NexTran Group Adds Two More Offices

New Jersey-based ATM specialist NexTranGroup has opened regional offices in the Philadelphia and Washington, DC metropolitan areas and plans to open three more offices in Los Angeles, Honolulu and the Pacific Northwest. The new offices, in Blue Bell, Pa. and Annandale, Virginia will allow the company to work more closely and effectively with its existing product distributors. NexTran Industries is a full-service manufacturer and distributor of ATMs and cash dispensing machines.

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Americans Favor Biometrics for Security

A new poll shows that three out of five U.S. consumers believe that the unique image of their finger would be the most difficult form of identification to forge or steal. The research by Los Angeles-based Kelton Research Group for BioPay also found that 48% of those surveyed blame long check-out lines on people who wait until the last minute to find their credit or debit card. Another 20% believe check writing is burdensome to the shopping transaction as well. Additionally, Americans believe that finger images are a more secure form of identity than passports, credit cards, photo IDs, birth certificates and signatures combined (51% to 36%).

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Target Cardholders Add $15MM to Schools

In its second check donation of 2005, the card-driven “Target Take Charge of Education” program has awarded more than $14.7 million to schools nationwide. Since the program began in 1997, Target has donated more than $154 million to schools. With the Take Charge of Education program, families, teachers and members of the community can designate any eligible K – 12 school throughout the country to receive an amount equal to 1 percent of their “REDcard”, “Target Visa” and “Target Card” purchases made at Target and Target.com. Target also donates 0.5 percent of all Target Visa purchases made everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Currently, more than 107,000 schools and 9 million Target guests are enrolled in the program. Target serves guests at 1,351 stores in 47 states and gives back more than $2 million a week to its local communities through grants and special programs.

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SVS to Issue Schlotzsky’s Gift Cards

Louisville-based Stored Value Systems and its Salt Lake City-based minority marketing partner Gift Card Solutions announced an agreement to provide the first-ever gift card program for Schlotzsky’s, an international franchise restaurant chain with approximately 400 locations in 36 states and six foreign countries. The electronic gift card program allows Schlotzsky’s to provide its customers with an easy-to-administer program at the cash register or online at its website in denominations from $5 to $500. Stored Value Systems is a provider of electronic gift cards and other card-based transaction programs. Gift Card Solutions provides electronic-based gift products and services.

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JCB Aligns with VISA/MC PED Specs

JCB has joined VISA and MasterCard to align “PIN Entry Device” security requirements and approval procedures. “PED” manufacturers submitting devices for security testing will be able to rely on a single set of standards, helping ensure cardholder security and providing faster time-to-market for financial institutions. MasterCard and VISA previously agreed to support common standards which were fully put into effect October 2004. JCB’s merchant network includes 12.4 million merchants. JCB cards are now issued in 19 countries and territories, with 55.14 million cardholders.

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Payment Cards 3X Faster Than Checks

A study has found that signature-based debit card and credit card transactions are nearly three times faster than check transactions (26.1 seconds and 30.2 seconds, respectively, versus 75.2 seconds). The research by Harris Interactive for VISA also found that the average check writer is 52 years old, 10 years older than the average debit card user and five years older than the average credit card user. Additionally, 59% of those surveyed agreed they would be more likely to shop at a store (such as a grocery store, drugstore, or convenience store) if there was a “check-free” check-out line. Harris says 37% of U.S. adults spend more than 10 minutes in check-out lines during a typical shopping trip.

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AmEx Launches its 3rd City-Centric Card

American Express has launched its third city-centric credit card. The new “IN:LA Card” features the “INSIDE Rewards” program whereby cardholders earn one point for every dollar spent and double points on local dining, movies, mobile phone service, cable and satellite TV service, Internet service, gym membership and magazine/newspaper subscriptions. “INSIDE Rewards” points can be redeemed for certificates for as little as 2,000 points at 60 Los Angeles establishments. The “IN:LA Card” is being announced ten days following the launch of the “IN:CHICAGO Card” program. Last year, AmEx launched the “IN:NYC Card” the first city-centric card. (CF Library 9/30/04; 9/22/05)

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GM and HSBC Launch a More Flexible Card

HSBC and General Motors are launching today a new cobranded card that enables cardholders to use their rewards for the purchase of any new vehicle. The “GM Flexible Earnings Card” offers a full one percent on all credit card purchases, which are tripled if they are applied toward the purchase or lease of a new GM vehicle. The existing GM cobranded MasterCards offer a 5% rebate towards the purchase of a GM vehicle. Current card products include the “GM MasterCard,” the “GM Extended Family MasterCard” for GM employees, suppliers and relatives, and the “GM Business MasterCard” for small business owners. The new “GM Flexible Earnings Card” also enables GM cardholders to use their earnings to purchase vehicle service, accessories and other items from GM dealers. Launched in September 1992, the cobranded GM MasterCard program has delivered the sale or lease of nearly five million vehicles. There are currently six million GM cardholders in the USA.

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APS Selects TriCipher System

Advanced Payment Solutions has selected TriCipher’s patented
authentication technology, “TriCipher Armored Credential System” to secure the infrastructure for issuing, reloading and redeeming its
new stored value cards. In September, APS launched the “cashplus”
prepaid MasterCard card, one of the first general use prepaid products
available to UK consumers. APS selected “TACS” to secure critical
elements of processing transactions of the chip and PIN-enabled cards.
TACS single infrastructure provides APS with a highly affordable,
flexible, easily scalable authentication infrastructure and offers
multi-part credentials. One part is stored on the “TACS ID Vault” at the
data center, while the user keeps the other. Since users don’t have the
whole credential, an attacker can’t steal it from them. Advanced
Payment Solutions provides general purpose prepaid cards and payment
solutions in the United Kingdom. TriCipher provides authentication
platforms.

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CompuCredit to Acquire Merrick Bank & CMS

Atlanta-based CompuCredit has sealed a deal to acquire NY-based CardWorks, which owns Merrick Bank and Cardholder Management Services. Merrick Bank has $621.3 million in credit card assets and 713,510 cardholders. CMS delivers customized bankcard servicing to prime and non-prime card issuers, including customer service and collection solutions. The deal will be completed late in the fourth quarter or early next year. Details on the agreement were not disclosed as CardWorks is a privately held company. CompuCredit reported second quarter profits of $66.5 million. CompuCredit’s total managed receivables for the second quarter were $2,359,903,000, a 20.4% increase compared to one-year ago. As of June 30th, CompuCredit had 3,092,000 accounts, compared to 2,276,000 at the end of 2004. Merrick Bank has 659,597 active accounts and 751,572 gross accounts as of June 30th. For complete details on CompuCredit or Merrick Bank, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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Precidia Launches NetVu

Precidia Technologies has launched “NetVu”, a network configuration
manager that facilitates deployment and management of the “POSLynx220”
multiport IP converter. The IP conversion package connects existing dial
and serial based point-of-sale devices to broadband networks for
faster, more cost effective transactions in retail, from convenience
stores to restaurants. The “POSLynx220” with “NetVu” makes IP migration
simple and delivers a user friendly remote configuration, administration
and diagnostics interface with no system upgrades. Precidia
Technologies designs and manufactures IP access devices for a wide range
of industries.

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