NetSpend Prepaid Cardholders Load $1B

Prepaid card supplier NetSpend reports that its customers have loaded
$1.04 billion onto the NetSpend prepaid cards during February.
NetSpend Corporation is one of the leading providers of prepaid debit
cards in the United States. A pioneer in the industry since its
inception in 1999, NetSpend prepaid debit cards give financial freedom
and convenience to the more than 60 million underbanked consumers in the
United States. NetSpend is the only company in the prepaid debit
industry to offer an end-to-end solution for consumers and merchants
with a proprietary processing platform, card fulfillment, customer
service and risk management capabilities.

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PizzaExpress the latest partner for Barclaycard Freedom

PizzaExpress restaurants has partnered with Barclaycard. A leading global payment business which understands the needs of both purchasers and sellers, Barclaycard allows retailers and merchants to accept cards, helps customers make payments through card, contactless and mobile applications as well as extending credit to consumers. The company is one of the pioneers of new forms of payments and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting edge forms of payment for the future. It also issues credit and charge cards to corporate customers and the UK Government. Barclaycard partners with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer their customers or members payment options and credit.

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Dollar Financial Settles Class Action Suit

Dollar Financial Corp financial services for the unbanked and under-banked announced an agreement to settle its British Columbia class action litigation, in which the plaintiffs claimed collection of excessive fees. The business model used by the Company’s Canadian subsidiary, National Money Mart Company (NMMC), according to plaintiffs, resulted in the collection of fees in excess of the statutory limit for payday loans made since 1997. The Company announced court approval of the previously announced settlement of its comparable Ontario class action litigation. Subsequently, the Company will create a settlement fund in an amount of C$24.75 million, consisting of C$12.375 million in cash and C$12.375 million in vouchers. Fees payable to plaintiffs’ counsel will be paid from this fund. The remaining amount of the fund will be available to class members who make claims, with the Company receiving a credit for any unpaid debts incurred through November 1, 2009 and owed by claimants to the Company.

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CARD Act Disclosure Breakdown

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009, which took effect February 22, 2010, requires new disclosures on monthly credit card statements, which the Financial Services Roundtable and the Center for Responsible Lending have teamed to explain. Intending to make the cost of credit clearer to American consumers, the new disclosures WILL:
Show you how long it will take to pay off your entire balance if you pay only the minimum payment each month and make no additional purchases or advances; Show how much you would have to pay each month to pay off the entire balance in 3 years; Show the total cost, including principal and interest, if you make only minimum payments to pay off the balance; and Show how much more in interest you will pay by making the minimum payments rather than the larger payments to pay off the balance in three years. The disclosures will NOT, however, Change or extend your monthly due date; Take into account future transactions; nor Answer all questions regarding new disclosures.

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AmEx Partners with Trust for Historic Preservation

American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have announced the Seattle-Puget Sound area has been chosen for the community-based Partners in Preservation program. Providing restoration grants for local historic places, the Partners in Preservation program launches in Seattle on April 14 with the unveiling of the 25 historic sites competing for funding dollars. American Express is committing $1 million in preservation grants to the Seattle-Puget Sound area and is encouraging local residents and people across the country to participate by voting for their favorite historic place from a diverse slate of 25 sites. Once the 25 places are revealed on April 14, the public will be invited to vote online for its favorite historic places at www.PartnersinPreservation.com through May 12. The winner of the popular vote is guaranteed funding. Additional grants will be awarded on June 15 to a number of the other sites after review by American Express, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and an advisory committee composed of Seattle-Puget Sound civic and preservation leaders. In total, $1 million in preservation grants will be awarded.

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WU EXEC

Drina C. Yue has joined the Western Union Company as Senior VP to head the Asia-Pacific region. In her new role, she will be growing core consumer-to-consumer money transfer business, adopting innovative delivery channels and making strides in payments to address new market opportunities across Asia Pacific from her offices in Hong Kong. Bringing with her more than 25 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry, U.S. patents and years of go-to-market experiences that span the telecommunications and broadband video sectors in the United States and Asia Pacific, Yue has headed up the Broadband Communications, Home & Network Mobility business of Motorola in Asia Pacific. Drina holds a bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees from the University of Illinois, Urbana and speaks fluent English, Mandarin and Cantonese.

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Hypercom CFO to Speak at Wedbush Morgan Conference

Hypercom is set to
present at the Wedbush Morgan Securities 8th Annual New York Management
Access Conference for Micro-Small-Mid-Cap Companies at 1:15pm EST on
Tuesday, March 9 in New York City.
Hypercom Corporation delivers a full
suite of high security, end-to-end electronic payment products, software
solutions and services. The company’s solutions address the high
security electronic transaction needs of banks and other financial
institutions, processors, large scale retailers, smaller merchants,
quick service restaurants, and users in the transportation, petroleum,
healthcare, prepaid, self-service and many other markets.

