MedCom Transaction System Reaches the Islands

MedCom USA has teamed with Worldwide Payment Services to offer the MedCom solution for the local healthcare industry. With approximately 10,000 healthcare provider offices on the island, many
of them currently not utilizing POS or PC based claims equipment. The MedCom System provides the updated financial self-pay solutions as
well as the enhanced features of electronic healthcare transactions.

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OFT to Appeal High Cort Section 75 Ruling

The Office of Fair Trading is appealing the November ruling by the High Court that the consumer protection given by section 75 of the “Consumer Credit Act 1974” does not generally apply to overseas transactions. “Section 75” provides that for credit purchases with a cash price above GBP100 and not more than GBP30,000 the consumer is entitled to claim from the lender if things go wrong – e.g. if the supplier breaches the contract or if there was misrepresentation.
The application of section 75 to purchases made overseas has long been uncertain. It was opposed by Lloyds TSB, RBS/Tesco Personal Finance, and American Express Services Group Limited.

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62% of Consumers to Use Credit Cards for Gifts

Six out of ten Canadians say they will use a credit card to buy gift this holiday season. The study released by Scotiabank, also shows 51% of Canadians pay their balances in full each month. While many Canadians plan to use credit cards for purchases this holiday
season, the poll also indicates that 54% of Canadians plan to use
credit cards less over the next 12 months, with only five per cent
saying they expect to spend more. The Ipsos-Reid poll was conducted on
behalf of Scotiabank November 17-22.

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Fleet One Card to be Accepted at Sheetz

SunTrust’s Fleet One has inked a deal for card acceptance with PA-based convenience store operator Sheetz. This relationship makes it possible for Fleet One customers to purchase fuel with Fleet One branded fuel cards at any of the more than 300 Sheetz convenience stores, in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Maryland. Fleet One(TM) provides financial service solutions to companies with fleets of vehicles, and the merchants that serve them. Sheetz, Inc., based in Altoona, PA, is one of America’s fastest growing, family owned and operated convenience store chains with more than 300 locations throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina.

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ASPACE 100% Absorbed by ActivCard

ActivCard, which currently owns 49% of ASPACE Solutions Limited,
has acquired the remaining 51% equity interest in the UK-based company. ASPACE provides a multi-channel authentication and authorization solution to the banking industry. Under the terms of the agreement, ActivCard made an initial payment of $9.7 million, payable half in common stock and half in cash. The new set of ActivCard products, incorporating ASPACE’s advanced technology, will enable banks to authenticate customers and provide authorization for banking services, delivering a combination of better customer service and enhanced fraud protection.

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LG Group Bulks at a LG Card Rescue Plan

LG Card’s creditors have threatened to liquidate the credit card firm
if LG Group, the former parent of LG Card, does not go along with the
latest bailout plan. Korea Development Bank says LG Group said it was no
longer willing to help LG Card. LG creditors want LG Group to convert
the 875 billion won worth of commercial paper it is holding into equity
to help cover LG Card’s capital erosion. The creditors estimated they
would loss 180 billion won in losses from a liquidation of the credit
card firm.

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Optimal Payments Buys MCA Assets

Optimal Payments has entered into an agreement to acquire the operating assets from Merchant Card Acceptance Corp and its affiliated companies, Precision Management Consulting Inc. and Merchant Card Interactive Corp. for approximately US$4.6 million. MCA is an independent sales organization providing Canadian-based merchants with credit card and Interac PIN-based debit card acceptance. Optimal Payments will acquire the operating assets of MCA, which consist
primarily of agreements with merchants, employees and suppliers. MCA is
based in Toronto, Ontario and has approximately 40 employees across
Canada, of whom most are in sales.

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NOVA Acquires Umpqua Bank Merchant Portfolio

NOVA Information Systems has acquired the merchant portfolio of OR-based Umpqua Bank which produces about $215 million per year in volume. Through this alliance with NOVA, Umpqua continues to maintain industry leadership by presenting to its customers state-of-the-art product offerings. Umpqua Bank selected NOVA based on its superior technology and customer satisfaction achievements. Umpqua Bank was named #1 on “The 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon” large companies list for 2004 by Oregon Business Magazine. NOVA Information Systems, a leader in the payment processing industry, is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB).

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Precise Biometrics Lands a Major Card Reader Deal

Stockholm-based Precise Biometrics has received an additional order for 7,500 of the “Precise100 MC” fingerprint and smart card readers, and “Match-on-Card” software technology from SafeNet.
The Precise “Match-on-Card” technology makes it possible to store and match fingerprint information directly on a smart card. This order represents a continuation of a deployment to a government agency by SafeNet and Precise Biometrics. Precise Biometrics received the
two previous orders from Datakey, which was recently acquired by SafeNet.

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ORCC Completes the Incurrent Acquisition

Online Resources has completed its acquisition of privately held Incurrent Solutions. The purchase price for Incurrent consisted of $8.0 million in cash and 1.0 million shares of Online Resources common stock. Online Resources powers Internet financial services for 700 firms nationwide. The Company’s proprietary account presentation, payment and relationship management services are branded to its client banks, credit unions, card issuers and processors, and payment acquirers.

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ANZ Makes Amends Over a No Fee Ever Offer

ANZ Banking Group has agreed to refund A$240,000 in annual fees to cardholders it promised “no annual fee ever.” The solicitations for the offer were sent out in 1996 to approximately 5,000 consumers. In 2002, the bank began levying a A$48 annual fee. After customers complained to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, ANZ agreed to apologize and issue the refunds. ANZ said it “lost its corporate memory,” according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

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British Lead in Average Holiday Card Purchases

Based on total population, Britons will use debit and credit cards to make US$886 in purchases during December, while Australians will charge US$765 per person, and each American will average US$578. Combined, the three countries will rack up US$237 billion in payment card volume in December, with US$162.8 billion on credit cards, and US$74.2 billion on debit cards. The U.K., with a population of 59 million, will produce US$52.3 billion in payment card purchases, with 55% of the volume on debit cards. Australia, with slightly more than 20 million persons, will generate US$15.3 billion in total card purchases, with 71% on credit cards. The U.S.A., with 293 million individuals, will rack up US$169.4 billion in total card purchases, with 76% on credit cards.

DEC PURCHASE VOLUME
(US$ billions)
Debit Credit Total
Australia 4.4 10.9 15.3
U.K. 28.7 23.6 52.3
U.S.A. 41.1 128.3 169.4
TOTAL 74.2 162.8 237.0
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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