TNS Hires a Former First Data Exec

TNS has appointed Jim Foster, previously with First Data, as its new SVP
for POS operations. Formerly Vice President and National Sales Manager
at First Data Corporation, Foster brings with him
over 20 years of experience in the financial services and payments
industries. Prior to First Data, Foster also
held positions with American Express and MoneyGram Payment.
Foster holds a BS in business administration with a concentration in
marketing from Colorado
State University. TNS has designed and implemented multiple
data networks, each designed specifically for the transport of
transaction-oriented data and provides services globally with 28 offices
throughout the world.

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Chicago Bears Get Blinked by Chase

Chase and MasterCard have introduced the “Chicago Bears Debit MasterCard
with Blink.” The debit card has no annual fee and comes with special
features and offers, including The Chicago Bears team colors and logos,
including an orange magnetic stripe on the back; exclusive discounts and
promotions with the Chicago Bears; invitations to special Bears events
presented by Chase, such as a
Draft Day Party, Family Night and a special look at Training Camp and
Blink, which allows customers to tap and go when paying for
concessions in Soldier Field and at participating merchants around the
world that accept MasterCard “PayPass”, a fast and convenient
alternative to cash that
reduces the transaction time by as much as 40%.

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Leapfrog Online Lands Cap One Exec

Chicago-based digital direct marketer Leapfrog Online has tapped Tony
DeNunzio, previously at Capital One, as its new VP of Financial
Services. At Capital One Financial Corporation, where DeNunzio built
online strategy for card member acquisition and
developed Card Lab, the industry’s first completely customizable credit
card website. He has held senior positions at Arc Worldwide developing
integrated, multi-channel direct marketing campaigns for leading clients
including Morgan Stanley and credit card product launches for Walt
Disney Company and Starbucks. Tony also founded and led D7 Consulting,
LLC, a direct marketing consulting firm.

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Faber to Accept PayPass Nationally

Travel and hospitality retailer Faber, Coe & Gregg is accepting
MasterCard PayPass at over 80 locations. Faber customers tap their
PayPass-enabled MasterCard card or device on a PayPass reader at
check-out, eliminating the need to hand their card over to a cashier or
fumble for cash. MasterCard PayPass also does not require customers to
sign receipts for purchases under $25, further speeding up the
transaction. Faber operates nationally-recognized retail brands in East
Coast airports, train stations, highway rest stops and hotels. The
Faber family of brands includes a wide
variety of national retail brands, newsstands, and café shops, such as
Hugo Boss, Cubavera, Diamond Fire, Taxco, L’Occitane, Faber News Now,
Dunkin Donuts, Java Moon, Cuban Coffee, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Wetzels
Pretzels, Pizzeria Uno Express, and Sandella’s Flatbread Café.

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AmEx U.S. Card Profits Dive 59% in Q3

American Express reported that its U.S. Card Services division posted third quarter net income of $244 million, compared to $592 million for 3Q/07. Total revenues of $3.5 billion declined 4% from the prior year quarter, and down sequentially by more than $100 million due to lower securitization income. However, average U.S. card loans rose 8% to $64.7 billion year-on-year. Charge-offs on average U.S. card loans rose to 5.9%, compared to 5.3% for 2Q/08 and 3.0% for 3Q/07. Delinquency on U.S. card loans (30+ days) rose to 3.9% versus 3.4% for the prior quarter, and up from 2.4% for 3Q/07. Card volume in the U.S. hit $120.3 billion, up 4% from the year-ago quarter. The total number of domestic cards-in-force grew to 54.3 million cards, compared to 51.7 million for 3Q/07. International Card Services reported third quarter net income of $67 million, down 52% from $140 million a year ago. Global Network & Merchant Services reported third-quarter net income of $258 million, down 3% from $266 million a year ago. For complete details on American Express’ third quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

American Express U.S. Card Portfolio Snapshot
3Q/08 2Q/08 1Q/08 4Q/07 3Q/07
Volume $120.3B 123.5 114.6 123.0 115.2
Cards 54.3MM 53.5 52.9 52.3 51.7
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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PAYZONE & LYCAMOBILE

