SAS & AMEX

SAS Scandinavian Airlines and American Express have signed a deal to launch co-branded cards. The agreement encompass co-operation between SAS’ “EuroBonus” frequent flyer program and American Express’ “Membership Rewards” global loyalty program. The partnership stipulate the launch of two SAS American Express cards, the “SAS American Express Corporate Card” for companies in Sweden, Norway and Denmark and the SAS “EuroBonus” American Express Card for consumers in Sweden. As of today, existing American Express cardholders can redeem their “Membership Rewards” points on all Scandinavian Airlines flights and other rewards from the “SAS EuroBonus” program. SAS currently offers a co-branded MasterCard.

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ADS Charge-Offs Hit 9.7% in August

TX-based loyalty marketer Alliance Data Systems reported that net
charge-offs
as a percentage of average managed receivables for its private label
business hit 9.7% in August.
Averaged managed receivables for the month of August was $4,287,735 with
net charge offs of $34,488,
resulting in the net charge-offs as a percentage of the average managed
receivables to be 9.7%.
Alliance Data is a leading provider of marketing-driven credit
solutions, and is the parent company of Epsilon, a leading provider
of multi-channel, data-driven technologies and marketing services, and
LoyaltyOne, which owns and operates the AIR MILES Reward Program.

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BBVA & VF

BBVA Bancomer has begun deploying the VeriFone “MX ATM” payment kiosk
across Mexico, among which it’s currently installing a customized
version at one of the largest drug store chains in the country. Bancomer
is also planning to invest more than $10 million to expand the
deployment in 2010 to represent 10% of its ATM network footprint. The
“MX ATM” recycles cash deposits from individual consumers and retail
receipts for cash withdrawals on a secure, highly manageable payment and
cash dispensing kiosk, intended for environments such as hotels,
department stores, night clubs, and enterprises. Merchants can install
VeriFone MX ATM to dispense and/or deposit cash and provide a variety of
value-added services including telco top-up, bill payment, money
transfer, couponing, redemption, and reloading of prepaid cards.

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SCORE to Honor American Express OPEN

American Express “OPEN” is being honored tomorrow at the inaugural
“SCORE Awards” gala in Washington, DC. AmEx will receive the “SCORE
Award for Corporate Small Business Supporter of the Year.” AmEx “OPEN”
renewed its alliance with SCORE for third year to provide small business
owners with free business counseling, workshops and networking as part
of the “Small Business Speed Coaching Test Drive Series.” The series of
single-day events delivered face-to-face counseling to more than 2,000
new and emerging small businesses. “OPEN: The Small Business Network”
was launched in 2002 by American Express. (CF Library 2/1/2002)

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CORP BANK & ELECTRACARD

ElectraCard Services (ECS) software solutions for electronic payment
systems is deploying Corporation Bank’s tax payment facility through
ATMs, allowing its customers to pay direct tax through their ATMs on
registering for the facility. The Bank’s ATM to pay tax carries out the
PIN verification and fetches the relative tax template details from the
Bank’s server after due authentication. The system then sends the tax
payment transaction with the tax amount entered by the customer and this
amount will be debited to the customer’s account and the tax payment
account will be credited. On completion, the customer will get a receipt
with the transaction details.

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Top V/MC Issuers Post Higher Charge-Offs in Aug

Three of the four top issuers of Visa and MasterCard reported
significantly higher charge-offs in August following a leveling off in
the prior month. Citi reported the biggest jump rising more than 200
basis points sequentially, while Cap One posted a 51 basis point decline
from July. Bank of America’s global credit card charge-offs increased to
14.54% in August, compared to 13.82% in the prior month. August
charge-offs for Chase credit card ABS rose to 8.70% from 7.92% in July.
Citi posted a 12.1% charge-off ratio for August, compared to 10.03% in
July and 10.51% in June. Capital One’s charge-off ratio for U.S. Cards
dipped to 9.32% in August from 9.83% for July. Meanwhile, American
Express charge-offs declined slightly and Discover will report third
quarter performance tomorrow. For complete details on delinquency and
charge-offs visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

CHARGE-OFFS
May June July Aug
Chase 8.36% 8.04% 7.92% 8.70%
Cap One 9.41% 9.73% 9.83% 9.32%
Citi 10.50% 10.51% 10.03% 12.10%
BofA* 12.50% 13.81% 13.82% 14.54%

* includes U.S, Europe and Canada consumer credit card; does not
include business card, debit card and consumer lending;
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com).

