Credit Card ABS Metrics Improve Slightly

Among securitized credit card assets, the monthly payment rate and
charge-offs remain negative while yield, delinquency and excess spread
are improving. The three-month average for charge-offs remains at 6.3%
while the monthly payment rate has declined to 19.1%. Among master
trusts, Washington Mutual posted a 12-month average charge-off rate of
11.76%, compared to Capital One’s 6.70% and Chase’s 5.12%. Washington
Mutual also posted a 12-month average monthly payment rate of 10.03%,
compared to Capital One’s 18.79% and Chase’s 17.78%. According to Fitch
Ratings’ new ‘U.S. Credit Card ABS Tear Sheet’, the three-month average
for portfolio yield was 17.7%, while delinquencies came in at 3.1% and
excess spread at 7.4%.

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Visa Names its North American President

Visa has named Bill Sheedy as President of North American operations to
oversee the company’s relationships with card issuers, merchants,
merchant acquirers and third-party processors. Most recently Visa’s
Global Head of Corporate Strategy and Business Development since October
2007, responsible for strategic and new business initiatives, Sheedy has
been a member of the company since 1993, led Visa U.S.A.’s interchange
strategy group and had a hand in its recent IPO. Bill came to Visa with
three years of experience at Ford Motor Company’s First Nationwide Bank.
Sheedy will report to Hans Morris, President of
Visa Inc.

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Lower Gas Prices Push-Up Consumer Confidence

Consumer angst over the U.S. economy eased somewhat in August as more
Americans take the hold-the-line approach to spending. Furthermore, a
monthly consumer spending index posted its largest ever month-over-month
increase in its history and the highest reading for this year. The
Discover “U.S. Spending Monitor” rose 2.6 points in August to 87.8.
However, the Monitor’s “Index” still lies seven points below the August
2007 reading of 94.8. Discover said that gas prices tumbled 37 cents a
gallon in August, levels well below the $4 per gallon average that had
been the norm for much of the summer, which impacted the “Index”.
However, there was a 7-point decline in the number of consumers
expecting to spend more in the next month from 40% to 33%.
But, a positive sign from consumers is for the second month in a row,
the number expecting an income shortfall or added expense in the next 30
days dropped, this time to 40%, compared to 42% in July. This is the
lowest this number has been since March.

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Barclaycard US Hires a Citi Exec as CFO

Barclaycard US has appointed Barney C. Briggs, previously with Citigroup, as CFO.
At Citigroup he served as Senior Vice President and Senior Director of the American
Airlines AAdvantage business. Prior to that position, Briggs served
as CFO of Citi’s Travel & Business Strategic Unit. He was also Vice
President of Citi’s Private Label Oil Planning & Control unit.
Prior to his experience at Citigroup, Briggs worked at NationsCredit
where he served as Vice President of Planning and Control for 300
consumer branch locations and served as Corporate Information Services
Controller.

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GIVEX & DYNAMICS AX

Closed loop card technologies provider Givex announced that it is now certified by “Microsoft Dynamics AX”. This was done in collaboration with enterprise software provider Junction Solutions, which uses the “Microsoft Dynamics AX” platform to bring comprehensive ERP solutions within the reach of many mid-size to large businesses. With this integration, Junction Solutions clients will now have the ability to accept Givex gift cards and coupons as well. In addition, Junctions Solutions has successfully integrated the Givex gift card program into its JunctionEOD for eCommerce and JunctionISS for point-of-sale solutions to include scan or MSR card swipe, balance inquiry, purchasing, reloading and redeeming gift cards, and gift card cash out. In addition to gift cards, Givex also provides other solutions for all aspects of a merchant’s business including: loyalty cards, e-gift certificates, frequency cards, returns cards, employee incentives, expense accounts, promotional cards and coupons.

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Visa Launches More Mobile Payments Programs

Visa is launching four new mobile payments programs. Two commercial mobile payments programs are being started in Brazil and Korea, along with two mobile offers and transaction notification pilots in the USA. Visa has more than a dozen pilot and commercial programs using its mobile platform underway worldwide. Visa recently announced a partnership with Chase Bank for a pilot program to deliver personalized mobile offers to select consumers in Phoenix, AZ. PNC Bank, SunTrust Bank, U.S. Bank, Wachovia, and Wells Fargo along with RBC, TD Bank, and Vancity in Canada, are testing a transactions notification program that is able to send near real-time information to cardholders. This week, Visa announced the availability of remote mobile payments in Brazil by Banco do Brasil, the first program of its kind in Latin America. As a world first and in partnership with T-Money provider Korea Smart Card Company, card issuer Shinhan Bank and Korea Telecom Freetel, Visa has made it possible for commuters to use their Visa account to top up their T-Money balances automatically on the phone’s SIM card when it falls below a certain level.

