NFIB/Visa Awards 2008 Scholarships

Five college-bound seniors are the recipients of Visa’s 2008 National Federation of Independent Business. Peter Crabtree of Washington State has been awarded a $10,000 scholarship for his coffee and chocolate business. The four other winners of the NFIB/Visa Inc. National Young Entrepreneur Award will each receive a $5,000 scholarship. They are: Jim Cerenzie of Spanish Fork, Utah who will attend California State. He has an e-Bay based business that sells new “old” stock from a sporting goods wholesaler; John Kirkpatrick of Beckley, W. Va. who plans to attend Wake Forest University and is the owner of ZeroPricetags which offers “gadgets” to reward people who agree to test products or participate in surveys; Eric Knudson of Boyds, Md. plans to attend Stanford University and is the co-owner of Serve It Up Tennis, LLC. The tennis lesson company and Jacob Lindemann of Manitowoc, Wis. who plans to attend University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and operates 360 Board Shop, a skateboard supply shop. This is the fifth consecutive year Visa has been the primary corporate sponsor of the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation Young Entrepreneur Awards Program. Since 2003, the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation has awarded 1,900 Young Entrepreneur Award Scholarships totaling $2 million.

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MONEY.BE VISA

Money.be direct cash provider and credit facilitator has launched its
Visa Gold Card for consumers in all European Union Countries with an
anuual fee of EUR100. The card was designed to help consumers pay off
debt easily and effectively while Money.be provides applicants with a
credit decision within 24 hours of receipt of its online application
form. The card was also designed to allow consumers to spread payments
and to centralize or alleviate debt. Representatives with the
organization have disclosed this is the first of a card segment to be
introduced over the coming months and will be targeting the “young
professionals” demographic.

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EXPAT PAYROLL

E-monee has been licensed to issue 50,000 payroll cards as stipulated in
a recent contract with the UAE government, 11,000 of which have already
been issued. The government-mandated agreement was designed to
facilitate the the expatriate, construction workers payroll program with
financial instruments to secure payroll, reduce remittance costs and
provide convenience with the use at satellite offices in Dubai. This
migration is a result of heavy construction in Dubai. The E-Monee
payroll program provides administrative applications with easy batch
programs (easily uploaded) and web services based on the company’s
requirements and can offer ATM/POS solutions at work sites/relative
locations. For employees, the program provides financial solutions with
the benefits of a banking system with access to online banking,
ATM/debit card(s), money remittances, direct bank transfers to
registered accounts, bill payment and 24/7 free customer
service(www.e-monee.com).

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APRIL CB INDEX

The Conference Board has announced the leading index for the U.K. has
declined for the 6th consecutive month in April by 0.5% and the
coincident index increased 0.1% to 0.7%. The total six-month change in
the leading index is -2.2% down from -1.1% between June and December
2007 while the real GDP growth slowed to a 1.8% annual rate in the first
quarter from an average annual rate of 2.5% in 2H/07. The leading index
now stands at 126.5, declined 0.1% in March and declined 0.4% in
February while the coincident index now stands at 120.2 having decreased
0.2% in March and increased 0.2% in February.

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S1 Corp and Clickatell Team for SMS

Payment platform provider S1 and message provider Clickatell have partnered to offer on demand text based mobile services for the S1 Enterprise and Postilion Internet Banking Solutions. S1 Enterprise and Postilion customers across the globe will be able to take advantage of the on-demand capabilities of SMS banking and payments services, including account balance inquiries, funds transfers, account alerts and person-to-person payments. The two-way SMS service enables users to proactively manage their finances and monitor potential fraud via their mobile phones. Clickatell’s global messaging gateway delivers transactions and alerts to and from cell phones over 700 networks in more than 200 countries.

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Consumer Discretionary Spending Sinks

A monthly survey reveals that consumers are seeing spending for necessities grow and budgets for discretionary spending shrink. However, the latest “Discover U.S. Spending Monitor” rose 1.4 points in May to 86.8, still showing very little retreat from the prior economic concerns. The Discover poll found 54% of consumers say their finances are getting worse and 43% saying that shortfalls in income would force cutbacks in their current lifestyle. The most important factor in the spending outlook appears to be the record-high price of gasoline. Consumers’ views of their personal finances also show stark contrasts from a year ago, as a “Monitor” high 54% think their personal finances are getting worse, compared to 44% a year ago.

