TRINTECH EXEC

Trintech Group integrated financial governance, risk management and
compliance software solutions has added Chethan Gorur as Director of
Interactive Data Services. Bringing to the role more than five years’
experience as a member of the XBRL leadership team at Microsoft, Chethan
will be implementing thought leadership, strategy, and product
development efforts for the Trintech “Unity Xtensible Financial
Reporting” (XFR) solution. This includes embedded support for the report
tagging and output of financial statements with XBRL. He was also
instrumental in crafting and executing on the XBRL product strategy
there, was a key contributor to Microsoft Investor Central and led the
product team responsible for incubating the new SaaS-based XBRL product
line. Chethan also brings to the role experience gained in product
leadership positions at i2 technologies, IBM, and One Network.

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JSC SITRONICS

JSC SITRONICS, a subsidiary and provider of telecommunications,
information technology and microelectronic solutions of SITRONICS Smart
Technologies (SST), has won a tender to deliver Visa and MasterCard chip
bank cards. With a growing presence in EEMEA emerging markets, the
contract extends over a three year period for Sberbank of Russia, the
largest bank in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
SITRONICS telecommunication solutions include software, equipment and
systems integration, IT solutions and microelectronic solutions in
Russia and the CIS across Central and Eastern Europe. With a growing
presence in the Middle East and Africa, SITRONICS serves over 3,500
clients, maintains offices in 32 countries and exports its products and
services to more than 60 countries. SITRONICS has around 10,000
employees of whom approximately 4,500 are involved in research and
development.

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BOLTON MULTI-PURSE

The eMoney payments network, including Greater Manchester Passenger
Transport Executive (GMPTE), Bolton Council, Arriva buses, Parkeon, ACT
and sQuid, has launched the first multi-purse smart card with an ITSO.
The smart card enables card holders to access Council services, use an
eMoney retail purse and ITSO enabled pay-as-you-go bus travel purse.
Adapted by sQuid to work on any ITSO smart card, the card allows
cardholders to pay for bus travel on over 30 Arriva bus routes across
Bolton in addition to accessing Council services and shopping at local
participating stores. Children can pay for their bus journey to school,
entrance to a leisure centre, pay for a snack, take a book out at the
library and then get the bus home without ever needing to carry cash.

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Card Charge-Offs in Canada Reach a New High in Q2

The 2Q/09 Canadian credit card debt performance continued to deteriorate with charge-off rates reaching a new record level of 4.8%. This is in conjunction with projections placing unemployment at a peak of 9.6% in 2Q/10, when charge-offs are also expected to peak. Blaming a surge in the number of personal bankruptcies and an unemployment rate of 8.7% in August, Moody’s Investors Service disclose this underscores the
persistent weakness in the economy and rising unemployment rate. These
findings, according to Moody’s latest Credit Card Indices for Canada,
also found a rise to 4.8% in charge-offs for 2Q/09, which is up nearly
60% from the year-ago mark of 3.07%, and the proportion of account
balances for which monthly payment is more than 30 days past due was
2.82% in the second quarter, up from 2.29% a year earlier.

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U.S. Visa CCE Index Edges Up 5% in 2008

The annual “Commercial Consumption Expenditure” index rose 5% for the USA to $20.3 trillion last year, compared to 11% globally with $90 trillion in 2008. Worldwide, the strongest growth rates were found in the CEMEA and LAC regions. Visa’s annual “CCE” survey found that Asia Pacific’s spending share surpassed the U.S. for the first time. The region’s $23.4 trillion rose 13.5%. In the U.S. business segment the “CCE” for small business rose 4.3% to $4.8 trillion, while median business was up 5.4% to $3.9 trillion. The large business segment “CCE” rose 5.2% to $10.2 trillion. The “CCE” index captures B2B purchases to acquire goods and services used in production, wholesale and retail purchases of final goods, business capital expenditures and government spending on goods and services. Europe held the largest share of global CCE spend, followed by Asia Pacific; the United States; Central/Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa; Latin America/Caribbean and Canada.

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Elavon to Help Expand Discover Global Acceptance

U.S. Bancorp announced the signing of a merchant acquiring agreement with Discover’s Diners Club International. Under the terms of the deal, U.S. Bank’s Elavon will add Diners Club card acceptance to its portfolio of payment processing services and will expand acceptance opportunities for Diners Club and Discover cardmembers, who eventually will be able to use their cards at Elavon merchants in the U.K. and western Europe. Elavon is the sixth largest acquirer in Europe. Elavon will provide consolidated pricing, underwriting, risk management, processing, settlement, support and reporting to its merchants, simplifying payments processing by second quarter 2010. Last month, Venture Infotek and the Discover/Diners Club business unit signed a long-term merchant acquiring agreement. Diners Club and Discover cardholders will be able to use their cards at Venture Infotek’s 165,000 merchants in India. Venture Infotek will provide single source electronic payment services for the acceptance of Diners Club and Discover cards across key merchant categories like restaurants, hotels, airlines, travel agents and major retail outlets in India. (CF Library 8/21/09)

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Quicken’s Health Bill Pay Accelerates Payments

Intuit is helping healthcare providers get paid by their patients an
average of 18 days faster with its new Quicken “Health Bill Pay” online
service. Regardless of insurance carrier or coverage, “Health Bill Pay”
allows patients to view their medical bill in easy-to-understand
language and discloses the amount due calculated after insurance
payments are posted for fast electronic payment directly from the
product. Reducing time between doctor visit and billing, the new
solution alerts patients immediately after the insurance payment is
posted and the balance becomes their responsibility. Half of what is
owed to medical professionals is considered bad debt and research shows
that 40 percent of patients don’t pay their medical bills simply because
they don’t understand the bill or didn’t think they were responsible for
the amount due. The Quicken “Health Bill Pay” allows providers to
improve accuracy and reduce the time billing managers spend taking
payments over the phone or keying in payment information sent through
the mail with the convenience of electronic payments to medical bills,
letting patients send payments anytime, from any computer, using a debit
and credit card, as well as Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Savings
Accounts.

