STM, Orange, and Trusted Logic Team

STMicroelectronics has demonstrated an Orange secure electronic
payment concept implementing “Operator Virtual Machine” technology on a
“Nomadik” processor. The solution will enable a user to enter a PIN code on a mobile phone; the PIN will be processed on the phone’s SIM card using additional specific software, and the payment information transferred securely to the vendor’s point of sale terminal to complete the purchase. The “OVM” matches the “GPD/STIP” specification for
mobile devices designed for secure transactions. The “OVM” is implemented on the “Security Module” middleware developed by Trusted Logic.

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Synthetic Identity Fraud Now on the Rise

A new study by San Diego-based ID Analytics has found that “synthetic identity fraud,” where the identity is fabricated, is becoming the new challenge for organizations exposed to fraud. Synthetic identities are more commonly used to commit identity fraud than true-name identities. Overall, synthetic identity fraud comprises 88.3 percent of all identity fraud events and 73.8 percent of the total dollars lost by U.S. businesses. Fraudsters using synthetic identities to further their crimes typically employ the systematic manipulation of real Social Security numbers and create multiple variations of similar names across the numerous identities. ID Analytics is the Identity Risk Management company providing advanced analytic solutions that prevent identity fraud and manage identity risk across the customer lifecycle.

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GE MONEY CARD

GE Money is set to launch a new MasterCard next month offering a six-month 0% interest rate on balance transfers. The new “GE Money Low Rate
MasterCard” will carry an interest rate of 10.99% on purchases and an
annual fee of $58. GE indicated it plans to spend between $3 million and
$5 million on the first leg of a television, radio, billboard and print
advertising campaign. GE also plans to drop 1 million direct mail pieces
for the card. The card will be launched on March 1st. GE Money is
currently the country’s 6th largest lender, after acquiring five
financial firms over the past nine years.

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ABA to Offer Prepaid VISAs via Travelex

The ABA and Travelex have launched a prepaid card program for ABA members featuring VISA products. The “ABA Travel Money and Gift Card Program,” covers “VISA TravelMoney” cards, “VISA Gift” cards, VISA travelers cheques, and foreign currency services. The ABA says it conducted a lengthy review of the key prepaid card providers before deciding on the Travelex/VISA deal. The ABA says VISA’s consumer protections and travel benefits were key factors in its decision.

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Wells Launches a Personal Spending Report

Wells Fargo is pioneering a new personal financial management tool that gives customers a daily consolidated overview of their personal spending that they can access via the Internet. The new “My Spending Report,” which has a patent pending, combines spending transactions from a customer’s check card, credit card, checking account and bill pay in one convenient place, accessed through a secured online banking session and updated automatically each day. Electronic and bill payment transactions are organized by familiar categories such as gas/automotive, groceries, ATM withdrawals, etc. Wells Fargo customers can also save and print the report. The report also allows customers to view their current month spending along with two prior months of transactions and an average of their last two months’ spending.

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Bankruptcy Reform Gets its Best Chance Ever

As expected, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 12 to 5 to approve the “S.256” bankruptcy reform legislation yesterday. Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the bill’s sponsor, predicted a final vote of 80 to 20 in the full Senate. Debate by the full Senate will begin in 10 days. Three of eight Democrats on the committee voted yesterday to approve the legislation. Last week was the 11th Senate hearing since 1998 on the bill and the Senate Judiciary Committee has taken no action on it since 2001. Sen. Grassley first held a hearing in the Judiciary Administrative Oversight and the Courts Subcommittee in April 1997. Grassley said yesterday that it’s important to keep poison pill amendments off the bill or reopening issues or disrupting bipartisan compromises that have been reached with the House.

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Interac to Migrate to Chip for Shared Services

Interac has decided to migrate to chip technology for the delivery of “Interac Direct Payment,” the country’s national debit card
service and “Interac Shared Cash Dispensing Service” for cash withdrawals at ATMs. Plans call for the first chip transaction to take
place in early 2007. Interac Association has been implementing a chip readiness strategy, focusing on the business and technical requirements necessary for chip migration, for the past three years. The complete migration to chip is expected to take several years. The Interac Association is a not-for-profit organization composed of 95 members.

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First Data Lands a Natl Restaurant Assn Deal

First Data has inked a deal with the National Restaurant Association to launch the “TakeCharge” payment program, offering exclusive rates for credit card processing to small and mid-size merchants in addition to national chains. TakeCharge reflects the results of a comprehensive development and thorough selection process by the National Restaurant Association, with recommendations and reviews by two committees of the Association’s Board of Directors, and an organization representing all the state restaurant associations. The National Restaurant Association, founded in 1919, is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which is comprised of 900,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a work force of 12.2 million employees – making it the cornerstone of the economy, career opportunities and community involvement. First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC), with global headquarters in Denver, helps power the global economy.

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NBAD Deploys CardTech’s PRIME Card

National Bank of Abu Dhabi has signed a contract to migrate to Card Tech Limited’s “PRIME 3.0” card and merchant management system.
NBAD chose “PRIME 3.0” as its platform for future growth. The suite of systems now runs on the “Oracle 9i” database. National Bank of Abu Dhabi and CTL share a long history together, dating back to 1993. CTL implemented NBAD’s “VISA’s Smart Debit/Credit” program, as the first bank in the Gulf to be “VSDC Issuer” and “VSDC Acquirer” compliant.
More than 170 banking clients from 70 countries use CTL systems. National Bank of Abu Dhabi has the largest ATM network in the UAE.

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Credit Card Purchase Volume Rises 9% in Q4

Purchase transaction dollar volume on VISA and MasterCard credit cards increased 9.3% in the fourth quarter, versus a 17.9% gain for VISA and MasterCard debit cards. During 4Q/04, Americans charged purchases of $283.8 billion on VISA and MasterCard credit cards, and $125.8 billion on VISA and MasterCard signature debit cards. Overall, gross dollar credit card volume for the quarter, which includes cash advances, increased 8.3% to $342.1 billion. The number of credit card transactions rose 9.0% to 3.45 billion. At the end of 2004, there were 433.1 credit card accounts, versus 420.1 million one-year ago. The number of credit cards-in-force rose a mere 1.9% to 566.8 million. MasterCard continues to hold the lead in total credit card accounts with 217.6 million versus VISA’s 215.5 million, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

VISA & MASTERCARD CREDIT CARD STATS
4Q/04 4Q/03 CHANGE
Gross Volume: $342.1b $315.8b +8.3%
Purchase Volume: $283.8b $259.6b +9.3%
Transactions: 3449mm 3165mm +9.0%
Accounts: 433.1mm 420.1mm +3.1%
Cards: 566.8mm 556.3mm +1.9%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Shenzhen Government Approves Asia Pay License

Asia Payment Systems announced that the Shenzhen Municipal Government has approved a Representative Office License for Asia
Payment Systems. Shenzhen is one of the most prosperous and modern cities in China and became the country’s first “Special Economic Zone” in 1980. Asia Pay is a credit card processing services company that provides growing network of credit card clearing services to merchants and financial institutions in China and other markets.

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