First Annapolis Promotes Martien

MD-based First Annapolis has promoted Frank Martien, who currently heads its “Commercial Payments” practice, to Partner. Frank has played a key role in expanding our capabilities and growing our client base. He was instrumental in the growth of our Card Issuing practice through his relentless focus on quality, analytical rigor, and relationship building. Over the past two years, Frank has led the Commercial Payments practice where he has built a specialized body of expertise and a strong client base in the commercial sector. First Annapolis is a management consulting and M&A advisory firm with a focus on the consumer financial services and a specialty in payment-related products, services, and delivery.

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PPP’s Founder Takes on the CEO Position

IL-based Perfect Plastic Printing’s founder, Frank Smoczynski, has taken over as Chairman and CEO. The move comes at the end of a yearlong celebration of forty years in the card manufacturing industry. Frank Smoczynski founded Perfect Plastic Printing in 1965. The family business has grown to nearly 300 employees and now focuses primarily on card manufacturing, ranking fourth worldwide amongst the top payment card manufacturers today.

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BofA and MLB Intro a New Rewards Card

Bank of America and Major League Baseball Properties, and MLB Advanced Media today launched a new credit card offering unique experiential rewards. The new “MLB Extra Bases MasterCard” is being launched in conjunction with the “2006 All-Star Week” in Pittsburgh. The card offers invitations to special Major League Baseball events, on field access during pre-game activities and dugout visits, plus the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch. Cardholders can choose a card design bearing the silhouetted batter or the logo of their favorite Club. Cardholders earn one point for every net retail dollar spent. Points can be redeemed for tickets to regular season games as well as postseason games and the next year’s “All-Star Game.” Points can also be used to redeem official MLB merchandise. Cardholders also receive access to a wide range of benefits including unique MLB experiences.

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Phishing Scams Migrate to the Phone

A new phishing scam is emerging that utilizes VoIP technology to target credit cardholders. The new technique called “vishing” notifies a consumer that their credit card has had fraudulent activity, to call an 800 number or a regional telephone number (often with a spoofed caller ID) which then prompts the cardholder to enter their 16-digit credit card number on the key pad. San Jose-based Secure Computing Corp says its engineers have been tracking news group sites and open disclosure discussion groups that have been buzzing with talk about the new technique. One expert said cybercriminals typically use a stolen identity to set up a digital voice-response system through an Internet phone company and then route that call outside the U.S. Secure Computing Corp notes that the new scan is particularly troublesome given that it is a normal procedure when calling a credit card provider to be asked to enter your 16-digit credit card number before given the opportunity to speak to a credit card representative.

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CompuCredit to Deploy Pegasystems’ BPM

Atlanta-based CompuCredit has committed to use Pegasystems “SmartBPM” solution for its call center network covering 1000 seats. Pegasystems’ SmartBPM Suite and Customer Process Manager Framework gives organizations the tools they need to reuse common processes and policies across the organizations while specializing those that differ for each product, geography, customer or channel. CompuCredit Corporation is a specialty finance company and marketer of branded credit cards and related financial services. Pegasystems Inc. provides software to automate complex, changing business processes. Pegasystems, the leader in unified process and rules technology, gives business people and IT departments the ability to use best processes across the enterprise and outperform their competition.

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Hypercom Shareholder Lawsuit Dismissed

Hypercom reports that a U.S. District Court has entered judgment dismissing the “Second Consolidated Amended Class Action Complaint” filed against Hypercom and its former CEO by shareholders. The “Amended Complaint” related to the Company’s restatement of its financial statements for the first three quarters of 2004 because certain leases generated by Hypercom’s UK subsidiary were incorrectly accounted for as sales-type leases, rather than operating leases. The Court found that the “Amended Complaint” failed to state claims under the proper SEC sections.

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Issuers Utilize Emotion Detection

A new technology enables a call monitoring system to issue an alert to call center managers when the customer’s voice hits a certain decibel level, uses use harsh or foul language, or the name of a competitor. NICE Systems’ “Emotion Detection” technology digitizes and stores angry calls on a server, where it can be batched with other angry calls, searched by keyword and emailed as a sound file among company managers. Israel-based NICE Systems serves all of the top 10 banks and many other top firms, capturing 50 million customer calls per day.

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Dove Consulting Lands MasterCard’s Gore

Hitachi’s Dove Consulting division has hired Fred Gore, former VP/Group Head of North America Acceptance for MasterCard, as VP for its “Payment Strategy” practice. Mr. Gore, a 25-year veteran of the Financial Services industry, most recently held the position of senior vice president & group head, North America Acceptance for MasterCard International. As Hitachi, Ltd.’s (NYSE:HIT) global consulting company, with operations in the US, Europe and Asia, Hitachi Consulting is a recognized leader in delivering proven business and IT solutions to Global 2000 companies across many industries.

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ADS Signs a Card Deal with Friedman’s Jewelers

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems has signed a five-year agreement to provide private label credit card services for GA-based Friedman’s Jewelers and its 422 locations. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide a full-service private label credit card solution including account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization; private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services. Friedman’s Jewelers opened its first store in 1920. Headquartered in Savannah, Georgia, it operates 422 stores in 20 states. 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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ONE CARD

Halifax Bank is gearing up to launch a new “One Card MasterCard” on July 10th that will feature 0% for nine months on balance transfers
and purchases. The new card has an ongoing APR of 9.9%. HBOS has acquired one million new credit card accounts since 2005, resulting in an estimated share of 14% of new credit card accounts. As a result, HBOS has increased its overall credit card market share from 8% in 2001 to 10% in 2005. Halifax was the first provider to feature personalized summary boxes on credit card statements.

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MasterCard Launches a Major Summer Promo

MasterCard Worldwide has launched a new consumer promotion offering cardholders the opportunity to win a grand prize of 500 round-trip airline tickets to any destination in the world. The “MasterCard Win 500 Flights Sweepstakes” runs through August 31st and also offers “PayPass” cardholders double entries. Cardholders will also be rewarded with double sweepstakes entries for each MasterCard purchase made with a participating co-brand MasterCard card. MasterCard is supporting the promotion with a print, online, and a new “Priceless” TV spot entitled, “Best Coffee.” Other components include over 30 million issuer-driven impressions delivered via cardholder statements inserts, in-branch signage, and ATM messaging. To further engage consumers, MasterCard is creating “pop-up visitor centers” in five cities across the U.S., complete with a 52-foot-long “MasterCard Win 500 Flights Limo Plane” as the visitor center backdrop.

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GlobalPass’ Miles as Money Takes-Off

Miami-based GlobalPass is tapping into the dwindling supply of reward air travel seats by offering other redemption opportunities which turns miles and points into cash with its “Miles as Money” feature. GlobalPass is committed to providing consumers with mileage earning and redemption programs designed to exceed their needs. In an effort to expand the Miles as MoneyTM concept, GlobalPass recently introduced GlobalCredits whereby miles/points are used to pay balances on a credit card of a customer’s choice. GlobalPass is a free, online mileage program that allows customers to use Miles as MoneyTM by earning miles for purchases and transferring miles and points from participating programs and converting them into GlobalMiles.

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