Allsup Launches a Direct Express Initiative

Social Security disability insurance provider Allsup seeks to educate SSDI recipients and explore the advantages of a debit card versus a bank account. The debit card program, called “Direct Express,” is run by the U.S. Treasury Department through Comerica Bank with the intent to encourage Social Security recipients who do not have a bank account to elect to have their benefits loaded electronically onto a debit card. The “Direct Express” program will be introduced this spring in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas before being phased in across the nation during the summer. Social Security recipients participating in the Direct Express program are allowed one free ATM cash withdrawal per month from a designated ATM. They are assessed a 90-cent fee for each additional ATM withdrawal. Cardholders may be charged an additional ‘surcharge fee’ by ATM owners outside of the Comerica Bank network, which issues the debit cards. Additionally, program participants have access to online bill payment for a fee of 50 cents per online bill payment and can receive a paper statement for a 75-cent monthly fee.

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USAT ePort Connect Stored Value is Launched

USA Technologies also announced the launch of the “ePort Connect Stored Value, Loyalty and Certification Programs.” The comprehensive “ePort Connect” service wirelessly enables self service terminals and vending machines to accept cashless payments, handles all elements of the transaction processing, and allows customers to monitor and manage their terminals online. The unique “e-Port Connect” package supports USA Technologies’ ePort cashless transaction product line, including the Company’s web-based terminal reporting system, “USALive.” With “e-Port Connect” self-service terminals can accept all major credit cards from magnetic stripe and contactless, to NFC which allows consumers to make purchases with their cellular phones.

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NCR REALPOS

Fortoak terminal paper supplier has signed agreements with the NCR
Corporation to distribute its 2-sided “RealPOS” printers and custom
designed paper. These products are capable of reducing paper consumption
by over 40% and increase efficiency with less-frequent paper roll
replacement. Moreover, the paper, “NCR 2ST”, allows retailers to customize
coupons and promotions at the point of sale and is a product of
sustainable managed sources which include wood plantations, regulated
forests, recycled saw mill waste and arboreal debris. Fortoak manufactures
and distributes its receipt printer rolls for over 150,000 organizations
with its staff of nearly 100 while the NCR Corporation provides
self-service solutions in various sectors across more than 100 countries.

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Hypercom Hires Two Executives

Hypercom has hired Ronald R. Rhodes, previously with Palm, to VP, Global Supply Chain Management and Tim Jones, previously with IXIA to VP, Global Human Resources. Rhodes was SVP of Global Operations for Palm, where he established and directed worldwide supply chain management, including product cost reduction, inventory management and quality organization. This succeeded his role as SVP of Manufacturing & Supply Chain Operations at PSC where he identified, developed and directed key operational initiatives and implemented processes and procedures across all supply chain functions. Jones served for three years as Global Vice President of Human Resources at IXIA where he created, implemented HR metrics, policies, compensation structures and performance management processes. He was also instrumental in increasing the company’s workforce at two offshore entities in Bucharest, Romania and Calcutta, India.

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ADS Signs a Hot Topic Card Deal

Alliance Data Systems has signed a long-term agreement with specialty retailer Hot Topic to provide private label credit card services for its Torrid branded stores. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide private label credit card services including account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services for Torrid and compliment and enhance Torrid’s existing “divastyle” customer rewards program with 1 million Torrid customers currently enrolled. Hot Topic is a specialty retailer of young men and women’s apparel, accessories, music and gifts with 690 stores and 2007 net sales of $728 million.

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PAY IN YOUR CURRENCY

Global Payments and Planet Payment have teamed to provide HSBC Bank
merchants with the “Pay in Your Currency” currency service. This will
provide consumers with immediate payment transaction currency conversion
affording the user the knowledge of the transaction cost in his/her own
funds. These features are projected to be available to users before the
Beijing Olympic Games, which are expected to attract millions of people
from around the world who utilize hundreds of different currencies. Global
Payments provides electronic transaction processing services for payment
cards, verification and recovery to many organizations while Planet
Payment enables processors, acquiring banks and their merchants to accept
transactions in multiple currencies.

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SMARTCARD MARKETING & DWC

SmartCard Marketing Systems has signed supply and fulfillment agreements
with Direct World Convenience Card Inc. of Alberta, allowing its expansion
into the Canadian marketplace. Additionally, these agreements will improve
the supply of prepaid and re-loadable cards to both merchants and
consumers for various uses, given the recent increasing demand and need
for
specialized applications across Canada. With this, SmartCard Marketing
Systems can now promote brand awareness through its Velocitymoney.com and
Velocitymerchant.com websites in the fresh territory.

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Fargo Financial Card Printing Technology Expands

HID Global announced its participation in 15 pilot programs utilizing its Fargo HDP instant issuance financial card printing technology with banks and credit unions. More than 100 branches are using the HDP printing technology, producing debit cards instantly for banking customers. The largest of the programs is TD Banknorth, a banking and financial services company headquartered in Portland, Maine, who is piloting Dynamic Card Solutions’ “CardWizard FCP 20/20,” an OEM version of HDP technology in dozens of branches. TD Banknorth is offering customers a flat-panel, or non-embossed, VISA debit card and an individual PIN when they open a personal or business checking account. The cards can be used immediately at ATMs and retailers. TD Banknorth plans to roll out the program to all 600 branches in 2008. Other pilots include a major U.S. bank with 2,000 branches across the country.

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FIDELITY & HOME TRUST

Fidelity National Information Services has signed processing agreements
with Home Trust Company, for which it currently provides credit card
processing. Under the terms of the new agreements, Fidelity will be
providing Home Trust with merchant processing services such as settlement,
charge-back processing, retrieval services and customer support.
Home Trust Company is a Canadian federally regulated trust
company, offering customers banking and finance services across the
country, while Fidelity National Information Services provides core
processing for 35 of the top 50 global banks, is headquartered in
Jacksonville, FL and serves a total of more than 9,000 financial
institutions in over 80 countries.

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STATISTICS CANADA

According to recent reports from Statistics Canada, Canadian retail sales
have seen unexpected growth for the month of January of 2008.
Specifically, Canadian retail sales showed a growth of 1.5% for the month,
compared to an expected 1.4%, and .6% for the month of December. The
influx in sales were seen largely in building/home supplies stores,
clothing/accessories stores, home furnishings, electronics and a 1.8%
increase in automotive sales.

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MONIGIVE

Montise has launched the “MoniGive” solution to facilitate the
contribution of charitable donations using mobile banking and payments.
Serving as a ‘virtual collection box’, “MoniGive” will allow respective
organizations to connect to the Montise network for the acceptance of
donations from caring consumers. Moreover, the payment system minimizes
integration for participating charitable organizations to ensure up-front
costs are kept to a minimum.

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