Cardtronics Names a New Chief Exec

Cardtronics has tapped Steven Rathgaber, previously President/COO of NYCE Payments Network, as its CEO.
During Rathgaber’s 18 years at NYCE, he served in a number of sales
and operating roles within that organization, including most recently
the position of President and Chief Operating Officer, which he assumed
in 2004 concurrent with the acquisition of NYCE by Metavante. During his
tenure at NYCE, Rathgaber was responsible for developing and leading
NYCE’s payment product expansion strategy, which included, among other
things, the launching of internet and mobile banking and payment-related
services. He was also responsible for NYCE’s domestic and international
expansion efforts, and oversaw the acquisition and integration of
numerous debit networks and transaction processing platforms. Prior to
joining NYCE, Rathgaber served in a number of operational management
roles with Automatic Data Processing, Inc. and Citibank. He
holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from St. John’s University.
In connection with the appointment of Rathgaber as the Company’s new
Chief Executive Officer, he was also elected to the Company’s board of
directors. Both the appointment and the election will become effective
February 1, 2010.

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Kiplinger’s Cites U.S. Bank FlexPerks

The U.S. Bank “FlexPerks Travel Rewards
Visa Signature” credit card has been named the “Best Credit Card if You
Want Travel Perks” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. “FlexPerks” was
chosen for its travel rewards that allow
customers to earn points toward free flights – which can be redeemed
with as few as 20,000 “FlexPoints” for airline tickets valued up to $400
on over 150 airlines with no blackout dates, capacity controls or award
e-ticket redemption fees, plus baggage allowances. Cardholders earn one
“FlexPoint” for each dollar spent, simply by using their “FlexPerks Travel
Rewards” card. “Double FlexPoints” can be earned automatically for gas,
groceries or airline purchases – whichever is highest for the customer
during the month. Customers have the flexibility to choose the rewards
they want with
“FlexPerks”‘. In addition to travel, customers can earn cash back,
merchandise or gift cards when they use their “FlexPerks” cards.
Cardholders also enjoy the universal acceptance that is available to
Visa card customers.

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Debit Cards Can Capture Mystery Spending

A new survey shows Americans lose track of about $21 in cash
spending each week, while young adults indicate they cannot account for
about $50 per week. Overall, debit cards ranked as Americans’ primary
payment method for personal and household expenses (37%),
considerably more than cash (22%). The survey for Visa also found 68%
of debit card users prefer to use their debit card instead of cash
whenever possible. About 75% of U.S. consumers using debit cards agree
the cards provide an easy way to track spending. Three in five U.S.
consumers who use a debit card say that using their debit card helps
keep their mystery spending to a minimum. Also, 63% of U.S. debit card
users find tracking their debit card spending helpful in sticking
to a budget. The Visa survey also reveals that Australians reported the
largest cash disappearance, both in terms of actual amount lost ($59)
and also percentage of total spend (34%). While adults in India reported
only $8 missing weekly, this is actually 31% of their total weekly cash
spend. Shopping for food or other groceries (43%), leisure shopping
and/or shopping for nonessentials (33%) and out for the night or
socializing (32%) were the top spending categories around the world
where consumers feel they lose track of spending.

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Microfinance Relaunches MIX Market

The Microfinance Information Exchange has re-launched the “MIX Market”
global platform for micro-finance data, analytics and business
information through a partnership with The MasterCard Foundation. Developed to help improve transparency in the rapidly growing but diverse
microfinance industry, MIX Market is an online marketplace for data,
analytics and
benchmarks on the institutions that provide financial services to the
world’s poor. The data base is the deepest in the industry, with financial,
operational and social performance data on more than 1400 microfinance institutions (MFIs)
throughout the developing world.
The website was redesigned and the underlying database rebuilt to allow for
the rapidly expanding network of microfinance institutions and their broader array
of products, services and metrics. The new platform also provides increased
functionality and tools for all users. MIX Market now includes the
availability of all content in English, Spanish, French and Russian, with Arabic content
coming online in early 2010.

