FUNDTECH & SYNERGY

Global transaction solution provider Fundtech has acquired Synergy Financial Systems to making it the world’s largest SWIFT service bureau
operator based on transaction volume, with a client base of over 200
financial institutions. Under the terms of the definitive agreement, BBP will pay GBP2.5 million
GBP in cash at the closing and an additional amount of up to GBP1.1
million GBP in cash to be paid over the next three years, based on the
financial performance of Synergy.
Synergy is a leading U.K. provider of SWIFT services located in London
and Nottingham, England. BBP will integrate Synergy into its business
unit, and will continue to operate both companies’ service bureau
facilities, adding capacity and operational resilience. In addition to
SWIFT connectivity services, both companies offer a variety of
SWIFT-related products and services that can be cross-sold to the newly
combined client base.

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DINERS CLUB LOUNGES

Diners Club International has opened 18 new cardholder club lounges at 14 airport locations in the United Kingdom, bringing the total of Diners Club airport lounges to 123 worldwide. The U.K. airport lounges will be managed and staffed by Servisair, a
leading service provider of aviation ground services, and feature a
range of complimentary snacks, fresh-brewed coffee, tea, and alcoholic
beverages, as well as television, newspapers, and magazines. In
addition, all the U.K. lounges offer telephone and fax services and many
also offer Internet access and business desks.

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Celent’s Report Reveals Traditional Payments are Threatened

A new report released by Celent reveal the threat alternative payment methods pose to traditional methods. The report, “Alternative Realities: The Commoditization and Allure of Alternative
Payments”, indicates alternative payments have gained considerably, and currently account for roughly 15% of total e-commerce volume. However,
by offering a superior value proposition to buyers, alternative payments
pose a threat to traditional payment methods. However, they now focus on providing greater value than payment cards. Card brands and issuers stand to forgo $345 million in volume in 2010 and about $1.7 billion in volume in 2015 to alternative payment. Given cards’ historical dominance over online payments, this market is
the card industry’s to lose. Every time a bank account is debited via
ACH rather than a card, the card industry loses roughly 1.5 – 2.4% or
more of the transaction size. The card industry must pay attention to
alternative payments, which can be categorized as enablers,
quasi-disruptors, or disruptors, in order to prevent further losses.

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VASCO AWARD

VASCO Data Security International has awarded Banco de Chile the Market Vision Award 2008. Banco de Chile is the second biggest banking group of Chile offering a
complete product range and financial services to over half a million
users including large corporations, small and medium-sized enterprises
and private customers. The bank implemented VASCO’s core authentication
platform VACMAN Controller together with DIGIPASS Go 3 and Go 6 to
secure its online banking platform. Banco de Chile was the first bank in
Spanish speaking Latin America to make strong two-factor authentication
available to its retail customers. Banco de Chile offers
credit and non-credit products and services to all segments of the
Chilean financial market.

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CMB HE VISA

Coca-Cola Bottling will install MasterCard “PayPass” payment terminals to more vending
machines across Canada, the first national activation of such
technology in the Canadian beverage vending industry. The PayPass payment terminals are being installed on the front of
Coca-Cola vending machines, next to the cash receptacle. With PayPass,
consumers authorize the transactions securely, by simply “tapping” their
PayPass enabled MasterCard card against a PayPass point-of-sale
terminal. No signature is required and traditional magnetic stripe credit cards are also accepted.To date, 400 vending
machines located in major cities across Canada have been equipped with
MasterCard PayPass technology, with a total of 5,000 machines to be
outfitted by 2010.

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E-PAYMENT GROWTH

A new Celent report, “Payments in India Going e-Way”, tracks the increasing awareness and adaptability of various electronic channels which have resulted in 60% growth in Indian e-payments over the last three years. This report analyses the payment patterns of Indian customers and looks
at the potential for growth in the number of e-payment transactions and highlights the value proposition of banks outsourcing payment
processing to various third party vendors. It also looks at the latest
electronic payment mechanisms, such as card-based payments (smart cards
and contactless cards), online payments, m-payments, POS terminals, etc.
The report evaluates the market share of various players, including
banks, non-banks, and other third party vendors in terms of payment
processing, and profiles three major third party payment vendors.
At a rapid pace, the Indian payments system is transforming from paper
to electronic. The retail epayments market is likely to grow nearly 70
percent in the next two years. The value of retail e-payments should
reach US$150 billion to $180 billion by 2010. With the growth of e-payments has come the increased usage of plastic
payment cards. The country currently has
approximately 130 million cards, both debit and credit, in circulation.
Celent estimates that the number of cards in circulation will hit 210
million by 2010, with 169 million coming from debit cards and about 40
million from credit cards. However, credit cards will overtake debit
cards in terms of transaction value as customers continue to use credit
cards for purchases and bill payments.

