First Data To Continue Dresdner Bank Processing

First Data has announced its renewal of the Dresdner Bank card
processing contract until 2012. First Data will process transactions for
the banks’ classic, gold and business cards as well as co-branding cards
with Allianz. The transaction processing company and Dresdner Bank
first signed agreements in 1999. First Data serves 5 million merchant
locations, 1,900 card issuers and their customers. Dresdner Bank is
subsidiary of Allianz Group and is represented with 902 branch offices
in Germany and 50 global branch offices.

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Merchants Largely in a Fog Over Card Fees

A new survey has found that many small and mid-sized business owners don’t understand credit/debit/prepaid card processing costs, the fees and surcharges they pay, and how these charges impact their bottom line. NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems, founding supporter of “The Merchant Bill of Rights,” said its recent survey found that 26% of participants believe they are being treated fairly by the debit/ credit/prepaid card processing industry; 32% understand unfair card processing practices and how they impact their business; 21% understand the rates, fees and surcharges they pay; and 15% believe they are charged the same as larger businesses. The centerpiece of “The Merchant Bill of Rights” is www.MerchantBillOfRights.com, an interactive website that serves as an information clearinghouse. There, business owners can learn about the mechanics of card processing, receive industry tips, ask questions and stay abreast of industry news.

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TransUnion Extends Operations To Croatia

TransUnion has extended credit reporting operations to Croatia, the fourth
international bureau the agency has opened in two years. With the
partnership of CRIF, an international group specialized in the design,
development and management of credit reporting, the bureau will operate
through the local banking association, HROK, and is the first bank-owned
credit bureau company in the country. The bureau was founded by 20
Croatian banks and will represent more than 90% of the retail banking
market in Croatia. TransUnion employs more than 4,000 employees in more
than 30 countries on six continents.

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Moneris Provides Card Processing To SBI

Moneris Solutions has announced that it will be providing
credit card processing for State Bank of India(SBI) under a
3-year agreement. The agreement stipulates that SBI will provide
POS technologies, wireless payment processing and electronic bill
payment to its business customers using the company’s transaction-
processing hardware and software. SBI claims the highest net
assets, deposits, branches and employees for commercial banks in
India. Moneris Solutions serves over 350,000 North American
merchant locations and has over 1,100 employees.

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HSBC Announces A Climate Partnership

HSBC has announced their “Climate Partnership” for the response to
Earth’s climate change. The partnership, with Climate Group, EarthWatch
Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and WWF, is under
contract for 5 years, and is worth $100 million. The partnership is
designed to help some of the world’s great cities respond to the climate change, create ‘climate champions’ worldwide who will undertake field research and bring back valuable knowledge and experience to their communities, conduct experiments to measure carbon and the effects of climate change, and to help protect world’s major rivers benefiting the 450 million people who rely on them. Since 2001, HSBC has helped save more than 12,000 plant species from extinction, trained 200 scientists, sent 2,000 HSBC employees on conservation research projects worldwide, and protected and better managed three of the world’s largest rivers.

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Credit Managers Say the Economy is Steady

A monthly survey of the business economy shows that conditions were only slightly improved from last month, but overall credit managers are currently reporting good business conditions. The seasonally adjusted “Credit Manager’s Index” edged up in May by ten basis points. The report showed mostly small changes in the 10 components of the “Index,” with the number of increases and decreases evenly split. The manufacturing sector fell 0.7%, while the service sector gained 0.9%. The National Association of Credit Management noted that overall, the data suggest that the economy continues to expand at a modest pace despite the drag of tightened monetary policy, high energy prices and a devastated housing market.

Credit Manager’s Index
May 06: 54.9
Jun 06: 57.2
Jul 06: 57.6
Aug 06: 57.3
Sep 06: 57.1
Oct 06: 55.3
Nov 06: 55.2
Dec 06: 54.7
Jan 07: 57.2
Feb 07: 56.6
Mar 07: 55.0
Apr 07: 56.6
May 07: 56.7
Source: National Association of Credit Management

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FundsTech Appoints a New Executive

FundsTech has announced the appointment of Victoria Vaksman as the
Executive Vice President of European, Middle Eastern and African
operations. She has been a member of the board for the previous six
months and has experience building International IT companies.
FundsTech provides prepaid debit card solutions for the unbanked
population worldwide and provides software solutions to financial
institutions.

