Visa and the NFL Extend Contract Thru 2014

Visa has renewed its sponsorship with the NFL for another five seasons. Under terms of the new deal Visa will get a top-tier sponsorship of the “NFL Draft” and “NFL Kickoff,” exclusive experiences for Visa clients to utilize in their Visa card marketing programs, a Visa and NFL co-branded online portal on NFL.com for “Visa Signature” cardholders to obtain access to one-of-a-kind NFL experiences and expanded presence and preference for NFL-related transactions through various sales channels. Visa will unveil an NFL-themed national television advertising campaign with extensions across multiple environments. Throughout the season, print advertisements will also appear in in-stadium game day team programs of Visa-sponsored teams as well as in “Pro Bowl” and “Super Bowl” programs. For the fifth consecutive season, Visa also presents the “Visa Halftime Report” on FOX NFL broadcasts. In the current financial year, 600 financial institutions and merchants utilized Visa’s sponsorship of the NFL and generated 32 million pieces of communication for their customers.

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Elavon and Santander Target U.K. Acquiring

Elavon and Santander have launched its new alliance for merchant
services in the U.K. Combining the U.S. Bancorp global payments provider
with Santander bank, the partnership hopes to become a market leader in
UK acquiring by leveraging the Elavon end-to-end control of the
processing relationship. In doing so Elavon will afford the bank risk;
underwriting; payment processing; and funding customer support and
increase their presence across the country. This will subsequently
provide Santander corporate and business customers access to Elavon’s
secure international processing platform with cross border and
multi-currency processing, eliminating the need for pan-European clients
to contract with multiple processors on one point of service for all
processing and customer support. Elavon represents the former brands of
NOVA Information Systems and its affiliates FHMS and euroConex. In the UK, Santander operates three brands which provide services to
businesses, Abbey Business Banking, Alliance & Leicester Business
Banking and Santander Corporate Banking.

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Zong Intros a Monthly Subscription Service

Online game payment specialist Zong has launched the first mobile
payments platform to offer a subscription service. Photobucket, the
premier standalone photo and video sharing site with 45 million unique
monthly visitors, and OMGPOP, a real-time social gaming platform with
more than a million daily game plays, are each extending Zong’s
“Recurring Payment Service” as a payment option to their users.
Photobucket users interested in upgrading to the site’s Pro service and
OMGPOP users interested in upgrading to its “Star Membership” no longer
have to enter up to 70 characters of identifying and financial
information. Instead they can bill the membership fees to their mobile
phone simply by entering their 10 digit mobile phone number online,
receiving a four digit confirmation PIN by SMS text, then entering that
PIN online to complete the purchase. The monthly membership fee then
appears as a line item on the user’s monthly mobile phone bill.

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ISTS Extends Core Retail and Payment Frameworks

Card processing tech consultants ISTS Worldwide will extend its use of the
Microsoft technology stack to deliver innovative payment processing
solutions based on “SQL Server 2008” and “BizTalk Server 2009”. The new
solutions will provide ISTS customers with leading applications for
payment switching, authorization, settlement, card-issuing and
reporting. The ISTS solution competency also extends to gift and prepaid
cards, loyalty, mobile payments, enrollment applications, promotions at
POS, ecommerce and the mobile channels.
Sequoia Retail Systems, an independent provider of point of sale,
inventory control, mobility and ecommerce solutions for higher education
institutions, contracted ISTS to implement a secure, token-based
ecommerce application known as “ePOS”. The completion of this project
means that its customers are assured of the highest level of security
for all transactions on their site. The solution is based on Microsoft
.NET 3.0 infrastructure

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Discover Ranks Tops in ID Fraud Detection

Javelin Strategy has ranked Discover “best” in identity fraud detection among the top 25 U.S. credit card issuers.
In the yearly assessment of identity safety in the credit card
industry, Discover has ranked among the top-scoring issuers since Javelin began
the Identity Safety Scorecard five years ago. Researchers score issuers on more than 40 criteria across the
prevention, detection and resolution spectrum, including the
establishment of various forms of authentication, transaction alerts and
24/7 account suspension and customer service. In addition to the top rating on detection, Discover came in second
overall on the fifth annual Card Issuers’ Identity Safety Scorecard by
Javelin, a leading independent provider of financial services research
and analysis. The scorecard also rates issuers on identity fraud
resolution and prevention.

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Tyfone Lands a Second e-Wallet Patent

Mobile and NFC financial services provider Tyfone has been awarded a
patent for its smart card-based electronic wallet technology.
Using time-varying magnetic fields, Tyfone’s patented technology enables
the use of a memory card as an electronic wallet and/or the ability to
use that memory card for the secure transmission of financial
information. Unlike other software-only technologies that refer to their
application
as an electronic wallet, Tyfone’s platform includes a neutral secure
element thereby making it a true electronic container or “wallet.”
This solution allows a TSM to securely manage different consumer credit,
debit, transportation and pre-paid accounts for use in a wide range of
payment and other secure transactions. A key application for Tyfone’s
newly patented technology is using
“SideTap” to conduct a contactless payment transaction. Using “SideTap”,
consumers purchase goods at point of sale simply by tapping their mobile
device at point of sale.This groundbreaking technology is used in the
company’s
“u4ia” (euphoria) Mobile Financial Services platform, which completed
successful beta testing in June of this year.

