US Biometrics Access Signs GEICO FCU

MD-based GEICO FCU recently purchased and implemented US Biometrics’
AccessQ system for controlling physical access to various entrances with
fingerprint biometrics. US Biometrics worked with GEICO to specify and
implement the hardware and software system to biometrically
control strategic entrances within their facility. IL-based US
Biometrics designs biometric technologies for financial, corporate, and
healthcare clients who require absolute authentication of customers and



The Open Mobile Terminal Platform’s (OMTP) Advanced Trusted Environment
has given GlobalPlatform approval for
“GPD / STIP v2.3 Mobile Profile Specification” technology that offers a
standardized platform which authorizes the isolation
of applications with different security levels, enabling the existence
of diverse security driven business models to reside on one terminal and
“DASM”, a series of specifications eases application
deployment in a multiple actor mobile terminal environment. It
compromises of three documents: DASM Concepts and Descriptions, DASM Key
and Certificate Management, and DASM Provisioning.OMTP is backed by many
of the
largest mobile operators and has members from 24 hardware and software
vendors across the value chain. OMTP recommendations benefit carriers,
content providers, middleware vendors and handset manufacturers to
develop open and compatible mobile devices.


Chase/BP Visa Launches a New Gas Promo

BP announces a new promotion for its exclusive Chase credit card, the BP Visa, offering new customers a 10 percent rebate on all BP purchases within the 60 day promotional period. Chase Bank U.S.A., NA, is the credit card division and subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co. [NYSE: JPM].

The 10 percent rebate translates into cents off per each gallon of gas. For example, if a driver were buying gasoline for $3.50 per gallon, that would be a 35-cent rebate with each gallon of gasoline. In addition, all new BP Visa cardmembers immediately enjoy double rebates earning four percent on eligible travel and dining purchases and two percent on most other purchases.
“The holidays are quickly approaching and soon we’ll all be busy with gift giving and traveling to see friends and family,” said Dave VanWiggeren, cards marketing manager, BP. “Who couldn’t use some extra cash in their pockets? With the BP Visa card’s rebate offer, cardmembers can earn rebates on all their purchases this holiday season.”

Donna Barrett, retail general manager, Chase Card Services, said: “Chase has been happy to serve BP customers for over three years. We believe that in this economic environment, it is helpful to illustrate how the rebate will transfer directly to savings at the pump and on all other purchases. We are confident consumers will be interested in the many rewards that come with using the Chase BP Visa card.”

While gasoline rebate cards continue to grow in popularity, it’s important to know that not all cards are created equal. Chase and BP have developed a unique rewards program for BP Visa cardmembers. Because the card is exclusive to BP, the gasoline rewards received are higher than most other gasoline rewards cards. BP Visa cardmembers will continue to receive rewards after the close of the promotional period, earning five percent on all BP purchases, and two percent on all eligible travel and dining, and one percent on virtually all other purchases.

Cardmembers also have the opportunity to decide how they would like to redeem their rewards. For every $25 earned in rebates, members can choose to receive a $25 BP gift card, a personal check or make a donation to The Conservation Fund, an environmental charity.

Evidence shows that BP-branded marketers benefit from the very competitive product offer. “BP Visa cardmembers go from visiting BP for roughly 35percent of their fueling trips to 70percent after receiving the card,” states VanWiggeren.

New BP Visa credit cards can be opened by going to or stopping by a BP location for an application.

About BP
BP markets more than 15 billion gallons of gasoline every year to U.S. consumers through more than 10,000 BP and ARCO branded retail outlets and supplies more than four billion gallons of fuel annually to fleets, industrial users, auto and truck manufacturers, railroads and utilities.

BP is the single, global brand formed by the combination of the former British Petroleum, Amoco Corporation, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol. BP is a global producer, manufacturer and marketer of oil, gas, chemicals and renewable energy sources.

