Continental Prison Systems Deploys Kiosks

Continental Prison Systems EZ kiosk has successfully completed
the installation of two kiosks, the debit card program and online
money services systems. CPSZ offers Prison Systems financial products
and proprietary kiosk
technology that streamlines the inmate release process and provides for
significant cost reducing processes of loading funds to an inmate’s
account over the internet or through a kiosk. Bail can also be
processed through a kiosk placed in the booking room or online.

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Synovus Names a New Top Credit Team

GA-based Synovus has appointed Mark G. Holladay to Chief Risk
Officer, Kevin J.Howard as Chief Credit Officer and Roy Dallis “D”
Copeland, Jr. to Chief Commercial Officer. Holladay was promoted to the
position of Executive Vice President and
Chief Credit Officer of Synovus in 2000. He was appointed Executive Vice
President of Banking/Client Delivery in 1994 and previously served as
Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending. Holladay began his career
with Synovus in 1974 with Columbus Bank and Trust Company (CB&T).
Holladay is a graduate of Columbus State University with a Bachelor of
Science Degree in Biology. Howard was named Senior Vice President and
Credit Manager of Synovus in
2004. In 2000, he was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President
of commercial real estate, correspondent and affiliate lending. He
joined CB&T as a Vice President in 1993, after five years in commercial
banking. Howard is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a
Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance. Copeland most recently served as
the President and CEO of Citizens First
Bank in Rome, Georgia. He has led various banking departments from
Retail and Commercial Banking to Senior Manager of the Financial
Services Group at CB&T. Copeland began his career with CB&T in 1992. He
is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of
Science Degree in Management.

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MATICA 1H/08

Card personalization provider Matica reported solid revenue growth and a
return to profitability in
the first half of 2008. This was driven by a raft of new client wins
that have increased the company’s international footprint. Since the
period end, Matica has announced an exciting joint venture with a US
partner that aims to increase the group’s penetration into the US; the
world’s largest single market for card issuance solutions. Matica will
incur additional costs as it establishes the JV in the current year.
Interim sales grew by more than 10% to EUR7.5m driven by strong growth in
Europe and the
Americas. EBITDA increased more than fourfold to EUR1.1m. Coupled with a
reduction in the
company’s central cost base, Matica recorded profit before tax of EUR0.51m
following a loss of
EUR0.13m in H1 2007. Matica’s return to form was underpinned by a series
of new client wins including contracts to
supply international customers such as Eurobank, Oberthur, SAETIC and
Gemalto with a
range of card issuance and embossing machines. These new contracts
expanded Matica’s
presence into territories including Spain, Poland and Ukraine.
Since the period end, Matica has also established a joint venture with a
US partner in order to
continue its penetration of the huge US market. This operation provides
complete sales,
servicing, spare parts supply and customer support from a dedicated
location in Minnesota.
Based on Matica’s 2009 earnings, the company is trading at a
considerable discount to its
international competitors. However, we believe that the growth of
personalised card
issuance across a raft of commercial sectors is correlated directly with
increased concerns
over security. As such, we have compared Matica to a UK peer group of
security hardware
suppliers and manufacturers. In this context, Matica also trades at a
discount to the sector; a
disparity which we believe is undeserved given the group’s rapid return
to profitability.
Matica designs, manufactures and markets card personalization systems
and card mailing systems for customers around the world in a range of
industries. Matica offers a broad range of complementary products
together with industry expertise resulting in the ability to distribute
around the world one of the most complete ranges of card personalization
systems.

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AARP Survey Finds Credit Crisis Widespread

A new survey of older Americans has found that 684,000 aged 50 and over
were either in foreclosure or were delinquent in mortgage payments. The
AARP Public Policy Institute notes that is more than a quarter of all
foreclosures or delinquencies (28.1%). The AARP study also showed that
African-Americans and Hispanics are disproportionately affected in
comparison with whites in their age group. Among mortgage
holders aged 50 and over, African American and Hispanic borrowers both
have foreclosure rates of 0.51%, compared to a rate of 0.19% for
Caucasians. Older holders of subprime first mortgages are 17 times more
likely to be in foreclosure than are older holders of prime loans.
Additionally, older Americans are clearly vulnerable to the continuing
mortgage crisis, the foreclosure rate at the end of last year for people
aged 50 and over was 0.24%, compared with a total all-age U.S. average
of 0.39%.

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Pendum Expands its Contract with Coinstar

ATM and armored services provider Pendum has expanded its contract with
Coinstar to provide coin transportation services to 900 Coinstar units.
The agreement expands an existing service relationship between the two
companies that began in 2001. Pendum supplies coin and currency
transportation services to Coinstar machines in an even broader national
footprint, including 30 major U.S. cities. Pendum services 42 states and
maintains more than 70 armored branches.

