LENDING TRENDS

With 27% of business seeking new sources of credit having found availability had improved over the past three months, business loans are becoming easier to secure. Small business lending, however, remains weak with 25% of small businesses still struggling to find affordable finance and having reported a decline in the availability of existing credit lines. Bank of England’s July “Trends in Lending” Financial Facts highlights that this new credit has been restricted to large businesses, those employing over 5,000 people. The Bank of England’s figures show that lending fell 3.4 billion pounds in May. Some lenders expected credit would become more available over the next three months, supporting BoE reports fees and spreads on business loans have risen in recent months. Full Story
Financial Facts can announce that a recent CBI survey reveals businesses are finding loans easier to secure, a trend which is set to continue over the next quarter. According to the survey, 27% of business seeking new sources of credit found availability had improved over the past three months.

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Discover Card ATM Access Expands in Europe

Discover’s PULSE network has signed a deal to expand ATM transactions
for Diners Club International and Discover cards to more than 74,000
ATMs across Europe. The long-term ATM acquiring agreement with the
TRIONIS European interbank processing network has already opened up
access in Austria, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Luxembourg and Belgium.
TRIONIS is jointly owned by retail banks from nine European countries,
the European Savings Banks Group and First Data. TRIONIS provides
processing services to its users for switching POS and ATM card payment
transactions on EUFISERV and all other payment card brands.

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HOLIDAY COST BAROMETER

The latest Holiday Cost Barometer conducted by Post Office Travel
Services shows nearly 50% of UK tourists are looking for ways to reduce
their holiday costs. Looking to get more for their travel money, survey
participants are reportedly eating out less, buying fewer drinks and
doing less sightseeing. Although Travelers get nearly 10% more euros for
their pound than earlier in the year, non-eurozone countries like
Bulgaria can offer travelers more for their travel money. Spain,
however, came second in the annual foreign currency holiday costs survey
while Thailand tops the annual foreign currency exchange ranking table,
where visitors can pay as little as GBP39.51 for a family
meal.

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POSPaper.com Targets Restaurants

POSPaper.com has expanded its website to include a “Restaurant Supplies”
section. In creating a one-stop shopping experience for its clients, POSPaper.com
has established a website where clients in industries across the board
can purchase most if not all of the items a traditional paper
distributor would carry as well as several harder to find items.
POSPaper.com is the leading Internet provider of point-of-sale products
and supplies in the United States.

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FISERV ASIA PACIFIC

Fiserv financial services technology solutions has initiated a growing
presence throughout the Asia-Pacific region according to its
presentation at the Sibos 2009 conference in Hong Kong. Initially
through its subsidiary, Sendero, Fiserv embarked on the regional market
in 1987 and further expanded in 1991 through the acquisition of
Citicorp. Fiserv now has more than 2,000 associates in Asia-Pacific
serving more than 200 clients in the region. The company has a direct
presence in Australia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Singapore,
Thailand and the Philippines. It provides clients in these regions with
solutions for account processing, mobile banking, investment services,
fraud and compliance, risk management, item processing and financial
control. Its account processing in the region is provided through the
“Signature” Bank Platform and online and mobile banking solutions are
offered through “Corillian” Online and Mobile Money.

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CAT Says Card Patents are Solid

POS Technology provider Card Activation Technologies is the subject of a court issued report regarding
claims construction issues involved in one of Card
Activation’s patent infringement lawsuits.
Card Activation Technologies, Inc. is a Chicago-based company that owns
proprietary patented payment transaction technology used for processing gift cards,
phone cards and other debit purchase transactions. The company is actively seeking
to license its technology to the thousands of current users and believes that many
retailers, gas stations, phone companies and others that utilize those stored value
cards, such as gift and debit cards, infringe its patent. As a result, the
company is aggressively pursuing litigation against these infringements.

