APAX PCI

Among the handful of 110 compliant card processing companies and banks,
APAX Global Payment & Technologies AG is now compliant with the Payment
Card Industry (PCI) data protection standards. Endorsed by Visa,
Mastercard Worldwide, JCB International, American Express and Discover
Financial Services, this compliance ensures APAX cardholder account data
is secure through 12 requirements of merchants and service providers
which store, process or transmit payment card data. APAX Global Payment
& Technologies AG is an international provider of electronic payment and
risk management solutions, supporting processing for more than 100,000
cardholders.

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More Small Business Owners Have Cash-Flow Issues

About 42% of small business owners say they have experienced cash flow
issues over the last 90 days, a significant increase from 33% in July.
However, overall small business owners’ economic confidence rose for the
second straight month in August, climbing away from a 22-month low in
June. The “Discover Small Business Watch” reached 86.9 in August, up 2.3
points from July and more than 15 points higher than June. The number of
owners who think the economy is getting worse dropped to 60% from 71% in
July. In addition, 23% of small business owners feel the U.S. economy is
getting better, which is the highest rating since August 2007.

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AMEX INTL 2Q/08

London-based UpCode has teamed with Finland’s “Halpa Halli Visa” to introduce the 2d barcode on a card. This is the first of its kind that gives users mobile loyalty via Internet enabled mobile phone utilizing the “UpCode Reader” and the “UpCode” on the Visa card. Halpa Halli shoppers are now enabled with the cards in real time with store information and incentives that are being offered by scanning the “UpCode” on cards. “UpCode” includes an optical reader that uses mobile phones/devices to add any electronic information or system to printed products and to electronic information on screens. With the application it is possible to integrate all businesses and all forms of eCommerce, with print and screen media. The code (2D data matrix, QR-code, 1D barcode or color code) or other type of tag (picture, OCR) gives mobile phone users multiple access and interaction.

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FDC Intros New Contactless Payment Technology

First Data will introduce a new payment technology today to thousands
of select media and delegates attending Democratic National Convention
in Denver. Recipients can use the commemorative pin as a contactless
payment device to purchase refreshments up to $10 in value.
The pin is part of First Data’s new “GO-Tag” payment solutions which can
also be used as stickers, attachable to personal items like mobile phones
or employee badges, wristbands and novelty key chains. Consumers will
experience the technology first as a contactless sticker, like the
“GO-Tag” solution, and then directly inside their mobile phones.

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UPCODE & HALPA HALLI VISA

Lawrence Tsong has been promoted to the president of operations for
TransUnion East Asia to oversee Hong Kong operations. Tsong will also be
promoting and growing TransUnion’s credit information, analytic and
decisioning business throughout the region. Having joined TransUnion in
2007, from vice president of United Overseas Bank responsible for
establishing and managing its credit card business, Tsong was most
recently responsible for overseeing the company’s growth in Hong Kong
and managing operations. From 1984 to 1998, he also held various
positions with American Express, most recently as the director of
relationship management. Tsong’s education includes a Bachelor of Social
Science degree from the University of Hong Kong while TransUnion Hong
Kong maintains more than 21 million records of 3.8 million individuals.

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QuickBooks Integrates with iPhone and BlackBerry

Intuit has integrated its Web-based small business accounting software with both the iPhone and BlackBerry. Among the features of “QuickBooks Online”: checking current bank and credit card balances; tracking accounting; finding vendor and customer contact info; and running balance sheet and profit and loss reports. More than 130,000 small businesses subscribe to “QuickBooks Online” representing 340,000 actual users. The iPhone and BlackBerry Web-based applications are free to “QuickBooks Online” users.

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GE Money Powers the Chevron and Texaco Visa

GE Money has introduced the “Chevron and Texaco Visa” credit card that
offers customers 10 cents when the card is used for fuel purchases.
Additionally, the card offers 3% in fuel credits when the card is used
for non-fuel purchases at Chevron and Texaco stations and 1% in fuel
credits when the card is used for other non-fuel purchases everywhere
Visa credit cards are accepted worldwide. There is no annual fee
associated with the Chevron and Texaco Visa card and during the August
and September promotional period, new
Chevron and Texaco Visa card customers in the U.S. will receive an
introductory offer of 30 cents per gallon statement credits for the
first 60 days.

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Network Branded Prepaid Card Loads Rise 44.5%

A new report has found that the total load on all network branded prepaid solutions climbed 44.5% last year to $38.6 billion.
The total load for all prepaid segments in 2007 (open & closed) was $218
billion, a 10.3% increase over the prior year. The study by Mercator
Advisory Group says the biggest news is the rapid adoption and roll-out
of network branded cards for government disbursements. State
Unemployment grew 150% while court ordered payments grew 82%. These will
pale in comparison to Social Security, which deployed its first open
loop pilot in 2007 and with an estimated load of $10.6 million.
Mercator also says consumer incentives loads on network branded cards
grew 87% while employees and partner incentives grew at 83%.
Additionally, businesses increased loads for Payroll by 21%, Benefits by
7%, and FSA/HSA by 8%.

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WV AG Takes on Internet Payday Loan Scammers

The West Virginia AG is seeking to crack down on collection scammers
that prey on consumers with threats to collect on unpaid payday loans.
The AG warned the public about a band of scam artists making threats to
consumers who allegedly obtained Internet payday loans across the
nation. The consumers they threaten never obtained a loan
at all or paid it off years ago. The scam artists have used names like
“U.S. National Bank,” “Federal Investigation Bureau,” “United
Legal Processing” and other phony names. The allegedly threatened
consumers that they will be arrested for “bank fraud” or other
fictitious crimes unless money is wired immediately. The scammers have
also used abusive and illegal collection tactics.

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PaySimple Integrates Varien’s Magento

On demand e-payment provider PaySimple has implemented technology by
e-commerce provider Varien and integrated its
credit card processing services with the “Magento” open source shopping
cart platform. PaySimple customers can download the free software and
install it on
their Web server along with a PaySimple module that will integrate the
Magento platform with their PaySimple Solution. Once installed,
PaySimple merchants can provide a professional looking
shopping cart system for their customers to make purchases without
ever leaving the merchant’s website. The merchants receive multiple
fraud prevention functions such as AVS and CVV2 validation for credit
card transactions, check verification for ACH transactions, and ensures
they will be operating in a PCI compliant manner.

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American CEO Pessimism Levels-Off

According to the latest PricewaterhouseCoopers’ “Trendsetter Barometer”
survey, optimism in the U.S. economy among CEOs of the nation’s
fastest-growing private companies dropped two points for 2Q/08 with 24%
of CEOs surveyed reporting a positive outlook on the economy over the
next twelve months. This is a drop from the 1Q/08 figure which showed
26% had a positive outlook and the 4Q/07 figure with 29% optimism.
Pessimism has leveled off at 36% in correlation with the slowing of
sharp quarterly drop-offs. These findings are thanks to figures showing
gross margins tightened slightly while remaining negative, 41% having
disclosed higher costs and prices having increased 25% among the
Trendsetter companies. Subsequently, 2% more organizations have
disclosed plans to reduce spending than in 1Q/08.

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