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GLOBAL MOBILEPAY

Global Payments Asia-Pacific Limited has released “Global MobilePay”, a
secure GPRS-powered mobile payment service that provides mobile card
acceptance capabilities for merchants in the Asia-Pacific region. This
service is now available in Brunei, China,
India, Malaysia, the Maldives, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and
Taiwan. Global MobilePay is a card acceptance solution that uses
GPRS wireless communication network for merchants that need to accept
card payments beyond fixed locations or when traditional land line
communication does not meet business needs. Merchants can now conduct
face-to-face transactions anytime and anywhere. Through Global
MobilePay, Global Payments now provides a comprehensive package that
includes a mobile payment terminal, SIM card and GPRS network
connectivity through a telecommunications partner, as well as payment
processing services.

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FAKE CHEQUE LAB

The Ontario Provincial Police Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau and
Anti-Rackets Section have arrested two persons in connection with the
production and mass mailing of counterfeit cheques throughout North
America. This investigation was primarily focused on the “lab” where
the fraudulent cheques were manufactured. The investigation was led by
the OPP Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau, Identity Crimes and Forgery
Investigation Unit, in partnership with the Vancouver Police Department,
the United States Postal Inspection Service and all major financial
institutions within Canada. Victims received an unsolicited letter and
cashier’s cheque and asked to evaluate a company. The victims were asked
to cash the cheque and wire the majority of the funds to a fictitious
company. The victims would discover the cashier cheque was counterfeit
and the financial institution held the victims liable. The scheme was
accomplished by preparing counterfeit cheques and their supporting
documentation in relation to job banks, investment opportunities and
lottery schemes. Over 1,200 possible victims were identified with
financial losses estimated to be between $120,000 and $2.1 million.

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CAP ONE CARDS

Capital One Canada launched two new “No Hassle Rewards” products to
expand their existing suite of rewards products. The new “No Hassle Miles Plus Platinum MasterCard” offers two reward miles for every dollar spent on purchases. Customers can fly on any airline at any time, and have the freedom to book travel anyway they choose. Plus rewards can be used to pay for travel taxes. In addition to airline tickets, rewards can be redeemed for cash, merchandise and
gift cards. The new “No Hassle Cash Back Plus Platinum MasterCard”
offers up to 2% cash back on purchases. Rewards can be redeemed in the
form of a cheque or statement credit any time once the rewards balance
reaches $15. The No Hassle Rewards products from Capital One offer
rewards that are easy to redeem, have no hidden redemption fees and no
travel restrictions. There’s no limit to how many rewards customers can
accumulate and rewards never expire.

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Card Stock Prices Rise After New Fed Plan

The Federal Reserve Board announced two enhancements to pump up Wall
Street. The initiatives include buying-back bad mortgage debt and the
purchase of primary dealers federal agency discount notes, which are
short-term debt obligations issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the
Federal Home Loan Banks. At mid-day, stock prices for American Express
was up 6% to $40, Discover was up 2% to $15, MasterCard was up about 2%
to $220 and Visa was up 2% to $68. Earlier this week Visa dropped to $70
per share, while MasterCard sank to $215. American Express also took a
hard hit, dropping to $36, while Discover hovered at $17 per share. Even
though the credit card networks are impacted by the U.S. mortgage credit
meltdown, transaction levels remain strong, driven by strong growth in
debit card and charge card sales.

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WINCOR NIXDORF NAMOS

Petrol retailer Total Deutschland will begin equipping its entire network of service stations in Germany with Wincor Nixdorf’s
modular “NAMOS” software in the point-of-sale, self-service and
back-office areas to begin in second half of 2009. Wincor Nixdorf will
install nearly 1,300 POS systems, including peripherals, as well as the
“NAMOS” compact and “NAMOS” retail software modules for POS and merchandise management systems for one of Germany’s largest service station operators. A number of the stations will also be equipped with “NAMOS paylane,” a multimedia self-service terminal. The software solutions “NAMOS compact,” “NAMOS retail” and “NAMOS paylane” are Wincor Nixdorf’s “i-Service Station Concept” are tailored to meet the control, management and accounting process requirements of service stations and convenience stores.

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LONE STAR & HSBC

Private equity firm Lone Star Funds confirmed that HSBC has terminated
the agreement to acquire Lone Star Funds’ 51.02% interest in Korea
Exchange Bank. Lone Star Funds is a global private equity firm. Since 1995, the principals of Lone Star Funds have organized private equity funds totaling more than $23 billion to invest globally in corporate secured and unsecured debt instruments, real estate related assets and select corporate opportunities.

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VIDEOSPHERE HOSTED BI

IP video and business analysis provider March Networks has launched the
“VideoSphere Hosted Business Intelligence (BI) Services” for retail
organizations to benefit from advanced loss prevention and operations
management tools while eliminating large, upfront capital investments
and IT infrastructure costs. The subscription-based hosted solution
provides retailers with POS exception reporting and operations analysis
to reduce shrinkage and improve store performance. Customers can access
and customize their reports at any time using a secure, web-based
dashboard, or receive reports regularly via email. Applications include
a standard set of up to 40 policies designed to identify unusual
transactions, detailed store performance reports, top product analysis,
and transaction management capabilities. The solution has been designed
to meet Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) to
protect the privacy and security of credit card data.

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