PayYourRent.com Powers Carded Rent Payments

PayYourRent.com has launched its newly designed website. Making
available options to streamline ways to pay rent online, manage
utilities, fill out rental applications, submit service requests and
more, the new website targets both tenants and property managers.
PayYourRent.com helps users make a seamless transition into the
paperless payment system with easy-to-follow links and an easily
accessible platform. It allows tenants to pay their monthly rent using
an electronic check or credit card, helping tenants to make payments and
avoid late fees while traveling, working or from their home. The newly
developed ease of use is ultimately designed to make for an efficient
site for both managers and tenants.

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Card Rates Head Higher for the 4th Month

Core credit card interest rates have been rising and will likely rise
higher by early next year. At the start of the recession average credit
card APRs hovered around 16%, dropping to slightly below 14% earlier
this year. However, rates have been rising for the past three months
despite a prime interest rate stuck at 3.25%. According to CardTrak,
credit card APRs declined from 16.02% in December 2007 (recession start)
to 14.55% in September 2008 (credit crunch) to 13.96% in April 2009. The
“CARD Act” was passed by Congress in late May. Since then variable rates
have climbed to 14.39%. A study of 150 credit cards released last week
by BillShrink found that purchase rates are up nearly 20%; balance
transfer fee maximums have increased 34% (from a maximum average of $94
in January to maximum average of $126 in July); issuers have not changed
their rates equally; issuers that have changed their rates the least
include American Express and Bank of America; and issuers that have
increased rates the most are Capital One, US Bank, Discover and Citi.

CREDIT CARD APRS
Dec 07: 16.02%
Jan 08: 15.79%
Feb 08: 15.64%
Mar 08: 15.60%
Apr 08: 15.35%
May 08: 15.11%
Jun 08: 15.08%
Jul 08: 15.01%
Aug 08: 14.77%
Sep 08: 14.68%
Oct 08: 14.55%
Nov 08 14.37%
Dec 08 14.17%
Jan 09 14.11%
Feb 09 13.98%
Mar 09 13.96%
Apr 09: 13.96%
May 09: 13.99%
Jun 09: 14.01%
Jul 09: 14.12%
Aug 09: 14.39%
Source: CardTrak.com

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UIC’s PP795 Device Certified for PCI 2.1

The UIC “PP795” has been formally PCI approved on August 19th. As the
first signature capture device to achieve approval under the newly
strengthened ‘PCI 2.1’ requirements, the “PP795” implements MSR security
to protect card data in the terminal. Features of the capture device
include affordability; programmability; high quality signature capture;
OPOS/JavaPOS compliance; secure remote key management; PCI 2.1 approved
and EMV certification; six languages versatility; ergonomics; Micro SD
card options; and contactless payment options. UIC (Uniform Industrial
Corporation) offers Electronic Commerce/Data Collection in various
industries and will be shipping in Q3 2009.

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Limits Reduced for 24MM Good Cardholders

Minneapolis-based FICO has found that available revolving credit had
been reduced for an estimated 33 million U.S. cardholders between
October 2008 and April 2009. Of the total researchers found that credit
reports for nearly nine million contained recent negative credit
references such as reported late payments. In examining the 24 million
consumers whose credit card limits were reduced despite the absence of
any new risk triggers in their credit reports, FICO found reductions in
card limits were found to have negligible impact on the FICO scores of
most consumers in this group. Once their available revolving credit had
been reduced, FICO observed a drop in score for only a third of the
people in this group, an estimated 8.5 million consumers, with the
typical score drop well under 20 points. Of the remaining 15.5 million
consumers, the company found that an estimated 3.5 million had no
appreciable change in FICO score, and scores for the remaining 12
million consumers actually increased after their credit line had been
lowered.

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MC Offers Two New Corporate Meeting Tools

MasterCard has teamed with etouches and Worktopia to provide
companies with greater control, efficiency and transparency around
meeting planning and management. etouches provides a cost-effective
online attendee registration and management tool to help maximize
attendance, enhance flow of information to attendees and sponsors,
and reduce costs associated with time spent on event registration tasks.
Companies that subscribe to etouches through MasterCard will receive
special offers. Worktopia addresses the need for a web-based platform to
search for, compare and book small meeting rooms online and in
real-time, efficiently and conveniently. Through this alliance, the
“MasterCard Purchase Control” application will be the exclusive purchase
control feature on Worktopia’s tool, and during the booking phase,
eligible MasterCard corporate customers can control an employee’s use of
card accounts to pay for meeting room reservations and services. The
“MasterCard Purchase Control” application works with “MasterCard
Corporate Meeting Cards.”

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VENTURE INFOTEK & DISCOVER

Venture Infotek Transaction Management and the Diners Club International
business unit of Discover Financial Services have signed a long-term
merchant acquiring agreement. With these agreements, the partnership is
intent on generating more acceptance opportunities for both Diners Club
and Discover cardmembers, for which Venture Infotek will provide single
source electronic payment services. Cardmembers eventually will be able
to use their cards at Venture Infotek merchants in India. Venture
Infotek Global was incorporated in 1997 and pioneered the introduction
of e-Payments in India through what has reached over 165,000 Merchant
locations across India.

