Card Activation Technologies Inc. received a favorable ruling with regard to claim construction in its patent infringement lawsuit against McDonald's et al., a case that is pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. Card Activation, a Chicago-based company, owns a patented POS technology for processing gift cards, phone cards and other debit purchase transactions. Claim construction is crucial in patent litigation, usually determining two elements of the case: the validity of the claim and whether the patent was, indeed, infringed upon.
Mercator Advisory Group released part one of its trilogy of prepaid benchmark reports, which comprise its 6th Annual Network Branded Prepaid Market Assessment. Part one looks at open-loop cards. The next two parts will focus on closed-loop cards and an overall industry forecast, respectively. Report highlights follow:
Ezic Inc. provides new customization tools for e-commerce merchants and charities with an online presence. Its payment form interface, one of five integration methods offered on its gateway, now has an editable payment amount feature so end users can adjust payment amounts.
InComm increased its product line with a prepaid solution to address growth in the corporate incentive market. With the Smart GiftCard Solutions platform, clients may order bulk or individual gift fulfillment cards, open-loop gift cards and customized options. The platform also features InComm's Vanilla Visa Gift Card.
Maverick Network Solutions Inc.'s SafeRewards Card is a customizable incentive program that uses reloadable prepaid debit MasterCard Worldwide cards. Healy Long & Jevin Inc., a Mid-Atlantic concrete construction firm, claimed using the card strengthens its safety program. Employees are rewarded via the card for staying injury free.
Meta Payment Systems rolled out a community gift card program. The Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based gift card provider ran pilots in two merchant districts that were well received and generated interest from neighboring communities through word of mouth. Meta believes programs of this kind help strengthen local economies by keeping spending local.
StorValue Card Solutions LLC released a suite of rewards-based products. The suite includes co-branded loyalty and affinity solutions, with cash-back and fuel rewards. StorValue cards can be used wherever Visa- and MasterCard-branded cards are accepted.
CDHC Solutions magazine presented the Solutions Innovator Award to TSYS Acquiring Solutions' Vice President of Product Development, Kim Kaczmarek.
Her contributions to the development of TSYS Health-care and its My Care Card program gained her the recognition.
White Eagle (Europe) PLC's White Eagle Card won the Best Money Transfer Prepaid Card and Best Payroll and Expenses Prepaid Card awards at the Prepaid365 Prepaid Card Awards 2009. The White Eagle Prepaid Maestro Card won second place for Best Unbanked Prepaid Card and its Prepaid MasterCard Freedom Eagle Cash Card earned two mentions: Best General Purpose Prepaid Card and Best Unbanked Prepaid Card.
Ceridian UK selected White Eagle (Europe) PLC's payroll program to enrich its business offerings. With the Ceridian Evolution Payroll Prepaid MasterCard, issued by Newcastle Building Society, clients can also provide incentives to increase employee retention.
Merchant Data Systems Inc. chose SparkBase as its gift and loyalty network provider. "We were very impressed with SparkBase's technology and leading-edge functionality, along with the company's philosophy of allowing us to brand the offering, assemble customized products in-house and retain the direct relationship with our merchants," said Drew Freeman, President, MDS.
To add open-loop gift cards to its offerings, Premier Card Solutions purchased and implemented Bank Card Security System software from Prime Factors to run on a Thales HSM 8000. "Prime Factors had the knowledge of the process and software that already does everything," said PCS Director of Information Technology Chris Erickson. "I wanted to go with experience."
Stored Value Solutions will offer MasterCard's prepaid gift cards to Coinstar E-payment Services Inc., a subsidiary of Coinstar Inc., for distribution through U.S. retail outlets. "The addition of the instant-issue MasterCard prepaid card will strengthen Coinstar's current versatile product offering," said Ralph Rolen, Executive Vice President and General Manager of SVS.
South African-based payment processor Tutuka chose SafeNet Inc. to address payment card industry data security standard and EMV [Europay, MasterCard and Visa] compliance needs. Tutuka will employ SafeNet's DataSecure platform and ProtectHost electronic funds transfer hardware security module, both of which are part of SafeNet's Enterprise Data Protection Security Suite.
Coinstar completed the sale of its entertainment services business to National Entertainment Network Inc. NEN will assume most of the business' related assets and liabilities. With the sale, Coinstar expects a net gain of between $25 to $35 million in the third quarter 2009.
Karen Budahazy assumed the role of General Manager for InComm Canada. Budahazy will manage sales teams and their initiatives and develop new product revenue opportunities. "Karen is a results-driven executive with strong background, experience and insight in the international prepaid and stored-value industry," said Brian Parlotto, Senior Vice President of Products and International for InComm.
Nashville-based edo Interactive added two executives to its management team: Jay Graves as Chief Technology Officer and Lisa McGinty as Vice President of Card Services. Graves co-founded, grew and sold SmartDM, a database marketing agency, and comes to edo from Merkle Inc. McGinty's experience is in prepaid and third-party gift card industries. She held senior positions at MCI Inc., PRE Holdings Inc. and InComm.
Coinstar's Chief Financial Officer John Harvey opted to leave Coinstar, citing the time the position took away from his family. Harvey had been commuting from his home in Chicago to Bellevue, Wash., every week.
MoneyGram International's Executive Chairman Pamela H. Patsley was named the company's Chief Executive Officer as well. Patsley has been with MoneyGram since the beginning of the year. Prior to MoneyGram, Patsley worked with private equity firms after leaving her position as President at First Data Corp.'s international division.
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