Travel Specialist VEGAS.com Gift Cards Unveiled

Travel website VEGAS.com is now offering “VEGAS.com Gift Cards” good for hotel rooms, show tickets and nightclub passes. “VEGAS.com Gift Cards” never expire and if the entire balance of the gift card isn’t used in one order, the remainder of the balance can be used on any future purchases made through the VEGAS.com Web site or call center. VEGAS.com Gift Cards are available in $25, $50 and $100 denominations, with high-roller gift cards ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 planned for later in the year. There is no limit as to how many gift cards can be purchased and recipients can apply as many cards as they wish towards their VEGAS.com purchase. The gift cards are delivered to the recipient via email with a code that can be used immediately. Gift cards can also be purchased through the shopping cart on VEGAS.com, so a customer buying a hotel, show or other product can add a gift card to their cart and complete the purchase in a single transaction. There are no fees associated with “VEGAS.com Gift Cards.”

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TransCard & Discover to Issue Payroll Cards

EFT provider TransCard and Discover Network have partnered with trucking company U.S.Xpress to provide a complete electronic payroll solution to U.S. Xpress employees. Offered by TransCard to more than 10,000 U.S. Xpress Enterprises associates, the Discover Network-branded payroll card will allow these associates to use their cards anywhere that the Discover Network brand is accepted, including more than 4,400 financial institutions and nearly 260,000 ATMs and point-of-sale terminals nationwide. U.S. Xpress Discover Network cardholders enjoy the benefits of convenience, cost savings and reduced fraud. The combination of the new TransCard payroll and electronic paystub product with the Company’s current direct-deposit offerings will allow U.S. Xpress to further reduce the Company’s environmental footprint. A 100-percent electronic payroll delivery by U.S. Xpress can assist in conserving nearly 13,000 gallons of gasoline that would be needed to send all the Company’s payroll statements through conventional mail in one year.

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MasterCard and Altair Intro the Babee Card

MasterCard and Altair Financial Services have launched the pay-as-you-go “BaBee Prepaid Card” targeting British mothers with access to a discount club and cash-back rewards. Originally introduced by Blueberry Card Services, the “BaBee Card” has an annual fee of GBP14.95, provides hundreds of discounts and can be managed through SMS mobile phone technology 24 hours a day. Blueberry Card Services will donate GBP1 to BLISS charity for special care babies. Altair Financial Services International is headquartered in London and provides card processing to organizations around the world on behalf of MasterCard.

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Triton Systems Promotes Brou

MS-based ATM manufacturer Triton Systems has promoted Jonathan Brou to Senior Network Administrator. Brou is responsible for managing the IT helpdesk, ensuring that the servers and other network equipment function properly, monitoring data backups, creating and editing group policies that govern the network, and assisting users with various IT needs. Triton has 180,000 installations in over 24 countries and is the largest off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America.

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Heartland Payment Receives a Top Payment Award

Heartland Payment Systems’ “Give Something Back Network” has received the “Best in Payments” Editor’s Choice Award by Card & Payments Magazine. The award recognizes Heartland’s Give Something Back Network for its pioneering payments solution for colleges and universities and its visionary approach to campus payment solutions. By replacing the traditional school ID card with a “OneCard” and contactless cell phone tag powered by the Give Something Back Network, students, faculty and staff can make payments on campus and off. With every off-campus purchase made with the card/tag, the sponsoring school automatically receives a minimum donation of one-third of 1.5% of the purchase price. Cardholders can elect to donate an additional 1% to the school or other eligible nonprofit organizations. Alternatively, cardholders can receive 1% cash back. The OneCard/tag can also serve a variety of additional functions – from paying at vending and laundry machines to providing facility access, checking out library books, buying meals and receiving financial aid, tuition reimbursement and refunds, even paychecks. The Best in Payments awards, established in 2007 by Cards & Payments Magazine, recognize industry excellence in five categories: Best Marketing Campaign, Best New Product Best Technology Implementation, Outstanding Payments Executive, and the newly added Editor’s Choice award.

