AIG CHAIRMAN

Director Harvey Golub has been elected Non-Executive Chairman of the Board for American International Group (AIG). Originally elected to the AIG Board of Directors in May 2009, Golub was Chairman and CEO of AmEx from 1993 to 2001, where he was hired in 1984 from McKinsey & Co. as a partner. Harvey is also a member of the Board for Non-Executive Chairman of Ripplewood Holdings, Campbell Soup Company, a Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Reader’s Digest Association and a director of RHJ International public investment company. AIG insurance and financial services runs operations in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions.

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SPARTANICS FINECUT

Spartanics Finecut Combination Web & Sheet-fed Laser Die Cutting Machine designed to
overcome the limitations of traditional die cutting operations is now
available to worldwide card manufacturers. The Spartanics
Finecut Combination model laser die cutting machine has multiple
flexibility-focused design features sheet-fed or coil-fed jobs can be quickly interchanged, with jobs
loaded and setup completed in minutes, with any and all types of printing processes can be finished by the same
laser die cutting machine— from flexo, screen, digital etc. printing
lines-and cut in intricate detail in limitless shapes and geometries.
Any combination of cutting and marking details can be made in one
cycle—kiss-cutting, through-cutting, consecutive numbering,
personalizing, perforating, creasing, and more. The process allows for single source laser design combined with the sophisticated software
that underlies all Finecut technology delivers defect-free cutting and
ability to seamlessly stitch images together for unlimited X-direction
part dimensions.

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First Data Second Quarter Revenues Flat Y/Y

First Data reported that revenues for the second quarter were flat at $2.21 billion and adjusted earnings were $607 million, down 5% from the year ago quarter. The net loss for the quarter rose 22% from 2Q/08 to $195.9 million. Retail and Alliance Services reported revenue of $1.3 billion, up 8%. Financial Services revenue was $532 million, down 4%. International generated revenue of $404 million, down 13%. During the quarter FDC formed a new alliance with Bank of America Merchant Services, which will process more than one billion transactions per month. Also, FDC and PNC Bank extended their merchant alliance for an additional eight years; Wells Fargo expanded its agreement for card processing services; and the Company announced plans to move its headquarters to Atlanta. FDC noted that 33 new ISOs, 11 new referral partners and one new RSA were added to the Retail and Alliance Services distribution network; Financial Services renewed 68 contracts in the quarter; and International transactions grew 7%. For complete details on First Data’s second quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Chase Checking to Enhance Freedom Card Rewards

Chase’s “Freedom” credit card rewards program now has a new incentive: “Chase Checking.” In addition to one point per dollar charged to a “Chase Freedom” credit card, the new offer provides Chase checking account customers with: 10% more points for every dollar they spend on purchases with the card and 10 bonus points on every purchase. The “Chase Freedom” credit card also provides access to “Ultimate Rewards” and the “Ultimate Rewards Online Mall.” With the “Chase Freedom” credit card program customers earn unlimited points with no-annual fee card and the points never expire. In addition, new customers receive 1,000 bonus points after their first purchase. Chase introduced the “Freedom” card in 2006. (CF Library 9/18/06)

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BUYER-WALL

The process of combining tokenization and encryption for securing cardholder data from the card reader through the entire transaction lifecycle has become a reality. The new solution can virtually remove merchants’ POS and card readers from the scope of PCI compliance. Electronic Payment Exchange has become the first payment processor to offer such a true end-to-end solution with the introduction of “BuyerWall.” With the new solution encryption built into the hardware and software at the POS, it protects against potential breaches before card numbers enter into the authorization process as it immediately encodes credit card numbers upon the card swipe. Tokenization then replaces account numbers with values that are meaningless to hackers and identity thieves. FasTraxPOS, a retail automation company offering POS solutions to more than 1,300 convenience and tobacco-related stores, is one of the first organizations to adopt EPX’s new tokenized end-to-end encryption solution. EPX is a participating organization of the PCI Security Standards Council.

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Trustcash and Alligato to Integrate

Trustcash Holdings will integrate its alternative payment solution with
phone service provider Alligato. Alligato markets its service under the
www.CellLongDistance.com brand. Large member based organizations,
existing service providers, application providers and web communities
will now have access to cell phone long distance for their customers and
members with greater quality and at up to 90% savings. Trustcash is a
pioneer of anonymous payment systems for the internet. Trustcash
developed a business based on the sale of a virtual stored value card
that can be used by consumers to make secure and anonymous purchases on
the internet.

