M2 Global Rolls-Out the AcqENGIN Gateway

Processing technology provider M2 Global has rolled out “AcqENGIN” a
comprehensive and customizable e-commerce payment gateway. “AcqENGIN”
allows M2 to offer high volume Internet merchants
credit card processing anywhere in the world all managed from a central
web based portal that provides reporting and security management tools
that lead the industry. “AcqENGIN” includes multiple currency
acceptance, patented card-integrated technology,
settlement reporting, chargeback and re-presentment automation and
patented fraud protection tools. M2 Global is an online transaction
processing technology company
that develops, acquires, operates, holds and licenses software that
enables platform interoperability and in the initiation and settlement
of electronic payments.

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TECH AWARD

Gemalto’s “Smart Enterprise Guardian” has been awarded the “Tech
Innovation Award for Hardware” from the Austin, Texas Business Journal.
Jointly developed by Gemalto and Lexar, the “SEG” is a first-of-its-kind
multipurpose security device that solves problems every enterprise
faces: how to better secure remote access to their networks and how to
better protect information employees store on portable devices. In a
single device, Gemalto has combined strong authentication, digital
signatures, encrypted Flash storage and encryption tools for desktop or
laptop files. The “SEG” has built-in support in Microsoft Vista using
Gemalto .NET technology.

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UBC Acquires Optimal Payments Portfolio

Payment processor United Bank Card will acquire Optimal Payments’
portfolio of 5,000 merchant accounts for $11 million. It is
a portfolio of residual payments from merchants processing credit
card-present transactions. Optimal Payments processes credit card
payments, primarily for small and medium-sized retail point-of-sale
merchants. Under the terms of the option agreement and related
agreements entered
into by the parties, the purchase price for the portfolio is US$11
million. Until either party has exercised its right to cause the
completion of a purchase and sale transaction, United Bank Card will
continue to service the portfolio and Optimal Payments will continue to
receive residual payments from the portfolio and pay a service fee to
United Bank Card for its services. The aggregate amount of residuals
earned by Optimal Payments, net of the aggregate service fees paid, will
be set off against and will reduce the purchase price monthly until the
completion of a purchase and sale transaction. The adjusted purchase
price will be increased monthly by a notional rate of interest. Optimal
Payments’ right to cause United Bank Card to purchase the
portfolio may be exercised any time on or after February 2, 2011. United
Bank Card’s right to cause Optimal Payments to sell the portfolio may be
exercised at any time up to December 31, 2014. UBC currently handles
the merchant accounts for over 100,000 locations and
processes in excess of $9 billion annually.

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DELINQUENCY COVERNS

A new report from Deloitte reveals a rise in Canadian credit card
delinquencies as Canadian credit card balances grow by almost 40% since
2004. Deloitte recently interviewed executives at major credit card
issuers in Canada representing over half (54%) the country’s outstanding
credit card balances. The majority of executives indicated that
beginning in October/November of 2008, they started to see a 5% to 10%
jump in delinquencies, which have increasingly translated into
write-offs. The
result has been an increase in losses of 50-100 basis points (100 basis
points equals 1%). At the upper end of this range, this represents
annualized losses of over $800 million to the industry as a whole, where
the total value of outstanding balances is in excess of $80 billion.
Credit card issuers in Canada have traditionally seen loss rates of less
than 4%, but with Canadian
consumers increasing their debt-to-disposable-income ratios to more than
130%, Canadian issuers
face unprecedented risks given their credit card balances have increased
almost 40% since 2004, according to the Bank of Canada and U.S. Federal
Reserve. As a result, Canadian credit card issuers are taking action to
avoid the costly write-downs now common in the U.S.

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Fiserv Payments Business Grows 63% in Q4

WI-based Fiserv reports fourth quarter revenues of $1.06 billion, down
slightly from 4Q/07. However, net income fell 35% to $62 million. The
Payments unit posted a 63% increase in Q4 revenues to $559 million and
operating income of $157 million, a 73% increase. During the quarter,
the Company signed 128 clients for its electronic bill payment services;
extended its value added reseller bill payment relationship with Digital
Insight for three years; inked a deal with Commerce Bank/Harrisburg to
provide a full suite of account processing technology solutions; signed
Greece’s Piraeus Bank for the Fiserv “Universal Banking” solution; and
BB&T rolled-out the Fiserv “Branch Source Capture” solution.
Additionally, Fiserv acquired i_Tech Corporation in December 2008 from
First Interstate BancSystem. The company expects 2009 adjusted internal
revenue growth to be in a range of 0% to 4%. For complete details on
Fiserv’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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PRECIDIA & TOSHIBA

IP payment and network supplier Precidia Technologies has partnered with
Toshiba to offer its “TransNet” payment engine within Toshiba’s “TEC
America” electronic cash registers. “TransNet’s” design allows
merchants to route transactions directly to any certified processor,
without any additional costs or difficulties which eliminates costly
gateway fees, and gives merchant a greater degree of
choice. The router-based approach delivers the industry’s
most comprehensive security, housing sensitive cardholder data on the
highly secure “POSLynx220” payment router. While the router is secured
by field tested firewalling and encryption, the solution is also PA-DSS
validated and is designed to facilitate
the merchant’s PCI compliance and the “POSLynx220” payment router
can integrate other store peripherals such as pin pads easily, using its
2 dial and 2 serial ports. TransNet is used in a variety of retail
payment applications, and integrates easily with ECRs, PC Systems,
IP/Dial payment terminals, POS applications and even e-commerce websites.

