NYCE Network Inks Renasant Bank

MS-based Renasant Bank has chosen Metavante’s NYCE Network for its three-state operating region in Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama. Renasant chose NYCE as its primary network for both ATM and point-of-sale transactions. Renasant brings 50 ATMs and 85,000 cards into the NYCE Network.Metavante also provides Renasant Bank with core processing, ATM driving, debit card processing, consumer and business e-banking solutions, check and document imaging and report management, as well as trust and investment management services. Renasant Corporation is the parent of Renasant Bank and Renasant Insurance, Inc. The company has assets of approximately $3.4 billion and operates 70 community bank, insurance, mortgage and financial services offices. NYCE is a leading U.S. debit card payments network.

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VERIFONE EXEC

Verifone Holdings has promoted William C. Nichols to Senior Vice
President of the Asia Pacific region to promote the company’s products
and solutions. Promoted from vice president, Nichols will oversee product
strategy, global demand generation programs and the emerging payments
markets throughout the region. Nichols previously was vice president
of international marketing before becoming vice president and general
manager of the emerging market region. He joined VeriFone in 1995 as its
first general manager in Brazil.

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Discover Gift Cards Offered in Malls

Discover Financial Services has announced the availability of its “Gift Cards” at 35 General Growth Properties mall locations nationwide. This agreement will mark the first time “Discover Gift Cards” are available in retail locations to be purchased by non-Discover cardholders. This partnership is part of the Discover Card mall sponsorship that conducts promotions throughout the year at select GGP properties. Together, the programs represent an integrated marketing partnership intended to help drive purchasing and customer loyalty. General Growth Properties is the second largest U.S.-based publicly traded real estate investment trust and has a portfolio of approximately 200 regional shopping malls in 45 states.

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GEMALTO & FPT

Gemalto & FPT Information System have partnered for EMV deployment
in Vietnam with the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Private
Enterprises(VPBank).This partnership will combine Gemalto’s EMV
migration and FPT-IS’ local support and systems integration to develop
a custom solution for VPBank. The partnership will also establish 24/7
support, provided consultation and training and deliver EMV
microprocessor cards. Gemalto had 2006 annual revenues of EUR1.7
billion, operations in about 100 countries with over 10,000 employees.

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NYC Taxi Group Strikes Over Card Readers

Some New York City taxi drivers are striking today and tomorrow over new rules that require then to install credit card readers and GPS technology in their cabs by October 1st. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance says the new card readers are unreliable and the card fees as well as lost fares may reduce their income by at least $1,000 per year. They also says the GPS system is unfair. The New York City Police Department has assigned extra police officers, including plainclothes officers in taxis on patrol, to Grand Central, Penn Station, and other transportation hubs, as well to taxi garages. The NYPD says it is taking these steps to ensure the public safety and to guard against reprisals against cabbies who elect to drive during the planned strike. Beginning October 1st, upon their next scheduled inspection all New York taxis are mandated to have technology-based customer service improvements that will include credit/debit card acceptance and an interactive electronic passenger map and information screen. The Taxi Workers Alliance has about 8,000 to 9,000 members. There are about 45,000 licensed drivers registered with the Taxi and Limousine Commission.

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MASTERCARD & BRC

In response to BRC (British Retail Consortium) pressure, MasterCard
is suspending the introduction of its “ad valorem”, percentage fees for
debit cards. This development puts a delay on a what has potential of
significantly altering the methodology behind charging consumers and
retailers for debit card transaction processing. Retailers currently pay a
fixed fee for debit processing between 6 and 18 pence, regardless of
the transaction amount. MasterCard’s plans, however, consisted of
charging a fixed fee of 3.5 pence per transaction plus 0.15% of the
purchase price, raising the cost of debit card transactions and,
subsequently, the cost of retail items. This was an attempt by MasterCard
to recoup lost revenue, according to experts.

