Alaric Enables Ukash Compliance with FSA

Alaric International’s “Fractals Merchant Monitoring” and “Anti Money
Laundering” solutions will be used to enable Ukash, the pre-paid cash
voucher supplier, to meet the Financial Services
Authority’s compliance needs. Alaric technology will provide the
requisite
monitoring. The regulations of FSA prevent money laundering and provide
fund
monitoring with the use of scoring to determine the likelihood of
fraudulent
activity. Ukash provides pre paid cash vouchers to be cashed in various
currency.
Ukash vouchers are available at thousands of outlets across Europe and
can be
used at a growing number of websites to purchase goods or services.
Alaric is a
leading supplier of advanced technology solutions for the card payments
industry
providing card payment authorization, switching and fraud detection

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JetPay Integrates Cardinal’s AuthBridge

JetPay has partnered with CardinalCommerce to integrate the Cardinal “AuthBridge” solution with JetPay’s payment transaction processing platform enabling JetPay to offer major payment brands such as Verified by VISA, MasterCard SecureCode, Bill Me Later, PayPal, SECURE-eBill, Western Union, and NACHA ro merchants. “AuthBridge” is a proprietary software adaptor that processes payment data by “bridging over” existing systems. CardinalCommerce Corporation is a provider of authentication services for banks, merchants, processors and financial services. JetPay provides POS and order-entry software applications, payment systems integration, data networking and communications technologies.

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Conectados to Market CashTechCard’s Card

CashTechCard Systems has entered into a service and joint marketing agreement with Conectados to market CSI’s prepaid debit card program to members on Conectados.com network, a Spanish language social web based networking community. Conectados provides a free community website portal for members to create personal profiles, chat, upload music, video and pictures and create blogs to connect with people throughout the Spanish speaking world. Cash Technologies creates and markets stored-value card programs.

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Chase Card to Hire 100 Ottawa Employees

For 2007, Chase Credit Card intends to hire 100 new employees in
the Ottawa area. The company intends to fill positions in customer
service, collections and fraud departments. Over the past 30 months,
the firm’s Canadian presence has grown from about 120 employees to
the current number of 1,600. Chase serves millions of consumers
internationally, has more than 110 million credit cards issued
worldwide, assets of $1.2 trillion and operations in more than
50 countries.

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First Data Names a GM for Healthcare Services

First Data has named Robyn Bartlett-Andersen as general manager of First Data Healthcare Services. Bartlett-Andersen joined First Data in 1978 and has been with the healthcare team since its inception, leading the development, implementation, and execution of several innovative healthcare processing solutions. First Data Healthcare Services provides a multi-use healthcare card that provides access to HSA, HRA, FSA, and other funding sources, including an integrated line of credit.

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First Data Hires a New SVP/Investor Relations

First Data Corporation has named Silvio Tavares as senior vice president and head of Investor Relations. Prior to joining First Data, Tavares was with the Corporate Executive Board Co. in Washington, D.C. He served as senior director & practice manager for the Investor Relations Roundtable, as well as senior director for the CFO Executive Board. Tavares holds a law degree from Boston University Law School and is a member of the New York Bar.

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MASTERCARD BOARD

MasterCard has completely assembled its new Board of Directors with the
addition of a Class A and a Class M director. Nancy Karch, retired from
McKinsey & Co., will serve as a Class A director. Tan Teong Hean, former
CEO of Southern Bank Berhad, will serve as a Class M director. Class A
directors include Robert Selander, Richard Haythornthwaite, Nancy Karch,
Manoel Luiz Ferrao de Amorim, David Carlucci, Bernard S.Y. Fung, Marc
Olivie, Mark Schwartz, and Edward Suning Tian. Class M members of the
MasterCard Board of Directors include: Steven Freiberg, Norman McLuskie,
and Tan Teong Hean. MasterCard Board of Directors includes eight Class A
directors who are independent; three directors representing the
financial institutions that own MasterCard Class M shares; and
MasterCard President and CEO Robert Selander, also a Class A director.
Richard Haythornthwaite, managing partner of UK-based Star Capital
Partners, serves as non-executive chairman of the board.

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Medical Expenses Drive Higher Card Balances

A new report has found that more and more consumers are using credit cards for medical expenses and racking up bigger and bigger balances. For example, credit card debt levels of medically indebted young adults were $13,303, considerably higher than credit card debt levels for non-medically indebted young adults of $7,450. NY-based Demos found that 29% of low- and middle-income households with credit card debt reported that medical expenses contributed to their current balances. Within that group, 69% had a major medical expense in the previous three years. Low- and middle-income medically indebted households had higher levels of credit card debt than those without medical debt, an average of 46%. ($11,623 versus $7,964). The “Borrowing to Stay Healthy: How Credit Card Debt Is Related to Medical Expenses” report concludes that medical debt should be differentiated from consumer debt; there should be a limit on the entry of medical providers into financial services; there should be an increase in oversight of medical credit cards and the lines of credit attached to Health Savings Account products; there should be improved screening for eligibility in public or private financial assistance programs; and “Borrower’s Security Act” should be enacted.

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Efficiencies Emerge in Cross-Border Payments

VISA International has released a new white paper on cross-border
payments. The report, assembled by Dr. Yoon Park, Professor of
International Banking and Finance at the School of Business and Public
Management of George Washington University in Washington, D.C.,
identified five key payment trends impacting cross border payments: 1.
The emergence of transnational systems for the settlement of local
payments in foreign currency is standardizing formats and driving the
implementation of straight-through processing standards for transfers
between banks as well as between banks and customers. 2. Regulatory
requirements and government mandates are influencing how payments are
made and what fees can be charged. 3. Payment systems are becoming more
efficient at managing credit and liquidity risks. 4. Bank and business
consolidations have been the single biggest force reshaping the global
payments landscape over the past two decades. Acting as a transnational
system, large banks operate their own internal global payments networks,
through which they can route payments to destinations in different
countries. Such internal networks do not necessarily differentiate
between domestic and cross-border payments, eliminating the need to
treat a payment as cross-border, which can lower costs and increase
competitiveness. 5. The search for operational efficiency has led to the
outsourcing of payment and securities clearing to a third party, which
may be a bank or non-bank service entity. Concern exists about the
regulatory absence in this area as service firms, unlike banks, are not
regulated or supervised by government agencies. Analysts estimate that
the volume of cross-border payments will increase at a compound annual
rate of 10.2 percent globally during the period 2000 through 2010.

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Online Card Payment Comfort Levels Rise

A new marketing study has found that 85% of women ages 25-44 read printed direct mail marketing pieces and about 53% of the same group who have Internet access read e-mail advertisements. The research by Baltimore-based Vertis also found that comfort levels of adults providing credit card numbers online have increased to 42% of total adults that are “very” or “somewhat comfortable” in 2007, up from 32% in 2003. Conversely, 40% of total adults in 2007 indicate they are not at all comfortable providing credit card information online, down from 52% in 2003. Vertis says that personalized follow-up communication is more effective than sending generic information. About 57% of women and 38% of men prefer that companies in which they express an interest send follow-up communication through direct mail. While 45% of total adults are open to receiving personalized follow-up e-mails, younger men and women seem to be more responsive to this medium, with 52% of men ages 25-34 and 56% of women the same age stating e-mail is an acceptable form of follow-up communication.

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