Sea Shepherd and CardPartner Offer a Visa

Serverside’s NY-based affinity card provider CardPartner has teamed with
Sea Shepherd to issue the Sea Shepherd Visa Platinum Card to protect
ocean wildlife. Cardholders who use their “Sea Shepherd Visa Platinum”
affinity credit card for shopping, dining out, online purchases and
other everyday
activities directly support Sea Shepherd in ending marine habitat
destruction and the slaughter of defenseless animals including whales,
sharks, seals, dolphins, and turtles. Sea Shepherd earns $50 for each
activated card, plus a share of the monthly charge volume, paid
quarterly over the life of the card. CardPartner maximizes
returns by stripping out costs, operating in the virtual environment,
offering free, customized self-service marketing tools, and working with
groups on a “human scale” not often seen in the credit card industry.

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CASH Index Bubbles up Slightly in March

U.S. consumer sentiment edged up in March according to the most recent
results of the “RBC CASH” (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household)
Index. As a result, the overall “RBC CASH Index” stands at 8.2 for March
2009, up slightly from 1.6 in February, the lowest level on record since
the inception of the Index in 2002. The “RBC Current Conditions Index”
rallied to 14.8, up 13.2 points compared to February’s 1.6 record-low
level. The “RBC Investment Index,” which was at 17.6 in February,
currently stands at 24.6. The “RBC Expectations Index” held
steady in March, ticking up just 2.2 points to – 25.9, up from – 28.1
last month. Despite the plunge in the value of the stock market, the
number of Americans who believe it is a “bad time” to invest in the
stock market held steady at 70% this month.

RBC CASH INDEX
Mar 08: 33.1
Apr 08: 29.5
May 08: 39.0
Jun 08: 22.5
Jul 08: 14.6
Aug 08: 33.8
Sep 08: 69.2
Oct 08: 37.0
Nov 08: 34.7
Dec 08: 15.3
Jan 09: 13.3
Feb 09: 1.6
Mar 09: 8.2
Source: RBC CASH

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Lund Food Deploys NCR Two-Sided Printing

NCR’s newest POS solution with thermal receipt printer has been deployed by MN-based Lund Food Holdings.
The patented NCR “RealPOS Two-Sided Thermal Printer”
simultaneously prints on both sides of a thermal paper receipt, reducing
paper consumption by up to 40%. This can result in less energy
being consumed by paper production and distribution, as well as less
waste disposal, air emissions and wastewater. In addition to NCR’s two-sided thermal receipt printing, the solution
deployed by Lunds and Byerly’s includes the “NCR RealPOS 80XRT
workstation”, “NCR RealPOS High Performance Scanner/Scale” and NCR
two-sided thermal receipt paper rolls. Lund Food Holdings operates 21 Lunds and Byerly’s supermarkets in and
around the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.

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TSYS MANAGING DIRECTOR

Payment outsourcer TSYS has appointed Amit Sethi to the position of
Managing Director of TSYS India and South Asia.
Sethi has held several executive positions with companies such as Visa
International,
KPMG, Bank of America, HSBC, Oracle Corporation and iGate. Most
recently, he was Global Sales Head of Financial Services and Service
Industries for Sutherland Global Services, where he was responsible for
leading a global sales team for selling Business Process Outsourcing and
Call-Center services delivered out of centers in five countries,
including India, the Philippines, the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Sethi earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from University of
Delhi and a master’s degree in business administration from the
University of Rochester, New York and is a Chartered Accountant. TSYS’
existing footprint includes some of the highest ranked banks in
India and in 2006 TSYS successfully achieved one of the largest credit
conversions outside of the U.S. for India’s second largest bank and
largest private sector bank.

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ProPay Seminar Lands a Industry Leaders

UT-based payment processor ProPay is the host of the “Data Security
Summit” set for March 18 and 19. ProPay has
finalized the agenda for its upcoming Data Security Summit to include
Bob Russo, General Manager of the PCI Security Standards Council
– PCI Data Security Standard; Chris Mark, Co-founder of The Society of
Payment Security
Professionals – Breeches and the value of removing data through
alternative solutions; John Verdeschi, Senior Business Leader, Fraud
Management
Solution, MasterCard Worldwide – Account data compromise trends; Dr.
Heather Mark, Co-founder of The Society of Payment Security
Professionals – Regulatory environment; Michael Dortch, Media Expert –
The Media Perspective on data security; Special Agent FBI Cybercrimes –
Cybercrimes
and Greg Pesci and Darrel Welling, ProPay Inc. – ProtectPay—ProPay’s
End-to-End solution. The Summit will be held at the Snowbird Ski Resort
in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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TransAct Technologies Rises 23% in 4Q/08

TransAct Technologies posted fourth quarter revenue of $14.3
million, an increase of 23% compared 4Q/07. The Company
recorded GAAP net income in the fourth quarter of 2008 of approximately
$0.6 million, compared to a net loss of approximately $1.3 million, in
the prior-year period. During the fourth quarter TransAct was selected
as exclusive printer provider for the new Snoqualmie Casino in
Snoqualmie, Washington; was selected to provide its new “Ithaca 8040”
thermal printer to approximately 11,000 of its United States locations
for its new coffee and beverage initiative and received $4.9 million
order for “BANKjet 1500” printers from one of the largest banks in
the USA. For complete details on TransAct Technologies’ latest results
visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

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MasterCard Corp Ranked as Best Globally

MasterCard has been named the “Best Corporate Cards and Expense
Services Provider” by Global Finance magazine for the third consecutive
year. The award was bestowed to MasterCard for innovative solutions that
enable value and efficiency in commercial payments. MasterCard was
selected by the publication’s editors who incorporate input from
industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts in
determining the award’s recipient. The results of the exclusive survey
are published in the March 2009 issue of the magazine. The award
highlights MasterCard’s leadership as a premier provider of commercial
payment solutions that provide actionable information, turnkey
integration and unmatched optimization benefiting issuers, merchants and
their corporate customers around the world.

