Young Professionals Hit Radar Screen

According to results from a SYNERGISTICS survey, “Financial Insights:
Emerging Professionals” which interviewed 600 doctors/dentists,
CPAs/accountants, lawyers, and engineers/architects ages 18 to 49, many
of these
lucrative potential customers are turning to Internet-based financial
institutions for some of their financial needs. More than half of
emerging professionals indicate
using an Internet-based organization where they conduct all business
with the institution online, by e-mail or regular mail, or by telephone
and more than four in ten of the users say this Internet-based
organization is their household’s primary financial institution.

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MasterCard Names a New Controller

MasterCard has appointed Melissa Ballenger as
Controller and Principal Accounting Officer. Ballenger previously served
as Senior Vice President, Controller and
Principal Accounting Officer of Washington Mutual, Inc., until its
recent acquisition by JPMorgan Chase and was responsible for the
company’s accounting and financial reporting functions. Prior to that,
she held other accounting positions of increasing responsibility at
organizations including Freddie Mac and Arthur Andersen.

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Florida Power CU Promos a Staples Card

FL-based Power Financial Credit Union has teamed with office supply
retailer Staples to review the business plans of small businesses and
reward one winner with a $100 “Staples Gift Card”.
Businesses with less than 250 employees located in Broward, Miami-Dade
and Palm Beach counties are eligible. In addition to the Gift Card, the
winning business owner will receive private
financial consultations provided by Power Investments, marketing
consultation with Power Financial Credit Union’s Marketing Department, a
public relations audit from brainstorm2go, inc., financial literacy
employee seminars. Power Financial Credit Union has more than 55,000
members and assets totaling $480 million.

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Financial Responsibility Ranks High

A new survey has found that money and financial responsibility topped
the list of challenges new parents faced after having their baby.
The Visa survey found that 21% of respondents saying it was their
biggest worry. About one in five parents in Washington, DC (20%),
Vermont (20%), Orlando, FL (20%), San Francisco, CA (20%), Charlotte, NC
(19%), Cincinnati, OH (19%) Pittsburgh, PA (18%) and Baltimore, MD (16%)
said their greatest challenge was money. Chicago parents were the most
worried about money, with 26% citing it as their biggest difficulty,
followed by New York City (25%), Springfield, MO (25%) and San
Antonio, TX (25%).

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MASTERCARD CONTROLLER

MasterCard has named Melissa Ballenger as Controller and
Principal Accounting Officer. Tara Maguire, who formerly held the role,
will become Group Executive, Corporate Planning and Financial Analysis.
Ballenger previously served as SVP/Controller and Principal Accounting Officer of Washington Mutual, until its recent acquisition by JPMorgan Chase, she was responsible for the company’s accounting and financial reporting functions. Prior to that, she held other accounting positions of increasing responsibility at organizations including Freddie Mac and Arthur Andersen.

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WU EVP

Western Union has named Ranjana Clark to EVP/Global Payments and Global Strategy. Clark has served in a variety of leadership positions at Wells Fargo, Wachovia and Deutsche Bank. As the CMO at Wachovia,
she developed a fully integrated marketing division focused on insight,
innovation, brand development, customer loyalty and acquisition. During
her almost 20 years at Wells Fargo and Wachovia, she has also served as
head of the Treasury Services Division, head of Strategic Planning and
head of Capital Markets Strategic Development. Prior to that, Clark
spent five years with Deutsche Bank in Mumbai. Clark will join Western Union in late March as a member of the executive committee, reporting to Gold. She will be based in Englewood, Colorado.

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PESSIMISTIC CEOS

According to the results of the latest “PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Private Company Trendsetter
Barometer” survey, optimism in the world economy among international marketers continued to
drop significantly, with only 10% of “Trendsetter” CEOs claiming
they are optimistic about the global economy over the next 12 months,
down nine points from the previous quarter and 45 points below last
year’s 55%. Indicative of this lowered optimism, only 30 percent
of international marketers reported increased sales abroad, down 8
points from the prior quarter and 17 points from one year ago (47%). The number of international marketers reporting lower
international sales in 4Q08 doubled to 16%; those reporting no
change in 4Q08 stayed constant at 54%. In the face of low levels of optimism in the U.S. and global economies,
respondents projected notably lower average revenue growth rates for
their companies over the next 12 months, averaging 5.2% in 4Q08,
down from 10.1% in 3Q08 and 15.5 percent last year. Similarly, 57% of “Trendsetter” CEOs are projecting revenue growth over the next
12 months, down 10 points from last quarter and down 30 points from
4Q07; just 25% of those companies forecasting growth are
projecting a double-digit increase, a 13 point drop from last quarter’s
38%. International marketers remain ahead of their domestic-only peers in
revenue growth projections for the next 12 months (6.1% vs. 4.5%), but the gap narrowed this quarter, from a 3.8 point spread in
3Q08 to a 1.6 spread in 4Q08.

