Catuity Signs Nexus Payment Systems

Detroit-based Catuity has signed a four-year agreement to be the exclusive provider of gift card programs to the chain retailer and merchant clients of Nexus Payment Systems and its 1,800 terminals. Nexus expects to deploy the gift card program on the Nurit 8320 made by Lipman Inc. The multi-application terminals are popular with merchants because they balance economy with the ability to put value-added programs on the terminal. Catuity has recently completed integration to the 32-bit platforms of Lipman and Verifone Inc. Nexus provides credit and debit processing solutions. Catuity powers loyalty and gift card programs.

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Axalto Shareholders Approve Gemplus Merger

Axalto shareholders this week approved the merger with Gemplus previously announced on December 7th. No vote was cast against the merger but 51 votes abstained. The $1.1 billion transaction will create a company with annual revenues of $2.1 billion and 11,000 employees. The company will be called Gemalto. Alex Mandl, the President & CEO of Gemplus, will assume the position of Executive Chairman and Olivier Piou, CEO of Axalto, will be the CEO of Gemalto. (CFI Library 12/8/05)

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Project Credit Despair Nets 20 Scams

The FTC, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and eight state law enforcement agencies have taken action against on 20 credit repair operations nationwide. The FTC began coordinating “Project Credit Despair” last year in response to thousands of consumer complaints. The cases involved companies throughout the nation, many of which promised to remove accurate and timely information from consumers’ credit reports, and typically charged hundreds of dollars in advance for the service. The FTC advises that only time, a conscious effort and a personal debt repayment plan can improve your credit report.

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Equifax Personal Solutions Income Quadruples

Atlanta-based Equifax reported that fourth quarter operating income for its Personal Solutions business in North America nearly quadrupled compared to one-year ago. The growth was driven by the free credit reports mandated by Congress in “The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003.” The offering of free reports took effect September 1st. Equifax reported that Personal Solutions increased its revenue 15% to $26.8 million and that operating income for Personal Solutions hit $3.7 million compared to $1.0 million for 4Q/04. Equifax noted that the FACT Act-related regulatory recovery fee revenue contributed $9 million to North America’s overall revenue growth. This fee was instituted in the beginning of December 2004 to mitigate compliance costs related to the FACT Act. Meanwhile, North America Information Services reported revenue of $197 million was up 9% in Q4. Marketing Services revenue in North America also grew 9% to $67 million. For complete details on Equifax’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Pay By Touch/BioPay Enters Alabama

San Francisco-based Pay By Touch has landed its first merchant in Alabama for its BioPay payment system. Star Markets chose to implement BioPay to give their check writing, credit and debit card customers a faster checkout and greater convenience when making a purchase. BioPay was recently acquired by Pay By Touch, a provider of biometric authentication, loyalty, membership, and payment solutions. Their combined biometric solutions have 2.3 million enrolled customers and have authenticated in excess of $8 billion dollars worth of transactions.

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Ingenico to Supply NTT DATA Payment Terminals

Ingenico will supply payment terminals to NTT DATA Corporation, Japan. NTT
DATA operates CAFIS / INFOX – NET, which is the largest financial
transaction acquiring network in Japan. Currently approximately 300,000
terminals are installed in a number of merchant environments throughout
Japan including department stores, various retailers and restaurants.
INFOX – NET and NTT DATA are targeting to have a total of 400,000
terminals installed by the end of 2006. This agreement provides Ingenico
Japan with a further opportunity to strengthen their business and
establishes Ingenico as a major supplier to the payment terminal market in
Japan.

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DEC DEBT

Credit card outstandings continued to hover around GBP 56 billion during December. The figure is GBP 1.7 billion below year-ago levels. The Bank of England reports that the increase in consumer credit was lower than in November. BOE says there was hardly any growth in credit card lending in December, compared with a GBP 300 million increase in November, but other loans and advances rose by GBP 800 million in December, stronger than in November. The annual growth rate of consumer credit continued to fall, to 9.3% in December.

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Axalto Shareholders Approve Gemplus Merger

Axalto Holding reported that Meeting of Shareholders approved the merger with Gemplus International announced on December 7th
2005. A very large majority adopted the single resolution put forth to
shareholders vote, with over 99.9% of votes cast in favor of the
resolution (15 342 651 votes approved the resolution, no vote cast against
the resolution, and 51 votes abstained). The $1.1 billion transaction will create a company with annual revenues of $2.1 billion and 11,000 employees.

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VeriFone Introduces PCCharge Partner

VeriFone has introduced “PCCharge Partner,” a compact, all-in-one device that enables a personal computer to run any type of electronic payment transaction. The compact, all-in-one PCCharge Partner device reduces countertop and cabling clutter. The bundle includes PC-based payment processing software and the PCCharge Partner device with magnetic card swipe, PIN pad and thermal printer in one solution and features a consumer-facing PIN pad with mag-stripe card reader and “hand-over” design that makes it easy to initiate transactions and enter PINs; an integrated thermal printer that prints receipts quickly and quietly; and comprehensive reporting that simplifies account reconciliation and business management. Also included are a one-year Buyer Protection program covering all repairs, a one-year End User Support program, along with all necessary cables, documentation and device pre-configuration, packaging and kitting

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HSBC Deploys Digipass In A/P Markets

HSBC is utilizing VASCO’s Digipass across the entire Asia Pacific Region
for secure Internet Banking. HSBC has currently rolled out an impressive
900,000 “Digipass GO3” authenticators and has initiated “Digipass” use in
mainland China, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka,
Brunei, Thailand, New Zealand and Australia for retail, commercial,
corporate and private banking applications. VASCO designs, develops,
markets and supports patented user authentication products for the
financial world, remote access, e-business and e-commerce.

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