TOURISM CARD PROMO

The International Tourism Association (ITA) has launched its “National Tourism Card” International Promotion Program to promote 100 Chinese National Tourism Cards to the world. The program first started in China and will select 100 Chinese tourism cities and areas through international media, international conferences, international co-operations, and other international platforms and promotional week held around the globe throughout 2010. The ITA is assuring no stone goes unturned with material distributed in 150 countries, in 50 languages through 40,000 media points.

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DATACARD EXEC

Datacard Group secure ID and card personalization solutions has appointed John Di Leo Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Service. Di Leo has held leadership roles at NCR, most recently as the Regional VP for North America. In doing so, he was responsible for approximately $2B annual revenue while leading 300 sales and 300 service professionals. Previous NCR roles include VP, Network Sales, Managed and Professional Services. Di Leo holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Western Connecticut State University and a Master of Science in Business degree from Johns Hopkins University.

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EQUIFAX & 1010DATA

Equifax individual and household marketing data is now being made available to retailers on the 1010data analytics platform to combine internal transactional data with Equifax’s extensive marketing data. This partnership is designed to help retailers improve store site selection, merchandising, inventory effectiveness, product level assortments, promotional planning, as well as help improve customer loyalty programs. No longer forced to make decisions based on limited information, Equifax Marketing Data Suites offers marketers a much deeper view into consumers across financials, demographics, purchases, lifestyles, and life events. 1010data offers a data and analytics platform with a complete approach to performing the deepest analysis and getting the maximum insight directly from raw data.

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Clickatell Releases Mobile analysis

SMS communication provider Clickatell has released its first “Mobile State of the Union” analysis. The report evaluates the state of mobile banking capabilities and target markets.
According to the report, banks must consider their entire customer base when rolling out critical mobile services; and more specifically what happens to those who cannot be reached on a smart phone?
Four billion of us, however, can access SMS in seconds, from any phone.
In other regions of the world, SMS is being used for critical banking functions and other mobile services such as airtime top ups, bill payments, real-time payments, lottery, remittances, point of sale payments, and more. The US is concentrating heavily on the smart phone market, which has yet to reach critical mass adoption, which equates to future revenue. Most enterprises and financial institutions are clearly looking to increase the all-important bottom line today. Regardless, we believe US-centric companies will continue to focus on iPhone and other smart devices.

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CONSUMER SPENDING

Consumer sentiment rose 1.5 points to 35.4 in December among the working class, demonstrating people are now more willing to spend their money with big year-end sales and the Christmas season. Suggesting a stronger, quicker recovery is on the horizon, sentiment over the future of the economy rose 1.8 points to 36.3, thanks in large part to government stimulus packages and the rise of the yen. This, according to according to the Economy Watchers survey, concluded economic conditions in Japan rose for the first time in three months in December but the weakened economy had made conditions more difficult for households, a result expected to not end anytime soon.

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MasterCard Launches Advisors Merchant Solutions

MasterCard has introduced “MasterCard Advisors Merchant Solutions” to
provide robust reporting, modeling and consumer behavioral segmentation
capabilities. Advisors Merchant Solutions suite is made up of three distinct components:
“SpendingPulse”, a macro-economic indicator reporting on
national retail sales. Based on aggregate sales activity in the MasterCard
payments network coupled with survey-based estimates for certain other
payment forms such as cash and check, it has come to be one of the
timeliest and most accurate sources of information about consumer spending
activity; “Benchmark Analytics”, a web-based application that delivers
behaviorally-based competitive intelligence by analyzing merchant
performance against the industry category and/or a set of competitors,
nationally by state, all the way down to defined MSAs or DMAs. The insights
can inform critical decision making on advertising/marketing, buying and
merchandising, and retail operations and “Custom Marketing Solutions” which identifies cardholders of participating
banks that represent the best prospects for merchant marketing offers.
Leveraging actual behavioral data to identify best prospects, and
developing tailored offers geared to specific target segments, merchants
can efficiently drive customer acquisition, win back lapsed customers and
increase spend.

