GlobalPlatform Holds Smart Card Conference

GlobalPlatform will hold a one-day business seminar, “Advancing Open Smart
Card Standards for Government and Mobile Telecom,” co-hosted by Gemplus
and VISA and to be held at the InterContinental Hotel in Singapore on
April 25, 2006.
At the seminar, participants will learn about the value of smart card
standards, initiatives for e-government and e-passports in Asia Pacific
and abroad, and successful GlobalPlatform standards implementations for
government, ID, mobile telecom, and contactless smart card programs.

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Card Scamsters Settle with the FTC

Platinum Universal, LLC, and Pulsar Data Inc. settled FTC charges involving an advance fee scam for credit cards they were never delivered. The companies traded as “Universal Card Services” and “Universal MasterCard.” The companies offered guaranteed, pre-approved cards with a credit limit up to $2,500 for an advance fee ranging from $99 to $200. According to the complaint, consumers who paid the fee did not receive a credit card or received a stored value card or instructions on how to obtain the stored value card. A judgment of $900,000 was suspended due to the defendantsâ™ ability to pay only the $21,491 in assets that were frozen by the court in 2003.

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DCMC

Japan’s NTT DoCoMo and its eight regional subsidiaries are launching a mobile credit payment service. The “DCMX” consumer credit service will use “iD,” DoCoMo’s brand and platform for mobile credit cards. Users of Osaifu-Keitai phones with wallet functions will be able to choose from two plans to make highly secure purchases from small to large amounts using their phones as DoCoMo-issued credit cards. The “DCMX mini” will be launched on April 28th, and will offer a monthly credit line of 10,000 yen. Credit lines from 200,000 yen as well as cash advances will be available under a separate service, also called “DCMX,” which will offer several repayment options. Payments made via “DCMX” will earn points that can be redeemed for discounts on products and services from DoCoMo and other participating establishments. DoCoMo also plans to offer a premium “DCMX GOLD” mobile credit-card service in the future.

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Parcxmart Introduces Instant Rewards

NH-based Parcxmart Technologies has launched a loyalty card that enables merchants to set-up their own individualized rewards program and to optionally link up to other merchants. The new “Instant Cool Rewards” program can engage in up to ten individualized merchant rewards programs. Merchants configure the number of purchases necessary to trigger an award which is then printed on the receipt. Parcxmart also offers a smart card that is the first fully-functional parking and local merchant smart card payment system.

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GBS Picks Q Comm for POS Terminals

Global Business Services has selected Q Comm International in
an exclusive agreement to provide point-of-sale terminals and
transaction processing software for distribution of prepaid products
throughout Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman,
Kuwait and the rest of the Middle East and North Africa. GBS purchased
4,100 “Q Xpress 200” POS terminals to date as part of Q
Comm’s Service Bureau model and is responsible for buying and reselling
prepaid products, deploying POS terminals, generating sales reports and
managing customer support going forward. In relation to the terminal
sale, Q Comm will recognize revenue of $610,000 and an impairment charge
of $776,000 in the first quarter of 2006. Global Business Services is a
full-service provider of cross-platform interactive media solutions.

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Hypercom Board Adds an Oberthur Executive

Hypercom has named Philippe Tartavull, president of Oberthur Card Systems North and Central America, to its Board of Directors. Tartavull has 12 years of experience in the management of electronic payments and system integration organizations. Prior to joining Oberthur Card Systems in 1999, Tartavull was for six years president and CEO of Syseca Inc, a provider of system integration services and mission-critical software for various industries including transportation and utilities. He holds a graduate degree from the Anderson School of Management through their Executive Program.

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Detica Rolls out a New Fraud Detection System

Detica has launched “NetReveal,” an advanced fraud detection system.
“NetReveal” takes a revolutionary approach to fraud detection by
spotting fraudulent activity in social networks, rather than individual
transactions. The technology is already being successfully applied to
identify claims fraud in the insurance industry, as well as mobile phone
fraud in the telecoms market and ‘sleeper fraud’ in retail banking and
is being used in government to address fraud and security issues. The
system allows investigators to view and interrogate suspicious
networks of transactions, while it also prioritizes the most suspicious
networks.

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Q1 Bankruptcy Filings Set a Record Low

Bankruptcy filings nose-dived in the first quarter, falling 73% compared to one-year ago and down six-fold sequentially. The number of filings in the first quarter is the lowest number of quarterly filings in the last 20 years. According to CA-based Lundquist Consulting 1Q/06 Chapter 7 consumer filings are 80% lower 1Q/05. Due to new bankruptcy laws the number of Chapter 13 filings in first quarter represented 45.7% of the total as opposed to historic rates of 29%. Lundquist notes that on an annualized basis, 1 in every 261 households filed bankruptcy in the first quarter of this year as opposed to 1 in every 73 households in the first quarter of last year. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, consumer and business bankruptcy filings hit a record 667,431 petitions in the fourth quarter. (CF Library 3/27/06)

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INSIDE Contactless Expands Management Team

INSIDE Contactless has appointed Charles Walton as
Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Philippe Martineau
as Vice President of the NFC Business Line. Walton will be focused upon
driving the international sales & marketing force within INSIDE
Contactless during this critical growth period for the company.
Martineau will work on developing the worldwide emerging NFC business
line on various market segments such as mobile telecommunication and the
consumer market. Walton has more than ten years experience in the
smart card sector, including several years operating a successful smart
card product & services company within the US market. He was mostly
recently EVP & COO for Diversinet, a Toronto headquartered mobile
security company. Martineau spent the past 17 years in the smart card
industry working for Gemplus, predominantly focused in the
Telecommunication industry. INSIDE Contactless is a fabless
semiconductor provider.

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80%+ of College Students Have Credit Cards

Champion Mortgage has released statistics showing that 83% of college students have at least one credit card, with an average balance of $2,300; receive 15 credit card solicitations per week; and that 65% of college students carry credit card debt with 50% charging their cards to the limit. Spend Smart, a national public awareness campaign with an emphasis on educating high school students on the fundamentals of responsible and sensible money management, is a new initiative designed to provide teens with the tools they need to become financially responsible adults.

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Multi Service Aviation Card Adds a Manager

Aviation card specialist Multi Service Aviation has named Brenda Vann to its team of regional managers. Vann comes to Multi Service Aviation with a decade of experience in the aviation industry. During her career in the industry, she held various positions at Denver jetCenter, including roles in customer relations and sales and marketing. The U.S. Bank The Multi Service Aviation Card is accepted worldwide by more than 7,000 aviation service providers in over 190 countries and h provides cardholders with customized billing, free online account maintenance, and savings on fuel, while giving merchants account flexibility, free business promotion, competitive bank card processing, and fast transaction authorization and settlement.

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HBC Closes its Financial Services Sale

Hudson’s Bay Company announced the completion of the sale of the Company’s
Financial Services operations to GE Money, the Canadian consumer lending
unit of General Electric Company for approximately $355 million. As part
of the agreement, Hbc and GE Money have entered into a 10-year alliance
under which GE Money will provide credit marketing and analytic
support, credit servicing and customer care for Hbc’s 3.1 million retail
cardholders. Hbc customers will be able to continue to use their Hbc
cards. Goldman, Sachs & Co. and BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. served as
advisors to Hbc on the transaction.

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