CPI Card Group Names a New President/CEO

CPI Card Group has hired Ted Fick, previously with Thermo King, as President and CEO. Previously, he was Vice President of Commercial Tire Systems at Goodyear and Senior Vice President at Hino Diesel Trucks, a subsidiary of Toyota. He spent 17 years at PACCAR, where he held increasingly responsible leadership positions in sales, marketing, plant management and general management. He has a master’s of science degree in management from Stanford University, where he was a Sloan Fellow, a master’s of business administration degree from the University of Puget Sound and a bachelor of arts degree in economics from the University of Washington.

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CardInk & MICA MULTOS

Cambridge-based Cryptomathic has extended the functionality of its “CardInk” solution to support the recently launched “MasterCard Integrated Card Application” on “MULTOS” cards. It is the first
commercially available data preparation solution capable of
performing secure data generation and key management for “MICA MULTOS”
cards during card issuance. “MICA” was launched by MasterCard in
November and is an integrated contact and contactless EMV chip card
payment application which supports both “M/Chip 4” and “MasterCard
PayPass” for issuing banks using the “MULTOS” smart card platform. It
is intended to simplify the issuance of combined “M/Chip” contact and
“PayPass M/Chip” contactless cards. Cryptomathic says it already has a
customer scheduled to take delivery of the new solution in Europe this
month.

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CardWorks Hits the 20-Year Milestone

CardWorks Servicing is celebrating the milestone of the twentieth anniversary of its founding and has redesigned its website. The revamped website allows for easy navigation while detailing CardWorks’ customized services and solutions that enable issuers and acquirers to successfully meet the challenges of today’s increasingly competitive bankcard environment. The services provided by CardWorks are transparent to cardholders and merchants, with specifications driven by each individual organization’s needs. Over the past two decades, CardWorks has experienced tremendous growth as a premier provider of solution- based products and services to meet the needs of prime and non-prime card issuers and acquirers in the United States and Canada. At present, CardWorks services over four million accounts.

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UATP GROWTH

Universal Air Travel Plan, Inc. (UATP) is reportedly maintaining its 4-
year growth trend throughout its network, which includes the Asia/Pacific,
European, Middle Eastern, African and the American markets. Since
the 3Q03 sales volume of USD 6.9 billion, UATP has seen continuous
increases to a projected USD 10 billion in volume for 2007. With the
company’s accounts accepted as payment by airlines and travel agencies,
experts credit these accomplishments to an ever-expanding global network
of acceptance and the strengthening of existing partnerships.

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nFinanSe Names a New Corp Sales Executive

FL-based stored value and prepaid card solutions provider nFinanSe has announced that Justin D. Norblade has been promoted to VP of Corporate Sales. He is responsible for the corporate channel, including sales initiatives, new client acquisition, sales personnel and client relationships for nFinanSe Pay Cards. Prior to joining nFinanSe, Norblade was the Senior Marketing and Business Development Manager for First National Bank of Omaha where he was responsible for developing and selling prepaid solutions to companies and corporations throughout the United States. Additionally, he has held sales and marketing positions with financial institutions, including National Bank of Commerce.

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E-SAFETRANSFER

Xiring has partnered with E-Safetransfer for the implementation of
15,000 “Teo” smartcard readers for the Brazilian Ministry of Finance.
“Teo” PC/SC smart card reader complies with market standards and is
certified in MS Windows environments. With these agreements,
E-Safetransfer will provide ministry employees with card readers that
meet Brazilian infrastructure requirements generating a price
reference model for other municipal offices. With the aforementioned
infrastructure requirements, “PKI”, the government is planning to issue
over 8 million smart card certificates (e-CPF) to authorities over the
coming months.

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SIGIS Offers IRS Compliance for FSA/HRA Cards

A new industry standard group, the Special Interest Group for IIAS Standards, or SIGIS, has been created. It was formed to help meet the January 1st IRS requirements for how FSA/HRA cards work at non-medical retailers. The standard incorporates real-time, auto-substantiation in the merchant’s “Inventory Information Approval System” for qualified healthcare products. More than 60 retail chains have announced their intention to implement the SIGIS standard by the first of the year. Cardholders can use their FSA/HRA cards at participating retailers, and continue to automatically access funds for qualified medical expenses and substantiate those claims at the point-of-sale which will help create efficient and convenient management of healthcare expenses with the elimination of additional paperwork. As of January 1, 2009, the IRS requires most pharmacy retailers to operate an “IIAS.” Some of these merchants also intend to implement the SIGIS standard in 2008.

