Sri Lanken Rebels Con UK Motorists

Allegedly the work of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger Rebels, 200 rebel-owned
gas stations in the UK have been affected by a credit card scam.
Adversaries to the Sri Lankan government, the Tamil Tigers seek
asylum in the UK, steal information of British motorists when they use
the stations and due to security measures, are forced to withdraw money
from the accounts in Thailand. An investigation into the matter has been developing for an extended period of time.

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MEI Wins Coinco Patent Infringement Case

MEI was awarded $13 million to settle a long standing patent infringement case against Coinco. When the case was filed 14 years ago, MEI was part of Mars, Inc., but MEI is now privately owned. When Mars sold MEI in June of 2006, all currency recognition related patents were assigned to MEI. The award does not yet include interest, which is expected to be added by the court in a subsequent ruling. MEI holds the world’s largest installed base of unattended payment systems, handling in excess of two billion transactions per week in over 90 countries.

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SBI Introduces the Fuel Freedom Card

State Bank of India (SBI) Cardholders need no longer pay the
standard 2.5 % surcharge at credit-card-accepting fuel pumps
with the new “Fuel Freedom” Card. “Fuel Freedom” enables
all SBI Card holders to enjoy a 0% surcharge on the purchase
of fuel at any petrol pump in any city. SBI was encouraged to
introduce this program with the success of the card’s
predecessor, “Fill it up”, which granted 0% surcharge at only some
fuel pumps. Currently, the company has more than 3.5 million
cardholders in its portfolio and a presence in more than 113 cities.

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WU 1Q/07 Growth Hampered By Fraud Controls

C0-based Western Union reported that revenue for the first quarter rose 8% to $1.1 billion. However, growth in the first quarter was slightly slower than expected as a result of the ongoing challenges within the U.S. domestic, Mexico and U.S. outbound markets as well as lower revenue from the company’s Internet service in the U.S., where Western Union and card issuing banks implemented additional controls to help protect themselves and consumers from credit and debit card fraud. In the first quarter, total consumer-to-consumer revenue grew 8% to $926 million on transaction growth of 14%. Within this segment, the international business continued to deliver strong results including transaction growth of 21% and revenue growth of 15%. Two key markets, India and China, continue their robust growth. China posted transaction growth in excess of 25%, while India transactions increased approximately 95% from a year ago. For complete details on Western Union’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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AmEx Collaborates For Travelers’ Checks

American Express has signed with Travelex for the distribution of “American
Express® Travelers Checks” through a global network of banks and travel
agencies. Travelex is a foreign exchange specialist with locations
around the
world and has a strong customer base in its outsourcing division. “American
Express Travelers Checks” are available for purchase through 12,200 selling
partners and 148,000 locations in 180 countries and are widely recognized.

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Travelex to Offer AmEx Travelers Cheques

The world’s largest foreign exchange specialist has inked a multi-year agreement to offer American Express “Travelers Cheques” through its global agency network. The deal with Travelex includes some of the largest banks in the world and travel agencies. AmEx “Travelers Cheques” are recognized worldwide, and are available for purchase through 12,200 selling partners and 148,000 locations in 180 countries. The “Travelers Cheques” service has been in existence for 116 years. In December, AmEx and eFunds signed a global, multi-year partnership wherein eFunds will provide processing services for the entire AmEx portfolio of prepaid cards. Included in the deal are processing services for AmEx-backed gift cards sold by shopping centers nationwide; the “Travelers Cheque Card”; and incentive cards issued by American Express Incentive Services, a joint venture of American Express and Maritz. (CF Library 12/6/06)

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Lloyds TSB Announces the Silver VISA

Lloyds TSB has introduced a “Silver” account targeting new
British citizens. The “Silver” account offers customers up to
GBP 355 of benefits including the VISA debit card, European travel
insurance, mobile phone insurance, roadside assistance, Sentinel
Card Protection and an exclusive saver account. A money transfer
card is also provided to enable customers to send money back home
with ease. The card can be sent to a recipient to use for cash
withdrawals and purchases wherever VISA is accepted. This new
account is especially appealing to Polish immigrants, nearly three
quarters of whom plan to transfer money to Poland in the near future
and are responsible for over 100,000 accounts opened last year alone.
Normally GBP 7.95, the account will be available for GBP 2 per
month until 31 October 2007, providing the customer deposits at least
GBP 500 month.

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Diebold Posts a Q1 Loss Due to France

OH-based Diebold reported a first quarter loss of $5.9 million, compared to net income of $12.7 million for the first quarter of 2006. Company revenue of $628.4 million, rose less than 1% over 1Q/06. Diebold says the loss was related to the closing of the manufacturing facility in France. In March, the Company finalized an agreement with the remaining union that was legally challenging the closure of the facility, and all the unions have agreed to the related social plan. During the quarter, Diebold continued to ramp up production at its new manufacturing facility in Budapest producing approximately 1,700 “Opteva” ATMs. The company is on target to produce approximately 10,000 ATMs in Hungary in 2007. The facility is now the primary source of ATMs for the Diebold EMEA market. Total orders for ATMs and security products and services were down slightly compared to the prior year period. ATM orders declined due primarily to a large, non-recurring order with a single customer in Canada. Outside of Canada, ATM orders in the Americas were up in the high single digits. Asia Pacific ATM orders declined in the low double-digit range, as several large orders in China were delayed to the second and third quarters. For complete details on Diebold’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Lloyds Adds the AIRMILES Loyalty Program

Airmiles and Lloyds TSB, to replace NatWest, have launched a
loyalty card called the “Duo Card Account”. The new card will double
the current “earn rate” for its cardholders to one airmile for every
GBP 10, instead of every GBP 20, and gives the option to choose either
an American Express card or MasterCard. Because two major cards
are involved, promotional funding will be greater for ad campaigns
through TV, radio and press.

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Datacard SP Plus Series Printers Unveiled

Datacard Group has launched “Datacard SP Plus Series” card printers at the Cards Asia 2007 exhibition. Datacard SP Plus Series printers feature enhanced performance with faster print speeds, sharper colors, new supply choices, extended warranty coverage and support for clear card printing. They also provide high reliability and strong investment protection. Datacard Group provides secure ID and card personalization solutions.

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CONTACTLESS BARCLAYCARD

Barclaycard and Computer Cab have partnered to launch the first taxi contactless payments pilot in the UK. Barclaycard will be offering the “VISA payWave” on its payment cards. These new developments from Barclaycard follow the announcement last year that Barclays would be combining chip-and-pin technology for credit card payments alongside that of the “Oyster Card.” This card, currently under trial, allows customers to pay for low-cost items in shops without having to enter a pin number and will be rolled-out to Barclaycard customers later this year if it proves successful. Barclaycard Business oversees 152,000
corporate customers and more than 565,000 VISA cardholders. Barclaycard Business also has more than 95,000 retailer and business relationships.

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Kabira Payment Suite Wins New Product Award

Kabira Technologies’ “Kabira Payment Suite” has been selected as “Best New Product” for 2007 by Cards&Payments Magazine. Kabira was chosen as “Best New Product” for its industry-unique architecture, which stores and processes all data and applications completely within high-speed memory. Kabira products are designed to run on much lower-cost, commodity hardware. Kabira launched its new financial family of products earlier this year, featuring two products: “Kabira Financial Payment Switch” and “Kabira Financial Payment Authorization.” Kabira provides high performance transaction processing software for global enterprises to manage high volumes.

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