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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Ahli United Bank to Offer AmEx Platinum Cards

Ahli United Bank has signed a deal to issue American Express platinum
cards to its private banking clients. The bank says it intends to offer
the cards at half the usual AmEx annual fee. AUB recently
launched its Ahli Contact Center. Through the Contact Center, AUB is
offering delivery of a variety of products and services to the
customers’ doorsteps. A specialized courier company will deliver
statements, chequebooks, manager cheques, demand drafts and new ATM and
credit cards to customer’s homes or offices. AUB is a fully-fledged
commercial and investment banking institution based in Bahrain providing
wealth management, retail, corporate, treasury, offshore and private
banking services. It was also recently recognized with the “Bank of the
Year in Bahrain” Bankers Award in 2004 for the second consecutive year by
Banker Magazine.

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Oct 20th is Get Smart About Credit Day

The American Bankers Association Education Foundation has set October 20th as the day for the 3rd annual “Get Smart About Credit Day.” Volunteer bankers across the country will teach students how to budget, use credit cards responsibly and build a positive payment history. A recent survey reveals that teenagers spent $169 billion last year, an average of $91 per week and a majority have had no class in personal finance. The ABA Education Foundation, a non-profit subsidiary of the American Bankers Association, is committed to developing and providing education programs that lead to financial literacy.

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