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Capital One Sued Over Rate Increases

Atlanta attorney E. Adam Webb
has filed a class action lawsuit against Capital One Bank.
According to the suit, Capital One raised the interest rates associated
with credit card accounts by over 9% even though accounts were
in good standing and had been at all relevant times. Although Capital
One did not purport to impose these new higher rates on balances accrued
prior to its notice to consumers, the effect is the same because of the
Bank’s practice of crediting all payments to the portion of the account
balance with the lowest interest rate. In addition, the suit alleges
that Capital One’s offer that customers could reject this interest rate
increase by closing their credit card accounts is inadequate because
closing a credit line has a negative impact
on a consumer’s credit score. A lower credit score can cost a consumer
thousands of dollars over the term of a home mortgage or other loan. As
a result, customers have been forced to accept Capital One’s unilateral
rate increases.
The Plaintiffs allege that Capital One is liable for all damages that
have resulted from its bad faith and improper conduct, to include the
differential in interest payments paid by the class members to Capital One.

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Ceto Names Consulting Services Exec

GA-based financial service consultants Ceto and Associates has
promoted Richard J. Holtzman to a manager position in their Consulting
Services Group. In his new role, Holtzman will serve as the Manager for
Ceto
and Associates’ nationally recognized revenue enhancement projects and
contract cost reduction assessments, in addition to other responsibilities.
Holtzman initially joined Ceto and Associates as a Consultant in Ceto’s
Consulting Service Group, conducting bank-wide studies to identify and
quantify systemic gaps in pricing, assessment and collection of service
and transactional fees. Ceto and Associates recognized his outstanding
efforts and results with clients and promoted him to Senior Consultant
in 2007. During his tenure as a Senior Consultant, Holtzman performed
multiple revenue enhancement consulting engagements for clients
nationwide. His responsibilities included identification and
quantification of benefits, implementation assistance, development of
performance measurement and monitoring systems, and ongoing consultation
and support. Holtzman is a Cum Laude graduate of Georgia Southern
University’s School of Finance.

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ASIA-PACIFIC TRAVEL

Corporate travel payment solution provider AirPlus International has
released a whitepaper, “Successful Travel Management in Asia-Pacific –
Challenges and Solutions in a Fast Changing Region” at the ACTE
Asia-Pacific Education Conference in Singapore which explores the
unique realities of managing travel in Asia-Pacific and provides
suggestions to global travel managers for improved performance in the
region.
A survey of ACTE-affiliated corporate travel managers supported the
study. Of those surveyed, 42% consider Asia-Pacific to be on the same
evolutionary path as Europe and North America, but at an earlier stage.
Another 72% consider travel managers from outside Asia-Pacific to lack a
good understanding of the region. This is best outlined by the
challenges highlighted within the paper which include cultural
diversity, multiple languages and alphabets, domestic (not global)
distribution systems, insufficient adaptation of management tools,
greater regulation and the lower status of travel managers. A few of
the whitepaper’s suggestions for working more effectively in the region
include: improving cultural understanding, meeting the high quality
service ethic in the region, visiting the region and recruiting local
expertise. Further, 19% said travel management has a different meaning
in Asia-Pacific but will change to resemble the European/North American
model more closely in the future.

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Survey Finds Purchase APRs up 20% Since January

A new study has found widespread and wide ranging changes in credit card pricing since January. CA-based 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. BillShrink found that Capital One has increased purchase and balance transfer rates 50%; US Bank has increased purchase and balance transfer rates 33%; Discover has increased purchase and balance transfer rates 30%; and Citi has increased purchase and balance transfer rates 27%. About 150 credit cards were reviewed.

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HYPERCOM & APRIVA

Apriva has Class A-certified Hypercom’s “SPOS32” payment software on the “Optimum T4230” terminal. The PCI PED-approved terminal features long-range GPRS with dial backup 32-bit multi-application processing and 24MB memory to accommodate value-added gift and loyalty programs. This allows credit, debit, gift, loyalty and check transactions on the “T4230” to be conducted using Apriva’s “Intelligent Gateway,” certified with all major North America-based merchant processors. The terminals also can conduct online reporting, order processing, terminal real-time provisioning and comprehensive customer management. Apriva wireless solution provider integrates hardware, software and network infrastructure in the POS and Secure Mobile Messaging markets while Hypercom offers high security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services.

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Mintel Comperemedia Hires Davidson

Market researcher Mintel Comperemedia has hired credit card industry
analyst Andrew Davidson as SVP.
Davidson brings 15+ years of financial services research
experience to Mintel Comperemedia. Davidson will help Mintel
Comperemedia provide the best direct marketing competitive intelligence
for businesses during this rough economic time. Mintel Comperemedia
provides competitive intelligence for businesses
looking to advance and improve their direct marketing strategy.

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