Tietotisma Oy to Market Rahaxi OTI Software

Tietotisma Oy has signed a marketing agreement with FreeStar Technology
subsidiary Rahaxi Processing Oy to market
Rahaxi-OTI (Open Terminal Interface), an in-house developed and managed
middleware solution, to its retail and hospitality provider client base.
Rahaxi-OTI was developed to meet high market demand. Traditional POS
vendors require companies to expand services from platform to cash
register as part of the POS application logistics. The Rahaxi-OTI
application is managed centrally by Rahaxi and can be remotely updated
when needed. Tietotisma Oy manufactures and sells
application software.

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PayPass Gets Small-Scale Antennas

Giesecke & Devrient has developed the “Contactless Product Suite” which makes small-scale antennas available for radio frequency transmission on the basis of new antenna technology. The smaller MasterCard “PayPass” form factor will be issued first to customers in North America. Despite their reduced size, the devices meet the “PayPass-ISO/IEC 14443” specifications and achieve excellent radio frequency performance.

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Average Revolving Card Debt Tops $3400

A new survey has found that Americans carry an average of 2.9 credit cards, including cards for any department stores, retail chains, and general purpose bank credit cards. The figure includes 20% of Americans who do not have any credit cards, 35% who have one or two credit cards, 23% who have three or four, and 19% who have five or more. The annual survey by Gallup also found that on average, credit card owners estimate that they have a balance of $3,426 that they do not intend to pay off each month. This includes 40% who say they owe nothing, 17% who owe up to $1,000, 20% who owe between $1,000 and $5,000, and 16% who owe more than $5,000 on their cards. Among those who have a balance on their credit cards, the average amount owed is higher at $5,960. The average estimated amount of money owed by all Americans is much lower at $2,684 because 20% of Americans say they do not have any credit cards. Forty percent of Americans report that they tend to carry a balance, including 27% who say they always pay as much as they can, but usually leave balances on their cards, 11% who say they usually pay the minimum amount due, but not much more and 2% who say they sometimes pay less than the minimum due.

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Global Risk Management Symposium a Hit

More than 350 professionals from law enforcement, financial services and other related industries met last week in Orlando at MasterCard International’s fourth annual “Global Risk Management Symposium.” Areas covered at the conference included fraud reduction strategies, anti-counterfeiting measures, emerging technologies and global efforts to improve payment card security. During the Symposium, MasterCard announced additional initiatives as part of its ongoing commitment to help secure the payment system through a global, industry-wide effort, including a series of fraud conferences to take place in South Africa, India, Thailand and Cyprus; and the extension of its highly successful Academy of Risk Management (ARM) Seminars to the United States as part of a globalization of this program.

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Big Boy & Pepsi Giveaway AmEx Gift Cards

Big Boy and Pepsi have teamed up to give customers a chance to win free American Express gas cards starting next week in its “Pump It Up” nationwide giveaway.One winner will receive a $1,000 gas card and 70 additional winners will receive a $75 gas card from Big Boy. These Big Boy/Pepsi gas cards are redeemable at gas stations and mini- marts that accept American Express to kick off the celebration of the 70th anniversary of Big Boy Restaurants.

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Issuers Face Compliance & Competition

The two biggest issues facing the U.S. financial services industry over the next three years will be the cost, burden and risk associated with regulatory compliance coupled with intensifying industry competition. The findings come from a survey of more than 350 CFOs at the PricewaterhouseCoopers “2006 Financial Services Finance Executives” forum. Thirty percent of respondents surveyed said that regulatory compliance was the single biggest issue their organizations are dealing with, followed closely by industry competition. Nearly 60% agreed that the distinctions among banks, insurers and asset managers will mean less in the future as financial services organizations position themselves in niches that cut across sectors. Forty-four percent said they are seeing strong consumer demand for one-stop shopping when it comes to insurance, investment and banking products. However, nearly four in ten finance executives surveyed said that as the trend toward convergence in the financial industry grows, a distinction between manufacturers and distributors or products should be maintained.

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VISA Debuts a New Life Takes Ad

VISA USA is debuting a new “Life Takes” ad today. The “Life Takes Expression” ad will transform a Greenwich Village intersection into a cornerstone of art and expression. As part of a multi-day project, artist Trish Grantham has started a one-of-a-kind billboard mural under the banner of a VISA new ad,located on 7th Avenue and 10th Street in New York City. The completed billboard and wall postings are expected to be on display through July. Other artists include: Christopher Natrop, Jeff Soto, Andy Diaz Hope, Anne Faith Nicholls, AXIS, Erik Pawassar, Parvez Taj, Ron Reihel, Christopher Cuseo, Eric Joyner, Elizabeth Paige Smith, Charlotte Ronson, Dario Antonioni and Hayley Starr.

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AKBANK & EDM

Akbank is successfully utilizing Fair Isaac’s “Enterprise Decision
Management” (EDM) technology for a more targeted and efficient loan
origination approach. Akbank recently launched “CepKredi”, a new
service which allows consumers to apply via their cell phone for
mortgages, general purpose credit and auto loans. “EDM” applies advanced
analytics and segmentation decision rules to help Akbank automate and
streamline origination decisions and improve customer service and
enables the lender to preapprove consumer loans within 20 minutes or
less. The applicant is notified of Akbank’s pre-approval offer via an
interactive voice response (IVR) call or SMS text message, which
includes interest rate and installment plan information. Akbank offers
a wide range of retail, commercial, corporate, private banking and
international trade finance services.

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Sierra Trading Post Launches a VISA

NV-based Sierra Trading Post, a direct marketer of name-brand overstocks and closeouts, has teamed with U.S. Bank to launch the “Sierra Trading Post Rewards VISA Platinum” card. Cardholders earn three “Specialty Rewards” points for every $1 spent in net purchases from Sierra Trading Post catalogs, retail outlets and online at www.SierraTradingPost.com. They also earn one point for every $1 spent in net purchases elsewhere. Cardholders automatically receive a $25 “Sierra Trading Post Rewards Gift Card” for every 2,500 points earned. Plus, new cardholders receive a 1,000-point bonus when they make their first purchase.

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ACI BASE24-es Meets Faster Payments Requirements

ACI Worldwide has introduced an enhanced version of its “BASE24-es”
software for banks to meet new “Faster Payments” requirements in the UK.
The “Faster Payments” initiative is aimed at reducing clearing times on
inter-bank electronic payments following telephone or internet
instructions from customers, as well as standing orders. This will be
achieved by the implementation of a new payment scheme based on a near
real-time processing model. The ACI gateway offers any existing bulk or
high value payments system the functionality necessary to support the
“Faster Payments” initiative.

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Fujitsu Rolls-Out its U-Serv Line

TX-based Fujitsu Transaction Solutions has rolled-out its “U-Serv” family of self-ordering solutions for the food services, grocery and hospitality industries. The self-ordering systems combine newly designed Fujitsu hardware with self-service applications from software partner NextChoice Systems. The units are fully upgradeable and available in several installation configurations to accommodate various restaurant, grocery and hospitality formats. Two Fujitsu self-ordering units are now available namely the “U-Serv 100” and “U-Serv 200.” The solutions complement and easily integrate into existing POS systems. Fujitsu’s “U-Serv 100” accepts credit and loyalty cards and can dispense gift cards. The “U-Serv 200” model offers additional flexibility by accepting debit cards and has the ability to print event tickets.

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