ID WORLD 2007

Wise Media’s 2007 “ID World automatic identification summit” grew by over
50% from the previous year with 2,419 individual visitors
and 112 exhibitors. The conference provided vendors with an ideal
environment in which to establish business contacts and integrators to
discover new technology applications. Additionally, the ID World summit
was inaugurated by 4 CEOs, whom are fundamental to the ID Revolution
community, and featured the launch of applications for state-of-the-art
identification technologies illustrated by other top executives, for a
total of
over 140 speakers’ contributions. This summit was endorsed by such
organizations as the European Commission, the Italian Ministry of Interior
and the Presidency of the Italian Council of Ministers. With these
endorsements, the conference’s primary focus is on identification
technologies
comprising of RFID, biometrics and smart cards.

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Webster Bank to Brand ATMs in Walgreens

CT-based Webster Bank and Walgreens have entered into an agreement to place its brand on 158 ATMs in select Walgreens’ pharmacy stores. Webster will not charge withdrawal fees to customers who use their Webster debit or ATM cards in these new ATMs. Approximately 150 of the new ATMs will be in Webster’s Massachusetts and Rhode Island market regions. The project is scheduled to begin and reach completion in the first quarter of 2008. Webster expects to have more than 500 ATMs operating in its footprint by the second quarter of 2008. Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association and Webster Insurance, with $16.8 billion in assets.

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G-CARD

Farmers have been issued 3,500 bar-coded Ginger Commodity
Credit Cards throughout the Indian countryside. The cards double
as a tamper-proof identity card to ensure against fraud and theft.
Additionally, smaller farmers will be now be able to conduct cashless
purchases and avoid “revolutionary” taxes that would, otherwise, be
imposed upon them for cash purchases. Other benefits afforded
“G-Card” holders is an opportunity to penetrate mainstream banking
and the option to take out a loan for up to Rs. 10,000.

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Cardtronics IPO Produces Lackluster Interest

Cardtronics shares closed down 50 cents per share yesterday, its first day of trading, from the IPO price of $10 per share. The day before trading began the Houston-based ATM specialist reduced the size of its offering and cut the price to the low range of what was expected. The shares are trading on “The NASDAQ Global Market” under the ticker symbol “CATM”. Cardtronics expects to receive net proceeds of approximately $110.1 million from the offering and intends to use the net proceeds to pay down existing debt. Cardtronics posted third quarter revenues of $110.6 million, a 45% leap over the year-ago quarter and up 43% sequentially. The increase was primarily driven by the July acquisition of the financial services business of 7-Eleven, which added $30.1 million of revenues in the third quarter. However, the Company recorded a net loss for the quarter of $10.7 million, compared to a net loss of $0.3 million for the same period in 2006. The Company has a nationwide U.S. network of more than 28,600 ATMs operating in every major market and all 50 states, as well as over 1,900 ATMs throughout the U.K. and over 1,000 ATMs in Mexico. (CF Library 11/15/07)

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ATM FEES

The RBI subsidiary, The Institute for Development and Research in
Banking Technology
(IDRBT), has thrown out policies that require customers to pay Rs 2
for transaction switching when using ATMs. In place of this fee, banks
will only charge
mutual interchange transaction fees while some may waive the fee entirely.
All banks involved support this amendment and look forward to providing
a more user-friendly ATM service. A Nationwide Financial Switch (NFS)
was originally established to provide banks with a network of 16,891
ATMs under 27 member banks. ATM usage accounts for nearly 70% of
banking transaction in India with around 75,000 transactions on a daily
basis. With this development, however, experts project that ATM usage is
soon to account for closer to 90% of all banking transactions. The member
banks concerning this development include ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis
Bank, Canara Bank, Corporation Bank, Bank of Baroda and Punjab
National Bank, among others.

