Chase Serves-Up the USTA Visa Card with Love

The United States Tennis Association and Chase have teamed to roll-out the “USTA Visa Signature” card with “Chase Flexible Rewards.” Cardholders receive one point for every dollar spent using the card as well as a zero percent introductory APR and no annual fee. After that, a 10.99% variable APR apples to the “Signature” card or a 14.99% variable APR applies to the “Platinum” card, depending on the credit score. The card APR is based on the prime rate plus 5.99% to 9.99%. Reward points can be redeemed for tennis merchandise including a Wilson “Factor Pro Tour” racquet, racquet bags, or a selection of travel and gift certificates or cash. A service fee of up to $25.00 may be charged for the use of “Reward Headquarters” services for redemption of air travel. The USTA has 720,000 members as of March 31, 2008.

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LML 1Q/08

LML Payment Systems has reported its 4Q/08 and its year-ended March 31,
2008-fiscals, with revenue for the quarter having increased 107% to $3.3
million and revenue for the year having increased 73% to $11.3 million.
Additional figures show the organization’s 4Q cash flow was $801,000 and
LML received a new electronic check processing U.S. patent. Meanwhile,
throughout the fiscal year, the company acquired Beanstream Internet
Commerce, repositioned check operations as part of the business
transition and posted a cashflow of $540,000. LML Payment Systems
provides credit card, online debit, electronic funds transfer and
automated clearinghouse payment processing solutions for e-commerce and
traditional businesses.

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Sun Country Airlines’ Cabin Goes Cashless

Joining AirTran, Sun Country Airlines has introduced its “Cashless Cabin”. The project allows for the acceptance of Visa and Mastercard card payments in exchange for consumer goods which are available for in-flight sale on Sun Country flights. Cash and checks will not be accepted. Providing both patrons and flight attendants with efficiency and convenience, the “Cashless Cabin” project payments are posted to the consumer’s payment card within 24 hours of the transaction. Sun Country Airlines is based in St. Paul, Minnesota and provides affordable airline travel while its holding company, Petters Group Worldwide is a privately held company with investments in over 60 companies around the world.

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HSBC MERCHANT SERVICES

Global Payments electronic transaction processing solutions and HSBC
Bank have signed agreements for a strategic joint venture, “HSBC
Merchant Services,” to provide payment processing services to merchants
across the United Kingdom and Internet merchants across the world. Under
the terms of the agreements, Global Payments will pay HSBC $439 million
in cash to acquire 51% majority ownership in “HSBC Merchant Services,”
while the bank will control 49% and will provide customer referrals to
the new service as part of 10-year marketing alliance between the
organizations. The merchant acquiring business generated revenue of
approximately $229 million for HSBC in 2007 while the bank itself has
assets of nearly $2.4 trillion, almost 10,000 offices in 83 countries
and commands a 15% UK market share.

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BMO AIR MILES

Since the debit card launch in June 2007, BMO debit card’s AIR MILES
Collectors have been getting more air mileage out of their everyday
banking with potential increases of nearly 30% for around 1170 reward
miles per year. The BMO debit card provides users the opportunity to
double earning potential when combined with a “Mosaik MasterCard” and
additional BMO Bank of Montreal products. Moreover, with the product
launch, the number of collectors eligible to earn AIR MILES on debit
purchases has grown 28%, having earned enough total points for
redemption for more than 12,500 Panasonic Viera 42-inch HDTV Plasma TVs,
more than 40,000 Broil King Signet 50,000 BTUs BBQs, more than 43,000
trips for two to Orlando from Toronto and more than 60,000 8GB iPod
Touches. AIR MILES serves more than 9 million active collectors across
Canada.

