U.S. Bank Rolls-Out a Rewards Business Card

U.S. Bank has rolled out the “U.S. Bank Cash Rewards Business
Platinum Card” that offers 3% cash back on cellular, gas and
office supply purchases. “The U.S. Bank Cash
Rewards Business Platinum Card” has no annual fee, rewards never expire,
and there is no limit to the cash rewards earned. Cardholders earn
an additional 25% annual bonus based on their prior year’s cash
rewards total. New cardholders can also maximize their savings with a
zero percent introductory APR. In addition, businesses can accelerate
their annual bonuses by expanding
their banking relationships with a U.S. Bank Five Star Business Package.
The package allows business customers to enjoy special savings on a
suite of U.S. Bank checking, savings and credit products tailored
specifically for their needs.

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Credit Card Delinquencies Rise 11% in Q4

Average bank card borrower debt (defined as the aggregate balance on
all bank-issued credit cards for an individual bankcard borrower) inched
upward nationally 33 basis points to $5,729. The highest state average
bankcard debt was in Alaska at $7,466, followed by Nevada at $6,638 and
Tennessee at $6,560. The lowest average bankcard debt was found in Iowa
($4,267), followed by North Dakota
($4,414) and West Virginia ($4,555). TransUnion.com also says its
findings found that nationally, the bankcard delinquency rate (the ratio
of bankcard borrowers 90 days or more delinquent on one or more of their
bankcards) increased to 1.21% in the fourth quarter of 2008, up 11% over
the previous quarter. This is in line with seasonal trends in the fourth
quarter historically.

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APWG Offers a Phishing Guide for Webmasters

The APWG has released, “What To Do If Your Web Site Has Been
Hacked by Phishers,” a comprehensive reference guide that helps webmasters
as well as website owners and operators who suspect or discover that
their web site is being used to host a phishing site. This APWG advisory
explains the most important incident response
measures that can be taken to remediate website hacking by phisher in
the areas of identification, notification, containment, recovery,
restoration, and follow-up when an attack is suspected or confirmed.
The APWG, founded as the Anti-Phishing Working Group in 2003, is an
industry, law enforcement and government coalition focused on
eliminating the identity theft and fraud that result from the growing
problem of phishing, email spoofing, and crimeware. Membership is open
to qualified financial institutions, online retailers, ISPs, the law
enforcement community, researchers and solutions providers.

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ACORN MASTERCARD

credEcard and Lloyds TSB have launched the “Acorn Prepaid MasterCard.” The new card enables agencies to pay their temporary unbanked staff in the same way as banked staff. Acorn offers the cardholder a range of benefits including the ability to instantly accept payment of funds without the need for a bank account. CredEcard’s MasterCard prepaid programs allow funds to be loaded directly onto the Acorn prepaid card via the unique BACS sort code, facilitating the loading of funds directly onto each card account, allowing unbanked staff to be paid in exactly the same way as those with regular bank accounts. In addition the cardholder can set up standing orders, load additional funds via any 19,000 “PayPoint” outlets and have access to a comprehensive range of online and SMS services.

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Heartland Breach Draws Another Lawsuit

NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems has a class action lawsuit pending
charging the company violated federal securities laws.
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period defendants made
false and/or misleading statements, and failed to disclose material
adverse facts about the company’s business, operations and prospects.
Specifically, defendants misrepresented or failed to disclose: (1) that
the Company’s safety and security measures designed to protect
consumers’ financial records and data from security breaches were
inadequate and ineffective; (2) that the Company’s payment processing
system had been infected with malware as early as May 2008; (3) that
defendants were made aware of a potential breach of Heartland’s payment
processing network; (4) that, as a result of the above, the Company
faced liabilities associated with the breach and increasing costs
associated with implementing appropriate security measures; (5) that, as
a result of the foregoing, the Company was at risk of losing customers;
and (6) that the Company lacked adequate internal controls.
On January 20, 2009, Heartland revealed that the Company’s payment
processing network had been breached by malicious software, exposing
tens of millions of debit cardholders to fraud. Shares of Heartland
declined $1.26 per share, or 8.16%, to
close on January 20, 2009, at $14.18 per share and over the next two
days, shares of Heartland further declined
$6.00 per share, or an additional 42.31%, to close on January 22, 2009
at $8.18 per share. On February 24, 2009, Heartland posted
a lower-than-expected quarterly profit and disclosed that it might incur
losses from the recent security breach of its system and that the
Company could not estimate the amount of losses that might be incurred
in connection with the security breach. Shares of Heartland declined
$2.31 per share, or 30.12%,
to close on February 24, 2009, at $5.34 per share, on unusually heavy
volume. During the Class Period, shares of Heartland’s common stock
declined $21.84 per share, or approximately 80%, from its Class Period
high of $27.19 per share on September 19, 2008.

