AmEx Appears at Hearing with Senate Committee on Small Business

The United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing to explore how the small
business provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being implemented and to find alternative sources of financing for small
business owners. The Committee heard from Small Business Administration(SBA) Administrator Karen G.Mills and from the President of American Express’s OPEN program, the
company’s division that handles small business, a community development credit union, a microlender and a company specializing in capital for high-growth firms. During the second panel of today’s hearing, Sen. Mary Landrieu noted that credit cards
are playing an increasing role in small business financing. According to
a recent survey by the National Small Business Association, 59% of the nation’s small businesses utilize credit cards for their firms. The National Federation of Independent Business estimates that the number of small businesses using credit cards could be as high as 85%.

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NRF Reports Consumer Confidence Still Wary

According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales for April reported
by the U.S. Commerce Department show
total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories
such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) decreased 0.4%
seasonally adjusted over March and decreased 9.4% unadjusted
year-over-year. Even with an Easter holiday in April, people still cut back on
groceries, apparel and gifts. Sales at electronic and appliance stores
decreased 2.8% seasonally adjusted from March and 11.9%
unadjusted from last year. Clothing and clothing accessories stores
sales decreased 0.5% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 3.0%
unadjusted year-over-year. Grocery stores sales also decreased
1.1% seasonally adjusted from last month but increased 0.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

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MoneyGram & AccountNow to Launch Visa Prepaid Card Program

MoneyGram International and CA-based prepaid card marketer AccountNow will launch a new Visa-branded
prepaid card available at select MoneyGram agent locations starting in
June 2009, issued by MetaBank. The agreement builds on an existing relationship wherein
MoneyGram is providing consumers with the convenience of adding funds to
their AccountNow reloadable prepaid cards at any of its 40,000 MoneyGram
ExpressPayment locations across the United States. “The MoneyGram AccountNow Prepaid Visa” card will participate in
the Visa ReadyLink, Interlink, and Plus networks. No credit or bank account is necessary
for card holders to load cash at any MoneyGram agent location and
consumers can use the card everywhere Visa debit is accepted.

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Landrieu and Snowe Intro Credit Card Act Amendment

United States Senate Committee on
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., and
Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine have introduced an amendment to the Credit CARD Act of 2009 that would expand both the underlying legislation and the Truth in Lending
Act’s credit card provisions to include small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The amendment would also increase the current credit limit from $25,000to $50,000 to adjust for inflation and the increasing number of small businesses with higher credit limits.

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4Q 2008 SHOPPING

The MasterCard Worldwide Insights Report,
Economic Crisis and Preference for Online Shopping in Asia/Pacific,
Middle East and Africa reveals that online shoppers across this
region spent an average of US$667 online in 4Q 2008 versus US$633 during
the same quarter in 2007, and made an average of 3.3 purchases, up from
3.1 in 2007. The survey covered 5037 respondents across 10 markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UAE
and South Africa. Books and arts (with 38% of online shoppers choosing this) emerged as
the most frequently bought items online, closely followed by home
appliances and electronic products (37%) and CDs/DVDs/VCDs (36%).
The majority of the online shopping conducted in the region was planned,
with 83% of online shoppers admitting that they tend to plan their
shopping in advance and conduct research on their planned purchases.
Most online shoppers either bought items impulsively “hardly ever” (36%)
or “just a couple of times” (38%). The top reason for impulsive buying
was the discounted prices (67%) that online channels afford. The survey and the accompanying Insights Report do not represent MasterCard financial performance.

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RAKBANK & POSTILION

The National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah, RAKBANK, has selected Postilion solutions to drive the bank’s ATM
network. The Postilion solution for ATM owners and
deployers will replace the bank’s existing ATM solution, providing
real-time monitoring and a holistic view of all payment transactions on
the ATM channel. By choosing Postilion to be
at the centre of its ATM network, RAKBANK will be able to more easily
maintain compliance with payment card industry security regulations.
Postilion’s back-office application will provide automated
reconciliation with the UAE’s national EFT switch and provide
consolidated reports on payments processing activity and performance to
support RAKBANK’s IT management decision-making.

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VASCO & MOADBUS

VASCO Data Security International and MoadBus have partnered to offer
digital signature on mobile banking and mobile cash solutions to
joint customers. This partnership is based on the flexibility of VASCO’s “DIGIPASS API”
offering that allows solution providers to transparently embed strong
authentication and e-signature functionalities into mobile banking
applications while maintaining existing backend infrastructure. The end user’s mobile phone will become their authentication device for all their mobile banking and
mobile cash transactions. Existing MoadBus customers will be offered the possibility to add DIGIPASS authentication and digital signature to their applications.
While current VASCO customers will be able to further build upon their
investments when adding mobile banking capabilities to their service
offering. Both partners are already in the process of deploying a first
pilot. MoadBus develops scalable and easily manageable mobile banking and NFC based mobile payment solutions among their portfolio of products.

