Citi Launches Paylink & Obopay Pilot

Citi announced the launch of “Citibank Paylink for Commercial Cards” and the launch of a pilot of a new mobile person-to-person money transfer service with Obopay. “Citibank Paylink for Cards” integrates a purchasing card into a client’s accounts payable system. The MasterCard “Payment Gateway” acts as the network between Citi, the buyer and the supplier. Prior to the availability of this new service, buyers had multiple interfaces and inefficiencies in their payment processes.
Beginning this week, the Citi Obopay mobile payment service will be offered to all Citibank customers in the U.S., with a focus on Boston, Chicago, Maryland, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. Citi says this is the first time that a real-time, person-to-person mobile money transfer service with the ability to link directly to a bank account has
been offered in the U.S. By using a phone’s Web browser, SMS text messaging or the downloadable mobile application, customers can send and receive money nearly instantly needing only the mobile phone numbers of friends and family members.

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UTC Drops its Bid for Diebold

United Technologies has dropped its plans to acquire Diebold. UTC had offered $40 per share in an unsolicited bid of $2.6 billion in February. UTC says it has been frustrated with Diebold’s delay in releasing financial data. UTC say the extended refusals of UTC’s requests for management discussions and due diligence, and the scheduling of the annual meeting for November 12th were the main factors in its decision. Diebold noted that despite the current turmoil in the financial industry, the Company increased its 2008 earnings expectations on September 30th, when the company became current with its financial reports. Diebold’s second-quarter profit rose 37% to $27.2 million.

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INSIDE & CPI

CPI Card Group and INSIDE Contactless have teamed to
create the industry’s first contactless sticker product
for open-loop payments. The technology combines the
flexible “MicroPass 4003” contactless payment processor with a tuned RF
antenna in a compact, shielded prelam for payment sticker applications.
CPI has established a scalable operational process
for producing these payment stickers based upon “MicroPass” prelams
delivered from INSIDE. The sticker devices are delivered from CPI
already pre-cut from ID1 card devices and pre-personalized to allow for
fulfillment using traditional card fulfillment equipment and processes.
CPI Card Group will be delivering its first
“MicroPass”-based payment stickers to a global leader in electronic
commerce and payment services, and anticipates orders from several other
leading card issuers.

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Chase Card Profits Decline 63% in Q3

J.P. Morgan Chase reported that third quarter credit card profits declined 63% year-on-year to $292 million, but rose by 17% sequentially. End-of-period managed loans of $159 billion increased by 7% year-on-year, but up 3% from the second quarter. Charge volume of $93.9 billion increased by 5% from 3Q/07. Net accounts opened during the quarter were more than 3.6 million, down 10% from one-year ago. The managed net charge-off rate for the quarter was 5.00%, up from 3.64% in the prior year and 4.98% in the prior quarter. The 30-day managed delinquency rate was 3.69%, up from 3.25% in the prior year and up from 3.46% in the prior quarter. Merchant processing volume of $197.1 billion increased 9% compared to the year-ago quarter. Managed net revenue was $3.9 billion, an increase of 1% from the prior year. Net interest income was $3.2 billion, up 4% from 3Q/07. Chase says the increase in net interest income was driven by higher average managed loan balances and wider loan spreads. However, these benefits were offset largely by the effect of higher revenue reversals associated with higher charge-offs. For complete details on Chase’s third quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

JPM CHASE HISTORICAL ($billions)
3Q/07 4Q/07 1Q/08 2Q/08 3Q/08
EOP Outstandings: $149.1 157.1 150.9 155.4 159.3
Charge Volume: $ 89.8 95.5 85.4 93.6 93.9
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Allpoint Networks to Expand Overseas

Fee-free ATM network Allpoint expands internationally to 37,000 ATMs
worldwide.
Through the integration of the fast growing Bank Machine ATM network.
Bank Machine brings more than 2,500 surcharge-free ATMs to Allpoint.
Allpoint, a division of Cardtronics, provides greater access,
convenience and savings to
customers of financial institutions with limited ATM presence while
providing the institutions with the tools to compete more effectively
for customers.

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Alliance Companies Hires a TNB Exec

The Alliance Companies have hired Jay Kurian, previously with TNB, as
Managing Director for New Business Development.Kurian served as First
Senior Vice President at Town North Bank and Founding Director and Chief
Risk Officer of Town North Bank Nevada and
established the agent issuing program, TNB Card Services, for credit
unions and other financial institutions and was in charge of the P&L and
the Product Development for Credit and Debit Processing. His
leadership further guided the expansion of TNB with the chartering of
TNB Nevada and the building of a $300 million credit card portfolio.
Prior to TNB, Kurian was Vice President and director of U.S. card products
for Banco Popular where he helped launch Banco Poplar’s US mainland
entry and grow the bank from $1.4 billion to $6.0 billion. Alliance
Companies provides
partnership development and advisory services to the payments industry.

