GLOBAL LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) globally is projected
to increase 3.5% in 2010. Advanced economies’ share of world GDP has
fallen from two-thirds in 2000 to below 50% and will hit one-third by
2016, according to the inaugural 2010 edition of The Conference Board
Global Economic Outlook. China will remain a dominant economic force,
but its growth will gradually slow as its transition proceeds to a
consumer-driven economy. The Conference Board Global Economic Outlook
2010 projects output growth for major regions of the world economy and
the world as a whole for 2009, 2010, and 2011-2016, and takes into
account macroeconomic as well as business dynamics such as changes in
consumer and labor markets and relative costs.

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ATM-RECYCLER G7

OKI Electric Industry has developed its “ATM-Recycler G7” cash recycling
ATM for the worldwide market, allowing multiple currencies handled by a
single ATM. With this, OKI plans to start selling ATMs to the wider
market, with shipments and sales scheduled in March 2010, starting with
the Chinese market. Cash dispensers have been replaced with cash
recycling ATMs in recent years, allowing banknotes to be deposited in
Japan, China, Korea and other parts of Asia. The “ATM 21S” and a
space-saving “ATM21SX” for these markets and has achieved some
significant successes. The “ATM-Recycler G7” features high performance
and reliable recycling for shortened banknote processing time; high
capacity up to 16,200 banknotes; low energy consumption and reduced
weight; and high quality through developing and manufacturing the main
parts, from components to the final product, centralized at OKI.

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GIFT CARD PREFERENCE

More than one-third of Canadians are seeking drastic measures to receive
a gift card instead of a bad gift this holiday season. In fact, 14% are
willing to wear a tacky holiday-themed sweater while 12% would consider
giving up chocolate for the season. This, according to a recent study
commissioned by American Express, also shows 56% would rather receive a
gift card than a gift basket (12%), home décor (11%), jewellery (13%) or
clothes (13%) from the worst gift-giver they know. An additional 83%
like to receive gift cards because they enjoy choosing their own gifts,
29% have returned a gift they didn’t like, while the same number have
re-gifted a gift to someone else.

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OCT DEBT

Credit card outstandings essentially remained flat in October on an adjusted basis, as overall consumer credit went into negative territory. On a reported basis, year-on-year growth was up 283 basis points, compared to being down 269 basis points in September. According to the The Bank of England, net credit card debt was GBP 54.5 billion in October, compared to GBP 54.1 billion in the prior month, and GBP 53.0 billion for October 2008. However, the current figure is inflated by GBP 500 million due to a de-securitization. Total net lending to individuals rose by GBP 300 million in October. The twelve-month growth rate fell to 70 basis points and the three-month annualized growth rate increased 30 basis points to 50 basis points. Consumer credit fell by a net GBP 600 million, below the previous six-month average. The annual growth rate of consumer credit continued to fall, to minus 10 basis points and the three-month annualized growth rate fell to minus 220 basis points.

NOTE: Chart does not include about GBP10 billion from specialist lenders, retailers, and insurance companies. SOURCE: Bank of England

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BMO, IN MOTION & PAYPASS

BMO Bank of Montreal, Research In Motion and MasterCard Canada have
partnered to bring mobile payments to BlackBerry smartphones through its
MasterCard “PayPass” ‘tap and go’ contactless payment technology.
Participants will use “PayPass” Mobile Tag-equipped BlackBerry
smartphones to make secure purchases at any of the 8,500 merchant
locations in Canada that accept MasterCard PayPass, integrating the
mobile payment with the device. A confirmation email is subsequently
sent of each transaction sent to the BlackBerry smartphone. The
confirmations include purchase details such as the amount, retailer and
date of transaction while the Mobile Tag contains the chip and antenna
found in a regular PayPass card, with the addition of special material
to reduce interference between the Mobile Tag and the phone to which it
is attached.

