PPI and ASC Sign an e-Commerce Solution Deal

Payment Processing announced a partnership with ASC, a developer of supply chain management software, to offer a complete POS and e-commerce solution to ASC customers. The integration enables both POS and e-commerce capability – providing full credit card support for both card present and card not present transactions. In addition, it handles ACH transactions through a single clientless solution. Payment Processing, Inc. (www.paypros.com) is the industry leader for integrated payment solutions. ASC, Inc. (www.ascsoftware.com), develops and supports state of the art software and hardware solutions including warehouse management systems, manufacturing systems, route delivery systems and other custom wireless tracking applications for customers seeking supply chain solutions.

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SecurityMetrics Offers Low-Cost PCI Testing

Utah-based SecurityMetrics is offering online businesses a comprehensive set of automated, online security services and hardware devices to help detect, prevent and repair security problems at reasonable prices. By detecting and resolving the serious vulnerabilities that allow hackers to steal credit card and shopper information, Internet businesses not only benefit financially from SecurityMetrics’ services, including Site Certification, but boost consumer confidence as well. SecurityMetrics simplifies merchant compliance for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards (DSS). SecurityMetrics’ Site Certification is designed for security compliance and includes unlimited security testing, an online security questionnaire and unlimited telephone support.

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AmEx Introduces San Francisco Dish Website

American Express introduces “San Francisco Dish,” a Bay area culinary Website offering insights from celebrity chefs and exclusive dining offers. Unlike other local dining resource or tourist guidebooks, San Francisco Dish provides the personal opinions of top chefs and food experts in the Bay Area. Through unscripted video commentary, those in the know share their unique insight, best-kept secrets and make recommendations for dining and entertaining throughout the Bay Area. American Express Company ( http://www.americanexpress.com ) is a leading global payments, network and travel company founded in 1850.

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British Credit Card Debt is Skittish

Credit card outstandings edged down slightly in October by GBP 200 million for the U.K. However, the GBP 55.4 billion figure remains well below December’s peak of GBP 59.0 billion. Year-on-year credit card outstandings (not seasonally adjusted) are running about 4% lower than one-year ago. According to the The Bank of England, lending to other financial corporations increased by GBP 5.1 billion in Q3. Lending to other financial intermediaries rose strongly (+GBP 11.8 billion), but securities dealers reduced their borrowings by GBP 17.6 billion. Lending to non-financial corporations rose by GBP 22.6 billion, driven by increases in development, buying, selling and renting of real estate (+GBP 6.1 billion), transport, storage and communication (+GBP 4.4 billion), construction (+GBP 2.6 billion) and legal, accountancy, consultancy and other business activities (+GBP 2.6 billion).

U.K. CREDIT CARD OUTSTANDINGS
(Not Seasonally Adjusted)
(GBP Billions)
Oct 05: 57.5
Nov 05: 57.8
Dec 05: 59.0
Jan 06: 58.6
Feb 06: 57.4
Mar 06: 56.4
Apr 06: 56.9
May 06: 56.7
Jun 06: 56.1
Jul 06: 56.0
Aug 06: 55.5
Sep 06: 55.6
Oct 06: 55.4
SOURCE: Bank of England

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OPTIMUM T2100

The new Thailand Suvarnabhumi International Airport
in Bangkok has selected Hypercom’s “Optimum T2100” payment terminal as the preferred choice for card payment solutions. More than 1,000 units are being deployed in the airport’s retail outlets and duty free shops. The adoption adds to the 20,000 “T2100” units that have been installed by retailers in the country since its introduction in October 2005.
The terminals at the airport were offered to retailers by the country’s
two major banks: Siam Commercial Bank and TMB Bank. The “Optimum T2100” is a high-speed 32-bit EMV 4.0 and VISA PED-certified device with an integrated EMV-compliant smart card reader, built-in printer, large memory to accommodate multiple applications, support for multiple languages and currencies, hand-over countertop design and graphical interface that guides customers through transactions with clear prompts.

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InComm Offers Cutting-Edge Gift Cards

Atlanta-based InComm has introduced an innovative gift card that has a scratch-off area on the back offering recipients the chance to win large prize values. The Company says its patent-pending “Win It Now!” card product adds value to any promotion and has proven to be a winner with consumers. InComm also recently formed a partnership with Serious USA to provide customizable DVD and CD content along with gift cards. Serious’ patented “CD- Cardz” and “DVD Cardz” are shaped and sized like traditional gift cards, and can be redeemed as such, but the underside of the card is actually an interactive CD or DVD that allows recipients to enjoy customized digital content including video, music and other interactive experiences. InComm also offers the “Vanilla VISA Gift Card.” InComm’s retail distribution network reaches more than 145,000 retail locations.

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Apriva and Way Systems Announce Partners

MA-based WAY Systems and AX-based Apriva have inked a reseller partnership between the companies as well as the certification of WAY Systems’ “Mobile Transaction Terminal” family on the Apriva “Intelligent Gateway”. WAY Systems’ Mobile Transaction Terminals exceed Payment Card Industry Standards for credit card and PIN-based debit card transactions as well as the latest transmission and end-to-end security required by the payment industry. Apriva is the leading wireless solutions provider integrating the hardware, software and network infrastructure required to develop and deploy high-performance APRIVA AND WAY SYSTEMS ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP NOVEMBER 30, 2006 high-reliability solutions in the Point of Sale (POS) and Secure Mobile Messaging markets. WAY Systems is a leading global service provider of mobile phone based Point of Sale solutions designed for millions of unwired merchants worldwide.

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Four Seasons Boosts Gift Card to $100K

Four Seasons hotels and resorts has raised the value limit on its gift card from $5,000 to $100,000. Launched last year, the prepaid card is the first luxury hotelier to offer a gift card that is redeemable at all of its hotels and resorts around the world, has no expiration date, and no restrictions on how the value of the card is spent. The “Four Seasons Gift Card” was initially introduced with a $1,000 limit but was increased shortly thereafter to $5,000. Four Seasons currently has 71 hotels in 31 countries, and more than 25 properties under development.

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Equifax Launches InterConnect for Utilities

Atlanta-based Equifax has launched “InterConnect for Communications & Utilities,” an application processing and risk decisioning solution designed specifically for telecommunications, utility and cable companies. The solution integrates with proprietary industry data exchanges, including the National Consumer Telecommunications and Utilities Exchange (NCTUE), a centralized repository of utility, telecommunications and cable customer payment history. With access to NCTUE information and other external data sources as well as Equifax identity validation solutions, companies can quickly confirm the identity and past payment history of new applicants. Equifax Inc. is a global leader in information technology that enables and secures global commerce with consumers and businesses.

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Apesos Returns to Utix Group as an EVP

MA-based prepaid gift ticket specialist, Utix Group, announced that Steve Apesos, formerly with GE Money, MasterCard and First USA, will rejoin the Company in mid-December as EVP/Managing Director. Apesos left Utix last year to join GE Money as a Vice President of Business Development. He returns in his increased role as the company enters the new year with a patented prepayment network system and several large commitments from gift card providers that are expected to increase the company’s distribution system and sales. Apesos’ background includes more than 10 years as a marketing communications executive in New York City with Manning, Selvage and Lee. Utix issues its proprietary technology and co-branded prepaid experience products, including Golf, Bowling, Ski, Spa and Movie Tickets to the business-to-business industry and retail marketplace.

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