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American Express OPEN Launches AcceptPay

American Express OPEN has launched “AcceptPay” online invoicing and
payment solution. “AcceptPay” is a new online solution that allows
business owners to create, send and track invoices – all in one place.
Through “AcceptPay,” customers can pay the invoice through a variety of
methods, including major credit and debit cards, eChecks, cash, or
checks. Resulting payments are deposited directly into the business
owner’s bank account. “AcceptPay” features and benefits include faster
payments: customer payments are deposited directly into a linked bank
account designated by the “AcceptPay” user; a variety of payment types:
Customers can choose multiple online payment options including major
credit and debit cards, eChecks, cash or checks; improved efficiency:
Business owners can create and send invoices, as well as track and
organize invoices, payments and outstanding receivables online – through
a single web-based portal; added financial control: Business owners can
track and view invoices and receivables via automated or custom reports.
All of these records can be seamlessly integrated into QuickBooks
software; ease of use: “AcceptPay” does not require a software download
or customer website. Every business owner, whether or not they are an
American Express OPEN Cardmember, is eligible to apply for “AcceptPay”
from American Express OPEN. There is no set up fee, and the service is
priced at $20/month. Any business owner can also register for
“AcceptPay” Lite, which is a free invoicing-only solution that provides
the opportunity to test the product.

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Intrix Upgrades its TranScend Paper EBPP

Intrix Technology B2B electronic payment processing
has released a new version of their “TranScend Paper” Electronic Invoice
and Bill Presentment application. A web-based electronic payment
processing system allowing businesses to send their customers a link to
electronic invoices via email, and to receive and process payments
online, “TranScend Paper” makes true straight through processing
possible. Hosted by Intrix, the new solution also allow buyers to make a
partial payment on undisputed line items while any issues are being
resolved and includes a “single sign on” option, allowing billers to
leverage their customers’ existing intranet passwords to access their
invoices and pay online.

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Zong Cited for New Product Innovation

Mobile payment platform provider Zong is the recipient of the ‘2009 Best
Practices Award for New Product Innovation-Mobile Payments” from Frost &
Sullivan.The award recognizes the Zong+ next-generation mobile payments
platform. Zong+, launched in October 2009, is the first online mobile
payment
platform to combine the convenience of carrier-based payments with the
flexibility of card payments. The new service allows merchants to
significantly increase revenue by reducing transaction fees and enabling
higher average purchase prices, while allowing consumers to make more
convenient and secure payments using their mobile phones. In addition,
Zong+ allows Zong to address new market segments, win additional
merchants and accelerate its end-user adoption rate benefiting all
value-chain participants. In order to determine the recipients of these
awards, Frost & Sullivan
analysts conduct a rigorous selection process, which includes evaluating
industry challenges and rating companies’ abilities to address them by
innovating elements of the product, leveraging leading edge
technologies, adding value for key stakeholders, and increasing customer
value while further penetrating the market. This industry accolade is
awarded by a company that has been dedicated to the analysis and
forecasting of high-tech markets since its inception in 1961.

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Consumers Establish Overall Spending Limits

With 36% planning on “saving more” with the New Year, American
consumers are reflecting more optimism, tempered with realism, after two
years of recession. Additional findings show 63% think stock prices will
go up in 2010 while 51% are expecting improvements in the housing
market, consumer confidence, consumer spending and unemployment.
However, 57% are expecting consumers to still spend less next year than
they did this year while only 40% are expecting a “much healthier”
economy in 2010. These findings, according to an online survey of 1,000
American conducted by Insight Express for Putnam Investments in
November, also shows 42% have established an overall spending limit for
the holiday season; 36% will pay for gifts only with cash; and 33% will
limit the number of people for whom they will buy gifts, 26% of which
are men vs 40% of women. Additional findings show 33% would pay down
personal debt if they received cash for a holiday gift this year; 17%
would use the cash to pay for daily living expenses; and 13% would save
it in an “emergency” fund.

