Bling Nation Completes SAS 70 Type II Audit

Bling Nation mobile payments POS solutions completed its SAS 70 Type II audit and its receipt of the related audit report. Bling Nation obtained the report from Ernst & Young following that firm’s completion of an independent assessment of the controls over the company’s business processes. Statement on Auditing Standards No. 70 (SAS 70) is a widely recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, against which service providers report control activities and processes to customers and their auditors. Bling Nation selected Ernst & Young due to the firm’s global leadership and expertise in the industry. As part of the audit process, Ernst & Young closely examined and tested the operational environment and the company’s internal controls.

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MOBILE MARKETING

A new report is forcasting that mobile marketing and retail sector, comprising mobile advertising, coupons and smart posters, will exceed $8 billion by 2012 globally. The report, “The Mobile Marketing and Retail Strategies”, issued by Juniper found that retailers were already starting to exploit the mobile channel through advertising campaigns on the handset and by issuing money-off coupons. The market for these two activities alone is forecast grow by half in the next two years. At CTIA Wireless 2010, more than 20% of the attendees were said to come from the retail space, showing that retailers were beginning to latch on to the potential of the mobile channel. Juniper believes that smart posters (which users can tap to obtain product information) will remain a niche sector within the overall market until NFC (Near Field Communications) capable devices are more widely used while the mobile advertising and mobile coupons markets will reach similar sizes. However, the report cautions failure to use targeted, location based advertising, particularly SMS advertising, may cause mobile users to regard such advertising as little better than spam. The report recommends that brands and retailers should consider geotagging their products and locations.

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Lead02 Launches Website to Guide POS Purchases

Marketing solution provider LeadO2 has launched “TopPointofSaleSystems.com”
to help businesses purchase POS systems. TopPointofSaleSystems.com will feature an array of exclusive content,
including an in-depth Buyer’s Guide, informative articles and a
directory of companies that provide POS software, hardware and services.
Visitors to the site will also be able to connect directly with point of
sale system suppliers through a quote request process.
“TopPointofSaleSystems.com” was designed to bring together both buyers and
suppliers of point of sale systems as part of the LeadO2 solution. POS
suppliers can utilize LeadO2’s services to expand their web presence and
receive targeted, exclusive sales leads from buyers interested in a new
POS system. LeadO2 clients not only receive premium placement within
“TopPointofSaleSystems.com” to promote their offerings, but also benefit
from high-converting, custom designed product sites, inclusion within
regular email campaigns and most importantly, managed, ongoing paid
search campaigns to drive additional leads.

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TARJETA PRIVADA

Moody’s Latin America has assigned a rating of Aaa.ar (Argentine National Scale) and of Ba3 (Global
Scale, Local Currency) to the Debt Securities (VDF) of Fideicomiso
Financiero Tarjeta Privada XVIII issued by Banco de Valores – acting
solely in its capacity as Issuer and Trustee and also assigned ratings of Ca.ar (Argentine National Scale) and Ca
(Global Scale, Local Currency) to the subordinated Certificates. Banco de Valores S.A. (Issuer and Trustee) issued one class of
peso-denominated, floating-rate bonds (VDF) and a residual piece (CP),
all of them backed by a pool of credit card receivables originated and
serviced by Banco Privado de Inversiones (BPI). BPI is the seller of the receivables and the primary servicer of the
transaction. The bank was founded in 1993 to provide financial services
to the middle-high and high income segment of the market. In 1996, BPI
began issuing MasterCard and Visa credit cards to its customers.
The VDF original balance is equal to 80% of the original pool balance.
At closing, the VDF were backed by credit card outstanding balance
generated by eligible accounts. The ownership of those accounts remains
with the originator but the receivables assigned to the trust. The
transaction has five reserve funds: an expenses fund, a liquidity reserve
fund, a backup servicer replacement fund, and sinking funds for the
interest and principal. The VDF will bear a floating interest rate (BADLAR + 300bps) with a
minimum rate of 13% and a maximum rate of 22%. If an early amortization
event occurs, the revolving period will terminate automatically. Moody’s considered the credit enhancement provided in this transaction
through the initial subordination levels (20% for VDF), as well as the
historical performance of BPI’s portfolio. In addition, Moody’s
considered factors common to consumer loans securitizations such as
delinquencies, payments rate and losses; as well as specific factors
related to the Argentine market, such as the probability of an increase
in losses if there are changes in the macroeconomic scenario in Argentina.