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SoftLayer& VeriSign Into ID Protection

TX-based IT provider SoftLayer is now offering the VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) two-factor authentication system.
The VIP system requires a unique security code in addition to a user
name and password to access an online account. Each time a user wants
to access their account, they create a new security code via a VIP
“credential”—a VIP Security Card, VIP Security Token, or the new VIP
Access for Mobile application for iPhone or Blackberry. Requiring the
security code significantly increases security; user names and passwords
can be guessed or otherwise discovered, but users alone have access to
their VIP credential and can generate a valid code. VIP is available
free of charge for one user for all SoftLayer customer accounts, and
only $3/month for each additional active user.

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Datacard Appoints New VP for Global Sales

Datacard Group secure ID and card personalization solutions has
appointed John Di Leo Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Service.
Di Leo has held leadership roles at NCR, most recently as the Regional
VP for North America. In doing so, he was responsible for approximately
$2B annual revenue while leading 300 sales and 300 service
professionals. Previous NCR roles include VP, Network Sales, Managed and
Professional Services. Di Leo holds a Bachelors of Science degree from
Western Connecticut State University and a Master of Science in Business
degree from Johns Hopkins University.

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AmEx Membership Partners Offer More Rewards

American Express has forged new partnerships to offer Membership Rewards
with more choice, flexibility and attainable rewards in financial
services, travel, shopping, and dining and entertainment with
redemptions for as low as 200 points at over 2,000 locations and 23 new
hotel properties. Most notably, the new Membership Rewards points can be
used toward federal, state and local income tax payments when filing
through Pay1040 (pay1040.com) and Official Payments Corp. Due to
increased popularity and demand for travel reward options in Las Vegas,
American Express has added many Las Vegas hotel properties to the
Membership Rewards program to greatly expands the choice and variety for
a broader range of accommodations with redemption starting at 18,000
points. Other pertantent hotel properties are located in Florida and Los
Angeles CA. British Airways was recently added as a partner in the U.S.
Membership Rewards program, allowing miles redeemed for travel on
British Airways and Oneworld partner airlines to 150 destinations around
the world.

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Equifax& 1010data Offer Marketing Data

Equifax individual and household marketing data is now being made available to retailers on the 1010data analytics platform to combine internal transactional data with Equifax’s extensive marketing data. This partnership is designed to help retailers improve store site selection, merchandising, inventory effectiveness, product level assortments, promotional planning, as well as help improve customer loyalty programs. No longer forced to make decisions based on limited information, Equifax Marketing Data Suites offers marketers a much deeper view into consumers across financials, demographics, purchases, lifestyles, and life events. 1010data offers a data and analytics platform with a complete approach to performing the deepest analysis and getting the maximum insight directly from raw data.

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Conference Board Employment up 1.7%

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index (ETI) continued to rise in
December, its sixth consecutive increase to now stand at 91.8, up 1.7
percent from the November figure. This is down 5.2% since the year ago
figure, but was driven by positive contributions from all eight
components. The Employment Trends Index aggregates eight labor-market
indicators which include percentage of Respondents Who Say They Find
“Jobs Hard to Get”; Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance;
Percentage of Firms With Positions Not Able to Fill Right Now; number of
Employees Hired by the Temporary-Help Industry; part-Time Workers for
Economic Reasons (BLS); job Openings; industrial Production; and real
Manufacturing and Trade Sales.

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Online Holiday Shopping 30% Higher Y/Y

Tracking daily online shopping activity throughout the 2009 holiday
shopping season, the number of online shopping transactions
were 30% higher and total sales volume increased 17.3% over the year
ago period, thanks mostly to a 9.8% drop in average ticket value.
Compared to 2008, when sales
volume for the holiday season was up only 4.5% and ticket sales dropped
10% year over year, 2009 was the second straight year of declining
average tickets. This, according to Chase Paymentech merchant acquirer
and payment processing
proprietary “Cyber Holiday Pulse Index,” also showed the e-tailer
strengthening began as early as November, when transactions were up
26.5% and sales were up 11.1%, the strongest day seen on Cyber Monday.
Chase Paymentech processes an estimated 500 Internet payment
transactions per second and released its pulse
index data based on the measurements of daily transactions and purchase
volume from 50 of the
top U.S. retail Web merchants.

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