MC Sweetens-Up the Upromise 529 Program

MasterCard has inked an exclusive debit relationship with MA-based Upromise to enable “Debit MasterCard” issuers to provide cardholders and their families with automatic bonus rebates, ranging from one to five percent for eligible purchases from participating retailers, towards a college education savings program. The participating issuer bonus contribution is in addition to the contribution funded by the Upromise merchant partner. Upromise has merchant and brand partner coalitions in the USA with 23,000 grocery and drug stores, 35 consumer packaged goods manufacturers, 14,000 gas stations, 8,000 restaurants and thousands of other partner retail locations. Citibank has had a long-standing relationship with Upromise.

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ATM Specialist Global Axcess Unwinds

FL-based ATM specialist Global Axcess has closed on the sale of 50% of its South African subsidiary, Cash Axcess, to Industrial Electronic Investments a/k/a VenFin. Global Axcess provides turnkey ATM management solutions that include cash, project and account management services. It currently owns and operates over 4,500 ATMs in 42 states and provides proprietary ATM branding and processing for 80 financial institutions with over 750 branded sites nationwide. The Company recently hired Raymond James to review strategic alternatives including a possible sale. (CF 5/17/06)

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RBS Lynk to Access SIRE Network

Morgan Beaumont has signed an agreement with RBS Lynk, whereby the “SIRE Network,” with over 100,000 locations, will serve as a loading point for RBS Lynk’s stored value card, “CashLynk.” Additionally, Morgan Beaumont has signed a processing agreement with RBS Lynk and will issue its cards on RBS Lynk’s platform to expand the penetration of Morgan Beaumont’s stored value and prepaid card programs.

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CBA to Pilot Gemplus PayPass Cards

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is launching a six-month trial of
“MasterCard PayPass” cards at more than 150 participating merchants in New South Wales. The test will involve 33,000 CBA cardholders. Gemplus provided the “GemInstant” cards for the trial. Gemplus has been present in the Australian market for many years, which was reinforced in 2000 by setting up a local joint venture, LM Gemplus Pty Ltd. MasterCard “PayPass” is currently accepted globally at 30,000 merchant locations, including participating 7-Eleven, CVS, McDonald’s, Regal Entertainment Group theaters and many others. PayPass is also accepted at numerous NFL and MLB stadiums in the USA. (CF Library 5/2/06)

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KING Products to Offer InComm STV Cards

Atlanta-based InComm has teamed with KING Products and Solutions to offer prepaid wireless products and bill payment services. The alliance enables InComm to provide retailers with self-service kiosks to offer prepaid wireless products and bill payment services. KING has custom developed the kiosk hardware and software for InComm to address the need for a new flexible in-store purchase and payment solution for prepaid and bill payment products. KING Products and Solutions Inc provides complete solutions for multi-media interactive touch screen technology. InComm providees prepaid products and point of sale technology.

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Sears Settles a 2002 Shareholder Lawsuit

Sears yesterday confirmed that it has reached a $215 million settlement in a shareholder lawsuit over the condition of its credit card business in 2001 and 2002. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Sears says it did not admit guilt as part of the settlement. Sears sold its card business to Citigroup in 2003 for more than $3 billion. Last year, Sears agreed to settle a lawsuit for violating the “Fair Credit Reporting Act.” The class-action lawsuit, filed in 2003, charged that Sears illegally accessed the credit files of customers after their accounts were sold to collection agencies. (CF Library 7/16/03; 8/23/05)

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Precidia Technologies Lands the Cybera Contract

Cybera has selected Precidia Technologies to provide network
connectivity to serial equipment in convenience stores. Cybera will use
Precidia’s customized “/i/Pocket232” as part of Shell Oil Products
U.S. “CoolBand” program. Coolband allows convenience store and
petroleum retailers to consolidate a wide range of store equipment on a
single broadband network infrastructure. Precidia Technologies designs
and manufactures of IP access devices. Cybera Inc.
provides high-speed, managed, private networking solutions.

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Heuristic Becomes Claim Remedi Services

Los Angeles-based Cash Technologies has changed the name of its wholly owned Heuristic Technologies subsidiary to Claim Remedi Services The new name captures the purpose of Claim Remedi’s products, to solve a widespread problem in the healthcare industry that results in the denial of some 30% of all medical insurance claims. Most of these denials are due to errors made in preparing the claims which must adhere to thousands of rules required by insurers. Cash Technologies, Inc. develops and markets data processing solutions in the healthcare and financial services industries.

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MICROS Targets Restaurants for VeriFone

MICROS Systems has agreed to resell VeriFone’s “Vx 670” mobile payment system fully integrated with “MICROS RES 4.0” to the North American restaurant industry. MICROS will resell a full range of VeriFone customer-activated payment systems, including the new QX720 outdoor payment system, the Omni 7000 family and the multimedia-enabled MX870, in addition to the Vx 670. VeriFone’s new Vx 670 is the smallest all-in-one wireless handheld payment system that can be equipped with Wi-Fi communications for pay at the table and carside service. The QX720 is an outdoor payment solution. MICROS Systems, Inc. provides enterprise applications for the hospitality and retail industries worldwide.

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UAL & AA Sweeten Up Credit Card Offers

The 25th anniversary of the United Airlines “Mileage Plus” and American Airlines “AAdvantage” frequent flyer programs are firing up some real competition. Yesterday, American Airlines held a one-day sale on its “Platinum Select/AAdvantage MasterCard” and “AAdvantage Businesscard MasterCard,” offering 25,000 free miles if consumers applied within a 24-hour period. The offer also included a free companion certificate valid for travel on American Airlines throughout the continental USA. The 25,000 “AAdvantage” bonus miles are awarded after making purchases totaling $250 or more on the card. Today, the “United Airlines Mileage Plus” program is offering double miles on all published-fare tickets booked on united.com between today and May 31st, and flown by November 15th. Earlier this month United introduced “Choices” for its “Mileage Plus VISA” cardholders, offering a new form of currency from that gives cardholders enhanced redemption opportunities earned automatically. (CF Library 5/1/06)

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