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February 21, 2008

More Contactless Testing for Transit in NY/NJ

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has announced it will "partner with NJ TRANSIT to undertake an eight-month pilot test that will allow customers to use contactless bank cards, key fobs, cell phones and other devices to pay for transit. The test will help determine if customers could ultimately use these devices to pay fares on all of the region's transit systems, including New York City's subways and buses." Contactless payment will be available exclusively to MasterCard PayPass customers during the initial two months of the test and to other bank-issued contactless card customers for the balance of the test period.

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Alternative Data and Its Use in Credit Scoring

The Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has released a new discussion paper titled "Alternative Data and Its Use in Credit Scoring Thin- and No-File Consumers" icon_PDF_small.gif.

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Chicago Fed Conference - Payments Fraud: Perception versus Reality

The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago has announced it will host its eighth payments conference, Payments Fraud: Perception versus Reality, June 5–6, 2008 at the Chicago Fed. The conference will highlight threats to the security of the payments system and explore solutions to those challenges.

Amazon.com Now Supports Purchases in 11 Local Currencies

Amazon.com has launched a new feature allowing international customers to pay for their purchases in the currency of their payment card, instead of U.S. dollars. Amazon says its new Amazon Currency Converter allows international customers to purchase eligible items with greater ease and certainty.

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NetSpend, Advance America Announce Distribution Agreement

NetSpend and Advance America have announced an agreement "that makes prepaid, reloadable debit cards and gift cards available at just over 2,600 Cash Advance Centers across 35 states. Advance America, the country's leading provider of payday cash advance services, now makes prepaid cards a key component of its current suite of services in the United States."

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JCB to Test Over the Air Issuance for NFC-equipped Mobile Phones

JCB and CASSIS International have announced an agreement to collaborate in a test of NFC over-the-air (OTA) services. The two companies will jointly demonstrate end-to-end secure contactless payment issuance services for NFC mobile phones.

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Interchange Regulation Coming to the US?

The American Banker reports this morning about legislation being drafted in the US Congress that would "amend the antitrust laws to ensure competitive market-based rates and terms for merchants' access to electronic payment systems."

Adding a Second Factor to Online Card Transactions

M. E. Kabay writes for Network World about his proposal for using the cardholder name field in card authorization messages to transport one-time codes.

Probing RFID-based Contactless Cards

In an article titled 'The Hands-Free Way to Steal a Credit Card', Robert Vamosi writes for CNET.com about a demonstration given yesterday in which 'Adam Laurie, a RFID security expert, demoed a new Python script he's working on to read the contents of a Smart chip-enabled credit card.'

Capital One Introduces Enhanced Rewards Card for Small Businesses

Capital One has announced the Preferred No Hassles Miles card, a card that it says "offers small business owners double rewards for travel and entertainment purchases."

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The Plastic Revolution

Ronald J. Mann, professor of law at Columbia Law School, has put together an interesting graphic published in the latest issue of Foreign Policy magazine about the growth in credit card usage in countries around the world. Mann is also the author of Charging Ahead, a book on the credit card industry published in 2006.

MasterCard Files Form 10-K

MasterCard has filed its Form 10-K Annual Report with the SEC. On pages 24-25 of the 10-K, MasterCard notes that "interchange fees are subject to increasingly intense legal and regulatory scrutiny worldwide, which may have a material adverse impact on our revenue, our prospects for future growth and our overall business." MasterCard notes that "on January 31, 2008, the Hungarian Competition Authority commenced a formal investigation of MasterCard Europe’s domestic interchange fees in Hungary."

Experian Files Suit Against LifeLock

Experian( has announced it has filed a lawsuit against LifeLock, Inc. "for allegedly placing fraud alerts illegally on credit files maintained by Experian."

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