About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $1.8 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. The company has more than 157 million credit cards issued. The firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers, small business and commercial banking, financial transaction processing, asset management, and private equity. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase serves millions of consumers and businesses in the United States and many of the world’s most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its JPMorgan and Chase brands. Information about the firm is available at


Small Biz Owners Confidence Collapse

Economic confidence among small business owners slipped sharply in
September. The real mover of this month’s confidence level is the
overall sense that the economy is getting worse. The “Discover Small
Business Watch” fell to 74.6 in September, down 12.3 points from August.
Discover also found that 42% of small business owners have experienced
cash flow issues over the last 90 days, unchanged from August; 51%
believe economic conditions for their businesses are getting worse, up
from 44% in August; and the number of small business owners who think
the U.S. economy is getting worse rose to 73% from 60% in August.
Additionally, 67% of small business owners say that despite the current
economic climate, they have not been forced to borrow money to pay bills
for their business. In addition, 73% say gas prices are having a
negative effect on their profitability.


Firethorn and Fifth Third Ink a Deal

Leading mobile commerce
enabler Firethorn Holdings, LLC, a Qualcomm company announced that it has entered into an agreement with Fifth Third Processing
Solutions to bring mobile banking services to its 2,880 financial
institutions. As part of the relationship, Fifth Third Processing Solutions
will offer Firethorn’s products to its processing financial institution
clients, leveraging existing integration and connectivity to deploy
Firethorn’s mobile application. Fifth Third Processing Solutions plans to
make the service available to its financial institutions before the end of
the year.

Through Firethorn’s mobile banking solution, Fifth Third’s customers
will be able to check account balances, view transaction details and
transfer funds. Additionally, end-users will gain access to their account
history and can make account balance inquiries through SMS. Future
capabilities will include more advanced mobile transactions and mobile

Because Firethorn is a preferred mobile commerce enabler among the
nation’s leading mobile network operators, clients such as Fifth Third
Processing Solutions gain the unique advantage of preferred placement of
their brands on the wireless handset to drive adoption, and they enjoy
fully integrated end-to-end customer support.

Angela Brown, Fifth Third Processing Solutions’ senior vice president
and general manager of financial institutions services, references
Firethorn’s market position, rich history in financial services and its
vision for the future of payments as key differentiators setting Firethorn
apart from its competitors.

“At Fifth Third Processing Solutions, we see this relationship as more
than reselling Firethorn’s products,” said Brown. “It also is an
opportunity to creatively leverage the best aspects of both organizations’
domain experience, moving mobile commerce to market quickly. This
relationship allows us to gain momentum in this growing industry. This is a
huge step forward in payment innovation.”

Firethorn’s collaboration with Fifth Third Processing Solutions is
significant for consumers, as the relationship allows Firethorn to bring
them relevant content conveniently on their mobile devices in a secure,
easy-to-use application. Eventually, it also will allow Firethorn to bring
traditional and non-traditional transactions to Fifth Third’s 20 million
cardholders and numerous other financial institutions through the Jeanie(R)
Network, as well as through direct connection to other debit and credit
card networks.

“By joining forces with Fifth Third Processing Solutions, we gain
multiple touch points with core processors, debit networks and credit
networks, giving us access across the financial services industry,” said
Tripp Rackley, CEO of Firethorn. “Our relationship with Fifth Third
Processing Solutions extends beyond mobile banking and is another step in
our efforts to collaborate with the right companies and institutions that
bring value through financial services, merchant relationships and
point-of-sale payment capabilities. Our mission at Firethorn is to monetize
the mobile channel for our strategic clients. We do this by creating
opportunities — through the Firethorn solution — to generate revenue,
improve customer acquisition and retention and lower operational and
servicing costs.”

As the mobile commerce subsidiary of global wireless technology leader
Qualcomm, Firethorn is able to leverage Qualcomm’s substantial wireless
technology innovations and its world-leading development expertise to
design and deliver a superior mobile user experience.

