North American Bancard Hires Sales Mgr

MI-based payment solutions provider North American Bancard has hired Marty Wood, previously with
Fast Transact, First Horizon Merchant Sales and Century Payments as a National Sales Manager.
Wood has an 18-year track record of working with Sales Teams and ISOs at
companies including PMT. INC., Fast Transact, Inc., First Horizon Merchant Sales
and Century Payments, LLC. His knack for successfully developing new sales channels
was a key reason for his hiring. North American Bancard provides merchant account
acquisition service and support, and deploys its payments products, services and
acceptance strategies to more than 100,000 clients who process more than
$7 billion in credit card, debit card, EBT, check guarantee and conversion,
prepaid/gift and ATM transactions annually.

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Discover Beefs-Up its Double Cashback Bonus

Discover is offering cardholders the opportunity to earn Double Cashback Bonus
on all online purchases, as well as at department stores, jewelry and apparel
retailers during the holiday season. Discover is offering Cardmembers “Greater Cashback Bonus” to earn 5% Cashback
Bonus on up to $400 in restaurant, movie and grocery store purchases through
December 31. Holiday shoppers who use Discover card’s
exclusive online shopping mall, “ShopDiscover”, for their online purchases can earn 5% to 20% Cashback Bonus or Double Miles,
shop at over 150 top online retailers and receive additional holiday Cashback Bonus at
over 35 retailers such as Macy’s, Kohls, and Best Buy and enjoy weekly specials, including free shipping, must-have gifts,
discounts, exclusive offers and more, through “ShopDiscover”‘s Hot Deals page. In addition to partner
gift cards, Discover Cardmembers can redeem their Cashback Bonus for popular
merchandise such as the Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 and Apple iPod.

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ADS Reports 9.7% Charge-Offs In October

Private label card issuer Alliance Data Systems Corporation has released an update to its Private Label Credit segment.
Average managed receivables as of October 31 was $4,343,452, an 11% year-over-year
portfolio growth. Net charge off accounted for 35,138 accounting for 9.7% of managed receivables.
Management believes that the fourth quarter loss rates are stable
and tracking to the Company’s guidance. Due to the timing of certain
items, October was higher than the trend, while September was lower. The
average of these two months was in line with Management’s expectations
of a mid-9 percent rate. Managed data for the month of October excludes a small program that
has been terminated. It is not in Private Label’s top 20 programs and is
not considered material based on revenue or credit sales.

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ViVOtag and ViVOapps Hits the Market

NFC provider ViVOtech has launched the “ViVOtag” sticker solution and
the backend “ViVOapps” mLoyalty redemption software. “ViVOtag” provides intuitive
contactless technology which can be applied to any mobile phone today,
turning it into a loyalty device, which can dramatically increase
merchant loyalty card wallet share and consumer usage. Additionally, “ViVOapps” mLoyalty redemption software allows merchants to
bundle a loyalty program with mobile add, coupons and promotions and
deliver them via text, SMS or MMS message to the consumer’s mobile
phone. In order to redeem one or more coupons, the consumer simply taps
their ViVOtag enabled phone once onto the contactless POS at the
checkout. With this solution, consumers can also receive in-store
personalized services, advertising or offers by tapping their phone onto
contactless-enabled kiosks, digital signage, price checkers or POS
systems to notify merchants of their presence in the store.
ViVOtech’s solution has been designed to easily integrate with existing
mobile advertising, marketing, and loyalty programs, turning challenging
barcode or manual-code based mobile coupon redemptions into an easy to
use, and fast electronic redemption.

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BIO CARD

Gemalto digital security has launched its bio-sourced degradable smart
card. Made from renewable material, the new card can be incinerated
without emissions of toxic fumes. This is in conjunction with the
Company’s introduction of its packaging made from recycled paper and
vegetable inks. The bio-sourced smart cards complement Gemalto’s
portfolio of eco-friendly cards, made from paper-based materials for
short-term use, the Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) and
Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG) based products, chlorine-free
alternatives to PVC cards. The company opted for non-chlorine polymers
in the late 1990’s and today is adopting material stemming from
agro-products.

