Driver’s License & Gas Pump Payment Merge

FL-based National Payment Card and Murphy Oil USA have teamed to introduce a system that enables consumers to pay at the pump or in-store using a driver’s license with a magnetic stripe that will be tied to their checking account. Murphy, which has approximately 984 stations located in 21 states, plans to offer the option to its customers in twelve states. The National Payment Card PIN-based payment system processes transactions through the ACH and also offers a self-funded loyalty program for immediate savings at the pump for consumers. National Payment Card’s charge to merchants is a flat-fee of 15 cents per transaction on a loyalty card and 17 cents on a sale to a third party card or driver’s license. Pinnacle has added National Payment Card to its product payment modules and Verifone has also certified the National Payment Card interface to work with its “Ruby/Sapphire POS.” National Payment Card says there are about 150 million Americans carrying driver’s licenses with magnetic stripes across 24 states.

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First Data Renews the First PREMIER Contract

SD-based First PREMIER Bank/PREMIER Bankcard has renewed its credit card processing agreement with First Data for its 4.3 million cardholders. Under the terms of the long-term contract extension, First Data will continue to provide comprehensive card processing services, including statement production and mailing and plastics personalization. First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses worldwide. First PREMIER Bank, together with its sister organization PREMIER Bankcard, is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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U.S. Dispute Over Debit Fund May Settle

NY-based Constantine Cannon, the lead counsel for the debit card litigation, which resulted in a $3 billion settlement with VISA and MasterCard, announced that a proposed settlement has been reached in a dispute between U.S. Government, merchants, and VISA and MasterCard. One year ago the U.S. filed a $10 million claim against the debit card “Settlement Fund” seeking fees it overpaid for accepting debit cards. Among other details of the proposed settlement, VISA and MasterCard will pay $3.5 million and the “Settlement Fund” will pay approximately $3.7 million, and the United States will forego $3.7 million of its claim.

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More Americans to Shed Pounds than Debt

According to a new national survey 37% of Americans are focused on weight loss for 2007 as opposed to 22% who are concerned with eliminating outstanding debt. This is a significant change from a 2003 poll which showed 37% of consumers planning to pay down debt and only 29% concentrating on shedding some pounds. The latest poll from TransUnion and Roper also found that nearly half of Americans say losing ten pounds would be very or somewhat difficult for them in 2007, while 31% say paying off all their credit card debt would be difficult.The same survey also found correlations between age and attitudes about resolutions including: Americans 50 years of age or older are more than twice as likely to view losing ten pounds as difficult than paying off all their credit debt; 33% of those age 25-34 say paying down debt is their number one resolution; and respondents age 35-49 are equally concerned with eating healthy and paying down debt, with 31% naming each as their top resolution. Two years ago a survey by Roper/Bankrate found that 36% of Americans polled were focused on weight loss for 2005 as opposed to 31% who are concerned with cutting debt.

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Discover Unveils a Reloadable Prepaid Card

Discover has launched its first reloadable prepaid card. The new card is being offered through Green Dot’s national retail network. Los Angeles-based Green Dot’s network spans major retailers in all 50 states including Rite Aid, CVS pharmacy, Walgreens, and Radio Shack. The new “Green Dot Discover Network Prepaid Card” can be reloaded via the Green Dot Financial Network. The card is issued by GA-based Columbus Bank and Trust Company. The Discover Network has more than 4 million merchant acceptance locations. Earlier this year, Discover launched the “Discover Network Signature Debit Card.”

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TRX Lands an Information Technology Exec

Atlanta-based TRX, an independent provider of transaction processing and data integration solutions to the global travel industry, has hired Brian Beard as VP/Information Technology. Prior to joining TRX, Beard served as Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Recall Corporation where he introduced key IT performance metrics and modernized business systems that delivered significant improvements on project delivery, decreased operating costs, and increased revenue opportunities. TRX is a leading, independent provider of transaction processing and data integration services to the global travel industry.

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Trycera Tops $1M in Prepaid for December

CA-based prepaid card specialist, Trycera Financial, reports it broke the $1 million gross dollar volume level in December. GDV is a key indicator of cardholder adoption and recurring use of the Company’s debit card offerings and is an important growth metric for tracking the Company’s operational performance. This monthly GDV metric equates to an annualized GDV metric of approximately $12.5M exiting calendar year 2006. Trycera Financial, Inc. is a financial services company specializing in the delivery of prepaid card programs, prepaid card program management and private label catalog shopping cards.

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ORCC Launches Mobile Banking And Bill Pay

VA-based Online Resources announced the launch of its mobile banking and bill payment service, a hosted application that enables financial institutions to provide their consumers with a full range of online services via mobile phones and other wireless devices. The service provides immediate access to approximately 70 percent of today’s mobile phone devices, with near-ubiquitous access expected in the next several years as consumer mobile devices are upgraded. The service is fully integrated with Online Resources payments and security technology, providing consumers the ability to view their accounts, pay bills, transfer funds and receive messages from their financial institutions. Online Resources powers web-based financial services for 2600 financial institutions, billers and credit service providers. Access Softek, Inc. is a global software development company that for the past twenty years has earned a solid reputation for satisfying the most demanding technical needs of companies in America, Europe, and Asia.

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Advanta Extends AAYTE Sponsorship

Advanta has extended its sponsorship of Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education, serving as the organization’s principal sponsor for the fifth consecutive year. Alter and his wife, Gisela, were the largest private donors to the campaign leading to the creation of the new $12.5 million Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center at Ridge Ave. and School House Lane in the East Falls section of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park. AYTE, founded in 1952, is a national model for imaginative, public youth tennis and educational enrichment programs. Advanta focuses on the small business market and related community, providing funding and support to the nation’s small businesses and business professionals through innovative product offerings and services.

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INTERAC’s Holiday Debit Card Volume Set a Record

For the first time the busiest shopping day of the year for Canadians came on December 22nd instead of December 23rd. Toronto-based INTERAC Direct Payment, the country’s national debit card service, also reported that the combination of the two shopping days produced the largest two-day total in its history, hitting 31.2 million transactions. The two busiest days in 2005 totaled 30.0 million. Last year, INTERAC posted 15.5 million transactions for December 23rd. The figure for the same day in 2004 was 13.1 million and for 2003 is was 12.5 million. There are more than 35 million debit cards in circulation in Canada, accounting for more than three billion IDP transactions in 2005.

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Gift Cards Create Vulnerabilities for All

A new study calls for tighter regulation for gift cards due to the money laundering risk associated with the anonymous nature of the product and lack of control. The TowerGroup research also concludes that gift card holders are now subject to serious exposure, not only for dormancy and expiration fees, but faulty process controls which can distort value. The report titled, “Gift Cards: How to Ensure they Don’t become Drift Cards,” says consumers and financial issuers are particularly vulnerable relative to gift cards, because their product design assumes that the buyer will not usually be the end user. Also, the issuers of unbranded closed loop cards are not under the scrutiny of the OCC. The study segments the consumer vulnerabilities into three groups: consumer, merchant and fraud.

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