About Firethorn

Firethorn, a Qualcomm company (Nasdaq: QCOM), is a mobile commerce
enabler chosen by some of the nation’s leading financial institutions and
wireless operators. The Firethorn mobile wallet is a single, secure,
certified application embedded on select wireless handsets. It enables
financial institutions to deliver branded services to consumers via the
mobile device; wireless operators to deliver consumer-convenient,
mass-market applications to subscribers; and mobile device users to access
and add multiple financial relationships with one password. For more
information on Firethorn, visit

About Fifth Third Processing Solutions

Fifth Third Processing Solutions processes over 26.7 billion ATM and
POS transactions per year for more than 2,880 financial institutions and
over 158,356 retail locations worldwide, including the Armed Forces
Financial Network (AFFN), First Niagara Financial Group, Sovereign Bank,
The Kroger Co., AutoZone, Abercrombie & Fitch and The Finish Line.
Annually, Fifth Third processes $179.1 billion in credit card sales.
According to The Nilson Report (March 2008), Fifth Third Bank is the fourth
largest bankcard acquirer.

Qualcomm is a registered trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated. All other
trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Visa’s Partridge to Join the CIGNA Board

CIGNA Corporation announced that John M. Partridge, chief operating officer of Visa, Inc.,
will join CIGNA Corporation’s Board of Directors effective January 26, 2009.

“We welcome John as the newest member of our board of directors,” said
H. Edward Hanway, chairman and chief executive officer of CIGNA
Corporation. “John’s management and IT experience will certainly be
beneficial as we transform CIGNA into the nation’s leading health
service company.”

Partridge was appointed chief operating officer of Visa Inc. and interim
president of Visa U.S.A. in July 2007. He joined Visa U.S.A. in October
1999 and has served as president and CEO of Inovant since November 2000.
From 1998 until joining Visa, Partridge served as senior vice president
and chief information officer of Unum Provident Corp., where he led a
corporate restructuring initiative and had direct responsibility for
technology and operations. From 1989 to 1998, he was executive vice
president for Credicorp Inc., where he was responsible for consumer
banking, technology and operations. Prior to that he held various
management positions with Well Fargo.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of
California at Berkeley.

More information on CIGNA’s Board of Directors is available at:


CIGNA (NYSE: CI), one of the nation’s leading health service companies,
is dedicated to helping the people we serve improve their health,
well-being and security through a diversified portfolio of benefits and
services. Serving approximately 47 million people throughout the United
States and around the world, CIGNA’s operating subsidiaries offer a full
portfolio of medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision
care benefits as well as group life, accident and disability insurance.
To learn more about CIGNA visit


U.S. Banking Consolidation to Continue

New research from TowerGroup finds that the weeks and months to come
will bring more mergers and restructuring for the U.S. banking industry,
even as the drive for greater regulation, transparency, and cooperation
continues to be debated. At the same time, financial institutions will
return to a focus on more traditional banking activities, as credit
terms become tighter, capital is withheld from the market, and economic
growth is further stifled. While most other developed banking markets
are consolidated into the hands of five or so top players, the U.S.
market has been more fragmented. TowerGroup says the consolidation cycle
will create another two to three national banks
alongside Bank of America and the new Chase. While many thousands of
community banks, credit unions, and mid-tier institutions will continue
to find success in their markets, the top-tier banking echelon will be
far smaller than it is today.


Mitsubishi UFJ Takes Morgan Stanley Stake

Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group and Morgan Stanley have signed a deal under which MUFG is investing $9 billion in equity in Morgan Stanley for a 21% interest in the Company on a fully diluted basis. MUFG is Japan’s largest financial group and the world’s second largest bank holding company with $1.1 trillion in bank deposits.
Lazard Freres served as financial advisor to MUFG. BlackRock
provided advice to MUFG on asset valuation and have signed a deal under which MUFG is investing $9 billion in equity in Morgan Stanley for a 21% interest in the Company on a fully diluted basis. MUFG is Japan’s largest financial group and the world’s second largest bank holding company with $1.1 trillion in bank deposits. Lazard Freres served as financial advisor to MUFG.


