Credit CARD Provides Consumers Protection

Consumers will get relief from predatory credit card lending practices starting on February 22 when the Credit CARD Act of 2009 goes into effect. With this, card issuers will have to abide by a new set of rules that aim to rein in unfair interest rate hikes and fees, following big interest rate hikes in recent months. The Bill will limit interest rate hikes on the existing balance and can never go up on an existing balance unless it’s a variable rate card, a promotional rate has expired, or the cardholder is more than 60 days late on payment. The Credit CARD Act will also restrict how long penalty interest rates can last after late payments to six months if on time payments are made; credit card companies can’t move the due date to try to trick the cardholder into making a late payment; can’t charge an over-the-limit fee unless you have asked your credit card company to allow transactions that exceed your credit limit; and any amount paid above the minimum payment must be applied first to your balance with the highest interest rate.

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CARD DEBT

MoneySolve reports that with a growing debt problem and an ever increasing reliance on credit, experts are forecasting a substantial increase in those seeking credit card debt consolidation or restructuring or some sort. Personal insolvencies are already at their highest since records began and it is feared that our consumer society’s plastic habits could lead to even higher figures over the coming years. Recently released statistics from Credit Action include APACS figures indicate that as of 2008 there were more credit cards in the UK than people. Credit card debt continues to soar, with a collective personal credit card debt in the UK now sitting at Pounds Sterling 54.5 billion! This equates to Pounds Sterling 5,129 per person.

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TXVIA To Process Univision Prepaid Cards

Network system payment processor TxVia will process gift and general
purpose reloadable cards for Univision Communications.
The Univision Prepaid MasterCard Card® (Tarjeta Univision MasterCard
Prepagada, which will be available nationally in 2010, and the
Univision MasterCard Gift Card® (Tarjeta de Regalo Univision
MasterCard), which is available at www.Univision.com/TarjetaDeRegalo,
are issued by The Bancorp Bank pursuant to license from MasterCard
International Incorporated. The Bancorp Bank; Member FDIC. .
TxVia offers the most advanced processing technology for network-based
payment systems. The solutions encompass fully integrated, end-to-end
issuing, acquiring and network processing for a range of payment
products including prepaid, debit, credit and hybrids.

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TSYS Execs To Speak at 2010 Prepaid Expo

Payment outsourcer TSYS announced that Ashim Banerjee and Mark
O’Leary are set to appear at the upcoming 2010 Prepaid Card Expo in
Las Vegas on Feb. 23. Banerjee, chief information officer of TSYS Acquiring Solutions,
will serve on a panel, titled “State of the Market: Mobile, Virtual&
Next Generation Products and Customers,” on Tuesday, February 23. Mr.
Banerjee will speak to the promise and potential of the mobile channel
to enable the consumer to interact with each component of their personal
commerce experience when and where they choose — online or in the
physical world. O’Leary, senior vice president of business development of TSYS
Healthcare, will serve on a panel, titled “Healthcare Electronic Payment
Systems’ Approach to Fraud,” on Tuesday, February 23. Mr. O’Leary will
be joined on the panel by Ralph Bernstein of U.S. Bank Healthcare
Payment Solutions and William Short of AmeriFlex. They will discuss the
advancement of technology in healthcare payment processing and how the
structure, tools and standardization of payment cards allow participants
to authorize and confirm a payment in seconds while mitigating fraud
from the beginning of the transaction.

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SIM-based Pilot Program Debuts at 2010 M-Congress

GSMA, Samsung, Telefónica, and Visa, together with Giesecke& Devrient,
Ingenico, ITN International and La Caixa have announced the arrival of
contactless mobile payments. The partnership has brought the first ever
SIM-based NFC payments pilot to Mobile World
Congress in Barcelona. The participating companies have provided more
than 400 NFC handsets to guests for use at the Congress. The Samsung Star NFC handsets contain
Telefónica SIM cards from O2 pre-loaded with EUR60 airtime credit as well
as a La Caixa Visa Mobile Payment Application. Participants can use
their NFC phones to pay up yo EUR75 at over
30 merchant locations around the Congress by holding their Samsung NFC mobile phone against the contactless
terminal for purchases under EUR10. Purchases over EUR10, however, require a passcode which the participant keys into
the handset before presenting it to the terminal, deducted from their La Caixa Visa account.

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Complex Community CU and TNB Market Card Program

TX-based Complex Community Credit Union has been working with card processor TNB Card Services, resulting
in a 13% increase in new card accounts.
The credit union developed and implemented a company-wide card product
training program. It created materials that compared the Complex
Community card to national cards and other local issuers. The training
materials also contained sales tips and hints on how to initiate
conversations about the card with members. The credit union initiated an incentive program designed to motivate and
reward employees to sell the card. Incentives were offered for three
months, with an overall goal of doubling the number of new cardholders
from 18 to 36 each month. The credit union more than tripled the target
of 120, adding more than 350 new card accounts in the three-month period.
Complex Community Credit Union serves 11 counties in
west Texas with assets of more than $240 million.

