Chittenden & GPN

Global Payments has renewed Chittenden Corporation for a comprehensive line of payment services including front and back-end processing, authorization, capture and settlement. Global Payments Inc. is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services to merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi-national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

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MONERIS XMAS

Toronto-based Moneris Solutions said it expects to handle more
than 500 credit and debit transactions per second for a predicted total of
7.6 million transactions on peak shopping day, December 21st. The company
says its data show that for purchases under $50, 59% of Canadians will use
debit or credit. When purchases are between $50 and $100, the preference
for plastic rises to 76%, and for purchases over $100, credit and debit are
preferred by 84% of Canadians. Canadians are expecting to spend an average
of $1,114 on holiday season expenditures this year including an average of
$638 on gifts. A slight majority of Canadians (59%) say their total holiday
expenditures will be the same as last year. Nineteen per cent will be
spending more and 18% expect to spend less.

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GEMPLUS & SAGEM

Paris-based Groupe SAGEM has acquired a 10% stake in Gemplus. The
ownership was effected through the buying of shares of Gemplus owned by
Marc Lassus, a Gemplus founder and one of the company’s largest
shareholders. Lassus agreed in December 2001 to cease his office as
chairman of Gemplus. SAGEM is a specialist in fingerprint identification
technologies. The firm is also the second largest French company in the
field of telecommunications and the third European Company in electronics
for defense and security. The new send Gemplus stock up about 10%.

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Cyota Funding

NY-based Cyota announced Thursday it has closed an $8 million round of private financing led by RRE Ventures, a leading financial services fund, founded by Jim Robinson, former chairman and CEO of American Express and Director of First Data Corporation. Cyota says it will use the funding to continue to expand in the “Verified by Visa” and “MasterCard SecureCode” markets. The company currently powers 80% of the “Verified by Visa” eligible cards in the U.S. RRE says it made the investment considering that Cyota has signed five of the top 10 issuers. RRE Ventures will appoint a General Partner to be a member of Cyota’s Board of Directors.

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NPC & Cost Plus

National Processing Company has signed a multi-year card processing agreement with Cost Plus, a specialty retailer of casual home living, for its 175 stores in 23 states. Cost Plus, Inc. operates 175 stores in 23 states under the names “World Market” and “Cost Plus World Market”. Stores feature an ever-changing selection of home decor, tabletop, gift and decorative accessories, as well as gourmet food and beverage offered at affordable prices and imported from more than 50 countries.

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Less Xmas Credit Use

The Debt Relief Clearinghouse released a survey this morning that found 35% of Americans say they will not use credit cards to buy holiday gifts at all, down slightly from last year’s 36%. These findings are the result of monthly nationwide telephone poll of 1000+ adults conducted by ICR/International Communications Research in the past week, sponsored by The Debt Relief Clearinghouse.

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PLATINUM COLLECTION

MasterCard International launched a new program to expand the value of its “Platinum” program throughout Asia. The “MasterCard Platinum Collection” features a range of lifestyle experiences from flying with the Red Devil over the Alps and landing on the Les Diablerets Glacier, to dinner cruises in Bangkok and romantic dinners atop the world’s tallest hotel in Singapore. “Platinum MasterCard” cardholders can also play golf at St. Andrew’s Old Course, Gleneagles, Royal Melbourne, and the Pinehurst Golf Course in Thailand. MasterCard has nearly 1 million platinum cardholders in the Asia/Pacific region.

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Smart Card DPA Tool

San Francisco-based Cryptography Research has introduced a “Differential Power Analysis” workstation to improve resistance to DPA attacks in smart cards and other tamper-resistant devices. DPA eavesdrops on the fluctuating electrical power consumption of the microprocessors at the heart of these devices, and uses advanced statistical methods to extract cryptographic keys and other secrets. Although DPA attacks currently require a high level of technical skill in several fields to implement, they can be repeated using a few thousand dollars worth of standard equipment, and can often break a device in a few minutes.

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CLUB PLUS CARD

Choice Hotels Canada has selected Ernex Marketing Technologies to deliver its new, real-time customer loyalty program dubbed “Choice Club Plus.” By participating in the “Choice Club Plus” program each of the more than 135,000 members earn 6.5 points for every dollar they spend. They can then use these points to redeem various reward options at popular Canadian merchants such as Sears Canada and Esso Imperial Oil, travel reward options including coach and train travel with Greyhound Canada and VIA Rail and free room nights at Choice Hotel’s 260 Canadian locations.

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WesPay Fraud

The Western Payments Alliance issued a statement Wednesday making clear it has no connection whatsoever with an allegedly London-based entity calling itself the Financial Clearing House and claiming to be a founder of WesPay. WesPay has notified authorities in the U.S. and United Kingdom about the fraudulent claim, and is urging its 1,000 members in the western U.S. and Pacific region to proceed with extreme caution if approached by the entity.

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