CU Ink & GenPass Sign a Deal

CU ink and Genpass have formed an alliance in which CU ink will promote Genpass EFT processing services and the “MoneyPass” surcharge-free ATM Network to CU ink’s Credit Union customers. Genpass’ ATM terminal driving, debit card processing, ATM maintenance, “PayCards,” and participation in “MoneyPass” will be promoted. CU ink is a supplier of computer forms products such as checks, statements, receipts, and notices, along with a line of marketing products and services including newsletters, brochures, direct mail, and posters.

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SoundBite 5.0 for Financial Services is Launched

SoundBite Communications has released “SoundBite 5.0 for Financial Services,” a Web-hosted solution built on the Company’s interactive voice messaging technology platform. “OnDemand Blended Suppression,” “OnDemand Enterprise Support,” and “OnDemand Campaign Management” are among the features of the solution. Benefits that companies will experience using the solution include “pay as you go” use, no hardware or software installation, high response rates, and SoundBite’s in-depth industry expertise.

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Blank & Martin on the ICMA Board

The Board of Directors of the International Card Manufacturers Association has appointed Eric Blank of Arthur Blank & Company and Merrill Martin of VCT/QualTeq Division to serve two years on the Board. Blank and Martin both have extensive experience in the plastic card industry. The ICMA Board of Directors manages the ICMA’s business and affairs. ICMA is a non-profit association of plastic card manufacturers, personalizers, and participants in related industries. It has 200 members, representing over 40 countries.

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Blue Bamboo Unveils a Low-Cost Terminal

China’s Blue Bamboo has unveiled its first product, a GlobalPlatform standards-based, wireless terminal. The new “H50” is priced as low as US$199. The “H50” supports the Java-based “Small Terminal Interoperability Platform.” In addition to abiding by GlobalPlatform standards, the “H50” will be an EMV-compliant terminal. Blue Bamboo expects to achieve certification by Q1 2005, according to CardFlash International. It also supports the “Visa Smart POS” application, and can be utilized in a broad range of solutions. Blue Bamboo’s terminal is portable, and powered continuously with two Lithium-ion cell batteries that are both re-chargeable and replaceable. Blue Bamboo is a wholly owned subsidiary of Shera International and affiliated with Shera Technology, an established manufacturer of POS terminals and peripherals.

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New ASK OS for Contact/Contactless Smart Cards

ASK has introduced a new universal contactless platform. The new “TanGO” operating system addresses the contact/contactless smart cards needs for mass transit, access control, and banking. For mass transit, it is adaptable to any regional standards, including Calypso, RIS, VDV Core, ITSO, and RKF. Security features combine an anti-tearing and fast cryptographic calculation based on a DES, DESX, or 3DES mechanism. “TanGO” can also clone the legacy cards such as GTML, GTML2, and CD97 to perpetuate existing systems as well as provide the right path to new features, according to CardFlash International. “TanGO” is already available for dual interface and contactless cards.

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Egg Posts Reduced Losses as it Exits France

UK-based Egg reports that its new MasterCard product, launched in June, has racked up more than GBP100 million in card balances. Egg also projects its interest income to rise significantly in the fourth quarter after recently bumping up its standard variable rate by 100 basis points. For the third quarter, Egg produced an operating profit for its British “Egg VISA” card of GBP18.6 million versus an operating loss of GBP2.7 million for its French “la Carte Egg VISA.” Overall, the Egg Group posted a year-to-date loss before tax of GBP103 million, which includes GBP113 million in exits costs for France and the operating losses of GBP35 million incurred in France up to the date of its announcement to withdraw from the market. Banque Accord is in the process of acquiring the French Egg credit card portfolio for GBP97.5 million, according to CardFlash International. The portfolio has 66,000 customers and net assets of approximately GBP143 million. During the quarter, Egg added 105,000 new credit cardholders in the U.K. to bring its total portfolio to 2,249,066 cardholders. Total Egg credit card outstandings were GBP3,306 million at the end of September. For complete details on Egg’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Ingenico i7770 Integrates with iSiVA POS System

Ingenico announced that Florida-based SIVA Corporation has certified and integrated the “i7770” short-range wireless portable terminal with the “iSiVA” POS system. The “Ingenico i7770” enables restaurant patrons to pay at the table using an on-line connection to the merchant’s authorization center. It is the first terminal to leverage commercially available “Bluetooth” connection capability in a portable POS device, according to CardFlash International. Bluetooth provides outstanding communication quality and significant range of approximately 1/2 mile between the terminal and base. It operates at a very low power consumption rate, allowing for a high number of transactions without recharging. SIVA markets its products to multi-unit restaurant owners.

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OTI’s Saturn 5000 is Paypass Certified

On Track Innovations’s “Saturn 5000” contactless reader has received certification from MasterCard, certifying the reader’s application and electronics for use in the MasterCard “PayPass” contactless payment program. This makes OTI the first and only company to date to obtain certification on both its MasterCard “PayPass” compatible card and reader solutions. The “Saturn 5000” can support multiple applications and is currently compatible with all major POS terminal providers.

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Kintera & AmEx Partner to Help Nonprofits

Kintera, a provider of service to non-profits, announced a strategic alliance with American Express to launch a marketing program that would benefit non-profit organizations. In the three-year agreement, non-profits using the “Kintera Sphere” software platform will be able to receive additional donations to their organization. If a non-profit organization participates in the American Express program, an additional contribution will be made to their organization during the fundraising campaign each time a donor uses an American Express Card to make a donation through the Kintera platform. The lead recipient of the program will be “Toys for Tots.”

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Zebra P330i Desktop Card Printer is Coming

Zebra Technologies has introduced the “Zebra P330i ” desktop card printer/encoder. The “P330i” is a single-sided, full color plastic card printer/encoder. Features enable organizations to create high quality photo ID cards, secure access control cards, financial cards, membership cards, and more. The “P330i” includes a USB interface in all the configurations of the printer/encoder and offers built-in Ethernet connectivity as a factory installed or upgradeable option. The “P330i” will be available on December 1st.

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Hyatt Joins the Rewards Network

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts has partnered with the Rewards Network. Members who book hotel reservations through the Rewards Network via online or the hotel reservations number can reserve a room and earn “Cashback Rewards” or up to 7 airline miles for every dollar that is spent on the rate of the room. With the addition of Hyatt hotels, members of the Rewards Network have a choice of 106 destinations in the USA. Hyatt operates 122 hotels and resorts in the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. The Rewards Network provides loyalty and rewards programs for restaurants and hotels through its registered credit card platform. There are 3.7 million active members and more than 10,600 restaurants and over 11,100 hotels that participate in Rewards Network’s rewards programs.

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NCR’s ATM Revenues Climb 25% in 3Q/04

NCR reported that its Financial Self Service segment, which primarily includes ATMs, produced record third-quarter revenue of $338 million, up 25% from 3Q/03. NCR says it is seeing continued growth in upgrades, replacements, and the purchase of new ATMs. Also, the recently enacted Check 21 legislation is driving more banks in the USA to invest in deposit-capable ATMs. For the Retail Store Automation segment, third quarter revenues was up 3% to $217 million. NCR says retailers continue to be disciplined in their capital spending but deployment of self-checkout systems is expanding. NCR projects fourth quarter revenue growth of 3% to 5% for Financial Self Service and 6% to 8% for Retail Store Automation. For complete details on NCR’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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