Oriental to Offer AmEx Cards

Oriental Financial Group and American Express announced agreements for the
distribution of consumer and commercial card products in Puerto Rico.
Oriental will be the first bank in Puerto Rico to offer The American
Express “Green” and “Gold” cards complete with all of American Express’
worldwide services and the “Membership Rewards Program” to its customers
and is the first bank in Puerto Rico to offer the American Express
“Corporate” Card. American Express will become Oriental’s exclusive credit
card offering and plans to develop additional and exclusive services for
its American Express Cardmembers. Oriental Financial Group is a
diversified financial holding company operating under U.S. and Puerto Rico
banking laws and regulations.

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AmEx/JetBlue Launch a Card Survivor Promo

American Express and JetBlue announced the “Share The Love: A Rewards Challenge Powered by the JetBlue Card from American Express” promotion. The competition will select two families, fly them to a JetBlue destination, and have them compete against each other as they hunt for the most creative ways to earn enough “TrueBlue” points through the “JetBlue Card from American Express” for a return flight home. Families can only “Share the Love” and earn “AmEx Award Dollars” by making purchases for other people. Each family will be given a “JetBlue Card from American Express” and will have 48 hours to earn enough “AmEx Award Dollars” to fly home. The families’ experiences during the competition will be filmed to create a reality TV program that will air on JetBlue flights in the Spring of 2006.

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ACI and Nationwide Mark 20 Years with BASE24

ACI Worldwide has commemorated 20 years of business partnership with
Nationwide, the world’s largest building society. Nationwide has relied
upon ACI’s flagship “BASE24” software since 1985 to enable its 11 million
members to access their money across multiple transaction channels
including ATM, POS, branch, telephone, and Internet devices. Through the
use of BASE24, Nationwide was one of the first building societies to
adopt ATM technology in the UK and was a founding member of the UK’s
shared ATM network, LINK Interchange Network Ltd. BASE24 software
processes around 90 million transactions per month across Nationwide’s
network of 2,300 ATMs and other channels. Nationwide is the world’s
largest building society with 11 million members and assets of over EUR
110 billion. ACI was founded in 1975 and pioneered the development of
applications and networking software for online transaction processing.

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VISA USA Plans a Cardholder Security Summit

VISA USA is hosting the “Cardholder Security in the New Electronic Payments Age” summit on October 5th in Washington, DC. The summit, which will be attended by a select group of Visa Member financial institutions, merchants, policy makers, security and law enforcement professionals, analysts and consumer advocates, will cover a wide range of current issues, including the reduction of the threat of data compromises; protecting customer information; fighting fraud and ID Theft; and helping ID theft victims. The former Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani, now chairman and CEO of Giuliani Partners will deliver the morning keynote address.

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VISA Promotes Hypercom’s Optimum T2100

VISA International is now offering Hypercom’s “Optimum T2100” card
payment terminal to banks and retailers throughout Russia and the
Commonwealth of Independent States. The “T2100” is a hand-over
countertop unit that can handle debit and credit transactions as well as
gift and/or loyalty cards and other value-added capabilities. The
decision reflects the rapid growth of electronic payments in Russia and
the earlier selection of the “T2100” for the “VISA Smart Breakthrough
Acceptance Device Program”, established to promote the use of
point-of-sale devices that comply with the global EMV standard
for chip-based debit and credit cards. Since the introduction of the
“VISA Smart Breakthrough Acceptance Device Program,” the migration of
electronic POS terminals to the EMV standard has surged from
750,000 at the inception of the program in 2002 to more than two million
in 2004. Hypercom provides card payment terminals, network access
devices, server and transaction networking solutions.

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VISA Tops One Million ATMs Globally

VISA is set to celebrate its one millionth ATM at an event in China next month. Twenty years ago VISA had about 13,000 ATMs in six countries in the “VISA PLUS” network, according to this week’s issue of CardFlash International. By 1995, the number had increased to 254,000 ATMs in 90 countries. Today VISA has more than one million ATMs in 160 countries. The growth is especially notable in China where VISA will be hosting the “2008 Beijing Olympic Games.” Between March 2004 and March 2005, the number of ATMs accepting foreign VISA cards in China grew by 234% from 10,092 to 33,706 units. VISA also noted that the number of “VISA/PLUS” ATM transactions surpassed one billion for the first time in 2004, representing more than $87.5 billion in cash withdrawals.

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Asia Pay Goes Live with Singapore NETS

Asia Payment Systems has announced the first live transactions
through its recently announced Singapore gateway with
Network for Electronic Transfers Pte Ltd. The Company expects to add more e-commerce customers to this facility from several countries within Asia Pacific as it extends its marketing effort out into the region.
Asia Pay is developing a credit card processing network that provides
clearing services to merchants, oil companies, and financial institutions
in China, Japan, and other markets of interest in Asia. Network for
Electronic Transfers Singapore was founded by Singapore’s leading
banks in 1985 to operate payment networks and drive adoption of electronic payments.

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Currency Conversion Lawsuit is Dismissed

A California appellate court yesterday dismissed a challenge to MasterCard’s method for currency conversion because the plaintiff lacks standing to pursue the action under “Proposition 64.” The plaintiff in the lawsuit never made a purchase in a foreign currency with any credit card and never held a MasterCard. In its ruling the appellate court said “Proposition 64” applies to this pending action and “compels us to reverse the judgment.” The case will be returned to the trial court to determine whether further proceedings are appropriate. “Proposition 64” limits individual’s right to sue by allowing private enforcement of unfair business competition laws only if that individual was actually injured by, and suffered financial/property loss because of, an unfair business practice.

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First Data’s Board Changes Directors

First Data announced that Peter Ellwood has been elected to the company’s Board of Directors and that Bernard Schwartz, a Director since 1992, has resigned. Ellwood is the former Group CEO at Lloyds TSB, a position he held from 1997 to 2003. Following the merger with Lloyds Bank in 1995, Mr. Ellwood became Deputy Group CEO of Lloyds TSB. Mr. Ellwood was CEO of Barclaycard from 1985 until 1989 and the Chairman of VISA International from 1994 until 1999. First Data is a provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses and consumers, serving 4.1 million merchant locations, 1,700 card issuers and millions of consumers.

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BofA Expands its Free SafeSend Nationwide

Bank of America has expanded its money remittance service to all its customers nationwide. “SafeSend,” is available to anyone who has a BofA personal checking account. Earlier this year, Bank of America became the first major financial institution in the USA to offer free remittances when it introduced the product in Chicago. Recipients will be able to pick up cash at more than 4,500 locations throughout Mexico through Santander, BANSEFI/L@Red de la Gente, TELECOMM-TELEGRAFOS and Banorte. Customers can identify up to three beneficiaries and send up to $1,500 per remittance and up to a total of $3,000 over a rolling 30-day period. Almost half of all U.S. Hispanic immigrants send money regularly to their home country. According to information from Mexico’s Central Bank, Mexico received $16.6 billion in remittances in 2004. This figure is expected to grow to almost $20 billion in 2005.

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