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May 1, 2008

News Briefs

Planet Payment moves on Hong Kong... ACI and IBM forge ties... HSBCs talking ATMs... Alliance & Leicester buys Cupera... FundsTechs African platform...

By Verdict Staff

Planet Payment moves on Hong Kong…

ACI and IBM forge ties…

HSBC’s talking ATMs…

Alliance & Leicester buys Cupera…

FundsTech’s African platform…

PAYMENTS PLATFORMS Planet Payment moves on Hong Kong

Multi-currency credit card payment platform operator Planet Payment’s global expansion strategy took a further step forward in January with the announcement that it had formed an alliance with the Bank of East Asia (BEA), Hong Kong’s largest domestic bank. The alliance will see BEA offer Planet Payment’s Pay in Your Currency service which enables foreign tourists to pay in the currency of their choice using Visa or MasterCard cards. 

ALLIANCES ACI and IBM forge ties

US payments software developer ACI Worldwide and technology giant IBM have forged an alliance that will enable ACI to use IBM data centres globally to host its integrated software in an on-demand environment. In addition joint sales and technical teams will sell ACI’s solutions on IBM systems and support migrations to IBM platforms. Notably, IBM has also acquired an option to purchase up to 8 percent of ACI’s outstanding shares.

ATM HSBC’s talking ATMs

HSBC Bank USA, the US unit of UK bank HSBC, has introduced audio-enabled ATMs in 250 locations in the US. The ATMs provide spoken instructions in English and Spanish and allow individuals with visual impairments to hear on-screen information when conducting transactions. The world’s first audio-enabled ATMs were introduced by Royal Bank of Canada in 1997.

PREPAID CARDS Alliance & Leicester buys Cupera

UK bank Alliance & Leicester (A&L) has established Prepaid Card Company (PCC) which is to be used as the vehicle for acquiring pre-paid card developer Cupera International. A&L will have an 80 percent stake in PCC and Cupera’s shareholders a 20 percent stake. A&L has an option to full control of PCC. Since 2006 A&L has worked closely with CI’s unit MoneyCard Group to develop prepaid cards targeting a variety of markets including retail, insurance and the public sector.  

PREPAID CARDS FundsTech’s African platform 

FundsTech has installed a prepaid processing platform as a prelude to what the US pre-paid card company said was a target of supplying 1.5 million cards to a number of African countries. The platform is based in Johannesburg, South Africa at a facility of the country’s largest mobile phone service provider, Vodacom.

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