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iPA280 CERTIFICATION

Ingenico payment solutions’ “iPA280” Payment Personal Digital Assistant
(PayPDA) has been PCI PED v2 certified to ensure the highest level of
security. Combining secure card payment and PDA functionality, the
Ingenico “iPA280” PayPDA allows business applications to easily combine.
The “iPA280” transforms the sales environment into a mobile POS,
offering superior quality of service and a complete purchasing
experience using comprehensive PDA functionality. The Ingenico solution
is ultimately seeking to offer the Retail, Hospitality, Transportation
and Mobile industries a chance to add real value to the consumer
experience while generating significant incremental revenues at POS.

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CREDIT CARD PRACTICE

Option consommateurs wants to warn consumers about certain practices
used by credit cards issuers that are likely to get them deeper into
debt, such as introductory preferential rates which skyrocket after the
initial introductory period. Options also is warning consumers of the
preferential rate only offered on certain types of transactions, such as
balance transfer and how easily lost the benefit of the introductory
rate is. In response, the organization recommends the federal government
take serious steps toward the introduction of a comprehensive
legislative structure with regard to electronic payment, including
credit cards and provincial governments regulate and monitor commercial
practices related to credit cards and information disclosure.

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LOYALTY CARDHOLDERS

People are more drawn to loyalty card offers than ever before. Credit
card companies not taking advantage of consumer demandproportion of
credit cards offering a reward scheme declined by 11% from the previous
year. In 2009, 54% of cardholders claimed all or a large part of the
rewards they had earned, while in 2008 only 23% had made the effort;
only 10% of Clubcard holders have a Tesco credit card; there are
currently six in-store Tesco bank branches with approximately half a
million customers with savings accounts with a combined savings balance
of GBP4.6 billion and steadily rising, according to an August 2009
report from Sainsbury’s Finance. The initially attractive promise of 12
months interest free credit becomes less appealing when you consider the
sharp rise to 16.9% thereafter. The main purpose of credit cards is to
cover potential emergencies – the prohibitive rates of these store-cards
could cause long-term tragedy.

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RTP|ONE

Ski resort operators in Switzerland and Sweden are set to implement
software developed by Colorado-based Resort Technology Partners (RTP) to
streamline how they manage multiple operations throughout a resort while
improving guest convenience. The POS software has been used in the
United States for some time, allowing guest to use a single pass for
lift tickets, lessons, food, rentals, etc. For the resort, the software
makes it easy for resorts to better manage cash flow, financial
operations and control inventory. Verbier-St. Bernard Resort in Verbier,
Switzerland is implementing the RTP “RTP|ONE” software while Salen,
Sweden-based Experium ski resort is deploying the RTP “SkiStar” software.

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DUBAI FIRST & VIVOTECH

CA-based ViVOtech NFC and contactless payment systems NFC mobile payment
wallet, OTA and NFC payment readers have been deployed by Dubai First
and du integrated telecom services provider. The first NFC mobile
payment pilot in the Middle East scheduled to continue till the second
quarter of 2010, the Dubai First Platinum MasterCard can now allow
customers to download their credit card functionality securely to
specially equipped mobile handsets over du’s mobile network. Once the
handset has been personalized, customers could conduct transactions
using their du mobile connections at multiple MasterCard “PayPass”
enabled merchant locations in the United Arab Emirates. ViVOtech
technology was chosen to facilitate every step of this trial, including
Issuing Servers residing at Dubai First enabling the secure OTA
provisioning of credit cards to mobile handsets; managing the
provisioning and service of electronic wallets in the mobile handsets;
and electronic wallets in the handsets at merchants throughout UAE.

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WORLD OF CHANGE

In response to research showing 82% of women and 78% of men would rather
receive something meaningful and memorable as a holiday gift, World
Vision has introduced its “World of Change” giving card, allowing
recipients to pick an item from World Vision’s charitable gift
catalogue. The research, made available from Deloitte, also show 64% of
consumers plan to buy gift cards as presents for friends or family
members. With more than 80 gifts available, Canadians who receive this
meaningful gift can choose from such items as malaria nets, antibiotics,
agriculture kits and immunizations. They can also make donations in
denominations of $30, $50, $75, $100 and $150. The “World of Change”
giving cards can be redeemed online at www.worldvision.ca/gifts and are
offered across Canada, except in Quebec.

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