Advanta Charge-Offs Near 12%; Cuts 300 Jobs

Business card specialist Advanta reported a net loss of $46.9 million as charge-offs neared 12% during the fourth quarter. As a result Advanta is cutting 300 employees and expects to lower operating expenses between 20% and 25% below those reported for 2008. Business Cards ending managed receivables decreased to $5.0 billion and customer transaction volume declined to $2.9 billion for 4Q/08. The managed net credit loss rate for its business cards was 11.99% for 4Q/08, compared to 10.00% in the third quarter and 4.13% for 4Q/07. The 30-day delinquency rate jumped to 9.53%, compared to 6.55% in the prior quarter and 4.29% one-year ago. At the end of the quarter, managed outstandings were $5.02 billion, compared to $5.59 billion for 3Q/08 and $6.35 billion one-year ago. Gross volume for the quarter dropped 23% year-on-year to $2.9 billion while the number of accounts dipped 20% to 1.05 million. For complete details on Advanta’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

ADVANTA’S CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
Period Card Loans
4Q/07: $6.35 billion
1Q/08: $6.35 billion
2Q/08: $6.08 billion
3Q/08: $5.59 billion
4Q/08: $5.02 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Credit Unions to Promote Contactless Cards

FL-based PSCU Financial Services has launched a mass issuance campaign
with credit unions for contactless debit cards. The campaign allows
credit unions that register by June 30th to benefit from special
promotional activities from the credit union service provider. As part
of this special campaign, there is no minimum for cards ordered by
December 31st. Both MasterCard and Visa debit cards are included.
PSCU Financial Services is the nation’s largest credit union service
organization (CUSO) and serves more than 1,100 financial institutions
nationwide. The company provides a broad array of financial services
that include credit, debit, ATM, prepaid, bill payment and contact
center solutions.

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GlobalPlatform Names a Card Comm Chair

Karl Eglof Hartel has been named as the new Chair of the Card Committee
at Giesecke & Devrient. He leads the Card Committee as it enters a
significant year of new
initiatives to align with market developments in the smart card
industry. Hartel came to G&D in 2000 after working in the field of
military communication
and information systems and is currently Project Manager for New
Technologies in G&D’s Telecom Division, where he lead G&D’s first Near
Field Communication (NFC)
projects. He has been involved in standardization for several years,
with one particular focus being the European Telecommunications
Standardisation Institute
(ETSI) which specifies the smart card platform for telecommunications.
On the basis of this experience, Hartel has contributed to
GlobalPlatform’s Mobile Task Force and Card Specification Working Group.

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eCommLink Prepares to Go International

Las Vegas-based eCommLink has hired the former president of mCash as
SVP/Sales and Business Development. Paul Smith also formerly served in
an executive capacity at Green Dot and Wildcard Systems. The prepaid
card specialist also promoted Ennio Ponzetto to CEO and Victor Newsom to
COO. Additionally, Raymond Lu has been promoted to SVP/Engineering and
named chairman of the eCommLink Technology Steering Committee. The
Company is positioning itself for worldwide expansion with a new global
initiative. As part of this new initiative, T. Jack Williams has been
named Corporate Development Officer. eCommLink supports prepaid debit
programs, including general spend, payroll, teen, gift, travel,
government and loyalty cards.

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Pinnacle and Ingenico Integrate POS

POS technology provider Pinnacle Corporation has completed the
integration of the “Pinnacle Palm POS” and Ingenico’s i6000 series
payment terminals that are currently being rolled out into MA-based
Tedeschi Food Shops, NC-based WILCOHESS and GA-based Flash Foods. The
Pinnacle Palm POS integration efforts to Ingenico’s i6000 series payment
terminals now provide: Electronic Signature Capture; Business
Intelligence Integration; Contactless Payment; Scrolling Receipt;
Threshold Signature Amount and Graphics Support. Pinnacle delivers
products that automate the broad
spectrum of convenience store operations and supply chain management of
fuel operations.

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Claim Payments via Chase Debit Cards

Assurant Specialty Property has begun issuing Chase Visa-branded debit
cards issued by J.P. Morgan as an alternative to paper-
based manual checks for claims settlements.
The Assurant Claims debit card payment program is now available to
renters insurance policyholders and will be expanded later in the year
to other property and casualty insurance programs, including
manufactured housing. The Assurant Claims debit card works like any
other bank-issued debit card. In addition, there are no finance
charges or overdraft fees because,
unlike a regular credit card, debit cardholders can only spend up to the
balance available in their debit card accounts. Cardholders also can
check debit card account balances free online or by calling the
toll-free customer service number on the back of the card. The option
to receive claim payments via the debit card is only applicable when
payments are issued to the policyholder only, not the lender or loss
payee. Assurant Specialty Property is a leading provider of specialty
insurance and collateral protection programs, including creditor-placed
homeowners insurance, manufactured housing insurance and renters
insurance.