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Wells Fargo Completes CA Wachovia Merger

Wells Fargo and Wachovia combined banking operations in California this past weekend as part of their historic merger. Wells Fargo now has 1,043 banking stores in California, the largest retail bank network in the state and more than 3,200 ATMs, offering 4.5 million customers more convenience and providing continued support to local communities. Over the weekend, 100 Wachovia banking stores and 18 Wells Fargo stores were consolidated into nearby banking stores statewide. California follows Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, and Colorado whose Wachovia and Wells Fargo stores have already combined. The Wachovia brand will become Wells Fargo in other states throughout 2010 and 2011 as part of the largest merger in banking history. On Dec. 31, 2008, Wachovia Corporation became a part of Wells Fargo & Company. At that time, there were six states where both Wells Fargo and Wachovia had retail banking operations: Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, Texas and California. Colorado was the first state to transition in November 2009. Banking stores in Arizona, Nevada and Illinois combined operations last month. The transition in Texas is planned for July, and the Wachovia retail banking transition to Wells Fargo in the east and southeast will start later in 2010 and continue through 2011.

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INTERCHANGE FEES

E-payment processor Euronet Worldwide has been informed that Visa Europe notified its member banks that it will lower the Polish domestic ATM interchange fee from PLN 3.50 to PLN 1.30
, effective May 1, 2010. The interchange fee is paid by issuers of Visa logo’d cards to the owners or operators of ATMs for transactions such as cash withdrawals on ATMs.Because the reduction in the interchange fee has various direct and indirect impacts on the results of operations of the Polish business, the Company cannot predict the effects of the reduction with certainty. The Company currently expects that the lower Polish interchange fee will reduce Euronet’s pre-tax profits by approximately $5.6 million and $5.0 million in 2010 and 2011, respectively and after tax profits by approximately $4.4 million and $4.0 million, respectively, based on current exchange rates. For the remainder of 2010, Euronet estimates the quarterly pre-tax profit impact to be approximately $1.5 million in the second quarter, approximately $2.8 million in the third quarter and approximately $1.3 million in the fourth quarter. The decrease in projected loss between 2010 and 2011 is principally the result of anticipated cost savings from renegotiated vendor service contracts and, to a lesser extent, additional ATM transactions processed as a result of lower interchange fees charged to cardholders. While this announcement has no impact on first quarter 2010 results, Euronet expects the impact of this fee adjustment on the results of operations of its Polish business to be significant in future periods. Currently, Euronet has approximately 1,500 Company-owned ATMs under management in Poland, provides outsourced management services to Polish financial institutions and, through network participation agreements, makes its 2,560 ATMs available to financial institutions in Poland. Approximately 25% of Euronet’s 10,283 operated ATMs are in Poland and approximately 7.5% of Euronet consolidated revenue is earned in Poland.

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Best Western and Barclaycard Relaunches MasterCard Reward Program

MasterCard Worldwide and Barclaycard US have re-launched their
rewards card program with Best Western International. Cardholders can
now earn five Best Western Rewards points, up from the 3.3 points earned
previously for every $1 spent at Best Western and one point for every $1
spent away from Best Western. The Best Western Rewards program also
features unique point redemption options in addition to hotel stays such
as gift cards, Best Western Travel Cards, dining rewards, theme park
awards, gas and auto rewards such as car rental certificates and
charitable contributions. In addition, the card program now features
other World MasterCard benefits, such as up to 5,000 bonus points for
balance transfers for new cardholders; 0% on balance transfers for the
first six months for new cardholders and exclusive point redemption
discounts and offers. Travelers who sign up for the card and use it once
will receive 16,000 bonus points, which is enough for a free night’s
stay at roughly half of Best Western’s 2,200 North American hotels. In
addition, cardholders who use the card for $6,000 in purchases within a
calendar year will earn an upgrade to Elite status in the Best Western
Rewards program, which entitles them to at least a 10% point bonus on
all Best Western hotel stays.

