CUBIS Financial Names a New CEO

CUBIS Financial, Ltd.’s
board of directors has promoted Phil Huston to chief executive officer
the company announced.

CUBIS Financial develops turnkey solutions for private label, closed
loop credit card and vacation programs. The company provides all
elements of a card program from application processes through
fulfillment and customer support.

With more than 20 years of experience in business management, Huston was
previously vice president of product development for CUBIS and is a
veteran in strategic concept design, platform development and daily
operations for start-up as well as established online and offline
marketing companies.

In 2005, Huston joined CUBIS Financial as its first employee with the
mission of building the company into the stable and profitable
organization it is today.

“This promotion to CEO is indeed an honor. I am delighted that in this
new role I can continue to help CUBIS pioneer innovative custom card
solutions for all industry and user types,” Huston said. “By
establishing new relationships with vendors and partners each day, we
are transforming CUBIS Financial’s vision into a reality.”

Prior to joining CUBIS, Huston held executive posts at some of the
nation’s top telecommunications and marketing companies. His positions
included vice president of marketing and operations for Impulse
Marketing Group, Inc.; manager of telemarketing channel development for
U.S. West/Qwest Wireless, LLC; vice president of telemarketing for
Innovative Marketing Strategies, Inc. and United Services Telephone,
LLC; director of operations for Wyer Creative Communications, Inc.; and
president of Interactive Corporation, Inc.

About CUBIS Financial, Ltd.

CUBIS Financial, Ltd was founded in 2005 and develops closed loop,
credit card platforms that provide turnkey solutions for private labeled
closed loop credit card programs. Headquartered in Las Vegas, CUBIS
Financial provides all elements of a card program including application
processes; card issuing and activation; card account management; all
merchandise orders and fulfillment; merchandise and vacation inventory;
as well as collections and product payment processing. CUBIS provides
all cardholder communication through e-mail, SMS text messaging, live
chat and live agent customer service. CUBIS private labels the cards,
Web site, cardholder interface and store fronts so brand continuity
dominates the entire customer experience. For more information, go to


Soaring Unemployment Drives Delinquency Up

The U.S. unemployment rate hit its highest level in 15 years in
November rising to 6.7%. The news is worrisome for credit card issuers
as rising unemployment rates portend rising credit card delinquencies.
During November about 533,000 jobs were cut, the biggest one-month
reduction in 34 years. Since the start of this year more than 1.9
million jobs have disappeared. More than 10.3 million Americans were
unemployed in November, the most in 25 years. Since the start of this
year 60+ days credit card delinquency has jumped 60 basis points as
unemployment rates has risen 160 basis points, according to CardData.
During the same period credit card charge-offs have increased 130 basis
points to 5.4%. It is likely fourth quarter credit card delinquency
could approach 4.0% and charge-offs could hit 6.0%.

Unemployment Delinquency*
3Q/06: 4.5% 2.5%
4Q/06: 4.6% 2.6%
1Q/07: 4.5% 2.7%
2Q/07: 4.6% 2.6%
3Q/07: 4.7% 2.7%
4Q/07: 4.9% 3.0%
1Q/08: 5.0% 3.0%
2Q/08: 5.7% 3.3%
3Q/08: 6.5% 3.6%
* 60+ days
Source: CardData (


AmEx Intros Business Logo Gift Cards

American Express has issued the ” Business Logo Gift Cards” that can be
customized with a business logo.
Available in “Classic Logo” and “Thank You Logo” designs, the Cards can be
customized by adding a business logo, in various denominations from $25
to $3,000.
For orders placed by December 31, 2008, businesses can receive 50% off
standard rates, and American Express will waive the $500 set-up fee.
pricing starts at $4.95 per card.. According to a
2008 American Express Gift Card survey, 75% of small and mid-sized
businesses have given a gift card to
customers or clients, and 90% have given a gift card to employees,


Budgets Rule Consumer Holiday Wallets

More evidence emerges as to how consumers are trimming their holiday spending. A TrueCredit/Zogby survey found that 73% of consumers will use cash and savings to finance their holiday purchases, while 18% plan to use their credit cards. About 54% say they plan to spend less this holiday season than they did last year. Most respondents say they are controlling their holiday budget by spending less per person this season, 32% will buy items on sale and two in 10 people will set and adhere to an overall spending limit. Another survey finding: 55% say they do not feel they’re more at risk of ID theft during the holiday shopping season.


eBillme Adds Five More Merchants

Alternative payment provider eBillme welcomes
Improvement Direct, Sweetwater Sound, DiscountDance, and Stacks and Stacks to its growing roster of merchants.
Each new merchant is pairing the consumer appeal of living debt-free
with eBillme promotions including money back savings on purchases.
eBillme is easy to use. When shoppers choose the option at checkout,
their order is confirmed with an eBill sent to their e-mail address. Consumers simply
pay the eBill through their online checking or savings account—the same way they pay
utilities, loans, insurance, and other bills. The transaction occurs
securely, bank to bank, with no personal or financial information required or


