Moody’s Says CompuCredit ABS Will be Okay

Moody’s says the recent federal court action against CompuCredit and its debt collection subsidiary and partner banks does not, in and of itself, present an immediate threat to the credit quality of CompuCredit’s related credit card receivables-backed securities. The credit card portfolios backing the asset-backed securities are currently performing within Moody’s expectations. Also, structural elements, like a contracted backup servicer, spread capture triggers, relatively tight early amortization triggers, and high levels of credit enhancement, help mitigate many of the comparatively risky elements of the CompuCredit business model. However, Moody’s notes that recent actions by the FDIC and FTC may make it more difficult for CompuCredit to originate receivables through its remaining partner banks.

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Managing Risk is a Top Priority for Issuers

A new report says that U.S. ABS credit card seller/servicers are taking proactive steps to mitigate risk exposure in the face of rising delinquencies and losses. The Fitch Ratings study found that some of these steps include using third-party data to identify emerging trends, tightening origination standards and evaluating loss mitigation tools to help customers through difficult times. In response to the recent increase in charge-offs, issuers have taken steps to re-price and manage risks in their portfolio which has allowed excess spread levels to remain fairly robust. Fitch expects charge-offs to continue to rise into 2009.

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Diners Club to Offer Regus Office Access

Diners Club International has inked an an agreement with the Regus Group to provide cardholders from participating countries access to all 950 Regus business centers around the world. The first market to launch the new program will be Australia, shortly followed by India. Cardholders will receive unlimited access to business centers in 70 countries and 400 cities, including 30 business lounges near major international airports. Also, preferred rates and priority booking for fully equipped day offices, meeting and training facilities at any Regus location and access to business support services. Diners has acceptance in more than 185 countries, 13 million merchants, and access to over 1 million ATMs.

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TCB ELECTRONIC CARD

Taiwan Cooperative Bank has launched the first “Visa Prepaid” card in Taiwan. The new “TCB Electronic Money” is available for NT$100 at any TCB branch and does not require consumers to open an account or hold a credit line with a bank. Cardholders can keep track of the value of their cards by check the balance at the same ATMs or internet ATM service they use to top up their cards. Should cardholders want to reclaim the remaining balance, they only need to transfer the money to a designated bank account through the ATM or internet ATM. “Visa Prepaid” cards have been available in India and Indonesia since 2002. To date, Visa has launched prepaid gift and travel cards in Australia, Hong Kong and India; general purpose reloadable cards in New Zealand and Australia; payroll cards in India and Philippines; a virtual card in Australia and remittance cards in Sri Lanka, Australia and the Philippines.

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GPN Signs Nine More US/Canada Casinos

Cash access provider Global Payments has signed agreements with nine casinos in the U.S. and Canada to offer “PlayerCash @dvantage” credit and debit card cash advance services, “VIP Preferred” check-cashing services, and “ATM Cash @dvantage”. Global will provide services to Mardi Gras Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado; Player’s Club Casino in Ventura, California; Running Aces Harness Park in Forrest Lake, Minnesota; Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Indiana; 7th Street Casino in Kansas City, Kansas; Bodine’s Casino in Carson City, Nevada; and Wind River Casino in Riverton, Wyoming. Services in Canada will be provided to Flamboro Downs in Hamilton, Ontario and Georgian Downs in Innisfil, Ontario.

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DIRECTCASH & INKAS

DirectCash ATM Processing Partnership has signed agreements to acquire
the ATM business of Inkas Financial Corp for $5,250,000, funded from
DirectCash’s acquisition credit facility. Effective June 24, 2008, the
acquisition concerns Inkas fleet total of 711 ATM sites and related
contracts, the majority of which are located in Ontario-Quebec, and is
subject to customary purchase adjustments. Transitioning these acquired
ATM contracts into its management system, DirectCash will bring the
total number of DirectCash ATM active sites/contracts to over 6000.
DirectCash ATM operating subsidiaries are among the largest in Canada.

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KP Self-Service Kiosks Take-Off

As part of its “HealthConnect” health care automation pilot project, CA-based Kaiser Permanente has deployed the first of 90 “KP Self-Service Kiosk” to be rolled-out at over 60 medical clinics through the end of 2008 across Southern California. These kiosks have been designed to facilitate patient check-in and payment using easy-to-navigate touch-screens for conducting non-dues payment with credit or debit cards, updating personal contact information and using the “way-finding” feature in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. Kaiser Permanente group was founded in 1945 and serves the health care needs of 3.3 million members in Southern California and includes over 55,800 technical, administrative and clerical employees and more than 6,400 physicians representing all specialties.

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Teridian Powers Payflex Smart-Card Token

Teridian Semiconductor’s “73S1210F” smart card reader has been selected by Manas Metering Systems to be used in its “Payflex Smart-Card Token” prepayment solution. The Manas G4 prepayment module is approved for use with EMV international payment smart cards and is compatible with their “Payflex Smart-Card Token” prepayment solution. Manas has completed the first stage prepayment meter deployment of IGDAS (Gas Distribution Company of Istanbul), which is one of the largest gas distribution companies in Europe with 3.5 million existing customers.

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VeriFone Signs-Up 6,500 NYC Taxis

VeriFone Transportation Systems reports that 6,500 New York City taxis are now signed to multi-year agreements with VTS for in-taxi acceptance of credit cards. This represents half of the total city fleet. VTS has added new programming, including People.com, to the content available on the interactive mobile information screens and is also providing content from PMbuzz.com, a leading source of information on the New York night life scene, and Disney Broadway, which brings Disney classics to the stage. The VTS system features a Passenger Information Monitor with a 10.4-inch touch-screen monitor that features programming from a host of providers, including WABC-TV’s local news, AccuWeather, Reuters Business News and the Zagat Survey, in addition to the new sources. The VeriFone-based solution was installed as part of a mandate from the TLC requiring all taxis to offer credit/debit card acceptance and an interactive electronic passenger map and information screen.

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Discover’s Q2 U.S. Card Profits Decline 20%

Discover Financial Services reported that second quarter pre-tax net income for its U.S. Card business declined 20% from the year ago quarter and was down 18%, sequentially. For the quarter ending May 31st, Discover reported that U.S. managed credit card loans grew 2% year-on-year to $47.8 billion, and sales volume also grew 2% year-on-year to $22.5 billion. However, balance transfer volume declined 32% from last year and total credit card volume declined 3% from 2Q/07. U.S. Card pretax income was $309 million in the second quarter compared to $387.6 million one-year ago and $375.4 million in the first quarter. The managed credit card over 30 days delinquency rate was 3.85%, down 8 basis points from last quarter and up 88 basis points from last year. The managed credit card net charge-off rate increased to 5.05%, compared to 4.37% in the prior quarter and 3.97% for 2Q/07. The Third-Party Payments segment produced record transaction volume of $29.4 billion in the second quarter. During the quarter Discover completed the sale of the Goldfish business in the U.K and agreed to acquire Diners Club International. For complete details on Discover’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

U.S. CARD PRE-TAX PROFITS
2Q/07: $387.6 million
3Q/07: $380.6 million
4Q/07: $325.8 million
1Q/08: $375.4 million
2Q/08: $309.1 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Affinion’s New BreachShield Gains Traction

CT-based Affinion reports that its new data breach security and identity theft protection service for businesses and their customers has signed nearly 550,000 clients since its launch in February. The new “BreachShield” product offers companies a legally compliant and easily implemented plan to assist in the notification and protection of customers. The service also provides FCRA trained, bi-lingual service agents for managing customer requests. In 43 states, companies are required by law to notify individuals whose information was compromised due to a breach.

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