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MD Taxis to Deploy VeriFone PIMs

MD-based Barwood Taxi has deployed 200
VeriFone Transportation Systems to process credit card payments for passengers.
VTS provides next-generation solutions that deliver wireless payment,
navigation, dispatch, text messaging, and real-time information to the
transit, vehicle for hire, dispatch, and cargo transportation
industries. The VTS systems are based on VeriFone’s MX
870 multimedia payment systems, which support secure credit card
transactions. The MX 870 is the leading choice for organizations that
want to leverage full featured automation capabilities such as dispatch
automation, text messaging, voice guided navigation, real-time moving
map functionality and passenger information delivery.
Barwood is the first taxi company in the Washington, D.C., metro region
to equip its cabs with PIMs and handles about 1.2 million rides a year. Barwood
expects to have monitors in its
entire fleet of 435 taxis by the end of the year.
VTS is also the sole supplier of systems in Philadelphia and
the largest supplier in New York City.

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Lecere Assembles its Management Team

OR-based POS solution provider Lecere has tapped Gregory Schillinger as
VP of Hospitality Systems and Strategy and Cory Rinkin as CIO/CTO. Schillinger previously was
president of Coaching Restaurants, LLC, and has a successful
30-year career in the restaurant industry. A POS systems expert,
Schillinger has a long record of success in increasing revenues and
profits as a general manager with Wendy’s, TGI Friday’s, Old Chicago,
the Hotel Boulderado, and Rock Bottom. Rinkin has more than 12 years’ experience leading the development of
innovative and advanced software programs, e-commerce applications, and
web sites—including sharplabs.com, tickets.com, dacor.com,
verizonwireless.com, and motortrend.com—for organizations including K2
Network, U.S. Sports Unlimited, and Prime Media Automotive.
Lecere markets “Lecere FIRMS”, an integrated, Web-based suite of point-of-sale
(POS) and restaurant management tools. FIRMS helps restaurants reduce
their operational costs while enhancing their customers’ experiences for
increased revenues and profits.

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SONICO & GLOBALCOLLECT

Social Network Sonico has selected GlobalCollect Payment Service
Provider of local e-payments to process its online transactions across
Latin America. Offering its more than 40 million registered users a safe
environment to connect and stay in touch, Sonico can process
international online credit card payments via Visa, MasterCard, and
American Express for its premium subscription services thanks to the new
partnership. These agreements are an extension of the companies’
indirect relationship dating back to 2006 when GlobalCollect started
processing online payments for Clon Communications, Sonico’s sister
company and online retailer of various prepaid cards.

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JUL VOL

Growth in debit card volume continued to pick up more momentum in July, surging by an annual rate of about 50%, as “Gross Rupee Volume” (GRV) hit 21.0 billion rupees. Meanwhile, credit card GRV is declining at an annual rate of 11%, dipping in July to 49.7 billion rupees, but up somewhat from the prior month. After peaking at 64.4 billion rupees in October, credit card GRV growth has been declining each month, in tandem with the global recession. Debit card GRV previously peaked in October at 19.6 billion rupees, but has rebounded to a record level in July. According to the Reserve Bank of India, the number of credit card transactions rose to 20.2 billion as the number of debit card transactions rose to 14.2 billion in July. At the end of July there were 22.2 million credit cards and 151.1 million debit cards in circulation.

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Issuers Become More Selective with Collectors

A new analysis finds that rather than calling on more service providers, credit issuers are beginning to reduce their number of collection agencies they work with, requiring the remaining companies to take on more accounts. The same type of shift is also taking place within the debt buying market, according to the Kaulkin Ginsberg. Rather than call on more debt buyers, as credit issuers did in the boom years before the recession began, some credit issuers are reducing the number of companies they approach for portfolio sales, preferring to negotiate directly with a specific buyer rather than conduct a broader auction process. Kaulkin Ginsberg concludes that as the poorest performers are removed from these collection networks, certain collection agencies will lose their most important clients. Creditors will also have less reason to work with companies that pose reputational risks. The financial performance of these companies will suffer, and company value will fall as well, with some owners forced to sell their companies in distress.

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