Texas Passes a Data Security Breach Bill

The Texas House of Representatives voted 139 to 0 in favor of a data security breach bill which has been strongly supported by the Texas Credit Union League. The bill, authored by Representative Gary Elkins will help protect Texans from identity theft. Designed to compel merchants to properly protect consumer financial information, HB 3222 will also allow credit unions to recover costs when data is not appropriately protected. If the bill is adopted, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) will be codified into Texas state law for all payment card related transactions. This is a significant step forward from existing state law. Currently, when a data breach occurs, regardless of who is responsible, financial institutions, such as credit unions, are responsible for notifying their cardholders, reissuing new cards, and covering all costs associated with the fraud losses.

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GTCR Sells TransFirst for $683 Million

GTCR has signed a deal to sell TransFirst to Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe for $683 million. TransFirst currently processes approximately $25 billion in annual sales volume for more than 155,000 merchants and 965 financial institutions. Originally founded as ACS Merchant Services in 1995, GTCR partnered with TransFirst CEO Thomas Rouse to re-capitalize the company in 2000. The financing for the transaction is being led by Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank Securities, both of whom acted as M&A advisors to Welsh, Carson. TransFirst’s legal counsel was provided by Kirkland & Ellis. Legal counsel for Welsh, Carson was provided by Ropes & Gray.

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ECHO and Solupay Team for Check Conversion

Electronic Clearing House and Solupay have teamed up to offer new grocery check conversion payment solutions for merchants. Grocery store chains that use the IBM ACE POS system, such as Seattle-based Saar’s have implemented Solupay’s Processing Systems integration of electronic check conversion services provided by ECHO. Solupay’s first IBM Ace installation links Saar’s POS system to ECHO’s electronic check conversion payment gateway. Solupay Processing Systems is a provider of integrated credit, debit, gift and electronic check conversion processing solutions. ECHO’s fully integrated payment processing includes credit card processing, electronic check conversion (ECC), check guarantee, check verification, check collection and debit cards.

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Survey Shows PCI Compliance Moving Forward

A survey conducted by Hughes Network Systems discovered that four out of five executives surveyed believed that their companies had made significant progress toward PCI compliance by addressing their point-of-sale and back-office systems. However, the vast majority had yet to achieve full end-to-end network PCI compliance. While the majority of respondents were not fully compliant, nearly all of those surveyed indicated they were familiar with PCI compliance and actively working to achieve it. Nearly 100 percent acknowledged that PCI compliance was important to their business. The Hughes survey consisted of written responses by 62 restaurant executives who visited the Hughes exhibit while attending Hospitality Magazine’s 2007 MURTEC tradeshow. Hughes Network Systems provides broadband satellite networks and services for large enterprises, governments, small businesses, and consumers.

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UnionPay To Be Accepted In Egypt

Chinese UnionPay banking cards will soon be accepted for payment in
Egypt. UnionPay and the National Bank of Egypt have been collaborating
to complete the development. Trial operations have been underway since
March and will prove valuable considering a total of 52,000 Chinese visited
Egypt in 2006. The National Bank of Egypt has had an established
relationship in China for the past 8 years.

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MVI To Distribute GALITT In S Asia

MVI Technologies has announced that it will be distributing GALITT’s
testing and certification tools in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. The
tools MVI will distribute include the “KaNest” and KaNest-ICC” simulators.
“The KaNest” simulator provides a test tool to validate exchanges between
transactional systems for card processing and exchanges. The “KaNest-ICC”
simulator tests smartcard and accepting devices, including all EMV-related
components. A “KaNest-ICC” Test Suite has been qualified by EMVCo for
Type Approval of EMV Level 2 terminals and several Test Suites for
cards, devices or End-to-End testing. Included in the agreement, MVI
will also
sell and support the simulators. MVI is a software solution provider
incorporated in 1991.

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Getronics Outsources Using Postilion

Postilion payment processing has announced that Getronics Hungary
will be outsourcing ATM and POS processing to be based on the
Postilion engine. Postilion’s solution will provide end-to-end service
for transaction processing, card issuing, authorization and switching
of payments to Visa and MasterCard. The company is a division of
the S1 corporation and provides integrated solutions for self-service
banking and payment processing, has locations on five continents, and
serve customers in more than 50 countries. S1 provides customer
interaction software for financial and payment services, employs 1,400
people Worldwide, and has more than 3,000 customers. Getronics
has 25,000 employees in more than 25 countries and approximate
revenues of USD $3.4 billion.

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GCA Lands France’s The Partouche Group

Global Cash Access has signed a deal with France’s Partouche Group. Partouche operates 50 properties in France and eight others in Belgium, Switzerland and Spain. Partouche will now offer in-casino “QuikCash” kiosks, as well as GCA’s “QuikCash Plus” Web browser, which streamlines and speeds transactions and improves customer service. Based in Las Vegas, GCA serves over 1,000 casinos and other clients in the U.S., Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Asia.

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Banks Promote Online Banking

In an effort to ease the burden on bank branches, The Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Standard Chartered Bank are
promoting the use of Internet banking for their customers according to
CCTV.com. ICBC Has updated its e-banking system for the on-line sales
of certificate bonds, on-line transfers and remittances and card payments.
Incentives for using online banking include a 20% discount on certain fees.
Standard Chartered Bank has taken similar measures in serving smaller
companies online.

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Citi Campaign Offers Benefits In Popular Categories

CitiBank’s “Citibank Platinum Extreme Bonus” campaign offers Platinum
Select members benefits in the most popular consumer categories. These
include food/groceries, travel, gasoline, hotel, restaurant, and
medical. The
benefits include a 5% cash rebate for every Bht 800/sale slip at Home Fresh
Mart and Gourmet Market, Bht 500 cash rebate when they spend up to Bht
10,000/sale slip/month, free limousine service to the airport through
Citibank
Platinum Travel Service, and 3% cash rebate for every Bht 1,000
spent/sale slip
at SHELL gas stations. Other benefits include a 3 night stay for the
price of one
at 17 hotels nationwide from May 1 – December 21, 2007, up to 50% discount
at over 1,000 restaurants in Thailand, over 2,000 worldwide, and up to 15%
discount at 60 hospitals until December 31, 2007. CitiGroup Financial
Services
company has nearly 200 million customer accounts and does business in more
than 100 countries.

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