Debit Card Overdraft Opt-In Solution Introduced

Multi-channel communication provider SoundBite Communications has
introduced the “Debit Card Overdraft Opt-In” solution as part of its
Proactive Marketing Solutions Suite. “Debit Card Overdraft Opt-In”
solution can proactively reach consumers through any combination of
automated voice, text, and email messaging. Attempts to reach a consumer
can escalate from one channel to another – such as from an email to a
voice message to a text message – in order to increase reach-ability and
response rates. Additionally, once a consumer has provided affirmative
consent, the “Debit Card Overdraft Opt-In” solution can automatically
send the consumer an email confirmation, along with information
describing the consumer’s right to revoke notification. This solution
enables financial institutions to achieve rapid compliance with a new
rule announced on November 12th by the Federal Reserve Board prohibiting
financial institutions from charging any consumer a fee for debit card
overdraft services unless the consumer has consented, or opted in, to
the overdraft services. With overdraft services, an institution charges
a fee for processing transactions when a customer’s account is overdrawn
rather than denying the transaction. The new rule becomes effective on
July 1, 2010, giving banks less than eight months to secure consumer
opt-in for more than 479 million debit cards.

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MOPAY

With 3.1 billion people worldwide having access to buying digital goods
on the web through their mobile phone, “mopay” incorporates a wide
variety of country specific protocols and regulations of approximately
290 mobile network operators in more than 60 countries into a uniform
web widget giving mopay the number one position world-wide in terms of
country coverage. “mopay” from MindMatics also accepts micropayments
from customers’ mobile phone bills instantly via a simple internet
payment window which every portal provider can integrate into its
website. It serves as a payment alternative to the younger crowd for
membership fees for online communities, fee based access to songs or
videos or online game “virtual items.” Users aren’t required to enter
names, credit card information, account numbers or addresses; they need
to select the “mopay” icon when purchasing on the web, enter their one
time password and follow the prompts.

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CONSUMER DEBT

In the UK, closure of 1 in 5 consumer accounts was due to non-payment, with
Yorkshire residents exceeding the national average by 13%. Among
Yorkshire consumers, 35% of their accounts were closed by the provider
because of repayment failure. Those living in North East and East Anglia
are the best at repaying, each with only 8% of residents’ accounts
closed for not meeting monthly payments. This, according to
Confused.com, concluded the Yorkshire residents were most likely to
struggle when it comes to credit card payments, followed by residents of
South East, 33% of whom struggle to payoff debt. Confused.com price
comparison services was launched in 2002 and now generates over one
million quotes per month.

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SPEND. WIN. SORT.

Egg Money World MasterCard customers are now allowed 1% cash back on all
their spending with a chance to win GBP50 on purchases, big or small
through the “Spend. Win. Sort.” promotion. Spend using the Egg Money
credit card before January 31, 2010 and if the last four digits of the
Egg Money credit card number match exactly the last four digits of the
authorization code shown on a receipt from a transaction with that card,
the cardholder could win GBP50. There will be up to 250 prizes of GBP50
each month and lucky winners will be sent a text message or an email
informing them that they have won and their account will be credited
with £50. Managing money online and keeping track of everyday spending
is also made easier with the Egg spend analyzer with spending grouped
by categories such as travel or going out.

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AmEx Launches Business Insights

American Express has launched “Business Insights”, a new analytics and consulting
organization to help business customers develop better-informed strategies.
“Business Insights” combines aggregate trend analysis to provide unique business planning and
marketing expertise and will identify strategic
opportunities drawn from the aggregate spending patterns on
approximately 90 million cards in force across 127 markets. It will work
with business clients to provide data-driven insights focused on
specific customer segments that will help them to develop customized
marketing and growth strategies. “Business Insights” will be housed within the American Express Global
Merchant Services unit. In keeping with American Express’ privacy
principles, all data analysis is done only on an aggregate level and
does not disclose any personally identifiable information to merchants
or partners for marketing purposes. In addition to
large-scale, global consulting projects, Business Insights also offers a
suite of quarterly benchmarking reports that provide spending trend
analysis among various customer segments, vertical industry trends, and
specific merchants’ market share and customer mix.

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Hypercom Lands a Major Austrian Terminal Deal

Raiffeisen International Bank is to deploy 30,000 of Hypercom’s high
security “Optimum” card payment terminals and PIN entry devices to
thousands of merchants in 15 Eastern European countries, in conjunction
with having purchased Hypercom’s Network Access Controllers (NACs),
optimizing transaction delivery to the bank host. The Hypercom “Optimum
T4200/M4200″ product family consists of 13 powerful, 32-bit,
multi-application devices on the same platform, user interface and
software toolkit to maximize efficiency, application portability and
offer customers a broad range of communication options to meet the needs
of diverse market segments. Meanwhile, the Hypercom” MegaNAC 180 POS”
concentrator supports a wide range of protocols, including TCP/IP, X.25
and Frame Relay to form high performance intelligent networks for fast
POS transactions, efficient software downloads and batch uploads.

