Rentcash Elects New Member to Board

Rentcash has named Edward McClelland as the newest member of the Board
of Directors. McClelland has an extensive background in building and
managing financial services companies. McClelland has previously held
positions as Vice President of CIBC Finance and prior to that as the
President of Transamerica/Borg Warner Group of Companies, Canada,
Australia, and Europe. Rentcash operates The Cash Store, Instaloans
and Insta-rent. The Cash Store and Instaloans act as brokers to facilitate
payday advance services and provide two private label debit cards, the
“Cash Store Cash Card” and “InstaWorld Debit Card,” for those who may not be
able to obtain them from banks. Insta-rent rents brand name furniture,
appliances, electronics and computers, with or without an option to
purchase.

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Keycorp Intros Printer Module for Internet EFTPOS

Sydney-based Keycorp Limited has launched the “K76 Printer Communications Module”, a printer communications module that allows merchants to make secure EFTPOS transactions over the Internet via broadband networks. The “K76” can be combined with the “Keycorp K23 Intelligent PIN Pad” to create a complete stand-alone payment solution that does not require a dial-up EFTPOS connection, eliminating the cost and inconvenience of maintaining a separate EFTPOS dial-up line. The “K76” can connect to the Internet via ADSL, cable or wireless modems. as well as its 10/100 Base-T fast Ethernet interface to connect to the merchant’s local area network.

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Yapi Kredi Bank Orders Lipman Nurit 8210

Yapi Kredi Bank has placed
an initial 35,000 terminal order for Lipman’s new “NURIT 8210” POS terminal. Yapi Kredi worked closely with Lipman throughout the
development process and made substantial contributions to both the final
design and end-user interface of the terminal and was actively involved
in the extensive testing and field trials that have been conducted in
advance of the launch. The “NURIT 8210” simplifies cardholder Personal
Identification Number entry and merchant operation for easy EMV
migration. The NURIT Operating System ensures compatibility with all
existing NURIT terminal applications. The Yapi Kredi order is expected
to be supplied in full during the first quarter of 2006. Lipman’s corporate headquarters and R&D facilities are located in
Israel.

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Eracom Technologies Sold to SafeNet for $25MM

Maryland-based SafeNet has signed a definitive agreement to
acquire all equity interests of Eracom Technologies AG for approximately
$25 million in cash. Eracom is a global provider of cryptographic and
transaction security solutions that protect credit cards, EFT and
ATM transactions for financial institutions, governments and
telecommunications providers. Eracom also markets a PC disk encryption
system. SafeNet provides complete security utilizing its
encryption technologies to protect communications, intellectual property
and digital identities and offers a full spectrum of products including
hardware, software, and chips. ARM, Bank of America, NetGear, the
Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, Adobe, Samsung, Texas
Instruments, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service are among its clients.

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PIN Debit Carries Lower Cost and Lower Fraud

A new research study has concluded that signature debit transactions cost financial institutions twice as much as PIN transactions. Also, average net fraud losses are more than four times greater for signature debit programs than for PIN debit programs. Nevertheless, the First Annapolis Consulting study for First Data suggests that consumers prefer both payment options and that financial institutions should encourage activation and usage of both PIN and signature debit products to help support consumer preferences and maximize revenue. The report indicates that the average cost-per-transaction for signature debit is 22 cents while PIN debit is 11.6 cents. Surveyed financial institutions average 12.8 debit transactions per active card per month, generated from an average of 7.9 signature and 4.9 PIN transactions. According to the study, the average ticket amount for signature debit is $38.34 compared to $40.32 for PIN debit. And depending on the size of the institution, fraud losses range from 2.5 to almost five times higher for signature debit than PIN debit. The “2005 POS Debit Issuer Cost Study” was based on data from 11 financial institutions of various size.

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Three out of Four Worry About Card Fraud

A new poll has found that 73% of Americans worry about the fraudulent use of their credit cards and nearly 40% are at least somewhat willing to pay fees for additional protection. Last year, about 51% were concerned and only 27% of Americans were willing to pay for additional protection. The study by Unisys Corporation says that 64% of consumers prefer biometrics to fight fraud and identity theft, followed by smart cards (36%), tokens (23%), and more passwords (17%). Unisys also found that 50% would consider switching banks for more protection compared to 45% last year. Unisys noted that the U.S. leads the world in ID fraud instances with 17% of consumers citing they have been victims.

