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   iPayment, Inc. was fighting off legal challenges late in 2004. In the case of ITSV Inc. v. iPayment et. al., pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Central District, Los Angeles, Calif., Greenberg & Bass, iPayment’s long-time attorneys and present counsel defending iPayment against the fraud claims brought against the company and its principals by Howard M. Ehrenberg, United States Bankruptcy Trustee, were disqualified from further representation.
   The court ruled that the law firm was in violation of the Rules of Professional Responsibility and the California Business and Professions Code by representing iPayment after it had previously represented ITSV.
   According to iPayment, the law firm of White & Case, will now serve as counsel of record for the Company with respect to this matter, replacing Greenberg & Bass. iPayment believes that this complaint and the underlying allegations are without merit and intends to vigorously defend against them.
   New research from Retail Banking Research shows that the global ATM market reached over 1.3 million terminals in 2003 and will continue growing to 1.7 million by 2009. Around 100,000 new ATMs are currently being installed every year, down from a peak of 115,000 in 2000.
    ATMs and cash dispensers have become the most important customer service channel for retail banks in terms of frequency of customer interactions. Over 56 billion transactions were carried out at ATMs in 2003. While most of these were cash withdrawals, the number and share of non-cash transactions, such as mobile top-ups, balance inquiries, as well cash and check deposits, is increasing.
   ScanAlert is offering Self Serve Compliance at a $79 annual fee service to enable online merchants to meet the vulnerability audit requirements for all levels of Visa’s Cardholder Information Security Program (CISP), as well as MasterCard’s Site Data Protection (SDP) standard.
   Merchants who process over 500,000 Visa transactions annually have a March 31, 2005 deadline to meet Visa’s CISP Level 2 deadline, while merchants processing over $125,000 in monthly MasterCard transactions must become compliant with SDP requirements by June 2005. ScanAlert estimates these deadlines will affect tens of thousands of online merchants.
   Kurant Corporation teamed up with E-Commerce Exchange (ECX), a merchant credit card account provider, to integrate ECX’s virtual merchant application into Kurant’s e-business offering, StoreSense. StoreSense is a suite of e-business tools that are designed to help small businesses get started selling online.
   Under the agreement, ECX’s virtual merchant application is integrated into the store setup wizard and administrative areas of StoreSense, allowing merchants to apply for and obtain a merchant account and payment gateway. This saves merchants the time and expense of having to separately acquire store and merchant accounts and later integrate the two. All service, support and billing of the merchant account and gateway, including credit card accounts and equipment and secure online processing will be directly provided to the merchant by ECX.
   CashEdge, Inc. recently introduced OpenNow and FundNow, designed to provide an end-to-end, single-session online account opening and funding solution, allowing financial institutions to securely acquire and fund new customer accounts in real time.
   OpenNow is an online account enrollment, authorization and validation product. FundNow offers a risk-managed service for instantly, safely and securely funding new accounts online.
   Credit Union 24 will more than double its national presence through an agreement with Lynk Systems, Inc. The direct processing agreement enables CU24 member credit unions access to more than 65,000 ATMs across the country.
   The agreement will also allow Lynk access to the Credit Union 24 card base of more than 10 million cardholders at credit unions across the country.
   FundsXpress has entered into a strategic partnership with TransFirst, a provider of transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies, serving more than 760 financial institutions throughout the United States.
   This partnership will provide financial institutions access to a single-source suite of merchant processing and personal banking products and services to offer commercial customers. This partnership allows FundsXpress to integrate its online financial offerings including cash management, online checking management and online bill payment with TransFirst’s transaction processing services, merchant acquiring and proprietary reporting product, TransLink.
   Hypercom Corp.’s HBNet, Inc. subsidiary and loyalty program firm CEO America, Inc. are providing card issuers and retailers with Creditz digital currency transactions and HBNet’s high speed ransaction delivery network.
   Creditz exchanges cash from consumer to merchant, merchant to consumer, manufacturer to consumer, and consumer to consumer in stores, online and through cell phones, including payments under one cent. The Creditz stored value digital currency card is now available to consumers, retailers and manufacturers throughout the US, Canada and United Kingdom.
   E-Trade Bank will pilot Algoent’s Remote Deposit Automation Solution for the capture and transmission of check images directly to the bank. The system provides check clearing through a Check 21 based system, reducing deposit preparation and enabling earlier transaction posting.
   The solution includes Alogent’s Sierra Xpedite® Remote Deposit at remote locations integrated with Sierra Xchange at E-Trade Bank’s processing centers. Sierra Xpedite captures, validates and manages payments and deposits by check at all points of presentment including branches, ATMs, cash vaults, merchant and corporate locations.
   Sierra Xchange is a virtual check processing engine that collects transactions from distributed points of presentment, applies workflows and intelligently routes image, data and paper to endpoints based on unique business rules.
   ATM Alliance Corp. is launching into a new product area in the U.S. and Canada: The new Sony brand photo kiosk. The photo kiosk could be another offering for other ATM distributors as well.
   “Traditionally, ATM Alliance Corp. has dealt mainly with cash-dispensing and cashless ATMs,” said ATM Alliance Corp. President & CEO Michael T. Gilot. “But like many payments processing companies, we have realized the importance of diversifying ourselves in the marketplace.”
   The Sony kiosks use TouchPoint’s QuickPIX and Catapult software to provide an interactive self-service device to consumers. The kiosks use built-in remote management technology to let users upload images from digital storage media, edit photos, print high quality photo in seconds and/or save to a CD, and finally, pay for the products.
ATM Alliance Corp. is combining its sales and locating expertise in the transactions industry with TouchPoint Solutions’ self-service technology. The plan is to find locations for several thousand kiosks in 2005.
   This is a new opportunity to bring more convenience to customers. It’s also a matter of capitalizing on the digital revolution – a trend that’s not likely to slow down. Consider this: At the end of 2002, there were about 40,000 retail installations of photo stations worldwide. By 2006, 256,000 digital photo stations will be needed to meet the growing demand of digital camera buyers.