The NFC Academy Starts to Take Shape

The NFC Academy is taking shape with its first conference in the UAE with the formation of its Advisory Board. The high-end technology congress brings together researchers, pioneer developers and advanced practitioners to educate the market and foster the adoption of NFC technology including contactless applications ­such as ticketing and mobile payments. The Advisory Board includes Paul Korczak,­ Assistant Chief Officer at MetroCard New York City Transit; Sertac Özinal,­ CEO at BKM Interbank Card Center (Turkey); Tinboat Arslanouk,­ Director of Business Development at Du – Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (United Arab Emirates); Koichi Tagawa,­ NFC Forum Chairman and General Manager of Global Standards and Industry Relations Department at Sony (Japan); Michael Hegenbarth,­ Senior Director of Standardization and Consulting at Bundesdruckerei (Germany); Remy de Tonnac,­ CEO at Inside Contactless (France); Kurt Schmid,­ CEO at Nexperts (Austria); and Carlo Maria Medaglia ­ Professor at the University of Rome “Sapienza” (Italy). The next NFC Academy conferences will be held in Paris on May 29 at the Hyatt Regency Paris-Charles de Gaulle, and Milan on November 4-5 at the Milanofiori Congress Center.

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ADS’ Private Label Charge-Offs Near 9%

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems reports that total managed credit
losses in the Private Label Credit segment averaged 8.9% for the $4.4
billion portfolio in January, an increase of 30 basis points from
December. The Company also says delinquencies were in the mid-6% range.
Alliance Data also noted that the traditional lower Master Trust to
total managed loss spread no longer holds. Therefore, the Company will
provide a more relevant total managed loss rate each month until the
traditional relationship returns. Specifically, the Master Trust tended
to post loss rates 40-50 basis points below the Company’s total managed
loss rate. The loss rate for January averaged 9.3% in the Master Trust,
covering $3.4 billion in receivables, thus reversing its historical
relationship to the total managed file. For complete details on Alliance
Data Systems’ fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

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ViVOtech Awarded a Key OTA Card Patent

NFC provider ViVOtech has been awarded a patent for “over the air”
provisioning of credit, debit, prepaid,
loyalty and other payment or non-payment cards into mobile phone
devices, WI-FI or the internet. The patent covers several key
features of ViVOtech’s over the air provisioning infrastructure
software including: ViVOtech’s methods and system for the provisioning
of credit, debit, prepaid, loyalty and other payment or non-payment cards
into NFC mobiles; the provisioning of a card could either be initiated
by a card issuer
through a “push” message or initiated by a consumer through mobile
phone; consumer self-authentication to enable secure payment cards
download into an NFC mobile instantly, anytime, anywhere through mobile
networks; a two-server architecture that allows an issuer to utilize a
dedicated server in its own premises or operated by a third party on its
behalf, and for this server to work with control/configuration server
software run by a mobile network operator (MNO) or by a trusted server
manager (TSM) on behalf of an MNO; the ability of an issuer to provision
their branded image, customer
support information and other relevant information from their plastic
cards to the card holder’s mobile devices providing a unique card issuer
brand and look and feel on the mobile screen and the ability to allow
the first time provisioning of a single payment
or loyalty card one at a time, as well as, existing users to provision
multiple cards when switching mobile phones.

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Tickets.com to Integrate Interceptas

IL-based fraud prevention provider Accertify has been selected by
Tickets.com to integrate its “Interceptas” platform.
Accertify has significantly reduced the total cost of fraud for the
web’s leading ticketing merchants. Its advanced, front-end screening
features help merchants identify more suspicious orders and spend less
time validating legitimate orders. Its unmatched features and
functionality reduce manual reviews and make the review process faster
and more efficient. Merchants become less dependent on internal IT
resources and gain control over their fraud prevention efforts so they
can quickly modify and implement new rules, strategies and tools.
Tickets.com is a provider of fully integrated event
ticketing solutions and services for thousands of top arts,
entertainment, and sports organizations worldwide.

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Travelocity Intros TravelPass e-Toll

Highway Toll Administration has partnered with Travelocity to offer the
“TravelPass” e-toll devices for car rentals. Customers can book their
car rental through Travelocity and
choose the ‘Add a Toll Device’ option. A “TravelPass” electronic toll tag
is sent first-class mail or an expedited service on request.
At the end of the trip, the renter sends the
“TravelPass” tag back to HTA in a postage-paid return
envelope, and the credit or debit card will be charged $1.99 for each
day’s usage, plus the cost of all tolls incurred. The “TravelPass” toll
tag is initially being accepted
in the Northeast and Midwest.

