PAYZONE SERVICES

Consumer cash distribution network Payzone has signed contracts with
a number of Councils and Housing Associations to extend
their bill payment collection service to the Payzone network.
Almost 2000 retailers, located in Birmingham, Cannock, Dacorum,
Hounslow, Leeds, Luton and Yorkshire will now be able accept payments.
Last year, over 500,000 payments in total were collected by these
councils, offering opportunities for added footfall and increased
commission for retailers. Payzone offers a wide range of services
including pre-paid mobile
phone top-ups, energy pre-payments, bill payments, pre-paid Visa
vouchers, local and housing authority payments, pre-paid Visa and
MasterCard payment cards, payment vouchers for on-line shopping, gift
card and loyalty programmes, transport ticketing, lottery games, parking
and electronic road tolling, debit and credit card acceptance,
contactless payment solutions and world-wide money transfer services.

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AmEx OPEN and SCORE Team for Small Business

American Express “OPEN” and “SCORE” announced the 2009 schedule for the “Small Business Speed Coaching Test Drive.” The multi-city tour is designed to help small business owners develop strategies to weather the current economic downturn and provide them with educational and mentorship programs to help identify new opportunities for business growth. Originally launched in 2007, the “Small Business Speed Coaching” series offers small business owners exclusive, 30-minute, one-on-one evaluation sessions with experienced business mentors from “SCORE.”
In addition to meeting with a “SCORE” mentor at the event, attendees will learn about local “SCORE” resources and they can continue mentoring sessions in the future. Registration is free and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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Bankruptcy Filings Continue a Strong Pace

The number of U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings in April topped 125,000,
rising 36% from one-year ago and 3.5% sequentially. The increase is
running slightly ahead of the widely held projections of a 35% gain for
2009. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National
Bankruptcy Research, consumer filings totaled 125,618 in April. Chapter
13 filings constituted 26% of all consumer cases in April, slightly
above March. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts
bankruptcy filings jumped 34% in the third quarter compared to the year
ago period, and increased 5% sequentially. According to CardData
(www.carddata.com) there were 290,000 filings in the fourth quarter. In
a recent American Bankruptcy Institute poll, 65% of respondents
predicted that bankruptcies in 2009 would increase by at least 35% over
the nearly 1.1 million cases filed in 2008. Fifty-three percent of
respondents predicted that filings would increase by 35% or more while
12% thought that filings would increase by about 35%. (CF Library
1/08/09; 1/30/09)

BANKRUPTCY FILINGS
Apr 08: 92,291
May 08: 91,214
Jun 08: 82,770
Jul 08: 94,124
Aug 08: 96,413
Sep 08: 88,663
Oct 08: 106,266
Nov 08: 99,925
Dec 08: 84,926
Jan 09: 88,773
Feb 09: 98,344
Mar 09: 121,413
Apr 09: 125,618
Source: ABI/NBKRC; CardData.com

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SPVA

Hypercom, Ingenico, and VeriFone have teamed to create the “Secure POS Vendor Alliance.” The non-profit business is chartered
with implementing common payment security standards among vendors of
secure POS devices used by retailers, acquirers and cardholders alike.
The SPVA encourages general membership among all vendors that develop secure POS payment systems, and associate membership among organisations who sell or utilize products or solutions that interact with secure POS payment devices: retailers, acquirers, software vendors, ECR vendors, banks and other standard setting associations.

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Verifi Names Schulz as its New CEO

CA-based risk management provider Verifi has tapped Jennifer Schulz, previously COO, as its CEO.
Schulz joined Verifi in April, 2008 as Verifi’s Chief Operating Officer.
As CEO, Schulz will oversee Verifi’s continued transformation from a
successful startup into the premier provider of transaction risk
management, risk mitigation, business optimization strategies, refund
controls, Verified by Visa (VbV) and MasterCard SecureCode (MCSC)
cardholder authentication, and chargeback representment for merchants.
She will also manage the continued growth of Verifi’s Cardholder Dispute
Resolution Network service enabling Card Issuers to connect to
Merchant Businesses for more efficient management of the dispute
resolution process. Earlier, Schulz held numerous management positions with Visa, Inc.
including service as Global Head of Consumer Credit where she was
responsible for the growth and overall health of Visa’s credit business.
She joined Visa following a distinguished career with Diamond Management
& Technology Consultants, Inc.