DRG Certifies TriniTEQ’s WaiterPAD

Hospitality POS specialist TriniTEQ announced that its “WaiterPAD”
system has successfully completed “PABP” compliance testing performed by
information security assessment and data protection company, Digital
Resources Group. As a low frequency, long-range Radio Frequency system,
“WaiterPAD” has advantages over Wi-Fi systems for pay at the table. In
restaurants with commonly found enclosed rooms, microwaves, glass, steel
and liquids, “WaiterPAD” requires fewer wireless access points and
reduces security risk by avoiding more commonly trafficked Wi-Fi


Metavante’s NYCE and MoneyPass Net Team

NYCE announced that it has
signed an alliance agreement with the MoneyPass Network to offer
participants in NYCE’s SUM^® selective surcharging program the option to
add access to MoneyPass Network’s 13,000 surcharge-free ATMs. NYCE
Payments Network, LLC, is a leading U.S. electronic payments network and
a Metavante (NYSE:MV) company. Metavante is a leading provider of
banking and payments technology. MoneyPass is a nationwide
surcharge-free ATM network owned by Elan Financial Services.

NYCE’s SUM Program allows cardholders of participating financial
institutions to make surcharge-free withdrawals at nearly 2,950
designated ATMs of other SUM Program members. With this agreement, NYCE
will now offer SUM Program participants the ability to supplement their
SUM surcharge-free access with participation in the MoneyPass Network
with preferred business terms and conditions.

“We continue to focus on growing the MoneyPass network across the
country, steadily adding to our stable of surcharge-free ATMs,” said
Doug Miraglia, president of MoneyPass. “Our alliance agreement with NYCE
complements existing NYCE SUM Program ATMs with expansive surcharge-free
ATM access across the country, while also providing surcharge-free
access at SUM Program devices to existing MoneyPass members.”

“With its unique per-transaction fee structure, the SUM Program delivers
a flexible and economical surcharge-free solution that allows
institutions to expand their geographic reach while they manage their
expenses,” said Steve Rathgaber, NYCE president and chief operating
officer. “Now they have the option of adding the MoneyPass Network’s
base of surcharge-free ATMs in established and convenient settings — the
vast majority at banks and credit unions. This agreement further
strengthens SUM as a cost-effective customer loyalty tool that
institutions can tailor to meet the needs of their own markets.”

About MoneyPass

MoneyPass is a network of Elan Financial Services, one of the nation’s
leading providers of comprehensive ATM and debit card processing
solutions for financial institutions, Independent Sales Organizations
and retailers. Elan Financial Services processes transactions for more
than 2,000 financial institutions nationwide and manages over 38,000
ATMs for a variety of industries. MoneyPass provides surcharge free
access at more than 13,000 ATMs across the United States, allowing
cardholders of participating financial institutions to access their
money where they live, work and travel. With over 900 participating
financial institutions, 21 participating Independent Service
Organizations (ISOs) and over 28 million active cards, MoneyPass is a
rapidly growing surcharge-free network whose emphasis is on
cost-efficient membership options, flexible terms and accessible
locations. For more information, call 1-800-343-7064 or visit

About NYCE

NYCE Payments Network, LLC, helps its clients grow with innovative new
products and strategic alliances that enable them to capitalize on the
efficiency, consumer convenience and security of electronic real-time
payments. The NYCE Network provides consumers with secure, real-time
access to their money, offering hundreds of thousands of ATM locations
and millions of point-of-sale locations nationwide. The NYCE Direct Bill
Payment product offers cardholders a convenient way to pay bills online
in real-time via their bank accounts. NYCE Balance Transfer (formerly
Response Data Corporation) drives asset growth for consumer credit
issuers through automated balance transfer/consolidation payment
services. Headquartered in Secaucus, N.J., NYCE Payments Network, LLC,
( is a Metavante (NYSE:MV) company.