Interac Certifies VeriFone’s Vx 510 and Vx 610

Interac Association has certified VeriFone’s “Vx 510” countertop and “Vx 610” wireless payment solution as meeting new chip card device requirements for Canada. The VeriFone systems are the first card acceptance devices to achieve Interac chip card certification. Interac has established a goal of initiating the first chip card transaction in 2007 and will impose financial sanctions beginning in 2010 on member banks who do not meet minimum required levels of chip conversion. The “Vx 510” and “Vx 610” are members of “Vx Solutions,” VeriFone’s next-generation payment systems family that incorporates a faster 32-bit processor, high security, consistent user interface, and sleek designs.

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PayAllNow Selects Altair as Issuer

PayAllNow has selected Altair as its main issuer of customized
debit cards. PayAllNow will be offering co-branded prepaid debit cards
to its merchant customers, who will use them as payroll cards for their
affiliates and employees. Employees receive their wages on a card
rather than having to cash a check and therefore benefit from a
convenient and safe method of payment. As an open card solution, these
payroll cards carry MasterCard, VISA or Maestro marks.

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CITI AUDI CARD

Citi Cards UK and Germany’s Audi have teamed to officially launch the
“Audi MasterCard.” The new “Vorsprung durch Technik” card features no
fee for foreign currency transactions and a 10% discount on Audi fixed
maintenance costs. A six-month 0% APR applies followed by a variable
16.9% APR thereafter. The new card, first announced in March, also
offers a 12-month warranty extension for all major-brand domestic
electrical purchases made using the card, plus sweepstakes open only to
Audi Card customers.

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Datacard Smart Card Production Ramps Up

Datacard introduced a new release of its “MPR5000” card production and personalization system that is now capable of issuing 5,000 smart cards per hour, a 28% increase in speed. This enhanced speed is a result of newly designed card personalization features including modules for high volume smart card encoding, dual laser engraving and card input and output. Datacard Group offers secure ID and card personalization solutions.

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NetBank Heads Into the Prepaid Market

Atlanta-based NetBank Payment Systems announced plans to create a point-of-sale and prepaid sales and service support division. Whereas previously the NPS sales and service team focused on the ATM and POS/prepaid markets together, the creation of this new division will allow for a singular focus on each market – ATM and POS/prepaid. NetBank Payment Systems is a single source provider for payment processing solutions, including a full range of ATM products and services.

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PayPro’s President/CEO Returns

Dallas-based PayPro announced the return of Mike Terrell as President/CEO following the sale of Chexcard Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary. As the founder and largest shareholder, Terrell has spent more than twenty-three years developing cutting edge products and services for the financial and insurance industries and will focus on strategic alliances, initiatives, corporate development, and new market opportunities for PayPro, Inc.

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NFC Forum Releases Five Contactless Specs

The industry association that is advancing the use of “near field communication” has added 14 new organizations over the past four months. The NFC Forum also announced the first five specifications, as well as the initial tag formats for which support will be mandatory in NFC Forum-compliant devices. Organizations joining the Forum in the past four months include new “Associate”-level members ALPS Electric; ARM; Dai Nippon Printing; E-Group (Hungary); KDDI; MobileLime; OMNIKEY; Oberthur Card Systems; Sprint; SFR; Sirit; Strategic Engineering Group; and Telenor International. The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has also joined the Forum as a non-profit organization. The NFC Forum’s “Sponsor Members,” which hold seats on the Board of Directors, include: MasterCard, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Microsoft, Nokia, NEC, Renesas Technology, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung, Sony, Texas Instruments and VISA International.

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Credit Card Debt Rises for the 3rd Month

Credit card outstandings rose by GBP 300 million in May following a GBP 400 million jump in April and a gain of GBP 200 million in March. As a result credit card debt has soared to a record GBP 55.6 billion. However, the Bank of England reports that the annual growth rate of consumer credit continued to fall, to 7.2% in May from 7.3% in April. The BOE also says the increase in total net lending to individuals in May (GBP 10.5 billion) was higher than the increase in April and above the previous six month average. The twelve-month growth rate rose by 10 basis points to 10.3% and the three month annualized growth rate also increased, by 30 basis points to 10.4%.

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Asta Makes NASDAQ Global Select Market

New Jersey-based Asta Funding is now included in the new “NASDAQ Global Select Market. Beginning July 3, NASDAQ-listed companies will be classified under three listing tiers — NASDAQ Global Select Market, NASDAQ Global Market, and NASDAQ Capital Market. All three market tiers will maintain rigorous listing and corporate governance standards. Asta Funding is a consumer receivable asset management company that specializes in the purchase, management and liquidation of performing and non-performing consumer receivables.

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BofA Launches its First AmEx Credit Card

Following its acquisition of MBNA six months ago, Bank of America announced the launch of a “BofA American Express Rewards Card.” The card, to be launched on June 30th, features a clear plastic card design, offers a sweepstakes for international getaway vacations and includes complimentary enrollment in BofA’s “WorldPoints” program. The new card also offers special privileges such as VIP access to dining, hotel and sought-after tickets from personal concierge services. The sweepstakes offers a chance to win one of four major getaway vacations and one of 1,000 instant prizes. The nation’s leading card issuer also says it will introduce a broader line of premium American Express cards later this year. BofA currently has about 116 million cardholders according to CardData (www.carddata.com). AmEx says it has nearly 100 card-issuing partnership arrangements in nearly 110 countries. MBNA was the first U.S. bank to issue American Express cards. MBNA announced its intent to issue AmEx cards in early 2004 and then began the alliance in the fall of 2004. (CF Library 1/29/04; 11/5/04)

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