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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JUNE CCCI

The Xinhua Finance eziData China Consumer Confidence Index (CCCI)results show
that although Chinese people in June were faced with a
series of negative factors such as continuous aftershocks of the Wen Chuan
earthquake, the financial crisis in Vietnam, and a re-falling stock market,
consumer confidence did not fall but inched up by 0.2 point to 95.1. The
stabilization, even slight improvement in the overall consumer confidence
was largely due to the following two factors: continuously easing general
price rises which helped raise consumer sentiment on current conditions,
and the earthquake rescues in the last few weeks which encouraged
patriotism among average Chinese consumers and made them more enduring when
facing the difficulties ahead. eziData is a local provider of China consumer data, serving both
financial and consumer market participants.

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GLOBALPLATFORM.ORG

GlobalPlatform international smart card specifications body has launched
its public website to provide prominence of its organization and access
to its interoperable smart card, device and systems specifications free
of charge. In doing so, GlobalPlatform has reduced site content by 35%
to ensure posted information is streamlined, providing more pronounced
navigation to the specifications from the home page. Presenting the
specifications in an ‘at-a-glance’ grid format, the website was designed
to provide documents currently available for download, specifications,
configurations, supporting documents and compliance programs and how
they relate to each other.

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IRISYS & NIXDORF

Visitor numbers for Retail Solutions 2008 will be calculated through
Irisys people counters installed at the entrances. Implementing
infra-red detectors, Irisys people counters monitor customer flow
through thermal profiling, effective in people counting and queue
management. Intending to deploy this technology to its range of retailer
management solutions, focused on conversion and performance, Wincor
Nixdorf will use the real-time data for its demonstrations at the event.
In doing so, Irisys will feed the counts back to the Wincor Nixdorf
stand to demonstrate how retailers can respond to customer flows rapidly
by calculating average queue length, wait time, store checkout
performance, predicting the necessary allocation of staff to meet agreed
service levels and how this analysis can be used to shape sales campaigns.

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REV PAYMENT PLATFORM

Rev Worldwide, a global network of payments companies for underserved
markets across the world, has launched its new payments platform to
drive commercial availability of new and emerging payment solutions for
underserved consumers worldwide. With this development, Rev’s platform
provides global connectivity, universal language and currency support to
carry transactions across countries, currencies and payment types for
payment card, mobile, retail and online transactions. Rev Worldwide
encompasses RevEurope Payments Limited, Rev Latin America, Inc. and Rev
Asia Pacific, providing people excluded from access to basic financial
services with the appropriate financial products.

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Cardtronics ATMs Deployed in Universal

Cardtronics and GE Money have teamed up to bring ATM services to Universal Studios theme parks in Florida and California. Under terms of the 7-year agreement, approximately 25 ATMs will be deployed at Universal Studios Orlando, Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal CityWalk Orlando and Universal CityWalk Hollywood, which has about 16 million plus annual guests. Cardtronics operates over 32,600 ATMs across its portfolio with ATMs in every major U.S. market as well as approximately 2,350 ATMs throughout the UK and 1,425 ATMs in Mexico.

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ALLIED BANK & FDC

One of the largest banks in Pakistan, has signed a card processing agreement with First Data. Under the terms of the deal, First Data will host Allied Bank’s complete card portfolio on its “VisionPLUS” processing platform. FDC will provide the bank with the full-spectrum of card processing services ranging from portfolio management to development, consulting and risk and fraud management. Allied Bank has a
network of 757 real-time online branches in over 300 cities and towns of
Pakistan, and 463 ATMs in over 130 cities and towns nationwide.

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U.S. Small Business Owners Feel the Pain

A new survey shows that more than one-third of small business owners said that their personal financial situation as a whole is getting worse. According to the Wells Fargo/Gallup “Small Business Index” survey, 50% of the business owners surveyed said they’ve postponed a major purchase in the past three months, and 44% said they’ve reduced the amount of money they’ve deposited into savings, checking or a CD. Seventy-five percent have concerns about paying for gas, while 51% are worried they will not have enough money for the next 12 months’ regular medical and dental expenses, and almost half fear they will not have enough money to pay for unforeseen medical emergencies.

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Visa and Facebook Team for Small Business

Visa and Facebook have teamed to launch the “Visa Business Network.” The new application is built on the “Facebook Platform” for the small business arena. Under the deal, Visa will award a total of $2 million in advertising credits to Facebook, providing the first 20,000 U.S.-based businesses that join the “Visa Business Network” with a $100 “Facebook Ads” credit. The new “Visa Business Network” on the “Facebook Platform” will help small business owners tap into a global network of peers and advisers from among the more than 80,000 small businesses already on Facebook. It will also offer business tools such as “Google Docs,” “Google Calendar,” and “Google Sites,” as well as The Wall Street Journal marketing to help identify prospective customers.

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