COLLOQUY Adds Three Consulting Executives

Cincinnati-based loyalty specialist, COLLOQUY, has hired Tom Buecking as Consulting Program Manager; Julie Murphy as Consulting Program Manager; and Colleen Ryan, Consulting Program Specialist. Since its inception in 1990 the COLLOQUY brand has grown to include the most comprehensive loyalty marketing web site in the world as well as a quarterly magazine with 25,000 subscribers representing more than 100 countries. COLLOQUY comprises a collection of resources devoted to the global loyalty-marketing industry.

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Online Retail Spending Rises 24% in Nov

Total online retail spending reached $11.7 billion between November 1st and December 1st, a 24% jump over year-ago levels. For the total holiday season online retail spending is also expected to climb by 24% to $24.3 billion, compared to $19.6 billion in 2005 and $15.8 billion in 2004. VA-based comScore Networks also reports that the number of visitors to retail sites has grown 13% while the total number of visits has grown 12%. The says “Cyber Monday” (November 27th) and Tuesday November 28th each produced $608 million in spending.

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New Bangkok Airport Deploys 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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Safeway to Offer VISA ReadyLink Service

VISA’s prepaid load network, “VISA ReadyLink, has signed a major client with 60,000 store alliances. Blackhawk Network says it will roll-out the service this month at more than 1,550 retail locations nationwide including participating Safeway, Carrs, Dominick’s, Genuardi’s, Pak ‘n Save, Pavilions, Randalls, Vons, and Tom Thumb stores. Fifth Third Bank will serve as the acquiring financial institution. The new VisaNet service enables consumers, particularly unbanked consumers, to easily add funds to eligible VISA reloadable prepaid cards.

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MasterCard Announces SEPA Interchange for Maestro

MasterCard announced SEPA fall-back interchange rates for “Maestro” POS transactions effective January 1st, 2008. MasterCard says the rates are designed to promote convergence to a single interchange rate structure across the Euro Zone, in line with the objective as set out recently by the European Central Bank. With these new rates and increased competition resulting from the introduction of a “Maestro”
four-party model it is anticipated that total costs to merchants for
SEPA transactions will come down, on average, across the SEPA region over time. A four-party SEPA model opens up the market to new entrants, leading to competitive offers on all major cost items for merchants
such as the merchant service charges (MSC), terminals and telecommunications. In particular, for cross-border Maestro® POS transactions, the fall-back interchange rates are significantly reduced versus current intra-EEA cross-border rates.

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Apriva Hires a New CFO

Wireless specialist Apriva has hired David Riddiford as CFO. Mr. Riddiford is a CPA with twenty years of comprehensive experience in finance, accounting and business at publicly traded corporations. Apriva is a leading wireless solutions provider integrating the hardware, software and network infrastructure required to develop and deploy high-performance high-reliability solutions in the Point of Sale (POS) and Secure Mobile Messaging markets.

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Monthly Payment Rates Retrench in October

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, nose-dived to 19.30% in October, reflecting a continuing trend attributed to current economic conditions. Driven by recently enacted minimum payment regulations, the MPR, on credit card-backed securities, reached nearly 22% earlier this year, but, consumers have become more dependent on revolving credit lines. According to FitchRatings, the gross yield declined 42 basis points in October to 17.58%, and is 18 basis points above year-ago levels. Fitch expects gross yield to remain stable as payment rates decline. Last month payment rates rose to 21.06% after declining steadily since June.

ABS METRICS
YIELD MPR
Apr 06: 18.81% 21.74%
May 06: 17.61% 19.14%
Jun 06: 17.97% 21.00%
Jul 06: 17.63% 20.71%
Aug 06: 17.86% 20.24%
Sep 06: 17.96% 21.06%
Oct 06: 17.58% 19.30%
Source: FitchRatings

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Card Marketing Resource Guide for CUs Released

Dallas-based TNB Card Services’ new 2007 “Card Marketing Resource Guide” has been released to help credit unions launch the marketing efforts that will drive the growth of their credit and debit card portfolios. TNB offers the most extensive turnkey marketing programs in the credit union payments industry with more than 18 promotions to choose from. Every promotion is tailored to the needs of individual credit unions and their members. Materials are customized with the credit union’s name, logo and rates. TNB Card Services, owned and directed by credit unions since 1976, provides electronic payments processing, as well as an agent issuing solution for credit unions nationwide.

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GE Money to Issue Northwestern U MasterCard

Northwestern University has signed with GE Money for an affinity MasterCard credit card product to be marketed to the university’s alumni. Cardholders will earn Net Rewards – one point for every dollar spent. Points may be redeemed for alumni association merchandise including Northwestern branded apparel as well as travel, merchandise and cash. Northwestern University is one of the country’s leading private research and teaching universities with an enrollment of approximately 8,000 full-time undergraduate students and approximately 7,000 full-time graduate and professional students on campuses in Evanston and Chicago. GE Money’s Personal Finance business is an innovative, customer-centric lending organization that provides financial services such as personal loans, mortgages, bankcards and student loans both directly to consumers, as well as through partner-based channels.

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3PEA PaySign Payment Gateway is Introduced

Las Vegas-based 3PEA International announced today the availability of its “PaySign Payment Gateway” which supports all merchant retail transactions including PIN-Debit, Debit, and all major Credit Cards with electronic signature capture and retrieval. The PaySign Payment Gateway supports all merchant retail transactions including PIN-Debit, Debit, and all major Credit Cards with electronic signature capture and retrieval. It provides support for check services including verification, guarantee, conversion, check image capture and retrieval, as well as eCheck, ACH, EBT and Gift Cards. 3PEA International, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary 3PEA Technologies, Inc., designs and develops payment solutions including proprietary payment terminals, secure key loading systems and payment gateway services.

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TransFirst Hires Institution Sales Exec

Dallas-based TransFirst has hired Thomas Sheridan, formerly with First Data and Hypercom, as VP/Financial Institution Sales. Prior to joining the Financial Institution Division of TransFirst, Sheridan was vice president, domestic bank sales, for First Data Corporation. He has also served in financial institution sales and management roles with Hypercom Corporation, CES-Card Establishment Services and Citicorp Establishment Services. A premier provider of transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies, TransFirst offers a first-rate suite of products and services and customized processing programs uniquely tailored for the special business needs of financial institutions, independent sales organizations and agents and its referral and reseller partners.

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