Citi Posts a Small Q3 Credit Card Profit

Citibank reported a $6 million third quarter profit for its North American cards division. However, Citi-branded cards revenue was down 8% to $2.36 billion. Third quarter outstandings for North America were down 2% to $115.1 billion, compared to the year ago quarter. Purchase volume dropped 13% from 3Q/08 to $65.5 billion. Managed charge-offs hit 10.29% for the third quarter, compared to 10.18% in the second quarter and 6.39% in the third quarter of last year. Delinquency (90+ days) edged down to 2.51% for 3Q/09, compared to 2.91% in the prior quarter and 2.00% one-year ago. For complete details on Citi’s third quarter performance visit carddata.com.

CITI-BRANDED ACCOUNTS
3Q/08: 61.1 million
4Q/08: 57.7 million
1Q/09: 57.2 million
2Q/09: 55.8 million
3Q/09: 54.6 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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OBERTHUR SERVICE CENTER

Oberthur Technologies has received both MasterCard and VISA magstripe
and chip card certifications for its service center in Mexico City,
capable of personalizing up to 20 million secure payment cards, SIM
cards and ID cards annually. This is part of Oberthur’s continued growth
worldwide, with more than 50 sales offices and a network of more than 30
service centers around the globe. With 2008 sales of more than EUR882
million, over 1 million financial cards are issued everyday by Oberthur
secure technologies. Innovation and high quality services ensure
Oberthur Technologies’ strong positioning in its main target markets,
which include card systems, identity, security printing and cash
protection.

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Bank Freedom Prepaid Card Waives Fees

Prepaid Card Holdings’ Bank Freedom will waive the monthly fee for customers of its
“Bank Freedom Prepaid MasterCard” program for depositors meeting the minimum monthly deposit. Customers must deposit either $350 or more
by direct deposit or $700 or more in cash each month to qualify. For consumers who
don’t meet the monthly deposit minimum, Bank Freedom has lowered their
monthly fee from $9.95 to only $5.95 per month. “The Bank Freedom Prepaid MasterCard” is issued by MetaBank
pursuant to license by MasterCard International Incorporated. Prepaid Card Holdings, Inc. is a publicly traded holding company whose
current holdings consist of a 100% interest in Merchant Processing
International Inc. DBA Bank Freedom and the Berman Marketing Group, Inc.
a multi-channel direct market firm specializing in direct response
marketing through Television, Radio, Internet and Print media.

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AUGUST LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for South Korea
declined by 0.3% while The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index
(CEI) increased 0.1% in August. With the 0.3% decrease in August, after
six consecutive months of increases, the Conference Board LEI for South
Korea now stands at 105.8 (2004=100) after increases of 1.4% in July and
1.5% in June. Meanwhile, the CEI now stands at 107.9 (2004=100), after
having increased 0.1% in July and 1.3% in June. LEI results for the
month were attributed to positive gains in 4 of the 7 components, which
include real exports FOB, letter of credit arrivals, stock prices, and
private construction orders while negative contributors include the
(inverted) index of inventories to shipments, value of machinery orders,
and the (inverted) yield of government public bonds.

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Aite Group Issues a New Prepaid Report

A new report from Aite Group
provides an overview of branded prepaid card processors, and looks at
trends shaping branded prepaid card processing. The report evaluates
and profiles nine branded prepaid card processors:
eCommLink, Fidelity National Information Services, First Data, FSV
Payment Systems, Galileo Processing, i2c Inc., Metavante Corporation,
Springbok Services and TxVia. The processors were scored on elements
pertaining to their business
strengths and weaknesses, and the functionality of their offerings. As
the market continues to grow and legislation threatens to change the
way branded prepaid issuing is done, processors need to invest in
technology to play a significant role in meeting all new demands and
remain competitive. The technology platform utilized by the profiled
processors dictates how that processor will implement changes and move
beyond the status quo. It is important that processors invest in newer
technology in lieu of adding more patches to an antiquated processing
system that continues to approach the end of its life.

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Cap One U.S. Card Losses Head Higher in Sept

Delinquency for Capital One’s U.S. credit cards rose for the third month in September and charge-offs resumed an uptick after dropping to its lowest level in four months. U.S. Card delinquency increased from 5.09% in August to 5.38% for September. The charge-off ratio also rose from 9.32% in August to 9.77% for September. One-year ago delinquency stood at 4.20% and charge-offs at 6.34%. Capital One previously reported a second quarter managed delinquency rate (30+ days) for U.S. credit cards of 4.77% for the second quarter, compared to 5.08% for 1Q/09 and 3.85% for the second quarter of 2008. The net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards rose to 9.23% for the second quarter, compared to 8.39% for the first quarter and 6.26% one-year ago. For complete details on Capital One’s second quarter and monthly performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

