NBPCA Cites Virtues of PPCs for Students

The Network Branded Prepaid Card Association (NBPCA) non-profit,
inter-industry trade association is suggesting branded prepaid cards are
useful financial tools for budgeting, safe spending and avoiding debt.
Established to advance network branded prepaid cards, NBPCA is namely
targeting college students with its advice and empowering them to manage
their money. The association is promoting prepaid cards as safe,
convenient alternatives to using cash and checks for purchases and
paying recurring bills. It is loaded when the card is purchased, can
have money added in a variety of convenient ways, and cannot be
overdrawn. Additionally, the NBPCA is advising students to understand
the terms and conditions; record the card number and the customer
service telephone number; become familiar with the security and loss
prevention features of the card; check your card balance regularly; and
to load funds and track spending often.

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Discover Card Expands Acceptance to India

Global acceptance of the Discover card is now expanding into India
according to this week’s CardFlash International. Venture Infotek and
the Diners Club International business unit of Discover Financial
Services have signed a long-term merchant acquiring agreement. Diners
Club and Discover cardholders will be able to use their cards at Venture
Infotek’s 165,000 merchants in India. Venture Infotek will provide
single source electronic payment services for the acceptance of Diners
Club and Discover cards across key merchant categories like Restaurants,
Hotels, Airlines, Travel agents and major retail outlets in India.
Diners Club currently has acceptance in more than 185 countries with 14
million merchant locations. Discover Cards are currently accepted in
Canada, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and China.

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IKOBO VISA

Visa Europe reports that debit card transactions rose 19% in the second quarter, compared to 2Q/08. Overall transactions increased 14% with a total of 1.75 billion card transactions.Debit cards accounted for 1.33 billion of the total transactions. This compares to 1.53 billion card transactions in the same period the year before, of which 1.11
billion were on debit cards. The highest percentage increase was in restaurants, which saw a 20% rise in the number of card transactions and a 28% increase on debit cards. Card transactions in bars and nightclubs increased 16% overall and 24% on debit cards. In supermarkets and other food stores there was an increase of 18% on all card transactions and 21% on debit cards. In Europe, there are over 360 million Visa debit, credit and commercial cards.

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Inc. Names eCommLink Among Fastest-Growing

eCommLink prepaid debit card processor has been ranked 3022 on Inc.
magazine’s annual 5000 fastest-growing private companies in America.
eCommLink’s ranking is based on percentage growth in company net sales
over a five-year period, in which the company’s revenue has doubled in
each of the last 3 years. Revenue is also expected to
increase dramatically thanks to recent investments in its prepaid debit
processing platform. eCommLink provides secure transaction options for
prepaid card programs in the physical, virtual, and mobile space through
its flexible prepaid processing platform. The Inc. 5000 list debuted in
1991 and makes available all ranked companies available on Inc.com.

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RedFin Network to Market Blue Bamboo POS

The Secured Financial Network subsidiary, RedFin Network, has renewed
and expanded agreements with Blue Bamboo. The “Strategic Distribution
Partnership” will deliver Blue Bamboo’s payment solutions and mobile POS
devices to the North American market, offering a consistent, low price
option to ISO’s, Reseller’s, and unique application developers. The Blue
Bamboo “H50” all-in-one wireless terminal and its “P25-M” blue-tooth
printer/card reader provide the user flexibility and competitive payment
hardware configurations. Blue Bamboo designs and markets feature-rich
products for the POS terminal and peripherals industry while The RedFin
Network payment gateway specializes in providing (PCI) Certified Payment
Technology for business and resellers in need of card and ACH processing
services.

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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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