U.S. House Committee Approves HR 5244

The House Financial Services Committee
has approved measures on H.R. 5244, Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008.
The Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights will help level the playing field
between credit card companies and cardholders. It allows for
cardholders say “no” to interest rate increases and prohibits card
companies from luring people into paying high rates and fees.

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BACS & VOCALINK

VocaLink Payment Platform and Bacs Payments have extended their existing
processing agreements for UK automated payments from 2010 to 2015. Bacs
clears and settles automated payments in the UK for its “Direct Debit”
and “Bacs Direct Credit” while VocaLink processes over 5.5 billion
automated payments a year for the organization, with 90 million
transactions on a peak day. Additional information shows 90% of UK
salaries and 70% of regular household bills are paid through the “Bacs
Direct Credit” and “Direct Debit” platforms, respectively, the company
was founded in 1968, has since processed over 68 billion transactions
and is owned by 15 financial institutions throughout Europe.

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Consumer Biller Direct Market Looks Healthy

A new report on the biller direct technology market in the U.S. has found that only about 11% of consumer bill payments were made through that channel last year in the USA. However, Aite Group forecasts that about 17% of consumer bill payments will be made through the biller direct channel by 2010. Earlier this year Boston-based Aite surveyed more than 40 technology vendors and billers that process more than 100,000 bills a month for its latest report. Aite notes that the biller direct market remains highly fragmented. Also, in the coming years, mergers and acquisitions should slow, driven by several factors, including the lack of appetite among billers for consolidating their various biller direct vendors, and the simple fact that a number of biller direct solutions are already tucked into very large companies.

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FAL & WRIGHT

Wright Express payment processing/information management services is set to acquire Financial Automation Limited (FAL) by the conclusion of 3Q/08, allowing the company to offer fleet card solutions to major oil companies in international markets. Definitive agreements have been signed to acquire the assets of FAL for approximately US$9 million. In conjunction with these developments, the payment processor is appointing Joe Czternastek GM of international operations, bringing with him over 25 years’ executive experience in the European corporate fuel card market. Wright Express provides its services to nearly 300,000 fleets of more than 4.5 million vehicles and markets its payment processing services for more than 125 strategic relationships, providing the MasterCard-branded corporate card.

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Canada Post Signs a Major VeriFone Deal

VeriFone Holdings announced that Canada Post will install more than 7,000 “VeriFone
MX870” multimedia payment systems over the next two years. Canada Post will
utilize the MX870 as a customer display system that
accepts debit and credit card payments while offering signature capture
for payment and other types of personal receipts, essentially combining
in one device the features that today require three separate systems.
VeriFone’s PCI PED approved MX870 meets the most stringent security
requirements for the payment industry while enabling the display of
multimedia content to customers at the point-of-sale.

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VERIFONE MX870

Canada Post has signed agreements with VeriFone to deploy 7,000 of the
“VeriFone MX870” POS units before 2010. Combining a signature tablet,
customer display and payment onto one unit, the “VeriFone MX870” is set
for deployment of 2,200 before the end of 2008 while the remainder will
be activated throughout 2009. The “MX870” touch screen supports
finger/stylus input on a future-proof platform and is PCI PED approved
for the acceptance of both debit and credit card payments. New and
already installed “MX870” systems will have included Interac Chip debit
and EMV during deployment throughout 2009. VeriFone Holding provides
secure electronic payment solutions with self-service payment systems in
many different sectors.

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Encore Capital Group’s Q2 Revenues Rise 4%

Encore Capital Group reported that second quarter revenues increased 4%
to $66.3 million, over 2Q/07. The consumer debt management company $52.5
million to purchase $1.8 billion in face value of debt during the
quarter, compared to $1.3 billion for the same period of the prior year.
Gross collections were $102.1 million, a 9% increase over 2Q/07. ECG’s
net income was $7.3 million for the second quarter, compares to a net
loss of $0.8 million in the same period of the prior year. For complete
details on Encore Capital’s second quarter
results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

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CIMB CLICKS

Malaysia Airlines and CIMB Bank have partnered to provide customers
online payment convenience with its “CIMB Clicks” payment solution. The
new solution allows Malaysia Airlines travelers to make payments to the
airline through the CIMB Bank internet banking portal on a secure and
reliable platform though 250 bill payment facilities. The Payments are
debited automatically from the user’s account in real time. CIMB Bank
provides retail banking for 4.5 million customers in 366 branches across
Malaysia with over 24,000 employees while Malaysia Airlines Internet
Booking Facility was first deployed in January 2004 for the acceptance
of Visa and Mastercard card payment options, having seen a more
than 100% increase in ticket sales.

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Wright Express Makes a Intl Acquisition

ME-based fuel card specialist Wright Express has inked a deal to acquire the assets of a New Zealand provider of fuel card processing software solutions. Wright also named Joe Czternastek GM of international operations, who has extensive experience in the European corporate fuel card market. Wright is paying $9 million for the deal which is expected to close this quarter. The Company provides its services to nearly 300,000 fleets of more than 4.5 million vehicles and markets its payment processing services for more than 125 strategic relationships, offering the MasterCard-branded corporate card.

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PAYDAY LOANS

Using a market-based approach, under the recommendation of The Cash
Store Financial Services, the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board has
set the maximum cost of borrowing for payday loans at $31 per $100 as a
means of protecting consumers. With the new rate, the board also intends
to foster a competitive marketplace, avoid setting a rate to benefit
only the “lowest cost” lenders and to facilitate the industry to make
readily available loans to those who want them. Cash Store Financial
operates more than 380 branches across Canada under “Cash Store” and
“Instaloans, is headquartered in Alberta and employs over 1,500 associates.

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DIGIPASS G0 3 & VACMAN

Encore Payment Systems electronic payments processor will use VASCO’s
two-factor authentication solutions, “DIGIPASS G0 3” and “VACMAN
Middleware,” to provide users secure remote access to data and PCI
compliance. Encore Payment Systems provides custom credit card
processing, debit card processing, EBT (Electronics Benefits Transfer)
card processing, loyalty card programs, electronic check conversion and
e-commerce in a range of business sectors. The VASCO solutions will
secure the Encore VPN connection to data such as merchant/business
partners’ contact information and employee records. VASCO software
security company specializes in authentication for Internet Security
serving a customer base of close to 7,600 companies in more than 100
countries, 1150 of which are international financial institutions.

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TCO FOR SEPA: A MODEL

Many European banks are suspecting SEPA and its policies will negatively
affect their revenue, to which Celent has responded with its “TCO for
SEPA: A Model”, a reference model to
identify and quantify the cost/revenue drivers across a five-year plan
by examining the decision-making process of financial institutions
regarding SEPA projects. Celent is also issuing the model in response to
the general consensus that a real uptake to full-scale SEPA
implementation will follow only after the EU sets a clear definition of
migration deadlines from each of the 31 European Union countries
involved, to which banks and corporations can agree. Celent research and
advisory firm helps financial institutions formulate comprehensive
business and technology strategies.

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