ADVANTAGE HIZZ

HSBC Bank has selected On Track Innovations’ contactless payment
product suite for its “Advantage Hizz” (Fast Advantage) MasterCard
“PayPass” program. HSBC is deploying “Advantage Hizz” to offer customers
a contactless payment solution without the need for a signature nor
password on purchases of less than 35 Turkish Lira. In addition to
offering its customers the traditional payment card, HSBC is also
providing a contactless key fob and sticker for acceptance in 4,000
quick-serve restaurants, convenient stores, book & music stores,
accessory stores, groceries and supermarkets. Adhering to multiple
surfaces, the contactless sticker and fob meet all payments industry
security requirements with the speed and convenience of contactless
transactions. Providing contactless microprocessor-based smart card
solutions since 1990, OTI applications are deployed for homeland
security, payments, petroleum payments and other applications around the
world.

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ABM & FEES

The Association of Banks in Malaysia (ABM) announced its commercial
banks are now required to reduce late payment credit card charges from a
maximum of RM75, to which the penalty was recently reduced from RM100,
to a maximum of RM50. Under the new regulation, cardholders are required
to pay a minimum of RM5, which was reduced from RM10, or 1% of the total
balance outstanding on the statement date- whichever is higher- up to
no more than RM50 for late charges. Additionally, credit card users
will now be allowed a minimum three-day grace period from the due date
of payment.

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AirPlus International Promotes 3 Executives

Corporate travel payment solution provider AirPlus International has promoted Aaron Kelling to EVP, Strategic Partnerships.
Alexander Houston to EVP, Sales and Kathy Cantwell has been promoted to VP, Client Services. Formerly serving as AirPlus Vice
President, Sales and Account Management for the Northern US and Canada,Kelling will now have responsibility for the entire US market.
Prior to joining AirPlus Kelling was with American Express as
Director of Business Development as well as with Galileo International in
various roles including Director of Global Strategic Sales. During his time
with Galileo, Kelling was prominently featured in an article for Forbes
magazine entitled, “Life of a Salesman.” Formerly serving as Vice President Sales for the southern US region, Houston is well-rounded and possesses over 30 years of diverse travel
industry experience and is an active participant in industry
associations and events. Cantwell, formerly Director, Customer and
Agency Relations, has 20 years of travel industry experience in both
technology and international integration capacities and joined AirPlus
during its initial launch in the US market just over five years ago.

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EDB & HANDELSBANKEN

Handelsbanken is making available its geographic blocking service,
allowing customers to protect their payment cards from the most common
forms of fraud. Developed by EDB, the regional blocking service allows
users to verify geographic areas in which they want to validate the use
of their Visa and MasterCard. In doing so, customers are allowed to tick
the regional choices displayed through their internet banking and unlock
a new region whenever traveling. EDB IT group, which expects most banks
in Norway to launch the geographical blocking service in the near
future, offers solutions in 13 countries through its 6,200 employees
while Handelsbanken operates 700 branch offices across the Nordic region.

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NAB & VESECURE

To improve the customer experience for telephone banking and enhance
security, Telstra has deployed the Salmat VeCommerce “VeSecure” voice
biometric solution at the National Australia Bank. Improving
privacy with no need for PINs nor passwords, “VeSecure” deployment
follows the recent NAB “VeConnect” implementation single point of
telephone contact for customer inquiries as part of the Bank’s ongoing
customer service initiative. Allowing users to register their
‘voiceprint’ by speaking their individual account number, the customers’
identity is then verified for “VeSecure” voice recognition secure
telephone banking. Chosen for its proven track record and speech-enabled
solutions, Salmat VeCommerce customer interactions are designed for
improved efficiency, increase revenues and security, for which Telstra
provides first level support, while National Australia Bank offers
comprehensive and integrated financial products and services.

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GE & BAC

GE Capital Global Banking has increased its ownership in BAC-Credomatic
GECF from 49.99% to 75%, which itself owns the retail bank BAC
International Bank and Credomatic operations throughout Central America.
With BAC Credomatic Holding retaining 25%, terms under the increased
share in BAC-Credomatic GECF were not disclosed. BAC was established in
1952 to serve Central Americas countries, has $7.5 billion in assets and
$4.7 billion in deposits while GE Capital’s Global Banking business
reaches customers in 26 countries, offering credit cards, personal
loans, auto financing, savings products and many other financial
products.

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Business Owner Anxiety Lessens During June

Nerves appear to be quieting among small business owners as the mood on
the economy held steady in June. About 42% of small business owners say
they have experienced temporary cash flow issues in the past 90 days,
down from May’s record high of 49%. The Discover “Small Business Watch”
index rose to 80.9, up from 78.1 in May. Nearly 60% of small business
operators rate the economy as poor, down 1% from May, while 8% rate the
economy as excellent or good, and 30% called it fair.
Discover also found that 51% of small business owners say they plan to
decrease spending on business development over the next six months, down
from 53% in May; 22% plan to increase spending, and 24% are not planning
any spending changes. Additionally, the monthly Discover survey found
that 45% of small business owners said they used personal savings as the
source of financial capital for starting their businesses followed by:
19%, bank loans; 16%, funding from family and friends; 8%, credit cards;
4%, second mortgage or equity loan; and 8% answered “Some other way.”

