NYC to Test Parking Meters & Credit Cards

New York City is launching a six-month pilot of parking meters offering a payment card option. The 200 meters in Manhattan’s theater district will be activated on Monday, November 21st. The New York City Department of Transportation has been upgrading “Muni-Meters” with wireless communication technology in the theater district since May, at a cost of about $84,000. “Muni-Meters” are installed at intervals along the sidewalk and can increase the number of parking spaces along the curbside by as much as 15%. They generally control as many as eight parking slots. “Muni-Meters” accept quarters, dollar coins and payments made with “NYC Parking Cards,” which can be purchased in $20 and $50 denominations through the DOT website, by mail and at City Store locations. Earlier this year, the City introduced 1,100 single space parking meters in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens with the capability to accept payments made with the NYC “Pre-Paid Parking Card.”

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CLARIFICATION – Chase & PayPass

CLARIFICATION: Re: PayPass Momentum CF 11/17/05. While Chase “blink” cards offer “PayPass” acceptance they also offer “VISA Contactless” acceptance. Therefore, Chase does not issue “Paypass” cards but rather “blink” cards which offer both VISA and MasterCard acceptance. Considering that VISA and MasterCard do not issue credit cards, the impact of five million Chase “blink” cards has been the real energizer in the U.S. market for contactless payments.

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VISA Launches an Online Game for the Olympics

VISA International has launched its first online game in conjunction with its sponsorship of the Olympics. The new “VISA Championships-Torino 2006” game pits players from 23 countries in an international competition. Each national winner will go to the “Olympic Winter Games” in Torino for a chance to be crowned global champion. The contest began November 15th and runs through December 15th. The online game challenges players to master three Olympic Winter Sports online: Bobsleigh, Giant Slalom (Alpine Skiing), and Snowboard Cross (Snowboarding). Players must progress through multiple preliminary rounds and then compete in the national competition. In each country, the player with the lowest combined time across all three sports in the national competition will travel to Torino, Italy, as a guest of VISA to attend the “Olympic Winter Games” and compete head-to-head against the other country winners on February 15th. To play contestants must use Windows and Internet Explorer and install “ActiveX.”

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New Java Card Global Platform

GlobalPlatform and Sun Microsystems have announced an alliance to ensure
their respective specifications are compatible for the next generation
of Java Card development. The next generation “GlobalPlatform Card
Specification” explicitly defines how contactless cards, chip and card
reader, communicate through wireless self-powered induction technology,
and the relevant architecture required to support them in a
multi-application environment. The specification supports dual interface
contact/contactless cards, explaining how to load and manage
applications in both environments. The next generation “Java Card” is
designed to update the specifications in a number of ways, to help
facilitate the development of secure and interoperable smart card
services, particularly for contactless cards. GlobalPlatform is an
international association, focused on establishing, maintaining and
driving the adoption of standards to enable an open and interoperable
infrastructure for smart cards, devices and systems that simplifies and
accelerates development, deployment and management of applications
across industries. To date, more than one billion Java Cards have been
issued.

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Bankruptcy Filings Impact AmEx Q4 Significantly

American Express said yesterday that it expects total managed writeoffs in the U.S. consumer and small business portfolios to be $175 to $250 million higher than the third quarter due to the bankruptcy surge in late September and early October. AmEx says this means higher total managed writeoffs of $200 to $275 million when compared against the fourth quarter of last year. AmEx says it fully writes off account balances upon notification of a valid bankruptcy filing and therefore the Company does not expect a material bankruptcy tail following it into January. AmEx says it believes bankruptcy trends will return to more historical levels once the pipeline is cleared by courts and it has already seen that new law filings are down substantially.

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Fiserv Offers an Off-the-Shelf STV Card

Fiserv EFT has introduced an off-the-shelf prepaid gift card product suite for financial institutions of any size. With the customizable gift card solution, each participant is the card issuer of a Visa or MasterCard gift card sold directly to buyers in a branch location or via a financial institution’s Web site. Fiserv EFT provides the complete processing environment for the gift card program, including authorization and settlement services, card fulfillment, risk management controls and 24×7 customer service. Financial institutions can instantly issue gift cards in the branch or have buyers complete their gift card purchases via the Internet. Fiserv EFT provides ATM and debit services and serves 2,800 financial institutions across the United States with reported revenue of $3.4 billion in processing and services revenues for 2004.

