AXS & HYPERCOM

AXS, the Singapore-based “Electronic Service Delivery Network” operator has selected Hypercom to provide a high security end-to-end technology upgrade for AXS’ more than 560 automated self-service kiosks. These AXS Stations will for the first time enable ATM card holders to pay for an array of services 24/7 at the hundreds of kiosks
strategically located throughout Singapore. The high speed, high security Hypercom integrated solution consists of the “Optimum T4220” Ethernet terminals embedded in each kiosk working in tandem with Hypercom’s “MegaNAC 180” network access controllers and EFT-Master electronic funds transfer server software at the back-end to
expedite direct debit transactions between the AXS data center, the
cardholder’s financial institution and the AXS Station.

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Bling Nation Adds Helms to its Board

Payment service provider Bling Nation has appointed Luke Helms,
vice-chairman at BoA, to serve on the Board of Directors.
Helms began his career with San Francisco, Calif.-based Bank of
California in 1968. Prior to his advisory role with
Bling Nation, Helms served as vice chairman of Cleveland, Ohio-based
KeyBank and vice chairman of Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp.
and Bank of America NT&SA. In 1993, Helms became vice-chairman of Bank
of America with responsibilities that included retail banking in
California and all affiliate banks in 10 Western states.
Through its Community Payments Service, Bling Nation enables financial
institutions to more profitably and securely support payments between
their local demand deposit account (DDA) customers and their merchant
customers by bypassing the current global debit payment model and
replacing it with an efficient, cost-effective and local payment network.

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GiftCards.com Offers Monthly Fee Free Cards

GiftCards.com has issued the new “NMF Visa” gift cards with no monthly maintenance fees.
The “NMF Visa” giftcard offers customers the ability to personalize the card by adding the
recipient’s name and a personal message. There are dozens of styles to
choose from and cards can be issued in any denomination. Visa gift cards can be
used anywhere Visa is accepted and can even be used to pay bills.
Monthly maintenance fees can range from $1.00 to
$5.00 and are standard in the Open Loop gift card industry.

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GEMALTO & RBS

Gemalto has been commissioned to
carry out the migration to microprocessor EMV credit cards for the Royal Bank of Scotland to new markets in
Indonesia, Taiwan and India. The first project
commenced in October 2008 in Indonesia, with projects in Taiwan and
India to follow, and involved the conversion of the Bank’s traditional
magnetic stripe cards to EMV cards. Gemalto provides RBS with a complete
range of products and services including personalization and project
management. Fraud reduction is the major driving force behind Asia’s commitment to
EMV migration. According to the Indonesian Credit Card Association,
credit card fraud in the country amounted to 35 billion rupiah
(approximately 2.3 million Euro) in 2007. Gemalto has already
successfully completed the migration to EMV cards for 3 in 4 banks in
Indonesia, well ahead of the 2010 migration mandate set by the Bank of
Indonesia.The smooth project implementation resulted in a record
turnaround time of three months, instead of a typical industry average
in Asia of five to six months, translating into tangible operational
savings for RBS.

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tekservePOS Acquires Another POS Firm

IL-based tekservePOS has acquired POS provider Restaurants Solutions.
RSI’s solutions include POS hardware, POS software, 24 / 7 help desk
support,
repair center, and on-site and installation services serving over 4,000
quick service restaurants and dining establishments nationwide. In
addition, RSI is the official Squirrel distributor for the Chicagoland area.
In addition to offering its products and services to the hospitality
space, tekservePOS will leverage RSI’s industry-leading capabilities and
staff knowledge in the retail environment. tekservePOS plans to rollout
help-desk capabilities to support tekRETAIL Suite, its new POS software
offering.

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GIVEX & PCMS

Gift card provider and loyalty marketer Givex has been awarded
certification to “Vision BeanStore” by the PCMS Group. Vision BeanStore
is a multi-sector PoS product
developed to meet the needs of retailers from many different markets.
Businesses using “BeanStore” will now be able to sell Givex gift cards and
accept them as alternate forms of payment. Givex provides other
solutions for all
aspects of a merchant’s business including: loyalty cards, e-gift
vouchers, frequency
cards,returns cards, employee incentives, expense accounts, promotional
cards and
vouchers.

