ViVOtech Intros the ViVOpay 5000m System

NFC specialist ViVOtech has introduced a new payment system providing a single point of acceptance for both advanced contactless and legacy mag-stripe payment technologies. The new “ViVOpay 5000m” offers extra features for retailers adopting emerging mobile commerce and promotion applications based on NFC mobile phone technologies. The “ViVOpay 5000m” LCD screen lets merchants display transaction amount and customized messages for promotions and incentives. The new contactless payment reader can also be easily adapted to extend new technology to existing POS and ECR systems. ViVOtech also announced that The Paradies Shops has selected ViVOtech contactless payment terminals for their over 500 retail stores in over 60 airports and hotels across the U.S. and Canada.

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Retail Pro v9 is Introduced

Retail Pro has introduced the latest version of “Retail Pro 9” featuring, among other items, multi-language, multi-currency, multi-company capabilities and a wide variety of predefined reports. Retail Pro 9 incorporates a number of new features such as the exchange data at near real time allowing for an accurate snapshot of any element in the store; improved sales functionality for greater detailed customer data capture, enhanced customer purchase tracking, improved tendering for smoother transactions, gift receipts, centralized returns and customer lookup; enhanced sales order functionality eases the interface between receipts and customer orders, layaways, special orders and gift registries. Retail Pro is a provider of Point of Sale, Store Operations, Merchandising, Planning, Business Intelligence, and Payment Processing software applications for the specialty retail industry.

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Hypercom Rolls-Out SmartPayments EasyRetail

Hypercom has introduced a new product that provides cardholder-facing payment terminals to single-lane checkout counters. The new “SmartPayments EasyRetail” combines the “Optimum L4150” and “Optimum L4250” multi-lane terminals with its PC-based “SmartPayments” electronic payment processing software. The product also provides the ability to support integrated plug-ins for Microsoft’s “Retail Management System” and Intuit’s “QuickBooks” accounting packages. The new product offers plug and play integration and offers an intuitive interface for merchants and consumers, including customizable prompts for both terminals. Hypercom says the new system speeds up transactions as the cardholder and cashier are simultaneously interacting with the payment transaction. Payment data is instantaneously transmitted to the terminal screen and processor database, negates the need for retailer manual entry and/or two receipts, and speeds reconciliation by incorporating the processor’s approval code and other data into the POS system for easy retrieval.

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PaySimple Lands a Former GPN Executive

Denver-based PaySimple has hired David Sharp, formerly with Global Payments, as VP/Business Development . As Vice President of the Western Region for Global Payments, Sharp was responsible for managing sales and business development activities for Global Payments’ merchant acquiring and network processing services for the ISO, processors, and financial institution marketplace. Prior to joining Global in 2000, he managed the southeastern sales territory for TransFirst, offering agent bank processing to the community bank market. Sharp currently serves on the Western States Acquirers Association advisory board, as well as the Awards and Recognitions Committee for the Electronic Transactions Association. He earned his BA in International Business from the University of Georgia.

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PAYMENTS PARTNERSHIP

La Banque Postale and Societe Generale have signed a memorandum of
understanding for the collaboration of electronic-payment investment,
maintenance and operational costs. With this agreement, the 2 organizations
will establish headquarters in Paris and will initiate operations on April
1st, 2008 to reduce cost and corroborate expertise. In doing so, the banks
will share ATMs, IT processing management of transaction systems and retail
operations. La Banque Postale and Societe Generale have a combined volume
of 10 million cards issued, over 100,000 retailer contracts and 10,000
ATMs.
Societe Generale financial service group retail networks and financial
services
account for 27.6 million private customers around the world, has asset
management & investor services of EUR 2,585 billion and has a leading
corporate & investment banking segment while La Banque Postale has over
29 million clients, 11.2 million post office accounts and employs 5,270
financial
advisers.

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BANK OF EAST ASIA

The Bank of East Asia has been approved to issue debit cards
throughout China with plans to establish a domestic data center in
the near future. The bank was first incorporated in April of 2007
and this, along with additional developments, is part of its effort to
address wealth management and private banking operations.
Furthermore, the Bank of East Asia is among 5 foreign banks
recently approved by the China Banking Regulatory Commission
to operate a bank card businesses.

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VeriFone Announces the MX800 and MX860

VeriFone has introduced a new payment product that positions itself in the line between the payment optimized “MX850” systems and the multi-media optimized “MX870.” The new “MX860” combines widescreen, video-game quality resolution and impact with tactile keys for disability compliance requirements. VeriFone also introduced the “MX800 Series” price checker. The “MX800” not only provides multimedia promotions, it can also double as a gift card registry or loyalty program enrollment kiosk, or enable a variety of other customer-facing applications. The new “MX800 Series” modules include a printer, a scanner, a printer/scanner combination and Wi-Fi; also new is a Power over Ethernet option. All of the modules are field upgradeable and may be retrofit on existing deployed “MX800 Series” products. The “MX800 Series” products now also support an embedded browser for application development and user interface.

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OCTOBER DEBIT

Debit card EFT/POS volume picked-up in October at a per annum growth rate of 15%, compared to 10% in September. During October, Australian consumers used debit cards for a record A$9.0 billion in transactions. Over the past five years debit card volume has grown 53%. During October, Australians used debit cards for A$7.2 billion in purchases with 113.1 million transactions. Total EFT/POS transactions were 131.7 million for October according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. There were 27.4 million debit card accounts in the country at the end of October, compared to 26.2 million one-year ago.

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Regulation Hampers Branded Prepaid Growth

A new report has found that regulatory pressures represent the most significant challenge to branded prepaid card issuers. A majority of respondents also view finding an effective way to market prepaid cards a serious impediment to their success. Nevertheless, Boston-based Aite Group found that only a quarter of respondents were dissatisfied by their current performance in the prepaid card market. More than three-quarters of issuers focus on selling prepaid cards directly to consumers through their own channels and marketing efforts. About 44% focuses on issuing prepaid cards to employers and government agencies. While another sizeable group utilizes retailers’ stores as a distribution channel, 56% currently stay away from selling through that channel. AITE concluded that most branded prepaid card issuers lack an integrated distribution platform.

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CREDIT CARD VOLUMES

According to Lafferty Research, credit card use among Turkish
consumers has surged 523% since 2002 with a total volume of
$17.9 billion for 2007 and is showing no signs of slowing growth.
Additional findings show that total debt on credit cards account
for only 20% of consumer spending, affecting 36 million consumers
in 2007, up from 15 million in 2002. Given these findings, the
research group concludes that Turkey is now among the top ten
most profitable global card markets with profits of $1.8 billion in
2007. Lafferty Group’s Turkey research examines trends in the
Turkish consumer finance and the payment cards market.

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Pacifica Powers First Hawaiian Rewards

Pacifica Group has agreed to partner with First Hawaiian Bank to expand its “Priority Rewards Program.” All First Hawaiian Bank customers that have a Priority Rewards debit or credit card will earn bonus points when they shop at hundreds of local retailers and restaurants. Currently cardholders earn 1 point per dollar when using First Hawaiian’s Priority Reward credit card and 1 point per two dollars when using the bank’s Priority Rewards debit card. Points can be redeemed for air travel with no blackout dates, gift cards from local and national merchants as well as cash awards. First Hawaiian Bank holds assets of $12.5 billion.

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