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ATM REPORT

Based on RBR’s most recent analysis of western European ATM deployment,
“ATMs and Cash Dispensers Western Europe 2008,” ATM deployment across
the 18 respective countries is fast on the rise with over 12.3 billion
cash withdrawals in 2007 and growth in installed bases having increased
for the second year in a row. Led by Turkey’s growth rate of 13% thanks
to stable economic development, RBR statistics show growth in ATM is
paired with increasing sophistication given automated note acceptance is
now available at 24,900 ATMs. Additionally, France posted the third
highest ATM growth rate in the region with the largest increase in
installed base while Finland, although had the fewest ATM deployments,
posted the heaviest usage at 9,585 monthly cash withdrawals. Italy,
however, saw the lowest level at just 1,340 monthly withdrawals. RBR
strategic research and consulting firm first launched its annual survey
in 1983.

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Marquis Jet Card Receives an Award

Marquis Jet has been named in the Robb Report’s “Best of the Best” issue for “Best Jet Card Program: Fractional” for the fifth year. The Marquis Jet Card program was awarded the top honor based on the quality and ease of Marquis Jet Card ownership resulting from Marquis Jet’s exclusive access with NetJets and the value-added benefits available to Marquis Jet Card Owners. The Marquis Jet Card is available throughout North America, catering to businesses and individuals who desire access to the world’s best fleet and service.

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PAYMENT RATES

While most metrics for credit card-backed securities in the U.K. remained stable in April, the “Monthly Payment Rate” increased by 70 basis points. Over the past six months the “MPR” has oscillated between 16.60% and 18.40%. According to FitchRatings the “Monthly Payment Rate” rose to 18.00% in April, compared to 17.70% in the prior month and 17.90% six-months ago. Fitch reports that “MPR” increased for most of the trusts in April, with the largest increase coming for the Turquoise trust, which experienced a 240 basis point rise. Only Pillar and Cumbernauld registered a month-on-month drop, both of 40 basis points.
The Fitch “Charge-Off Index” in April was 6.5%, a 10 basis point drop from the March value. The “Delinquency Index” remained stable in April at 3.6%

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U.K.’s Faster Payments Takes-Off

In the first three days’ operation of the new “Faster Payments Service,” launched on May 27th, more than 315,000 payments with a value of GBP 200 million were processed. The “Faster Payments Service” enables banks to process one-off payments made over the Internet or by phone within a couple of hours. Customers are also able to make Internet and phone payments outside of banking hours even at the weekend. The service will also speed up standing order payments, enabling them to be cleared on the day they are sent on bank working days. Standing orders will begin processing through the “Faster Payments Service” on June 6th. Any payment that is not processed through the new service will continue to be made using the existing Bacs three-day service. There is a maximum limit placed on the value of each payment sent through the new service, with the maximum value for Internet and phone payments set at GBP 10,000 and standing orders to GBP 100,000.

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ONLINE SECURITY

CA Canada enterprise software company has conducted research concluding
7% of Canadians are ‘very confident’ their personal data is safe with
retailers, banks and governments while less than 36% of Canadian
security executives feel the same. Moreover, only .5 % of consumers are
very confident retailers can protect on-line personal information, less
than 10% are very confident in large financial
institutions’ information protection while 12% of the respondents are
very confident that Canadian governments can protect on-line
information. Addition information shows 86% of large Canadian
organizations have suffered an identified security attack over the past
12 months, 85% of Canadian consumers cite loss of trust and
confidence/damage to reputation/reduced customer satisfaction subsequent
to major security breaches experienced as a customer, 14% have
experienced personal information theft and 44% know someone who has had
their personal information stolen. Regarding institutional spending for
online security, 84% think retailers should spend more, 67% say the
governments should spend more and 62% disclosed financial institutions
should spend more.

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Marriott/Visa Launch a Summer Promo

Marriott is rewarding weekend travelers with a $25 Visa Gift Card. Guests who book either the weekend promotion rate or the “Stay for Breakfast” rate at participating Marriott and JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts in the U.S. and pay with a Visa card will receive a $25 pre-paid Visa Gift Card. The Visa Gift Cards can be used for shopping, dining or more and are valid anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted.

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