VeriFone Restatements Draw Three Lawsuits

More shareholder lawsuits hit VeriFone. CA-based Girard Gibbs became the first securities litigation specialist to jump on VeriFone’s recently announced accounting problems. Also last week Philadelphia-based Roseman & Kodroff and PA-based Brian Felgoise filed suits in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The lawsuits were filed on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of VeriFone between March 1, 2007 and November 30, 2007. The lawsuit alleges that VeriFone and certain of its present and former officers violated the “Securities Exchange Act of 1934.” VeriFone last week announced it was restating its financial statements for the first three fiscal quarters of 2007. VeriFone’s share price fell by 45% on nearly 35 times its average trading volume. VeriFone said pre-tax income for the first nine months of this year is likely to be nearly $30 million lower than what was previously reported. The restatement is principally due to errors in accounting related to the valuation of in-transit inventory and allocation of manufacturing and distribution overhead to inventory. VeriFone’s Board of Directors have also decided to delay its fourth quarter earnings report, due out last week, pending completion of the assessment of the errors and the restatements. (CF Library 12/4/07)

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NEW LOOK GIFTCARD

New Look and PrePay Technologies have partnered to launch the “New
Look gift card” to offer users prepaid increments of any amount from
GBP1 to GBP250. This development is in response to the recent growth
of gift card popularity just in time for the holidays. The “New Look
gift card”
is available for purchase either online or in stores, is projected to
provide the
retail organization with business extension opportunities and raise brand
awareness. Furthermore, with the PrePay Technologies partnership, the
solution will provide MasterCard certification, EMV Chip/PIN Compliance
and FSA regulation.

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CUNA Asks for More Time to Ponder TJX Offer

The Credit Union National Association has issued an appeal to VISA to extended the deadline for accepting the TJX settlement. CUNA says credit unions and other financial institutions need 30 days instead of 10 days to decide on accepting the “alternative recovery offer” in the recent settlement reached between TJX, VISA and Fifth Third Bank. CUNA says the offer is likely to have a major impact on card issuers, including smaller financial institutions. CUNA also notes that the insufficiency of the ten-day window is exacerbated by the fact that it falls during the holiday season. Additionally, compounding the importance of this decision for issuing financial institutions is the fact that acceptance of the alternative recovery offer effectively waives the right to any other recovery. Under terms of the settlement TJX will fund up to a maximum of $40.9 million pre-tax in alternative recovery payments. The settlement is contingent on the acceptance of the offer by December 19th by the issuers of at least 80% of the eligible VISA payment card accounts. Once the settlement is final, accepting issuers will be paid by December 27th. (CF Library 11/30/07)

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ICU M-PAYMENTS

Cyphermint’s Chairman has been named as project leader for Mobile Payments of the Information Communication Union of Russia.
Dr. Ivan Kuznetsov is currently Chairman at Bank Tavrichesky in Russia,
and was also appointed Project Leader for the GSM Mobile Payments Project. Cyphermint offers “PayCash” which facilitates bill payment, mobile banking, P2P transfers and retail payments worldwide.
PayCash is currently available in 16 countries with expansion into 6
additional countries under development.

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SAGEM ORGA EXEC

Sagem Orga has announced the promotion of Holm NeuhauBer from
VP of Manufacturing to Managing Director. In his new position,
NeuhauBer will oversee industrial engineering, materials management,
quality management, facilities management and security management.
The new Managing Director initially entered the field as a developer at
Dr. Neuhaus Telekommunikation, where he moved to the Production
and Service sector, then in 2001 to Managing Director. With Sagem
Orga, NeuhauBer started off as head to the development department
in 2001 then, in 2006, took over as Vice President of Manufacturing.
Holm NeuhauBer’s advanced education includes a degree in engineering.

