VeriFone Introduces a New PCI SSC Program

VeriFone Holdings has launched a program to secure the implementation of
the PCI SSC Payment Application Data Security Standard. The program
establishes a comprehensive PA-DSS compliance policy aimed at ensuring
protection of cardholder information across virtually all merchant
environments and all types of card acceptance devices. PA-DSS is
intended to ensure secure payment applications do not store prohibited
data, such as full magnetic stripe, CVV2, PIN or other sensitive data,
and are compliant with the PCI DSS. VeriFone expects rapid availability
of its terminal-based payment applications to meet all needs of
acquirers and merchants in complying fully with the PA-DSS mandate.

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Credit Manager’s Index Hits Another Low

The NACM Credit Manager’s Index hit a new low in October as eight of the 10 components fell, nine are now below the 50 level, indicating economic contraction, and eight set record lows. The manufacturing component fared the worst, losing 4.2%, as services fell 0.9%. The CMI plummeted 2.6% to reach a historic low of 44.8. NACM found that the increasing number of job losses, shrinking GDP, negative real retail sales and a host of other indicators confirm that the recession has arrived. Perhaps most troubling though is the disruption in the financial markets which has severely curtailed the availability of credit. As a result, which credit managers are so clearly telling us, not only is the economy bad, but the credit situation is making it even worse.

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CashEdge Intros Business Me-to-Me Transfers

CashEdge has introduced “Small Business Me-to-Me Transfers”, an online
funds transfer product that enables financial institutions to offer
secure inter-institution funds transfer services to their small business
customers. The product provides automated identity authentication and
funding account verification processes that satisfy all
business, risk and compliance requirements, enabling small business
customers to safely transfer money between their accounts held at over
23,000 banks, brokerages and credit unions via the ACH network, allowing
financial institutions to enhance their online
offering to small businesses, improve customer satisfaction and generate
incremental revenue streams.

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Consumer Groups Promote a Concessions Test

The Financial Services Roundtable and the Consumer Federation of
America are requesting the OCC to approve a pilot project allowing major
credit card companies to slash the amount of money owed by heavily
indebted borrowers who do not qualify for currently-available repayment
plans. This morning, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling
endorsed the initiative. The largest credit card banks have agreed to a
limited duration test, in which lenders would forgive up to 40% of the
amount consumers owe and allow borrowers to pay back the remainder over
time. The OCC currently does not allow lenders to offer repayment plans
that reduce the amount of principal owed and allow borrowers to pay back
this balance over a multi-year period. If regulators give permission
before the end of this year, the “Concessions Test” is expected to begin
in March and require between six and nine months to gather the needed
consumer sample. Results analysis will not be available until the end of
2009, thus it will be 2010, in all likelihood, before these concessions
are widely available.

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FiCentive and Discover Form a Prepaid Card Deal

Prepaid card program provider FiCentive has signed an agreement with
Discover Financial Services to create and manage Discover Network
prepaid and gift card programs. Under the agreement, FiCentive will
work with Discover Network, a business unit of Discover Financial
Services, to develop general spend
reloadable prepaid products that will run on the Discover Network in
addition to providing all program management services. FiCentive is a
wholly owned subsidiary of Payment Data Systems, Inc.

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MICROPASS PLATFORM

INSIDE Contactless is opening up its award-winning MicroPass platform to the developer
community, and providing sample MicroPass cards, development tools and
technical support to advance the creation of innovative new contactless
data applications. Utilizing the MicroPass platform’s highly
efficient 16-bit RISC microprocessor and operating system, the MicroPass
4001 provides 4-Kbytes of EEPROM and software DES encryption, while the
MicroPass 5001 features a larger 8-Kbyte EEPROM and hardware accelerated
DES encryption. Both products can be packaged in a variety of form
factors (card, ticket, fob, sticker or wearable devices), and achieve
the industry’s fastest transaction time and outstanding read distance to
deliver a superior user experience. The new MicroPass 4001 and 5001 application-ready
contactless microprocessors and INSIDE’s software development kit (SDK)
tools give developers all they need to create and deploy a variety of
standards-based contactless applications from a single platform,
reducing costs and accelerating time to market.

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AMERICAN EXPRESS & MAURITIUS

PayLife Bank, a joint
venture of Austrian banks and savings banks and a leading acquiring
and issuing company, has selected and will deploy thousands
of Hypecom’s “Artema Mobile” payment terminals in Austria. “Artema Mobile”
was chosen for this multi-million dollar purchase to replace the
currently installed mobile terminals as well as for new customer
projects. The Artema Mobile, which benefits from GPRS communication
technology, will be sold by PayLife as the “Mobile Bankomat-Kasse.” The
terminal is designed to process the Austrian electronic purse “Quick” as
well as credit and debit cards.

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VISA GLOBAL 2Q/08

Reflecting the sagging worldwide economy, Visa’s payment dollar volume slipped in all its regions during the quarter ending June 30th from a global annual growth rate of 19% in the first calendar quarter to 15% in the second calendar quarter. First calendar quarter worldwide payments volume was $652 million compared to $699 billion for calendar 2Q/08. In the latest quarter ending June 30th compared to the prior quarter, year-on-year PDV growth rate in the U.S. decreased to 10% from 12%; In Asia Pacific (AP) region to 22% from 27%; in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region to 40% from 48%; in Canada to 14% from 31%; and Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) to 38% from 40%. Based on Visa’s latest statistics, total volume, inclusive of cash volume was $1.1 trillion, an increase of 19% over the prior year;
total cards carrying the Visa brands rose over 12% worldwide over the
prior year to 1.6 billion; and total payment transactions increased by 14% over the prior year to 11.5 billion. For more details on Visa’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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BANK MACHINE & WELCOME BREAK

ATM operator Bank Machine announced a
partnership with motorway service operator, Welcome Break to provide
for the operation of around 150 ATMs across 28 locations in the UK.
The deal with Welcome Break will bring Bank Machine’s ATM estate to over
2700 across the UK. The partnership with Welcome Break is one in a
series of high profile ATM supplier contracts which Bank Machine, a
division of Cardtronics, has won in recent months, including with a
number of leading building societies.

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CUP ACCEPTANCE

China UnionPay has announced that the UnionPay card-accepting merchants and ATMs
in Korea have exceeded 10,000 and reached 11,000 respectively. From January
to July this year, the transaction amount via China UnionPay cards totaled 140
million Yuan in South Korea, more than twice the amount for the same period last
year. Moreover, the average daily transaction amount in July exceeded 100 million Korean
won (about 770,000 Yuan). China UnionPay card acceptance network in Korea has covered
most areas frequented by Chinese people such as duty-free stores and tourist group
purchase stores. There is also a “China UnionPay card barrier-free zone” in
Seoul’s Incheon International Airport and Jeju Island Road Central Trade Circle.

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