Western Union Offers Gift Card Claim Codes

Western Union is now offering Amazon.com Gift Card claim codes at its
44,000 U.S. Agent locations. Western Union consumers can purchase
Amazon.com Gift Card claim codes in
denominations from $50 to $5,000. Currently offered throughout the
United States, the service is available for a small, tiered transaction
fee. For example, a consumer purchasing a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card claim
code would pay $2.95 while the fee for a $500 claim code would be just
$3.95. To use the service, consumers visit any of the more than 44,000
Western Union Agent locations in the U.S. and completes a Western Union
Quick Collect form, including Pay to: Western Union AGC as the receiver
of the payment and the code city Amazon Gift Cards, WA. The consumer
presents their cash payment and fee to the Western
Union clerk and receives a paper receipt with a unique Amazon.com Gift
Card claim code. The consumer can then visit www.amazon.com to redeem
their Gift Card claim code.

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Alternative Payments Set to Take-Off in 2012

A new report,”The Fraud Practice’s Guide to Alternate Payments” from
Javelin Strategy reveals that by 2013, one third of all online
transactions will be as alternative payments. When considering
alternative payment options, merchants tend to limit the discussion to
ACH, PayPal, Amazon and
Google Checkout, but in fact there are a number of payment options and a
rapidly growing number of service providers offering them. “The Fraud
Practice’s Guide to Alternate Payments” identifies 8 categories of
alternative payment solutions with over 100 service providers offering
their services globally. The categories include credit card payments,
ACH & bank payments, payment aggregators, credit-term providers, cash
alternative providers, advertising/promotional providers, mobile payment
providers and invoicing payment providers.Not all alternative payment
options will produce the same results.
Determining the right alternative payment options for your company means
evaluating payment options based on regional support, consumer
preference, customer base and return on investment (ROI).

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myContactCard Lands a Marketing Partnership

myContactCard and tyBit Unified Search have a forged a strategic
partnership to provide myContactCard customers with embedded “tyBit
Unified Search” in all of its email contact cards. MCC’s email
signature cards deliver a completely new and measurable way
for companies and individuals to improve their contact-to-contact
relations with all the functionality of a website wrapped into the
user’s everyday email. This offers a new measure of information,
convenience and credibility that can’t be found in today’s Web sites or
bulk email campaigns. With
tyBit’s customizable toolbar, MCC provides users with relevant results
based on preference, location, source and timeliness of the sites. As a
client-side application, the additional layer of security in tyBit’s
toolbar protects your personal information from being sent over the
Internet and guards your computer from malicious programs on the Web.

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TSYS Acquiring Introduces New POS Systems

TSYS Acquiring Solutions has introduced two new all-in-one
point-of-sale solutions to help small and mid-sized retailers integrate
store operations with the point of purchase. Offered as a complete
business-in-a-box, each solution includes quality hardware components
and award winning Microsoft software to help retailers manage every
aspect of their business. The value bundle includes an “HP 3000″ POS
System, featuring a 17” flat panel monitor, Logic cash drawer, Star
receipt printer, Metrologic handheld scanner, Logic pole display,
keyboard and mouse. The premium bundle includes a Toshiba Tec all-in-one
touch screen monitor and POS System, magnetic card reader, customer rear
display, Logic cash drawer, Star receipt printer, Metrologic handheld
scanner, keyboard and mouse. Retailers can choose either the value or
premium bundle with Microsoft Point of Sale or Retail Management System
(RMS) software. Each system is shipped directly to the retailer.

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Leading Economic Index Falls Again In Feb

The Conference Board “Leading Economic Index” for the U.S. declined 40
basis points in February, following a 0.1 percent increase in January,
and a 0.1 percent decline in December. The “Coincident Economic Index”
for the U.S. declined 0.4 percent, following a 0.6 percent decline in
January, and a 0.7 percent decline in December. The Conference Board
“Lagging Economic Index” declined 0.4 percent in February, following a
0.3 percent decline in January, and a 0.1 percent decline in December.
Six of the ten indicators that make up The Conference Board “LEI” for
the U.S. increased in February.

