FEBRUARY LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index for Australia increased 0.2%
and The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index increased 0.4% in
February. The positive contributors to
the index are money supply, building approvals, the sales to
inventories ratio, and rural goods exports. Share prices, gross
operating surplus, and the yield spread declined in February. Despite
this small gain, the six-month change
in the index has continued to decline to -3.9% (a -7.6%
annual rate) in the period through February, down from 2.4% (a
4.8% annual rate) from February to August 2008. However, the
strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators have remained
somewhat balanced in recent months. The Conference Board LEI for
Australia now stands at 111.6 (2004=100).

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VISA 1Q/09

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).

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WU & CPS & VS

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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BANK TRUST

A new report, issued jointly by Aite Group, LLC and Plenitudes
Prospective & Management evaluates consumer
trust in banks and outlines the significance of trust from a survey of
1,222 consumers in the
United States, United Kingdom and France. It is no surprise that
consumer trust in banks is low given the current
economic condition and the global financial crisis in 2008. What makes
this a cause for concern at banks is the degree to which a bank’s
ability to grow deposits is affected by consumer trust. Consumers that
have a high degree of trust in their bank are twice as likely to open
new accounts with their bank as consumers who only trust their bank
somewhat. In fact, consumers who said they trust their bank “somewhat”
were barely more likely to expand their relationships than consumers who
didn’t trust their banks at all.Recent bank advertising designed to
garner consumers’ trust are unlikely
to pay off, however. Of the many attributes that influence consumers’
level of trust in their banks, rational attributes (like operational
performance, and quality of advice in sales interactions) were
considered more important than emotional attributes (like having a good
reputation and living up to the values portrayed in ads).

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INSIDE & CPI

INSIDE Contactless and U.S.-based CPI Card Group have received both an “Elan” award and a finalist position at the 2009 ICMA Annual EXPO for their innovative payment sticker products. The payment sticker, based on INSIDE’s “MicroPass” contactless chip technology, can be affixed to any portable device such as a cell phone, and is available with a companion PVC card. The “Elan” award and finalist placement were in the following categories: “People’s Choice”, Winner (Tie): First Data GO-Tag sticker, manufactured for First Data and “Best Other Secure Card Design,” Finalist: First Data “GO-Tag” sticker, manufactured for First Data. CPI’s project management and manufacturing expertise combined with INSIDE’s technology leadership and support enabled the companies to go from prototype engineering samples to developing and introducing a real payment sticker product in a very short time.

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GiftCards.com Reaches the 1MM Milestone

GiftCards.com has sold its one millionth gift card.
The prepaid Visa debit
card allows consumers to spend the card wherever Visa is accepted.
Customers can even use the cards to pay bills. In addition to the flexible use of the prepaid debit card, customers can
also personalize the gift cards. The popularity of
personalized gift cards is growing. Gift cards were once thought of as a last minute
gift. Adding photos and personal messages to the gift cards gives each gift a
personal touch. GiftCards.com is a leading provider of gift cards to consumers and
corporations to expend as gifts, rewards, or incentives.

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MultiMedia Gift Cards Gain Traction

Multi-media provider EnXnet has received an order for 5,000 MultiMedia Gift Cards from Interactive Card Services.
This is a
preliminary order that will be used as samples for several potential
larger orders. A large marketing effort has been
put forth that has led to the request of several
samples to be delivered to several potential customers. Additionally,
some new manufacturing processes are being put into place to be able to
handle large scale orders going forward.

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FIS First Quarter Revenues Dip 3.9%

Fidelity National Information Services reports that first quarter
revenues declined 3.9% to $797.8 million. However, non-GAAP adjusted net
earnings increased 19.2% during the quarter compared to 1Q/08. Financial
Solutions revenue declined 3.2% to $271.3 million. FIS notes increased
demand for risk management and commercial outsourcing services was
offset by lower software license and professional services revenue.
Payment Solutions revenue declined 2.3% to $364.7 million, due primarily
to a $9.7 million decline in the company’s retail check guarantee
business. International revenue declined 8.3% to $162.3 million.
International revenue increased 11.5% in constant currency, driven by
16.3% growth in payments and 4.5% growth in financial solutions. On
April 1st FIS announced plans to acquire Metavante Technologies. FIS
reaffirmed its full year outlook for adjusted net earnings of $1.60 to
$1.66 per share. For complete details on FIS’ latest results visit
CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

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PERFECT STORM

A new report finds that the triple shocks of housing, banking and stock market crashes during 2008 has seriously dented the European perceived sense of ‘continually growing wealth.’ There has been a seismic shift in the way consumers of today are making their spending and saving decisions. The study by TNS for MasterCard Europe found the most significant shift in consumer behaviour since World War II. Up to 78% of European consumers polled saying they actively plan to spend less on daily expenses. Eighty-nine percent of Italian and 85% of French consumers surveyed were the most likely to reduce daily expenses versus an average in Europe of 78%. Consumers indicated their desire to use their debit cards to actively monitor their expenditures and more closely manage their spending through their monthly statements.
Value for money/loyalty. The desire to make their money stretch as far as possible and support active bargain hunting (84% from 72% six months ago) is highlighted by consumers in the emergence of loyalty programs attached to debit cards as the second most important incentive to use their cards (40%). The survey found that money management is at the forefront, with 69% of consumers wanting to only spend what they can afford.

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Wright Express Revenues Decline 26%

ME-based fuel card specialist Wright Express reports that total revenue for the first quarter decreased 26% to $69.2 million. The Company says the results exceeded its guidance for both revenue and adjusted net income. Although there was year-over-year erosion in fleet transaction volume, the collections experience improved significantly in the quarter. Net income on a GAAP basis was $11.0 million, compared with $14.5 million for 1Q/08. Total MasterCard purchase volume grew 23% to $649 million. Total fuel transactions processed declined 2% from the first quarter of 2008 to 63.3 million. Payment processing transactions decreased 7% to 49.3 million, and transaction processing transactions increased 21% to 14.0 million. Average expenditure per payment processing transaction decreased 38% from the first quarter of 2008 to $40.78. For more details on Wright Express’ performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

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SINO PAYMENTS AND POWERE2E

IP transaction processing system provider
Sino Payments has signed a contract with retail merchant e-Service PowerE2E to provide credit and debit
card processing services. The agreement is for card processing
services for PowerE2E’s clients as well as directly for PowerE2E
transactions. The SinoPay GPP system is being deployed on site at PowerE2E’s
Headquarter location in Shanghai. The first project is for an ecommerce client site and
PowerE2E and Sino Payments are working on additional joint business
development opportunities to provide service to PowerE2E’s existing
customer base.

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Silicon Valley Bank to Offer Biz Cards

CA-based Silicon Valley Bank has partnered with the New England Bankcard Association to issue
premier business credit card products under the MasterCard brand.
Silicon Valley Bank successfully transitioned clients to its new
business credit card platform, completing the conversion of over 7,000
card holders to the new SVB business credit cards. As an issuer, Silicon
Valley Bank can offer new card products, an expanded rewards program,
and more online reporting tools to assist SVB clients with their cash
management needs. In particular, SVB clients will immediately benefit
from the MasterCard’s SmartData reporting tool that enables integration
with numerous third party expense applications.

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