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Elan Financial To Purchase TNB’s Credit Card Issuing Assets

Elan Financial Services will acquire the TX-based Town North Bank Nevada
agent credit card issuing assets, subject to regulatory approval. While
TNB is selling the agent financial institution assets, they remain
committed to focusing on their core business of helping credit unions
manage and grow their card programs through their card processing
operation, TNB Card Services. Elan will become the new issuing partner
to the 168 credit unions representing TNB’s former agent issuing
partnerships. Elan is the nation’s leading provider of complete
outsourced solutions, focused on payments and ATM and debit card
processing for financial institutions. Elan has partnered with credit
unions for nearly 40 years and has agent issuing relationships with more
than 350 credit unions.As a card issuing partner, Elan offers credit
unions the behind-the-scenes support and structure for credit unions to
offer a robust credit card program to their members. Elan also focuses
on offering a robust rewards program, including cash rebates, travel,
and merchandise, allowing credit unions to better compete with the
largest financial institutions. Town North Bank holds assets of $1.3
billion.

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USAT Debuts ePort SDK Cashless Transaction Technology

Wireless payment provider USA Technologies has announced the availability of “ePort SDK”, a software version of its ePort
cashless transaction technology that includes enhanced security features. The software-based “ePort SDK” is designed for applications in which a
customer’s unattended point of sale solution has computing power ‘built
in’ – overcoming the need for a standard ePort terminal. The “ePort SDK”
software will run on both Linux and Windows based computing platforms.
The “ePort SDK” enables kiosks and other PC-based unattended retail
locations to accept cashless payment. The product is particularly well
suited to the kiosk market, where it is already being used by USA
Technologies’ customers including Merit Entertainment and TeknovationUS.
The software is also designed for use with next generation vending
machine controllers which are being developed by several vending
manufacturers and their component suppliers

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SCM & HIRSCH

SCM Microsystems closed its merger with Hirsch Electronics, a physical access solution provider and re-seller of
SCM’s physical access readers. The transaction, which included the
payment of cash and the issuance of SCM common stock and warrants to
purchase shares of SCM common stock in exchange for the securities of
Hirsch. Acquiring Hirsch nearly doubles the size of SCM, a
leading global provider of readers that enable people to access PCs and
networks with smart cards containing authentication data and other
information. This is known in the industry as “logical access.” Hirsch
was a pioneer of the access control market and is now a top player in
what is known as “physical access” – secure entry to buildings,
campuses, military installations and other facilities. The merger also provides SCM with additional scale and resources to
develop, sell and support new products, systems and services to address
the growing global appetite for secure authentication solutions to
enable e-commerce, e-government and e-business. In particular, SCM is
focused on another global market opportunity: authentication via
“contactless” smart cards and tokens.

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CheckFreePay Next Day Doubles Bill Payment Options

Summary Fiserv has doubled the number of bills that consumers can pay using the “CheckFreePay NextDay” walk-in bill payment service, which ensures next business day payment delivery, bringing the total number of bills available for this payment option to more than 600. The CheckFreePay bill payment service from Fiserv enables consumers to walk in and pay common household expenses such as utility, mobile phone, insurance, auto and credit card bills via a nationwide retail agent network. Consumers typically pay using cash, and receive a receipt as proof of payment. Power, phone and cable bills are those most frequently paid using the “CheckFreePay NextDay” service. “CheckFreePay” also offers a same day payment option for select bills. “CheckFreePay” enables consumers to pay more than 2,500 bills at more than 16,000 retail agent sites nationwide. “CheckFreePay” agents include supermarkets, drugstores and convenience stores, along with hundreds of independent and chain store retailers.

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Peer Review Study Reveals Mass Compromised Data Attacks

Risk management solution provider Actimize has released the “Card Fraud and Mass Compromise” study that reveals 45% of financial service professionals believe
they have seen mass compromised data used in fraud attacks against their
institutions. Additional data released indicate that 80% of respondents somewhat or strongly agreed
that mass compromise events can decrease consumer confidence in the
ATM/debit card channel, 57% said mass compromise events increase overall costs for financial institutions and 70% of respondents saw an increase in fraud claims in 2008
as compared to 2007, of those with increased fraud claims, 58%
experienced double digit growth with over 80% who expect ATM/debit card fraud attempts to increase in
2009 as compared to 2008, with 35 percent predicting a 10 to 14 percent
growth rate this year.

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