ADS Inks Southern Pipe Card Deal

Loyalty marketer Alliance Data Systems has
signed a multi-year agreement with MS-based Southern Pipe & Supply
Company to provide a turnkey commercial private label credit
card program. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide a
full suite of services for Southern Pipe including account acquisition
and activation, receivables funding, card authorization, card issuance,
statement generation, marketing services, remittance processing, and
customer service functions. Each contractor applicant will be reviewed
by a unique group within Alliance Data using its own proprietary
business credit underwriting practices. The program will be offered to
contractors who meet Alliance
Data’s traditional credit quality standards and provides a vehicle for
them to purchase materials and supplies using a one-stop solution that
also includes incentives toward rewards.

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Lenovo Selects Paymetric Solutions

TX-based payment card solution provider Paymetric has been selected by
computer manufacture Lenovo to provide integrated and secure payment
card processing in Lenovo’s global instance of SAP. Paymetric’s
on-demand service for Lenovo’s global SAP environment allows
the company to accelerate and expand their payment security and
compliance measures, reduce maintenance and IT expense, and consolidate
credit card processing requests through a single SAP-certified
interface. The solution also links to clearinghouses for processing and
integrates Lenovo’s global payment processes with SAP’s full suite of
system solutions.

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Arizona Renews its JPMorgan Contract

JPMorgan has renewed its contract with the State of Arizona for the
electronic banking transfer services (EBT) distribution of benefit
payments to the more than 250,000 households that receive food stamps
and cash assistance. Program participants are
able to access their benefits through convenient, easy-to-use debit
cards. The EBT services enable state governments to cut the time and
costs associated with the delivery of benefit payments. An alternative
to expensive and cumbersome paper-based
systems like checks or vouchers, debit cards reduce the significant
costs of check delivery, administrative security and fraud, while
enabling governments to enhance their paperless environmental
initiatives. Each month, the company is responsible for processing over
70,000,000 transactions and handling over $2 billion in funds in the
U.S., the large majority relating to government programs. JPMorgan
recently announced the renewal of similar programs with
the States of Alaska and Colorado.

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99BILL INSTALLMENT

The 99Bill Corporation independent electronic payment service has
launched its new installment credit service enabling consumers to buy
goods using installment payments through any of the organization’s
partners. With an application easily processed within minutes, consumers
need only enter their credit card information for approval, at which
point consumers can take advantage of no-interest financing on the
purchase of numerous items. With research showing more than 87.5 million
credit cards issued to consumers across China throughout 2007 and that
76% of Chinese youths are interested in installment credit, 99Bill’s
projections of a prosperous product offering are well-based. 99Bill has
26 million registered users for payment at 150,000 merchants and is in
the process of introducing email and mobile number based payment
services geared toward 210 millions internet and 500 millions mobile users.

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Charge-Offs Finally Reach Bottom in July

Charge-offs on managed U.S. credit card loans dipped 5.88% in July, the lowest level in three months. Sequentially, charge-offs dropped 16 basis points and year-on-year charge-offs dropped 126 basis points. According to CardData (www.carddata.com) charge-offs peaked at 7.57% in April of 2002, following the 2001 recession. This week, Capital One reported that charge-offs settled down in July, dipping 34 basis points from the prior month, but up 193 basis points over July 2007.

JULY CHARGE-OFFS
2004: 6.65%
2005: 5.99%
2006: 3.39%
2007: 4.62%
2008: 5.88%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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HSBC VIETNAM

HSBC has announced its will install its 108th ATM cash machine in
Vietnam to become the foreign bank with the most ATMs installed
nationwide and intends to invest $28.6 million on developing the
machines to advance service. Amid these developments, it was reported 32
different banks provided ATM 8.3 million cards across the country last
year, 4,300 ATMs were installed and 23,000 new points of sale accepting
of payment cards were introduced.

HSBC is the first foreign bank to set up a wholly foreign-owned
subsidiary in Viet Nam in line with the country’s commitments to the
World Trade Organization and is the first foreign bank to issue
certificates for dollar deposits in Viet Nam. The company began
operations in Viet Nam in 2005.

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Visa and Chase Launch a SMS U.S. Pilot

Visa has teamed with Chase to launch a consumer pilot that delivers SMS
text for merchant offers directly to mobile devices of Phoenix area
Chase cardholders. Visa is delivering merchant offers
to mobile devices via short message service. The trial takes
advantage of the widespread adoption of “texting” as an everyday
activity by younger consumers aged 18 to 34, who are the primary group
selected for the program. The offers – from merchant discounts to
specials – are tailored to match the personal interests selected by
Chase cardholders and will be redeemable at the POS or the web site of
more than 50 participating merchants.

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TAL CARD

The Central National Bank in Enid has introduced its “Tal Card” prepaid
debit card products targeting Brazilian immigrants. The “Tal Card”
products are designed to allow users to send money back home without the
high fees commonly seen when sending remittance through a typical bank.
The new products issued through the Enid Central National Bank are
available as an instant-issue card-with-PIN or on a personalized
MasterCard platform and offer such optional financial services as
insurance and emergency medical plans. Central National has been
issuing/processing prepaid cards since 2000, currently manages more than
30 card programs and had assets of more than $525 million for 1Q/08.

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CB Says Economy May Grind to a Halt

The U.S. leading index decreased by 70 basis points while the
coincident increased 10 basis points for July, according to the
Conference Board. The leading index’ decline is consistent with a 90
basis points decline since December and is a direct result of slowing
building permits, stock prices, and inverted weekly initial claims.
Meanwhile, the coincident index increases are inconsistent with a 40
basis points decrease seen throughout the 6 months prior and is
partially die to high unemployment. The Conference Board noted that the
“Leading Index” points to slow growth through the rest of the year, and
possibly an economy grinding to a halt.

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MYDESIGN CARD

Australia-based building society, Newcastle Permanent, has partnered
with Serverside Group card customization to launch the ‘MyDesign Card’
online card design competition to don the face of the organization’s
“Value+” credit card, its Visa debit card and its “CashCard”. The
contest invites participants to upload and enter their favorite card
designs to a vast online gallery, through which the top 10 designs will
be voted on by visitors of the website. Contestants with the best design
will be rewarded a 120 GB Sony video camera and two 32 GB iPod Touch’s.
Serverside Group digital card design and provider of innovative software
solutions provides its “AllAboutMe” web-based application and its
Virtual Portfolio web-based management tool for nearly 200 issuers in 23
countries.

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