NBD-DNATA MC

National Bank of Dubai and Dnata, a large supplier of travel services in the Middle East, have teamed to launch a MasterCard credit card with rewards. The new card enables cardholders to earn reward points for each purchase with a maximum reward of 10% on the amount spent. Points can then be redeemed at selected Dnata outlets for any of their products or services, including tickets at more than 130 airlines, exotic holiday packages and various other services. The new “Dnata MasterCard” is available in gold and silver variants to all residents of the UAE. NBD is one of the leading providers of POS terminals to over 2500 merchants in UAE.

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USAT Launches PC Express for Hotels

PA-based USA Technologies has launched “PC Express,” a credit card activated, self service PC and Internet terminal. PC Express is a credit card activated, self service PC and Internet terminal. The terminals may be sold with a printer or networked to the hotel’s printer where users can collect their print outs, or have the print outs, such as boarding passes, delivered to their rooms by hotel staff. The terminals are also networked and provide online reporting so hoteliers know exactly what their PC Express sales are in real time.

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Kahuna to Resell Systech’s Dial-to-IP

San Diego-based Systech has teamed with Kahuna ATM Solutions to resell Systech’s dial-to-IP converters for ATMs. Systech Internet Payment Gateways convert dial-up payment transactions to high-speed IP transactions. The gateways connect both legacy and new ATMs to Kahuna-sponsored processing hosts over the public Internet using secure SSL IP protocols. No changes are required to the installed ATM software dial applications. Merchants with existing, private IP networks can also use the Systech/Kahuna solution to convert and re-route dial transactions through existing WAN links.

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Texas CIRA Selects OPC for E-Payments

The County Information Resources Agency of the Texas Association of Counties has selected Official Payments as its exclusive electronic payment services vendor. Through this new agreement, Official Payments’ services are available to all CIRA members. CIRA is exclusively offering Official Payments’ convenient and secure options for member counties to accept credit card and electronic check payments made via the Internet, by telephone or through kiosks. CIRA provides central, cooperative and coordinated assistance and services to its member counties in all matters relating to information resources and technologies.

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Walk-In Bill Payment Revenues to Double

A new study projects that walk-in bill payment revenues for processors will grow from $1.0 billion in 2005 to $1.9 billion in 2010. The research also found that the number of walk-in bill payments in the USA, including cell phone top-up, will top 1.3 billion by 2010. Boston-based Aite Group predicts strong growth for cell phone top-up at the POS and that walk-in locations’ share of total prepaid mobile top-up volumes will fall from 92% in 2005 down to 79% by 2010. Virtual top-up (when the reload is made directly from the handset using bankcards or ACH) will grow its market share as an alternative to the walk-in channel from 10% in 2006 to 21% by 2010. Aite says it expects further consolidation between mobile top-up processors and postpaid bill payment providers.

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ABS Settles Down After Bankruptcy Spike

Last fall’s spike in personal bankruptcy filings may have finally worked its way through U.S. credit card master trusts. Fitch Ratings affirmed 623 classes from 27 U.S. ABS credit card transactions based on the performance data for the most recent reporting period ended January 31st. The cumulative dollar amount affected by Fitch’s rating action is approximately $246 billion. The spike in personal bankruptcies followed the implementation of the new Federal statutes that took effect on Oct. 17, 2005.

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V12 Group Names a New Insert President

NY-based V12 Group, a provider of below-the-line marketing services, has hired Anthony Aquino, former Senior Manager of Instatement and Outbound Telemarketing at Citi Cards, as President of its insert media services group. Aquino will leverage his experience at Citi Cards to increase the market dominance of V12 Group’s insert media organization. Mr. Aquino worked in both the Citibank, NA Retail Bank running one of its 20 largest franchises in North America and held several positions in the Citi Cards organization. The V12 Group is a provider of below-the-line marketing initiatives, using our proprietary databases and multi-channel delivery model to provide measurable results for customer acquisition campaigns.

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JAN 06 DEBT

Credit card debt took its typical post-holiday downturn in January,
dropping A$700 million from the prior month, compared to an A$800
million drop one-year ago. During the past twelve months, credit card
debt has increased 14% while credit card volume rose 12%. For January,
credit card balances dropped to A$33.5 billion after reaching a record
high of A$34.3 billion in December. One-year ago credit card debt stood
at A$29.4 billion. Gross dollar volume on credit card and charge cards
in January was A$13.8 billion, compared to A$12.3 billion one-year ago.
Card credit limits reached A$92.6 billion at the end of January,
compared to A$82.4 billion for January 2005. There are currently 12.6
million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to
11.7 million one-year ago.

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Ingenico Revenues Up 4% for 2005

Ingenico reported 436.9 million euros in consolidated revenue for last year, up 3.7% from 2004. The company blamed delivery
problems for the lackluster growth. However, Ingencio also took a restructuring charge and a non-recurring litigation charge.
As part of a restructuring plan announced in September, Ingenico moved during the first quarter of 2006 to sell off several subsidiaries including Debitek to Heartland Payment Systems in February; Ingenico Sweden was sold to BBS in March; and ITS was sold to American Express in March. Ingenico is forecasting revenue growth of more than 15% in the first quarter. For complete details on Ingenico’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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VeriFone Opens International Headquarters

VeriFone Holdings announced the official opening of
VeriFone Singapore Pte. Ltd, its international headquarters located at
RCL Centre. VeriFone’s international management team based here will
spearhead the organization’s global supply chain and serve as the focal
point for R&D functions, regional finance and administration, and sales
and marketing activities across Australasia, South East Asia and the
Indian Sub-Continent. The center employs the latest
technologies to contribute to an increase in supply chain efficiencies
and cost savings as well as in its speed and flexibility of response to
regional customer demands and market opportunities. The organization
will manage in excess of $200 million in annual procurement and outsourcing
services and will play a key role in VeriFone’s continuing international
expansion, with
responsibility for all operations in the Asia Pacific and Europe,
Middle-East, and Africa (EMEA) regions, including expanded operations in
Manila, a new development center in Bangalore, and recently opened
facilities in Poland.

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Speedpass Adds Instant Activation

ExxonMobil has introduced “Instant Activation” for its “Speedpass” contactless payment system. Consumers can now open and use their “Speedpass” account within two minutes via a hand-held computer. Through December 31st customers who enroll and activate a new account at an “Instant Activation” store event will earn a 5-cent per gallon rebate for a 90-day period from the date of activation (up to a maximum of $20 per account). In states where the rebate is prohibited by law customers will receive a $20 “ExxonMobil Cash Card.” Exxon launched the “Speedpass” program in 1997 and has issued more than six million fobs to-date in the USA. “Speedpass” is accepted at more than 8,800 Exxon and Mobil retail locations.

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