Financial Literacy Gap Among Students Found

Taking on new financial responsibilities means different things to
female high school seniors than it does to their male counterparts,
according to a recent Capital One Financial survey of 500 graduates
throughout the U.S. As a matter of fact, 65.4% of male students regard
themselves as “highly knowledgeable” in personal finance, compared to
only 49.2% of female survey participants. This confidence correlates
with findings demonstrating 45% of male survey participants have taken a
financial education class, whereas 61% of female students have not. Overall,
33.8% of both male and female are unsure or unprepared to manage their
own banking and personal finances, 80% have had a bank account for 1-2
years, 73% of which balance their checkbooks at least once each month.
Additional findings show 85% of those surveyed periodically set money
aside savings, 50.6% implement a budget, 70% reported their parents
provide advice on money management and 27% said that their parents are
primary financial resource.

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First Data and Compass Unveil Zipthru Rewards

First Data and NC-based foodservice management provider Compass have rolled out “Zipthru Rewards”, a new loyalty program.
“Zipthru Rewards” program, based on First Data?s loyalty
technology, is an automated, points-based loyalty program that
recognizes customers by their level of loyalty. The most loyal customers
receive additional rewards, including access to special discounts on
goods and services from both local and national merchants. The “Zipthru Rewards” program has been a highly successful concept for
Compass Group. Since implementing the loyalty program, Compass Group has
seen an increase in customer frequency, participation and satisfaction.
Compass Group North America is the leading foodservice and support services company with more than $9 billion in revenues in 2008.

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Card Issuers Begin Boosting Rates and Fees

In advance of the implementation of the “Credit CARD Act of 2009” next
year, issuers are beginning to boost fees and rates. Chase, Wells Fargo
Financial and BofA have recently made T&C changes. Chase announced it is
raising its “Balance Transfer Fee” and “Cash Advance Fee” from 3% to 5%
effective next month. Chase is also switching from fixed interest rates
to variable. Chase no longer caps either fee. However, Chase says it may
adjust the rates, fees and fee caps for special offers. According to
CardTrak, Wells Fargo Financial is adding a 3% balance transfer fee with
a $5 minimum and a $99 maximum to its “Cash on Demand” card next month.
WFF also added a $35 annual fee and added a floor interest rate of
20.65%. Earlier this year, Bank of America increased its balance
transfer fees. The BofA “Standard Balance Transfer Fee” is 4% with a
$10 minimum. BofA ATM cash advances, bank cash advances, and cash
equivalent transactions are now 5% with $15 minimum.

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ORCC/FDC Promote PINless Debit for Doctors

Under a new partnership, hospitals, doctors, laboratories and other related healthcare billers can offer a PINless bill payment method
via the “STAR Network.” Online Resources and First Data have teamed to offer lower cost Web and phone-based ATM/debit card payments from healthcare organizations. The U.S. healthcare payment system processes $1.9 trillion a year, according to McKinsey & Company. Payment processing costs consume about 15% or more of each dollar spent. The “STAR Network” has about two million ATM and retail locations across the country. Online Resources provides its financial institution and biller clients online bill payment and processing services through its network of over 6,000 electronic biller endpoints.

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AmEx President Joins the MetLife Board

MetLife has tapped American Express President Alfred Kelly to serve on
its Board of Directors. At American Express, Kelly has day-to-day
responsibility for the
company’s global consumer businesses, which include consumer and small
business cards, customer service, global banking, prepaid products,
consumer travel and risk and information management. Prior to his
current position, he was a group president responsible for several key
businesses, including U.S. consumer and small business cards, U.S.
customer service and risk management. From 1985 to 1987, Kelly served as
head of information systems at the
White House where he oversaw the information processing functions for
several government agencies that comprise the Executive Office of the
President. He holds bachelor of arts and masters degrees in business
administration from Iona College.

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ID ALARM

Providing the earliest possible warning of identity theft, the new ID
Alarm security solution has been introduced allowing companies to send
security alerts to customers when their personal ID is being used.
Alerts are available through real time text message or email, offering
details of the where, the when and the what concerning the compromising
of government ID, public or private health cards and credit cards issued
around the world. Government ID issuers, banks, lawyers, tax preparers,
hospitals, retailers, utilities, employers and airlines, among other
issuers, need enter an ID type and number into an online interface to
generate a security alert based on any ID they are presented. Flagging
capabilities in the event of a lost or stolen card are also available.
Ontario-based ID Alarm was founded in 2003.