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BofA’s PayMode Network Tops $225 Billion

Bank of America reports that it is signing up about 2,000 vendors per month for its electronic exchange network. To date, 50,000 vendors participate in BofA’s “PayMode” network. The network, a component of BofA’s “Electronic Payment Services” suite and “Comprehensive Payables,” has processed more than $225 billion in transactions. Since April 2007, transactions processed through the network have grown 65% and the client base has increased by 64%. “PayMode” facilitates the electronic exchange of invoices and payments between businesses and their suppliers. BofA notes that the “PayMode” network has experienced a near 100% vendor retention rate.

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Consumer Reports Names Best and Worst Cards

A new report has determined that the best credit cards for low pricing are Capital One’s “Platinum Prestige,” American Express’ “Clear,” and Iberiabank’s “Visa Classic.” The worst include credit cards issued by First Premier Bank, the HSBC “American DreamCard” and the New Millennium Visa/MasterCard. The study by Consumer Reports also listed
the best cash-back cardsas Capital One’s “No Hassle Cash Rewards,” the Chase “Freedom Visa,” and Discover’s “More.” Among the best gas cards
were the Chase “PerfectCard MasterCard,” Discover’s “Open Road,” and the Hess “Platinum Visa.” CU says it examined hundreds of product offerings. The list of the 12 best and three worst credit cards is in the October issue of Consumer Reports.

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GUESTLOGIX & SWA

GuestLogix Inc. has signed agreements to provide its “Mobile Virtual
Store” on-board retail technology for Southwest Airlines’ acceptance of
payment cards from passengers for in-flight purchases. The airline is
implementing the Guestlogix solution to increase profitability through
its increased convenience. The “Mobile Virtual Store” wireless POS
devices and integrated web services accepts stored value cards, coupons
and reward miles payment while Southwest provides single-class air
transportation through 520 Boeing 737 aircrafts to/fro 64 airports in 32
US states.

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Brush and Q-Card Name a New CEO

Card component manufacturers Brush Industries and Q-Card will
reorganize the two companies and Karen Nickolauson, former Chief Operating Officer, will now assume the
role of CEO with the passing of President
and Chief Executive Officer, Ed Bedell. Nickolauson’s extensive background includes
experience in sales and marketing, performance and management training,
as well as data processing and engineering. She recently assumed
additional responsibilities as Controller/CFO in 2003, developing
policies and procedures for accounting and financial reporting, and
leading cross-functional project teams to achieve process improvement
and cost reduction goals. Her accomplishments also include the
implementation and management of a computer network system and an
integrated business management software system, and the implementation
of ISO9001 Quality Management System in 1998, and then again in 2003 to
upgrade to ISO9001:2000. She has provided leadership and training to all
management and staff for the development of processes, documents and
records required to achieve compliance with the standard.

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PSC and InstaMed Create PAYMENTExpress

PA-based PSC Info Group has unveiled an EBPP system for healthcare providers that enables the creation, presentation and payment of bills over the Internet. “PAYMENTExpress” is integrated with PSC Info Group’s printing and mailing service, and the patient can choose to opt-in to only receive bills electronically. The new PSC Info Group EBPP solution was created in partnership with InstaMed. Patients can pay by cash, check, credit or debit cards or through a Medical Savings Account, Health Savings Account, Flexible Spending Account or Health Reimbursement Account. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diners Club cards are also accepted via “PAYMENTExpress.” InstaMed offers a healthcare payments network and platform.

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First Annapolis Hires a Citi Exec

First Annapolis has hired Kattia Sigui as a Manager. Kattia’s primary areas of expertise include
call center operations, management of back office processes, and
outsourcing and right-shoring strategies, including vendor selection.
Sigui was previously with Citi as Senior Manager of
the North America Offshore Planning and Strategy effort for the
Global Consumer Group.

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