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November 30, 2005

FeliCa Developer Akira Iga Wins at Innovator Awards

Yuri Kageyama reports for the AP on Akira Iga, a Sony executive responsible for the FeliCa technology used for mobile payments.

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Mercator Examines Virtual Point of Sale Markets

Mercator Advisory Group has announced the second report in a two-part series examining the current state of the vPOS market and the potential for growth in the point of sale space.

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American Express, WellChoice Announce Agreement to Offer New Healthcare Payment Solution

American Express and WellChoice, the parent company of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, have announced an agreement to offer a new healthcare payment solution that includes the Empire Total Blue consumer-directed health plan, a Health Savings Account (HSA) from American Express Bank, FSB, and the new American Express HealthPay Plus(SM) Card that provides easy access to the HSA funds.

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Mobile and Internet Shopping to Replace One-Third of Retail and Catalogue Purchases This Christmas

MotricityMotricity has announced the results of a recent survey in conjunction with Greenfield Online that illustrates the shift of shopping from traditional retail and catalogue to purchasing goods online and through mobile devices.

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Canada: Whatever Happened To Interac Online, Anyway?

Interac OnlineD.L. McCracken reports for HalifaxLive.com on the surprising lack of interest among Canadian online merchants in supporting the Interac Online debit payment service.

According to McCracken, "apparently most online merchants have decided that adding a debit payment option is just not high on their list of priorities." The service announced that its first transaction was processed in June.

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First Data Discloses Duques Stock Options

In a pair of SEC filings yesterday, First Data Corp. disclosed the current and new option grants held by incoming (and returning) CEO Henry C. "Ric" Duques.  On Monday, FDC announced that Duques was replacing retiring Chairman and CEO Charles Fote.

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MasterCard IPO: When The Bill Comes Due

Business Week looks at MasterCard's upcoming initial public offering and some of the legal challenges currently facing the association.

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November 29, 2005

Alliance for Affinity Security Launches

The Alliance for Affinity Security has announced its launch focusing on administering new affinity programs designed to encourage the adoption of employer group health savings accounts (HSAs) and other defined contribution health care accounts, such as flexible spending accounts

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Ethos: "Be Your Own Bank"

Ethos Visa Debit CardUsing the tagline "Be Your Own Bank", privately held Affinity Card Systems has announced the Ethos Visa Debit Card account claiming it is the first and only card of its kind for the financially underserved.

"ACS intends to provide an ethos branded Visa Debit Card Account to a financially underserved customer base," said Terry Lock, chief executive officer of ACS, "by offering branded cards through employers, staffing agencies, unions and government agencies that disburse funds. This revolutionary new tool can help provide the underserved with financial independence through low cost access to funds."

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Banks Emphasizing Savings Programs

In an effort to increase usage and loyalty, two major banks have begun emphasizing their respective savings programs to consumers.  Both Bank of America and Citibank today have released the results of recent consumer surveys emphasizing the benefits of savings - using their card products.

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2005 - A Payments Year In Review - March Highlights

Payments News - March 2005 HighlightsWe're taking a look back at the major payments-related news stories for 2005.   We've examined our archives month by month and have culled the the most important and interesting highlights.  We'll be posting each month's highlights over the next few days.  Here are the Payments News highlights from March 2005.

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FDC: Fote Impact Felt Around Denver Community

John Rebchook writes for Denver's Rocky Mountain News about First Data Corp.'s Charlie Fote and his decision announced yesterday to retire from his role as Chairman and CEO of FDC.  FDC's corporate headquarters moved to the Denver area when Fote took over as CEO several years ago.

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How Best To Pay For Gifts This Holiday Season

MarketWatch writers Gail Liberman and Alan Lavine examine the various ways to pay and their pros and cons - concluding that the "old faithful credit card may be the safest way to pay."  The article cautions against using both debit cards and e-checks to pay because of their direct link into consumer checking accounts.

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November 28, 2005

More on FDC's CEO Change

Joel Millman and Robin Sidel report for the Wall St. Journal's Heard on the Street column in Tuesday's edition on the surprise retirement today of First Data Chairman and CEO Charles Fote and the appointment of Henry C. "Ric" Duques as his successor.  The article focuses on FDC's Western Union business unit and its prospects in the face of increased competition and pricing erosion.

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MasterCard's Smart Card Initiatives

Smart Card Talk, the newsletter of the Smart Card Alliance, in its latest issue includes a profile of MasterCard's smart card initiatives based upon an interview with Toni Merschen, head of MasterCard's Chip Center of Excellence.

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Fote Retires, Duques Named First Data Chairman, CEO

First Data Corp. has announced that Chairman and CEO Charles T. Fote is retiring from the Company for personal reasons and that former CEO Henry C. (Ric) Duques will be returning to the company as Chairman and CEO.

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November 27, 2005

2005 - A Payments Year in Review - February Highlights

Payments News - February 2005 HighlightsWe're taking a look back at the major payments-related news stories for 2005.   We've examined our archives month by month and have culled the the most important and interesting highlights.  We'll be posting each month's highlights over the next few days.  Here are the Payments News highlights from February 2005.

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Card Swipe May Be A Thing Of The Past

Contactless Payments Symbol - Photo-small.jpgPatricia Sabatini reports for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on the deployment of contactless payment cards.  Now accepted at about 22,000 merchant locations nationwide, Sabatini reports that "Visa estimates that number will zoom next year by tenfold, to 220,000 locations."

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November 26, 2005

2005 - A Payments Year In Review - January Highlights

Payments News - January 2005 HighlightsIt's getting to be about that time when we take a look back at the major news stories in the world of payments during 2005.  We've examined our archives month by month and have culled the the most important and interesting highlights.  We'll be posting each month's highlights over the next few days.

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Wireless POS Terminals Move Where You Are

Exadigm Wireless POSJennifer Kingson reports for the New York Times on the increasing use of wireless point of sale acceptance devices by merchants now that wireless coverage is nearly everywhere with POS devices working with wireless networks in combination to be much more reliable.

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Gift Cards: The New Faces Of Holiday Plastic

Karla Ward writes for the Lexington KY Herald-Leader on the new faces of holiday gift cards this year.

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Health Savings Accounts Hold Allure For Banks, Others

HSA InsiderThomas Lee writes for the Minneapolis - St. Paul Star-Tribune on bank interest in marketing health savings accounts.

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Financial Services Powering India's Boom

India FlagHarsimran Singh reports for India's Financial Express on the importance of financial services and insurance clients to India's IT and business process outsourcing boom.

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