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Top 3 Spend and Save Programs have Minimal Benefits

According to a new study by Consumer Reports, the top three spend and save programs have minimal benefits. In its latest report, the Consumer Reports Money Lab took a look at
three of the more well-known spend and save programs: Bank of America’s
Keep the Change, Wachovia’s Way2Save and American Express One.
Bank of America’s “Keep the Change” program rounds every debit card
transaction up to the nearest dollar and transfers the amount to a linked savings or money market account. Assuming the average transaction is $.50, consumers would have to make
1,728 debit purchases in the first year to get the maximum $250. But in year two, the amount matched drops, and they would have to make 10,000 transactions to get the $250. Wachovia’s “Way2Save” sets up linked savings and checking accounts and moves $1 from checking to savings for every debit purchase or paying a bill online. The bank pays 5% interest on the savings account for the first year and a 5% bonus on the savings balance at the end of the year. At the start of year two, it drops to 2% interest and a 2% bonus. Additional deposits into the account are limited to $100 a month. To get the maximum $300 bonus, you’d have to deposit $1,200 and make 4,800 transactions in the first year. The American Express “One” credit card pays 1% cash back on
purchases and a $50 bonus after the first purchase. The cash goes into a
savings account, which recently paid 2.75%. There’s no limit on the
rewards consumers can earn. And the card doesn’t charge interest on new
purchases, only on the previous month’s balance. But a $35 annual fee kicks in after the first year, so you’d have to charge $3,500 to break even.

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Atmel Awarded a Readers Tech Choice Award for CryptoController

RF manufacturer Atmel has been awarded a Readers Tech Choice Award for “CryptoController”. The “CryptoController” development kit provides easy-to-use examples of
how to configure and utilize the TPM in the developer’s own application.
TPM functionality is demonstrated, and source code is provided to enable
developers to quickly implement their own security applications,
utilizing the higher level of security provided by Atmel’s
CryptoController device.

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CPI CERTIFICATIONS

CPI Card Group’s range of Dual Interface MasterCard solutions has been certified using the MULTOS Operating System and PayPass.
CPI has delivered the ability for four-line
embossing without compromising the antenna distance and reading ability. CPI developed a unique method that allows the greatest durability and the best reading distance in the market. Its suite of solutions for Dual Interface includes the 8K Step One, the 36K Multos and the 80K Multos I4F. CPI, a global leader in financial and commercial card production,
issuance, and services, offers a single source for plastic cards from foil cards and holograms, to translucent and smart cards.

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Consumer Spending is Down According to Discover

According to The September 2008 “Discover U.S. Spending Monitor”, more
than 55% of the nation’s adults rated the economy as poor, and
nearly 70% think it is getting worse. Both measures were 5 points
higher than the previous month and both turned increasingly negative as
the financial crisis played out. However, despite the dismal economic news, consumer attitudes about their own finances remained
steady, if not slightly improved. Many took advantage of lower gas
prices to actively manage their discretionary spending and balance their
budgets, giving them sustained confidence in their personal finances.
Those that rated their financial situation as poor dropped below 20%
for only the second time this year, while 30% rated their
finances as good and 10% rated them as excellent, near the year’s
high. Still, 51% are still expecting to spend less on
discretionary personal purchases like eating out or going to the movies, 48% expecting to spend less on major personal
purchases, up nearly two points from August, and nearly 40%
expect to save and invest less in the month ahead, also up two from
August. Spending on home improvements showed no change from last month
with 49% of consumers expecting to spend less in September. The Discover(R) U.S. Spending Monitor(SM) is a monthly index of consumer
spending intentions and capacity that is based on interviews with a
random sample of 15,000 U.S. adults.

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Nimbit has Introduced the nimbitCards Program

MA-based music marketing platform provider Nimbit has introduced the “nimbitCards” music redemption program. Artists and labels can sell “nimbitCards” at shows and retail outlets or
give them away as a promotional tool. The cards are then redeemed for
music via the artist’s “nimbitOMT” or “nimbitSkin” store on their official
website, MySpace page, or other profile pages. By integrating a download
card program into the artist storefront, fans can take instant delivery
or purchase additional products, including digital and physical music,
merchandise and tickets. Also, unlike iTunes, eMusic and other
e-Tailers, the Nimbit platform passes all customer information along to
the artist or label. The
program provides a powerful tool for building artist brands by driving
fans to redeem encoded cards for product directly through the artist
storefront on their website and social networking pages.

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Zuora’s Z-Payments Integrates PayPal Payments

Zuora has released the “Z-Payments” payment solution built for subscription businesses integrated to accept PayPal. “Z-Payments” helps subscription companies automate the complexities
associated with recurring payments all in one complete solution.
Subscription businesses now have the ability to accept payments online through popular payment gateways and accept traditional payments such as check or wire transfer as well as manage recurring payments unique to subscription businesses, automate exception handling around any payment issues and view customer account balances and shorten collection cycles.
Z-Payments is the second product for Zuora, Inc. The company launched
their first product, Z-Billing, in May 2008 after securing a Series A
funding round of $6.5 million from Benchmark Capital and Marc Benioff.

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