CardPartner Launches Gilda’s Club Visa

NY-based affinity credit card issuer CardPartner has introduced the
“Gilda Club NYC Visa Platinum” card to support the work of the Gilda’s
Club cancer support group. Gilda’s Club NYC earns $50 for every
activated card, plus an ongoing share of the monthly charge volume.
Proceeds help provide a meeting place and support activities for people
living with cancer, and families and friends. Gilda’s Club
NYC is named for Gilda Radner, the comedian and an original cast member
of Saturday Night Live who died from ovarian cancer in 1989. The Visa
credit cards are issued by MO-based UMB Bank.

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Discover Finds No Thanksgiving Pullback

Despite the dismal economic outlook, Discover Card released the
its second annual “Thanksgiving Survey” that reveals 70% of respondents
said they will not cut down on Thanksgiving travel this year and 71%
said they are not considering the cost when making
their Thanksgiving travel plans. When asked what they like most about
Thanksgiving, 73% said the opportunity to see family or be
surrounded by loved ones. However, 46%
said they will keep an eye on food costs this year.

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U.S. Credit Counseling Traffic Soars

The nation’s largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization reports that calls to its “National Locator Line” continue to set new records each week. The news comes on the heels of soaring bankruptcy statistics wherein consumer bankruptcy filings topped 100,000 in October. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling says calls to its “NLL,” a service that automatically connects consumers with the NFCC Member Agency closest to them, jumped 70% in October, compared to one-year ago. Year-to-date NLL calls through October 31st were up by 31% over the same period in 2007. Year-to-date visits to the NFCC’s Web sites through October 31st are up
by nearly 30% over the same period in 2007, representing an increase of
494,786 visitors for the 10-month period. The NFCC says the more startling are the results that those falling into the red danger zone indicating imminent risk of foreclosure are up to 85% compared to an average of 70% at the end of 2007. NFCC members annually help
more than two million consumers through close to 850 community-based offices nationwide.

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ACS to Issue Oklahoma Benefits Card

Affiliated Computer Services is to provide the Oklahoma
Employment Security Commission with electronic payment card
services for unemployment benefits. Under the five-year agreement,
unemployment insurance benefits will be available on
a MasterCard-branded debit card through a partnership with Bank of
Oklahoma that can be used to access funds at banks and ATMs,
and to pay for goods and services and cardholders will receive special
opportunities for fee-free ATM and teller withdrawals. The EPC solution
means lower costs for the state to produce and mail benefit
checks, and fewer returned, lost, or stolen checks. ACS is the largest
provider of BPO services and one of the largest IT
service providers to the nation’s public sector.

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Phishing Gangs Target Top Level Domains

New research reveals that phishing gangs are concentrating their efforts within specific top level domains. The latest report from the Anti-Phishing Working Group surveyed 47,324 unique phishing attacks located on 26,678 unique domain names during the first half of this year. Phishing attacks are counterfeit Web sites designed to deceive consumers into revealing their personal financial information. The report finds some correlations between registry policies and the prevalence and duration of phishing activity in their TLDs. The survey also identified 4,512 subdomain sites/accounts used for phishing under 274 unique second-level domains. These were established on “subdomain registration services” in which customers set up a subdomain under a secondary level domain owned by the service provider. The APWG says the wide-spread use of subdomain registration services by phishers is a challenging development for the industry.

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Open Solutions and CNS Offer EFT Services

Open Solutions has expanded its strategic relationship with
Consumer Network Services to provide EFT products and services to Open
Solutions’ clients running “The Complete Banking Solution” and “The
Complete Credit Union Solution.” CNS EFT solution sets include ATM
driving and monitoring, ATM and debit
card transaction processing and comprehensive ancillary services
including risk management, card production and consultative services.
CNS processes more than 20 million EFT transactions per month for Open
Solutions’ clients. With this new agreement, Open Solutions will be able
to offer CNS EFT capabilities
to Open Solutions’ in-house core clients. The partnership will introduce
products and services that were not widely available to many in-house
clients.