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Fiserv Lands a Microsoft Partner Award

WI-based Fiserv has been awarded the “2008 Microsoft Partner of the Year Global Independent Software Vendors Line of Business Special Recognition” award. Fiserv was recognized for superior technology and innovation in the Global ISV Line of Business. The award is given to the Global ISV partner that has demonstrated line of business application leadership excellence and recognizes the most valuable global partner in delivering Microsoft solutions to mutual customers over the past year. In coordination with Enterprise Partner of the Year Special Recognition award, it acknowledges the global partner that has demonstrated leadership in driving Microsoft-based solutions and was the most valuable line of business partner to the worldwide field. Some examples of these solutions include Fiserv’s next generation of the Voyager online banking product from Corillian, leverages Web 2.0 features, including Microsoft .NET 3.5 ASP.NET, and enables banks to offer a differentiated and improved user experience to grow their online customer base and improve customer satisfaction; the next generation corporate performance management portal, Intelligent Workplace, from IPS-Sendero provides banks with a single unified business intelligence ecosystem via a browser-based employee portal that takes advantage of Microsoft Office 2007 and SQL Server 2008 technology innovation that greatly enhances the ability of a financial institution to locate the right information and deliver it to the right employee at the right time and Fiserv Aperio, a a process-centric, multi-channel sales and service solution designed expressly for financial institutions to enable a consistent customer experience across branch, call center and web channels, as well as allowing back-office processes to be reconfigured.

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1-in-5 Americans Want to Cut-Up All Credit Cards

While Americans ran more than $2 trillion through general purpose credit cards and $1.4 trillion through general purpose debit cards in the U.S. last year, the stage is set for a major roll-back in payment card usage. In a recent online survey conducted by CardTrak, and set to be released in July to the general public, 64% of consumers said they will reduce overall credit card usage in 2008. A surprising 19% indicated they intend to cut-up all credit cards in 2008 and more than 41% said they intend to switch to a lower APR credit card. Apart from card usage, 65% of Americans said they plan to reduce restaurant spending. Travel is also on the hit list. Nearly 43% say reducing travel expenses is a major priority and 42% expect to cut-back on automobile fuel consumption. Cutting-back on cable is also on the hit list as 23% of Americans say they are reviewing their TV habits.

CONSUMER TARGETS 2008
Restaurant: 65%
Card Usage: 64%
Travel: 43%
Auto Gas: 42%
Thermostat: 35%
Source: CardTrak (www.cardtrak.com)

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MasterCard’s Tech Center Receives an Award

MO-based MasterCard Worldwide Global Technology & Operations and the St.Louis office of Weber Shandwick Worldwide are recipients of the Public Relations Society of America’s “2008 Silver Anvil Award” for their “MasterCard Project Math” program. The “Silver Anvil” recognizes outstanding achievement in strategic public relations planning and implementation. For Project Math, Weber Shandwick helped MasterCard align its local support for education with its business in which careers depend on advanced technology and financial skills. Through grants that increase resources for math educators, students may increase their math achievement and future employability.

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TU Finds Credit Card Loans and Delinquency Decline

A new analysis from a major credit bureau has found that average credit card debt and national credit card loan delinquency has for the first time experienced statistically relevant quarterly declines. National average credit card debt per credit card borrower dropped 1.25% from the previous quarter’s $1,694 total to $1,673, though the total remains 5.6% higher than the same period last year. According to TransUnion.com the highest state average card debt per credit card borrower was in Alaska at $2,378, followed by Tennessee at $2,013 and Alabama at $2,005. The lowest average credit card debt per credit card borrower was found in Iowa at $1,252, North Dakota at $1,265 and South Dakota at $1,365. TransUnion says that while the national 90-day delinquency rate is expected to drop slightly next quarter as consumers continue to take stock of their overall debt, forecasts for the remainder of the year see 90+ day delinquency to gradually edge back up to 1.20% and above, as increases in gas prices add to the overall financial burden of the consumer.

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Diebold Cited for an ATM Skimming Award

Diebold is the recipient of the 2008 Banker Technology Retail Award for Delivery Channel Security for its ATM skimming detection technology. The Banker Technology Awards, presented by The Banker magazine, recognize excellence and innovation in all areas of banking technology. The awards serve as a vital global benchmark for IT services, products and projects in the financial services industry at large. Diebold’s advanced skimming detection technology detects the presence of skimming devices to help prevent ATM fraud and the loss of millions of dollars each year for financial institutions. This feature is included in every new Diebold “Opteva” motorized card reader at no extra charge, which is a substantial benefit as the average industry cost for similar technology is between $1,200 and $1,500 per unit.

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