ECHO’s 4Q/05 Revenues Grow 33%

Camarillo, CA-based card processor Electronic Clearing House posted fourth quarter of $16.9 million, a 33% increase over the prior year. Bankcard and transaction processing revenue grew 37% to $12.6 million and bankcard processing volume increased 48% to $388 million during 4Q/05. ECHO also reports that ACH transactions processed in Q4 increased 11.3% to 9.8 million transactions. For 2006, the Company is targeting total revenue growth in the 17% to 24% range, driven by 18% to 25% growth in its bankcard business and 15% to 22% growth in its check processing business. Net income for 2006 is expected to range from $1.5 million to $2.5 million. For complete details on ECHO’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Altiris Introduces SecurityExpressions

San Jose-based Altiris announced audit-ready support for PCI data security standards through its “SecurityExpressions” solution. The PCI Data Security Standards are system and network security and business practice guidelines developed by the leading credit card companies to establish a minimum security standard for cardholders’ account and transaction information. The standards require compliance via on-site reviews, security self-assessments and security scans. Altiris provides IT lifecycle management software that allows IT organizations to easily manage, secure and service desktops, notebooks, thin clients, handhelds, industry-standard servers, and heterogeneous software including Windows, Linux and UNIX.

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Joyo Bank to Deploy Finger Vein Authentication

Ibaragi-based Joyo Bank is deploying Hitachi’s finger vein authentication system on March 22nd. The new “Joyo IC Ace Card” will be issued to all Joyo customers. Joyo will replace all of its automated teller machines with finger vein authentication system terminals
provided by Hitachi. This is the first system to use finger vein authentication service for banking in the Kanto area.

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Discover Launches a Sig/PIN Debit Product

Discover has decided to enter the signature debit card market and compete head-to-head with VISA and MasterCard. The new “Discover Debit” product is the result of its acquisition of the PULSE ATM/debit network in January 2005 and the ruling in the Department of Justice anti-trust case in October 2004 which permits financial institutions that already issue credit or debit cards from the bankcard associations to issue additional cards from other brands. The “Discover Network” will support two forms of signature debit card programs: the “Discover Debit Card” for individuals and the “Discover Debit Business Card.” “Discover Debit” says it offers issuers increased profitability from lower network expenses; clear, fully disclosed pricing, less complicated billing and straight-forward operating regulations and dispute rules; and a 100% online transaction authorization standard with no floor limits. NetSpend Corp., Elan Financial Services, Central National Bank & Trust Company of Enid (Oklahoma) and Jack Henry & Associates have agreed to support “Discover Debit.”

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Scott+Scott to Lead Diebold Lawsuit

CT-based Scott+Scott will file a motion today to become “Lead Plaintiff” and “Lead Counsel” in the shareholder class action lawsuit of ATM manufacturer Diebold. The complaint alleges that defendants violated provisions of the United States securities laws, issued false and misleading statements that served to conceal the dimensions and scope of internal problems, impacting product quality, strategic planning, forecasting and guidance and culminating in false representations of astonishingly low and incredibly inaccurate restructuring charges for the 2005 fiscal year, which grossly understated the true costs and problems defendants faced to restructure the Company and that when investors learned the truth about the adverse impact on Diebold’s financial performance, the price of Diebold shares plunged 15.5% on unusually high volume, falling from $44.37 per share on September 20, 2005, to $37.47 per share on September 21, 2005.

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Vesta to Establish Euro Operations

Vesta Corporation, a provider of virtual top-up prepaid telecom products
is to establish its European Operations
Center at the IDA Ireland Finnabair Business Park, Dundalk, Co. Louth.
The center will support Vesta’s European mobile telecoms clients, as
well as provide a duplicate service operation for the company’s existing
international business. Supported by IDA Ireland – Ireland’s investment
and development agency – the center will create 350 high quality jobs
over three years. The new Dundalk center will also house an engineering
team; revenue assurance department;
business analysis department; European finance and treasury management;
and an in-house data center providing disaster recovery capability for
Vesta’s international locations.

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Semtek Hires a New CEO

San Diego-based Semtek Innovative Solutions has named Patrick Hazel, formerly CEO of EWI Holdings, as CEO. Hazel brings vast experience in the payment processing and technology industries to Semtek, a developer of solutions for the mobile payments sector. He has also been active in early stage technology ventures, serving as a director of several high growth companies on the West Coast as well as an active advisor to the venture capital and private equity world on issues such as technology commercialization, IP portfolio development, and payment processing opportunities. Semtek Innovative Solutions provides mobile commerce devices and applications, magnetic stripe security solutions, and wireless gateway services to the mobile payments sector.

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Alliance to Acquire ICOM

Alliance Data has reached an agreement to acquire ICOM Information and
Communication Inc., a provider of targeted list, marketing data
and communication solutions for the direct response, consumer packaged
goods and over-the-counter pharmaceutical industries in North
America. These include the AIR MILES Reward Program, Canada’s premiere
coalition loyalty marketing program, Epsilon, a leading provider of
integrated direct marketing solutions and COLLOQUY, a leading provider
of loyalty-marketing publishing, research, educational and consulting
services. ICOM will remain a distinct business within Alliance Data.

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