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RDM & FAPS

E-payment solution provider RDM Corporation announced that First
American Payment Systems L.P. has agreed to sell RDM’s suite of RDC
products including the “ITMS Simply Deposit” and “WebClient” products.
“Simply Deposit” is an RDC solution designed specifically for small
business, requiring little to no end user training. The “ITMS
WebClient” is a feature rich RDC solution that is ideal for corporate
and business environments that have many points of remote or distributed
capture locations, as well as those who have large central processing
centers. “The Simply Deposit” and the “WebClient” products save the end user the time and transportation expenses associated with physically depositing checks at the bank and provide faster availability of funds for the depositor. First American Payment Systems currently provides payment processing services to over 100,000 merchants in the United States and is ranked as one of the country’s top privately-owned payment solution providers.

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Merchant Focus Processing Offers R3

Merchant payment solution provider Merchant Focus Processing launched
the “R3” recurring revenue reseller program. “R3” enables resellers who
earn significant ongoing residuals from
their referrals to offer two types of merchant accounts:
Interchange-Plus merchant accounts to their largest most profitable
clients, and normal merchant accounts to brand new businesses.
Established clients qualify for special “cost plus” processing with no
monthly fees of any kind through a proprietary co-branded referral
splash page, at which point these larger clients receive custom
proposals for their high volume credit card processing. New businesses
apply for low cost Two Tier billing accounts directly through a
co-branded online application featuring instant merchant id numbers.
Both types of merchant accounts feature no termination penalties and
guaranteed pricing, key components of merchant friendly practices. A
dynamic resource portal has been created at
www.R3SELLERS.com which provides valuable information on the benefits of
being an R3 reseller, the recurring revenue opportunity, examples of
co-branded landing pages, and access to tools such as online residual
reports, links to the underwriting database, and R3 marketing solution.

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AMEX INTL 4Q/08

American Express reported that its International Card Services unit produced fourth-quarter net income of $36 million, compared to a net loss of $68 million a year ago. While cardholder spending decreased 14% and charge-offs topped 3.0%, expenses for marketing, promotion, rewards and cardholder services decreased 53% from year-ago levels. Total outstandings for international cards dropped to $9.4 billion, from $12.5 billion in the prior quarter, and $11.4 billion one-year ago. Volume declined from $28.2 billion for 4Q/07 to $24.2 billion for 4Q/08. Total number of international cards was 16.3 million at the end of the quarter. Global Commercial Services reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $18 million compared to net income of $110 million a year ago, due largely to the acquisition of a commercial card and corporate purchasing unit in March 2008. Global Network & Merchant Services reported fourth-quarter net income of $215 million, down 15% from a year ago, reflecting lower merchant-related revenues from the decrease in global card billed business, offset in part by higher revenues from GNS’ bank partners. For complete details on American Express’ U.S. and international cards businesses visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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TIETO & FDC

First Data has partnered with Tieto to offer a new payment solution based on the Tieto Card Suite Acquiring module designed to simplify and speed up the payment process for both state institutions and their end customers. The service is a convenient way of making
payments instead of multiple bank transfers. The end users will now be
able to pay for the services of Latvian state institutions with a
payment card. The Tieto solution’s configuration possibilities allow for automatically splitting the transaction amount into several dedicated accounts. State institutions benefit in terms of fewer queues, a significant decrease in manual work as well as in transaction cost savings leading to generally improved work efficiency. Tieto is an IT service company providing IT, R&D and consulting services.

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TSYS Revenue Rises 8% Despite Lower Volume

TSYS reports that total revenues grew 8% to $493 million and net income
soared 45% to $66 million for the fourth quarter. North America Services
revenue was up 6% to $343 million even though the number of transactions
processed slipped 4% to 1.7 billion and the number of accounts on file
declined 9% to 319 million. Global Services’ revenue increased 14% to
$71 million and was unfavorably impacted by the strengthening of the
U.S. Dollar against the British Pound. Merchant Services’ revenue was
$79 million for 4Q/08, an increase of 7% over 4Q/07. During the quarter,
TSYS signed an agreement with Unicard Mexico;
began offering merchant payment services to PaySquare in the Benelux;
opened a new data center in Okinawa, Japan and signed AZ Card, OCS and
Nagasaki Kenmin Shinyo Kumiai to service 340,000 accounts; signed a
multi-year agreement with Sony Finance to process its newly introduced
credit card program; and announced that China UnionPay Data Services, a
joint venture with China UnionPay, signed processing agreements with
China Postal Savings Bank and Bank of East Asia. For 2009, TSYS projects
total revenue growth between 0% and 2% or $1.94 billion to $1.98 billion
and that net income will be flat or shrink up to 3% or between $243
million and $250 million. For complete details on TSYS’ fourth quarter
performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

TSYS REVENUE
4Q/07: $458 million
1Q/08: $462 million
2Q/08: $483 million
3Q/08: $500 million
4Q/08: $493 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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