Tidel Reorganizes Debt and Raises New Funds

ATM manufacturer, Tidel Technologies, has completed a reorganization of its debt with Laurus Funds and secured additional financing of $3.35 million. Tidel expects to report operating losses for each of the quarters and for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2004, however, due to gains from certain non-operating items, the Company expects to report a net income for the quarter ended December 31, 2003 and March 31, 2004, and for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2004. Tidel Technologies, Inc. is a manufacturer of automated teller machines and cash security equipment designed for specialty retail marketers.

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OPC Renews Sacramento County, California

Official Payments has signed a renewal contract with the Sacramento County, California Department of Finance and Administration, to continue providing electronic property tax payment services to the citizens of Sacramento County, California. With this renewed and expanded contract, Official Payments Corp. enables Sacramento County taxpayers to pay current and prior year property taxes 24 hours each day, 365 days each year, through e-PropTax, the Sacramento County Tax Collector’s Online Property Tax Information System at www.eproptax.saccounty.net, or by calling 1-888-877-3575. Tier is a leading provider of transaction processing and packaged software and systems integration services for public sector clients.

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PAGO STUDY

Pago released its third annual e-commerce study based on the evaluation of some 16.5 million purchase transactions processed on the its platform in the course of 2003. Based on all purchases made in
all shops, the study showed that credit cards account for 93% of all
payments and that foreign shoppers use credit card payment for 99% of their purchases in German shops. However, electronic direct debit now has a share of about 64% of total payments in German shops. In German e-retailing the credit card is used for 38% of all purchases and the electronic direct debit for 47%. For German consumers, 52% of their purchases were made at international e-retailers followed by
telecommunications services. The research also showed that the credit card is the most popular payment method in e-retailing taking a share of some 46%, purchases on invoice account for a mere 10.9% in this sector. VISA card payment accounts for about 62.5% of all purchase transactions, MasterCard is used for 29.7% of purchases, and the other payment methods account for a total of about 6.4%. MasterCard users,however,generate a higher average shopping cart value (117.00 euros) than VISA cardholders (101.30 euros). In international e-commerce, nearly every third credit card transaction is unsuccessful! The success rate in international shops is about 65.5%; the rate in German shops is considerably higher
(83.0%).

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VISA Preferred Over AmEx by 40% of Americans

If given the choice, 40% of Americans would select VISA as their favorite brand over all other card payment networks. American Express came in second with 34% of the vote. The findings come from CardWeb.com’s homepage poll of 1,099 unique visitors conducted last month. In response to the question: “Some banks may soon issue American Express and Discover cards alongside their current VISA and MasterCards. If your bank offered you a choice between all four brands which one would you select?”: VISA scored 39.76%, MasterCard 16.1%, American Express 33.84%, and Discover 10.28%. MBNA is now offering AmEx cards to some of its affinity groups. MBNA is the first U.S. bank to issue credit cards accepted on the AmEx network. Under the terms of the partnership, MBNA manages the customer accounts and receivables, and provides all customer service, billing and payment systems, accounting support, credit and fraud resolution, and card marketing. (CF Library 11/5/04)

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Q Comm International Gets a New CEO

UT-based Q Comm International has hired Michael Keough, formerly with ClearOne Communications, as CEO and President. Previous to joining Q Comm, Mr. Keough served as Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chief Strategy Officer of ClearOne Communications, a $60M publicly traded company with 265 employees specializing in audio, video, and web- based conferencing products and services. 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.

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NexTran Group Opens an Atlanta Office

NJ-based NexTran Group has opened a regional office in suburban Atlanta to provide sales and service for the company’s existing ATM and transaction-processing businesses. The NexTran facility will provide sales and service for the company’s existing ATM and transaction-processing businesses, according to Park. The office will provide a beachhead for introducing the company’s iNextNet public Internet service into the metro Atlanta region. The NexTran Group LLC is a diversified portfolio of affiliate companies covering the financial services, security, and Internet market segments.

