Marriott Rewards Card Offers Luggage Options

Marriott Rewards, the Marriott’s loyalty program, has partnered with The Luggage Club to provide members options to redeem points for door to door luggage shipment. Marriott Rewards members can earn 10 Marriott Rewards points per dollar on services and redeem points for gift cards in increments of $50, $100, $250 and $500 while The Luggage Club has no limits on size, weight or number of pieces that can be shipped allowing patrons to avoid long baggage check lines or fight the crowds at the baggage carousel. Marriott Rewards points can be earned and redeemed at the more than 2,800 participating Marriott International hotels around the world.

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Hypercom Relocates Headquarters to Scottsdale

AZ-based Hypercom Corporation has relocated headquarters from its Phoenix facility to a newly designed 45,000 square foot office at 8888 East Raintree Drive in Scottsdale. The property is owned by RCC South LLC and is managed by Cavan Management Services. Hypercom Corporation global payment technology provides high security, end-to-end electronic payment products and services to businesses in more than 100 countries.

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RBS Lynk Signs a Processing Deal with Sizzler

CA-based Sizzler USA has signed long-term electronic payment processing agreements with RBS Lynk. RBS Lynk is a single-source provider of electronic payment processing services for credit, debit, EBT, checks, gift cards, e-commerce, customer loyalty cards, fleet cards, prepaid cards, ATM processing and cash management services while its U.S. payment processing division is a non-bank subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group. Sizzler USA owns or franchises more than 220 restaurants in 17 U.S. states and Puerto Rico and was founded in suburban Los Angeles in January 1958.

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Sedgwick Launches Credit Card Claims Services

Brenda Lott has joined Sedgwick’s newly launched claims administration unit as VP and Director of Financial Sector Specialty Services. Designed as a dedicated business facility to provide claims administration and related risk management services for credit card-related programs, consumer warranty plans and warranty claims services, the claims administration unit service targets bank, credit card and affinity group patrons. Lott has over fifteen years of experience in the design, delivery and supervision of risk services for credit card programs and comes to Sedgwick CMS from Cambridge Integrated Services Group.

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CARD PROFITS

PA-based Turner Investment Partners’ “Sector Focus” Commentary, entitled
“MasterCard and Visa: profitable toll takers,” has conducted research
demonstrating transaction processing has remained lucrative for
MasterCard and Visa thanks to little competition and relative freedom in
determining fee rates. The commentary examines why the profit margins of
both companies exceed 30%, estimating both organizations have potential
to increase earnings per share by at least 20% annually over the next
two years, especially in developing countries. This especially concerns
Brazil and China. Turner investment firm publishes “Sector Focus”
commentaries monthly as part of the continuing efforts to monitor the
market sectors for its growth-stock portfolios.

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Multimedia Credit Card Unveiled in Korea

South Korea’s KB Card has introduced the world’s first multimedia credit card, enabling users to listen to music and watch video clips and digital multimedia broadcasting. The new “&d MasterCard” combines a large memory chip with display functions. The card has a 2.4-inch screen to play videos and listen to tunes. A two-gigabyte memory chip is installed in the credit card, and a four-gigabyte memory chip is in the terminal, allowing the product to store up to six gigabytes of data. Including the terminal, the product costs W230,000.

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APRIL INDICATORS

The Conference Board of Mexico has released business cycle indicators
for April 2008 with the leading index having increased 2.3% and the
coincident index having increased 0.3% for the month. Additional
findings show the leading index fell 2.8% between October 2007 to April
2008, consistent with the 2.8% in June of 2007, and the coincident index
rose .7% between October 2007 and April 2008. Meanwhile, the Real GDP
grew at about a 2.1% throughout 1Q/08, down from a 4.2% average annual
rate in 3Q/07 and 4Q/07. Founded in 1916, The Conference Board is a
business membership and research network to help executives build
professional relationships, expand business knowledge and find solutions
to business challenges.

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EQUENS SEPA PROCESSING

In response to high volumes of cross-border payments seen in the
Scandinavian market, Equens payment processor will be processing
cross-border payment transactions for the OP-Pohjola Group finance group
through its single common platform. With its platform capable of
processing SEPA and regular cross border euro payments, Equens sees this
development as an opportunity to establish itself in the expanding
regional market. OP-Pohjola Group financial services group is comprised
of 229 independent member cooperative banks and has over four million
customers in Finland while Equens payment processor had a 2007 annual
volume of 7.3 billion payments, 2.1 billion POS and ATM transactions,
for a euro zone market share of over 15%.

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PRIVACY ABUSE

According to StrongMail’s recent survey of 900 UK data protection and
marketing professionals, UK businesses are prepared to disclose the
personal data of their customers in the name of increasing sales
volumes. Among these organizations, the StrongMail survey finds 7% will
disclose customers’ sexual orientation, 10% will disclose customers’
religious beliefs, 14% will disclose customers’ political affiliation,
5% will disclose customers’ ethnic background and 19% will give out
customer credit card details. StrongMail Systems provide
commercial-grade, on-premise solutions for marketing and transactional
email to hundreds of companies worldwide.

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Charge-Offs Still Head North in April

Charge-offs on managed U.S. credit card loans hit 5.82% in April, the highest level in three years. However, sequentially charge-offs rose 77 basis points since December and 21 basis points since March. According to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]) charge-offs peaked at 7.57% in April of 2002, following the 2001 recession. Last week, Capital One reported that U.S. Card charge-offs for May rose to 6.28% from 6.08% in April.

APRIL CHARGE-OFFS
2004: 7.02%
2005: 5.90%
2006: 3.95%
2007: 4.60%
2008: 5.82%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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PAY IN YOUR CURRENCY

Planet Payment multi-currency payment processor will be providing DBS
Bank Limited (Hong Kong) with its “Pay in Your Currency” and
Multi-Currency Pricing services, effective July 2008. This will allow
DBS clients with a real-time choice of currencies in which to complete
their Visa or MasterCard purchases, providing tourists and business
travelers with the comfort of knowing how much they are paying in their
home currency at the time of purchase. Effectively, “Pay in Your
Currency” provides merchants with a powerful marketing tool to drive
sales, which is also scheduled to launch in Macao later in the year.

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Comdata Names a New Merchant Solutions SVP/GM

Payment solution provider Comdata has named Joseph Daly, previously with Ceridian, to the role of SVP and GM of merchant solutions. Daly was director of internal audit for Ceridian Corporation, Comdata’s parent company, where he was responsible for the execution of a risk-based operational, financial and information technology annual internal audit plan. Before joining Ceridian, Daly was the compliance director for CIGNA Government Services and was a vice president with Deutsche Bank N.A. Daly began his career with Dreyfus Corporation as a senior auditor in 1988. He holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting from Binghamton University and is completing his Masters of Business Administration from Trevecca Nazarene University this year.

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