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Cyber Monday Online Sales May Hit $1B Today

Online sales are expected to peak today and may approach $1 billion in sales. In prior years the Monday after Thanksgiving had been designated as “Cyber Monday,” or the peak Internet shopping day during the holiday season. However, transaction data show that peak online shopping days are now coming much later in the holiday season. Furthermore, some data now show that Tuesday and Wednesday are bigger shopping days on the Internet than Monday. Retail Decisions predicts that online purchasing activity will peak for major retailers today between 1:00PM and 2:00PM EST. The latest Chase Paymentech “Pulse Index,” which tracks e-merchants, found that overall online sales are running 30% above last year levels. On “Cyber Monday,” November 26th, sales volume for the 10 retail Web sites tracked by the “Index” hit $104.8 million. But, online sales volume rose to $134 million on Wednesday November 28th, an all-time high in the three-year history of the “Index.” MasterCard recently projected that transaction data for historical holiday online shopping data show that “Cyber Monday” fell on December 11th last year and December 5th in 2005. With Thanksgiving falling early in 2007 on November 22nd, this year’s “Cyber Monday” will likely be December 10th. comScore projected online sales of $700 million for November 26th, about 16% higher than 2006. (CF Library 10/26/07; 11/20/07; 11/26/07)

eMondays 2007
Nov 26: $705 million
Dec 3: $630 million
Dec 10: $980 million
Dec 17: $790 million
Dec 24: $340 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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SecurityMetrics Offers Low Cost PCI

UT-based PCI Data Security Standard security solution provider SecurityMetrics is offering merchants a quick start Site Certification program to meet the upcoming PCI DSS deadline. SecurityMetrics educates merchants to help them understand their PCI DSS obligations and provides a path to compliance based on standards set forth by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council as an Approved Scanning Vendor (ASV) and Qualified Security Assessor (QSA). Assessments, performed by SecurityMetrics’ authorized security consultants, are combined with SecurityMetrics’ comprehensive PCI technology solution. SecurityMetrics’ quick start Site Certification program is priced from $139.99 US for a single IP address for the first year.

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Broadway.com Enhances VISA Signature

Ticket distributor Broadway.com has partnered with VISA to help VISA Signature obtain greater ticket access, service and benefits. VISA Signature cardholders will be preferred customers of Broadway.com with access to tickets to all of Broadway, special offers and preferred concierge service. A special website and phone hotline will make memorable Broadway experiences easily accessible to VISA Signature cardholders, with tickets to the biggest shows. Cardholders can also enjoy amenities such as complimentary cancellation privileges.

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Bankrate Acquires Card Marketer NCS for $26MM

With the upcoming IPO of its competitor Austin Ventures’ creditcards.com, Bankrate has made two strategic acquisitions, one in the credit card space and another in the college finance channel. Bankrate has acquired Memphis-based Nationwide Card Services for $26.4 million in cash with a $7.0 million earn-out over the next two years. The Internet consumer banking specialist also acquired Savingforcollege.com for $2.25 million in cash and an earn out of $2.0 million over the next two years. Savingforcollege.com focuses on 529 college savings plans. NCS was founded in 2001 by Robert and Scott Langdon. The Company’s primary business is the online direct marketing of multi-purpose credit cards through its own proprietary Web sites and its network of over 500 active affiliate publishers. Both firms will continue to operate under their current structures with no changes to staff or location. Austin Ventures’ creditcards.com IPO is seeking to raise $185 million. creditcards.com is headed by Bankrate former CEO Elisabeth DeMarse. (CF Library 8/13/07; 9/17/07)

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Equity Commerce Becomes Apriva Reseller

Wireless solution provider Apriva has added Equity Commerce to its “Authorized Reseller Program”. Apriva “Secure POS” was selected because of its advanced security, superior service, reliability and breadth of functionality and features Apriva offers a convenient, single point for boarding, servicing, managing and billing of wireless POS solutions. Equity Commerce is a full service payments company servicing sales agents and offices across the country.

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MBNA Canada Intros Three Chrysler MasterCards

Ottawa-based MBNA Canada Bank and Chrysler Financial have teamed to launch three co-branded credit cards. The new “Chrysler Rewards MasterCard”, “Jeep Rewards MasterCard” and the “Dodge Rewards MasterCard” enables consumers to earn points for card purchases and redeem them toward the purchase price or lease price of a new or pre-owned Chrysler, Jeep or Dodge vehicle or related products and services. Cardholders receive one “Reward Point” for every $1 in net retail and earn five “Reward Points” for every $1 in net retail purchase made at authorized Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge dealers. Additionally, cardholders receive 2,500 “Bonus Rewards Points” after the first purchase. Points are redeemable for gift certificates and vouchers. MBNA is the second largest MasterCard credit card issuer in Canada.

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