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NUBRIDGES & THALES

nuBridges is partnering with information security provider Thales to help payment industry companies strengthen their credit card protection and reduce scope for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance and audits. nuBridges has integrated its award-winning nuBridges “Protect” encryption, tokenization and key management solution with the Thales nShield product family of hardware security modules (HSMs). nuBridges “Protect” is the industry’s first data security software solution to combine universal Format Preserving TokenizationTM, local, field-size-preserving encryption, unified, full-lifecycle key management and security event logging. Tokenization in particular reduces risk and has the added advantage of taking systems, applications and processes out of scope for PCI DSS audits, thus reducing the complexity and cost of compliance. The nuBridges Protect Key Manager generates, distributes, rotates, revokes and deletes keys for both local field-size-preserving encryption and format-preserving data tokenization. When organizations secure cardholder information using encryption and tokenization, safeguarding the keys that encrypt and decrypt the data becomes paramount. If keys are lost accidentally, the data associated with them is unrecoverable and, if keys are stolen, criminals can use them to decrypt and access credit card numbers. Validated for FIPS-140-2 Level 3 and Common Criteria EAL4+, Thales HSM solutions secure critical system and data encryption keys that underpin nuBridges Protect in a tamper resistant hardened device, adding an important extra layer of security and satisfying widely established key management best practices. Thales e-Security is a leading global provider of data encryption solutions to the financial services, high technology manufacturing, government and technology sectors.

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Heartland Gift Marketing Program Expands Partnerships

The National Restaurant Association, Council of State Restaurant Associations and the vast majority of state restaurant associations have added Heartland “Gift Marketing” as an endorsed business solution offered by Heartland Payment Systems. The Council of State Restaurant Associations joined the partnership in February, and currently 41 state restaurant associations are on board, demonstrating the strength of the alliance and its importance to the industry. The partnership’s “Full Course Business Solutions” initially launched with exclusively endorsed card processing, payroll services, tip management and check management solutions. Adding gift marketing to Full Course empowers restaurateurs to leverage traditional gift cards to promote their businesses, grow their customer base and their revenue.

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LAMBTON FCU & FISERV

Lambton Financial Credit Union Limited of Sarnia, Ontario has chosen the Fiserv’s “Acumen” account processing solution. After an extensive review of solutions on the market, Lambton Financial Credit Union selected Acumen to support its growth strategy. Leaders of the credit union cited Acumen for its integrated loan processing capacity, 360-degree member views, and ability to improve back-office processes. The Canadian service bureau and feature-rich functionality of Acumen, like the eJournal, designed to enhance workflow throughout the credit union’s departments, work groups and branches, were key considerations that led Lambton Financial Credit Union leaders to select Acumen. Lambton Financial Credit Union is the 15th Canadian credit union to choose Acumen for core banking.

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NetSpend Appoints New CFO

TX-based prepaid debit program provider NetSpend has hired George W.
Gresham as Chief Financial Officer.
Gresham joins NetSpend from Global Cash Access, Inc. (GCA) where he
served in the same capacity. Gresham joined GCA, a leading provider of cash access services to the
gaming industry, in February 2008 and was responsible for all facets of
the company’s financial activities. Prior to his tenure at GCA, Gresham
served as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Administrative Officer and
Executive Vice President of EFD eFunds Corporation, a NYSE-listed
company that specialized in the development and deployment of payments
and payments-related technology.
Gresham holds a BS in Accountancy from Northern Arizona University, an
MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and is a Certified
Public Accountant.

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