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Cubic Transportation and ViVOtech Team

CA-based Cubic Transportation Systems has teamed with ViVOtech to enable
the Cubic designed “Tri-Reader” all-in-one reader that will process bank
cards, prepaid cards and smart card-enabled mobile phones.
Under the agreement, Cubic will integrate ViVOtech’s contactless payment
software into the latest generation “Tri-Reader” platforms and will
obtain type certification for MasterCard Paypass, Visa PayWave, American
Express, and Discover cards, which will enable contactless bank card
acceptance at Cubic fare collection devices for public transit. With the
new software, the “Tri-Reader”, a very secure, ISO 14443 Type A-
and Type B-compliant smart card processor, will provide a single reader
that will seamlessly accept contactless bank cards, innovative new
prepaid products like the “First Data GO-Tag” solution, and emerging
Near Field Communications (NFC) mobile phone technology, as well as
currently issued transit cards and those conforming to national transit
standards.

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Cardtronics Seeks a New Chief Executive

TX-based ATM provider Cardtronics is searching for a new CEO in the wake
of the resignation of Jack Antonini. Antonini left the company and its
Board of Directors effective March
17, 2009. Fred R. Lummis, Chairman of the Company’s Board, has agreed to
serve as interim CEO while the Board conducts a formal search for
Antonini’s permanent successor. Cardtronics operates approximately
33,000 ATMs across its portfolio, with ATMs in every major U.S. market,
over 2,500 ATMs throughout the United Kingdom, and approximately 2,100
ATMs throughout Mexico. Approximately 10,100
Cardtronics owned and operated ATMs currently feature bank brands.

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New Research Reveals the Pain of Paying

A new study has found that a single $100 bill prevents overpaying.
University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business found that the
“denomination effect” is real. Researchers say that if you want to save
then increase your exposure to the ‘pain of paying’ now rather than in
the future, as is the case with credit cards, then leave both your
credit cards and small bills at home. The research will be published in
an upcoming issue of the Journal of Consumer Research. It follows
previous research by the pair that finds consumers spend more when using
credit cards or gift cards instead of cash.

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Access Comm is Class A Approved

Check approver CrossCheck has given 4Access Communications Class A
certification and support for the “Orion” all-in-one check reader,
imager and card solution. “Orion” is a comprehensive payment processing
terminal that reads and
images checks, and has applications for handling credit, gift, and
loyalty cards. Orion’s unique check recognition technology integrates
MICR reading with optical character recognition in real-time to produce
the most accurate check read possible. Class A
certification means that CrossCheck now provides full support for the
terminal along with a set of check and card software applications. These
applications support authorizations through CrossCheck’s host for
electronic check conversion services.

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Citi and BofA Protests Slated for Thurs

The Service Employees International Union reports that more than
10,000 Americans will protest at Bank of America, Citigroup and AIG
tomorrow in 30 states. National sponsors include the SEIU, Change To
Win, Partnership for Working Families, Catholics United, Jobs with
Justice, United Students Against Sweatshops, in addition to scores of
regional sponsors. The March 19th protests will be held in small towns
and big cities, and will range in size depending on location. Chicago is
expected to draw hundreds at Bank of America. SEIU is the
fastest-growing union in the Americas with two million members in
Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico.

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TransCard and Preferred PayCard Partner

Prepaid card provider TransCard has teamed with TX-based Preferred
PayCard to offer a value added payroll card. Employees no longer have to
pay exorbitant check-cashing fees and have
access to many value-added cardholder benefits, including online bill
pay, a comprehensive Personal Financial Management tool and free credit
scores. Preferred PayCard serves the payroll disbursement requirements of
multiple business and industry sectors that include convenience stores,
food and beverage, hospital, community development, and retail and
staffing organizations. Member Chapters of the American Payroll
Association recruit Preferred PayCard trainers to provide an overview of
the implementation of the PayCard program, providing an insight into the
documented employer economic efficiencies and ease of implementing a
payroll debit card program. TransCard handles nearly $2 billion in
electronic transactions annually.

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