TransCard Names a New CFO

Prepaid card provider TransCard has tapped Brad Townsend, previously
with Advanced Interactive Systems, as CFO.
Townsend has twenty years of professional experience in a variety of
strategic
financial and accounting roles and considerable experience related to
Department of
Defense and federal agencies with extensive experience guiding the M&A
process for large and small organizations as both buyer and seller. He
has effectively managed GAAP, SOX compliance and corporate finance
functions on a global basis, and has led efforts in structuring G&A that
support both organic and acquisition expansion for fast-growth
companies. Townsend holds a BBA in Corporate Finance from the
University of Georgia
and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Emory University. TransCard
handles $1.4 billion in electronic transactions annually. Its products
include pay cards, financial institution stored-value processing, gift
reward cards, fleet services and retail program management.

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Consumer Spending Downward Spiral Continues

An index tracking economic confidence and spending intentions among U.S. consumers has hit another low for the fourth straight month.
The monthly poll shows that consumers will continue to ratchet down plans in January. Over one-third of Americans plan to spend less in January, compared to 22% in November and 24% one-year ago. The Discover “U.S. Spending Monitor” declined to 76.6 in December. Last year at this time, 27% of the country rated the economy as “good” or “excellent” and only 35% said it was “poor.” This year, only 7% give the economy a “good” or “excellent” rating and 65% say it is “poor.” Consumer attitudes about their personal finances have a less volatile deterioration, but are still at record lows. This December, 35% of American adults rate their own financial situation as good or excellent. That’s 4 points off the 39% reported a year ago. Discover also found that 55% of consumers are trimming discretionary and home improvement expenses, and 52% are holding off on major personal purchases.

U.S. Spending Monitor
Dec 07: 90.5
Jan 08: 86.1
Feb 08: 86.4
Mar 08: 85.1
Apr 08: 85.4
May 08: 86.8
Jun 08: 85.9
Jul 08: 85.2
Aug 08: 87.8
Sep 08: 86.5
Oct 08: 80.4
Nov 08: 79.7
Dec 08: 76.6
Source: Discover

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Hypercom Hires a Global Marketing Exec

Hypercom has appointed Stuart Taylor to the position of VP, Global Marketing. Taylor is responsible for all
aspects of the Company’s marketing activities, Hypercom’s Global
Solutions business unit and global strategic relationships. Taylor brings to Hypercom more than 20 years of international
marketing and business development experience in the electronic payment
and ATM industries. For the past four years he has provided
general management, business development, marketing and product strategy
consulting services to a wide range of Fortune 500 companies and payment
and security technology start-ups and has provided payment industry
analysis to many Wall Street investment firms. Taylor served at VeriFone Inc. from 1996 to 2004 in leadership roles
including Vice President and General Manager, Global Marketing;
Director, Emerging Markets and Business Development; and Director,
Product Management and Marketing. Taylor holds a Masters in Business Administration from Herriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Graduate School of Business.

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WMATA Selects Guardium for Card Data

Washington DC’s Metro transportation system has implemented Guardium’s
database security and monitoring system. With more than 9 million
credit and debit card transactions yearly,
Metro is classified as a top-tier Level 1 merchant by the Payment Card
Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS). In addition, according to a
recent study
of ridership trends, demand for the Metro service could grow anywhere
from 50 to 100 percent by 2013. In the future, Metro plans to extend the
Guardium platform to its
Microsoft SQL Server infrastructure, and add advanced, new Guardium
modules such as Vulnerability Assessment (VA) and the Change Audit
System (CAS), to strengthen existing compliance with PCI-DSS
Requirements 2 and 6. VA identifies vulnerabilities such as unpatched
systems, misconfigured privileges and vendor-supplied defaults for
system passwords, while CAS tracks changes to database configuration
files, OS environment variables and scripts that affect database
security posture. As a tri-jurisdictional government agency authorized
by the U.S.
Congress, Metro operates the second largest rail transit system in the
United States, and transports more than a third of the federal
government to work and millions of tourists to landmarks in the Nation’s
Capital.

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MT&L Snags Frank Abagnale as Spokesperson

Document security expert Frank W. Abagnale has endorsed MT&L’s gift card
packaging and will serve as a consultant and
spokesperson for MT&L’s secure gift card packaging division. MT&L’s
line of gift and debit card packaging, called “The Vault”,
provides security features that run the gamut from embedded sensor-matic
signals that
trigger alarms, to carefully designed packaging construction, all
designed to thwart the
efforts of thieves attempting to obtain the information contained on the
cards. Abagnale has worked
with, advised and consulted hundreds of financial institutions,
corporations and
government agencies around the world and more than 14,000 financial
institutions, corporations and law enforcement agencies use his fraud
prevention
programs.