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35 Million Mobile Banking Users by 2010

A new report suggests there could be as many as 35 million active mobile banking users in the USA by the end of 2010. The Aite Group has released a new impact report, “Mobile Banking v.2.0: Time for the Perfect Storm?” that looks at current mobile baking activity and the vendors that are bringing mobile banking solutions to market globally. According to the report, the time is right for financial institutions to revisit offering mobile banking solutions, after largely failing in 2001, when hype significantly outstripped reality. Today, mobile handsets and the speed and bandwidth of wireless networks are capable of enabling mobile banking without the hurdles previously encountered. The vital third element, end-user adoption, remains the uncertain factor, but looks promising. The report profiles eight vendors, including Clairmail, Firethorn, Fronde Anywhere, Fundamo, mFoundry, MShift, Paybox, and Yodlee.

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RBS CONTACTLESS SOLUTION

Using the RBS contactless debit card, the first contactless card payment
was conducted in the UK introducing the solution for public use for
transactions of less than GBP10. The solution makes transactions faster
by eliminating the need to sign receipts and consumer wait time. RBS will
be introducing the solution with retailers such as McDonalds, Oddbins,
cafes, delis, pharmacies, bars and sandwich shops in the City of
London and on the South Bank of the Thames. The contactless trial started
in June 2006 and over 52,000 purchases have been made as of September.
With this introduction to the public, however, several hundred thousand
contactless debit and credit cards will be issued to RBS, NatWest and
MINT customers.

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Danal Lands a Top Payment Systems Veteran

Mobile payment service provider Danal has appointed Steven Klebe, most recently VP of sales & business development at PassMark Security as its VP of sales & business development. Klebe will be responsible for building the team to develop partnerships with online merchants and key business partners. Klebe has served as a board member of the Electronic Transaction Association for two years, co-chaired the Internet committee of the Electronics Funds Transfer Association, was a member of the Advisory Board of the Direct Response Forum, and taught classes at NACHA’s Payment Institute. He has spoken at over 50 banking and computer industry conferences and is considered an expert in the areas of electronic payments, ecommerce, authentication and fraud prevention. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration with honors from Northeastern University in Boston. Danal allows consumers to purchase goods and services online by charging their purchases directly to their regular mobile phone bills, with no up-front registrations or ties to credit cards or bank accounts.In May 2007, US-based Danal, Inc. raised $9.5 million in venture financing from Morgenthaler Ventures and Danal Co., Ltd. to commercialize its service for the US market.

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WESTPAC BANK & MONEYGRAM

Westpac Bank has announced that it will be providing MoneyGram services
in Papua New Guinea (PNG), allowing consumers to transfer money
internationally without the need for a bank account. The service allows
Papua
New Guineans to send and receive money from more than 25,000 locations
in 170 countries. This development is especially important for the
14,000 PNG
citizens whom live and work in Australia. MoneyGram generated $1.16 billion
in revenue for 2006.

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Credit Meltdown Impacts Small Biz Financing

The seasonally adjusted National Association of Credit Management “Credit Manager’s Index” inched-up up 10 basis points in August, although six of the 10 components fell. NACM says the economy’s effect on the credit markets has spread to the trade credit markets, causing difficulties ranging from financing troubles to increased business bankruptcy risk. The sub-prime mortgage meltdown has sent a contagion of fear into other mortgage-backed securities, corporate bonds, leveraged buy-out financings, and now even the safest of commercial paper markets. If the highest quality credits are having difficulty securing financing, then smaller businesses will be even more strapped to find financing of any kind, including financing of trade credit. The CMI index has crept lower over the past 12 months, falling from 57.3 to 55.1.

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HSBC Offers Premier Global Banking

HSBC has created a new global personal banking service for the 51% of mass affluent Americans that have considered living or taking an extended vacation abroad. The new “HSBC Premier” is being rolled-out simultaneously across 35 countries and territories. Among the features of the new program is a credit card offering exclusive deals from 6,000 merchant in 40 countries with no foreign transaction fees on purchases made in a foreign currency. Other features include a single view of all accounts held with HSBC globally via the Internet that provides the ability to manage all accounts, whichever country they are in, through a single website and free fund transfers between accounts via online service made easier, wherever they are based, starting in November. HSBC estimates there are 200 million mass affluent and internationally mobile consumers in the world.

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