Small Biz Economic Confidence Picks Up

Small business owners are expressing more confidence in the economy
although there are many challenges. The number of small business owners
who say the economy is getting better nearly doubled to 31%, up from 16%
in March and the highest level in this category in two years.
The latest “Discover Small Business Watch” index increased more than 10
points, rising to 88.5, up from 78.2 in March and the highest since the
Watch hit 90.8 in February 2008. Yet while the anticipation of
improvement is on the rise, 91% of small business owners still ranked
the current economy as fair or poor, a figure that has been constant for
eight months. About 32% of owners see economic conditions for their
businesses improving, up from 24% in March; while 40% see conditions
getting worse, down 7% from the previous month; 22% say it’s staying the
same and 6% weren’t sure. Also, 58% of owners say they have not
experienced temporary cash flow issues in the past 90 days that have
caused them to hold off on paying some bills.

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Visa Class C Stock to be Available

Visa announced that its Board of Directors approved a program in which each class C stockholder may liquidate up to 30% of the shares held as of July 1st. The release of the class C shares does not increase the number of outstanding shares of the Company and there is no dilutive effect to the outstanding share count from these transactions. The remaining class C shares will continue to be subject to the general transfer restrictions that expire on March 25, 2011 under Visa’s
certificate of incorporation.

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TNB Inks the ISU Credit Union

IL-based ISU Credit Union has moved its card processing to TNB Card
Service.
TNB will work with ISU to restructure its $2 million card portfolio to
position it for growth in balances and cardholders. ISU said the primary
reasons it moved its card operations to TNB were TNB’s 24/7 call center,
the “Rewards2U”loyalty program, card management tools, such as “VIP
CardStation” and “Portfolio Pro” , and TNB’s marketing expertise and
capabilities. ISU Credit Union holds $73 million in assets.

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InComm & IQPC to Host 2nd Prepaid Cards Conference

Prepaid card provider InComm and IQPC are hosting the “2nd Prepaid Cards
conference” June 24-26, 2009 in Denver. The “Cards” conference caters to marketing, brand and prepaid
professionals seeking to leverage new opportunities in the prepaid
market. Covering topics for both open- and closed-loop prepaid cards,
attendees will gain the tools to define which profitable business models
to explore, and learn about other trends, including mobile payment,
payroll and insurance innovations. Issues that will be discussed at the 2nd Prepaid Cards program include “Prepaid Trends”, “Prepaid Innovations”, global case studies and”Peer-to-Peer Benchmarking”.

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President Obama’s Credit Card Reform Support

Fourteen consumer advocacy groups have expressed support for President Obama’s call for credit card reform. The groups also applauded passage by the House Financial Services
Committee yesterday of the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, championed
by Rep. Carolyn Maloney. The Maloney Bill, as well as legislation moving
to the Senate Floor sponsored by Senator Chris Dodd, signals a focus on
real consumer protections and a welcome change to credit card company
business as usual.

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Pinnacle & American Technology to Offer PCI Solutions

Pinnacle has partnered with American Technology to provide PCI
offerings to clients by adding ATC’s “OmegaScan” and “OmegaManager” solutions. ATC’s “OmegaScan” is an affordable, hosted solution for small to mid-size
retailers that helps them to meet PCI compliance and remediation
requirements without having to install and manage onsite security
software. ATC’s “OmegaManager” is a
robust onsite software and services solution designed to automate
systems management requirements for PCI compliance for larger retailers. ATC’s “Omega”
solutions are designed for the enterprise and comprise a suite of
products and services to support PCI compliance endeavors for the entire
organization. Both “OmegaScan” and “OmegaManager” are complementary to
Pinnacle’s existing solutions and partner offerings.

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NCR Q3 Revenues Drop $15 Million

NCR reported a first-quarter loss of $15 million, or a $0.09 loss per diluted share, compared to income of $49 million or $0.28 per
diluted share in the first quarter of 2008. Income from continuing
operations included a $5 million ($3 million after-tax) impairment
charge related to an equity investment, which was offset by a $5 million
benefit from an insurance settlement related to
the Fox River environmental matter. Income from continuing operations in
the first quarter of 2008 included a $16 million ($13 million after-tax)
gain, or $0.07 gain per diluted share, resulting from the sale of a
Canadian manufacturing facility. Excluding these items, non-GAAP loss
from continuing operations(1) in the first quarter of 2009 was a loss of
$0.09 per diluted share compared to income of $0.21 per diluted share in
the prior-year period. Year-over-year revenue was impacted by the
overall downturn in the global economy, particularly in the retail
industry. NCR generated $38 million of cash from operating activities during the first quarter of 2009 compared to $81 million in the year-ago period. Capital expenditures of $25 million in the first quarter of 2009 were $7 million lower than the $32 million in capital expenditures
in the year-ago period. NCR ended the quarter with $717 million in cash and cash equivalents, a
$6 million increase from the $711 million balance as of December 31,
2008. As of March 31, 2009, NCR had a debt balance of $308 million,
unchanged from the balance as of December 31, 2008. In the first quarter NCR recorded several important customer wins that include Unified Grocers and food retailer H-E-B and introduced “NCR APTRA Consumer Passport” software that will allow consumers to remotely deposit checks.