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Hypercom Faces a Possible NYSE Delisting

Hypercom confirms it has received a notice of non-compliance from the NYSE after its stock fell to an average closing price of less than $1.00 per share during a consecutive 30-trading-day period. The notice came on December 31st. Hypercom’s stock is trading around $1.50 today but tanked to $0.50 per share on November 21st. Hypercom’s 52-week high of $5.43 per share took place on February 11. The company has six months from the date of receipt of the notice to bring its common stock price and average common stock price back above $1.00. If the closing price and average closing price of its common stock do not sufficiently improve, Hypercom says it may consider presenting a proposal to its shareholders for a consolidation of its outstanding common stock at its next annual meeting of stockholders.

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ORBISCOM & MC

MasterCard has inked a deal to acquire Dublin-based Orbiscom for about US$100 million which includes earn-outs. The software provider offers enhanced B2C, B2B and P2P payment solutions primarily based on its patented “Controlled Payment Number” technology. Orbiscom’s products cover “Consumer Card” solutions, “Commercial Card” solutions and “Alternative Payment” solutions. MasterCard says the acquisition will build on its existing Orbiscom partnership that created “MasterCard inControl,” a platform featuring an array of advanced authorization, transaction routing and alert controls designed to assist financial institutions in creating new and enhanced payment offerings. Last year, Royal Bank of Scotland became the first financial institution to implement “MasterCard inControl” for its commercial card customers.

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Fireman’s to Offer PCI Insurance to Retailers

The first “Payment Card Industry” compliance insurance for retailers has hit the market. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company is offering the protection that will cover the penalties and extra expenses related to a PCI security breach. Fireman’s coverages include reimbursement for contractual penalties, chargebacks and payment card reissuing expenses outlined in the business’ merchant service agreement; upgrades to software and hardware systems (including installation and re-scanning services) to bring the payment system into compliance; extra expense for late payment fees and other bank service charges related to the data breach; crisis management expenses to restore reputation; and extra expense for promotional items such as restaurant gift certificates or service coupons for the affected individuals in the data breach. Fireman’s is also offering consulting services to retailers through Trustwave.

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NETGIRO EXPANSION

Payment services provider Netgiro Systems has
expanded its payment offering into Latin America. The company is now
supporting the online processing of domestic credit cards in Mexico and
Brazil, the
preferred payment method for the vast majority of online shoppers in the
region.
Netgiro offers online merchants global online payment
solutions that are tailored to their target markets, industry and risk
tolerance. Netgiro
delivers its technology and services, which are designed to help expand
international
reach and simplify payment administration, as a stand-alone payment
solution.
Netgiro’s payment solution can support more than 30 localized
online payment methods, ranging from credit and debit cards, to direct
debit, Internet bank
payments, local bank transfers and checks.

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Donlen Taps Comdata for Fleet Cards

Comdata Corporation has been selected by fleet management company Donlen Corporation as its preferred
fleet card provider. Under a multi-year contract, Donlen will use the Comdata fuel card to
track and regulate all its vehicle-related fuel, maintenance and repair
expenses for the 125,000 fleet vehicles they manage. Comdata will provide fuel discounts, real-time
reporting, and a one-card integrated solution for Donlen’s fleet
customers, helping them save on fleet-related costs. The integration of Comdata’s reporting capabilities and
Donlen’s PUSH (Prevent Unnecessary Spending and Hazards) program will
give Donlen customers the ability to monitor expenses associated with
their fleet programs. Utilizing Comdata’s extensive reporting data, the
PUSH system will alert drivers and fleet managers via e-mail of
inefficient fuel and spending behaviors. The Donlen Corporate Fleet Fuel MasterCard Card is issued by Regions
Bank pursuant to a license by MasterCard International Incorporated.

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CHAPS DATA

The new “Faster Payments Service,” introduced at the end of May last year has processed more than 63 million payments with a total value of over GBP 26 billion. The CHAPS Clearing Company reports that the new system peaked on December 1st with 3.9 million payments processed. APACS says about two-thirds of phone and Internet payments are now processed through the “Faster Payments Service,” although still less than half of all standing order payments. More than 40% of all credit card accounts are now payable through the “Service” with three major credit card companies offering the facility for customers to pay their bill.
There is a maximum limit placed on the value of each payment sent through the “Faster Payments Service,” with the maximum value for Internet and phone payments set at GBP 10,000 and standing orders to GBP 100,000.

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