Hypercom Gets ICE and S9 Order

Hypercom distributor Alhamrani Universal has ordered 5,000 “ICE 5500Plus” and 5,000 “S9” card payment devices for Saudi Arabia’s
major banks. This marks the largest one-time order ever for Hypercom
Middle East. AU planes to offer the terminals and devices to its clients who include The National Commercial Bank, Arab National Bank, Al Rajhi
Banking and Investment Corporation, Riyad Bank, The Saudi British Bank
and Saudi Hollandi Bank.

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Shell Card Links Up with Jiffy Lube

Shell Oil Products this week announced that the Shell gasoline credit card for consumers and the Shell fleet credit card will now be accepted at most Jiffy Lube service centers. Shell has a 23.1 percent share of the gasoline credit card market, according to the September 2004 issue of The Nilson Report, a newsletter that covers consumer payment systems. Jiffy Lube and Shell have aggressively used credit card marketing programs to retain customers and attract new ones. In November, the two brands began offering a rebate to Jiffy Lube customers who pay for services with their Shell MasterCard(R) credit card. Jiffy Lube, with more than 2,200 service centers in North America, serves millions of customers each year.

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Lipman Names a New U.S. CEO

Lipman Electronic Engineering has named Robert Striano as
as President and Chief Executive Officer of Lipman USA. Striano replaces Mony Zenou, who stepped down as President and CEO following the expiration of his contract on September 30th. Striano, who most recently
served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Konica Photo
Imaging (US), will be responsible for leading the growth efforts of
Lipman USA, seeking to expand the Company’s presence by penetrating
new segments of the US market and pursuing new vertical applications
for Lipman’s products. Lipman develops, manufactures and markets a variety of handheld, wireless and landline POS terminals, electronic cash registers, retail ATM units, PIN pads and smart card readers, as well as integrated pin and smart card solutions.

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Spa Gift Cards a Hot Item This Year

Gift cards linked to beauty and health services are a hot area this year. Day Spas of America says its card has been extra hot this year with sales up more than 30%. Meanwhile, two other spa companies announced new gift cards this week. The “giveBeauty Gift Card” can be used at health and beauty professionals nationwide participating in the giveBeauty network. The value that is purchased on the “giveBeauty” card is exactly what the recipient gets, with no added activation fees, usage or non-usage fees. Also, the gift card has no expiration date. Red Door Spas also introduced the “Lifetime Guest Card” which offers a lifetime of unlimited pampering, rest and relaxation at its spas nationwide. The “Lifetime Guest Card” allows the purchaser to select the card’s monthly dollar amount, ranging from $200 to $2,000. Once services have been redeemed up to the preset amount, the gift card is automatically replenished at the beginning of each month and the refill is reflected on the purchaser’s credit card.

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Asia Pay to Launch a Consumer Credit Bureau

Asia Payment Systems and Shanghai CRC Telecom have teamed to launch a pilot project for the establishment of an International
standard China Consumer Credit Bureau. Asia Pay also agreed to provide payment processing services to CRC Telecom. The discussions for these projects include enabling acceptance of both debit and credit cards at Railway Station Ticket Counters. At present, railway tickets in China are paid for in cash and Railway Ticket Counters do not accept debit or credit cards. Upon successful completion of the pilot project, Asia Pay and SCRC will deploy Credit and Debit processing systems in all
2,000+ Railway Ticket Counter locations across China.

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Q Comm Buys Terminals from Shera Technology

UT-based Q Comm International has formed a manufacturing relationship with China’s Shera Technology to purchase 5,600 terminals at an average unit cost of $225 each. Q Comm International provides proprietary prepaid transaction processing and information management systems that facilitate electronic recharge or distribution of prepaid products from service providers or their distributors to retail points of sale. Shera is an American run EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Service) provider located in the heart of China’s Shanghai-Suzhou high-tech corridor.

