AmEx Offers NYC & Company’s NYC Extreme

American Express Cardholders have exclusive access to top fashion designers during the “NYC & Company’s NYC Extreme
Local” event. From December 7 – December 11, Diane von Furstenberg, Phillip Lim and
Tory Burch, along with J. Crew and Intermix, will invite American
Express Cardmembers into their stores for after-hours, private
Cardmember-only shopping events. Cardmembers will enjoy exclusive personal shopping experiences with top stylists and
select designers to help find the perfect holiday gift; private Cardmember hours to avoid the holiday crowds and a
special gift with purchase while supplies last. In addition to the private shopping events, Cardmembers can get a $50
statement credit when they use any registered American Express Card to
make a total of $300 in purchases at three or more NYC Extreme Local
participating retailers between now and December 20, 2009. To register an American Express Card and view a full list of the more
than 650 participating shops, restaurants and retailers, Cardmembers
must go to www.nycgo.com/x. NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership
organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel
and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building
economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City
worldwide.

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Nilson Ranks USAT Among the Top in POS

CA-based The Nilson Report has again ranked USA Technologies among the leading shippers of
point-of-sale (POS) terminals in the United States.
USA Technologies was ranked 6th in the United States after worldwide
giants VeriFone, Ingenico, Hypercom, First Data/Link Point, and Way
Systems. No direct competitors of the USA Technologies in the beverage
vending industry are listed in the report. The ePort solution offers cashless payment options, from traditional
magnetic stripe, to wireless contactless tap-and-go credit/debit cards,
pre-paid solutions, and NFC payment using a cellular phone. The Company recently announced an increase in the number of devices
connected to the USALive® Network to approximately 60,000. The Company
also announced that it projected 114,000 devices would be connected to
its network by the end of December 2010.

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Webloyalty Defends Against Abuse Charges

CT-based online marketer Webloyalty issued a response to the Senate
Commerce Committee’s investigation into the process of charging
membership fees for discount membership clubs. According to the site, “Webloyalty cannot and will not enroll a consumer in one of our discount
membership programs without that individual’s express consent, and,
contrary to widely published reports, enrolling in our discount clubs
requires more than a single mouse click. Consumers are shown a full-page solicitation offering one of
Webloyalty’s programs for $12 per month after a 30-day free trial period
and a $10 cash back incentive for trying the service. If consumers wish
to accept the offer to join the program, they must enter an email
address twice and, as of August, 2009, must enter the last 4 digits of
their credit or debit card to indicate consent to have that card billed
for the membership following the free trial period. The consumer then
clicks the “YES! Click Here to Sign Up” button, [e]nter the last 4 digits of your credit or debit card and your email
address as your electronic signature to confirm that you have read and
agree to the Offer and Billing Details and authorize
to securely transfer your name, address and credit or debit card
information to for billing after your 30-day
free trial.” After the consumer has consented, the consumer’s billing
information is passed from the e-commerce partner to Webloyalty in an
encrypted format that ensures security and protects privacy.”
Webloyalty.com provides consumers with easy to access dining, shopping and travel discounts and
additional travel and protection benefits.

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RedFin Network Repositions its E-Brand

Secured Financial Network has rolled out the a redesigned website for its
owned subsidiary RedFin Network with a focus on easy access to RedFin Network’s product lines, services, and support, as
well as showcasing the company’s brand positioning and strength in the
market. RedFin Network owns and operates a Level 1 (PCI) Certified payment
gateway known throughout the industry as The RedFin Gateway. RedFin
Network exclusively provides 24/7 Class A support, distribution,
wireless activation, billing and fulfillment for Blue Bamboo products
and services in the Americas. RedFin Network services ISO/MSP acquiring
companies while managing The RedFin Gateway, and POS terminal /
solutions helpdesk.

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2009 Online Holiday Sales Edge Up by 3%

For the holiday season-to-date, $12.26 billion has been spent online, marking a 3% increase versus the corresponding days last year. “Cyber Monday” reached $887 million in online spending, up 5% versus year ago, and matching the heaviest online spending day on record. comScore reports that “Cyber Monday’s” 5% growth in sales versus a year ago was driven primarily by an increase in the number of buyers, reflecting consumers’ increasing familiarity and comfort with online buying, while average spending per buyer was down slightly, presumably a result of economic constraints. Specifically, the number of online buyers grew 6% to 8.7 million, while the average dollars spent per buyer declined 2% to $102.19. On “Cyber Monday” this year, more than half of dollars spent online at U.S. Web sites originated from work computers (52.7%), representing a gain of 2.3 percentage points from last year.

2009 Holiday Season
($ millions)
2007 2008 2009 CHNG
Nov 1 – Dec 1 $12,217 $12,025 $12,262 +3%
Pre-Thanksgiving $10,035 $9,588 $9,876 +3%
Thanksgiving and Later $ 2,182 $2,437 $2.536 +4%
Thanksgiving Day $ 272 $288 $318 +10%
Black Friday $ 531 $534 $595 +11%
Thanksgiving Weekend $ 645 $769 $805 + 5%
Cyber Monday $ 733 $846 $887 + 5%
Source: comScore

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MFI Benchmarks to be Released in December

The Microfinance “Information Exchange” business information and data services provider for the global microfinance industry released its latest data set, the “2008 MFI Benchmarks,” the first of its kind to reflect the impact of the financial crisis and the subsequent global economic slowdown on microfinance providers.The benchmarks cover financial and performance data from 1084 MFIs (microfinance institutions) throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America for calendar year 2008. The 2008 MFI Benchmarks will be featured in the #19 issue of MicroBanking Bulletin, due out Dec. 30 from MIX and is available for download at: www.themix.org.

