Elavon Expands its Multi-Currency Platform

U.S. Bancorp’s global card acquirer Elavon has enhanced its proprietary international processing platform, which allows merchants to authorize in 89 currencies, settle in 16 and convert in up to 48, along with access to cross-border and “Dynamic Currency Conversion” capabilities. The number of currencies supported for DCC varies slightly by country and point-of-sale solution, but Elavon is the first card acquirer in Germany to offer “DCC” in more than 25 currencies. Managing the entire conversion process from direct treasury exchange rates, transaction processing, back-end reconciliation, settlement and funding, Elavon ensures accurate, market-driven, currency transactions which are updated daily. Elavon represents the former brands of euroConex, NOVA Information Systems and its affiliates FHMS.

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Moneris and Access Development Partner

Moneris electronic payment processor solutions has partnered with Access
Development loyalty marketing solutions to offer its merchants a new
advertising solution for revenue building. With this solution, Moneris
merchants are allowed extensive advertising to a large and exclusive
audience. The solution is funded only when a purchase is made and drives
increased spending for a subsequent average rise in credit transactions
by 37% and debit transactions by 11%. Merchants attract cardholders with
cash-back offers processed automatically when purchases are made with
cards registered in the program. Access Development focuses on revenue
and brand equity for its clients through loyalty solutions for over
250,000 merchants while Moneris Solutions payment cards offers payment
processing capabilities through POS hardware, software, ACH, electronic check, e-commerce solutions and its gift card program.

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Futura Card Adds M-Phone Texting

Futura Card and Metavante Mobile Financial Services have joined forces
to launch a text message service for Futura cardholders.
The service, powered by Monitise Americas allows Futura cardholders to
receive free text messaging alerts for many types
of transactions and to obtain real-time card balance information on
their cell phones. This dynamic text messaging service is compatible
with the great majority of handsets and cell phone carriers in the
country, making it an excellent fit for Futura’s customer base of
prepaid and postpaid cell phone users. Futura(R) Card Services is one of
the largest and fastest growing brands
in the stored value card marketplace. Futura markets, distributes and
services a suite of prepaid MasterCard debit card products.
Monitise Americas is a joint venture between
Monitise plc, a global specialist in mobile banking technology, and
Metavante Corporation, a leading provider of banking and payments
technologies to financial institutions and businesses worldwide.

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Fiserv Launches Mobile Money FastTrack

Utilizing technology from Atlanta-based M-Com Inc, Fiserv financial
service technology solutions has launched its “Mobile Money FastTrack”
mobile banking solution. The new mobile payment solution is available to
financial institutions to offer its customers, whom can enroll online or
offline, and is an improved version of Fiserv’s “Mobile Money SM”.
Features include “triple play” technology allowing mobile account access
through either mobile browsing, SMS (text messaging) or a downloaded
application for banking and payments capabilities. These allow balance
inquiries, transaction history, account transfers, bill payments,
account alerts and an ATM/branch locator application. Additionally, the
solution can be implemented within 90 days for many financial
institutions, is supported with 24/7 customer support and is protected
with such security solutions as data encryption and risk management
safeguards. Atlanta-based M-Com international mobile banking solution
aims to provide low cost service while Fiserv information management and
electronic commerce for financial institutions was established 25 years
ago.

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NCBP Expands into Chicago Area for NCR

North Country Business Products(NCBP), an NCR retail reseller, is
expanding to provide retailers in the Chicago metro area with NCR retail
technology solutions. Promoting the new development, NCBP and NCR is
inviting retailers from around the area to its reception located in Oak
Brook, Ill, which will feature demonstrations of NCR’s industry-leading
solutions for the food industry on June 9th. NCBP provides such NCR
retail solutions as the “SelfServ Checkout” self-checkout, the “Advanced
Checkout Solution” POS software, the “NCR RealPOS 80XRT” POS workstation
and the “NCR RealPOS” Bi-Optic Scanner/Scale. MN-based NCBP has been
distributing POS products and solutions for 31 years, employs 220 in 11
states and is 100% employee owned. The NCR Corporation offers its ATMs
and self-checkout solutions in over 100 countries.

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AmEx and Chase Say No More TARP Funds

American Express and Chase have tapped the equity markets to begin
repaying the funds the received under the “Troubled Asset Relief
Program.” Chase is seeking to raise $5 billion while AmEx is seeking to
raise at least $500 million. AmEx is offering 19.8 million shares of its
common stock at a price to the public of $25.25 per share. AmEx says the
capital raised will be used for general corporate purposes which may
include the partial funding of a repurchase of $3.4 billion of preferred
shares issued to the U.S. Treasury as part of the “Capital Purchase
Program.” Last month, AmEx announced it was seeking permission to repay
the government investment, after receiving a final report from the
Federal Reserve that concluded there would be “no capital need” under
the more adverse assumptions used by the “Supervisory Capital Assessment
Program.” Chase says it is raising the funds in common equity to satisfy
a supervisory condition that the largest bank holding companies
redeeming TARP. While approval has not been granted, the company
believes that upon completion of this capital raise it will have
satisfied the criteria for fully redeeming the TARP preferred capital
and expects to do so before the end of June. Chase expects to have “Tier
One Capital” of approximately $118 billion or 9.3% and “Tier One Common”
of approximately $93 billion or 7.3% at the end of the second quarter,
after the capital raise and the “TARP” preferred capital redemption.

