JUNE METRICS

The “Monthly Payment Rate” and the “Yield” for credit card-backed securities in the U.K. edged upward in June. However, overall credit card-backed securities performance deteriorated during the second quarter. According to FitchRatings the “Monthly Payment Rate” increased to 17.00% in June, compared to 16.80% in the prior month. Fitch also reports that the “Yield” rose to 20.2% in June, compared to 19.5% in May. The Fitch “Charge-Off Index” increased to 6.9% in June, its highest level in nine months. Having remained stable over the last three monthly periods, the Fitch “Delinquency Index” increased again in June, rising 10 basis points to 3.7%, its highest level since June 2007. Fitch remains cautious as to the outlook for U.K. credit card transactions, with the worsening economic environment expected to affect UK consumers in the longer term. The anticipated impact of the current slowing UK economy, together with factors such as increased costs of living and the reduced availability of credit, continue to provide some concerns regarding UK consumers’ future ability to meet repayments on their credit card debts.

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Chase Workers Compensation Card Unveiled

JPMorgan has introduced “The Chase Workers Compensation Card” prepaid
debit card to deliver workers compensation benefits to injured
or disabled workers. The card offers insurance companies an
alternative method for paying injured workers and improves the benefits
payment process by reducing the costs and time associated with
paper-based check distribution. The “Compensation Card”
enables injured workers to access their funds at ATMs, receive cash back
at retail locations, pay bills
online, and make purchases at the millions of locations that accept
Visa debit cards, such as pharmacies and medical facilities.
The card also helps insurance companies
improve the management of funds distribution as a result of increased
reporting capabilities. Program administrators use an online managing
and reporting tool to quickly enroll cardholders, ensure that cards have
been shipped to new cardholders in a timely manner, electronically
deposit funds into card accounts, track payments to ensure that
cardholders are being paid on time, and produce nearly twenty types of
reports. New cardholders also can be enrolled via batch file processing.

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Visa and Marriott Team for the MegaBonus

Marriott Rewards’ “MegaBonus” reward point program has returned and
partnered with Visa to offer members up to 25,000 bonus points.
For every third Visa-paid stay, members will earn 5,000 “MegaBonus”
Marriott Rewards points, up to a maximum 25,000 points at participating
Marriott hotels between September 15, 2008 and January 15, 2009.
MegaBonus points can be earned at 2,900 Marriott International hotels
around the world.

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PaySpot to Market Futura Prepaid MasterCards

Prepaid card provider PaySpot has signed a multi-year
agreement to distribute Futura Prepaid MasterCard products to
PaySpot’s ISO network. As part of the agreement, Futura has chosen PaySpot as its
exclusive U.S. distribution partner for the ISO channel. Futura’s debit card program is a unique offering for PaySpot ISOs
because the Futura Distributor Advantage Plan makes this a much more
ISO-friendly prepaid debit product than any other known to be on the
market. The Futura debit
product is available exclusively through PaySpot.

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OPEN SOLUTIONS EXPANSION

Open Solutions Inc, international integrated technologies for financial
services providers, has announced its international reseller partnership
agreement with Magic Software IT Services and FSI Solutions Provider.
MST will provide the Open Solutions’ products and services to its
banking clients within the Asian financial services marketplace, already
met with positive reception by some clients. This development is part of
Open Solutions’ continued expansion of its international strategic
reseller network in various countries from Canada to China. Open
Solutions strategic information management product platform integrates
core data processing applications built on a single centralized Oracle
relational database, with Internet banking, cash management,
CRM/business intelligence, financial accounting and management tools.

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Consumer Trust and Wallet Share is Linked

New research shows that consumers’ trust in their primary banks drives wallet capture. According to Mercator’s financial services strategy consulting & research, trust in an institution is a major driver of success for cross-selling and customer retention. These factors include the transparency of banking costs such as deposit service charges, over limit fees, clarity of operational processes and employees’ aptitude to meet customers’ needs. Mercator’s also shows “trust relationship” scores range from 64% to 84% while the average national bank scores a 63% on transparency, which financial services providers can provide more of by disclosing fees for each product and service. According to the Mercator’s analysis, each incremental step up in consumer trust directly translates into share of wallet gains across all consumer segments.