CAPITAL ONE HISTORICAL
DELINQUENCY CHARGE-OFF
Sep 08: 4.20% 6.34%
Oct 08: 4.48% 6.54%
Nov 08: 4.70% 6.98%
Dec 08: 4.78% 7.71%
Jan 09: 5.02% 7.82%
Feb 09: 5.10% 8.06%
Mar 09: 5.08% 9.33%
Apr 09: 5.04% 8.56%
May 09: 4.90% 9.41%
Jun 09: 4.77% 9.73%
Jul 09: 4.83% 9.83%
Aug 09: 5.09% 9.32%
Sep 09: 5.38% 9.77%
Source: CardData.com

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PaymentsMoney Mindset Index is Very Revealing

The latest edition of Western Union’s “Global Business PaymentsMoney Mindset Index”
reveals that one-third of Americans admit they hide
their purchases from spouses or significant others and 40% percent do it to
avoid an argument about finances.
Other findings reveal 47% of Americans have been
successful in the past at staying within their holiday budget, but this
year 51% are concerned and 33% are convinced that they
will exceed their budget. Respondents are setting resolutions for 2010 which include
65% plan to pay bills on time and 65% resolve to save more money out of each paycheck.

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ZKA & VERIFONE

VeriFone Holdings has expanded its portfolio of payment solutions for
validation with the EMV POS specification of the Zentraler
Kreditausschuss (ZKA), Germany’s Central Credit Committee. The
certification covers Verifone’s “Vx 810 DUET” dual-use compact
countertop device and its “Vx 810” PINpad, allowing CCV Deutschland,
Verifone’s local partner, to distribute the systems across the country.
With this, the “Vx 810” and “Vx 810 DUET” joins already ZKA-approved
Verifone products, including the “Vx 570” countertop and the “Vx 670”
portable devices. CCV operates internationally, with headquarters in
Arnhem, the Netherlands, and branches in Belgium, Germany, and Switzerland.

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Equifax Names a New Solution Architecture Exec

Equifax Database Services has tapped Ed Connor to serve as VP of
solution architecture and strategy.
In this new role, Connor will focus on identifying continual
improvements and extensions to the company’s solution platform to
address the rapid rate of change their clients are experiencing.
Formerly vice president of client implementations and technology, Connor
is a marketing database expert who has held numerous leadership roles
related to solution design and architecture to implement and support
client database solutions of varying scales and across many industries.
Equifax Database Services is a leading provider of marketing database
hosting services.

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American Express Introduces Money Manager

American Express has launched the free online “Money Manager” to help
charge cardholders manage their finances and rewards accounts on
AmericanExpress.com. Charge cardholders can easily access Money Manager
by logging into their Card account at AmericanExpress.com and providing
username and password information for the financial accounts they want
to manage. Once a cardholder has registered, all their account
information is linked and automatically updated, so they can easily and
securely access all their accounts without having to log in to multiple
individual accounts. Cardmembers also can view charts that automatically
categorize their spending, set budgets, receive alerts to stay on track,
and get updates on their investments. Charge Cardmembers now can link
bank accounts, credit cards, investment accounts, mortgage loans, car
loans, student loans and rewards points from more than 11,000
institutions all in one place through “Money Manager” so that they can
spot ways to spend and save smarter.

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New Study Supports Lower Cost of Net Branded Cards

Consumers opting to use a network branded prepaid card could pay as
much as 35%-70% less in fees compared to low balance checking and debit
accounts. Additionally, a consumer with a low balance checking account
can expect to pay $200 to $350 annually, with overdraft charges, ATM
fees and minimum balance fees, and those without access to traditional
banking and without a prepaid card must rely on a system of money
orders, check cashing services and bill-payment fees, costing anywheres
from $167 to over $312 annually. The research, conducted by Bretton
Woods, analyzed payment options and their relative costs and benefits.
It concluded those who use a prepaid card instead of a bank account with
direct deposit may pay between $108 to $207, a savings of $96 to $146
over a basic checking account and general purpose prepaid card users can
expect to pay $215 to $320 annually.

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CITIES XL PROCESSING

Monte Cristo’s has teamed with GlobalCollect’s Hosted Merchant Link
interface to process payments worldwide for its new “Cities XL”
massively multiplayer online game (MMOG) . Through this interface,
players can select their preferred payment method, including
international/national payments cards, real-time banking, and local
direct debits. Cities XL takes advantage of GlobalCollect’s scalable
fraud screening tools from renowned partners to maximize transaction
safety prior to payment authorization, including customized business
rules, online account validation, neural networks and IP geolocation
data. GlobalCollect Payment Service Provider of local e-payment
solutions for international Customer Not-Present (CNP) accepts payment
in 200 countries.

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