VeriFone Vx Solutions Tops 500K Units

San Jose-based VeriFone reports it has topped 500,000 unit sales of its new “Vx Solutions” payment systems line over the past twelve months. Available beginning early in 2005, Vx Solutions has experienced broad international success, notably in markets where modernization efforts have accelerated the transition to electronic payment systems. VeriFone Holdings is a leader in secure electronic payment technologies, provides expertise, solutions and services for today with a migration strategy for tomorrow.

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Credit Card Restrictions Jeopardize Charities

The Institute of Fundraising has issued a warning to all
fundraising organizations that accept credit or debit card donations to
contact their acquiring bank, following the issuance of a mandate from
VISA and Mastercard. The Institute of Fundraising is expressing concern
about the absence of any consultation process with charities and lack of
clear guidance about these developments. The mandate will require
charities to capture the three-digit card security code when accepting
donations from cardholders that are not present. Failure to collect
this code may result in the acquiring bank’s refusal to process
donations. These changes come into effect early as April 2006.

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Pago to Offer Giropay Next Month

Cologne-based Pago will offer “giropay,” a new payment
method similar to the online bank transfer, beginning in April. “Giropay” is based on conventional home banking procedures, allowing consumers to pay for online purchases by directly initiating fund transfers directly using familiar PIN and TAN procedures. A consortium of German banks including the PostBank, the Sparkassen Finanzgruppe (Association of German public sector savings banks) and the IT service providers for the Volksbanks and Raiffeissenbanks, Fiducia IT and GAD, has developed the new payment method which was officially unveiled in mid-February. The Pago “Online Bank Transfer,” which has been available since 2003, is also based on the PIN/TAN procedures and can be used by customers of over 2,000 banks in Germany.

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MasterCard Exec Joins Asia Pay Board

Asia Pay announced that Rosaline Tam has been appointed to its Board of Directors. Tam
has over 25 years’ experience in financial services technology including
senior management positions with MasterCard International, Citibank and
American Express. Tam currently serves as a director of Richwap Company
Limited. Previously, Tam was with MasterCard
International, serving as the Vice President and General Manager for
Hong Kong and Macau as well as the Vice President for Advance Payments,
e-Business and Mobile Commerce for Greater China. She led MasterCard
International to gain significant market share, both in terms of the
number of cards issued and card spending. She also led the company to
achieve a threefold growth in revenue in the midst of the Asian economic
crisis. Asia Pay is developing a credit card processing network to facilitate transactions between merchants and financial
institutions in China, Japan, and other markets in Asia.

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Consumer Protection Kick Off Fraud Prevention Month

Officials from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Canadian consumer
protection agencies met to kick off March as “Fraud
Prevention Month.” The initiative is part of an international effort to
raise public awareness worldwide of the dangers of fraud, while
educating the public on how to recognize and report it. As part of the
initiative, the FTC today is launching a new section
about cross-border online fraud on www.OnGuardOnline.gov, an educational
site with information to help computer users be safe online.

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ExaDigm XD2000SP PCI/PED is Approved

Santa Ana, CA-based ExaDigm announced that its “XD2000SP” payment terminal has met the requirements of the PCI PED standard becoming the first fully modular, PC-based payment terminal to meet the requirements established by VISA and MasterCard. The PCI PED approval certifies that both the physical design of the XD2000SP PIN entry device and the software that is associated with it have been validated by an independent testing organization recognized by Visa and MasterCard. This latest approval further adds to the XD2000 product lines exacting security standards. The first POS terminal to receive Visa CISP validation, it features the highest levels of security and fraud resistance including 256-bit SSL encryption active at the time of card swipe. ExaDigm is provider of IP wireless, wired and modular point-of-sale (POS) terminal solutions.

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Chase Prepaid Card Targets EITC Consumers

Chase has introduced a new pre-paid debit cards to speed payment of tax refunds to unbanked consumers who qualify for tax refunds under the “Earned Income Tax Credit.” The new “Chase Direct Benefit VISA Card” is being rolled out in Phoenix, Denver, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Columbus, Shreveport, Salt Lake City, McAllen, Flint, Dallas, Houston, Austin, Indianapolis, San Antonio and Milwaukee this tax season. Chase has partnered with Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites in these cities to promote awareness of EITC refunds and support VITA’s free tax preparation services. Consumers who also receive a federal payment such as Social Security, Supplemental Security Income or a Veterans Administration benefit can enroll for direct deposit of future payments in the same account as their EITC.

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ReD’s Profits Climb 31% Driven by CNP

Retail Decisions reported that revenue climbed 72% last year to $95 million. Pre-tax profits rose 31% to $14 million. ReD says “Card Not Present” fraud prevention is a major growth area, growing 50% organically in transaction volumes year-on-year. ReD’s fuel card operation is the largest multi-branded card business in Australia accepted at nearly all of the 6,500 fuel stations throughout the country and at around 8,250 other outlets that provide services for business drivers. In the UK and Europe, ReD’s fuel card business, known as “ReD Fuel Cards,” is the UK’s second largest operator in the independent fuel card market with over 65,000 cards in issue and around 6,300 live customer accounts. In December, ReD acquired E Com, Australia’s largest pre-paid card operator. For more details on ReD’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Charge-Offs Plunge 400 bps in Jan

As expected, credit card charge-offs plunged in January following the tidal wave of personal bankruptcies that hit the industry in the fall. Compared to December, charge-offs among credit card-backed bonds dropped a stunning 400 basis points. According to Moody’s Investor Services’ “Credit Card Credit Indices”, charge-offs declined to 3.21% in January compared to 7.25% in December and 5.68% one-year ago. The December period was an all-time industry high. However, delinquency among credit card ABS rose slightly in January to 3.40%, compared to 3.25% in December. Last year delinquency stood at 4.37%.

CREDIT CARD ABS CHARGE-OFFS
Jun 05: 5.88%
Jul 05: 5.83%
Aug 05: 5.69%
Sep 05: 5.39%
Oct 05: 6.85%
Nov 05: 6.79%
Dec 05: 7.25%
Jan 06: 3.21%
Source: Moody’s Investor Services

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