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OBERTHUR 1Q/08

Oberthur Technologies reported that revenues for its Card Systems unit grew 13% year-on-year to 184.3 million euros. Card Systems delivered over 115 million microprocessor cards in the first quarter, a 45% increase over 1Q/07. About 35 million payment smart cards were delivered in the first quarter, up 28% from 1Q/07. During the first quarter, the card activity posted a +11.6% strong growth in sales, reaching 149.4 million euros. At historical currency exchange rates,
the growth would have reached 16.9%. For complete details on Oberthur’s latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Equifax First Quarter Revenue Jumps 24%

Equifax reported revenue of $503.1 million for the first quarter, a 24% increase over the first quarter of 2007. Operating income for the quarter grew 8% to $126.2 million. U.S. Consumer Information Solutions revenue was $233.2 million in the first quarter, a 6% decrease from 1Q/07. Online Consumer Information Solutions revenue was $156.9 million, down 3%, while Mortgage Reporting Solutions revenue remained flat at $17.5 million. Credit Marketing Services revenue was $35.4 million, down 12% and Direct Marketing Services revenue was $23.4 million, down 14%. Also, North America Personal Solutions revenue rose to $43.1 million, a 14% increase from the first quarter of 2007. For complete details on Equifax’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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JAVA CARD v3.0

CA-based Sun Microsystems has partnered with Java Card Forum to provide
the v3.0 Java Card platform, launched at the SIMPosium 2008 Conference
in Berlin. Sun and Java have made available two
separate editions of the platform, including Java Card Platform v.3.0,
Classic Edition and Java Card Platform v.3.0, Connected Edition, both
compatible with applications written for previous versions. Sun
Microsystems develops technologies and drives network participation
through shared innovation in over 100 countries while Java Card Forum
was established to promote its preferred programming language for
multi-application smart cards. With 3.5 billion Java smart cards shipped
to date, 1.2 Billion of which were deployed in 2007, the partnership
projects fruitful gains with this launch.

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CML & BETTER ATM

AZ-based Better ATM Services has signed a letter of agreement with
Capital Market Technologies (CMT) for the introduction of ATM-dispensed
gift cards, pre-paid media and premiums across Europe. In doing so,
Better ATM Services’ technology allows existing ATMs to dispense the
said products from its cash tray, allowing banks, shopping malls,
grocery stores, restaurants, independent service operators, advertisers
and other businesses a solution for increasing profitability and
providing consumers a new level of value-added service. Capital Markets
Technologies (CMT) provides financial technology solutions to
organizations around the world while Better ATM Services (BATM) offers
technology that enables ATMs to dispense designated cards like currency.

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Planet Payment Acquires iPay for $1.3MM

NY-based Planet Payment has acquired the assets of iPay e-Commerce processing for $1 million, which is used by merchants to facilitate the acceptance of credit and debit cards as payment in non-face-to-face transactions, and has completed a $3 million private placing of Convertible Promissory Notes with Camden Partners private equity firm. The acquisition includes the peripheral employment of 35 professionals who operated the business, iPay tangible assets, intellectual property and licenses comprising the iPay processing business, for which Planet Payment foresees paying an additional $200,000-$300,000 on existing contracts, and maintenance of infrastructure upgrades. In return, Planet Payment projects iPay’s 20-bank, 4,000-merchant portfolio to generate a processing volume of over $1 billion and contribute approximately $7 million in net revenue.

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Experian and the CBA Target Micro lending

CA-based Experian has partnered with VA-based Credit Builders Alliance, a non-profit alliance of community lenders, for the establishment of a reporting database for microlenders. With this development, U.S. based lenders, including asset building organizations and community credit lenders, can report the repayment history of their borrowers. Subsequently, the CBA members are allowed to professionalize their portfolios while helping thousands of entrepreneurs build a credit history and establish capital. Experian has annual sales of over $3.8 billion and employs nearly 15,500 people in 36 countries worldwide while CBA was incorporated in 2006 to help community lenders report loan repayment data to the major credit bureaus.

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Javelin Strategy Lands Schwanhausser

Javelin Strategy has hired Mark Schwanhausser, previously with the San Jose Mercury News, as a multi-channel financial analyst. Schwanhausser worked nearly 26 years for the San Jose Mercury News, most of it as a personal finance reporter writing about money and emerging trends in financial services and payments technology. His primary responsibility was to write news and features on topics of particular interest in Silicon Valley. For 17 years he wrote or edited the publication’s annual tax guide, arguably the most thorough report on federal and California taxes year in and year out at general newspapers. During his career he helped launch “Getting Ahead,” a personal finance and careers section, and wrote the “Money Manual,” an occasional column aimed at helping consumers with their money.

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