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JALCARD BIDDING

Japan Airlines has reopened bidding on its JALCARD credit card division
to a shortlisted group of organizations, including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial
Group Inc., Credit Saison Co., Japanese trading house Mitsubishi Corp.,
U.S. investment fund TPG and an unnamed investment fund. Sources say
that rather than Japan Airlines’ original intention to sell a minority
share,
the company may auction a majority holding to buyer as predicted by
March of 2008. JALCARD currently has around 1.9 million cardholders,
for whom its processed 1,650.5 billion yen for the 2006 fiscal year.

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HSBC PREMIER CARD

HSBC Bank plans to launch its “Premier Credit Card” for “Premier
Customers” requiring no annual fee. Additional features offered to
customers include a supplementary card, a rewards and mileage
program and a “Home and Away Program”, affording cardholders
privileges with over 9,000 merchant in over 40 countries. Furthermore,
customers can participate in the “MasterCard Moments” online luxury
accommodation service and insurance coverage of up to 3 million yen
on goods purchased with the card.

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American Bank Note Holographics is Acquired

Payment card hologram specialist American Bank Note Holographics has signed a deal to be acquired by communications specialist JDSU for $138 million in cash plus stock. NJ-based ABNH posted revenues of $23.7 million and net income of $4.3 million for the first nine months of this year. The Company has about 110 employees. ABNH currently supplies and supports card manufacturers with security and decorative products that are featured on cards issued by over 20,000 financial institutions worldwide. ABNH recently introduced second generation “HoloMag,” “HoloStripe,” and “HoloCard” products. However, the Company has been dogged by problems with its first generation “HoloMag” product. As a result the company lost VISA and MasterCard “HoloMag” revenue. Following the close of the transaction, which is expected in the first quarter, ABNH will become part of JDSU’s Advanced Optical Technologies business segment. JDSU says the acquisition will bolster its security solutions for brand protection and expand its position into security solutions for transaction card-based commerce. (CF Library 10/30/07)

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CREDIT INFO NETWORK

The Beijing Municipal Government and the People’s Bank of China
have signed partnership agreements to develop a consumer information
database network. The Beijing municipal government and the central bank
intend to provide the consumer information to banks, government
branches, social security, taxation and government employees. Additionally,
this development will provide individuals with their own credit information
and history on demand. Furthermore, this will alleviate the difficulty
banks
confront when seeking credit history information on first-time customers
and will allow issuers access to cardholders’ credit history through
this new
universal network.

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UNIBANCO & FALCON

Uniao de Bancos Brasileiros, S.A. (Unibanco) has recently signed
agreements to deploy the “Falcon” Fair Isaac Fraud Solution. With this
development, Unibanco will implement “Falcon” fraud management to
protect its retail credit, debit and private-label card portfolios for at
least the next 5 years. The bank currently has nearly 20 million
customers in the Brazilian market, which has a population of 183.5
million and has seen a 115% growth in credit card use between
2003 and 2006. The “Falcon” solution protects over one billion payment
cards from fraud around the world with the use of predictive
technology while Fair Isaac provides its clients in 80 countries with
solutions
designed to increase profitability and cut fraud losses. Unibanco operates
nearly 7,600 ATMs and 940 full-service branches throughout Brazil.

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AFS & PCI

Arab Financial Services (AFS) has announced that it will become a
participating organization in the PCI Security Standards Organization
to contribute to the development of its standards. In addition to
contributing to the standards of security, PCI will provide the financial
service organization with up-to-date payment card security standards
and community-developed protection against data criminals. PCI DSS
is endorsed by American Express, Discover Financial Services, JCB,
MasterCard Worldwide and VISA, providing security standards
that require merchants to abide by information security controls and to
follow processes that ensure data integrity.

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VISA Financial Football Kicks-Off in New England

VISA has enlisted the input of New England’s financial treasurers and controllers to address the issue of financial illiteracy among teenagers distributing free copies of “Financial Football”, an interactive, NFL-themed, money management video game. Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill, Rhode Island State Treasurer Frank Caprio, New Hampshire State Treasurer Catherine Provencher, Vermont State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding, Connecticut State Assistant Treasurer Meredith Miller, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Financial Education Dan Iannicola and the Jump$tart Coalition are participating in a region-wide rollout of an effort to improve the money management skills of New England high school students.

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