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MATICA AMERICAS

Matica has announced the establishment of its joint venture with CanCard, Data
Technology Systems and IdentiSys distributors called “Matica Americas.”
The distributors will provide Matica Americas-which is designed to offer
its complete range of solutions with equipment, software, supplies,
technical services and customer support- with Matica card
personalization and mailing systems. Italy-based Matica provides card
personalization solutions in over 100 countries while Canada-based
CanCard Digicard products provide sufficient support to the organization
for its American expansion. Meanwhile, Data Technology Systems
specializes in the sales/servicing of card personalization and metal
plate embossing equipment while IdentiSys Inc identification/security
service provider has a long-standing, nine-year relationship with Matica
providing its metal plate/plastic card personalization systems.

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Unbanked = Hispanics and African-Americans

A new survey reveals that U.S. Hispanics and African-Americans are consistently classified as the majority of the ‘unbanked’ and ‘underbanked’ with very low account ownership. According to Synovate “2008 U.S. Diversity Markets Report”, the percentage of U.S. Hispanics with any type of bank account is up 7% since 2004 to 77% while African-Americans have increased account ownership by 8% over the same period to 90%. Additional findings show 33% of African-Americans, 18% of Hispanics and 60% of the ‘general market’ are invested in stocks or bonds and 25% of African-Americans, 24% of Hispanics and 36% of the ‘general market’ are owners of CDs, credit cards and mortgages. Finally, 54% of U.S. Hispanics send money to outside the U.S. with 28% conducting remittance transactions once a month or more for an average amount of $230.

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Mobile Remittances are Increasingly Global

A new study shows that mobile remittances are becoming increasingly global with a total transaction volume of nearly a half trillion dollars annually. According to TowerGroup research, an accelerating volume of investment in mobile payment platforms and mobile channels by banks targeting unbanked customer segments, many of whom partake in mobile phone usage and conducting remittance transactions. Based on current statistics, TowerGroup projects every month until the beginning of 2009, between 150 and 300 U.S.-based financial institutions will sign contracts for mobile banking solutions serving 6 million U.S. users by the end of 2008 and 42 million by 2012. TowerGroup expects mobile phones will do for financial services what Apple “iPods” did for music.

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VISA TV Spots Celebrate Phelps’ Gold

Visa has issued a special edition commercial commemorating Olympic U.S. superstar Michael Phelps and his historic gold medals achievement. The new TV spot, entitled “Congratulations Phelps” is the latest installment of the Visa “Go World” campaign. The commercial uses sepia tones combined with dramatic still photography. The spot closes with a memorable image of Phelps celebrating the U.S. team’s gold medal
performance in the 4 x 100 meter freestyle relay from earlier in the
“Beijing Olympic Games” competition. Visa has had a long standing relationship with Phelps through its “Team Visa” program, featuring him in two previous national TV commercials. Visa has been a sponsor of the “Olympic Games” for 22 years, and is the exclusive card of the “Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.”

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Survey Says Americans Want Card Regulations

The results of “CreditCards.com’s Second Annual Taking
Charge” survey indicate that 73% of Americans want the
government to regulate the credit card industry more closely; and 58% distrust credit card companies.
However, 78% of respondents acknowledge that many people make
little attempt to understand the credit card information they have and
do not read the terms of their credit card offers.
The Taking Charge survey also showed that 82% of Americans somewhat agree or strongly agree that
credit cards provide a valuable service but 76% feel there’s always a “catch” that makes a credit card
less attractive than the credit card company makes it sound and 56% have been disappointed by a credit card that turned
out not to be as good as they expected. These Taking Charge results are the first of a three-part series.
CreditCards.com is the leading online credit card marketplace that helps
consumers make smart credit card choices. In 2007, more than 12 million unique visitors used CreditCards.com to
search for their next credit card.

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Elan Financial Services Launches eCRC

Elan Financial Services has launched its “enhanced Client Resource
Center (eCRC)” web-based management and communications tool providing
clients a way to track information on their credit card portfolio.
“eCRC” provides client-specific reporting, employee training platforms
and online enrollment for in-branch, direct mail and segment marketing
programs available to all financial institutions through the Elan credit
card program. Elan Financial Services provides credit card issuing,
prepaid card solutions, ATM, debit card and merchant processing to 1,700
clients across the country through 31,000 ATMs that support 18 million
ATM/debit cards.

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