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TMG reports 25 growth in holiday gift card sales

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DES MOINES, Iowa (1/11/12)--The Members Group (TMG) grew sales of its ATIRAgift cards 25% during the 2011 holiday season, compared to the same period last year.

TMG added 32 prepaid clients in 2011, of which 29 market the company's open-loop Visa gift cards.

Konrad Christensen, who leads the retail payments team for TMG, said many of those clients have have put forth high-quality, targeted marketing campaigns to successfully reach likely gift-card buyers in their individual markets.

"Over time, consumers have come to recognize the open-loop gift card as not only an option, but the better option, when compared to closed-loop cards," said Christensen, TMG's retail payments product manager.

The average dollar amount loaded to ATIRAgift cards remained unchanged at roughly $82.50 during the 2010 and 2011 holiday seasons.

MnIPC ownership consolidated restructured

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (1/11/12)--Check processor MnIPC has redeemed its stock from Minnesota credit unions and transferred complete ownership to the Network Service Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN).

A stock offering was introduced to raise capital for the purchase of equipment and to build the infrastructure necessary for the business.

The MnIPC Corp. was originally formed in 1994 to provide credit unions a cost-effective check processing alternative. Since the original stock subscription, MnIPC has experienced consistent growth and success, posting a profit for 15 consecutive years, the company said.

"Over the years, MnIPC has consistently provided excellent member service and innovation, which has led to the evolution of the high-tech, high-touch organization it is today," said John Ferstl, MnCUN vice president of Network Service Corp.

Diebold demos worlds first 4G LTE ATM concept

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NORTH CANTON, Ohio (1/11/12)--Diebold will demonstrate the first ATM concept that uses 4G technology this week at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Diebold is a CUNA Strategic Services provider.

In collaboration with Verizon, operator of the largest 4G network in the U.S., Diebold integrated 4G LTE technology to create a new, additional channel for communication to and from the ATM. Traditionally, the ATM has communicated only with the financial institution or the transaction processor. With the addition of the 4G LTE channel, the ATM also can communicate directly with third parties such as service providers or monitoring centers.

A 4G LTE connection could provide financial institutions with the bandwidth to connect to the ATM wirelessly.

The 4G LTE-enabled ATM could potentially expand communications between self-service terminals and the companies that service them, Diebold said. By enabling direct communication to service providers, the ATM could deliver more robust service-related data than providers receive today.

4G connectivity also could enable the ATM to communicate directly with a monitoring center without relying on an external alarm panel. This would facilitate faster assessment and dispatch if an ATM is attacked, Diebold said.

Also, the 4G connection could be paired with video and audio capabilities to enable direct communication through wireless two-way video between the ATM user and the financial institution during the self-service transaction.