EZ Card Kiosk Products Installed in Colorado Prisons

Kiosk provider Continental Prison Systems is installing its EZ Card and
Kiosk products in two Colorado correctional facilities. Clear Creek
County will incorporate a total of two kiosks: one for EZ Booking and EZ
Bail in the booking room area; the other for EZ Money
Load in the lobby area of the jail, allowing friends and family to
place money into the inmate’s trust account, using cash, credit card or
debit card. Montrose County will be using three kiosks: one for the
county’s EZ
Work Release program, allowing work release payments via the kiosk;
another for EZ Booking and EZ Bail in the booking room area; the third
for EZ Money Load in the lobby area of the jail, allowing friends and
family to place money into the inmate’s trust account, using cash,
credit card or debit card. EZ Money Load and EZ Bail can also be
accessed remotely via a secure
website or 24/7 bilingual toll-free service number, which accepts
credit and debit cards. The EZ Exit debit card service will also be
initiated by both county
jails during this installation phase, allowing the jails to issue
PIN-based debit cards to all inmates being released, instead of the
usual paper check from the facility.

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BC CARD & DISCOVER

Discover Financial Services Inks agreement with BC Card Korean payment
network to allow cardholders to utilize the Discover, Diners Club
International and PULSE networks for international purchases and cash
access outside of Korea. The long-term arrangement will result in
increased transaction volume on the Discover, Diners Club and PULSE
networks outside of Korea, where Korean cardholders spent $12.6 billion
in 2008 on international expenditures, according to the Korea Tourism
Organization. BC Card was founded in 1982, is the largest domestic
payments network in Korea with over 32% market share in one of the
world’s top credit card markets and has over 52 million cards in Korea
today issued by 11 financial institutions. This is part of a series of
strategic alliances Discover has entered into strategic alliances with
China UnionPay and JCB to provide valuable access to its acceptance
footprint.

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Aite Group Research Shows Payment Vendor Market Progress

New research from Aite Group examines the progress in biller direct
and walk-in bill payment vendors.
The biller direct and walk-in bill payment market remains heavily
dominated by in-house processing, although third-party vendors have
carved a niche in handling Web, call-center/IVR, walk-in, and
kiosk-originated payments. Vendors have strong organic growth
opportunities from consumers and small businesses shifting from paper to
electronic payments, as evidenced by the growth of bill payments
processed via the biller direct and walk-in channels.
Vendors mentioned in the report include Alacriti, BNY Mellon, FIS,
Fiserv, IPP of America, JPMorgan Chase, Kubra, MoneyGram, Online
Resources, Oracle, Tier Technologies, and Western Union.

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AmEx Launch Card Loyalty Design Program

American Express has launched “LoyaltyEdge” and is working with its
business partners to shape loyalty programs. LoyaltyEdge provides
end-to-end services in a one-stop-shop – from designing the rewards
program to providing the redemption options and fulfillment to analyzing
redemption patterns and behaviors to help
inform future marketing strategies. LoyaltyEdge will work with business
partners to understand their loyalty program needs and objectives, and
identify which offerings best meet those objectives. Then, leveraging
American Express’ vast network of partners, capabilities, and unique
customer insights, LoyaltyEdge will provide an individually tailored
“plug and play” solution for business partners. LoyaltyEdge can deliver
a full range of loyalty program services based
on partner needs, including: valuable customer insights; program design
and execution;
expanded loyalty and redemption options as well as fulfillment
capabilities; customer service solutions;
targeted and segmented marketing and loyalty and cost management analytics.

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Card Fee Income Tops 54% of Total Bank Income

Card fee income as a percentage of total revenue is larger for banks at 54% of total bank revenue when compared to their credit card divisions at 47% of total card revenue. Banks charge loan origination fees, up front mortgage points, investment banking fees, stop payments fees, checking and savings minimum balance account fees and ATM fees, all of which help account for the higher percentage of total revenue and which prime and super prime cards typically do not charge. This, according to an R.K. Hammer 2010 release from a series of six year-end credit card metric reports published each January on how credit card fee income compares with bank fee income, which shows card fee income is escalating rapidly. The Hammer model concludes Credit card fee income will surpass card interest income within the next few years; card interest from revolving loan balances is falling each year in significance to total income compared to fee income; and late fees and over limit fees which presently average $29 per event in our model are forecast to rise to $49 and higher in the coming years.

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Discover Inks Acceptance Agreemnts with BC Card

Discover Financial Services Inks agreement with BC Card Korean payment
network to allow cardholders to utilize the Discover, Diners Club
International and PULSE networks for international purchases and cash
access outside of Korea. The long-term arrangement will result in
increased transaction volume on the Discover, Diners Club and PULSE
networks outside of Korea, where Korean cardholders spent $12.6 billion
in 2008 on international expenditures, according to the Korea Tourism
Organization. BC Card was founded in 1982, is the largest domestic
payments network in Korea with over 32% market share in one of the
world’s top credit card markets and has over 52 million cards in Korea
today issued by 11 financial institutions. This is part of a series of
strategic alliances Discover has entered into strategic alliances with
China UnionPay and JCB to provide valuable access to its acceptance
footprint.