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AIRPLUS EXECS

Effective immediately, AirPlus International corporate travel payment
solutions has promoted Alexander Houston to Executive VP, Sales and
Kathy Cantwell to VP, Client Services. Formerly as VP, Sales for the
southern regional US, Houston brings to his new role over 30 years’
industry experience while Cantwell comes to the role with 20 years’
experience, most recently as Director, Customer and Agency Relations.
Cantwell’s background is in technology and international integration
capacities and has been with AirPlus for 5 years. The international
corporate payment provider serves 32,000 customers worldwide with its
business travel payment solutions, which include central bill accounts,
corporate cards and online management tools.

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MAY LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the Euro Area
increased 1.9%, a figure having plummeted over 15% between June of 2007
and December of 2008, while The Conference Board Coincident Economic
Index (CEI) decreased .1% in May. With the 1.9% increase in May, The
Conference Board LEI for The Euro Area now stands at 95.4 (2004 = 100),
which increased 1.6% in April and stayed flat in March, while the CEI
now stands at 101.6 (2004 = 100), which decreased 0.4% in both April and
March. With these positive LEI results for the month, the index is
reportedly out of recession territory thanks in part to gains seen in
all categories and first time increases in Germany, France and Spain.

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MAY DEBT

Growth in credit card outstandings remains in a holding pattern for the past eight months, hovering around GBP 53 billion. Year-on-year, credit card loan growth is down 5.0% (seasonally adjusted). According to the The Bank of England, net credit card was GBP 54.4 billion in May. However, the amount outstanding of credit card lending increased by GBP 1.5 billion following the de-securitisation of a credit card portfolios from a U.K. bank to associated non-resident companies. Overall, the increase in total net lending to individuals in May (GBP 600 million) was lower than the April increase (GBP 1.1 billion) and below the previous six-month average. The twelve-month growth rate continued to fall, by 0.3 percentage points to 1.4% and the three-month annualized growth rate decreased by 0.3 percentage points to 0.6%. Total consumer credit increased by a net GBP 0.3 billion, in line with the previous six-month average. The annual growth rate of consumer credit continued to fall, to 2.3%; but the three-month annualized growth rate increased by 0.3 percentage points to 0.9%.

NOTE: Chart does not include about GBP10 billion from specialist lenders, retailers, and insurance companies. SOURCE: Bank of England

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Credit Cardholder Switching Grinds to a Halt

As issuers lower credit lines, tighten underwriting and focus on existing accounts the number of consumers switching to other cards has nose-dived. According to CardData, voluntary attrition for the month of May slipped to an all-time low of 4.98%, compared to 6.80% one-year ago and 9.35% five years ago. Direct mail credit card offers declined 67% year-on-year during the first quarter. The Q1 sharp drop follows a 55% decrease in the fourth quarter and a 20% decline in the third quarter. For the full year of 2008 there were 3.8 billion solicitations mailed, compared to 5.2 billion in 2007. According to Synovate’s “Mail Monitor,” U.S. households received 372.4 million offers during the first quarter, compared to 1131.6 million offers received during 1Q/08. According to CardWatch the average number of paid credit card offers appearing on the top card marketing sites in May was 38, compared to more than 70 one-year ago and as many as 188 in 2007. In addition to suspending paid online marketing for credit cards, some issuers have insisted that their non-bounty paying cards be removed from consumer-related credit card sites. CardTrak.com reports that U.S. Bank, Barclays, Chase, and Capital One have asked that all non-paying cards be removed too. Bank of America has stopped advertising online totally. Chase and Capital One have pulled advertising back and will not approve any new websites. (CF Library 5/26/09; 6/1/09; 6/3/09)

MAY ATTRITION
(Excludes Discover and AmEx)
2005: 9.35%
2006: 8.99%
2007: 9.10%
2008: 6.80%
2009: 4.98%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Springbok Introduces the enPay Payroll Card

CO-based prepaid card provider Springbok has introduced the “enPay”
prepaid payroll card. “enPay” payroll cards enable companies to lower
costs and optimize payment processes. With the cost to cut and mail
checks approaching $2 each, employers can
save nearly $50 per employee annually by using Springbok enPay payroll
cards. Employers can customize their enPay prepaid payroll card with
their company name and
logo, distribute the enPay cards to employees and then upload funds
directly to the payroll card to pay salaries, reimburse out-of-pocket
expenses, pay bonuses and commissions, or fulfill termination payments.
For employees, enPay prepaid payroll cards eliminate the need to stand
in line at a bank or check cashing service and help them avoid the
associated costs. Springbok enPay gives employees immediate access to
their funds via more than 37,000 surcharge-free ATMs across the country
and more than one million ATMs worldwide. Employees can also use their
prepaid payroll cards to make purchases anywhere Visa debit cards are
accepted. Additionally, Springbok enPay payroll cards provide greater
security because cardholder funds are FDIC insured and Visa’s Zero
Liability Policy1 protects cardholders against unauthorized purchases.
Cardholders also have 24 x 7 access to transaction history and customer
support.

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