ARM Industry Index Falls 3.1% in Feb

The “Kaulkin Ginsberg Index” of economic conditions affecting the accounts receivables management industry, continued its decline from the month prior. The updated February figure for the KGI shows the index fell 36.5 points from January to 1128.5 in February, a decline of 3.1%. The February adjusted figure also represented a year-over-year decline of 10.3%. Of the seven contributing economic variables within the index, the February decline was driven by deteriorating macroeconomic conditions that led to higher unemployment, decreased value for the market capitalization of accounts receivable management (ARM) companies, and a decrease in outstanding consumer credit. Nationally, unemployment increased 6.6%, while outstanding consumer credit declined by roughly $7 billion during the month of February.

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Bio-Optronics Offers RxPaying Debit Card

Health care information provider Bio-Optronics now offers click-through
integration to Interspond’s “RxPaying” debit card solution. The “Rx
Paying Debit Card” helps ensure higher patient participation and
retention by providing immediate access to their funds, which can be
used to purchase items, request cash back from a purchase or get cash
from an ATM. It centralizes the process of patient reimbursement for
clinical studies as a whole. This offers a patient
stipend payment alternative which improves efficiency and increases
patient satisfaction. Interspond is a Trial Management Organization for
the pharmaceutical and
biotechnology industries working to identify study opportunities for
sites’ participation.

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Heartland Back On PCI DSS Validated List

Following the completion of its annual “Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard” assessment, Heartland Payment Systems has successfully validated its compliance with “PCI DSS.” As such, Heartland is returning to Visa’s List of “PCI DSS Validated Service Providers”. According to Visa, Heartland will appear on the list today. Heartland Payment Systems delivers credit/debit/prepaid card processing, payroll, check management and payments solutions to more than 250,000 business locations nationwide. Heartland is also the founding supporter of “The Merchant Bill of Rights”.

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CPI Lands Multiple Elan Card Awards

CPI Card Group received
two Élan awards and five finalist positions at the 2009 ICMA Annual
EXPO. The awards recognize the latest advancements and achievements in
card design throughout the industry. CPI’s awards and finalist cards, for five different clients, were in the
following categories: Winner of the “Best Gift & Promotional Card”, Toys Card, manufactured for Walgreens;
“People’s Choice” was a tie, First Data Go-Tag Sticker, manufactured
for First Data; “Best Identification Card” and a finalist for Guanajuato Driver’s License,
manufactured for Latin ID; “Unique Innovation” VSX Sport Card, manufactured for Limited Brands;
“Best Secure Financial Card Design”, Elevate Card, manufactured
for Virgin America and Barclaycard US; “Best Other Secure Card Design”, First Data Go-Tag Sticker,
manufactured for First Data and “People’s Choice”, Toys Card, manufactured for Walgreens
The only award that recognizes card design innovation as well as
technical achievement in the industry, the ICMA Élan Awards honor card
manufacturers and vendors for their excellent card design and innovative
products.

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Portfolio Recovery Q1 Profits Fall 15%

Portfolio Recovery Associates reports a 15% decline in first quarter
net income. However, total revenue in the first quarter increased 6% to
$68.2 million. Cash collections rose 13% to $89.9 million. The Company
purchased $961 million of face-value debt during the first quarter for
$52 million. This debt was acquired in 87 portfolios from 19 different
sellers. PRAA says it was able to produce record cash collections of
nearly $90 million in the first quarter. Call center and other
collections increased 13%, external legal collections decreased 19%,
internal legal collections grew 95% and purchased bankruptcy collections
gained 63% when compared with the year-earlier period. For complete
details on Portfolio Recovery Associates’ first quarter results visit
CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

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Visa Posts Strong Profits In Weak Economy

Visa reported that first calender quarter net income increased 70% to
$536 million and net operating revenue rose 13% to $1.6 billion,
compared to the same quarter in 2008. However, global transaction growth
for the quarter ended March 31st slowed to an annual rate of 6%,
compared to 8% in the prior quarter and 15% in the year ago quarter. For
the first calendar quarter there were 9.4 billion transactions processed
via VisaNet. Though slightly negative in the U.S., payments volume
continued to grow on a constant dollar basis in all other regions
globally. Visa also notes that processed transactions continued to post
solid growth globally. Visa released fourth calendar quarter
performance data which showed that payments volume growth, on a nominal
basis, was a negative 1% over the prior year at $675 billion. Total
volume, on a nominal basis and inclusive of cash volume, was $1.1
trillion, flat over the prior year. Total cards carrying the Visa brands
rose 8% worldwide over the prior year to over 1.7 billion. Total
transactions increased by 9% over the prior year to 14.9 billion. For
complete details on Visa’s latest performance visit CardData
(www.carddata.com).

