KORE & BLUE BAMBOO

Wireless services provider KORE Telematics has teamed
with Blue Bamboo to help power electronic payments using the “H50” Terminal, a new entry in
the rapidly growing wireless point-of-sale marketplace.
Blue Bamboo’s all-in-one “H50” is a versatile handheld POS terminal with
configurable communication modules supporting GPRS, Bluetooth and
dial-up connectivity. Its GPD/STIP multi-merchant, multi-application
platform enables highly flexible payment processing. The “H50” has
received PCI-PED, EMV Level 1 & 2, PABP and MasterCard PTS
certifications. Packaged in a sleek ergonomic design, the “H50” enables
mobile professionals to process secure, electronic payments in a simple,
reliable and affordable manner. With Blue Bamboo’s “H50” Terminal,
merchants can save time, reduce processing fees, prevent fraud and
minimize losses resulting from non-swiped transactions—all of which
contribute to a quick return on their technology investment. KORE
provides Blue Bamboo with an integrated wireless network with the
coverage, reliability, comprehensive management and optimized usage
plans required to deliver these POS payment applications.

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GLOBALPLATFORM & CARDINGENCE

Smart Card specification body GlobalPlatform welcomes CARDigence as its newest
Consultant Member. The independent consultancy, which specializes in
providing strategic and technical consulting and implementation services
for smart card projects, joins GlobalPlatform to gain an insight into
the organization’s latest advancements within the mobile and ID card
sectors. As a Consultant Member, CARDigence will be able to monitor developments
in GlobalPlatform’s card, device and systems technology and debate the
organization’s business and technical priorities by participating in the
Advisory Council; a forum attended by GlobalPlatform’s Executive
Committee and Board of Directors. The company will also have the
opportunity to engage in GlobalPlatform’s Government and Mobile Task
Force initiatives.

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I.C.E. Revenue and Profit Falls in 1Q/09

Transaction service provider International Card Establishment has posted a loss for the first quarter.
I.C.E. had net revenue of
$1,517,714 and a net loss of $(67,536) ($0.00 per share) versus net
revenue of $1,940,679 and a net loss of $(5,545) ($0.00 per share) for
the comparable year ago period. Net revenues decreased by $422,965 for the three months ended March 31,
2009 due mainly to the poor economy, as well as continued attrition of
merchant accounts and tighter credit policies. I.C.E. establishes merchant
accounts for businesses that enable them to accept credit cards, debit
cards and other forms of electronic payments; supplies point-of-sale
systems; facilitates processing; and markets a proprietary Gift and
Loyalty system that enables merchants to offer custom store-branded gift
and loyalty cards and marketing and promotional tools.

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United Bank Card Offers iPhone Processing

NJ-based United Bank Card is now processing transactions on the
“iPhone.” The
transactions
can be conducted through an Authorize.net online gateway via the iPhone
credit card
application which can be downloaded through Apple’s “App Store.” Class B
support is
available through UBC.
United Bank Card currently handles the merchant accounts for over 100,000
locations and
processes in excess of 9 billion dollars annually.

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Card Mail Drops 67% in Q1 to 372MM Pieces

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. The market tracker found
that direct mail offers carrying an annual fee rose from 18% in 1Q/08 to
27% in 1Q/09. Also, fee based cards now reflect an increasing proportion
of both reward/rebate and non-reward/rebate card solicitations. In the
first quarter, 24% of reward/rebate offers carried an annual fee versus
18% in the first quarter of 2008. At the same time, 42% of
non-reward/rebate offers carried an annual fee versus 19% in the prior year.

CREDIT CARD SOLICITATIONS
1Q/07: 1372 million
2Q/07: 1275 million
3Q/07: 1290 million
4Q/07: 1286 million
1Q/08: 1132 million
2Q/08: 1060 million
3Q/08: 1032 million
4Q/08: 576 million
1Q/09: 372 million
Source: Synovate Mail Monitor

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ZKA & HYPERCOM

Hypercom’s 32-bit multi-application “Optimum T4200” and “M4200”
countertop and mobile transaction terminals are officially approved as
compliant with the current EMV POS terminal specification from the
Central Credit Committee (Zentraler Kreditausschuss – ZKA) in Germany.
The Optimum countertop and mobile series has received PCI PED security
approval, MasterCard Worldwide Payment Terminal Security approval for IP
and wireless communication, and EMV Level 1 & 2 certifications for chip
card transactions. All models share the same platform, user interface
and software toolkit to maximize efficiency, application portability and
offer customers a broad range of options to serve any market need.
Additionally, Hypercom’s Artema software now runs on the Optimum T4200
and M4200 family of terminals.

