NCO Profits Drop 31% in 1Q/06

NCO Group reported that first quarter net income dropped 31% year-on-year to $10.5 million, due to special charges of $3.4 million. The special charges are associated with the previously announced restructuring of the Company’s legacy operations to streamline the Company’s cost structure and the integration of recent acquisitions. Overall revenue in the first quarter was $311.7 million, an increase of 19.7%, or $51.4 million, from the first quarter of 2005. ARM North America’s revenue was $229.1 million as compared to $198.4 million in the first quarter of 2005. The increase was primarily attributable to the acquisition of Risk Management Alternatives. For complete details on NCO’s first quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Four Seasons Launches a Gift Card

Four Seasons has launched the “Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Gift Card,” the first gift card from a luxury hotel company. Four Seasons is the first luxury hotel company to offer a gift card that is redeemable at all of its hotels and resorts around the world, has no expiry date, and no restrictions on how the value of the card is spent. The cars is available in denominations up to $5000.00.

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G&D Adds Mini Contactless Cards

Giesecke & Devrient has added a mini sized contactless card to their “Contactless Card Product Suite”. The launch of the Visa Contactless Mini Card is incorporated in the expanded Visa Smart Breakthrough program. Visa Smart Breakthrough is a global initiative to enhance the business case for chip technologies world-wide by making cards, terminals and personalization solutions more cost-effective to financial institutions, merchants and consumers.

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INSIDE & VISA

INSIDE Contactless has announced an extension of its “MicroPass”
contactless platform with new support for the “VISA Contactless Mini Card”
and has achieved full compliance with Visa’s requirements for security,
performance and functionality of Visa Contactless. The “MicroPass”
platform is available today to Visa USA member financial institutions in
the “VISA Contactless Mini Card” form-factor through Giesecke & Devrient.
INSIDE Contactless is a fabless semiconductor provider.

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Canadian Tire Selects New CEO

Canadian Tire Corporation has appointed Tom Gauld as President and CEO and
a Director of the Corporation. Gauld joined Canadian Tire Financial
Services in 1993 as Vice-President of Marketing and soon assumed the role
of president of Canadian Tire Financial Services and Officer of the
Corporation. Previously, Gauld was President of RoadMaster Leisure Inc.,
Managing Director of Spalding Sports in Europe and President of Spalding
Sports Canada Ltd. and has held a variety of senior management positions
with organizations around the world.

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MOBILE VISA WAVE

VISA International, in collaboration with Maybank, Maxis Communications Berhad (Maxis) and Nokia, has launched the world’s first “Mobile VISA Wave Payment Pilot” in Malaysia. “Mobile VISA Wave Payment” combines Near Field Communications with “VISA Wave Contactless Card” technologies, building on the existing “VISA Wave” contactless card platform. “Mobile VISA Wave Payment” can be made across all merchants in Malaysia that have “VISA Wave”-supported terminals. No change to the current acceptance infrastructure is required. Cardholders selected for the pilot will be issued a phone pre-programmed with their regular Maybankard “VISA Wave” card information. The are currently 2,500 outlets in Malaysia that accept “VISA Wave” and more than 160,000 cards have issued.

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MC Intros 2 Authentication Solutions

MasterCard has unveiled two new authentication solutions for online banking and e-commerce transactions in the U.S. The two solutions offer two-factor authentication which combines PIN and a device. MasterCard’s “All-in-One Authentication Device” and “MasterCard Mobile Authentication” are based on MasterCard’s “OneSmart Chip Authentication Program.” The “All-in-One Authentication Device” is provided by XIRING. The “MasterCard Mobile Authentication” program is currently available through Cardinal Commerce.

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GPN to Provide Card Issuing Services to Orange

Prague-based Global Payments Europe is providing European mobile phone
operator Orange issuing services for its credit card program in
co-operation with GE Money Multiservis. To date, Global Payments Europe
has issued 750,000 cards for GE Money Multiservis and Orange. Global
Payments Europe will process authorizations for transactions using these
cards in Prague, Czech Republic. Global Payments Europe (formerly MUZO)
serves financial institutions with payment services including credit and debit card transaction processing, installation and servicing of ATM and POS terminals.

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Debit Card Reward Programs Spread

Another bank is loading rewards on its debit cards. NY-based First Niagara Bank is introducing “ScoreCard Rewards” for its MasterCard debit cards. Eligible checking customers will be automatically enrolled in “ScoreCard.” They will receive one point for every $3 in signature based debit card transactions, as well as bonus points for opening new savings accounts, home equity loans or lines of credit to reward loyalty. First Niagara has 120 branches across New York state.

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TNB Names a New Natl Sales Manager

Dallas-based TNB Card Services has hired Kenneth Bowers, formerly with CUNA Mutual Group, as SVP/National Sales Manager. Bowers comes to TNB from CUNA Mutual Group, where he was most recently a divisional vice president supporting credit union sales executives in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. He spent much of his tenure with CUNA Mutual working with financial services products such as financial planning, lending solutions, employee benefit plans, and insurance products for credit unions and their members.

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