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SINO GPP

Sino Payments is completing its system update and installation of its
“Global Processing Platform” (GPP) in Shanghai. The processor is working
with PowerE2E to speed the update and are looking to soon complete the
final integration with back end industry gateways. This will complete
the process of providing card processing for customers in China and
internationally. NV-based Sino Payments has offices in
Hong Kong and Macau. The company’s proprietary IP transaction processing
system (SinoPay GPP) was designed to convert transaction processing
systems from old type dial up POS systems through sophisticated check
out terminals to a modern seamless IP transaction process.

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Western Union Prevails in a MoneyGram Lawsuit

Western Union money transfer segment of global payments has won a favorable jury verdict in a patent infringement lawsuit against MoneyGram Payment Systems in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas. The jury returned a verdict in favor of WU, awarding damages of $16.53 million having found MoneyGram’s “FormFree” system infringes Western Union’s “Money Transfer by Phone” patents. The lawsuit was filed by Western Union against MoneyGram in May 2007 alleging the infringement on patents for a system of staging money transfers through a call center and completing transactions at an agent location, which an investigation confirmed essential replication.

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Credit Solutions Says Debt Settlement is The Way

Credit Solutions has endorsed a white paper that says debt settlement is key to economic
recovery. A leading settlement industry association, the U.S. Organizations of
Bankruptcy Alternatives, published this new study, which is being made
available to the public and to policy makers.
Key findings include: the great advantage of debt settlement over the alternatives is
consumers can satisfy outstanding obligations while paying less than the
full amount of their unpaid balances; there are several downsides to using credit counseling agencies.
Most important, the total amount of consumers’ outstanding debt is not
reduced; credit counseling agencies receive payments from both consumer
and credit card companies. This additional payment, or “kick-back,” from
creditors is a percentage of the payments creditors receive from consumers; many credit card agencies have been hiking interest rates on
outstanding balances, causing debtors to find themselves running faster
and faster just to stay in place while the time frame for paying off
creditors is stretched out. Hence, some consumers will drop out of
credit counseling and simply declare bankruptcy; as with credit counseling, debt consolidation does not reduce the
total amount outstanding. A consolidation loan probably isn’t a viable
option for most households with high levels of difficult-to-service debt
obligations because these consumers lack a decent credit rating for home
equity loan access and debt settlement can be viewed as part of the healing process to
get distressed U.S. households back on a sound financial footing and
thereby improve the odds for a sustainable economic recovery in the
years ahead.

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U.S. Credit Card Issuers Facing a Perfect Storm

Aside from the “Credit Crunch” and the “Great Recession,” payment card issuers are facing a “Perfect Storm” of an accelerated implementation of the “CARD Act,” the creation of the “Consumer Financial Protection Agency” and swiftly moving legislation to attack overdraft fee policies. This week three major banks announced plans to adjust overdraft practices earlier next year, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee proposed a less powerful version of the “CFPA” to get it passed and several legislators are now calling for all the new credit card rules be moved to December 1st of this year instead of February 2010. The American Bankers Association says credit card banks are working diligently to implement the new “CARD Act” provisions by next February, but it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for them to meet the new deadline. This week, U.S. Bank announced it will eliminate overdraft fees when a customer’s account is overdrawn by less than $10, regardless of the number of overdraft transactions that may have occurred; limit the number of overdraft fees to no more than three per day; and offer the “opt out” ability to any customer who would prefer that we decline or return any transaction on their account, whenever possible, when they are presented against insufficient funds. Wells Fargo and Chase also announced overdraft changes. Wells will eliminate overdraft fees for customers when they overdraw their accounts by $5 or less and will charge no more than four overdraft fees per day. In addition, Wells Fargo and Wachovia customers will be able to opt out of overdraft coverage. Chase announced it will eliminate overdrafts for debit cards unless the customer opts in to overdraft services; modifying the posting order to recognize debit-card transactions and ATM withdrawals as they occur; eliminating overdraft fees if a customer’s account is $5 or less overdrawn and reducing the maximum number of overdraft fees per day to three from six. (CF Library 9/23/09; 9/24/09)

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FedPrimeRate.com Explores LIBOR Card Rates

FedPrimeRate.com has added a new prepaid credit cards blog to its
finance-related weblogs addressing issues like London Interbank Offered
rate(LIBOR); U.S. Prime Rate; car insurance, 0% credit cards and the
credit card industry. LIBOR, assessed with every UK business day, is the
interest rate associated with large loans between banks in the London
wholesale money market. The rate acts as a critical index around the
world in the pricing of loans and other financial products, including
many adjustable-rate mortgages in the United States. This is an area
having drawn attention in recent years with the credit crisis having
peaked in the fall of 2008 and subsequently leading American banks to
hoard cash and cutback on lending.

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