank Processing

Elavon wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp and global payments provider has purchased the Citizens National Bank merchants processing portfolio community bank. Headquartered in Sevierville, Tenn. and operating locally in Sevier, Knox and Jefferson counties, Citizens National Bank merchant can now offer its customers Elavon’s expanded merchant service offerings including debit and credit card processing, a comprehensive PCI Compliance Program, a choice of POS devices and software, advanced e-commerce products, electronic check services, and enhanced reporting. Elavon will extend its full line of flexible payment solutions to the bank’s more than 300 existing merchant accounts, while also supporting a 10-year alliance agreement for new merchant services referred through the bank’s 18 community branches. Elavon’s Global Acquiring Solutions organization is a part of U.S. Bancorp, providing end-to-end payment processing services to more than one million merchants in the United States, Europe, Canada and Puerto Rico.

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MASTERCARD RELIEF

In response to the devastating earthquake earlier in the week, MasterCard Worldwide announced its intentions to waive interchange fees on Haitian relief donations made using U.S. issued MasterCard cards to The American Red Cross, AmeriCares, UNICEF, Save the Children and CARE USA. MasterCard has also made a corporate donation to the American Red Cross and is double-matching employee contributions to the Haitian disaster relief fund of the American Red Cross. MasterCard processes approximately 21 billion transactions each year for consumers in more than 210 countries and territories.

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U.S. Retail Card Defaults Hit 12.56% in Dec 09

U.S. consumers defaulted on store-branded credit cards in December 2009
at near record levels, having risen 122 basis points (bps) to 12.56%
from the previous month and charge-offs for the year shattering the
January 2005 record of 12.25% five different months with a peak of
12.81% in August. Throughout the year, retail chargeoffs averaged
11.88% (more than 42% above the historical average of 8.34%).
This, according to Fitch’s “Retail Credit Card Chargeoff Index,”
demonstrated near-record default levels during the holiday shopping
season with expectations to rise steadily, subsequent to both
delinquency trends and unemployment projections. For December, the
Index indicates more than one in every eight dollars of receivables was
written off as uncollectable during the November collection period on
an annualized basis. Late stage delinquencies measured by Fitch’s 60+
day retail delinquency index, fell 15 bps to 5.22%, which averaged
5.25% for the past three months and 5.09% for all of 2009 while,
similar to chargeoffs, its deterioration has slowed significantly from
the previous year, yet remain almost 48% higher than 2007.
Subsequently, revolving credit usage decreased at an annual rate of
18.5% in November – the largest dollar-value drop since 1968 and the
14th consecutive decline since October 2008. Credit delinquency having
shot up to 6.70% and 6.88% in October and November, respectively, from
6.43% in September indicate the 09 Holiday shopping season was going to
see a correlating rise in defaults.

2009 CARD DELINQUENCIES
Days +30 +60 +90 +120 Total
Jan. 2.86% 1.47% 0.87% 0.99% 6.19%
Feb. 2.99% 1.58% 0.93% 1.02% 6.52%
Mar. 3.08% 1.61% 0.95% 1.04% 6.68%
Apr. 3.05% 1.59% 0.93% 1.03% 6.60%
May. 3.00% 1.57% 0.92% 1.03% 6.52%
Jun. 2.98% 1.56% 0.92% 1.03% 6.49%
Jul. 2.90% 1.53% 0.90% 1.00% 6.33%
Aug. 2.99% 1.55% 0.94% 1.05% 6.53%
Sep. 2.91% 1.59% 0.91% 1.02% 6.43%
Oct. 3.04% 1.64% 0.93% 1.09% 6.70%
Nov. 3.14% 1.69% 0.95% 1.10% 6.88%
SOURCE: CARDDATA

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ASIAN SESAMES

In recognition of Asia’s rising pre-eminence in the innovation and
application of smart technologies, the inaugural CARTES in Asia will
debut “Asian SESAMES Award,” an Asian edition of its CARTES in Paris’
prestigious SESAMES Awards. The Asian SESAMES Award will honor an
enterprise that has successfully created a leading edge smart technology
application in Asia, which has become a key part of one of the
industry’s leading events, the annual CARTES smart card and
identification conference in Paris, which celebrates its 25th
anniversary in 2010. It will be presented to the best project from a
variety of smart technologies categories concerning cards, tokens,
chips, electronic components, terminals, automaton, readers,
manufacturing, printing material, and more in transport, payment,
security and identification applications. The ceremony will be held
March 16, 2010 in Hong Kong at the AsiaWorld-Expo.

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DYETRON & OBERTHUR

Oberthur smart card solutions has acquired the payment card personalization assets of Dyetron smart card-based technology solutions for the transportation, communications, government and financial sectors. Having already formed a partnership in June of 2009 to create a service center for Colombian migration to EMV, the two organizations agreed on terms under which Oberthur is to lease the Bogota-based, MasterCard and Visa certified service centers. The service center will operate under the name Oberthur Technologies to provide seamless migration for local banks and easy EMV deployment for international banks with customers. EMV is the global electronic transaction specification that outlines interaction between chip (smart) cards and merchant terminals to ensure worldwide inter-operability to reduce fraud on standard magnetic stripe debit cards.

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