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INGRAM MICRO ACQUISITIONS

DC/POS distributor Ingram Micro has completed its
acquisitions of Eurequat SA, based in France, and German-based
Intertrade A.F. AG. Both Eurequat and Intertrade are distributors of
DC/POS products in Europe, with aggregate revenues of approximately $90
million in 2007. Eurequat’s customer
base spans France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Algeria, while
Intertrade serves Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Israel. The
companies will be integrated into the Ingram Micro EMEA Data Capture/POS
Division to serve resellers in 16 countries.

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MagTek Unveils the IPAD PIN Entry Device

CA-based e-payment technology provider MagTek has introduced “IPAD”, a
PED 2.0 certified secure PIN entry device. MagneSafe encrypts data at
the point of swipe, safeguarding personal information encoded on the
magnetic stripe using industry proven 3DES. The encryption takes place
within an encapsulated magnetic read head as the card is swiped
eliminating the chance of intercepting clear text data as “MagneSafe”
mutually authenticates the IPAD and its host ensuring the integrity and
legitimacy at both points of the transaction. In addition, the IPAD has
“MagnePrint”, a magstripe embedded security
feature that authenticates the debit, credit or ATM cards already in
circulation, rendering counterfeit or cloned cards useless.

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TRUSTWAVE EXEC

Online security provider Trustwave has appointed
Hermes Romero to manager of business development for Trustwave Latin
America. Romero has more than 13 years of experience in the information
security and networking industry, specifically in South America. He will
be responsible for the firm’s business development
activity throughout Spanish-speaking South America, including new
business opportunities and channel and alliance partnerships. The
appointment of Romero also expands Trustwave’s
local presence to include Chile, in addition to its South American
headquarters in Brazil. Romero spent three
years at IBM ISS, most recently as business development manager for
Chile, Peru and Bolivia. Previously,he worked at Unisys Corporation
serving in multiple roles ranging
from engineering to regional sales manager for Chile and Colombia.

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Banks Pivotal Emerging Opportunity is EBPP

A new report has found that users of online banking are more
affluent and younger, frequent users of sticky services and active in
safeguarding their accounts. The Javelin Report suggest that given the
state of today’s economic challenges, banks can improve online banking
and bill payment services to grow assets and deepen customer loyalty.
The growth rate for online banking adoption will increase 4.6% annually
through 2013, when 83 million households will be banking online.
However, the report identifies bank bill payment services, which are
only at 49% penetration, as the pivotal opportunity for banks to expand
their online channel, and projects growth at 5.6% annually through 2013
reaching 45 million households. As a result of recent acquisitions,
three giant banks – Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan
Chase – will control an astounding 39% of the online-banking market, up
from 25%.

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MONITISE & ECOMMLINK

Prepaid processor eCommLink and mobile payment platform provider
Monitise Americas have teamed to jointly offer
mobile money applications to the prepaid debit card industry.
The companies will market prepaid debit cards that are closely
integrated with a cardholder’s mobile phone. This will allow customers
to manage their cards, reload their accounts, pay bills, transfer money
to another person and make international remittances directly from the
mobile handset, regardless of the
carrier or financial institution involved. Clients can select from
either a SMS based interface or a simple to use, easy to download mobile
application to allow cardholders to manage their prepaid accounts and
perform transactions.

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PayPal Expands Globally with Localized Sites

Alternative payment provider PayPal has added fully localized sites in Mexico, Hong Kong and Singapore, extending PayPal’s leading online payments service to more than 120 million people and bringing the total number of localized PayPal sites to 18. Customers in these countries can pay online using their local currencies. Sellers in these countries can receive payments from PayPal’s network of 65 million active accounts around the globe, and withdraw their PayPal balances directly to any local bank. PayPal also launched nine new languages on its Web site including Bahasa Indonesian, Danish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese and Turkish and has introduced new PayPal domains for 18 countries, including Argentina, Chile, Hungary, India, Luxembourg, Malta, The Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey and Venezuela.

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