AmEx Reports $365 MM 4Q/09 Profit

American Express reported a $365 million 4Q/09 profit for its U.S. card
services business, following a $109 million profit in the third quarter
and $64million in 4Q/08. Total revenues net of interest expense for the
fourth quarter decreased 4% to $3.1 billion, driven by lower commissions
and fees, as well as lower net card fees. Provisions for losses totaled
$346 million compared to $1.1 billion in the year-ago period, reflecting
lower loan volumes and improvements in charge card and lending credit
trends. The net loan write-off rate was 7.5%, down from 8.9% in the
third quarter and up from 6.7% a year ago. Owned net write-offs were
8.0% in the quarter, down from 9.8% in the third quarter and up from
7.0% a year ago. Marketing, promotion, rewards and cardmember services
expenses increased 23% from year-ago levels thanks to increased marketing
investments and higher volume-related rewards costs.

American Express U.S. Card Metrics
Charge-Offs Delinquency Net Income
3Q/08: 5.9% 3.9% +$244 million
4Q/08: 6.7% 4.7% +$ 4 million
1Q/09: 8.5% 5.1% (-$ 25 million)
2Q/09: 10.0% 4.4% (-$200 million)
3Q/09: 8.9% 4.1% +$109 million
4Q/09: 7.5% 3.7% +365 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com) )

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Consumers Cutting Credit Debt Before Reform

Middle-class Americans are focusing on reducing debt, with 32% of Americans using credit cards less than they were a year ago and a mere 11% having increased their usage. Among the Americans aware of the credit card reform legislation, 22% are using their credit card less; 15% are paying more of their balance each month; 15% are paying off their balance in full each month; and 13% are permanently paying off all their credit cards. This, according to the lates First Command “Financial Behaviors Index,” also shows 61% of Americans in 2009 noticed potentially costly changes to their credit cards, with 40% reporting increased interest rates; 20% reporting increased late fees; 17% seeing decreased credit limits; and 11% seeing more late fees.

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Citi Mobile iPhone App introduced

Citi Credit card customers can now manage their card accounts using the “Citi Mobile” iPhone application. This allows consumers to quickly check account balances and available credit at any time with just a tap of the screen. The App also provides details on recent transactions, as well as the date on which the next payment is due, which can help prevent the accrual of fees from inadvertently late or missed payments. “Citi Mobile” is among the first mobile banking applications offered by a major U.S. Bank as an application specifically designed for the iPhone for fast and effortless as banking online.

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Westpac Bank to Deploy NCR ATMs

NCR Corporation has signed a multimillion dollar deal with Westpac New Zealand to implement the country’s most up-to-date, standards-compliant ATM network and help the bank offer better service at more than 400 devices by June of 2010. With this, more than 80% of the bank’s network will be replaced with NCR “SelfServ” ATMs to reduce costs and improve customer service while in new community branches Westpac will deploy the NCR “Teller Cash Recycler” (TCR) solution. With this agreement comes the necessary hardware and software, on-site maintenance, remote support and helpdesk services for up to nine years in renewable three-year terms. In conjunction, Westpac New Zealand will move to the NCR “APTRA” Edge software platform to host bill payment and on-screen interactive promotions.

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PYMNTS.com Focuses on mCommerce Platforms

The PYMNTS.com Briefing Room on Mobile Platform Wars focuses on the varying and sometimes competing approaches to mobile commerce currently in play, including NFC, barcode, SMS, and the development of applications for mobile platforms such as the iPhone and Google’s Android. Leading mobile players such as Fiserv and Mocapay express their views on “what’s next” in mobile payments. PYMNTS.com promotes the companies, products and people that drive “what’s next” in payments worldwide and is a joint venture between Berkshire Hathaway’s Business Wire and Market Platform Dynamics.

