NetSpend All-Access Card Takes-Off

Chicago-based PLS Financial Services has inked a deal with Texas-based NetSpend to sell NetSpend’s “All-Access Prepaid Cards” at PLS locations across the country. PLS has more than 200 stores in nine states. Previously, the company did not offer any prepaid, re-loadable debit cards. Under the card program cardholders can link their card to an interest-earning savings account. Cardholders can also choose to have their employer make a payroll deposit directly onto the card. The NetSpend “All-Access Prepaid Cards” are issued by Inter National Bank or MetaBank.

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Datacard Beefs-Up its Affina Card

Datacard Group has introduced a new, modular suite of “Affina” smart card software solutions designed to address the full range of card issuers’ needs through the complete lifecycle of their smart card programs. This new smart card issuance and management software suite enables card issuers to introduce smart cards into their existing Datacard production environment affordably for pilot and rollout program phases. The modular and scalable platform allows an issuer to reuse the same software and hardware resources as the size and needs of their program change over time. Additionally, a new “Affina One Step Issuance Software” configuration makes it simpler to integrate and operate the smart card issuance program.

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BofA Tops 15MM Online Customers

Bank of America rules online banking with 15 million subscribers and is now the king of the affinity credit card market with its recent acquisition of MBNA. Sales of products through its Web site hit 3.8 million last year, an increase of 69% which included 2.3 million online activations, 380,000 new savings accounts, 375,000 new credit card accounts and 298,000 new checking accounts. Additionally, BofA has launched online sales of more than 300 affinity credit cards. Javelin Strategy & Research ranked BofA #1 in its “Online Banking Safety Scorecard.” comScore says BofA online banking represents more than one-third of the market in the USA. Since 2001, BofA’s online customers have grown ten-fold, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

BOFA ONLINE USERS
2001: 1.4 million
2002: 4.7 million
2003: 7.2 million
2004: 12.4 million
2005: 14.7 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Ceridian Chief Executive to Retire

Minneapolis-based Ceridian reports that Ronald Turner, Chairman, President and CEO will retire October 1st. The Board of Directors will immediately initiate a process to identify Mr. Turner’s successor among candidates from outside the Company. Upon his retirement as an executive officer of the Company, Mr. Turner will also resign on October 1, 2006 from the Company’s Board of Directors, as required by the Company’s Corporate Governance Policies and Guidelines.

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Cash Systems & Bally & Scotch Twist Team

Las Vegas-based Cash Systems has entered into a joint venture agreement with Bally Technologies and Scotch Twist to jointly develop products that can accept conventional credit and debit cards, electronic check cashing and other cash sources at the gaming device. The Joint Venture will begin by developing products that allow customers to obtain funds using credit and debit cards at the gaming device under a license to a portfolio of patents from Scotch Twist. Bally Technologies and Cash Systems will work together to market and sell such access systems, initially for use exclusively with Bally’s hardware interface and accounting systems and will allocate the fees generated from the use of such jointly developed products to the Joint Venture.

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TRANSFIRST and StrikeForce Team

Dallas-based TRANSFIRST and StrikeForce Technologies have launched a new program to help issuers of prepaid card products prevent identity theft losses via the Internet. Stored-Value card products purchased, activated, loaded and re-loaded online will require Direct Query Authentication (DQA), significantly decreasing the risk of fraudulent transactions. StrikeForce Technologies provides online identity assurance solutions that prevent identity theft.

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ID Data Now with New Brand Identity

ID Data has unveiled its new brand identity. The
new branding represents a significant milestone in ID Data’s history.
It has reorganized itself around its ‘fresh thinking’ service model
focused on four core values: flexibility, innovation, added value and
customer service. ID Data has developed global partnerships with Toppan
and Toshiba and diversified into consultancy and card management software.
A new card manufacturing facility, based in
Poland, has also significantly boosted ID Data’s capacity, from 70
millions cards to over 240 million cards per year. ID Data is a provider
of secure, card-based transaction systems and
services to the retail, international finance, travel, government and
secure access sectors.

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No-Sig Small Tickets Up 25% in 2005

VISA is seeking to expand its small ticket acceptance program by offering acquirers lower credit and debit interchange rates on consumer card transactions of $15 or less in seven new merchant categories. VISA also reports that its volume on purchases of less than $25 in targeted small ticket segments totaled $49.1 billion in 2005, up 25% from 2004. VISA currently has a total of 14 categories for reduced rates for small ticket transactions. The new categories include bus lines, car washes, dry cleaners, laundries, news dealers/newsstands, quick copy services, tolls/bridges. Most of the under $25 tickets are under VISA’s “No Signature Required” program. VISA says that by the end of this year as many as 27% of all VISA transactions may qualify for its “No Signature Required” program. VISA says the merchant segments that qualify for its “No Signature Required” program represents approximately $750 billion in consumer spending.

Small Ticket Card Transactions Historical
2000: $ 5.7 billion
2001: $ 9.7 billion
2002: $14.0 billion
2003: $23.7 billion
2004: $39.2 billion
2005: $49.1 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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American Associates Releases eCheck RDC Solution

American Associates Group’s new subsidiary EPP Secure has released its new
secure “eCheck RDC Solution.” eCheck allows any organization accepting a
large quantity of paper checks to convert those checks to a Check 21
compatible bank exchangeable image. Using the Check 21 system, checks
received are fed through a simple, inexpensive imaging device connected
to any PC with Internet access. Optical character recognition (OCR) in
the secure eCheck software captures the information on the face of the
check. Invoices or receipts
can be scanned with the check and appended to the check image digitally
stored in an easily user-accessible file. American Associates Group
specializes in internet security and alternative payment
processing.

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