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CoreCard Software Releases CoreISSUE

Card management provider CoreCard Software has released the newest version of CoreISSUE that includes functionality to support companies
including manufacturers and distributors that want to offer revolving credit
repayment terms to their customers. CoreISSUE is designed to handle the complex needs of modern credit card
issuers and handles all types of finance programs from simple “net 10” terms,
conditional sales contracts, nominal option leases and all revolving credit programs.
CoreCard also released the next white paper in its ongoing series
entitled “Accounts Receivable Management for Manufacturers and Suppliers – Going
Beyond the Basic Receivable Programs Found in Accounting Systems”. This latest
paper looks at how many companies find themselves unable to establish innovative
revolving credit repayment terms due to the limitations of their existing accounting and
“order to cash” systems. The paper examines how companies can offer repayment programs that
satisfy the needs of the market from extended term payments including revolving
credit to being able to offer conditional sales contracts and nominal option leases.

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U.S. Leading Economic Index Points to a Recovery

The clouds are continuing to point to a recovery as the Conference Board “Leading Economic Index” for the U.S. increased 30 basis points in October, following a 100 basis points gain in September, and a 40 basis points rise in August. The interest rate spread, initial unemployment claims (inverted) and stock prices contributed positively to the index for October, more than offsetting declines in consumer expectations, residential building permits and the index of supplier deliveries. After having fallen steadily since mid-2007, The Conference Board “LEI” for the U.S. has risen for more than half a year now, appearing to have reached a trough at the end of the first quarter. Meanwhile, The Conference Board “CEI” for the U.S. has been essentially flat since June, after generally declining since November 2007. All in all, the behavior of the composite indexes suggests that the recession is bottoming out and that economic conditions will continue to improve in the near term.

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FRB Issues New Gift Card Rules

The Federal Reserve Board has announced proposed rules that would
restrict the fees and expiration dates that may apply to gift cards.
The proposed rules would prohibit dormancy, inactivity, and service fees
on gift cards unless: (1) there has been at least one year of inactivity
on the certificate or card; (2) no more than one such fee is charged per
month; and (3) the consumer is given clear and conspicuous disclosures
about the fees. Expiration dates for funds underlying gift cards must be
at least five years after the date of issuance, or five years after the
date when funds were last loaded.

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Visa Renews Prepaid Visa RushCard

OH-based underbanked service provider UniRush Financial Services has
renewed its relationship with Visa and will continue to offer the
“Prepaid Visa RushCard.”
UniRush will enable its “Prepaid Visa RushCard” products to participate
in Visa ReadyLink, Visa’s prepaid load network, extending the
convenience and security of reload services to RushCard members.
Once enabled, Visa ReadyLink will allow RushCard members to add funds to
their Prepaid Visa RushCards at nearly 50,000 locations nationwide.
RushCard recently unveiled a number of product enhancements which
include budgeting tools, text alerts, and an opt-in credit service,
through which members can report their transaction information to
LexisNexis and PRBC; credit reporting agencies and lenders can use the
information as a
supplement for applicants with no credit or little credit history. The
service is
free and is included in the RushPath to Credit program, a program that
helps members
gain access to low-interest loans, and money management pages, which allow
members to track their spending, deposit and balance trends.

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Planet Payment Names a New CFO

NY-based multi-currency payment and data processor Planet Payment has named Robert J. Cox, previously with Harris Interactive, as Chief Financial
Officer and Treasurer and Seth Asofsky, currently the Company’s CFO, to the
role of Senior Vice President, US Region. Prior to working at Harris Interactive, Cox was the Senior Vice
President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of DealerTrack Holdings, Inc., a
publicly traded provider of on-demand software and data solutions for the automotive retail
industry. Cox served in the top finance role at DealerTrack for nearly
eight years. During his tenure, revenue at the company grew from $1 million to over
$240 million through a combination of organic growth and acquisitions. Prior to
DealerTrack Cox held senior financial positions at Triton International Inc., and Green
Stamp America Inc. Cox holds a
Master of Business Administration, Finance from Columbia University
Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting from St.
Bonaventure University, and is a New York State Certified Public Accountant.
Asofsky has acted as Planet Payment’s CFO during its critical
growth phase and its maturation from a private company start-up to a publicly traded,
full service,registered third party processor, now operating in 10 countries around
the world. During his tenure, the Company achieved its first quarters of EBITDA
profitability and put itself firmly on the road to positive cashflow.

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