Discover Launches Consumer Education Website

Discover Financial Services has launched its “Straight Tal” consumer
website. Designed to help consumers more easily understand how
credit cards work, including changes from the Credit Card Accountability
Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act, the “Straight Talk” series consists of articles that explain in clear
terms how credit card companies determine annual percentage rates (APRs)
and credit card limits, why fees are charged, and what changes consumers
can expect to see as a result of CARD Act.
In addition to the new video and articles, Discover offers a variety of
tools and resources to help cardmembers manage their credit. These tools
include “The Spend Analyzer,” providing cardmembers a
visual way to track and compare their card spending; “The Paydown Planner” to
help cardmembers create a
simple plan to pay down their balance; “The Purchase Planner” to help cardmembers understand
how a large purchase may affect their account; and “Financial Education” to
helps cardmembers understand the basics of
credit management with clear and easy-to-understand articles.
The “Straight Talk” video and articles can be found on Discover’s
Financial Education Resources page:
http://www.discoverfinancial.com/financialeducation/straighttalk.shtml

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VersaPay Partners With Globus Travel

Card transaction processor VersaPay Corporation has signed a three-year, exclusive agreement with Globus, a provider of touring travel and vacation packages. Under the terms of the agreement, VersaPay will provide Globus with a credit and debit card payment processing solution, taking advantage of VersaPay’s PCI compliant (meets all Payment Card Industry data security requirements) e-commerce gateway. VersaPay will generate revenue based on a percentage value of each transaction that Globus processes through its payment system.

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U.S. Bank Launches Enhanced Cash Vault Service

U.S. Bank has launched an enhanced cash vault service called “Advanced
Cash Credit” and Notification solutions.
The new solutions include “Remote Cash Deposit” and the “DTS Tracking
System”. Remote Cash Deposit allows customers to electronically deposit cash,
consolidate depository banking relationships, reduce armored car pickup
frequency, and increase security. U.S. Bank has partnered with Brink’s
Inc. to use their “CompuSafe” product line. Business customers deposit
currency into a Brink’s CompuSafe and electronically receive collected
credit to their U.S. Bank depository account the following business day.
With the DTS Tracking System, businesses can monitor deposits from the
time of preparation at the store location until they are processed and
credited at the bank. This allows retailers to manage their overall
deposit process from a central location. It makes it possible to
identify early on if a store’s deposit is missing, late or has a
discrepancy that needs quick resolution.

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The Bancorp Bank&UniRush Issue Prepaid Visa

The Bancorp Bank Payment Solutions Group, a division of The Bancorp Bank (“Bancorp”), has partnered with UniRush to issue the “RushCard.” The Prepaid Visa RushCard has provided access to financial services for the estimated 48 million Americans who do not maintain traditional banking relationships. It is issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. and may be used wherever Visa debit cards are accepted. Headquartered in Cincinnati, UniRush LLC was created to offer the over 48 million Americans without access to a traditional banking relationship an array of basic financial services via the Prepaid Visa RushCard. Benefits of the program include direct deposit, the ability to withdraw funds at over 850,000 ATMs globally, the ability to use the card wherever Visa debit cards are accepted and 24/7 customer service.

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New Era Offers Debt Management Tips for The CARD Act

CA-based New Era Debt Solutions is issuing caution to consumers in the
wake of the newly enacted CARD Act.
Although the rate cannot be raised in the first year after an account is
opened or unless its 60 days past due, there is no cap on the interest
rates. This
leaves consumers at serious risk for major debt. Statements will indicate how many
months it will take you to pay off a
balance within three years, however, most people already have been
making payments on their credit card debt for years. According to the
White House Office of the Press Secretary, nearly 80 percent of American
families have a credit card, and 44 percent of families carry a balance
on their credit cards. Consumers with older accounts must now be
informed of any interest rate
increase on new charges at least 45 days in advance. Most people cannot
pay off their total debt in less than 45 days, putting them at risk for
increased rates.