Payment and cash distributor Payzone announced that its retailers can now
offer top-ups for Lycamobile Pay As You Go SIM card.
Lycamobile enables customers to make high quality, low cost
international calls directly from their mobile without entering access
codes or PIN numbers. Retailers will be able to offer the top-up in
denominations ranging from GBP5 to GPB50. Lycamobile is on track to
acquire one million UK subscribers
within 12 months and is the third MVNO added by Payzone in recent weeks,
enabling Payzone?s retail network to capitalise on the fast growing
international calling market.

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Rising Libor Stress Tests Card ABS

U.S. credit card-based ABS will be facing a major test over the several
months. Fitch Ratings says the jump in one-month LIBOR rates, combined
with increasing charge-offs and lower yields, are creating a volatile
mix for securitizations. Earlier this month, LIBOR increased 200 basis
points from September to a high of 4.50%, while the prime rate is down
375 basis points from last September. The higher LIBOR rates come at a
time when excess spread is already being eroded by increasing chargeoff
rates and lower portfolio yield. Excess spread as measured by the “Fitch
Prime Credit Card Index,” was at 6.43% for data through August, down 122
basis points from one year ago, a trend that will continue to decline as
LIBOR remains high and charge-offs trend higher.
Fitch says it is concerned that certain trusts may hit triggers that
will trap excess spread starting as soon as next month.

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CARD MANUFACTURING

For the tenth consecutive year, the North American Region leads the world in the total number of cards manufactured with 9.1 billion units. Worldwide the unit market reached 19.2 billion cards last year, a 12% increase over 2006. The “Annual Card Manufacturing Global Market Survey” by the International Card Manufacturers Association also found that Asia Pacific manufactured 4.5 billion cards. Europe remained in the #3 position with just over 4 billion cards manufactured. Latin America reached the 1 billion mark in 2007 and Middle East/Africa manufactured 489 million cards last year. The ICMA noted that the value of the dollar affected the value of the overall global card market in 2007.

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Dropped Card Ignites a Political Fire

A credit card belonging to the campaign of Arizona Republican Rep. John
Shadegg was found at a Democratic Party office over the weekend. The
Arizona Republic and the Associated Press reports that Ryan Anderson, a
Shadegg campaign volunteer, was running errands Sunday when he noticed
the Democratic office in Tempe and went inside in hopes of getting a
Barack Obama sticker for his collection of political memorabilia. He
said he must have dropped the credit card when he pulled dollar bills
out of a pocket to pay for the sticker. However, the Arizona Democratic
Party has publicly demanded an explanation from Shadegg’s campaign, and
that it return anything taken from the office.
Shadegg is locked in a heated battle against Democratic challenger Bob
Lord in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District.

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Major Economic Index Edges Up in Sept

The latest economic data suggest that conditions in the
non-financial economy are not falling apart. Data on hand reflect a
contracting economy, but not one in free fall. The Conference Board reported that the “Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators” edged up 0.3% in September, following a 0.9% decline in August, and a 0.7% decline in July. It is the first increase in the last five months. Real money supply, consumer expectations, the interest rate spread, and the index of supplier deliveries all made large positive contributions to the index in September. Six of the ten indicators that make up the leading index increased in September. The Conference Board noted that the extreme volatility in the financial market, and the near freeze-up of credit, will no doubt weaken the economy further.

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EXPERIAN & DP INFO

Experian has acquired a 40% minority stake in the credit and business information bureau DP
Information Group. DP Info is the leader in the provision of credit and business
information services in Singapore across three key lines of services,
including credit and business information services, credit management
solutions and SME advisory and business bureau services. DP Info’s credit
and information portal, QuestNet, is currently used by 95% of Singapore’s
financial institutions and 75% of its legal firms. Its subsidiary, DP
Credit Bureau, was recognized by the Monetary Authority of Singapore to
operate a consumer credit bureau in May 2007 and started operations one
year later.

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