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PAYZONE EXECUTIVE

Consumer payment provider and cash network Payzone has appointed
Bill Thomson, previously with Barclaycard, as UK Managing Director. Thomson has spent
12 years in the payments industry and his appointment brings significant
expertise and leadership to Payzone, the leading European consumer
payments and cash distribution network.
As managing director at Barclaycard Business, the B2B arm
of Barclaycard, Thomson was a member of the executive committee for
five years and Managing Director from 2006. During this time he managed
growth of the UK’s second largest acquirer and Europe’s largest Visa
commercial card issuer. As Managing Director he was responsible for
overseeing the development of the division’s contactless technology and
international expansion strategy. Thomson has extensive card payment experience across all channels and
all sizes of retailer. In 1997 he helped found NetBanx, a ground
breaking payment card processing solution, which supported the
development of e-commerce and on-line retail. Later, in 2001, he was
recruited to Barclaycard to develop ePDQ, a secure on-line card payments
system.

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TEBCA PERU

Prepaid card provider NovoPayment has entered into a joint venture with
Interbank Group named “Tebca Peru” to develop
prepaid card programs nationally, including prepaid EBT and food vouchers,
general-purpose reloadable cards, cash management and remittances
products. Initially, Tebca Peru will introduce a prepaid food voucher
program
under the brand name Provis Alimentación, aimed at electronically
managing social benefit payments for companies and entities throughout
the country. The company expects to issue as many as 200,000 cards in
the first two
years. The benefits of these programs include, among others, reducing
overhead expenses and operational risks, immediate delivery of payments
and benefits for companies and access to a wide variety of service
channels for end customers.

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Galileo Processing Analytics is Unveiled

UT-based payment process solution provider Galileo Processing has
launched “Galileo Analytics”.
Galileo Analytics puts the information
managers need in intelligent and graphical form at their fingertips.
Galileo clients will now be able to ask multi-dimensional questions via
Galileo Analytics about all aspects of their portfolio, such as
performance, cardholder behavior, profitability, results of marketing
campaigns and fraud statistics. Galileo offers advanced payment
technologies including
RFID and mobile access, a proprietary bill payment service and a retail
load network.

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LASERCARD DEAL

Secure ID solution provider LaserCard Corporation has received a follow-on purchase order from its Rome-based Authorized
Value Added Reseller, Laser Memory Card S.p.a., which supplies and
supports the government’s prime contractor on the project to supply
about $2.5 million worth of secure optical memory cards for Italian
government ID card programs. The vast majority of the cards ordered are
Foreign Resident ID Cards, with the balance being special bi-lingual
versions of the national Citizen ID Card. It is
expected that shipment of the cards will commence in the March quarter
and be completed in the June quarter.

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CPI Card Group Offers OSCAR Technology

CPI Card Group introduces “OSCAR” to the card marketplace. It is the
state-of-the-art digital print and color management system that delivers
the most brilliantly printed cards in the industry. CPI says “OSCAR”
will set the new industry standard for turnaround times. “OSCAR”
generates a proof that is a for-color match; this includes both
process-printed cards as well as PMS spot colors. “OSCAR” offers the
closest approximation to “continuous tone” available in the industry.
CPI’s production sites include Denver, Colorado; Fort Wayne, Indiana;
Las Vegas, Nevada; Colchester, England; and Liverpool, England.

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