Simon Malls and VISA Launch a Giftcard Sweepstakes

Simon Malls and VISA will launch a $500,000 giveaway on Friday, November 24th offering shoppers a chance to win a $500 “Simon VISA Giftcard” every hour during the day-long sweepstakes. NO PURCHASE OR OBLIGATION NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. Official rules for the sweepstakes, including how to enter the sweepstakes without purchase, are available at Simon Guest Services at each participating Simon Mall. Void where prohibited by law. Simon Property Group, Inc., an S&P 500 company headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, is a real estate investment trust engaged in the ownership, development and management of retail real estate, primarily regional malls, Premium Outlet Centers(R) and community/lifestyle centers.

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AmEx Rolls-Out a Free Cash Card for Business

American Express has rolled-out the “SimplyCash Business Card.” The new card offers cash back on virtually all purchases and automatically delivers the rewards each month as a statement credit. All cardholders automatically receive 5% cash back each month on gas, office supplies, and wireless charges, and 1% cash back on nearly all other purchases. There are no spending limits or caps on the cash-back rewards a business cardholders may receive, and the card carries no annual fee. The card also offers small business owners an introductory APR of 0% on purchases for the first 12 months. Additionally, the card offers small business owners additional savings through the “OPEN Savings” program.

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VISA USA Projects Holiday Sales to Rise 7.5%

VISA USA estimates overall retail sales (excluding auto sales) for the 2006 holiday season will grow 7.5%, slightly lower than the growth rate of holiday sales in the previous two years. VISA its data show that personal entertainment, sporting goods and hobby stores, and specialty retailers or stores commonly found in a mall environment will do the best. VISA notes that “Cyber Monday,” or the Monday following Thanksgiving weekend, will continue to be a popular time for online purchases as consumers accommodate their busy schedules and avoid crowded shopping malls. VISA also expects big-box and general retail stores to experience moderate growth, but not at last year’s levels.

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Warburg Pincus Buys easycash from FDC Intl

Private equity firm, Warburg Pincus, has signed a deal to acquire easycash, Germany’s top POS network service provider, from First Data International. When First Data acquired GZS Gesellschaft fur Zahlungssysteme in June, the Federal Cartel Office stipulated that GZS divest easycash to a third party as part of the merger control clearance. easycash offers customized card-based payment solutions and credit card routing to a broad range of merchant customers. easycash has more than 700 million transactions in 2005 with a total transaction volume of $55 billion through 165,000 active connected POS terminals.

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DTI Inks a Preferred Vendor Deal with TEK POS

FL-based Direct Technology Innovations has inked a preferred vendor relationship with TEK POS, a distributor and installer of POS technology for the hospitality industry. TEK POS, based out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, chose DTI because “DTI’s principals understand the importance of convergence of technology within the POS industry and the specific needs and the applications required for businesses to do business within the hospitality industry,” stated Michael Smith, President of TEK POS. The Direct Technology Innovations Team, accredited with its highly successful Swipe N’ Go® Program is a strong leader in the QSR industry.

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ATM:ad Hires a Head of Business Development

London-based ATM:ad has announced the appointment of Kevin Kemp, who joins the team as Head of Business Development. Kemp comes to ATM:ad from Avanti Screen Media. His responsibilities at ATM:ad will be to focus on the outdoor specialist agencies, to develop business strategy and new opportunities. Since its launch in mid-2004, ATM:ad has carried campaigns from a wide range of sectors including travel, FMCG, Internet,
entertainment and government for a variety of advertisers including
Essex, Surrey, Leicester & Thames Valley Police, Burton’s, UIP, British
Airways, Fox Home Entertainment, Nestle, Comic Relief, Carling, and
British Eurosport.

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VeriFone Completes the Acquisition of Lipman

VeriFone Holdings has completed the acquisition of Lipman
Electronic Engineering. VeriFone signed an agreement in April to acquire Lipman for $793 million in cash and stock. The deal will make VeriFone the largest global provider of electronic payment solutions and services with annual revenues of nearly $750 million. VeriFone also announced that William Atkinson has been named EVP/Payment Systems and Isaac Angel has been named EVP/Operations. Additionally, David Turnbull has been named global head of research and development and Jesse Adams has been named vice chairman of VeriFone. The Company reaffirmed its long-term operating model that was announced on April 10th, specifically that revenue growth is expected to be between 10% and 15% for 2006.

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NM’s Rail Runner Chooses Abanco Payments

New Mexico Rail Runner Express has selected Abanco International’s “Mobile Data Technology In-Transit” application to bring credit, debit and cash payment options into one application on the station platform. MDT In-Transit operates on a rugged, wireless terminal. It is a fully-functional, web-enabled, touch screen unit with built-in software and custom integration components that utilize barcode scanning and magnetic strip technologies to simplify the business process and to deliver secure transactions in the field. The New Mexico Rail Runner Express recently began carrying passengers between the City of Albuquerque and the Town of Bernalillo, 17-miles to the north. Abanco International, LLC, headquartered in Rosemont, IL, was founded with a mission of providing the best “Total Payment Solutions” available.

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Comdata Acquires HQ Gift Cards

TN-based Comdata has acquired HQ Gift Cards, a provider of mall gift card program management services. Headquartered in Culver City, CA, HQ Gift Cards provides management services for mall, airport and casino gift card programs. The firm currently oversees gift card operations in over 200 malls nationwide. HQ Gift Cards will be integrated into Comdata’s Stored Value Solutions division which is located in Louisville, KY. Comdata serves more than 300 customers with gift card solutions: card production and management, transaction processing, and loyalty programs.

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Chase Launches HEAT & Soccer VISAs

Chase has launched the “Miami HEAT Chase Ultimate Fan Rewards VISA” and three “Ultimate Fan Rewards VISA” credit cards for soccer fans. The “Miami HEAT Chase Ultimate Fan Rewards VISA” program offers exclusive “HEAT” memorabilia and arena experiences plus team leather jackets to official NBA balls autographed by the entire team to the ultimate experiences such as game tickets or a five-on-five game on the court at AmericanAirlines Arena. Cardholders earn one point for every $1 in eligible card purchases and points add up on monthly statements. Redemption levels start at 1,000 points for a Miami “HEAT” hat or T-shirt. The new soccer “Ultimate Fan Rewards VISA” credit cards offer seven redemption levels with a wide range of rewards, from exciting soccer experiences to authentic memorabilia to earning a VIP trip to a men’s or women’s “FIFA World Cup” qualification game for two. Soccer fans can choose between Major League Soccer, the U.S. National Team and the “Mexican National Team Chase Ultimate Fan Rewards VISA” credit cards featured in 12 different card designs.

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U.S. Bank Canada Buys CIBC’s Biz Card Portfolio

U.S. Bank Canada has acquired CIBC’s “VISA Purchasing” and “VISA Corporate” credit card portfolio. U.S. Bank is the largest issuer of VISA commercial cards worldwide, racking up business credit card volume of $7.7 billion in the third quarter. U.S. Bank has offered corporate and purchasing cards to businesses and government since 1991. It was the first to offer corporate bankcard, purchasing and relocation card programs, as well as the first to offer private-label fleet cards.
CIBC VISA corporate and purchasing cards will become U.S. Bank cards and
will be managed by a dedicated sales and relationship management force
located across Canada. CIBC will refer commercial and corporate clients
inquiring about corporate or purchasing card programs to U.S. Bank Canada.

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