VISA-NET TRANSACTIONS (millions)
Mar 30, 2009 9,360
Dec 31, 2008 9,797
Sep 30, 2008 9,590
Jun 30, 2008 9,473
Mar 31, 2008 8,800
Dec 31, 2007 9,094
Sep 30, 2007 8,645
Jun 30, 2007 8,411
Mar 31, 2007 7,645
Note: Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS
cards processed on Visa’s networks.
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Chase Card Services and Acxiom Team

AR-based interactive marketer Acxiom has signed a multi-year renewal with Chase Card Services, the credit card division of
JPMorgan Chase & Co., to provide customer marketing solutions. Acxiom has 40 years of experience and a proven methodology in database
marketing and consumer-centric strategies. The company provides services
for most of the largest U.S. credit card issuers and retail banks.
JPMorgan Chase is a global financial services
firm with assets of $2.1 trillion and operations in more than 60
countries, and the company has issued about 159 million credit cards in
the United States and Canada.

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SmartClixx Hits 1 Billion Transactions

Stored value card provider SmartClixx has hit over one billion
transactions.
SmartClixx is a self-hosted stored value card software
provider in the United States and works with some of the world’s largest
multi-billion dollar retailers providing its unique in-house stored
value card/gift card application software and services without charging
any transaction fees. The Company estimates that it has saved its
retailers more than 100 million real
dollars based on their statistical analysis. Since 2001 SmartClixx has
offered retailers its “closed loop” gift card/stored value card platform
solution to cut-out the processing middlemen and the fees they charge
for their services.

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Heartland to Offer Sensitive Card Workshop

Payment processor Heartland is offering a preliminary planning workshop
to focus on ASC X9’s
Sensitive Card Data Protection
Between Device and Acquiring System” initiative.
The Accredited Standards Committee X9
(ASC X9), accredited by the American National Standards Institute
(ANSI), is embarking on the development of a new standard to protect
cardholder data in the electronic payments industry. ASC X9 develops,
maintains and promotes standards for all financial services in the
United States and pioneered standards for items including the credit
card magnetic stripe and ATM systems.
Heartland, one of the nation’s
largest payments processors, is a member of the ASC X9 working group.
Carr is a strong proponent of information sharing and end-to-end
encryption as a means to enhance consumer data security at all points of
a payments transaction. Ideas generated
at this meeting will be presented at ASC X9’s initial standards
development meeting on June 1-5 in Foster City, CA.

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Cardtronics Slips 4% in the First Quarter

ATM specialist Cardtronics posted revenues of $115.3 million, down 4%
from the first quarter of last year. The GAAP net loss was $5.1 million
compared to $4.6 million in 1Q/08. However, the average number of
transacting ATMs increased by 2%; total transactions increased by 7%;
total cash withdrawal transactions increased by 7%; and cash withdrawal
transactions per ATM per month increased by 5%. During the quarter,
Cardtronics made its ATMs available in 97% of the 400 Costco
U.S.locations; deployed 120 ATMs in high-transacting locations under the
Company’s contract with the U.K’s Welcome Break; converted its ATMs
located in Mexico over to its EFT processing platform; and transitioned
the Company’s ATMs in the U.K. over to its in-house armored courier
operation. The Company continues to project revenues of $460 million to
$470 million for 2009. For complete details on Cardtronics’ first
quarter results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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First Data Christens PayCargo

First Data has launched “PayCargo”, an online freight payment system for ships.
The “PayCargo” system is an electronic invoice presentment and payment
(EIPP) tool that helps reduce the cost of approving and disputing
payments. It also helps prevent expensive demurrage and storage charges
that often result from inefficient payment processes and procedures.
PayCargo integrates with existing carrier accounts receivable systems
using a simple method that can update invoice and payment data several
times throughout the day.

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Western Union Enters the M-Payments Market

Western Union and Consumer Portfolio Services along with VeriSign’s Messaging and Mobile Media Division announced a pilot project enabling CPS customers to trigger their monthly car payment directly from their mobile phone. The pilot program will run for approximately three months, at which time it will be evaluated for further rollout.
CPS customers sign up for the Western Union “Bill Alert Text
Message” service online and enter their CPS account number, mobile phone number and debit account information. Once the consumer has confirmed enrollment, monthly alerts are sent through VeriSign, detailing the payment amount due. The consumer submits his payment approval by texting “YESCPS” directly through the mobile device initiating a Western Union “Speedpay” transaction. Consumers can end their participation in the program at any time by texting “STOP.”

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