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Sun, Apr 27, 2008

Wingspeed, Novo Launch In-Flight Credit Card Authorization

SkyMall Shoppers, Rejoice!

It's happened to all of us. Stuck in the middle seat on a crowded commercial flight to Memphis, we turn to the onboard SkyMall catalog for some relief, escape, and even some mild humor... and before too long, the notion of spending $200 for a Trailer Hitch Stand And Chairs* seems not only completely reasonable, but absolutely necessary!

* Actual item

True, we could always fill out the order cards, and turn them in to the flight attendant... but for most of us, that impulse to buy disappears soon after the wheels hit the runway, and we realize the airline lost our luggage. But now -- thanks to Wingspeed Corporation and Novo Ivc -- we may soon be able to swipe our credit cards inflight, and have all sorts of unnecessary items (and the resulting finance charges) heading to our doors before the snack service begins!

The two companies announced last week the introduction of a system that allows airlines to obtain credit card authorization for sales transactions conducted during flight. The solution -- which combines the Wingspeed XFIA communications & computing platform and the Novo Ivc Point-of-Sale system --  for the first time allows airlines to conduct real-time, in-flight credit and debit card transactions and also use airline loyalty program cards, opening an array of new revenue opportunities.

Previously, airlines have had to store in-flight transaction data until the aircraft reached the ground.

"This solution will address a need that the market has clearly articulated," said Tim Clifford, Managing Director at Novo Ivc. "In addition, it will reduce bank charges and fraud, while giving airlines the opportunity to sell higher-value goods in flight, all representing a compelling return on investment."

"We are excited at partnering with Novo Ivc, whose extensive client list shows them to be a leader in the provision of point-of-sales systems to the aviation industry," said Ciaran Bernard, Wingspeed's Director of Sales in Europe. "This application is yet another benefit offered by the Wingspeed XFIA architecture, an extensible communications and computing platform that can host a range of cockpit and cabin services."

It's a shame Skybus is no more... as that airline, which sold nearly everything but the chairs passengers sat in, seems a natural client for this new system.

www.wingspeedcorp.com, www.novoivc.com/

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