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APWG SUMMIT

The Anti-Phishing Working Group will host it third annual “Counter-eCrime
Operations Summit” this May in Barcelona to engage questions of operational
challenges and the development of common resources for the first
responders and forensic professionals who protect consumers and
enterprises from electronic crime threats every day. “CeCOS III” will
present:
informative case studies by electronic crime
responders and security specialists; examinations of technologies
developed and used by electronic crime gangs to exploit Internet
infrastructure and user’s PCs and client devices; discussions about the
technologies and techniques of educating and protecting consumers; and
presentations about the development of shared resources like common data
formats for ecrime reporting, alerting and coordinating mechanisms.
CeCOS III is an open conference for members of the electronic-crime
fighting community, hosted by the APWG and sponsored by LaCaixa,
Telefonica, S21sec, GMV, MarkMonitor, EMC’s RSA security division,
Deloitte Espana and Ecija. Although sponsorship is principally from
industry, the CeCOS programs are considered the most vital events to
investigators and managers of electronic crime from across private and
public sectors.

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TIO & H-E-B

Bill payment processor TIO Networks and U.S. retailer H-E-B
today announced the deployment of “TIO” bill payment and financial services
kiosks in 26 participating H-E-B store locations in five markets throughout
the state of Texas. “TIO” bill payment is a fast, secure and convenient way to access bill
payment accounts, view balances without the need to have account information
present and pay bills in cash. Payments are made by feeding the cash
directly into the TIO terminal’s note acceptor or by using a debit card (available on
select billers). Once the payment is accepted, TIO uses an Internet link to
ensure timely posting of the payment. H-E-B customers can navigate
through TIO applications in either English or Spanish and complete financial
transactions by either printing or emailing their receipt to an email address of their
choice. By early spring 2009, cash-preferred H-E-B customers will be able
to make expedited bill payments on their wireless, utility, cable and other accounts
through self-serve automated kiosks. Customers will also be able to purchase
prepaid products and services and reload pre-paid debit cards. These
self-serve kiosks will be positioned adjacent to or nearby H-E-B’s Business
Centers to enhance the services H-E-B currently provides and to add
access to bill payment capabilities currently not offered. The kiosks will also help
alleviate payment traffic during peak payment periods.

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SMARTRAC CQM

RFID inlay manufacturer SMARTRAC N.V has
received Card Quality Management (CQM) Certifications from MasterCard.
CQM is a quality program ensuring high quality standards throughout the
entire production process of MasterCard-branded products.
The CQM Label has been granted to SMARTRAC’s High Frequency card inlays,
Durable Dual Interface (DDI) Inlays as well as to the module packaging
process. With the recently awarded CQM certification, SMARTRAC’s
production processes from
chip embedding to manufacturing of the DDI and HF card inlays have
formally been verified to pursue the strict MasterCard quality
requirements for the manufacturing facility, process management,
testing, evaluation, and auditing. SMARTRAC’s High Frequency (HF) card
inlays for highly secure
ePayment cards have already been certified by MasterCard in 2006. This
certification has been renewed for all SMARTRAC HF inlays within the
current audit.

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CECOS III

Electronic crime responders, investigators and counter-electronic crime technologists will join law enforcement and public policy officials from across the globe in Barcelona in May for the APWG’s “Counter-eCrime Operations Summit,” uniting thought-leaders worldwide to plan the next stage in the global confrontation against electronic crime. “CeCOS III” will present: informative case studies by electronic crime responders and security specialists; examinations of technologies developed and used by electronic crime gangs to exploit Internet infrastructure and user’s PCs and client devices; discussions about the technologies and techniques of educating and protecting consumers; and presentations about the development of shared resources like common data formats for ecrime reporting, alerting and coordinating mechanisms.

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GREENLINE CARDS

Boston-based Arthur Blank has introduced the “AB Recycled FinancialCard” into its “GreenLine” suite of environmentally oriented products. The new card is made from a 100% pre-consumer recycled plastic core (88% recycled with an overlaminate) and is specifically designed for financial institutions for use in credit and debit card applications. The material is specially formulated to have a bright white finish – even whiter than the “AB RecycledCard” Arthur Blank currently offers for commercial customers. The material also meets or exceeds all ISO and ANSI specifications for CR80 payment cards. All “AB Recycled FinancialCards” for financial institutions will be processed at Arthur Blank’s secure Mt. Pleasant, TN facility. Arthur Blank’s “GreenLine” suite also includes the “CornCard USA”, “AB RecycledCard,” “AB BiodegradableCard,” and the “AB HybridCard.”

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