Details

Americans More Confident in Own Finances Than the U.S. Economy

A majority of American consumers believe their personal finances are improving, but are less optimistic about the broader economy with 57% disclosing they have turned the corner on their own finances and 39% believe the U.S. economy is improving. This, according to the Chase Card Services “2010 Personal Finance Confidence Survey” of 1,000 American consumers about personal finances and the economy in the new year, also showed 72% trust themselves most when it comes to managing their personal finances. Additional findings show 57% believe their personal finances have turned the corner and are getting better; 10% believe their personal finances will get worse; 52% say they do not feel in complete control of their finances; 68% say they would benefit from better ways to manage their personal finances; and 54% believe the economy is not improving, including 35% who believe the economy will get worse and the 39% whom believe the economy is getting better.

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Wintegra Launches New Processor & Processing Software

Communication products provider Wintegra has released the “Winpath3-SuperLite” processor.
The WinPath3-SuperLite includes a high performance MIPS 34K core running
up to 650 MHz for control path processing. Various versions of the
WP3-SL are available for different markets. This new device, plus Wintegra’s production quality
software opens a new range of price sensitive applications like
microwave backhaul, low cost wireless aggregation line cards, enterprise
femto and pico base stations, access routers, business IADs, and VDSL
and PON pizza boxes. It offers up to 24 10/100
Ethernet ports, six 1 Gb Ethernet ports or three 2.5 Gb Ethernet
interfaces. For TDM designs it has up to 16 E1 or T1 ports. It also
provides connectivity to POS and UTOPIA devices and PCIe. It provides
ample performance for its target markets, up to 6 Mpps including
classification, policing and shaping, yet will be less than 5 watts in
most configurations. Support is provided for low-cost DDR2 and DDR3
external memories which enable market leading lowest cost system designs.

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PacketMotion Launches PacketSentry Virtual Segmentation PCI-DSS Mandate

User Activity Management provider PacketMotion has released its new “PacketSentry” with
Virtual Segmentation solution to meet PCI-DSS compliance mandates.
Consisting of “PacketSentry Manager” and “Probe”, “PacketSentry with
Virtual Segmentation” manages multiple control activities concurrently,
including privileged user controls, in-scope systems change management,
and data access audits. PacketSentry is comprehensive enough to adapt to
ever-changing controls to accommodate PCI DSS requirements that are
updated frequently, addressing one of the industry’s biggest challenges
to meeting PCI DSS compliance mandates. Finally, the solution delivers
cost reductions that can benefit enterprises in terms of internal threat
security as well. PacketSentry with Virtual Segmentation features no
in-line appliances (so no potential impact to applications) and control
policies based on Microsoft’s Active Directory group membership.
PacketMotion’s User Activity Management (UAM) solutions enable mid- to
large-sized enterprises to simplify and lower the cost of meeting their
compliance/audit requirements while
delivering security functionality such as the ability to immediately
stop user behavior that violates internal policies.

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Discover Small Business Economic Confidence Up for the Month

More small business owners are planning to increase business development
spending over the next six months, with 25% noting they will spend more
on activities such as advertising, inventories and capital expenditures,
up from 18% in December. Additionally, 28% plan to make no changes and
45% will decrease spending, down from 51% in December. This, according
to the Discover Small Business Watch, which is up 85.5 from 77.0 in
December, also showed 29% of small business owners see conditions for
their own businesses getting better in the next six months, an
improvement from 22% in December and 19% in November; 43% see conditions
getting worse, 23% expect things to stay the same, and 4% aren’t sure.
Small business owners who think the economy is getting better rose to
31% in January, up from 25% last month; 46% see the economy getting
worse, down from 49% in December; 18% see the economy staying the same
and 4% are not sure. Only 8% rate the economy as good or excellent, up
from 4% in December; 34% rate the current economy as fair; and 58% rate
it as poor.

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ABA Issues Call for Financial Regulation

The American Bankers Association has issued a statement regarding its
call for financial regulatory reform. The ABA recommendations for regulatory reform include the creation of a
systemic risk regulatorv to look over the entire economy to identify
potentialsystemic problems and put forth solutions; to be nimble and
focused, not involved in day-to-day regulation; to access information
held by existing regulators and askfor more if needed and to have an
explicit role in oversight of accounting policy. The ABA also seeks to
end “Too-Big-to-Fail” and create a resolution mechanism to unwind
systemically important institutions; narrow the range of circumstances
that might trigger the need for government to step in and resolve
entities viewed as too big or too important to fail; fill the gaps in
the regulation of non-banks to apply bank-like regulation to the
less-regulated and unregulated financial sector; ensure that similar
activities and products are subject to similar regulation and capital
requirements and prevent the so-called “shadow banking system” from
undermining the entire system by abusing consumer and investor trust.
The ABA also wants to improve consumer protection to require more focus,
greater coordination and more accountability by regulators to include a stronger focus on, and
authority over, the shadow banking system to avoid conflicts with
prudential regulation, both in creation of rules and in enforcement and examination and to preserve the
role of Congress in setting consumer laws,
together with the flexibility and full authority of UDAP rulemaking.

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Citi Resumes Corporate Operations in Haiti

Citi has resumed service to corporate customers in Haiti. Citi has
relocated its operations and until further notice, will operate at
ScotiaBank Building, Angle Rues Louverture et Geffrard, Petion-Ville,
Haiti. The Haitian office lost five of its employees. It has operated
in Haiti since 1971. Citi has approximately
200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 140
countries. Through Citicorp and Citi Holdings, Citi provides consumers,
corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of
financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit,
corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction
services, and wealth management.

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