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ProPay and Jenkon Introduce ProtectPay

UT-based merchant payment solution provider ProPay has
partnered with enterprise management software developer Jenkon to offer
“ProtectPay” PCI compliant software.
ProPay’s “ProtectPay” can remove the need for customers to handle credit
card data by creating a unique identifier for each credit card, which is
used by the Jenkon system for processing and recurring payments. By
using the unique identifier, rather than the actual credit card data,
merchants eliminate exposing the data unnecessarily. Therefore sensitive
data is not compromised since the identifying number does not hold any
significance to a specific account. Data in ProPay’s system is protected
using industry best practices for security and encryption.

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Tetherball Powers DQ Mobile Rewards

Loyalty and rewards provider Tetherball has teamed with RFID developer
ViVOtech and introduced the “Tetherball Tag” RFID chip. Tetherball helps clients “tether” their brand to
target audiences by identifying what their customers want and delivering
mobile campaigns. Upon joining,customers are given a “Tetherball Tag”,
a tiny RFID chip that is easily
affixed to their mobile phones, which uniquely identifies them through
Tetherball’s sophisticated technology platform. Tetherball clients are
then able to send offers to their customers via standard text messaging.
Offers are redeemed electronically using existing in-store RFID point of
sale terminals or stand-alone RFID kiosks provided by Tetherball.
Mobiquitous, a patent-pending real time web-based reporting system,
delivers detailed visibility and analytics into coupon redemption rates
and overall program performance and provides clients with “real time
visibility” so that they can adjust
quickly and leverage the real time nature of mobile marketing.

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TD BANK 1Q/09

TD Bank Financial Group reported its 1Q/09 results showing a reported net
income of CAD$618 million and an adjusted net income of CAD$1,089
million, compared with CAD$973 million for the year ago period. During
the quarter, the Bank also recorded a PCL of CAD $656 million, an increase
of CAD $424 million compared with the second quarter last year, mostly
thanks to higher provisions in Personal and Commercial Banking and
Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking with an increase of CAD$110
million in general allowance for credit losses. Overall credit card
loans totaled CAD$500 million for an average expected account life span of
3.2 years while the allowance for credit losses of CAD$2,178 million was
comprised of total specific allowances of $517 million with a general
allowance of CAD$1,661 million. The Toronto-Dominion Bank serves
approximately 17 million customers and has nearly $575 billion in assets.

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Costs Vary Widely for the Underbanked

A new research report on how much prepaid cardholders spend each month to conduct essential financial transactions, compared to what they would spend if they used only a checking account or check cashing services has been released. The study found that the range of monthly costs to use prepaid cards is $6.00 to $64.95. Using a check casher is the most expensive with monthly costs ranging from $10.00 to $97.20. Using a bank checking accounts produces monthly costs from $9.89 to $47.01. The research by The Center for Financial Services Innovation also found that each of these services can be used relatively cost effectively, if the individual has access to low cost providers. Instead, consumers of financial services must evaluate their own cash flow needs, behaviors and preferences in order to choose the combination of products and services that is the best fit for them in terms of both price and functionality. CFI notes that individuals who live in underserved markets often pay more for basic goods and services than other Americans. Many factors contribute to this phenomenon. Higher costs to do business in underserved neighborhoods and a lack of competition diminish the supply of appropriately priced goods and services. On the demand side, underserved individuals often face meaningful barriers to seeking out the lowest price option (such as lack of time or a car), or require product features for which they are charged a premium.

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Credit CARD Act White Paper Released

CHH has released a new white paper that analyzes the Credit CARD Act.
The report, entitled
“Credit Card Reform: An Analysis of the Credit CARD Act”, examines the
Act, which is designed to provide consumers with access to credit on
terms that are
fair and more easily understood.
Nearly 75% of U.S. households use at least one
general-purpose credit card, and revolving consumer credit in the United
States has more than quadrupled over the past two decades. As usage of
credit cards
has grown, so have the variety of fees and practices.
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business is a provider of research
products and software solutions in key specialty areas for legal and
business
professionals, as well as casebooks and study aids for law students.

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Overall U.S. ABS Market Rises 8% in 08

Despite the weakness in the U.S. credit card ABS market the overall U.S. asset-based lending industry grew by 8.3% in 2008
and approached $600 billion in total loans outstanding. According to a new survey from the Commercial Finance Association the top three industries utilizing asset-based lending in 2008 were retail, steel and food. However, these industries collectively represent less than one-third of total outstanding loans. The factoring industry experienced a stable 2008, growing by 0.5% despite the current credit environment.
The textile/apparel industry continued to prevail as the leading
industry utilizing factoring. CFA notes that 2008 marked the seventh consecutive year of growth in the asset-based lending industry.

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