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Peppercoin Promotes Friedman to President

MA-based Peppercoin has promoted Mark Friedman to president from VP of Sales and Market Development. Prior to joining Peppercoin, Friedman was Vice President of Global Marketing at Lucent’s Software Products Group. In 1996 he joined Kenan Systems, a billing and customer care company that Lucent acquired for $1.5B in 1999. During his six-year tenure at Kenan/Lucent, he helped grow revenues from $25M to $1.1B. Peppercoin enables profitable new business models for low-priced digital content and physical goods.

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Credit Card Mail Dips Below 300MM In Sept

After peaking in June with nearly 375 million new direct mail credit card offers, mail volume has declined each month since, settling at a year-to-date low of 297 million acquisition pieces in September 2004. Overall, credit card response rates remain steady at 0.8% to 1.0% despite the mail volume fluctuations of the past year. According to Mintel’s Comperemedia, 50% of consumers report that they ignore all new credit card mailings. According to Comperemedia, the percentage of offers that promoted interest rates of 8% or higher increased from 58% in July to over 75% in September. The percentage of offers that promoted interest rates of 8% or higher increased from 58% in July to over 75% in September.

2004 MAIL VOLUME
Feb 04: 347 million
Mar 04: 473 million
Apr 04: 325 million
May 04: 354 million
Jun 04: 375 million
Jul 04: 312 million
Aug 04: 302 million
Sep 04: 297 million
Source: Mintel Comperemedia

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Indala Hires & Promotes Sales Staff

San Jose-based Indala has named Paul Kluttz as VP of sales for North America, and Duncan Cooke, previously sales director for MR Access, has been promoted to director of sales for Indala Ltd. Indala Corporation is a leading security technology company that develops and manufactures 125 kHz proximity; 13.56 MHz contactless and contact smart cards; and associated readers for physical and network access-control applications. Indala manufactures the highest quality RFID product lines including FlexPass(R) Series, CX Series CASI(R)-compatible cards, Cotag(R) long range RFID, and MIFARE(R)/DESFire(R) high frequency products.

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JCB Pilots Infrared Payments This Week

JCB is launching a three-month pilot today for its mobile infrared credit payment system using NTT DoCoMo phones at 30 merchant locations near its Tokyo headquarters. The “JCBeam Trial” will involve about 100 participants, primarily employees of JCB, who will download a credit card payment application and their own credit card information to their “MOVA 505i” or “FOMA 900” phones. JCB participated in KDDI’s Kei-Credit trial and in NTT DoCoMo’s “i-mode FeliCa Service” preview, both in 2003, and is currently running a trial of the “QUICPay” contactless payment system using NTT DoCoMo’s mobile wallet service. JCB cards are issued in 18 countries and territories, with 51.6 million cardholders.

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Lasercard Corp Shuffles Top Executives

LaserCard Corporation announced that Richard Haddock will now serve as CEO, Christopher Dyball will assume the newly created position of President and function as COO, and Stephen Price-Francis has been elected as VP of Business Development. Dr. Dyball and Mr. Haddock have served as the company’s Co-CEOs since September, 2003, when Dr. Drexler stepped down as CEO. They will continue working together as they have for more than ten years on the company’s day-to-day operations and will share responsibility for the company’s strategic planning. LaserCard Corporation (www.lasercard.com) manufactures and markets LaserCard(R) optical memory cards, chip-ready Smart/Optical(TM) cards and other advanced-technology secure identification cards.

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Tesco Clubcard Gets New Keyfobs

UK-based Tesco is issuing a pack containing a newly redesigned “Clubcard,” which incorporates a magnetic stripe and barcode, but it will also carry two unique and durable keyfobs. ID Data spent 18 months researching and developing the keyfob to ensure it would be the best product of its kind in the marketplace. Keyfobs are manufactured from the advanced material Teslin and utilize a sub-surface bar code which gives the fob an extended life. In addition ID Data has installed a custom-built, three-way matching system for application which adds security and also maximizes the visual impact of the delivered pack. ID Data, who already supplies Tesco’s “Clubcard,” the leading UK retail loyalty scheme, has won in addition a deal worth approximately GBP1 million a year.

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