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GEMALTO FISCALS

Gemalto Smart card has posted revenue of EUR453million for 4Q/09 and EUR1.7billion for the entire year, for a 2% increase over 2008 full year revenues. The IFRS consolidated income statement for the full year 2009 shows an operating income of EUR136 million and a net profit of EUR118 million, compared with an operating income of EUR127 million and a net profit of EUR115 million reported in the full year 2008. For the quarter, meanwhile, gross margin increased by 80 basis points to 36.3%, on the back of performance improvements in all three main segments. Operating expenses accounted for 26.2% of revenue, compared to 25.6% a year ago. Operating income was EUR171 million and the operating margin 10.3%. Excluding the special provision, operating income came in at EUR182 million and the operating margin at 11%, an increase of 90 basis points year on year. Net interest income was reduced by the significantly lower market yields on short-term investments, and was down EUR9 million to EUR 0.1 million. For more details on Gemalto’s performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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MASTERCARD PREVENTION

March is Fraud Prevention Month and MasterCard Canada is
offering Canadians key travel tips to help them reduce the risk of
fraud, theft and illness before, during and after a family vacation.
According to new research from MasterCard Canada, less than 23%
of Canadians let their payment card company know they’ll
be away and 49% don’t remember to renew their passport and 43% forget to get vaccinated.
Notify your credit card issuer in advance – Tell your credit card
issuer when and where you’ll be travelling so if they see unusual
activity on your account they’ll know why. While on vacation, one in 10 Canadians has experienced the loss of money
or important travel documents: only carry the essentials – Carry minimal cash and clean out your
wallet. The more items and pieces of information a thief gets, the
more damage they can do; keep your passport and other important travel documents safe and
secure – Wear a money belt under your clothes or use the hotel safe
to store your valuables. Never leave your money, credit cards,
jewellery, cameras, or other important items out in the open in your
hotel room. When returning home it’s important to check:
Receipts from your credit card purchases – Cross-check them against
your statement and notify your card issuer immediately if you
see any unusual or unexpected items.

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Mintel Shows 36% Struggle Paying Bills

A new
consumer survey from market intelligence Provider Mintel says 36% of Americans claim to have had
trouble paying their bills in the past two years. Women struggled with their debt more than men: 39% said they had trouble
during the last two years compared to 33% of men. People aged 25-44 and
black survey respondents also reported more difficulty than the general
population (42% of 25-34 year-olds, 48% of 35-44s and 53% of black consumers). In
addition, adults living in urban and rural areas were more likely to
struggle when compared to those living in suburban areas.
Less than half of those in trouble with debt reached out for help (37%).
Going directly to their credit card or mortgage lender was the most
common avenue: 28% of respondents said they went to their credit
card-issuing bank, while 24% went to their mortgage lender to seek help.
Still, more than one-third sought assistance from a credit counseling or
debt consolidation service.

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TSYS PREPAID

As a founding member of the Prepaid International Forum (PIF), TSYS has reported an increasing momentum of the PIF Brazil and India chapters following the successful engagement of members, the first formal exchange on prepaid best practices, legislation and business models between the two countries. The PIF Brazil chapter brings together a diverse member base including payment schemes, issuers, law firms, consultants and distributors to work together in order to actively develop the prepaid market. The PIF India chapter has a broad member base drawn from public sector, private sector and multinational banks. Members of both chapters are engaging in an interactive dialogue with questions and answers posed by both chapters in conjunction with their rapidly developing markets, in which prepaid cards have a major role to play in serving the unbanked and underbanked. TSYS has more than 10 years experience of providing prepaid processing solutions in a licensing and processing capacity and extends to more than 300 clients across 75 countries.

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Worldwide Merchant Offers High Risk Merchants Processing

Worldwide Merchant
Services is offering high risk merchant accounts to their network of banks worldwide.
These programs are designed to allow high risk merchants credit card
processing capabilities. By acknowledging past financial hardships,
the company’s credibility with the merchant provider rises and the
chances of becoming approved are much greater. If the business’s credit is
subpar, however, and has experiences issues with previous merchant accounts, it might have to
setup a reserve account, which protects the processor from any future
losses. The reserve account for your high risk business will be
calculated as a percentage of a projected average of total sales. This
saves the high risk merchant account from being shut down due to
chargebacks.

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