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MAF & JCB

Majid Al Futtaim Group has teamed with Japan’s JCB and ORIX to establish Majid Al Futtaim JCB Finance. MAF JCB will issue JCB credit cards and promote license partners throughout the Middle East and North Africa. This week, MAF JCB began accepting applications for the first JCB international brand card in the UAE, the “Najm JCB” credit card (Najm means “star” in Arabic) at Carrefour and other MAF Group operated retail facilities. MAF JCB says it will look to contribute to economic growth in the region through expanding into 19 countries throughout the Middle East and North Africa. ORIX is an integrated financial services group based in Tokyo, providing innovative value-added products and services to both corporate and retail customers.

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Holiday Survey Finds Cash is King

A Western Union survey reveals that 56% of Americans want cash this
holiday season. The respondents indicated that they would prefer to
receive
$100 in cash this holiday instead of a gift card worth $100. The desire
for cash is geared toward the practical this season, as nearly half said
they would use cash to cover basic day-to-day expenses and 57% of
gift-givers indicated they
will give cash as a gift. Western Union is launching a
new campaign, “Cash, the perfect gift.” The campaign features multiple
elements, all of which educate the consumer and reinforce the trend that
cash is the perfect gift.

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52% Believe Obama Can Cut Card Costs

More than half of Americans feel that presidential candidate Barack Obama is the best choice to help Americans reduce or better manage their credit card costs. Only 38% believe that presidential candidate John McCain can help them financially. The CardTrak.com online poll of more than 1,000 consumers also found that 7% believe Ralph Nader is the man to help cut credit costs. Among other minor candidates 2.5% voted for Bob Barr, while 0.5% voted for Chuck Baldwin and 0.6% voted for Cynthia McKinney. Consumer revolving credit stands at $969 billion as of August. Based on current growth patterns consumer revolving credit could still top $1 trillion by the end of this year. Bank credit card debt (excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the second quarter was about $825 billion or roughly 85% of total revolving credit, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). Store and gas credit cards had about $109 billion in outstandings at year-end 2007. At the end of August, Americans were $2577 billion in debt, excluding home mortgages.

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Elavon Lands L’Occitane’s Processing

Elavon has completed the rollout of its Electronic Check Service, back-office conversion and gift card services
at specialty retailer L’Occitane’s 166 boutiques across the United States.
Elavon’s “ECS” solution provides retailers a choice of check imaging methods, including point of purchase
(POP), back office conversion (BOC), and accounts receivable conversion
(ARC). In addition, Elavon’s ECS offers real-time processing that
systematically leverages three processing methods including direct
Demand Deposit Account access, Automated Clearinghouse Processing, and Check Replacement Document processing
using traditional
banking networks. The “Electronic Gift Card” solution integrates seamlessly into
any operating environment and can be tailored to deliver online and
in-store functionality. It also supports online gift card registration
by consumers and maximizes gift card sales
with a complete package of marketing features to insure that gift cards
become a revenue-generating solution.

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Jack Henry Launches a Pay-Anyone Service

Jack Henry & Associates has partnered with Myriad Systems and expanded the payment options
available with its “NetTeller Bill Pay”.
This new service allows users to specify payments that require printed and mailed checks
to be generated by MSI and delivered overnight via
Federal Express. Initiating overnight check-based payments through the
familiar “NetTeller” system only requires a few additional mouse clicks.
Users immediately receive a Federal Express tracking number for delivery
tracking and confirmation. Financial institution customers initiating electronic bill payments
that can be paid via ACH can now guarantee the date payments are received.
This new guaranteed payment option will now enable consumers to guarantee
payment receipt on a specified future date. If payments are not received by
the guaranteed date, Jack Henry & Associates will reimburse the consumer
for late-payment-related fees up to an established maximum as long as
transactions were scheduled in accordance with the service’s terms and
conditions. Myriad Systems is a provider of print and mail,
online document delivery, and item processing solutions for financial
institutions.

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AirPlus Intl Hires Industry Veterans

Corporate travel payment provider AirPlus International has hired
Colleen Black , previously with Carlson Wagonlit, to serve as VP, Key
Account Sales and John Callahan,
previously with Visa, as the Regional Sales Director for the Northern
Midwest. Black has worked in the travel industry for over twenty
years, primarily on the corporate travel agency side and serving most
recently as Vice President of Global Sales for Carlson Wagonlit and
prior to that, she worked ten years with BCD. Callahan brings over
twenty years of industry experience to the
AirPlus team. His most recent position at Visa and previous years at
American Express, provide a wealth of knowledge within the corporate
travel payment marketplace. AirPlus International is a global provider
of business travel payment solutions,
offering lodge card accounts, corporate cards and online management
tools.

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