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Phishing Attacks Remain Very Active

The Anti-Phishing Working Group reports that the number of phishing URLs deployed by electronic crime gangs rose to more than 55,000 in April, up 48% from the previous high in October 2006 and more than 166% higher than the number encountered in March. Although the financial services sector accounted for nearly 93% of all phishing attacks, April was marked by a diversification of attack sectors by electronic crime gangs, including branded social networking outfits, VoIP companies and numerous large web-based email providers. For the first time, the time live for phishing sites dipped below four days — to 3.8 days, reducing by more than 5% the duration in which consumers are exposed to phish sites that could deceive them into submitting their user credentials.

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Western Union Expand Initiative

Western Union has expanded its “4+1 Program” and is in discussion
regarding social responsibility and competition in the Mexican market
with country officials. The company will donate funds for eight projects to
communities in the state of Zacatecas including an eco-tourism park, fruit
and vegetable processing, nopal farming, agribusiness equipment, a pork
farm and a computer assembly plant. A contribution at least $1.25 million
from Western Union is expected for these and other projects throughout
Mexico. The money transfer company demonstrates dedication to markets
such as these with corporate giving campaigns & exclusive rates. According
to the Bank of Mexico, remittances to Mexico in 2006 were over $23 billion.
Western Union has a network of more than 305,000 Agent locations in over
200 countries.

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e-Smart Technologies Names a New COO

WA-based e-Smart Technologies has named Richard Barrett, former founder of Adaptive Data Systems and a founding member of the American National Standards Institute committee, as COO. Barrett is currently the Managing Director of One-to-One Business Relationships, leading teams in technology development, sales and marketing for more than twenty years. Barrett founded Adaptive Data Systems (ADSI), which pioneered the Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) standard and was a founding member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committee that established the SCSI standard. He has been widely published in technical journals and trade magazines and is a faculty member of the University of Phoenix and holds MEE and BSEE from Rice University. e-Smart Technologies, Inc., is the exclusive supplier of the Biometric Verification Security System, the Super Smart Card and related system technologies for Asia, Africa and the US.

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Ambiron Ensures PCI Compliance

Network International LLC is under review by AmbironTrustWave Ltd to
ensure compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard
(PCI DSS). AmbironTrustWave Ltd. is a Qualified Data Security Company
(QDSC) with the capability to perform PCI DSS validation work in Europe,
the Middle East and Africa. To ensure compliance with the standard, Network
International must meet 12 data security requirements that protect
information
from being compromised. These include a review of its information security
policies, procedures, and IT environment. These are composed of penetration
testing of their IT environment, security assessment to determine the
effectiveness
of security controls, remediation to ensure any areas of potential
non-compliance
are addressed, security policy and procedure development, internal
vulnerability
scanning, and a report on compliance to benchmark “Network International”
with the PCI DSS. Network International is a Middle Eastern credit card and
payment service with more than 35% of the market share through its
network of
EFTPOS terminals. AmbironTrustWave has worked with over 30,000
organizations throughout the world including banks, merchants, service
providers
and software developers that require compliance with industry standards.

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Dunkin Donuts Enhances Gift Card Offering

Dunkin’ Donuts has introduced an enhanced rechargeable card that allows customers the ability to personalize the card with photos and messages for $4.50 plus the card value, which is available in any amount between $10-$200. The Dunkin’ Donuts personalized card allows customers to email a virtual greeting to notify recipients that they will be receiving a gift card in the mail. The card can be registered for auto- recharge, which automatically adds money to the card on a specific day or when the balance on the card drops below a certain level. Shoppers can choose from pre-designed cards or make their own personalized creation featuring a cherished photo or customized message. The Dunkin’ Donuts personalized card will be accompanied by a high-quality greeting card that can be custom designed as well. Greeting cards can be selected from a wide assortment of designs to fit any special occasion. Dunkin’ Donuts has more than 7,200 restaurants in 30 countries.

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