IXI Hires a Credit Card Services Exec

VA-based IXI Corporation announced that Hugh Lloyd-Thomas, previously with eFunds, has joined the firm as Senior Vice President of its Credit Services Practice. In this new role, Hugh will be responsible for developing relationships with credit card clients, leveraging IXI’s proprietary data to identify relevant credit solutions, and partnering with credit industry leaders to test and analyze IXI’s proprietary data. At eFunds, Lloyd-Thomas was Director of Major Accounts with responsibility for domestic and international business development for the company’s CitiGroup and American Express relationships. Previously, he was an account executive with Fair Isaac. IXI provides information for strategic and tactical marketing decisions, customer analytics, prospect targeting solutions, and market-share tracking systems.

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Value Retail & Alphyra to Issue Village Cards

Alphyra, in conjunction with Mastercard, has developed a prepaid gift
card program for Value Retail’s Bicester Village. The program will first
introduce the “Bicester Village Gift Card,” then, in May, ones for Kildare
Village in Ireland and Maasmechelen Village in Belgium. Cards for the
other Villages in France, Spain, Italy, Germany will follow later in the
year. These gift cards can be used just like a Mastercard and uses the
same processing terminals. Alphyra works with networks in over twenty
countries and this is the first of the companies projects with
Mastercard. With over nine shopping outlets, Bicester Village has 3 1/2
million domestic and international visitors a year.

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Monitise M-Pay Platform Heads to the U.S.

Milwaukee-based Metavante and London-based Monitise have signed a deal to form a joint venture to operate a mobile payments system in the USA. The system will be built like the “Monilink” platform in the U.K. which is a joint venture between Monitise and ATM network operator LINK. Monitise solutions feature multi-layer security measures, including a two-factor authentication system that enables mobile phones to securely generate one-time pass codes. Metavante will provide hosting services for the Monitise mobile payments platform in the U.S. As part of the hosting services, the “NYCE Network” will connect the Monitise platform to its switch. In addition to mobile payments, the Metavante-Monitise joint venture makes low-cost, two-factor authentication services available to U.S. and Canadian financial institutions through Monitise’s “ACCODE” service.

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INSIDE & Infineon Develop Interoperable NFC Solutions

INSIDE Contactless and Infineon Technologies have announced a joint
effort in the development of interoperable NFC solutions, combining
resources and strengths including INSIDE’s NFC capacity and Infineon’s
secure connectivity technology. This convergence of the two companies’
technologies will also create a capacity in which to develop new banking
and telecommunications services. This will allow interoperability with
the Mifare protocol opening new markets for the NFC product, such as the
public transportation sector and secure payment using mobile devices.

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Paper-Based MasterCard PayPass is Coming

MasterCard has inked a development agreement with France-based ASK to create paper-based contactless payment solutions utilizing “PayPass” for deployment in transit and other payment environments. More than 50 million ASK contactless paper tickets are already being used globally in mass transit automatic fare collection systems. MasterCard is currently participating in a contactless trial in the New York City subway system and on the Ohio Turnpike, while “PayPass” is now accepted in many Philadelphia and NYC taxi cabs and Utah buses. MasterCard is also leading the effort to develop new “PayPass”-enabled devices, such as key fobs, mobile phones, wristwatches and wristbands. There are nearly 13 million MasterCard “PayPass” cards in use at more than 46,000 merchant locations worldwide. ASK provides contactless cards, tickets, RFID tags, e-passport inlays and readers addressing the mass transit, access control, banking, e-identity and supply chain markets.

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Arcadia Renews Contract With PrePay

The Arcadia Group has renewed its contract with PrePay technologies for
the production of the company’s gift cards because of their proven
performance in the market. The Arcadia Group includes retail clothing
brands such as Burton, Dorothy Perkins, Evans, Miss Selfridge, Outfit,
Topshop, Topman, & Wallis brand names and has used PrePay service since
2004. PrePay also develops gift cards for Rugby Football Union (RFU),
Ticketmaster, Comet, Laura Ashley, LOVEFiLM, Gift Days Out and Debenhams
and has issued over 10 million cards.

