INSIDE Contactless Ranks as One of the Fastest Growing Start-Ups in France

Aix-en-Provence-based INSIDE Contactless has been ranked 19th in Deloitte and Touche’s “Top 50” fastest growing technology companies. The provider of contactless cards and couplers was also ranked as 4th in the Southern region of France with a cumulated growth for the past five years of 1488%. The company is a leading supplier of contactless chips and readers, offering a range of solutions for emerging markets like transport, access control, payment, identity, and electronic identification. The Company works with a worldwide customer base including system integrators, VARs and application developers.

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Peppercoin Payment System Launched

MA-based Peppercoin has officially launched its new micropayments system. Peppercoin’s micropayment system is the first that allows online merchants to offer new content profitably and to build market adoption quickly through a consumer-friendly, pay-as-you-go approach that eliminates prepayments. Peppercoin integrates easily with transaction systems and complements existing business models to accelerate merchant revenues and increase profits while reducing transaction costs dramatically. Peppercoin is a micropayments company that enables profitable new business models for low-priced digital content and physical goods. Only Peppercoin helps merchants build market adoption quickly through a consumer-friendly, pay-as-you-go approach that eliminates prepayments.

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Kmart Sues Capital One Over its Co-Branded MasterCard

Kmart disclosed this week that it filed suit against Capital One last month in regard to its co-branded “Kmart MasterCard.” The complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan alleges breach of contract. Kmart also says Capital One failed to market and support a co-branded credit card. The “Kmart MasterCard” was launched in September 2000. The suit was filed against Capital One Bank, Capital One, F.S.B., and Capital One Services, Inc. The complaint alleges “breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, promissory estoppel and tortious interference with business relationships and prospective economic advantage arising out of Capital One’s alleged failure to market and support the co-branded credit card.” Kmart says its seeking monetary damages.

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Bulgaria National Bank’s Borica Installs New ATM/POS Network Software

Bulgaria National Bank’s Borica subsidiary is installing Integrated Research’s software to manage its national ATM and POS network systems. “PROGNOSIS” is a real-time systems management software. Borica operates the Bulgarian ATM/POS network using “HP NonStop” servers and the “STEPS” application software from Banksys Belgium. As a national card payments operator, Borica services both card issuance and authorization of card payment operations in the country, and provides those services for the largest Bulgarian banks. Integrated Research’s “PROGNOSIS will be used to manage Borica’s “HP NonStop S7404” servers running “NonStop Kernel G06.14.” Borica stands for “Bank Organization for
Payments Initiated by Cards Ltd.”.

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Bankruptcy Losses for Card Issuers Still Significant

Bankruptcy losses continue to remain near record levels for card issuers, however there was a slight decline during October. As a percentage of gross charge-offs, bankruptcy makes up nearly 48% of total card losses. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the total number of bankruptcy filings during the third quarter were 412,989, a 2.9% increase over 3Q/02. The 3Q/03 data were the second highest level of quarterly filings. During the second quarter a total of 440,257 filings were made. (CF Library 11/17/03)

Bankruptcy Card Losses
1994: 34.0%
1995: 29.8%
1996: 39.7%
1997: 42.4%
1998: 40.8%
1999: 41.0%
2000: 37.4%
2001: 47.2%
2002: 47.7%
2003: 47.6%
Note: Bankruptcy-related charge-offs as a percentage of gross
charge-offs. Excludes American Express and Discover.
Data are based on October performance data of each year cited.
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Nonprofit Group Offers Free Gift Cards

A Los Angeles-based nonprofit group calling itself the Consumer Assistance Network says it is offering free gift cards to consumers who help market researchers gather information. Information about style, color and feature preferences received from consumers when they redeem the gift cards will be used to help market researchers, who pay for this program, to improve products and the selection of merchandise in the future. Consumers who receive retail gift cards redeemable at chain stores will be required to check selling prices on a few competitive price survey items in the store when they redeem their gift card at a location in their neighborhood. Besides the gift card giveaway program, the group is offering interest free cash advances of up to $1,563 to individuals with annual incomes below $30,300.

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TenderCard Cleared for Hypercom Terminals

MA-based TenderCard has certified its gift, reward and loyalty applications on Hypercom’s “T7Plus,” “ICE 5500Plus” and “ICE 5700Plus” card payment terminals. The certification lets hundreds of TenderCard resellers and the thousands of merchants they serve quickly take advantage of the profit-building capabilities inherent in Hypercom’s smart, fast and easy-use card payment terminals and feature-rich, multi-function software. This certification, the latest in a series for our technology, is another important step in continuing the momentum that is making Hypercom’s technology the overriding and undisputed payment solution of choice for merchants globally,” said O.B. Rawls IV, president, Hypercom North America. TenderCard provides closed loop private label stored value card products and services to merchants. Hypercom Corporation is a leading global provider of electronic payment solutions that add value at the point-of-sale for consumers, merchants and acquirers, and yield increased profitability for its customers.

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NBS Wins DoD CAC Printer Contract

NBS Card Technology has been awarded the centralized printer contract for the Department of Defense’s “Common Access Card” program. Following an extensive evaluation process, the Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) selected the NBS Horizon Printer for use in its CAC central issuance facility. Common Access Cards are used by over 4 million people in the Department of Defense, including active-duty personnel, reservists, department civilians, and contractors. The high-speed, high-volume, in-line Horizon Card Issuance System was chosen to produce the CACs precisely because of the system’s ability to meet the DMDC’s exacting requirements for speed, volume, and especially security. NBS Card Technology Corp. has been a global leader in the manufacturing and marketing of card personalization equipment and software solutions since 1975.

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Barclays Renews Falcon and Triad Contract

Barclays Bank has extended its commitment to use Fair Isaac’s “Falcon Fraud Manager” to protect its credit, debit and corporate card portfolios from payment card fraud for another five years. Barclays also extended its commitment to use “Falcon” as the exclusive fraud protection solution for its “Monument” credit card portfolio. In addition to Fair Isaac’s fraud detection solution, the issuer is currently utilizing Fair Isaac’s “TRIAD” adaptive control system for both customer and account management. Barclays is Europe’s largest card issuer with more than 19.5 million debit and credit cards.

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Jackson Hewitt to Offer Russell Simmons Card

UniRush Financial Services has inked a deal with Jackson Hewitt to offer direct deposit of income tax refunds onto the “Rush Prepaid VISA Card. Rush Prepaid Visa Card holders will be able to walk into over 4,500 Jackson Hewitt Tax Service locations nationwide, redeem a discount coupon when filing their taxes, choose free electronic filing of their return and ask to have their refund loaded for free onto their Rush Card. Jackson Hewitt Inc. is the nation’s fastest growing and second largest tax preparation service company, with over 4,500 Jackson Hewitt Tax Service locations in storefront, mall and retail locations in 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as alliances with several of the largest retailers in the country. UniRush LLC is a joint venture between Rush Communications and Cincinnati-based Unifund Corporation, and was created to offer individuals without relationships with traditional banking institutions access to a unique array of financial services.

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American Express Names Comptroller

American Express has named Joan Lordi Amble, formerly of GE Capital Services, SVP/Comptroller, effective January 5th. Ms. Amble has served in a number of financial management positions at GE Capital Services, Inc. since joining General Electric Company in 1989. Ms. Amble worked in various GE corporate positions and in 1992 was appointed chief financial officer of GE Capital’s Commercial Real Estate business. American Express Company is a diversified worldwide travel, financial and network services company founded in 1850.

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