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V/MC International PDV Drops 3% in 4Q/08

While Visa and MasterCard U.S. credit and debit card purchase dollar volume declined 2% in the fourth quarter, outside the U.S. the credit card debit card PDV dropped 3%. According to CardData, Visa and MasterCard posted $512 billion in non-U.S. or international PDV in 4Q/08, compared to $526 billion in 4Q/07. In the U.S. the credit and debit card PDV declined from $633 billion in 4Q/07 to $619 billion in 4Q/08. Visa reported a worldwide decline in PDV of 0.9% in 4Q/08. Visa’s U.S. PDV dropped 1.1% while Canada declined 15.4% and the Latin American region slipped 0.4%. MasterCard posted a 3.3% gain in global PDV in the fourth quarter. All non-U.S. regions for MasterCard reported fourth quarter gains. In the U.S., the PDV declined 4.6% in 4Q/08, according to CardData (www.carddata.com).

NON-U.S. PDV
($ billions)
VISA MASTERCARD TOTAL
4Q/07: $268 $258 $526
1Q/08: $264 $247 $511
2Q/08: $276 $272 $548
3Q/08: $280 $280 $560
4Q/08: $266 $246 $512
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Travelex’s Cash Passport Increases by 70%

A new survey has found that more than two-thirds of travelers said they
preferred the convenience of converting currency in the U.S. and
indicated concern over locating an exchanger in an unfamiliar country.
The research conducted by Travelex also found that nearly 70% of survey
respondents indicated that at least one of their top three reasons for
exchanging domestically was price-related. A combined 54% of customers
said they were worried they’d pay higher fees or higher exchange rates
at their destination. Also, 29% exchanged domestically to receive a
currency return guarantee. Travelex says it has seen a 70% increase in
sales of its “Cash Passport,” a pre-paid currency card with bank-card
functionality, as well as locked-in exchange rates, PIN protection and
replacement in case of loss or theft.

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GEMALTO & O3SIS

Digital security provider Gemalto has acquired O3SIS, a provider of
carrier grade Personal Data Management
solutions to Mobile Network Operators. With more than one billion
personal data records managed and more than 300 devices supported,
including popular devices such as the iPhone, the G-Phone and
Blackberries, O3SIS’ software suite allows consumers on the move to
access and share any kind of personal data – contacts, email, multimedia
content – wherever its location in the mobile equipment or in the cloud.
O3SIS also provides the “push email” technology used to notify and
transfer email to any mobile subscriber’s device regardless of the
storage place. O3SIS will be fully integrated
into the Gemalto Mobile Communications segment over the coming months,
and will be forming the core of Gemalto’s personal data management offer
to mobile network operators. By combining O3SIS’ handset synchronisation
to Gemalto’s SIM card and USB dongle-based software solutions, as well
as its infrastructure for operated services, Gemalto will be able to
deploy a superior and highly differentiated turn-key offer to mobile
network operators. Under the operator’s brand, this multi-faceted range
of services will enable end-users to share, store or back up personal
data such as their phonebook, calendar, photos, or other multimedia data
from either fixed or mobile devices and to leverage this data through
value-added communication solutions such as push email and mobile
instant messaging.

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Advance America Uses TLR100 for Check-To-Card

Check cashing service Advance America has implemented TX-based VALID
Systems “TLR100” check verification solution.
Advance America designed the Check-To-Card program to deliver speed,
convenience and
safety for consumers wanting a better alternative than traditional check
cashing services. The prepaid card, issued by MetaBank and serviced by
NetSpend, is accepted anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.
Cardholder benefits include access to more than one million ATMs as well
as a free cash-back feature at thousands of financial institutions.
Additional benefits of the prepaid card include Zero Liability
protection1, online bill payment and account access, no overdraft
charges and access to the NetSpend National Savings Program that
currently offers a promotional 5.00 percent APY. Accounts in the
NetSpend National Savings program are held by Inter National Bank,
member FDIC in McAllen, Texas. VALID Systems is a provider of automated
check cashing and verification solutions.

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AmEx Upgrades its My Wishlist to Daily Wish

American Express has launched a new online marketplace for its cardholders that offers a wide range of hand-picked products and experiences with savings up to 50% off. The “Daily Wish” marketplace, for example, will offer cardholders on May 28th the opportunity to purchase a limited number of energy-efficient 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid cars that normally sell for about $23,000 for the amazing price of $12,160. “Daily Wish” expands on the five year old American Express’ “My Wishlist” program. Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, a new collection of offers and products becomes available. On the sale day, the sale time is revealed and a countdown begins. Once the sale begins, cardholders can click on the “I Want It” button and the opportunity to buy is given to the first participants, until quantities of the item on sale run out. During the next few weeks, “Daily Wish” will feature savings on a number of sought-after home and electronic products including unique Las Vegas vacations.

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