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New Card Accounts Openings Down 46% Y/Y

The latest figures reveal the number of bankcard accounts opened in
September was 45% lower than one-year ago. Also, the percent of cards
issued to those with credit scores greater than 740 grew from about 30%
in 2007 to almost 51% so far this year. According to Equifax’s “Credit
Trend Report” year-to-date, the number of new accounts is down 46% from
the same period in 2008. According to CardWatch.com, the number of net
new accounts opened by the nation’s largest issuer, Chase, declined from
3.6 million for 3Q/08 to 2.4 million for 3Q/09. In the fourth quarter of
last year Chase opened 4.3 million net new accounts, but it collapsed to
2.2 million in the first quarter. Equifax says bankcard issuers
continued a year-long trend of closing accounts and reducing credit
lines. Card risk management programs have accelerated since July of
2008, reducing card credit lines by $803 billion and the number of
accounts by 93 million.

NEW ACCOUNTS
Sep 08: 4.3 million
Oct 08: 4.4 million
Nov 08: 4.5 million
Dec 08: 4.4 million
Jan 09: 2.3 million
Feb 09: 2.2 million
Mar 09: 2.1 million
Apr 09: 2.0 million
May 09: 2.0 million
Jun 09: 2.1 million
Jul 09: 2.1 million
Aug 09: 2.2 million
Sep 09: 2.2 million
Source: Equifax and CardWatch.com

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ScriptLogic Upgrades for PCI DSS

ScriptLogic has upgraded its Reporter 3.7 and File System Auditor 2.5, with enhancements that help
IT administrators and their companies comply with rules dictated by the
Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS).
To combat security breaches in which customers’ personal and financial
data have been compromised, several payment processing companies
developed PCI DSS, which establishes common processes and precautions
for handling, processing, storing and transmitting credit card data.
Several ScriptLogic products assist PCI compliance efforts by closely
controlling credit card information or creating reports to demonstrate
that controls are in place. While no single software product can address all PCI compliance
requirements, new versions of two ScriptLogic solutions play an
essential role in managing internal controls: “Enterprise Security Reporter 3.7”, an
agent-less reporting solution, audits, analyzes and reports on security
settings in Active Directory, Windows file servers, SharePoint® and SQL
servers. With a large number of turnkey reports and a wizard-based
report designer, IT administrators can quickly and easily generate and
customize reports highlighting specific information they need.
Enterprise Security Reporter 3.7 features a new report pack that maps
more than 60 existing reports to the PCI requirements that they support and “File System Auditor 2.5” which
audits and reports on file
activity on Windows servers. IT administrators can create formatted
reports and alerts showing who touched which files and folders, when and
on what servers. File system auditing is a key component of PCI
compliance, enforcing such requirements as implementing audit trails of
access to cardholder data and deploying file integrity monitoring
software.

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OCT LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Germany increased
0.6% while The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI)
decreased 0.3% in October. With the 0.6% increase, the Conference Board
LEI for Germany now stands at 93.5 (2004=100) after having increased
1.4% in September and having increased 1.9% in August. Meanwhile, the
CEI results for the month were preceded by a 0.4% increase in September
and a 0.1% decrease in August and now stands at 101.9 (2004=100). LEI
results for the month were attributed to positive gains in 6 of the 7
components in The Conference Board LEI, including yield spread, consumer
confidence, stock prices, gross enterprises and properties income,
inventory change series and new residential construction orders while
new orders in investment goods industries was the only negative contributor.

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MONEY DASHBOARD

Money Dashboard has launched its eagerly anticipated beta testing
program. Offering free online personal finance service for the UK
consumer, the new Money Dashboard solution brings a person’s bank
accounts, credit cards, store cards and loans together on one screen for
a clear up to the minute picture of their personal finances. The
personal finance application can be accessed from any PC, which can be
set to send email and text alerts of budget overspend, suspicious
transactions or important events. Testing the budgeting software is by
invitation only and thousands of people have already signed up to take
part. Independent of banks, building societies and lending
organisations, Money Dashboard puts people in control of their finances,
identifying suitable means to save.

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