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SICAP & ABNOTE

ABnote secure banking and transactional services and Sicap mobile
solutions are collaborating to facilitate the global deployment of
commercial NFC solutions. Combining global operator reach with trusted
secure banking functionality, the partnership is designed to pioneer NFC
protocol, with Sicap and ABnote filling the role of aggregator as a
Trusted Services Manager. The partnership will provide service providers
such as banks, retailers and transit operators looking to deploy global
NFC services with a commercially proven and trusted route to market.
ABnote Europe secure data management and NFC pioneer works with banks,
transit operators, mobile operators, payment schemes and retailers.
Sicap has dual expertise in over-the-air device and SIM management for
mobile operators.

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AmEx Survey Finds Gift Cards Dominate Wish Lists

Another survey points to 10% of Americans planning to spend more this year than last on holiday gifts, and 43% about the same. The latest “American Express Spending & Saving Tracker” found that gift cards will be the gift of the season at 58% vs. all other gift selections. Nearly eight in ten consumers intend to utilize the Internet as a tool to help with holiday shopping: 45% will use the Internet to purchase items, more than one in four will use it for hard-to-find items, 27% to research products and a quarter will go online to simply look for gift ideas. In terms of the largest and most expensive single purchase holiday buyers will make, consumers expect to spend the most on technology gifts (with an average gift costing $450) followed by gift cards (with an average gift costing $270). The spending increases for affluents, with averages of $590 for technology and $350 for gift cards respectively.

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WYMIX PAYWAVE

At the Cartes & IDentification 2009 Summit, Hypercom Corporation has
announced its “Wymix” PIN Pad has received Visa “payWave” certification.
Featuring a built-in contactless antenna, “Wymix” can be used to process
payments made by contactless cards as well as NFC-enabled mobile
handsets. Interest in contactless cards and mobile payment programs is
increasing in many European countries and various pilots are in progress
throughout the region, organized by banks, mobile phone and public
transport operators. In France, several major retailers have chosen to
upgrade their systems using the Wymix PIN pad in preparation for the
upcoming roll out of contactless cards and NFC mobile payment pilots.

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HYPERCOM R3210

The Hypercom Corporation has unveiled its “R3210” contactless reader for
payment, gift/loyalty, prepaid, ticketing and access control. With
clip-on, countertop or wall-mount design and easy plug and play setup
for easy device upgrade to accept mobile payments and other contactless
transactions, the “R3210” offers contactless capability for stand-alone
terminals or integrated payment solutions through a range of merchants.
The “R3210” is powered by a 32-bit RISC-based processor and incorporates
Hypercom’s TMS remote software management, with optional features such
as a high contrast backlit display and dual RS-232 port for extended
connectivity. Contactless payments are key in high transaction volume
environments where speed is essential, providing processing time
considerably shorter than for contact card transactions to ultimately
help drive the increased use of loyalty and other value added applications.

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BDO Seidman Says Holiday Gift Card Sales to Sink

Another survey forecasts holiday sales to grow a mere 1.8% this year. When asked which product category will perform the strongest this holiday season, 39% of the CMOs cite toys. According to BDO Seidman,
gift card sales are only expected to account for 5% of holiday sales, down from nearly 12% in 2008. More than half of retailers expect gift card sales to be flat this year, while only 32% expect gift card sales will increase and 12% project a decrease. Overall, retailers project a 0.76% drop in gift card sales this season. BDO Seidman also found that
96% of retailers say they will increase promotions and discounts this year. When asked which in-store tactic they will be focusing on most heavily for the season, most CMOs (43%) cite special events. More than half (55%) of retailers planning online campaigns will depend on email promotions to boost holiday sales. When it comes to which product category will see the most discounts this year, more than a third (37%) say consumer electronics. A majority (37%) of retailers predict that consumer electronics will see the most discounts this holiday season. Retailers expect discounts across the board, including product categories such as: apparel (21%), home goods (14%), toys (13%), jewelry (9%) and lifestyle goods (6%).

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