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Payment Processing Intros PCI Score Website

Payment Processing has rolled out www.freePCIscore.com, a website that
enables software developers to take a survey that gives a “Payment
Application Risk Score” to provide guidance for PCI compliance. The
score’s meaning is explained for the developer, and potential next steps
are provided. The site is particularly timely, given the July 1, 2010
mandates stating that acquirers must ensure their merchants, VNPs and
agents use only compliant applications.
In 2009, PPI processed in excess of $5.5 billion in Visa and MasterCard
payments. We provide developers with a full range of in-house services
for building and
promoting integrated payment solutions, including PPI-developed hosted
payment services, integration
support, customer support, marketing assistance and PA-DSS/PCI DSS
security services.

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BofA Subsidiary Launches Card Transfer Promo

MBNA Ireland Credit Cards is offering all Halifax customers 0% APR for
10 months on balance transfers, for anyone who will have to switch from
their current Halifax credit card. Normally reserved for new customers,
existing Halifax customers can benefit from MBNA’s 0% APR on balance
transfers, money transfers and credit card checks for 10 months, with a
rate of 14.9% APR (variable) thereafter and on card purchases. Those who
switch are given an instant decision on the application; total control
with an online account; on-line security and no annual fee for use in
over 20 million places around the world.

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Heartland Reports 4Q/09 and Full Year Results

NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems posted a fourth quarter GAAP net loss of $9.6 million while total revenue was up USD34million to USD420 million, compared to 4Q/08. Net revenues in the fourth quarter were USD105.1 million, up 5.0% from the year ago period while Small and Mid-Sized merchant (SME) transaction processing volume totaled USD14.8 billion, also up 5.0% year over year. Operating margin on net revenue of 10.0% as a result of continued investment in the Company’s growth platforms, compared to an operating margin of 13.9% in the fourth quarter of 2008. Adjusted Net Income and Earnings per Share for fiscal 2009 were $29.3 million compared to GAAP earnings of $41.9 million in 2008. For complete details on Heartland Payment Systems’ second quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

HEARTLAND PAYMENT SYSTEMS REVENUES
3Q/08: $425 million
4Q/08: $386 million
1Q/09: $372 million
2Q/09: $417 million
3Q/09: $443 million
4Q/09: $420 million
Source: CardData (http://www.carddata.com)

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Hypercom and The McDonnell Group Ink JV Agreement

Hypercom and The McDonnell Group have entered into a
joint venture, “Phoenix Managed Networks,” to equip payment
processors, banks and retailers with
cost-effective data communications services for transaction-based
applications.
Under the JV, Phoenix Managed Networks has
acquired and will operate Hypercom’s “HBNet” secure transaction transport
business.
Thirteen HBNET network operators and staff have transitioned to the
joint venture. While financial details will remain undisclosed, The
McDonnell Group has acquired a majority interest in the partnership
and will be responsible for its day-to-day operations. Hypercom remains
a significant shareholder in the business. Phoenix Managed Networks
utilizes Hypercom’s HBNet network to speed the authorization and
processing of electronic transactions for retail point-of-sale,
financial, government, health care and other customers in dial, wireless
and IP POS markets. In addition, the company will utilize Hypercom’s
SmartPay gateway technology to support wireless and IP-initiated
transactions.

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HORIZON2010

Moody’s Investors Service has assigned provisional ratings to Senior Beneficial Interests backed by revolving, credit card, cash advance receivables for the Horizon2010 ABS.
The ratings address the expected loss posed to investors by the legal
final maturity date. Moody’s issues provisional ratings in advance of the final sale of the
securities. These ratings, however, represent Moody’s preliminary credit opinions only. Upon a conclusive review of the transaction and associated documentation, Moody’s will endeavor to assign definitive ratings to the securities. Definitive ratings may differ from provisional ratings. The provisional ratings are based on information received as of February 16, 2010. The Initial Entrustment Date is February 26, 2010 with a Scheduled Beneficial Interest Transfer Date of
March 10, 2010. The Revolving Period is from March 2010 to February 2012 with an expected Maturity Date of February 24, 2014 for credit card cash advance receivables. The Seller will entrust a pool of eligible credit card cash advance receivables and cash to the Asset Trustee, which will then issue a Senior Beneficial Interest, a Subordinated Beneficial Interest, and a Seller’s
Beneficial Interest.

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RS Software Embeds MicroStrategy Technology

RS Software business solution provider for payment card processors and networks has entered into an OEM agreement with MicroStrategy business intelligence software and plans to embed MicroStrategy software into its “RSIntellect” solution. By incorporating MicroStrategy’s reporting and analytical capabilities into “RSIntellect,” RS Software will enable its customers to gain timely insights into vast amounts of data to help them improve operational performance, validate business strategies, maximize revenues, and make informed business decisions. “RSIntellect” combines the power of MicroStrategy’s reporting and analytical capabilities with its proprietary data model and business logic modules. “RSIntellect” also provides a proprietary implementation methodology designed to reduce implementation cost and time.

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