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Metavante Renews SmartOne Prepaid Solutions

WI-based payment technology provider Metavante has renewed its prepaid
card processing agreement with smartOne Prepaid Solutions division of
First National Bank of Omaha. First National Bank of
Omaha will continue offering its smartOne Prepaid Solutions products and
services with account processing and real-time account validation
services from Metavante. First National Bank of Omaha’s smartOne Prepaid
Solutions portfolio includes payroll, reward/incentive and corporate
disbursement (travel expenses and relocation funds) prepaid cards.

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Cardholders Still Hammered by T&C Changes

A new survey has found that a third of consumers say their card company has made one or some combination of changes recently. The June poll by GfK found that 19% reported an increase in their interest rate 19%, up from 15% in the February survey. About 18% report their credit limit was lowered, up from 8% in February survey. Other findings: 14% report an increased in fees; 12% report an increased in their minimum payment due and 9% says their rewards program was reduced. The national telephone poll was conducted on behalf of Credit.com.

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Online Shopping Carts Left Stranded at Checkout

Recent research reveals that 45% of online shoppers have abandoned their interactive ‘carts’, which averaged a total of $109, more than once over the course of the previous 3 weeks. The PayPal survey found that 40% of the 46% who decided not to purchase items because of high shipping charges shared that they may have executed the purchase if shipping fees were disclosed upfront, the demographic PayPal is targeting with its “Express Checkout” Instant Update API. “Express Checkout” allows merchants to show order details, such as shipping options, insurance choices and tax totals, earlier in the process. Among the 553 U.S. participants whom disclosed they have recently abandoned their ‘cart,’ additional findings show 37% did so to compare other website prices while 36% simply did not have the money. Less popular reasons for abandonment show 27% wanted to look for a coupon; 26% decided to shop offline; 24% couldn’t find their preferred pay option; 23% disclosed the chosen item was unavailable at checkout; 22% couldn’t find customer support; and 21% were concerned about security of credit card data.

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EZIO OPTICAL TAN

Among the most secure online banking schemes is the optical authentication system used in Germany. Gemalto has unveiled “Ezio Optical TAN,” whereby users simply present the device in front of their computer screen and optical sensors capture the data they would normally enter from the reader keypad to carry out and sign online transactions. No software needs to be installed to use the device. The size of a credit card, the new Gemalto reader is compliant with the latest German “HHD” standard and leverages the security of “SECCOS” banking cards. Gemalto has already delivered “Ezio” authentication solutions to leading banks in Asia, Europe and the Americas. Germany has the largest number of online banking customers in Europe, about 30 million.

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Credit Card ABS Charge-Offs Top 10% in May

Charge-offs among credit card-backed securities logged another record in May topping the 10% milestone. However, the delinquency ratio declined for the second consecutive month. The latest “Moody’s Credit Card Index” shows 30+ day delinquency dropped to 5.97% from 6.34% in April. However, Moody’s says the improvement is an expected seasonal phenomenon arising from the tax refund season and fully expects delinquencies to resume their upward trend. Charge-offs rose to 10.62% in May from 9.97% in April and 6.41% a year earlier. The May “Index” also shows payment rates slipping for the second consecutive month, to 16.01% from 16.20% in the prior month. The yield index rebounded from last month’s sharp decline, returning above the 18% level and reflecting discounting initiatives by Citibank and Bank of America. However the increase was not enough to keep excess spread levels from falling below the 5% level for the first time since 1998.

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One World Visa & MasterCard is Launched

Prepaid card provider One World Ventures is now marketing the
“One World Card” for migrant workers. The One World Card is a VISA/MasterCard remittance solution “Money Transfer Card” and the
world’s first combination “Pay-Remit Card.” These two new products
combined in to one card have been designed for American-based migrant
workers, the underserved and their families back home in Indonesia,
Vietnam and the Philippines. One World Ventures is a holding company that invests in
technologies, communities and systems that facilitate trade, finance,
communication and travel across international boundaries, cultures and
languages.

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