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NFC CONFERENCE

The NFC Forum non-profit industry association that advances NFC
technology is conducting a “Spotlight Session” for Developers from 9AM
to 5PM on September 4th at the Lasaretti Hotelli-Ravintolaat. Held in
Oulu, Finland, the Conference is the second in a series of Forum
Spotlight Sessions and will feature NFC experts providing practical
knowledge, opportunities to network and hands-on training for NFC
application developers. Costing NFC Forum members US$70 (€50),
non-members US$210 (€150) and students $70 (€50), the event will also
allow attendees to learn about the market for NFC and sample use cases
already deployed in more than 100 projects around the world; update on
the status of NFC Forum technical specifications from the Forum’s
Technical Committee Chair; preview the compliance program; briefing on
tools and certificates for secure element programming; to learn to
program a secure element applet; and listen to a panel discussion on
best practices from recent implementations. Presenters and panelists
represent Nokia; the NFC Forum; MasterCard; Sony; University of
Hagenberg; Heikki Huomo; SCM Microsystems; Visa; and ViVOtech.

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Chase Sapphire Ad Campaign Launches Today

Chase Card Services has officially introduced its new rewards cards targeted to households with at least $120,000 in annual income. The new affluent “Chase Sapphire” cards have no preset limit, offers personalized customer service and is linked Chase’s “Ultimate Rewards” program. The card is available as “Sapphire” and for a $95 annual fee as the “Sapphire Preferred.” Both cards offer unrestricted benefits, including no annual spending caps, points that never expire and no travel restrictions or blackout dates on travel reward redemptions. “Sapphire Preferred” offers one-to-one point transfer to airline and hotel programs, points worth 25% more when redeeming for travel online, and a spend bonus of 10,000 points for customers spending $50,000 annually. The new cards are being promoted through an integrated marketing campaign across multiple channels including: television, print, newspaper, online, events, public relations, and direct marketing. Chase is also partnering with the Travel Channel on a multifaceted campaign to promote Chase Sapphire through numerous product integrations in Travel Channel’s signature shows and inclusion in Travel Channel’s new brand campaign – “Catch it.”

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Recession Appears to be Bottoming Out

A monthly index suggests that the recession is bottoming out. The Conference Board “Leading Economic Index” increased 60 basis points in July, following an 80 bps gain in June, and a 120 bps rise in May.
It has increased for four consecutive months. The six-month change in the index has risen to 3% (a 6.2% annual rate) in the period through July, up substantially from -2.8% (a -5.4% annual rate) for the previous six months. However, the “Coincident Economic Index” was flat in July – the first time it did not register a decline since October 2008.
Six of the ten indicators that make up “The Conference Board LEI” for the U.S. increased in July. The positive contributors – beginning with the largest positive contributor – were interest rate spread, average weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance (inverted), average weekly manufacturing hours, index of supplier deliveries (vendor performance), stock prices, and manufacturers’ new orders for nondefense capital goods.

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WIRECARD 2Q/09

Wirecard has reported its 2Q/09 and 1H/09 sales revenues up 14.9% to EUR
54.5 million and 17.4% to EUR103.6 million, respectively. Having
outperformed figures from the year-ago-period, consolidated sales
revenues in 2Q/08 was EUR47.4 million while 1H/08 figures were EUR 88.3
million. Meanwhile, EBITDA increased 13.0% to EUR14.6 million for the
quarter from EUR12.9 million last year while it increased 15.4% for the
half to EUR27.4 million from EUR23.7 million the year prior. The share
of this consolidated sales revenues contributed by the Wirecard’s
“Acquiring & Issuing” segment increased by 87.1% in 1H/09 Y/Y from
EUR16.7 million to 31.2 million euros. Wirecard’s “Acquiring & Issuing”
segment EBIT contribution amounted to EUR8.5 million for the half, up
47.4% Y/Y from EUR5.8 million. The Management Board of Wirecard AG
affirms its forecast of EBIT growth of 10-25% in the current financial
year.

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JUNE DEBT

The latest credit card data indicate a recovery may finally be underway as credit card gross dollar volume rose 9.8% and credit card outstandings edged up by 2.0% in June, compared to one-year ago. Despite setting a new high in June, credit card loan growth remains sluggish.
Annual growth in May was 2.1%, compared to an annual gain of 2.3% for April and 4.4% for March. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia credit card balances posted A$44.8 billion for June versus A$43.9 billion one-year ago. Credit card volume came in at A$19.3 billion, compared to $18.3 billion for June 2008. Credit limits now stand at A$124.7 billion, compared to A$119.2 billion in June 2008. According to the RBA there are currently 14.3 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 14.0 million one-year ago.

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