OPTIMUM T4200

Hypercom is expanding its “Optimum” line of 32-bit multi-application electronic payment terminals in the third quarter with a new global countertop platform. The new PCI PED-approved “Optimum T4200” family will be available in three EMV and three non-EMV models, including a dial only model, Ethernet/SSL with dial backup and wireless GSM/GPRS connectivity also with dial backup. The new products can be used in either merchant-facing or hand-over payment environments. The six “Optimum T4200” models share the same compact form factor including a 19-key keypad layout. All six models in the new series incorporate a 160 x 80 pixel monochrome display, come standard with 24MB of memory that is four to eight times larger than similar products, and can process debit, credit, smart card and value-added transactions such as gift/loyalty and dynamic currency conversion.

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On Track Innovations Rise 15% in 1Q/07

On Track Innovations reported first quarter revenues of $10.4 million, an increase of 15% compared to 1Q/06. However, gross profit of $4.0 million slipped 10% compared to the first quarter last year, impacted by the weakness of the dollar. OTI says the revenue increase was driven by the petroleum and ID markets. During the quarter, the Company’s new contactless reader was approved by MasterCard for the “EMV M/Chip v.1.3” and “Magnetic Stripe v3.2” contactless payment programs. The “Saturn 6000” terminal was also approved for MasterCard “PayPass ISO 14443 Implementation Specification v1.1.” Also, OTI launched its “EasyFuel” pay-at-the-pump contactless payment solution in North America. The Company already has received orders from an energy company in North America that calls for a roll-out at 130 gas stations. For more details on OTI’s 1Q/07 performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com). (CF Library 2/21/07; 3/20/07)

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MBNA Canada Bank to Acquire CUETS

BofA’s MBNA Canada Bank has signed an agreement to acquire CUETS, the largest MasterCard credit card issuer for credit unions in Canada. MBNA Canada Bank is the second largest MasterCard issuer in Canada based on loans outstanding. CUETS is currently jointly owned by Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan and Credit Union Central Alberta. CUETS has about 500 relationships with credit unions in Canada. The new MBNA Canada subsidiary housing the CUETS business will be led by Stan Kuss, currently CEO of CUETS. CUETS’ 400 person workforce will be combined with the current MBNA workforce in Ottawa. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Ontario to Regulate Gift Cards

Ontario has imposed regulations on gift cards for consumer protection.
The new legislation, to be implemented in October, will call for the
elimination of expiry dates on cash-equivalent gift cards and certificates,
the elimination of fees charged for cash-equivalent gift cards, and will
require prominent disclosure of any terms and conditions, such as
limitations. These regulations will not apply to loyalty cards used to
collect rewards or points, nor will it apply to cards subject to federal
jurisdiction, such as pre-paid phone cards. Cards and certificates that
are for a specific good or service from a retailer are exempt as well.
Currently, most cards issued have an expiry date between 18 months and
two years and no requirement to disclose applicable terms and conditions.
The American gift card market grew to $45 billion in 2003 from $1 billion
in 1995, and is expected to reach $70 billion in 2007.

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STMicroelectronics Partners With Gemalto

STMicroelectronics has announced a partnership agreement with
Gemalto for the production of a single-chip microcontroller solution,
“ST7GEM”. “ST7GEM” is a secure MCU in ST’s ST7 family, the latest
member of ST’s ASSP (Application Specific Standard Product)
microcontroller family, is an enhancement of its predecessor, “ST7SCR”
secure MCU, and an embedded smart-card reader solution. Readers such
as these are an increasingly popular security feature for laptop PCs,
enabling
user authentication, and protecting information in banking and other areas.
The “ST7GEM” is entering volume production and is available in 24-pin SO
and QFN packages, priced at $4.50 in quantities of 1,000. In 2006,
STMicroelectronics net revenues were $9.85 billion and net earnings were
$782 million.

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Hayton Systems Chooses Precidia Solution

Precidia Technologies has announced that Hayton Systems has selected
Precidia’s “iPocket232”, an asset-tracking solution. Hayton’s hand-held
electronic computers will have the solution integrated to track assets such
as power supplies and circuit cards via transactions. This solution will
provide customers with real-time assets data from locations nationwide.
Precidia has customers in over 85 countries and offers products designed
for serial networking and manages IP based payments in the retail industry.

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Q Comm and Emida Technologies Merge

Salt Lake City-based Q Comm and CA-based Emida Technologies, both prepaid card specialists, have agreed to merge. The combination will result in a retail network of more than 21,000 prepaid points of sale in retail locations in 21 countries worldwide. They will have a combined annual dollar payment volume in excess of $456 million, processing more than 34 million prepaid transactions annually. The two companies will have an extensive presence in key regions of the Americas and the Caribbean. Following the closing of the merger, the new company, which will do business as “Emida.” Dennis Andrews, CEO of Emida will continue as CEO of the new company. Mike Keough, CEO of Q Comm, will become president of North America will have responsibility for the company’s operations in the USA and Canada. The merger is expected to close on or after July 10th.

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MBNA Canada Bank to Acquire CUETS

BofA’s MBNA Canada Bank has signed an agreement to acquire CUETS, the largest MasterCard credit card issuer for credit unions in Canada. MBNA Canada Bank is the second largest MasterCard issuer in Canada based on loans outstanding. CUETS is currently jointly owned by Credit Union Central of Saskatchewan and Credit Union Central Alberta. CUETS has about 500 relationships with credit unions in Canada. The new MBNA Canada subsidiary housing the CUETS business will be led by Stan Kuss, currently CEO of CUETS. CUETS’ 400 person workforce will be combined with the current MBNA workforce in Ottawa. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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S2K Enterprise to Add MX870 & RiTA

NY-based VAI has entered into an agreement with VeriFone Holdings, to integrate VeriFone’s “MX870” payment platform and RiTA Server payment transaction middleware into its “S2K Enterprise” for Retail Point-of-Sale software. VeriFone’s RiTA Server is a highly scalable transaction middleware that supports high-volume, multi-threaded transaction processing. Eliminating the need for a gateway solution, the RiTA Server can accept all major credit cards, support a range of processors and connection methods and process credit, debit, purchasing card, gift/loyalty and check transactions. This partnership is part of a larger strategic effort by VAI to increase the firm’s global reach to customers in the retail market. VAI is an IBM Premier Business Partner and software developer.

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Ceridian/Comdata is Going Private

Ceridian, which includes major payment processor Comdata, is going private following a merger deal with Thomas H. Lee Partners and Fidelity National Financial. The all cash transaction is valued at $5.3 billion. The deal represents a premium of 17% over Ceridian’s closing share price on February 12th, the last trading day prior to the public announcement that Ceridian had commenced the exploration of strategic alternatives. THL Partners and FNF expect to bring co-investors into the transaction. Ceridian is a major provider of human resources serving 25 million employees and 110,000 companies in 38 countries worldwide. Ceridian’s Comdata division is a processor and issuer of credit, debit and stored value cards, primarily for the trucking and retail industries in the USA. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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