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Flat Holiday Retail Sales is Forecasted

Retailers should expect sales to remain flat compared with the 2008
holiday shopping season. Deloitte’s Retail group expects total holiday
sales to reach $810 billion, which would represent a zero percent change
in November – January holiday sales, excluding motor vehicles and
gasoline, over last year. This would be an improvement over last
season’s 2.4% decrease, the first decline in holiday sales according to
Deloitte’s analysis of Commerce Department data dating back to 1967. The
research firm says many consumers remain burdened by restricted credit
availability, high unemployment and foreclosures.
Deloitte says Americans continue to save at historically high rates
while also paying down debt and these factors combined suggest another
chilly holiday season for retailers.

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FLEXIBLE SAVER ACCOUNT

The Citibank has made available its “Flexible Saver Account” savings
account to new customers with deposits from GBP1 and up to GBP1,000,000.
The account offers an introductory fixed rate bonus together with the
underlying rate results with an overall rate at over six times the
current base rate.It pays 3.30% AER / 3.25% gross variable with an
introductory rate of 2.25% gross p.a. for the first 12 months and allows
customers to watch their savings grow with access to their money
whenever they need it. The Annual Equivalent Rate notional rate
illustrates the contractual interest rate as if paid and compounded on
an annual basis and interest will be paid monthly. Existing customers
who open a new account will receive the underlying variable rate of
1.00% gross pa/AER.

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PAY88

Pay88 digital technology is intending to upgrade its payment platform to
meet the rising needs of its customers. This initiative will upgrade its
pc-based payment platform for easier customer use, adding the
capabilities for utilizing the payment platform via cell phone.
Providing its own payment platform as a reseller of online multiplayer
game cards and internet game time in China, Pay88 resells online
multiplayer game time in more than 20 Chinese cities. Through its
subsidiary, Chongqing Qianbao Technology, the Company has captured the
leading market share of online multiplayer game time in Chongqing
municipality of more than 31 million people.

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Safeway’s Blackhawk Net Targets Businesses

Safeway’s Blackhawk Network announced that their “Rewards Visa Gift
Card” will now be offered to businesses through Blackhawk Network’s
“Incentives and Rewards” business-to-business program. Companies can
tailor their gift card program to fit their client’s needs, via print on
demand technology, customization, personalization and robust reporting
options. With Blackhawk’s remote activation capabilities, individual
recipients can activate their gift cards on demand. Blackhawk Network’s
“Incentives and Rewards Program” offers a variety of prepaid products
including the retail partners: Applebee’s, Bass Pro Shops, Chili’s Grill
& Bar, The Home Depot, iTunes, Regal Entertainment Group, SpaFinder,
Travelocity, and others. Blackhawk Network includes more than 80,000
storefronts and reaches more than 165 million consumers each week.

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Monthly Payment Rate Slips Mildly in August

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt each month, fell in August by 16 basis points, following a 108 basis points uptick in the prior month. In November, the MPR posted its largest one-month drop ever, descending 251 basis points. Rising in December to 18.56%, the MPR declined 178 basis points in January. Among managed credit card outstandings, the MPR declined to 16.96% in August, according to CardData. The managed MPR one-year ago stood at 19.39%. According to Moody’s “Credit Card Index” for ABS, the MPR for July was 17.43%, compared to 16.53% in June and 16.01% in May. Moody’s found increases in the payment rates across all of the “Big 6” issuers. Fitch’s reported its “MPR Index” improved in July by 109 bps.

MONTHLY PAYMENT RATES
Jan 09: 16.78%
Feb 09: 17.13%
Mar 09: 17.63%
Apr 09: 17.31%
May 09: 16.44%
Jun 09: 16.04%
Jul 09: 17.12%
Aug 09: 16.96%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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ELAVON & SANTANDER

Elavon and Santander have launched its new alliance for merchant
services in the U.K. Combining the U.S. Bancorp global payments provider
with Santander bank, the partnership hopes to become a market leader in
UK acquiring by leveraging the Elavon end-to-end control of the
processing relationship. In doing so Elavon will afford the bank risk;
underwriting; payment processing; and funding customer support and
increase their presence across the country. This will subsequently
provide Santander corporate and business customers access to Elavon’s
secure international processing platform with cross border and
multi-currency processing, eliminating the need for pan-European clients
to contract with multiple processors on one point of service for all
processing and customer support. Elavon represents the former brands of
NOVA Information Systems and its affiliates FHMS and euroConex. In the UK, Santander operates three brands which provide services to
businesses, Abbey Business Banking, Alliance & Leicester Business
Banking and Santander Corporate Banking.

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