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DEC ABS

Charge-offs among credit card-backed securities for December hit its highest level in 18 months as delinquency hit an all-time high. Credit card debt dropped 3.6% from from the prior quarter and is now down 3.9% from December 2007. The Fitch “Charge-off Index” increased in December by 80 basis points to 7.2%, having improved slightly in the previous month when it dropped 20 basis points. Fitch expects a further rises in 2009. In December, the Fitch 60 to 180 days “Delinquency Index” increased for the fourth month in a row, moving to 4.3% from 4.1% in November. Having increased for each quarter of 2008, the outstanding amount of credit card debt held by U.K. borrowers rose to GBP 53.9 billion in December from GBP 53.3 billion in November. Fitch also reports that its “Monthly Payment Rate Index” was 16.2% in December, a quarter-on-quarter drop of 100 basis points from September and a 40 basis points fall from December 2007. The Fitch “Yield Index” also dropped from September to December, to 20.6% from 20.9%.

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POCIT

Communications provider Aricent has entered into a joint partnership to develop Tradebridge’s “Pocit” mobile banking application. The “Pocit” application, allows anyone with a credit card or bank account to make payments directly from the mobile application via a cell phone without having to know the recipient’s specific banking details. Once registered with “Pocit”, a user can receive, send, request and store money. In December 2008 the company launched Pocit Money which is similar to a shopping voucher; it allows money to be stored in the phone for multiple uses. Pocit Elect is a world first for elections, based on the model used by Barack Obama and his team, Pocit Elect takes the idea of cellphone fundraising for political parties further by giving a single sms number for donating to any one of multiple political parties.

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TAGPAY NSDT

France-based Tagattitude has introduced the first turnkey mobile payment platform that works on four billion mobile phones worldwide. The new “TagPay” uses Tagattitude’s “Near Sound Data Transfer” technology, to allow any mobile to function as a payment means. “NSDT” has received multiple “GSMA” innovation awards and is now proven to be secure, reliable, and efficient. “TagPay” can be used for retail transactions at the point of sale, money transfer, ATM cash withdrawal, microfinance operations and budget or savings management. “TagPay” is being piloted in Zambia, India, South Africa, Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo and is operational in several African countries.

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DECEMBER LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic
Index (LEI) declined 0.5% and The Conference Board
Coincident Economic Index (CEI) decreased 0.4% in December.
The positive contributors are the Spanish contribution to
Euro M2, the inverted long-term government bond yield and the Spanish
equity price index. The negative contributors are the capital
equipment component of industrial production, order books survey, and
job placings. Between June and December 2008, the LEI declined by 2.1%
(about a -4.1% annual
rate), roughly the same rate as the 2.0% (about a -3.9% annual rate)
between December 2007 and June 2008. In addition,
the weaknesses among the leading indicators have been widespread in
recent months. The LEI for Spain has been falling since the first
quarter of
2008, decreasing by 4.1%
since February, its largest decrease
since 1992. The CEI for Spain, a measure of current economic activity,
has also been falling since its peak in February 2008, experiencing its
largest contraction since 1984. Taken together, the recent behavior of
the composite indexes suggests that the contraction in economic activity
will continue in the near term. The LEI now stands at
107.9 (2004=100).

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VOICE COMMERCE

Payment processor Voice Commerce Group has
completed the acquisition of Perpetual Payments,
a specialist credit card and merchant services processing business.
Perpetual Payments offers a range of merchant services, including
advisory support for merchants on customer payment acceptance methods.
The company specialised in providing payment systems for SME’s and new
business start ups where service and costs are a vital consideration.
Voice Commerce Group is the company behind VoicePay and the Voice
Transact Network, a global voice signature based payment and financial
transaction processing service. The Voice Transact network already
covers over 50 countries and is enabling Banks and Financial Services
organisation to change the way that their customers sign securely for
all their financial transactions and payments.
The acquisition will make Perpetual Payments a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Voice Commerce Group.

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EMVCO

Standards body EMVCo has launched a web based subscription program.
EMVCo’s royalty-free final and published versions of EMV Specifications,
bulletins and application notes, type approval process documents and
approval lists will remain accessible without charge. EMVCo remains
committed to ensuring free industry access to these documents from the
EMVCo website. For a nominal annual fee of 750 USD per
user, the service will provide key stakeholders of EMVCo an opportunity
to monitor and participate in the document creation and review processes
of the organization. The subscription fees generated by the new website
service will be reinvested into the organization to support its ongoing
industry initiatives. The EMVCo subscription program has been
introduced to establish a new
communication channel that will broaden industry participation in the
development work of the organization and promote greater transparency
regarding EMVCo activities.

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