COUNTRY Index Says Americans Feel Better

The recently released COUNTRY Financial Security Index jumped 1.5 points to 69.3 in June, indicating that Americans feel better about their ability to save and pay debts. After steadily declining for the past six months, the June Index came in at its highest reading since October 2007. However, Americans are feeling more glum when it comes to evaluating their financial situation as a whole, as 46% of respondents currently rate their overall financial security as “excellent” or “good” compared to 48% of respondents in April. The COUNTRY Financial Security Index is a bi-monthly measure of Americans’ sentiments toward their overall financial security. It is an aggregate of various factors comprising financial security including savings and investments, financial planning, retirement, education and asset protection.

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Shoppers Charge Becomes TD Retail Card Services

Shoppers Charge Accounts, private label credit program provider, will be changing its name to “TD Retail Card Services” in hopes of tapping the recognition of financial strength and customer focus provided through the organization’s parent company, TD Bank Financial Group. With this development also comes “TD Retail Card Services” enhancement of its product offerings, services, technologies and marketing initiatives. Originally founded in 1937, Shoppers Charge Accounts Co was acquired from Hudson United Bank by TD Banknorth in January 2006 and is the seventh-largest provider of private label credit throughout North America and the Caribbean.

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CHARGE Anywhere Certifies ExaDigm’s Terminals

CA-based POS terminal solution provider ExaDigm has been certified by mobile payment provider CHARGE Anywhere. The certification includes ExaDigm’s “XD1000 Countertop Payment Solution”, as well as the “XD2100SP Mobile Payment Solution”, offering Dial, IP, WiFi, CDMA and GSM connectivity. This certification signifies that ExaDigm’s solutions have met all established testing requirements for the “ComsGate 2.4” message format. The “XD1000 and XD2100SP” offer merchants who process through CHARGE Anywhere access to some of the most advanced point-of-sale terminals on the market today and benefit from the highest levels of terminal-based security.

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PaySimple Teams with the IP Commerce Platform

PaySimple on-demand electronic payment processing has partnered with IP Commerce and will integrate its card processing services with the IP Commerce Platform with the intention of providing simplified, dynamic payment processing for small businesses. Combining the PaySimple “Solution 2.0” and the “Payment Processing Center” integrated with the IP Commerce Platform “Toolkit”, the partnership will allow users to electronically collect payments through credit card or eCheck/ACH through a chosen service provider. PaySimple’s “Solution 2.0” provides customers the speed of eCommerce transactions for online purchases, bill payment and recurring billing while the Paysimple can add newly introduced services easily.

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The Dollar Camp Launched for Students

“Student Money Expert” Stephen Epstein has launched “The Dollar Camp” to help high school and college student manage credit and build credit scores. Epstein founded “Dollar Camp” after successfully eliminating his own credit care debt after graduating college. The Financial Survival System’s three-step program consists “The DollarCamp Budgeting System”explains why most budgets fail and shows how to create one that works along with foolproof tools for implementing a budget and tracking spending; “The DollarCamp Foundations” which teaches students and parents critical lessons about credit cards and debt while pointing out avoidable money mistakes and “The DollarCamp Credit Building System” teaches students the importance of credit scores, how to build solid credit and how to save a fortune in wasted interest payments.

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Comdata Names a New SVP of Marketing Management

Ceridian’s fuel card specialist Comdata has promoted Kedran Whitten to SVP/Marketing and Product Management. Whitten joined Comdata in 2006. Prior to Comdata, Whitten was director of marketing for NIC, where she developed and executed marketing strategies for complex Internet products. She also held various marketing and sales leadership roles at Alltel Communications, including director of corporate advertising. Comdata’s fourth quarter was up 13.2% over the comparable period of the prior year. Overall growth was driven primarily by strong Comdata card transaction growth in both the over-the-road and business fleet segments, private label processing and in regulatory compliance. For complete details on Ceridian’s performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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FreedomRocks to Offer the Payoneer MasterCard

NY-based Payoneer has begun utilizing reloadable prepaid MasterCards to pay commissions to direct seller FreedomRocks’ international sales reps. FreedomRocks, whose online investment strategy network program has thousands of independent representatives in over 80 countries, implemented Payoneer after it faced challenges in fulfilling international payments. By choosing a “pay me by plastic” option, FreedomRocks’ reps receive speedy payment via the “Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard.” The cards are issued by First Bank of Delaware.

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CITI ULTIMATE CARD

Citibank has rolled-out two “Black Visa” cards for its entrepreneurial and lifestyle-driven customers in Bahrain. The new
“Citibank Ultimate Visa” earns “CitiDollars” while the co-branded “Emirates-Citibank Ultimate Visa” earns “Skywards” benefits. In February Ahli United Bank and and Bahrain National Insurance Company partnered to issue a Visa credit card offering discounts in insurance premiums plus a rewards program. Last year American Express unveiled its enhanced “Blue” credit card and Al Salem Bank launched the first EMV-compliant chip-based smart ATM card in Bahrain. Credit card usage is growing about 18% per year in Bahrain.

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PayPal Gives Developers a New Tool Kit

PayPal is gearing-up to launch its “Developer Central” portal next month. “Developer Central” will offer 25 free application programming interfaces (API) to enable merchants to send and receive money online, refund transactions, manage subscriptions and track transaction histories. In addition, the site will provide a directory to connect merchants with PayPal Certified Developers. The new portal will offer a complete set of free business and technical kits to help developers market their services, identify customer leads, complete integration projects more easily, and share knowledge with community peers. PayPal also introduced new APIs to give merchants more flexibility to manage their customer transactions. PayPal’s new “Recurring Payments” API offers merchants more options for subscription billing. PayPal has more than 60 million active accounts in 190 markets and 17 currencies around the world.

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NEXTENDIS & GLOBALPLATFORM

Smart card specification provider GlobalPlatform welcomes Nextendis as a
“Consultant Member” to offer strategic advice and implementation
support to new smart card deployments in the telecoms, payment and
public transport markets. GlobalPlatform launched its Consultant
Membership category in March 2008 to encourage small consulting
practices to join the organization, and contribute to the development
and promotion of interoperable and scaleable smart card specifications
that reflect market requirements. To qualify for Consultant Membership,
firms must only employ one or two consultants, who cannot have full or
part time employment at a publicly held company, government agency or
educational institute.

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