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RENESAS & OMRON

OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation.
OMRON Corporation and semiconductor producer Renesas Technology have reached an agreement to jointly develop capacitive touch sensor
solutions. Renesas
will integrate OMRON’s touch sensor technology into its R8C Family
16-bit microcontroller (MCU) products and supply touch sensor solutions
for a wide range of fields, including household appliances and mobile
devices by creating a hardware version of OMRON’s proven touch sensor technology
in the form of a touch detection circuit device and integrating it into
Renesas’ R8C Family of MCU products as a single chip solution. Integration on a single chip eliminates the current need for a large
number of external peripheral devices such as capacitors and resistors,
enabling the use of a more compact printed wiring board. An entire
system can be built from the MCU and some capacitors and resistors,
reducing the total number of devices for lower overall cost and
increased reliability. The objectives of this joint development project are to achieve adoption
of OMRON’s world-class touch sensor solutions throughout the world
market and to establish Renesas’ MCU products in a dominant position in
the touch sensor market. OMRON Corporation is a leader in the field of automation.

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Portfolio Yields Sinks Below 13.00%

Yield for credit card issuers slipped to 12.77% in January. The figure
was down 163 basis points from the year ago period. Among credit
card-backed ABS portfolio yields normalized to 17.21% after December’s
drop caused by day count issues in November. FitchRatings says that
although yield is 245 basis points lower than last year, this is
attributable to the drop in prime rate, which is down by over 300 basis
points year-over-year.

PORTFOLIO YIELD
Aug 08: 13.45%
Sep 08: 13.51%
Oct 08: 13.77%
Nov 08: 13.59%
Dec 08: 13.03%
Jan 08: 12.77%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Blackhawk Inks the MYPLASH Visa Prepaid Card

Blackhawk Network announced its exclusive partnership with Plastic Cash
International to distribute its “MYPLASH Visa Prepaid Card.” “MYPLASH”
joins over 300 retailers including the open-loop Visa prepaid cards on
Blackhawk’s “Gift Card Mall.” “MYPLASH” is currently available for
purchase at more than 1,550 Safeway stores in the United States under
the banners; Safeway, Vons, Pavillions, Dominicks, Randall’s, Tom Thumb,
and Genuardi’s & Carrs. MYPLASH cards can be reloaded at any of these
retail locations and online via direct deposit at www.myplash.com.
MYPLASH Visa Prepaid Cards can be used to make purchases where Visa
debit cards are accepted worldwide. The Blackhawk Network includes more
than 80,000 storefronts and reaches more than 165 million consumers each
week.

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JAN LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index declined 1.4% while the Coincident Economic Index increased 0.1% in January. The LEI for Korea fell sharply again in January, but its
monthly rate of declines in January and December were somewhat less
negative than that the previous two months. Three of the seven components that make up TCB’s LEI
increased in January. The positive contributors were the (inverted)
yield of government public bonds, value of machinery orders, and stock
prices. Negative contributors were real exports FOB, letter of credit arrivals, private construction orders, and the (inverted) index of inventories to
shipments. The six-month growth rate for the LEI has fallen
to -12.7% (about a -23.7% annual rate) from July 2008 to
January 2009, the lowest point since 1998 during the Asian financial
crises. In addition, the weaknesses among the LEI components have
remained widespread during the last six months. Despite the small gain, the CEI
continued to fall in the last six months, by 4.5% (a -8.7%
annual rate) from July 2008 to January 2009, well below the 2.8 percent
increase between January and July 2008. At the same time, real GDP
registered its sharpest decrease since 1998 — a 20.8% annual
rate of decline in the fourth quarter of 2008, resulting in a 3.0% average annual rate of decline for 2008.
Taken together, the
persistent and widespread deterioration in both composite economic
indexes suggest that the contraction in economic activity in Korea is
likely to continue through the first half of 2009. The LEI for Korea now stands
at 99.9 (2004=100).

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JAN CB

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the U.K. declined 0.4% percent in January to 93.1,
following a 0.7% fall in December and a 1.2% drop
in November. Consumer confidence, volume of expected output and order
book volume continued to make negative contributions to the index, more
than offsetting a positive contribution from the yield spread. The LEI has been declining for a year and
a half. The combination of the duration, depth and diffusion of the
decline has not been this severe since the recession in the early 1980s.
At the same time, The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI)
for the U.K., a measure of current economic activity, declined 0.1% in January, following a 0.1%
increase in December and a
0.2% decline in November. The CEI now stands at 103.7 (2004 = 100).

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