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Spending Remains Constrained After One Year

One year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, the DJIA
504 point drop and the resulting “Credit Crunch,” American consumers
remain cautious on spending, shifting to more value. For example a new
survey reveals that one year ago the greatest number of consumers said
their top priority expenses were vacations (25%) and dining out (24%).
Today, only seven percent named vacations as a high priority and dining
was named as a high priority for only eight percent.
The findings come from the new monthly “American Express Spending &
Saving Tracker” survey which also finds 60% of consumers intend to spend
about the same or more in the next 30 days, (compared to the last 30
days), but 40% plan to spend less. Among the 40% who said they would
spend less in the next 30 days, the top three reasons were “trying to
save money,” “reducing debt,” and that they “have the money but feel now
is not the time to spend.” The survey also found that consumers’ intend
to strengthen their household balance sheet. When asked what they would
do with $500 of found money, one-third of consumers said they would pay
off their regular monthly bills. One-in-four said they would apply it to
pay off credit card debt or save it. The new AmEx survey was conducted
by Echo Research.

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Best Western Offers a MasterCard Incentive

MasterCard and Best Western have teamed for a fall promotion to award
bonus “Rewards” points. According to CardTrak’s “Card Incentives”, the
special offer runs through November 22nd. Guests who stay any two,
three, or four nights this fall and use a MasterCard will earn double,
triple or quadruple points. Members who opt to receive airline rewards
receive the double, triple or quadruple rewards after any two, three or
four stays. In addition, Rewards members who book online during this
promotional period will receive 250 bonus points, or up to 500 points
after two online bookings. Best Western has more than 4,000 locations in
80 countries.

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MoneyPass Adds iPhone ATM Locator

MoneyPass has a new ATM locator app for the iPhone.
The locator will provide the same user-friendly search capabilities as
the online ATM locator, informing users of the location and directions to the
closest and most convenient MoneyPass surcharge-free ATMs. Cardholders can locate ATMs
from their exact current location and the address and directions can be sent to an
email address. MoneyPass worked with LocatorSearch,
a leading provider of innovative locator and search tools for the financial services
industry, to develop this application as an enhanced service for
existing and future MoneyPass cardholders who use an iPhone.
MoneyPass has over 16,000 ATMs, more than 36 million cardholders
and over 1,100 participants.

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VERIFYSMART A/P

Manila-based VerifySmart announced a major initiative to target several of the largest Banks serving the Asia Pacific region for its
credit and debit card transaction security technology. VerifySmart technology adds a new layer of security to existing protocols, by notifying the cardholder of each and every purchase through the card holder’s own cellular phone, thus enabling the cardholder to approve or decline his or her purchase via a secure PIN. The Company also announced
the launch of its integrated and holistic e-commerce system “VerifyNGo,” and an enhanced website. “VerifyNGo Authentication” technology is live and compatible with Canada’s largest wireless carriers including Roger’s Wireless, TELUS Mobility, Bell Mobility, Fido, Virgin Mobile Canada, SaskTel Mobility, NorthernTel Mobility and Telebec Mobilite. VerifySmart is a specialist in “Two Factor Authentication.”

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AMEX & BA

Economic indicators increased sharply again in July, and there
were substantial upward revisions to the index in the past four months as actual data for second quarter operating profits became available.
The The Conference Board “Leading Economic Index” for Japan increased 3.1% and The Conference Board “Coincident Economic Index” increased 50 basis points in July. The strengths among the leading indicators were widespread this month, with the six-month growth rate of productivity, index of overtime worked, business failures (inverted), and the
Tankan business conditions survey making large positive contributions.
For the CEI industrial production continued to grow strongly this month, while wage and salary income improved at a more modest pace.

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CREDITZ USA

CEO America announces it is expanding its “CREDITZ” system to more customers in North America. The system has been alpha and beta tested over several years utilizing IBM’s latest DB2 database and Series I infrastructure technology in Canada and the USA. The “CREDITZ” system includes free stored-value accounts for customers (no credit check involved), easy online account registration, collateral materials to
merchants, online account management and setup. CEO America is the North American Licensee for the “CREDITZ” brand.

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