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Metavante Release “Account Open”

Metavante has released “Account Open” technology to enable Consumer eBanking clients’ banking customers to activate new deposit accounts in real-time. “Account Open” provides financial institutions
using CeB technology with the ability to directly market, sell and
fulfill additional deposit accounts to customers who regularly use their
online banking platform. Once existing customers complete the CeB secure
sign on process, they can open additional deposit accounts and fund them
through online transfers from a bank or held-away account. The full
process can be completed in less than 30 seconds. Deposit products
supported include checking, savings, Money Market and Certificate of
Deposit accounts. The Account Open technology is part of a set of
integrated deposit gathering capabilities offered through Metavante’s
eBanking Solutions that also include online account creation services
and multi-channel servicing applications.

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Gemalto Joins the “McAfee Security Innovation Alliance”

Digital security provider Gemalto announced that it has joined the McAfee Security
Innovation Alliance partner program. The McAfee Security Innovation Alliance is the foundation of a
technology ecosystem designed to assemble the world’s leading security
innovations. Under the McAfee SIA
program, Gemalto has integrated its “Protiva Enterprise Authentication
Solutions” with “McAfee Endpoint Encryption” software for pre-boot
authentication. The software includes full disk encryption to
ensure security of information stored on desktops, laptops, tablets and
other mobile devices. Security
administrators can set a system to prompt for authentication before it
even starts booting to protect against possible attacks on the operating
system, or just before it is finished booting. Users must insert their
Gemalto digital security device and enter a passphrase or PIN before
being authorized to access the system data.

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Rewards Network Reported Net Revenues of $16M

Restaurant loyalty program provider Rewards Network reported net revenues of $16 million, a decrease of 15% from the first quarter of 2008. Rewards Network reported total sales of $54.0 million. During the first quarter of 2009, the Company generated $7.7 million of
cash from operations, primarily because it continued to mitigate risk
and preserve liquidity by purchasing fewer dining credits from fewer
merchants. As a result, the net dining credits usage period declined to
6.6 months for the first quarter of 2009, as compared to 9.4 months for
the same period in the prior year. The net dining credits portfolio was
$63.0 million for the first quarter of 2009, as compared to $94.8
million for the same period in the prior year. The Company ended the
first quarter with $16.2 million of cash on hand, debt free, and without
drawing on its revolving line of credit. The
Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $5.0 million
of the Company’s common stock.

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AmEx U.S. Card Charge-Offs Soar to 8.5%

American Express Company reported a 58% drop for first-quarter income from continuing operations of $443 million, down from $1.0 billion a year ago. Net income totaled $437 million for the quarter, down 56% from a year ago. On a per-share basis, net income was $0.31, down 64%
from $0.85 a year ago. U.S. Card Services reported a first-quarter loss of $25 million, compared to a net income of $523 million a year ago.
Total revenues net of interest expense for the first quarter decreased
17% to $3.1 billion, driven by reduced cardmember spending and
lower securitization income, net. Provisions for losses totaled $1.4 billion, an increase of 57% or $502 million from a year ago. The increase reflected higher write-offs
and past due loans. International Card Services reported first-quarter net income of $39 million, compared to $133 million a year ago. On a managed basis(4), the net loan write-off rate
was 8.5%, up from 6.7% in the fourth quarter and 4.3% a year ago. Owned
net write-offs were 8.5% in the quarter, up from 7.0% in the fourth
quarter and 4.5% a year ago. Total revenues net of interest expense decreased 14% to $1.0 billion, primarily driven by reduced cardmember spending. Provisions for losses totaled $335 million, an increase of 46% or $106 million from a year ago. The increase reflected higher write-offs and past due loans.

American Express U.S. Card Metrics
Charge-Offs Delinquency
1Q/08: 5.3% 3.7%
2Q/08: 5.3% 3.3%
3Q/08: 5.9% 3.9%
4Q/08: 6.7% 4.7%
1Q/09: 8.5% 5.1%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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