SAS & AMEX

SAS Scandinavian Airlines and American Express have signed an exclusive
partnership to launch co-branded cards for both companies and consumers.
The agreements also 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. The SAS American Express Corporate
Card provides Scandinavian companies visibility and control of their
total travel and entertainment expenditure, rewarding them with SAS
Credits towards new flights. Meanwhile, the SAS “EuroBonus” American
Express Card is designed to meet the needs of a group of customers that
appreciate benefits of a premium card and the advantages of American
Express.

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VERIFYSMART

In response to US credit card fraud reaching nearly US$50 million a day
(US$18.25 billion annually), VerifySmart payment processing services is
launching its enhanced transaction authentication solutions. Offering
next Generation, near real-time identity fraud protection, the
VerifySmart debit and credit card security and fraud detection
technology allows the cardholder to be aware and authorize any payment
transaction to act as an active guard to their own payment card
transactions. The technology, card transactions and internet
transactions application can all be verified without requiring the banks
and merchants to invest in new equipment or major modifications.
VerifySmart Corp designed and developed its Proprietary
Hardware/Software Solution to prevent Credit/Debit Card fraud with two
Factor Authentication.

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Retailers Feel a Glimmer of Hope in August

Retail industry sales (which exclude automobiles, gas stations, and
restaurants) saw their first gain in six months during August, with
sales rising 0.7% from July, though dipping 4.3% year-over-year. The
National Retail Federation says sales at electronics and appliance
stores increased 1.1% seasonally adjusted over July and decreased 10.7%
unadjusted year-over-year. Clothing and clothing accessory stores sales
increased 2.4% adjusted from the previous month and decreased 5.9%
unadjusted from last year. August retail sales released today by the
U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales (which include
non-general merchandise categories such as autos, gasoline stations and
restaurants) increased a solid 2.7% seasonally adjusted from the
previous month but declined 5.9% unadjusted year-over-year.

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EQUENS & VOCALINK

At the Sibos global event for the financial sector, Equens and VocaLink
signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) to extend their bilateral agreement to
include SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) payment processing, in addition to the
SEPA Credit Transfer (SCT). The agreement helps create a more
competitive payments market as banks will be able to choose which
processor they want to use for SDDs and SCTs. The interoperability
agreement is based on Interoperability Framework version 4.1 of the
European Automated Clearing House Association (EACHA). Version 4.1
elaborates on the improved process for exchanging and sharing of reach.
It also provides details on all the interoperability provisions for SEPA
Direct Debit (SDD) messages for both Core and Business-to-Business (B2B).

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JULY LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Spain increased
0.9% while The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI)
decreased 0.2% in July. With the 0.9% increase in July, the Conference
Board LEI for Spain now stands at 107.1 (2004=100), which increased 0.2%
in June and declined 0.1% in May, while the CEI now stands at 100.9
(2004=100) which decreased 0.2% in June and decreased 0.6% in May.
During the six-month span through July, the LEI remained unchanged, and
five of the six components advanced (diffusion index, six-month span
equals 83.3 percent) while the CEI decreased 3.2% and none of its five
components advanced. LEI results for the month were attributed to
positive gains in Spanish order books survey, stock prices, and the
Spanish contribution to Euro money supply while negative contribution
came from the capital equipment component of industrial production.

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SEPA INTEGRATION SUITE

Fundtech and Microsoft have introduced the “SEPA Integration Suite”
service-oriented architecture services. Adding complete SEPA transaction
processing to a bank’s existing payments infrastructure with minimal
disruption and risk by leveraging their existing payments
infrastructure, the “SEPA Integration Suite” saves banks time thanks to
its transaction processing capabilities. With the introduction, banks
can process SEPA Credit Transfers (SCT) and SEPA Direct Debits (SDD).
Corporate clients will benefit by being able to send a single stream of
payments to a centralized payment service, streamlining accounts payable
operations and improving multi-country cash management visibility. SEPA
Direct Debit and Credit Transfers are a key issue in the development of
payment systems in Europe, and the SEPA Integration Suite will be the
first SEPA payments solution built entirely on the Microsoft platform.

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Unos Renews Fifth Third Processing

Fifth Third Processing Solutions has signed contract
extensions for merchant processing services with the MA-based Uno Restaurant Holdings and
OH-based Damon’s International.
Uno has signed a contract extension with
Fifth Third Processing Solutions for its credit and debit card processing.
Damon’s has renewed its credit card processing
agreement. Fifth Third is a premier full service payment solutions provider that offers
servicing solutions and product engineering for financial institutions’ and
retailers’ credit card, debit card, merchant and private label programs
processing over 28.4 billion ATM and point of sale transactions and over $292
billion in debit
and credit card sales volume annually.