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Dynamic Card Solutions Rises 93%

Instant card issuer Dynamic Card Solutions reports $6,000,000 of revenue in Q1/09, a 93% increase compared to last year.
DCS now has over 460 customers and roughly 5,000 branches
running DCS software and associated hardware. DCS is the leading
instant issuance provider for Visa® and MasterCard debit cards and offers fully integrated solutions that allow financial
institutions and retailers to quickly and securely issue debit, credit
and ATM cards instantly at branch or store locations. Issuing cards
instantly increases customer service, card sales and revenue, and
eliminates current card issuance costs. DCS’ system includes a
user-friendly administration component that provides full reporting,
card inventory

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Bling Nation Hires a Marketing Exec

Payment network Bling Nation has hired Cindy Smith, previously with
Patelco CU, as VP of Marketing. Smith has more than 21 years of
experience in the financial services industry. Smith was vice president
of card services for Patelco Credit Union, where she managed the
service to $145 million (300,000) in credit cards as well as the
company’s card branding efforts. Smith has also served as vice president
of Sales and Services for Technology Credit
Union. Her many accomplishments included the successful launch of a
suite of business services and management of the sales and service
strategies for the company’s branch network, business services and
business development divisions. Smith also held positions at Nextcard
Visa, Inc. and Associate Visa
Credit Card Services, Inc.

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G&D QES

Giesecke & Devrient has been approved by gematik to issue an electronic healthcare card
incorporating qualified electronic signature functions (QES) which meets
all the requirements regarding functionality and security laid down by
gematik and the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI). G&D produces around a quarter of all smart cards for the electronic
healthcare sector in Germany. The company’s customers include DAK, KKH
and other statutory health insurance companies. The
optional QES feature means, for example, that insured parties will be
able to sign applications electronically in the future. G&D anticipates
that the first health insurance companies will request large quantities
before the end of the year. In addition to the new
smart card, the Munich-based technology group is also to supply a
high-performance background system that will in future control all the
functions in the life cycle of around 70% of health insurance
cards in Germany. This technology from Munich has already repeatedly
proved its worth in designated test regions where electronic healthcare
cards are being trialed, both in Germany and in international projects such as those in Taiwan and Austria.

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Hypercom, Ingenico, and VeriFone Create SPVA

Hypercom, Ingenico, and VeriFone have teamed to create the “Secure POS Vendor Alliance.” The non-profit business is chartered
with implementing common payment security standards among vendors of
secure POS devices used by retailers, acquirers and cardholders alike.
The SPVA encourages general membership among all vendors that develop secure POS payment systems, and associate membership among organisations who sell or utilize products or solutions that interact with secure POS payment devices: retailers, acquirers, software vendors, ECR vendors, banks and other standard setting associations.

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RFID Payment Markets Remain Robust Worldwide

RFID markets are not contracting, according to new research. Positive signs are beginning to appear and forecasts suggest that even with the ailing automotive vertical included, the RFID market should see 11% growth between 2009 and 2010. According to ABI Research, remove the deeply depressed automotive immobilizer numbers which are directly tied to vehicle production and the growth rate jumps to almost 16%.
Transponders, readers, software, and services are all showing healthy growth. The most robust applications include contactless ticketing, contactless payments (particularly in North America and Europe), item-level tracking in fashion apparel and footwear, asset management (not only corporate assets, but also returnable transport items, tools/parts, and work-in-process), baggage handling, real-time location systems (RTLS) and electronic identification documents.

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PetroCard and Waste Management Team

Fuel distributor PetroCard and Waste Management have teamed to open the
“Clean N’ Green Fuel” facility in Seattle. The station, which is
open 24/7 accepts all major credit cards and PetroCard fleet cards, and
sells CNG at prices typically one-third below gasoline and diesel.
The “Clean N’ Green” Fuel partnership began as a natural fit between Waste
Management’s need to fill their CNG powered trucks and PetroCard’s
expertise in providing self-service fueling stations. WA-based PetroCard is a leading fuel distributor,
selling to commercial fleets through a chain of unattended cardlocks and
providing mobile fueling services.

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