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Australians Carry $1,000 Each in Card Debt

Credit card debt in Australia hit US$20.9 billion in September or about $1,000 per son. Gross dollar volume for purchases on credit card and charge cards during September dipped slightly from the prior month, but up nearly 10% from one-year ago. However, total outstandings for September were up slightly compared to August, and up more than 12% since September 2003. Revolving balances, or balances accruing interest, decreased slightly to US$14.5 billion during September, and up 10% from one-year ago, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of Australia. During September, Australians charged US$9.5 billion in purchases on credit/charge cards compared to US$8.7 billion one-year ago. Card credit limits reached US$56.4 billion at the end of September, compared to US$50.1 billion for September 2003. There are 11.3 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 10.6 million one-year ago.

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Chinese Bank Launches AmEx-branded Cards

The first American Express-branded card in China has been launched by the largest commercial bank in the China. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is offering standard and gold card versions, that are denominated in both Reminbi and US dollar currencies. The new cards can be used both at ICBC’s merchants and the China Union Pay network of merchants throughout China, as well as American Express merchant locations worldwide. Beginning today, Chinese residents in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen can apply for the cards. The cards will be available in other cities across China in the coming months. The launch of the “ICBC American Express Card” comes nine months after American Express and ICBC inked their partnership in March this year.

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CARD SEP 04

Gross dollar volume for purchases on credit card and charge cards during September dipped slightly from the prior month, but up nearly 10% from one-year ago. However, total outstandings for September were up slightly compared to August, and up more than 12% since September 2003. Revolving balances, or balances accruing interest, decreased slightly to A$19.4 billion during September, and up 10% from one-year ago, according to data released by the Reserve Bank of Australia. During September, Australians charged A$12.7 billion in purchases on credit/charge cards compared to A$11.6 billion one-year ago. At the end of September, consumers owed A$28.0 billion on credit cards versus A$24.8 billion for September 2003. Card credit limits reached A$75.3 billion at the end of September, compared to A$66.9 billion for September 2003. There are 11.3 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 10.6 million one-year ago.

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CashTech.Card STV MasterCard Launched

Los Angeles-based Heuristic Technologies has launched the “CashTech.Card” prepaid MasterCard, to be issued by First Federal Savings Bank of the Midwest. In healthcare applications, the CashTech.Cards can be issued to employees and periodically loaded with funds by an employer or benefits administrator as a method of paying medical and other healthcare benefits or expenses to the employee. The card may also prove to be a financial services boon to the tens of millions of individuals who cannot qualify for credit cards such as those with poor credit or without bank accounts. Cash Technologies, Inc. develops and markets innovative data processing systems, including the BONUS(TM) and MFS(TM) financial services systems, EMMA(TM) transaction processing software and PrISM(TM) security system.

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IDT’s Q3 Calling Card Revenues Climb 12%

NJ-based IDT Corporation reported that its worldwide calling card revenues for the third calendar quarter were $326.3 million, an 11.7% increase from the year ago quarter. The revenue increase was driven primarily by strong gains in the USA. The company also launched several new, aggressively priced cards this year. The Company noted that margins were narrower in Europe. For complete details on IDT’s latest quarter please visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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VISA Europe Demos Contactless EMV

VISA Europe has demonstrated the world’s first viable EMV compliant solution to enable true “tap and go” contactless payments for low-value transactions. The solution used a standard “VISA Smart Debit and Credit” application, and, an Ingenico POS terminal connected to a Vivotech contactless reader. A similar demonstration was also shown using the Nokia “3220” mobile phone equipped with a tailored Nokia “Near Field Communications” shell cover enabling contactless payments. To enable instant payment, the cardholder is not prompted for their PIN, and instead security is enabled by transaction counters that force the cardholder to perform an online authorized “Chip and PIN” transaction should they reach the pre-authorized offline limit specified by their bank, thereby preventing indefinite usage of the card if lost or stolen. Higher value transactions would continue to be performed with full “Chip and PIN” authentication.

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