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Target Annual & 4Q/09 Card Performance

Target reported its 2009 credit card segment average receivables decreased 10.2% to $8.1 billion in 2009 from $9.1 billion in 2008 while average receivables directly funded by Target declined 23.9% in 4Q/09 to $2.7 billion from $3.6 billion in 2008. Bad debt expense for 4Q/09 was $284 million in 2009, a 43.2% reduction from $500 million in 2008, thanks in large part to the addition of an increase in doubtful accounts. Credit card segment profit for the quarter was $39 million, compared with a loss of $135 million in fourth quarter 2008, while annualized segment pre-tax return on invested capital was 5.7% in 4Q/09, compared with negative 15.0 percent in 2008. Average receivables for fiscal 2009 decreased 4.0% to $8.4 billion from $8.7 billion in 2008 while average receivables directly funded by Target in 2009 declined 31.6% to $2.9 billion from $4.2 billion in 2008. For complete details on Target’s latest performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

TARGET CARD LOAN HISTORICAL
3Q/08: $8.7 billion
4Q/08: $8.7 billion
1Q/09: $8.4 billion
2Q/09: $8.2 billion
3Q/09: $8.0 billion
4Q/09: $8.1 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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RBR Research Shows NCR is a Leader in ATM Software

Research published by Retail Banking Research (RBR) shows that NCR Corporation is the world’s largest supplier of multivendor ATM middleware and applications. Substantially more financial institutions in North America rely on NCR’s “APTRATM” software suite than the next three providers combined while additional research shows NCR holds market share leads in Western Europe and Latin America. This research, according to The RBR “Multivendor Software 2010” study, was uncovered through interviews with 66 financial services organizations in 39 countries who collectively have deployed more than 310,000 ATMs. The study found that approximately 450,000 ATMs globally run multivendor software, a nearly 60 percent increase over the past two years. According to the report, NCR leads all providers with 29 percent of the global market share for ATM applications.

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MerchantWARE Mobile POS Met with Wide Acceptance

Merchant Warehous merchant accounts and credit card processing solutions announced significant traction of its mobile payment processing applications, namely for the iPhone, iPod Touch and Blackberry. Continued adoption of these applications and increase in their use has proved mobile processing is a very convenient means of conducting business while on the road for small and mid-sized businesses. Over 15,000 applications have been downloaded for the iPhone and Blackberry versions from Merchant Warehouse’s web site. On average Merchant Warehouse signs over 200 merchant accounts per month with their mobile applications. The phones apps, utilizing the “MerchantWARE Mobile” application, is synced with the MagTek Bluetooth credit card reader to encrypt all credit card data at the POS before it is accessed by the mobile device for secure transmission and storage at the Merchant Warehouse gateway and data vault. This ultimately allows for secure acceptance of credit cards on a portable POS.

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Discover Tops Customer Loyalty index

The Discover Card has been ranked in a tie for the top spot in the 2010 Brand Keys “Customer Loyalty Engagement Index” for the 13th consecutive year. The annual ranking from Brand Keys, a New York-based research consultancy, this year probed customers’ relationships with more than 518 brands in 71 categories. In addition to credit cards and direct banking products like certificates of deposit, money market accounts and online savings accounts, Discover offers an array of tools to help its customers spend smarter and manage debt better on the Financial Education Resources page of the company’s Web site.

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Space Coast CU&Fiserv Ink Debit Card Processing Agreements

Fiserv financial services technology solutions has inked a 5 year agreement with FL-based Space Coast Credit Union, a $3.2 billion credit union headquartered in Melbourne. The agreement covers debit, credit and ATM processing services for online banking and electronic bill payment. Space Coast Credit Union (SCCU) serves more than 360,000 members online at SCCU.com and through a network of 63 branches and 143 ATMs. The credit union selected the Fiserv services following an evaluation of the institution’s technology infrastructure, which was prompted by a merger with Eastern Financial Florida Credit Union (EFFCU) in June 2009.

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Nordstrom Reports 4Q/09 Earnings up 125% Y/Y

Nordstrom reported net
earnings of $172 million for the fourth
quarter ended January 30, 2010, an increase of 152%
compared with net earnings of $68 million for the year ago
period.
Fourth quarter same-store sales increased 6.9% compared with the
same period in fiscal 2008. Net sales in the fourth quarter were $2.54
billion, an increase of 10.3% compared with net sales of $2.30
billion during the same period in fiscal 2008.
Full-line same-store sales in the fourth quarter increased 3.9%
and sales for Nordstrom Direct increased 32.1%, combining for a
multi-channel same-store sales increase of 7.1% compared with the
same period in fiscal 2008.

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wGIFTCARD

Transaction Wireless (TW) mobile commerce, payment and marketing co has been selected as the business-to-business (B2B) virtual gift card solution provider for SpaFinder spa media and marketing company. This will allow SpaFinder to sell virtual gift cards in bulk quantities to its corporate clients worldwide, whom will be able to distribute the new electronic cards via email using TW’s “wGiftCard” technology. This agreement marks TW’s first international rollout of its virtual gift card solution, which will initially launch in North America and the U.K. and then be available in France, Italy, Spain and Germany in the coming months.

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