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Capital One Delinquency Up as Charge-Offs Fall

Delinquency for Capital One’s U.S. credit cards rose for the second
month in August, moving above the 5% level for the first time since
April. However, charge-offs dropped to its lowest level in four months.
U.S. Card delinquency increased from 4.83% in July to 5.09% for August.
The charge-off ratio declined from 9.83% in July to 9.32% for August.
One-year ago delinquency stood at 4.07% and charge-offs at 5.96%. The
higher delinquency ratio points to rising charge-offs for the fourth
quarter, which is expected despite signs of a recovery. Managed loans at
the end of August decreased to $63.1 billion, or down $0.5 billion from
the prior month. 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
Aug 08: 4.07% 5.96%
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%
Source: CardData.com

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MISYS PAYMENT MANAGER

Misys global application software and services company has launched its
packaged payment hub. A low risk and rapid way for banks to modernize
payments environment and protect existing investment in legacy systems,
Misys’ “Payment Manager” hub aims to help banks centralize and
streamline their payment processes. Powered by Misys Message Manager and
supported by the company’s portal technology, Misys “Payment Manager”
extends the visibility and control of any payment through its complete
lifecycle on a Java EE thin-client application built on Service Oriented
Architecture. It automates and standardises payment processes from
capture all the way through to settlement, cutting out manual processes
and significantly reducing the risk to the bank’s reputation from failed
payments. It also aims to help banks deliver higher levels of customer
service and new products, allowing them to replace complex payments
flows between existing core processing systems with a centralized
payment hub.

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SMEs Demand Global Integrated Payment Platform

A new survey finds that the “Small-Medium Enterprise” market is placing increased importance on cash management in an effort to reduce working capital and optimize the supply chain and service delivery.
Travelex Global Business Payments and TowerGroup found there’s a pressing need for integrated, global payment platforms, enhanced visibility and tightened security controls to improve payment efficiency. Also, there is a strong market demand for high touch customer service to support the SME customer; international payments services is rapidly expanding as SMEs search for a reliable platform to serve international payments needs, which many global banks lack the local footprint to support; many payment solutions are aimed at the large, multi-national companies but are not well suited for the SME market; and innovative payment solutions such as beneficiary management are not currently supported by any global or regional banks.

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U.S. Consumer Credit Risk Hits New High in Q2

The nation’s credit risk level climbed to its highest level in a decade
during the second quarter. However, the good news is the rate of
increase is slowing as the general lending environment remains stagnant.
The TransUnion “Credit Risk Index,” which measures the change in average
consumer credit risk within various geographies rose to 128.32 for the
second quarter, compared to 127.26 in the first quarter and 120.89 for
2Q/08. The rate of increase between the first and second quarters was
the lowest since 2006, when the nation experienced a 3.35% decline from
115.37 to 111.51. The states that experienced the largest quarterly
increases included Florida (2.67%), Oregon (2.65%) and Nevada (2.37%).
Of the states experiencing quarterly decreases, Delaware (-0.80%), New
Mexico (-0.62%) and Montana (-0.60%) led the way. On a year-over-year
basis, four states had double digit increases in the CRI, including
Nevada (13.20%), Arizona (12.49%), California (12.47%) and Florida
(12.40%).

CREDIT RISK INDEX
2Q/08: 120.89
3Q/08: 117.74
4Q/08: 124.79
1Q/09: 127.26
2Q/09: 128.32
Source: TransUnion

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OGC & MASTERCARD

The Office of Government Commerce (OGC) has allowed public sector
agencies MasterCard electronic payment solutions for their procurement
activities under its new Framework Agreement. running from 2010-2014.
The agreement allows for MasterCard solutions, including the MasterCard
“Purchasing Card,” the “SmartData Online” and its “InControl,” made
available to the 3,300 national, regional and local public sector bodies
in the UK through financial institutions AirPlus, Barclays, J.P. Morgan
and RBS Group. The 44,000 disparate buying units across the UK public
sector will also be able to use MasterCard payment solutions as tools to
streamline and improve purchase-to-pay processes. The “inControl”
platform allows financial institutions to provide government agencies
enhanced authorisation controls to direct how, when and where payment
cards may be used while the “Purchasing Card” allows public sector
organizations to leverage data reporting, integration and management
tools through “SmartData Online”.

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