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RBC CASH Index Signals Good Holiday Season

The “RBC CASH Index” for November shows that consumer confidence continues to rise from its low point two months ago and could signal a better-than-expected holiday season for retailers. The CASH Index stands at 81.0 for November, compared to 66.8 in October, but still below last year’s November results of 89.8. Respondents expressed slightly greater confidence in their own financial condition, with one-quarter rating their situation as strong, compared to 23 per cent in October. Similarly, the RBC Investment Index stands at 82.8 for November, compared to 78 in October. While confidence in making major purchases like a home or a car remains unchanged from October, consumers are slightly more confident in making other household purchases. The RBC Jobs Index also remained strong, as it stands at 119.8 for November, surpassing its level of 111 from a year-ago. RBC’s Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household Index is a monthly national survey of consumer attitudes on the current and future state of local economies, personal financial situations, savings, and confidence to make large investments.

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CTFS 3Q/05

Canadian Tire Financial Services reported that its net managed credit card receivables for the third quarter increased 18% year-over-year to $3.2 billion. The average credit card balance in the third quarter hit $1741, up 16% from one-year ago, largely driven by its “Options MasterCard” product. For the prior quarter, the average credit card balance came in at $1661. Financial Services’ pre-tax earnings of $40 million were up 7% from the third quarter of 2004. Canadian Tire’s MasterCard receivables represent approximately 92% of CTFS’ total managed portfolio. CTFS’ retail credit card and personal loan receivables make up the remaining nine percent of the portfolio. For complete details on Canadian Tire Financial Services’ third quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Consumer Conversions Inflate Biz Card Growth

A new report on the U.S. small business credit card market has found that a large portion of the growth in purchase dollar volume is coming from conversions. The study reveals that less than one-third of the 27% annual growth rate in PDV for such cards is due to new spending on existing accounts. The Mercator Advisory Group report determined that 20% of the growth in small business card volume is generated by consumer card conversions. Slightly more than half of the growth is coming from non-consumer card conversions or new accounts. Mercator says about 7.5% of the annual growth rate is from American Express charge card conversions.

ANATOMY OF SMALL BUSINESS PDV GROWTH
TOTAL = 27.2% (2004 Y/Y Growth)
AmEx Charge Card Conversions 2.05%
AmEx New Accounts* 2.80%
MasterCard New Accounts* 1.78%
VISA New Accounts* 7.31%
AmEx Consumer Conversions 1.37%
MasterCard Consumer Conversions 0.96%
VISA Consumer Conversions 3.13%
New Spending -Existing Accounts 7.80%
* Non-Consumer Card Conversions
Source: Mercator Advisory Group

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Duane Reade Implements Ingenico Contactless

Ingenico says it will install the “eN-Touch 1000” with contactless reading technology from On Track Innovations at all Duane Reade locations by the end of this year. Consumers tap their contactless payment card on the eN-Touch 1000 terminal with integrated OTI contactless reader to quickly make purchases at Duane Reade pharmacies. The OTI reader securely transmits card information via radio frequency, eliminating the time it takes to swipe a magnetic stripe card. Ingenico is a provider of electronic payment terminals.

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M-CARE Opts for the Benny Debit MasterCard

The University of Michigan’s “M-CARE” health plan is teaming with Evolution Benefits to offer the “Benny Debit MasterCard” to its HSA plan members. M-CARE members can use the Benny benefits debit card to pay for qualified medical expenditures, such as doctor and prescription co-payments, health plan deductibles, eyeglasses, dental services, and over-the-counter medications. Payment is deducted directly from the participant’s HSA. Participants can get online account balances and history 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Evolution Benefits administers more than 80 managed care and administrative services organizations and covers more than 1,800 employers. M-CARE has more than 220,000 members and contracts with 1,500 employer groups.

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