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NewPage to Offer Ceridian Payroll Cards

Coated paper manufacturer NewPage Corporation will use Ceridian’s payroll, HR, tax filing and other
services to support its HR management needs. NewPage has
approximately 7,800 salaried, hourly and hourly union employees located
in multiple states and Canada. NewPage’s size and geographic diversity
make it a challenging HR environment to manage, but one especially well
suited to Ceridian’s expertise. For their part, the NewPage team was not only looking for HR and payroll
solutions that worked, but a team with whom they could partner to
produce best practices and most importantly provide NewPage employees
with an excellent experience. The open, frank discussions during the RFP
process set the stage for real chemistry between the two teams.
In early 2008 Ceridian released the
industry’s first HR/payroll management solution that managed payroll and
related HR services for both Canada and the U.S.

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Twitter Co-Founder Intros Square Payments

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced this week a new company that enables merchants and individuals to accept secure payment from credit cards using a mobile phone. The new “Square” company aids a merchant by attaching a card-reading dongle to the smartphone’s audio input — or any device with an audio input jack. According to Square’s website, payees can start accepting payments via Square in under 60 seconds, with “no contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs.” The company donates one cent from every transaction to the charity of the payer’s choice. In order to streamline the process, payees can register for Square and upload a photo, so that payees can verify that you are who you say you are. Square is backed by Khosla Ventures and a team of angels. Square, Inc. has offices in San Francisco (Product & Engineering), Saint Louis (Operations), and New York City (Risk & Partnerships).

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PROSPER.COM EXEC

Prosper.com P2P lending marketplace has appointed Nick Talwar as Chief
Revenue Officer to oversee revenue and customer growth for the company.
As the former head of Citibank Sweden, he oversaw the quintupling of the
customer base, doubling assets and the introduction of Citi as a leading
credit card business. Prior to this, he launched and served as the
business head for Flexible Equity Lending and as head of sales and
strategy for Citi’s credit card business in EMEA. This after having
served as a founding Director of Schwab Bank and beginning his career at
Bain & Company. Nick holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the
University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in International Politics and
International Economics from The School of Foreign Service at Georgetown
University.

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Elan Financial Signs Peoples Bank

Peoples Bank has signed a joint marketing agreement with Elan Financial Services
to serve the credit card needs of Peoples Bank clients. As of January 1,
that date, all credit card products and promotions will be offered through Peoples Bank
branded credit cards and serviced by Elan. Since 2004, Peoples Bank has accessed credit card providers through
joint marketing agreements to make available competitive credit card offerings to
Peoples Bank clients. Elan offers enhancements such as traditional low rate credit cards,
rewards cards, and cards for building or re-establishing credit. Elan is a single
source for a wide range of credit card products for consumer and business customers.
Peoples Bancorp Inc. is a diversified financial products and services
company with $2.0 billion in assets, 47 locations and 39 ATMs in Ohio, West Virginia and
Kentucky.

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ADS and KeyCorp Extend Epsilon Deal

ADS’ Epsilon subsidiary has signed an extension agreement with
OH-based KeyCorp to continue providing direct marketing services to
KeyCorp’s KeyBank, through Epsilon’s agency,
“Purple@Epsilon”. Under the terms of the extension agreement,
“Purple@Epsilon” will remain
KeyBank’s direct marketing agency-of-record, providing services that
include integrated direct marketing strategy, direct mail production and
analytic support. Epsilon’s team will focus on approximately 14 KeyBank
lines of business, including consumer, small business, large corporate,
wealth management, and more. The goals of the direct marketing efforts
are to retain and cross-sell existing KeyBank customers, as well as
acquire new KeyBank customers. In addition to assisting KeyBank with
strategic planning and development
of its direct marketing programs, Epsilon will design the direct mailers
that promote KeyBank’s products and services, which range from checking
accounts and lines of credit to treasury management products and
investment services. Beyond creative design, Epsilon will print and
personalize the mail kits. Epsilon will also provide data and analytic
services, such as data modeling, prospect list procurement and data file
cleansing to help KeyBank target the right audience, maximize postal
discounts, reduce the amount of undeliverable direct mail, and optimize
overall marketing spend on campaigns.

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U.S. QSR Card Volume to Drop Slightly in 2009

Payment card volume for U.S. fast food sales is set to fall by two percentage points this year. Consumers will likely rack-up $69 billion worth of fast food on their personal credit and debit cards this year, compared to $70 billion one-year ago. The 40% CAGR in quick service restaurant volume between 2004 and 2008 was driven by expanded merchant acceptance, promotion of card usage and new contactless payment options, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). The current economic turmoil has given new energy to “dollar” menus which has been driving payment card growth. Americans spend about $195 billion per year at quick service restaurants.

QSR ON PLASTIC HISTORICAL
2000: $ 1.7 billion
2001: $ 3.7 billion
2002: $ 6.1 billion
2003: $12.9 billion
2004: $22.5 billion
2005: $33.2 billion
2006: $51.3 billion
2007: $62.8 billion
2008: $70.4 billion
2009: $68.9 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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