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Credit Card Debt Growth Stays in Double Digits

Credit card debt neared the A$32 billion milestone in September as
charge volume retreated after a one-month spike in gas prices. Over the
past twelve months, credit card debt has increased 14.3% while credit
card volume has risen 5.8%. Volume has been dampened by new card
regulations that give retailers the option to surcharge customers for
using a credit card. One-year ago credit card debt stood at A$28
billion. Gross dollar volume on credit card and charge cards in
September was A$14.5 billion, compared to A$15.3 billion in the prior
month. Based on data from the Reserve Bank of Australia, consumers
charged A$13.5 billion in purchases on credit/charge cards during
September, compared to A$12.7 billion one-year ago. Card credit limits
reached A$89.0 billion at the end of September, compared to A$78.7
billion for September 2004. There are currently 12.3 million credit card
and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 11.4 million one-year
ago.

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Pipeline’s Q3 Profits Double Despite Katrina

Massachusetts-based Pipeline Data reported that third quarter revenue soared by more than 50% and that gross profit has doubled. Gross revenue was $6.3 million for the three months ended September 30th and gross profit for the same period was $1.6 million. The Compnay noted that the gross revenue results were hampered somewhat by the effects of Hurricane Katrina. During the third quarter Pipeline Data acquired IL-based World Products, d/b/a AIRCHARGE, for $200,000 in cash, $525,000 in the form of a promissory note and 900,000 shares of Pipeline’s stock. The Company also executed a merger agreement to acquire Florida-based merchant acquirer, Charge.com, for $17 million. Pipeline offers wireless mobile payment, e-commerce solutions and retail merchant payment. The Company has more than 15,000 accounts. For complete details on Pipeline’s third quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com). (CF Library 7/20/05; 8/17/05)

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LG Card Rides Profit Train as Creditors Sell-Out

South Korea’s second largest credit card issuer has posted $1.14 billion in profit for 2005 after earning $352.2 million in the third quarter. However, controlling interest in LG Card is on the sale block as its creditors this week named JP Morgan Chase as the lead manager for the sale, according to today’s issue of CardFlash International. Korea Development Bank and other creditors are seeking to unload their combined 51% stake in LG Card by the end of this year. The expected sale price is expected to be in the $4.8 billion range. LG Card has posted four consecutive quarters of solid profitability. In the third quarter of 2004, the issuer reported a $45.4 million loss. Since then, LG Card has earned $1.42 billion. In the first quarter of this year, the issuer earned $465.0 million.

LG CARD NET INCOME
3Q/04: -$45.4 million
4Q/04: $315.7 million
1Q/05: $283.0 million
2Q/05: $465.0 million
3Q/05: $352.2 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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eFunds to Drive 65,000 USPS POS Devices

eFunds has expanded its agreement with the United States Postal Service and will now drive transaction processing at more than 34,000 USPS locations and 65,000 POS devices nationwide plus 2,500 self-serve kiosks. Under the new agreements, USPS will have direct control over its back office operations and business functions, indirect control over its own payment switch through eFunds and a flexible platform designed to support new business initiatives. eFunds Corporation provides electronic payments and risk management.

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Anglia Society Selects the TNS Network

The Anglia Society has selected Transaction Network Services for an IP-based solution to reduce the time it takes to
authorize credit card transactions. The solution will provide Anglia
with the fastest way to securely authorize credit card transactions with
the acquiring banks. Payment data from the 400 till points across
Anglia’s 75 stores will be securely transported over TNS’ private
network, providing a high-speed digital connection for card
authorization. Anglia Society is the sixth largest co-operative society in the country. Transaction Network Services provides data communications services for transaction-oriented applications.

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