SCA Names 09 Board and Executive Committee

The Smart Card Alliance announced its 2008-2009 executive committee which
includes: Chair – Greg Garback, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit
Authority; Vice Chair – Neville Pattinson, Gemalto; Treasurer – Robert
Merkert, Sr., CardLogix; Secretary – Linda Brown, Infineon Technologies;
Assistant Treasurer – Willy Dommen, Booz Allen Hamilton; and Technology Vice
Chair – Roger Roehr, Tyco International. The Alliance board of directors held
elections for the executive committee at the organization’s annual government
conference this month in Washington, D.C. The executive committee will serve
in a leadership role for the board and direct the activities of the executive
director, the Alliance staff and the organization’s industry councils for the
year ahead. The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry
association working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and
widespread application of smart card technology.

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FDC BRANCH

First Data, a global leader in
electronic commerce and payment services, announced the opening of
an office in Karachi, Pakistan, and the appointment of Mr. Khurram Gul
Agha as its country manager. Agha is a seasoned executive with deep
knowledge of Pakistan’s
payments and collections market. He specializes in transactional banking
for the corporate and retail sectors and joins First Data from UBL
where he was the executive vice president responsible for cash
management, financial institutions and home remittances. He attended
Binghamton University in the United States, where he majored in computer
science and mathematics. He has previously worked for Citibank and TCS
Pakistan. Entry into the fast growing Pakistan market reflects First
Data’s strategy of developing a local presence in major markets around
the world to deliver its global payments solutions. The Pakistan
business will be a part of First Data’s Europe, Middle East
and Africa (EMEA) operations.

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Market Platform Dynamics Lands Wells Exec

Market Platform Dynamics has named Scott Peterson, previously with Wells
Fargo, as Managing Director. Previously, Peterson was SVP of Payment Strategy at
Wells Fargo & Company, where he was responsible for driving Wells
Fargo’s cross line of business payments strategy, emerging payments product development,
mobile, prepaid and customer acquisition/loyalty initiatives. In his new role,
Peterson will expand MPD’s focus across the financial services, mobile and
payments sectors and will work with clients across a variety of
disciplines including product development, marketing, strategic
alliances, acquisitions and strategy development.

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PMI DROP

The Bloomberg Euro-Zone Retail Purchasing Managers’ Index fell from 46.2 in
September to 44.3 in October, signaling a drop in euro-zone retail sales
for the fifth consecutive month and one of the steepest declines recorded
since the survey began five years ago. The PMI showed that retailers cut employment at the fastest rate
for four years in the face of falling sales and deteriorating profit
margins. Also evident was a further easing of price pressures in the retail
sector. Sales fell in Germany, France and Italy as retailers reported the
adverse effects of the global financial market turmoil, rising job market
insecurity and stretched household budgets: Italy saw the steepest drop in retail sales of the three countries covered. The rate of decline picked up sharply during the month with the
month-on-month decline in the index the largest yet recorded by the
Italian survey. The index plunged from 42.8 to 34.8.Sales fell in Germany, at the weakest rate of the current five-month
sequence. The monthly sales index rose to 46.7, up from 44.6 in
September. Sales in France fell for the first time in four months, and at the
weakest rate of the three countries surveyed. The index fell from 50.5
in September to a six-month low of 48.5. The amount of goods purchased for resale by euro-zone retailers fell
for the third month running in October, registering the third-largest
monthly cut in buying since mid-2005. The buying index fell from 47.9 to
47.5. Whereas the amount of goods bought by retailers in Germany and France
was largely unchanged on a month ago, a near-record fall was seen in Italy
as retailers grew increasingly pessimistic about future sales.

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ProPay Unveils MicroSecure Card Reader

Merchant payment solution provider ProPay has introduced the “MicroSecure Card Reader”
designed for mobile, small and home-based merchants who accept credit
and debit card payments in face-to-face transactions.
ProPay’s patent-pending process includes the credit or debit card
information being encrypted at swipe and stored in coded form for later processing or being
transmitted and processed real-time through ProPay’s secure virtual
terminal from any Internet-connected PC.

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INNOVA & WAVECOM

Innova Card and wireless technology provider Wavecom have partnered to create
the hardware reference design for wireless EPOS
(Electronic Point of Sale) terminals to integrate multiple communications
technologies without changing the payment and security software.
The payment and security core of the joint solution, “USIP”, has been developed
by Innova Card. USIP is a Secure 32-bit Flash microcontroller that has been
tailored for the payment industry. It embeds an extended peripheral set
including LCD interface, secure keypad controller, thermal printer
interface, mag-stripe interface and multiple smart card controllers.
The data communication element of the solution has been created by
Wavecom . The new solution provides a virtualized
communication interface which consists of placing a layer of abstraction
between hardware units and the software running on them, abstracting
available system resources from a single physical unit and making it act
as multiple, independent logical entities.