BioPay Partnerships Target Underbanked

BioPay Paycheck Secure has new partnerships in place to offer walk-in bill payment and prepaid debit cards to the
underbanked marketplace. The system’s robust feature set
and ease-of-use has facilitated over 53 million transactions worth $23
billion dollars for merchants and consumers nationwide.
BioPay Paycheck Secure
is the most widely used biometric check cashing system in the nation with over 5 million members.
Thousands of retail locations nationwide are using the Paycheck Secure
system to quickly and easily identify customers and process financial



The Conference Board announced today that the leading index for the U.K.
declined 1.7%. The leading index fell sharply again in October, as a result of
very large negative contributions from stock prices, order book volume, and the
volume of expected output. Since April, the leading index has decreased 5.7% (a -11.1% annual rate), falling substantially faster than the 2.6%
rate of decline (a -5.2% annual rate) during the previous six-month
period. In addition, the weaknesses among the leading indicators continue to be very
widespread. The leading index has been falling for more than a year now, and
the pace of its decline has picked up sharply in recent months, while the weaknesses
among its components have remained very widespread.
Two of the seven components that make up the leading
index increased in October. The positive contributors were productivity for the whole economy and
operating surplus of corporations. The negative contributors were stock prices, order book
volume,volume of expected output, and consumer confidence. The yield spread
remained unchanged in October. The accelerating and widespread decline in the
leading index suggests that the economy will remain weak going into 2009, and
that the contraction in economic activity may deepen in the near term. With the 1.7% decrease in October, the leading index now stands
at 118.7



A new report issued by ABI Research, “Near Field Communication (NFC)”
indicates that despite improved standardization to the NFC protocol,
there has been a slow rate of adoption by targeted segments of users.
When NFC first emerged as a technology for mobile handsets in 2003, the
ability to address extremely broad end-user markets with a simple end
user interface namely mobile handsets and payments, as well as multiple
other technologies and interactions – was immediately recognized as a
significant potential. But despite many trials involving many companies
from multiple industries, only one NFC handset is commercially available.
This staggered start is reflected in the current hardware market for NFC
chipsets, with a large percentage of NFC ICs not going into mobile
handsets but into other devices.



Virgin Money UK, has
strengthened its management team with the appointment of Jayne-Anne Gadhia as Executive Chairman of Virgin Money and the hiring of Rob Clifford as
UK Managing Director. Gadhia will now drive the worldwide financial services
strategy forward. Virgin Money has a presence in the UK, Australia,
South Africa and USA. Prior to joining Virgin Money, Clifford was Chief Executive at Mortgage Force
and has over 20 years experience in financial services. A serial
entrepreneur, he has led a number of successful start-ups and has a
proven track record of creating significant shareholder value, as well
as having been repeatedly elected to the boards of regulatory and trade
bodies. Virgin Money has over two million customers and offers a wide range of
financial products across lending that includes credit cards and personal
loans, savings, life insurance, home insurance and car insurance to the UK market.



Prepaid card provider NovoPayment has received an award for
Business Practices from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.
The International Business Leaders Awards are given to companies that
engage in international business or activities that support
international business development in Florida. Award categories
included: Innovation/Innovative Practices; Long-Term Success; Near-Term
Achievement; Special Regional Recognition; Community Involvement and
Not-for-Profit. Each category was divided into Large
Company/Organization and Small Company/Organization. NovoPayment is a
premier prepaid card service
provider and program manager, providing general purpose payments
solutions for the region’s unbanked, as well as Electronic Benefits
Transfer (EBT), payroll, incentive, gift card, and other payments


Cyber Monday Beats Expectations; Rises 15%

While holiday season retail e-commerce spending between November 1st
and December 1st is down about 2% over last year, “Cyber Monday” sales
soared by 15% to become the second heaviest online spending day on
record. For the first four weeks of the holiday season, $12 billion has
been spent online with “Cyber Monday” producing $846 million. According
to comScore, 51% of consumers indicated that the level of promotions and
discounts is higher this year than last year, while only 12% said that
there appeared to be fewer, suggesting that retailers are having to be
more aggressive in discounting to spur consumer spending. The latest
comScore data show “Pre-Thanksgiving” e-sales were off by 4%, but rose
about 12% since then. comScore noted that “Green Monday” 2007 was the
highest online spending day ever with $881 million in e-sales.
Historically, the two weeks before Christmas produce the highest volume.

2008 Holiday Season
($ millions)
2007 2008 CHNG
Nov 1 – Dec 1 $12,217 $12,025 -2%
Pre-Thanksgiving $10,035 $9,588 -4%
Thanksgiving and Later $ 2,182 $2,437 12%
Thanksgiving Day $ 272 $288 6%
Black Friday $ 531 $534 1%
Thanksgiving Weekend $ 645 $769 19%
Cyber Monday $ 733 $846 15%
Source: comScore