New Bankruptcy Means Test Will Impact Few

A new study has concluded that 85.6% of debtors who file for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 would still be eligible for Chapter 7 when the new bankruptcy laws go into effect this fall. IL-based Best Case Solutions, a provider of bankruptcy preparation software for attorneys, says its study of 11,000 actual bankruptcies recently filed in 45 states, shows that the “means test,” to be applied under the new laws, will have little impact on filers. Nearly 86% of the Chapter 7 filers in the sample had incomes below the state median. The data also show that 73% of current Chapter 13 debtors’ incomes were below the state median. Approximately 40% of bankruptcies in the USA are filed using Best Case bankruptcy form preparation software.

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TransUnion Introduces Fraud Response Services

TransUnion has launched “Fraud Response Services” which provides proactive and reactive measures to greatly mitigate the potential of data compromises. The service gives businesses several customizable options, including credit bureau notification, direct telephone access to live fraud victim assistance professionals, credit monitoring and educational resources. TransUnion offers a broad range of financial products and services that enable customers to manage risk and capitalize on market opportunities.

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Info Touch Expands Speed e-connect Installations

British Columbia-based Info Touch Technologies has expanded deployment of its “Speed e-connect” kiosks in the USA. Fifteen kiosks were recently installed at select Speedway SuperAmerica locations in Toledo. “Speed e-connect” terminals are affiliated with Info Touch’s “TIO Network,” which is currently serving customers in 22 U.S. states, Puerto Rico and British Columbia. Info Touch and SSA plan to unveil additional “Speed e-connect” products and services such as money order, money transfer, prepaid credit and debit cards, check cashing and mobile content. Info Touch Technologies is a strategic investment of Hewlett Packard.

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Abanco Launches Gift and Loyalty Cards

Illinois-based Abanco International has launched a gift/loyalty card program for merchants using the Hypercom “ICE5500 Plus” and “ICE5700 Plus” and the Verifone “Omni 3750 IP” terminal. The program targets merchants of any size and offers complete merchandising, card design and production services. Merchants will be able to order cards in increments of 50, 100, 250, 500, and above in standard and custom formats and will have access to a live 24/7/365 toll free technical support number. Abanco International, LLC is a provider of payment processing solutions that develops and markets a full suite of services to the automotive, hospitality, insurance, retail and transportation industries.

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Royal Farms Deploys TNS FusionPoint

Royal Farms has selected TNS’ “FusionPoint” to provide cohesive network transaction solutions for its more than 110 convenience stores throughout Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. This will enable disparate convenience store data communication systems to flow through one broadband pipe, simplifying connectivity and delivering significant time savings. FusionPoint by TNS will support credit card authorizations and in-store, back office applications. Transaction Network Services (TNS) provides communications services for transaction-oriented applications.

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ACS Wins Ohio $45MM Food Stamp EBT Deal

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services recently awarded Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services a contract to operate a new food stamp electronic benefits transfer system. The agreement, which takes effect this month, will produce a total estimated cost of $45 million, based on the number of food stamp recipients multiplied by a cost of 89 cents per case per month. ACS is also expected to take over the operation of Ohio’s food stamp benefits issuance system next year. In the late 90s, ODJFS planned to migrate to smart cards for EBT, but abandoned the project in October 2003. ACS, eFunds and JPMorgan Electronic Financial Services (which operates Ohio’s current system) responded to the RFP.

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V PAY

The first domestic and cross border “V PAY” transactions were recently
completed in Greece and France. “V PAY” is “always chip, always PIN,”
which means maximum security and minimum fraud. It builds on the
European EMV infrastructure. The first transaction took place in Athens
at Hondos, a leading Greek department store, followed by Paris with French
sightseeing bus travel service, L’openTour. Both transactions were
completed using cards issued by Alpha Bank in Greece. Two million VISA
terminals across Europe can accept “V PAY.” “V PAY” is compatible with
local market account numbering structures supporting 16-19 digit account
numbers beginning with 4, 5 or 6. That means issuers, acquirers and
merchants in those markets can use their existing systems and
infrastructure with minimal changes. Validation tests have taken place
with 21 acquirers across 12 key markets in Europe including B&S Card
Service in Germany, Luottokunta in Finland and euroConex in Ireland.

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Ross Stores Offers Currency Conversion

Ross Stores has introduced Chase Merchant Services'”FX Now! currency conversion service in its 600+ stores to provide international travelers with the option to convert and process bankcard transactions in their native currency. At the point of sale, the bank card is flagged as a non-U.S.-dollar Visa or MasterCard card. The customer is given a choice to execute the transaction in the card’s base (billing) currency or in U.S. dollars. If the customer elects the card’s base currency, the transaction will be dynamically converted into that currency and the foreign exchange transaction is executed at the register. Chase Merchant Services processes over 4.6 billion transactions a year totaling over $335 billion in annual card volume. Ross Stores, Inc., operates 639 stores with 2003 revenues of $3.9 billion.

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Relay Capital Corp. Hires a New CEO

Los Angeles-based prepaid card specialist Relay Capital has named E. Reese Bogle III, formerly with interState Net Bank and E*Trade, as its new CEO. He also served as VP and Marketing Director of Premium Bank, and held a variety of managerial and marketing positions at leading financial services companies. Relay Capital Corporation is a developer and marketer of a wide range of prepaid financial services.

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NAB – First to Uncover CardSystems Breach

National Australia Bank reported the CardSystems Solution security breach to MasterCard and VISA in September 2004, becoming the first bank in the world to uncover the fraud. NAB used ACI’s “Proactive Risk Manager” to detect the recently revealed security breach. NAB uses “Proactive Risk Manager” to score and monitor all aspects of fraudulent activity involving lost, stolen or counterfeit cards as well as skimming and other types of fraud. The software combines the power of expertly defined rules with a customized neural network model for fast, accurate and flexible response to card fraud. Through its patented technology, the product compares the characteristics of each transaction with the custom fraud model and recorded patterns of behavior for each cardholder. It then assesses and scores the risk for each transaction and sends alerts to reviewers.

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Genpass Introduces a STV Card for CUs

Texas-based Genpass has introduced a stored-value MasterCard debit card for credit unions. This allows credit union members to utilize funds with no processing cost or fraud risk to the credit union. The card can also be used by credit unions to provide transaction accounts to prospective members who have not yet established other accounts with the credit union. Genpass, Inc.is a provider of stored value card services and a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S. Bank.

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