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Consumer Jan Bankruptcy Filings Up 34%

The final numbers are in and bankruptcy is not as bad as projected
earlier this week by CardData. Nationally, consumer bankruptcy filings
increased 34.4% in January, compared to the same period a year ago.
According to the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National
Bankruptcy Research, consumer filings totaled 88,773 in January.
Chapter 13 filings constituted 32.8% of all consumer cases in January, a
slight increase from December. In a recent ABI poll 65% of respondents
predicted that bankruptcies in 2009 would increase by at least 35% over
the nearly 1.1 million cases filed in 2008. Fifty-three percent of
respondents predicted that filings would increase by 35% or more while
12% thought that filings would increase by about 35%.

BANKRUPTCY FILINGS
Jan 08: 66,050
Feb 08: 76,120
Mar 08: 86,165
Apr 08: 92,291
May 08: 91,214
Jun 08: 82,770
Jul 08: 94,124
Aug 08: 96,413
Sep 08: 88,663
Oct 08: 106,266
Nov 08: 99,925
Dec 08: 84,926
Jan 09: 88,773
Source: ABI/NBKRC; CardData.com

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TSYS Unveils a SKU Private Label Card

TSYS has introduced a private label card that can be redeemed for specific merchandise, tracking SKU-level data at the POS. The processor launched more than 45 million private label cards that can read SKU-level data in 2008. Its proprietary processing technology enables merchants and consumer product goods companies to boost consumer loyalty and track buying behavior while eliminating costly paper coupon processes. The patent-pending SKU-reading card is accepted at select merchants nationwide. TSYS currently processes for a network of 30,000 merchants nationwide.

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HYC A/P DIRECTOR

Hypercom has named Jacques-Herve Maupin, previously Managing Director at
Oberthur Technologies, as Managing
Director, Asia Pacific. Maupin is responsible for directing and driving
Hypercom’s sales,
service and support throughout the region. Maupin brings more than 20
years of experience in the electronic
payment, smart card and information technology industries. In his most
recent position with Oberthur Technologies, Maupin directed all
aspects of the company’s operations to the banking and financial
services, telecommunications, government and pay-TV sectors in the
region. Among his many accomplishments at Oberthur, Maupin expanded
the company’s telecom business through both organic growth and
acquisition, started the company’s in-region banking business, created
an R&D center, expanded the company’s presence from six to 13 countries
and generated a more than ten-fold revenue growth. Maupin holds a
Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from
Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Ingenieurs Electriciens de Grenoble.

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MOVERSA U-SAM

Moversa plans to introduce a new “Universal Secure Access Module” that manages contactless smart card applications, regardless of protocols and operating systems, in NFC-enabled mobile devices. The new “U-SAM” supports two of the most widely installed contactless smart card technologies, NXP’s “MIFARE” and Sony’s “FeliCa” systems, as well as a number of other contactless operating systems and applications. The new chip will enable mobile device manufacturers to design products which are interoperable with existing contactless infrastructures. The “U-SAM” will be available in both embedded and SIM form factors. Built-in software from Moversa enables seamless switching amongst the different contactless technologies. It also supports standardized communication interfaces such as “SPI,” “ISO7816,” “UART” and “SWP” (ETSI compliant).
The “U-SAM” runs on 32-bit architecture with a high density embedded non-volatile memory. To address the highest security requirements for contactless transactions, the chip supports “DES/3DES,” “AES,” “RSA,” “ECC” and its hardware is targeted to receive “Common Criteria EAL 5+” and “EMVCo” certification. Moversa is a joint venture of NXP and Sony, created in November 2007.

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More Americans Switch from Credit to Debit

According to the “First Command Financial Behaviors Index”, more
Americans plan to save more and pay down debt in 2009. Americans are
attempting to improve their finances by tightening their
belts. Households cut back on expenditures in 2008 in a variety of areas
including 56% that reduced holiday spending, 54% cut back on leisure
activities, 52% reduced utility bills, 48% made less clothing purchases
and 38% curtailed household good spending. The Index also reveals
Americans are becoming smarter in the ways that they do spend their
money, with 49% shopping at discount stores, 44% are
using more coupons and 37% are opting to buy generic instead of brand
name items. When making purchases, 38% are using cash or debit cards
instead of credit cards. These actions helped propel the Behaviors
sub-index to 78 in December, up from an all-time low of 61 in October.
However even as Americans promised to save more and cut debt, their
outlook remained at an all-time low. The Attitudes sub-index ended the
year at 82, down from a high of 104 in May, with 67% expressing
concerns about the state of the economy, 44% on the the stock market
and 32% worrying about job security, the latter nearly doubling from a
low of 18 percent in May. First Command Financial Services assist American
families in their efforts to build wealth, reduce debt and pursue their
lifetime financial goals and dreams—focusing on consumer behavior as the
first and most powerful determinant of results.

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