OTI Revenues Slip in Q3 Due to U.S. Contactless Market

Rosh Pina-based On Track Innovations posted revenues for the third quarter of $8.0 million, a 34% decline over the same period of last year. The Company says the decrease in revenues represents the effects of the protracted evaluation and validation period in the U.S. contactless payment cards market. During the quarter, OTI acquired most of SuperCom’s Assets; demonstrated a contactless reader solution with veriFone at Cartes; provided USA Technologies next generation contactless payment readers with initial orders for 10,000 readers; signed ‘Yellow’ Convenience Stores to distribute and add loading infrastructure for “EasyPark.” Also, Chevron selected OTI’s “EasyFuel” as its petroleum payment and automated fuel management solution and Garanti Bank of Turkey picked OTI for contactless card solutions. For complete details on OTI’s third quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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State Governments Slow to Move to Debit Cards

The EFTA has released a white paper and survey on the use of debit cards by state governments which shows that most states have yet to convert such likely payments as unemployment compensation or employee payroll to debit cards. The survey of over 1,000 government agency managers shows that the use of debit cards is prevalent in a few types of payments, but that states and local governments continue to use checks for many other disbursements. By surveying current payment practices and focusing on the legal and regulatory issues facing card adopters, “Debit and Stored Value Cards for Government” identifies areas for growth in this emerging payment segment, said Helwig. The Electronic Funds Transfer Association (www.efta.org) is a 29-year-old professional association of organizations dedicated to the advancement of electronic payment systems and commerce.

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AssetExchange Facilitates Six CU Card Sales

OR-based AssetExchange has represented six credit unions in the sale of credit card portfolios and the establishment of card issuing partnerships including Heritage CU of Madison, WI; Focus One Community CU of Monrovia, CA; HealthAmerica CU of Jacksonville, FL; Trona Valley Community FCU of Green River, WY; Tri-Co FCU of Randolph, NJ; and, Eastern New York FCU of Napanoch, NY. AssetExchange conducted performance assessments for each credit card portfolio and provided counsel to each credit union in determining whether a portfolio sale was the best strategic option. AssetExchange represented each credit union’s interests in obtaining, reviewing, and negotiating offers to ensure that each received fair compensation and favorable partnership terms. AssetExchange is a leading credit card advisory and brokerage firm for financial institutions. Services include credit card portfolio brokerage, performance assessments, and market valuations.

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LitFunding Acquires CardMart Plus USA

Las Vegas-based LitFunding has acquired CardMart Plus USA which offers the “Billetera-e Maestro Card,” an international pre-paid card. According to the letter of intent, CardMart Plus and LitFunding will enter into a series of transactions whereby LitFunding will acquire CardMart Plus in exchange for a controlling interest in LitFunding, pursuant to the terms of a merger transaction that will be detailed in a subsequent, more definitive agreement. In addition, CardMart Plus will acquire 8 million shares held by Morton Reed, CEO of LitFunding. Further, CardMart Plus has agreed to fund $300,000 to Easy Money Express. CardMart Plus will operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of LitFunding, with the management of CardMart Plus in control. LitFunding, until recently, has specialized in the funding of litigation, through its wholly owned subsidiary LitFunding USA.

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VDK Spaarbank to Distribute VASCO’s Digipass 810

VDK Spaarbank has agreed to distribute VASCO’s “Digipass 810” unconnected smart card reader to all its online users. VDK Spaarbank’s e-customers will use “Digipass 810” in conjunction with the VDK debit smart card for e-banking and e-commerce. VDK Spaarbank is a medium sized bank in Flanders-Belgium, providing all round services from about 100 offices. VDK Spaarbank is among the pioneer banks to participate in the e-commerce project of Banksys, which allows payment by debit smart cards for online purchases. To pay online, the customer needs his debit card, the card number, the expiration date of the debit card and his Digipass to identify himself. A growing number of Belgian e-commerce websites use this online payment system.