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Motorola Unveils New PCI PED Terminals

Motorola is set to launch a new line of PCI PED-approved interactive payment terminals with fully integrated debit, credit, smart card and contactless payment capabilities. The new “PD8750” series incorporates the industry’s only dual head magnetic stripe readers which reduces the need for re-swiping. The new terminals can also deliver real-time digital advertising. The “PD8750” terminals have also received Interac Association “Chip 2.0 PED Device Certification” for use within Canada’s “Interac Direct Payment” network. Motorola says the new terminals are ideal for multi-lane retailers. Besides a bi-directional, dual-head, 3-track reader, the new “PD8750” reader offers smart card (optional): EMV level-1; “ISO 7816;” non-captive; 3v and 5v cards; two 5v SAMs Contactless payment: Integrated (optional); and is compliant with “ISO 14443 A & B.” The “PD8750” is expected to be available in North America in the first quarter.

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U.S. Card Issuers Migrate to Fixed Rates

Credit card rates have been declining all year in tandem with short-term interest rate cuts by the Fed. As a result fixed rates are returning, as 39% of offers received by U.S. households in October promoted fixed APRs compared to just 29% during the third quarter. According to Synovate’s “Mail Monitor” the average Single/Go-to APR based on credit card solicitations during November was 12.51%, down from 12.94% during the summer. The tracking service notes that Discover introduced an 8.99% fixed rate offer in October while Chase and Bank of America mailings continued to promote fixed rates as low as 7.99%. The lowest fixed rate offers captured by “Mail Monitor” in October were from First National Bank of Omaha (5.99%) and RBS Citizens Bank (6.99%). According to CardTrak, offered rates for average credit scores for Bank of America dropped from 16.49% one-year ago to 14.99% for December; for Chase general offered rates dropped from 14.24% to 13.49%; while Citibank’s offered rates for average credit dropped from 16.24% to 14.74%.

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First Data to Expand AmEx Card Acceptance

First Data has inked a deal to offer American Express card acceptance as part of an integrated solution for small and medium-sized merchants. Under terms of the agreement, AmEx will retain the acceptance contract with participating merchants, establish merchant pricing, and receive the same transactional information it does today. FDC will provide payment processing services to merchants on behalf of AmEx for AmEx card transactions. This is the first time that AmEx has delegated some of its processing services. New merchants who sign up for the program will receive an all-in-one solution with a single source for statements, settlement and customer service for all major card brands. The program will be available to merchants that are new to AmEx card acceptance in the second quarter.

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CVT Prepaid Solutions Promotes Executive

CVT Prepaid Solutions has promoted Joseph Colacicco from Director of Quality Assurance to Vice President of Operations. Colacicco oversees CVT’s Quality program as well as the Company’s Customer Service and Network Operations Centers. Colacicco joined CVT’s forerunner, Orion Telecommunications Corporation, where he served as Chief Marketing Officer. Mr. Colacicco subsequently joined the POSA team at Prodigi, Inc. as a member of their senior management team before returning to CVT in June 2007 as Director of Quality Assurance. Prior to his tenure at CVT, Mr. Colacicco served as CEO and principal shareholder in Long Island Communication Systems for fifteen years. Colacicco received his Bachelor’s degree and MBA from St. John’s University, before becoming a faculty member in 2002 as a Strategic Management Professor and at Adelphi University serves as Adjunct Professor specializing in Entrepreneurship.

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Discover Lands discover.com Domain Name

Discover Financial Services has finally landed the discover.com domain name, formerly used by Discover magazine. Prior to the new domain name cardholders had to access discovercard.com. Discover Media sold the domain name to Discover Financial Services for $5 million. Reportedly the CEO of Discover Media was fired for the decision to sell the domain name. Discover has also beefed-up its Web site offering a more simplified and informative experience. New tools such as the “Help Me Choose” function help consumers choose a card that’s right for them, and simple disclosures and easy-to-understand rate information provide better overall clarity and transparency. Consumers also can experience what it’s like to be a cardholder through the new “Member Benefits” section and learn more about the various aspects of individual cards and products. Discover.com was developed in collaboration with interactive design firm Magnani Caruso Dutton. Throughout 2008, the site will also introduce additional interactive content and tools.

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