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Australian Credit Card Debt Declines Again

Growth in credit card debt in Australia dipped again in January, declining by A$700 million. Credit card volume also slipped 3% due to the weight of credit card surcharges and the economy at large. Year-on-year credit card debt growth has slowed to 5%, compared to 6% in the prior month and 10% one-year ago. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia credit card balances hit A$44.6 billion in January versus A$42.3 billion one-year ago. Credit limits now stand at A$123.6 billion, compared to A$115.3 billion in January 2008. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia there are currently 14.3 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 14.0 million one-year ago.

CREDIT CARD HISTORICAL
(A$ billions)
MONTH BALANCES VOLUME
Dec 07: 42.7 19.2
Jan 08: 42.3 17.1
Feb 08: 43.3 17.5
Mar 08: 43.0 17.1
Apr 08: 43.6 17.7
May 08: 44.0 18.3
Jun 08: 44.5 18.3
Jul 08: 44.4 19.0
Aug 08: 44.6 17.8
Sep 08: 44.6 19.2
Oct 08: 44.7 19.4
Nov 08: 45.3 17.6
Dec 08: 45.3 21.5
Jan 09: 44.6 16.6
Source: Reserve Bank of Australia

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GLOBALPLATFORM EVENT

GlobalPlatform will hold a one day card specifications
technology training session in Vienna, Austria on Thursday
April 23, 2009. The training has been
designed to improve industry knowledge of the smart card specifications
available, their function and capabilities, and the benefits gained from
implementing standardized technology. The session will cover
GlobalPlatform’s role within the industry and its suite of
specifications, provide a thorough training on ‘core’ card
specifications and exclusively outline GlobalPlatform’s forthcoming
technical releases.

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AmEx Doubles Rewards for Charge Cardholders

American Express has launched a nationwide promotion that will allow all consumer charge cardholders to earn double points on U.S. standalone gas and grocery purchases up to $1,000 dollars of eligible spend each month, starting March 22nd through March 15th, 2010. To take advantage of the offer, cardholders must enroll their existing charge cards online. Consumers who apply and are approved for the AmEx charge card from April 1st, 2009 through June 30th, 2009 will be automatically enrolled in the promotion for the 12-month period beginning the date their card account is created.

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Charge-Off Averages Top 7% in February

Credit card charge-offs soared in February topping the 7.00% milestone. The velocity is unprecedented and projects a very bad year for U.S. card issuers. Capital One reported a record February charge-off ratio of 8.06% for its U.S. Card business, and a sequential increase of 24 basis points. U.S. Card delinquency also moved north in February by eight basis points, a record high. In December charge-offs soared by 73 basis points following a 44 basis points jump in November. For February, 30+ day delinquency rose to 5.10% from 5.02% in January, and up 89 basis points from February 2008. Charge-offs for February were 8.06%, compared to 7.82% in January, and 5.50% for February 2008. The average charge-off ratio for BofA, Chase, Citi and Cap One in the fourth quarter was 6.70%, compared to 4.45% one-year ago. According to CardData (carddata.com), Citi reported the largest year-on-year fourth quarter jump, rising from 4.30% to 6.98%, for its North American general purpose credit cards. Including Citi’s private label cards, the managed net charge-off ratio increased 294 basis points from 4Q/07 to 8.04% and gained 91 basis points from the prior quarter. Chase posted a managed net charge-off rate for the quarter of 5.56%, up from 3.89% in the prior year and 5.00% in 3Q/08. BofA reported that fourth quarter charge-offs rose to 7.16%, compared to 6.40% in the prior quarter and 4.75% one-year ago. (The BofA figure includes global cards but not business cards.) Capital One posted a net charge-off rate for U.S. credit cards of 7.08% for the fourth quarter, compared to 6.13% for the third quarter and 4.84% one-year ago. For historical metrics on the nation’s top issuers visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

U.S. CHARGE-OFFS
Aug 08: 6.14%
Sep 08: 6.19%
Oct 08: 6.27%
Nov 08: 6.30%
Dec 08: 6.40%
Jan 09: 6.81%
Feb 09: 7.11%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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