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BofA Survey Finds Checkout Lines to Long

According to a new survey conducted by Braun Research and Bank of America, consumers spend an average of four hours and 35 minutes shopping at retail stores during the holiday season. Nearly one-third of that time is reportedly spent waiting in checkout lines. The research also found that more than 80% of Americans report shopping online, but, only 65% bank online. Despite their best efforts, many people experience a “financial hangover” once the holiday season is over. Over a third of respondents admit to going over budget when it comes to holiday purchases, yet 39% claim they always budget for the holidays, and 35% claim they sometimes do. Women spend 50% more time budgeting for the holidays than men. To promote online shopping and banking BofA has hired Robyn Spizman, well known in the Atlanta area, as a gift-giving and how-to expert.

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U.S. Bank Goes VISA Contactless in Denver

U.S. Bank is introducing “VISA Contactless” cards in the Denver area that will be accepted at more than 600 merchant locations. Merchants like contactless cards because it expedites the transaction and allows their employees to focus more on customer service. Visa estimates that the average transaction is 25 percent faster than using cash. U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), with assets of $217 billion, is the 6th largest financial holding company in the United States.

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ADS Signs Pamida Stores to a Retail Card Deal

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems has signed a six-year agreement with Omaha-based Pamida Stores to provide an integrated private label credit card program for its 206 U.S. retail locations. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide private label credit card services including account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; and customer service functions for Pamida. Pamida is a national retailer focused on bringing value and convenience close to home in small, rural communities. Sun Capital Partners, Inc. is a leading private investment firm focused on leveraged buyouts, equity, debt, and other investments in market-leading companies that can benefit from its in-house operating professionals and experience. Alliance Data (NYSE: ADS) is a leading provider of transaction services, credit services and marketing services, managing over 105 million consumer relationships for some of North America’s most recognizable companies.

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GPN Europe Completes Asset Acquisition of Diginet

Global Payments has completed the acquisition of the assets of Diginet, an indirect payment processor for both point-of-sale and ATM transactions based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Diginet’s management team and employees will join Global Payments Europe and will help to expand its reach into the Balkan region. Diginet was founded in 1996. Global Payments Europe (formerly MUZO) serves financial institutions with a comprehensive package of payment services including
credit and debit card transaction processing, installation and servicing of ATM and POS terminals, as well as card issuing services such as card database management and card personalization.

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More Than a Third to Holiday Shop Online

The Conference Board released a survey that shows U.S. households are expected to spend an average of $449 on gifts during the holiday season, down moderately from last year’s estimate of $466. About 35% of all consumers will buy holiday gifts on the Internet, up from 33% a year ago. Books top the list of online holiday buying, with 40% saying they will buy books as gifts. Also, households headed by individuals 55-64 intend to spend the most this year, with $508 the average expenditure. Households headed by those aged 35-44 represent the second largest spending group. For them, average expenditures are expected to reach $478. Households whose incomes top $50,000 intend to spend $631 for holiday gifts. The top holiday spenders will be New England households (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) who intend to spend $545. Lowest holiday spending will be in the Mountain region (Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada) where consumers intend to spend a mere $348 on Christmas gifts.

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American Holiday Spend to Run About $500

A new survey shows that 55% of consumers plan to spend up to $500 on gifts with 27% planning to spend from $500 to $1,000. The first Discover Card “Holiday Shopping Survey” also found that 31% of all respondents will buy at least one holiday gift online. About 54% actively look for sales and other incentives to make their money go further while sticking to a holiday budget. Electronics and apparel are the top places consumers plan to spend the most money this holiday season. Only 6% plan to spend the most money on travel and just 5% percent plan to spend on jewelry.

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Study Finds Consumers Want CHIP & PIN for TO Transactions

A new survey shows that there is a growing trend among consumers for purchasing goods and services by telephone in Europe. The research, commissioned by MasterCard, reveals that nearly 57% of debit and
credit cardholders who make payments by telephone use this sales channel
more frequently than a few years ago. Over the last 12 months, 55% of credit and debit cardholders have made a telephone order transaction, making an average of seven TO payments per person. Debit and credit cards are the most frequently used payment method for TO transactions,
with debit cards the most popular (44%) among consumers and credit cards
used for 31% of transactions. In Europe, 76% of consumers think a
personal “CHIP & PIN” card reader would help to reduce fraud and 74% said that using the “CHIP & PIN” card reader would make them feel more secure when making payments over the telephone.

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