Regions Financial Offers Free VISA CheckCards

AL-based Regions Financial Corporation is now offering a free “Regions Access VISA CheckCard” to customers who purchase one of the four new checking product packages. The Regions’ debit VISA offers 10,000 “VISA Extras” bonus points, double “VISA Extras” points for every dollar spent on qualifying purchases, and up to four times the “VISA Extras” points per dollar spent on signature transactions by frequently using their Regions debit card. Regions operates 1,300 offices and a 1,600-ATM network across a 16-state geographic footprint in the South, Midwest and Texas.

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SPRON E-CARD

Reykjavik Saving Bank (SPRON) is expanding the “e-Card” program to Norway, Denmark and Finland, through a network of partnering issuers, acquirers and retailers. The “e-Card,” powered by Welcome’s “XLS” payment technology, was successfully launched in Iceland where it increased its market share by 10% in a very saturated card market in less than two years. In Iceland the “e-Card” offers cardholders 0.5% cash back from the bank and additional 0.65% to 15% cash back from retailers. Cardholders can spend their cash back anywhere among 200 merchants participating in the “e-Card” program. Card spending is now about 30% above average in Iceland, and as of last year, transaction numbers were running more than 40% above average.

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JCB Incents Cardholders to Discover Hawaii

Japan’s JCB, with 56 million cardholders, is launching the “JCB Discover Aloha Hawaii Project” on April 1st in conjunction with Hawaii Tourism Japan. The campaign gives visitors using the JCB card in Hawaii a chance to win a grand prize of a free return trip to the Islands and many other attractive prizes provided by alliance partners. JCB cardholders can also ride selected Waikiki Trolley routes for free when showing the JCB card. Plus, cardholders receive a pocket-sized brochure which lists 124 stores, restaurants, and other merchants giving JCB cardholders special discounts and other premiums.

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ePassporte and 2000Charge Launch DirectPay EU

ePassporte has announced the acceptance of “DirectPay EU,” a new funding option for its European cardholders. Provided by 2000Charge, “DirectPay EU” enables over 200 million EU bank account holders the ability to move funds from their European bank accounts to their ePassporte accounts, using the bank transfer system. ePassporte offers “Virtual VISA” and “VISA Electron” cards online in real time for use over the Internet and at POS merchant locations wherever VISA is accepted. 2000Charge is a payments processor offering merchants a
range of secure regional payment options preferred by various cultures
around the world.

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Public Bank Berhad Begins JCB Merchant Acquiring

Public Bank Berhad has started JCB merchant acquiring business this month.
This new license agreement for merchant operations in Malaysia between JCB
International and Public Bank was signed in September 2005, marking the
fourth JCB merchant acquiring partnership in Malaysia. With the launch of
acquiring business with Public Bank, JCB brand business will continue to
grow in Malaysia, offering more convenience to JCB
cardmembers from abroad and to the increasing number of JCB cardmembers in
Malaysia. The Public Bank Group is one of Malaysia’s largest integrated
banking groups offering a comprehensive array of financial services.
This is the fourth JCB merchant acquiring partnership in Malaysia.

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Balducci’s to Deploy Wincor Nixdorf Solutions

Specialty food expert Balducci’s has selected Wincor’s “StoreForward POS” software as the POS application for a chainwide rollout and will install Wincor’s “BEETLE POS” systems in new stores including its Food Lover’s Market stores in Manhattan and Washington, D.C StoreForward POS is a robust, server-based Java point-of-sale (POS) software application that features a server-based architecture for greater system uptime and reliability; a powerful accounting system that provides real-time access to critical sales information, down to the store level; and a built-in SQL database with flexible, easy-to-use reporting functions.

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First Data Signs Three New Processing Agreements

First Data International and PROCESA announced the recent signing of
three new payment
processing agreements with Bank of Bahamas, Fidelity Bank and the New
England Bankcard Association. Bank of The Bahamas International operates
from 11 locations throughout The Bahamas including New Providence Grand
Bahama, Andros, Inagua and San Salvador. Fidelity is a financial services
group offering a comprehensive range of both domestic and international
financial services. New England Bankcard Association provides services to
financial institutions throughout the United States, Bermuda, Barbados and
the Cayman Islands.

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Interac, MasterCard and VISA Announce EMV Migration

Interac, MasterCard and VISA, plus many card issuers and acquirers,
announced a firm commitment to a broad industry migration to EMV smart
cards. The EMV standards allows for the harmonizing of policies,
procedures and technical standards, ensuring interoperability among all
payment schemes and thereby simplifying the implementation requirements
for payment system participants, including merchants. This multilateral
announcement follows individual announcements by Interac, MasterCard and
VISA regarding their respective intentions to move to chip card
technology. Beginning in 2007, many merchants and cardholders will start
to see the introduction of cards that feature chip technology, and
within three years of this date, it is expected that the majority of
cardholders and merchants will be able to fully benefit from this new
technology.

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Pay By Touch Launches a UK Implementation

San Francisco-based Pay By Touch has launched its first UK implementation at the Midcounties
Co-operative supermarket in Oxford. The Pay By Touch system uses a
simple finger scan to authorize an electronic transaction from a
customer’s existing accounts while automatically honoring Co-op dividend
points. The Pay By Touch technology does not use actual fingerprints;
instead, it reads a set of 40 unique measurements that are encrypted and
hosted at secure IBM data centers. The unique measurements cannot be
reverse engineered into a fingerprint. More than 2.3 million shoppers are already using Pay By Touch throughout the United States to make purchases, access frequent shopper programs, and cash checks at more than 2,000 retail locations. The Midcounties Co-operative Society is the largest regional independent retailer in the area and the fourth largest
Co-operative Society in the UK.

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