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Intelliden Launches Intelliden iAudit

Intelligent network automation solution provider Intelliden has launched “Intelliden iAudit”, a free, cloud-based applicationfor validating the compliance of network devices against configuration
policies. Intelliden iAudit provides an easy and quick way to validate a
device’s configuration against vendor guidelines for ACL, interface and
Open Shortest Path First (OSPF) authentication, and industry best
practices such as those recommended by the National Security Agency
(NSA) and Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).Intelliden iAudit leverages Intelliden’s award-winning Policy Based
Compliance Management (PBCM) application, which has been proven to be
effective at some of the world’s leading service providers and
enterprises. The comprehensive, on-premise version of Intelliden PBCM
automates the complete network compliance lifecycle including policy
definition, validation, resolution and reporting.

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Bank of the West Launches Money Saving Checking Account

Bank of the West has launched its “Choice ATM Checking” account offering to allow debit cardholders to withdraw cash from any financial institution’s ATM free of charge for the first year. Ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Retail Banks in the West Two Years in a Row” by J.D. Power and Associates in 2008 and 2009, Bank of the West made available the “Choice ATM Checking” account to refund surcharges assessed by other financial institutions for one full year; is set to eliminate fees on overdrafts of $5 or less; and charging no more than four overdraft fees per day. The new solution is available to consumers in California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon and in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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TSYS Reports 2009 Revenues of $1.7MM

TSYS posted total revenues for 2009 of $1,734.9 million, an increase of 0.8%, and total revenues for 4Q/09 of $430.9 million, a decrease of 0.4% as compared to last year. On a reported basis,
total revenues declined 2.0% for the year to $1,688.1 million while total revenues increased 0.5% for the quarter to $434.8 million. TSYS outsourced payment services with issuer- and acquirer-processing technologies support consumer-finance, credit, debit, healthcare, loyalty and prepaid services for financial institutions and retail companies in the Americas, EMEA and Asia-Pacific regions.

TSYS REVENUE
3Q/08: $500 million
4Q/08: $439 million
1Q/09: $409 million
2Q/09: $412 million
3Q/09: $432 million
4Q/09: $431 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Chicago Sporting Teams Deploy Radiant POS Solution

Radiant Systems has deployed its Quest Venue Management POS solution at the United Center in Chicago, home of the Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks as well as host to more than 200 entertainment events each year. United ensures Radiant POS technology is aligned with its goal of providing service to the millions of guests who attend the arena’s events after evaluating all POS technology available in the marketplace. Radiant’s “Quest” solution, developed specifically for the stadiums and arenas industry, was chosen for its reliability along with the responsiveness and commitment of the Radiant team.

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Level 3 Awarded ATLANTIC-ACM Best in Class

Level 3 Communications has received the “ATLANTIC-ACM 2010 Global
Wholesale Best in Class Award for Data Value.”The award is based on the ATLANTIC-ACM 2010
Global Wholesale Report Card
study, which compiles customer feedback via online surveys. Customers
evaluate each carrier that they work with in a number of operational
categories, and also rate voice and data products for both quality and
price. The Data Value award is based on the combined average score for
quality and price across all data products. Level 3 was recognized for a
broad portfolio of data transit and transport services, including:
IP Transit, IP WAN, High Capacity Transport, Low Capacity Transport and
Ethernet Transport. The award recognizes Level 3’s leadership in delivering data network
services to meet the wholesale communications needs of global carriers.
Level 3 was one of two companies to receive the award for data value in
2010.

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Credit Card ABS Strong Regardless of Safeguards

Credit card ABS ratings performance would have been quite stable even without various safeguards implemented by bank issuers to ward off downgrades in response to the economic slowdown. Card issuers such as Bank of America (BofA), Chase and Citibank, for example, chose to mitigate credit declines by implementing discount options and additional subordinate tranches to strengthen credit enhancement on existing credit card ABS. Fitch Ratings is projecting both chargeoffs and defaults to continue testing record highs throughout this year as unemployment continues to rise, but ratings on senior credit card ABS tranches to remain stable and could absorb chargeoff rates of 30%-45%.

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