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e-Commerce Patents Go On the Auction Block

Chicago-based Ocean Tomo Auctions is holding an auction next month to sell groups of patents related to various aspects of e-Commerce and online privacy protection. The patents range from online protection of private consumer information, to centralized online management of personal information, online ordering of goods and services, online consumer feedback and ratings applications, and management of credit card accounts for online purchases. Three years ago, Ocean Tomo auctioned-off a portfolio of e-commerce patents for $15.5 million. The patents were held by bankrupt dot-com company Commerce One and covered “Web services,” an early e-commerce mechanism that facilitates communication between online marketplaces.

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CORP PAYMENTS SURVEY

A new global survey has found a reasonably wide disparity in the adoption and perception of corporate payment cards as a means of making and receiving business payments. However, the research also found that in the U.S. and Europe, more than one in three companies, and in Asia Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean, and Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa CEMEA, more than one in four companies, plan to increase their use of corporate payment cards in the next 12 to 18 months. The “VISA Global Cash Management Survey” reveals that in the U. S., 53% of those surveyed use corporate cards to make payments and 44% use cards to receive payments. EU is second with 45% of companies using corporate cards to make payments and 33% to receive payments. The other regions trail EU and the U.S. with 20% of companies in AP using cards to make payments and 13% using cards to receive payments, and LAC where 33% of respondents said they use corporate cards to make payments and 13% to receive payments. In CEMEA, 25% use corporate cards to send and 20% use them to receive payments. VISA noted that in general, 75% of companies recognize that the most important capability of electronic payment methods is to provide easier access to more transparent financial data.

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Ciporin Becomes a Canaan Partner

CA-based venture capital firm Canaan Partners announced that Dan Ciporin, the former chairman and CEO of Shopping.com, has joined the firm as a venture partner. Ciporin will work with Canaan’s global teams to identify technology trends and pursue investment opportunities, particularly in the Internet and digital media sectors. At Shopping.com, Ciporin transformed the company into the global leader in online comparison shopping Shopping.com went from start-up to public company with more than $100 million in sales, eventually being acquired by eBay in 2005 for approximately $620 million. Previously, Ciporin was head of MasterCard’s global debit services business, where his extensive product insight, management and marketing skills were instrumental in establishing the company’s leadership in the global electronic debit market. Canaan Partners is a global venture capital firm specializing in early-stage information technology and life sciences investments with $2.4 billion capital under management.

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Nearly Half of Consumers React to Card Surcharges

Research conducted by Coredata and News.com.au has shown, of the 1500
consumers surveyed, 46% have begun using payment alternatives other than
credit cards because of the surcharge fees and 23% argue that the fees
are unfair. Research also showed that 61% of those surveyed have had
enough of late fees, 56% felt taken advantage of by the credit card
companies and 22% are considering closing their accounts. Furthermore,
60% of cardholders surveyed are only able to make the minimum payment
due on their credit cards.

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ViVOtech and Mobile Candy Dish Partner

ViVOtech has partnered with Mobile Candy Dish to provide consumers with mobile phone commerce applications. As a result of the partnership, ViVOtech will extend its “Over-The-Air Provisioning Server Software” for NFC Mobile Phones with “Mobile Candy Dish’s Blaze” — a fully hosted suite of mobile phone commerce services. The combined offering will allow mobile phone users to purchasing movie tickets (sports, concert, and theater tickets will launch this summer, get event information (movie show times and trailers, sports scores, venue seating charts, provide financial management tools, getting directions and maps and will allow for customization. Consumers will also be able to use their NFC-enabled phone to make purchases at thousands of retail locations by simply tapping their cell phone on a payment terminal that uses ViVOtech contactless NFC readers. ViVOtech provides contactless/NFC payment software, over the air (OTA) provisioning and transaction management infrastructure software, smart posters, and readers. Mobile Candy Dish provides mobile phone commerce applications.

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Rahaxi Inks Distribution Agreement With Tietosauma Oy

Rahaxi Processing, subsidiary of FreeStar Technology payment
processor, has signed agreements with independent POS software vendor,
Tietosauma Oy. The agreement requires Tietosauma’s software to be
migrated to meet Rahaxi standards and will distribute and market
Rahaxi’s Open Terminal Interface(OTI) middle-ware solution. FreeStar
works with merchants and acquirers in more than twenty countries and has
partners including market leaders such as IKEA, Finnair and Stockmann.

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