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FiCentive and AEIS Ink a Reseller Deal

Prepaid card solution provider FiCentive has entered into a reseller
agreement with American Express Incentive Services. As part of the
agreement, FiCentive will leverage the AEIS DirectSpend process to
provide clients with a highly adaptable and flexible tool to achieve
their financial objectives. FiCentive offers a suite of full-service
prepaid debit card solutions to merchants, financial institutions, and
the growing segment of underbanked and the unbanked
community of consumers. FiCentive is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Payment Data Systems.

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Nordstrom Doubles Points for its Cards

Upscale retailer Nordstrom will offer “Double Rewards Points” for all
Nordstrom credit and Nordstrom MOD cardholders until the end of 2008.
Nordstrom customers typically earn 2 rewards points per net
dollar spent at Nordstrom using a Nordstrom credit card or Nordstrom MOD
card–with Double Rewards Points, customers will receive 4 rewards points
per net dollar spent at Nordstrom using a Nordstrom credit card or
Nordstrom MOD card. Nordstrom is one of the nation’s leading fashion
specialty
retailers, with 165 stores located in 28 states.

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Oasis Online to Market SVC Debit Cards

Oasis Online Technologies has entered into a 3-year revenue sharing
agreement with SVC Cards to market and distribute a suite of payment products and
services. Under the terms of the Revenue Share Agreement, Oasis will receive a
substantial portion of the net revenue generated from the sale of SVC’s
products and can create its own co-branded products with SVC Cards.
SVC’s products contain proprietary management
software which allows card holders to set their own controls on
purchases including where the user can shop, set their own daily and
monthly limits, and provide real-time reporting via SMS text-messaging
or e-mails sent back to the cardmember. Products include
major branded prepaid debit cards, a mobile phone
payment application, Electronic Funds Transfer services, and ACH payments.

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SEPT DEBT

Credit card outstandings edged up slightly September to GBP 55.7
billion, after adjustments of GBP 1.0 billion for net flows.
Year-on-year credit card outstandings (not seasonally adjusted) were up
slightly more than 3%. According to the The Bank of England, net credit
card lending rose by GBP 300 million in September, below the increase in
August. The increase of GBP 2.4 billion in total net lending to
individuals in September was above the increase in August, but below the
previous six-month average. The twelve-month growth rate slowed further,
to 5.4%, and the three-month annualized growth rate fell by 40 basis
points to 1.9%. The increase of GBP 300 million in net consumer credit
in September was also below that in August and below the previous
sixâ‘month average. Net other loans and advances fell slightly in
September. The annual growth rate of consumer credit slowed by 70 basis
points, to 6.0%; the three-month annualized growth rate fell by 150
basis points to 3.9%.

NOTE: Chart does not include about GBP10 billion from specialist
lenders, retailers, and insurance companies. SOURCE: Bank of England

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Young, Travelers and Males Adopt M-Banking

A new survey reveals that 7.2% of mobile phone users that
are 18 or older and employed use mobile banking. The poll of 20,000 consumers by Compass Intelligence found that adoption tends to be higher among certain subgroups including young adults (age 18-24) and frequent travelers (those that travel 5 times or more per month). As age increases, or frequency of travel decreases, adoption rates decline. Male users are also somewhat more likely to adopt mobile banking services. Adoption rates increase as size of business increases, with enterprises having the highest adoption rate (7.7%). Additionally, Finance, Health Care and Transportation & Distribution industrial verticals have higher than average percentage of mobile banking users.
Push-to-talk service users are more likely to use mobile banking than
average mobile phone users.

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VISA & HSBC

Visa and HSBC have expanded their global
relationship to include new debit card programs throughout Asia Pacific
and the Middle East. Under terms of the agreement for Asia Pacific,
Visa will become HSBC’s exclusive partner for new consumer debit
products, with HSBC issuing more than 10 million Visa debit cards in
Australia, Brunei, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Philippines,
Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. HSBC Middle East
Limited will begin issuing new Visa-branded debit
cards by early 2009 in eight countries including United Arab Emirates,
Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Pakistan. Some of these
approximately one million new cards will also be Visa payWave-enabled,
allowing cardholders to make contactless payment transactions quickly
and securely at the point of sale and will also be able to support
services such as loyalty programs for cardholders, bringing more
convenience and added value to debit transactions.

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