MyECheck and ConsumerDirect Team

Alternative payment provider MyECheck has signed credit repairer ConsumerDirect to provided check processing services. MyECheck provides faster clearing and funds availability, substantially reduces charge-backs and risk and improves cash-flow; all at a much lower cost than credit or debit cards. eChecks processed on the MyECheck system are typically accepted in 1 to 3 seconds with check approval rates averaging over 90%, with many merchants exceeding over 95%. ConsumerDirect is linked to over 95% of creditors in the United States giving its clients a faster and more effective way to fix credit report problems.

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Chevy Chase Bank Partners with RouteOne

DC-based Chevy Chase Bank has joined with automotive credit application platform provider RouteOne as a financing resource. Chevy Chase Bank serves nearly 300 franchised and independent dealer partners, and is ranked within the top 100 auto finance lending institutions nationally. RouteOne was formed in 2002 by Chrysler Financial, Ford Motor Credit Company, GMAC, and Toyota Financial Services to create a more streamlined credit application for automobile dealers and their customers. Providing access to more than 21,500 dealers in North America, RouteOne’s web-based system allows automotive dealers to submit credit applications to the largest indirect lenders, request credit reports, and increase profitability with RouteOne’s free Dealer Reporting Suite.

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Kena Kai Unveils the DataSafe Wallet Line

CA-based Kena Kai has introduced the “DataSafe” wallet line to shield information stored on RFID cards from theft. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts have shown that they could access a credit card user’s name, the number and the expiration from more than twenty feet and claim that nearly 20+ million radio-frequency identification (RFID) credit cards in circulation today could be vulnerable to skimming attacks, which could harvest names and credit-card details from the cards of passersby. A skimming attack uses a normal reader, or one that has been enhanced to read cards from a greater distance, to grab unencrypted data from the card. Kena Kai has designed wallets with multiple layers of RF shielding material that completely blocks unwanted access to the user’s personal information. The new DataSafe Collection will retail between $50 and $200. The Collection will be available in fine Italian leathers and rugged ballistic nylons.

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Personal Bankruptcy Filings Tops 86K in April

Consumer bankruptcy filings jumped to 92,921 in April, compared to 86,185 in March. U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings increased 48% nationwide in April from the same period a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute. The overall April consumer filing total of 92,291 also represented a 7.1% increase from the 86,165 filings in March. Chapter 13 filings constituted 31% of all consumer cases in April, a slight decrease from March. The sharp spike in consumer bankruptcies reflects the growing financial stress faced by American families, saddled with household debt and mortgage woes.

BANKRUPTCY FILINGS
Nov 07: 77,065
Dec 07: 78,181
Jan 08: 66,050
Feb 08: 76,120
Mar 08: 86,165
Apr 08: 92,291
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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TRINTECH 11Q/08

Trintech has reported a revenue of $9.64
million for the first calendar quarter of 2008, reflecting an increase of 31% over $7.4 million in revenue for
1Q/07, and an adjusted EBITDA net Income of $.4 million. Software
license revenue for the quarter was $4.9 million, a 40% over the
previous year 1Q thanks to EMEA and its acquiring Movaris, while service
revenue was up 22% to $4.7 million, thanks also to EMEA and Movaris
business revenue. Additional figures disclosed include Trintech’s
increased expenditure in research and development by 17% from 1Q/08 to
$1.5 million and increased expenditure in sales and marketing by 22%,
also from the corresponding quarter last year.

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Citi Banamex USA Credit Card is Launched

Citibank and Citi Microfinance have partnered with Citi Banamex USA to provide its co-branded “Citi Banamex USA Credit Card” through Citibank financial centers throughout the state of Texas. This will provide Citibank customers with the Banamex USA bi-national card program to share their Citi credit card line with friends/relatives in Mexico, which is complete with cash-back rewards, 24-hour account access, introductory APRs for 12 months and consumer-friendly options to help establish a credit history in the United States. The “Citi Banamex USA Credit Card” money transfer provides toll-free phone sending options through 1,600 Banamex branches, 4,500 commercial entities and 5,000 ATMs in Mexico.

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CARD ABS 1Q/08

Both the charge-off index and the delinquency index increased from their 4Q/07 values in the U.K. Having dropped to 5.9% in February, its lowest value for over two years, the ABS charge-off index increased again in March, to finish 1Q/08 at 6.6%, its highest value for six months. According to both the Fitch U.K. credit card indices
the impact of a change in the charge-off policy applied by the issuer
towards bankruptcies, IVAs and deceased accounts for the Cumbernauld
trust as of March 2008 increased the charge-offs for the trust by
approximately 2.7%. However, it had little overall impact on the monthly
“Fitch CI” which in March (and excluding the additional charge-offs for
Cumbernauld), would still have been 6.5%. On a more positive note, the Fitch YI and the Fitch MPRI both increased from 4Q/07 to 20.5% and 17.3%, from 19.1% and 16.6% respectively. Excess spread also improved across all the series included in the “Fitch Excess Spread Index” with only three series trapping excess spread in March 2008.

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BofA Dominates the U.S. Credit Card Market

Bank of America still rules the U.S. credit card market rising 8% Y/Y in the first quarter, compared to Chase at 3% and Citi at 4%. This is typically a seasonal low quarter but all big three credit card issuers posted positive increases. Bank of America’s credit card loans increased from $150.7 billion in 1Q/07 to $163.2 billion in 1Q/08. Chase’s credit card loans soared from $152.8 billion in 1Q/07 to $157.1 billion in 1Q/08. According to CardData, Citi reported $116.4 billion in credit card loans, compared to $111.6 billion in 1Q/07.

BIG THREE CARD OUTSTANDINGS
1Q/08 1Q/07
BofA $163.2 billion $150.7 billion
Chase $157.1 billion $152.8 billion
Citi $116.4 billion $111.6 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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INSIDE MICROPASS

INSIDE Contactless has maintained its expansion in the Canadian smart
card market thanks to recent EMV migration driving demand for
“MicroPass” contactless payment platform. In doing so, INSIDE has
partnered with Advanced Card Technologies (ACT) Canada to allow its
technological contribution in the convergence with advanced payment
applications. Having already delivered over 5 million “MicroPass”
contactless payment chips for MasterCard “PayPass” over the past six
months, INISIDE has allowed access to the payment platform with nearly
50 million “MicroPass”-powered bank cards. Additionally, ACT Canada
projects chip and pin payment cards will be deployed in significant
numbers over the next five years as credit and debit cards are converted
to the EMV standards across many sectors.

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FREESTAR 1Q/08

For the 3-month and 9-month periods ended March 31, 2008, Freestar
Technology Corporation reported record revenues of $1,629,150, compared
to $1,125,634 for the three months ended March 31, 2007, and of
$4,432,358, compared to $2,399,396 for the nine months ended March 31,
2007, respectively. Of the revenue for 1Q/08, $575,002 was generated
from processing and related revenue, a 19% increase over the year prior,
having processed 4,047,161 transactions. Processing revenue, however,
contributed a volume of $1,575,507 for the 9 months ending March 31st,
compared to that of $1,443,763 for the corresponding period in the prior
year, for a total of 14,233,019 transactions. Also a significant
contributor was the 272% increase in hardware sales over the 9-month
period posting a revenue of $806,893, compared to $589,709 for the
9-month period ending March 31, 2007. With Freestar having launched its
IP Solution in Denmark, introducing its palm-sized mobile payments in
Finland and a stand alone DCC Solution across Europe, the developments
have all collectively contributed to the organization’s success over the
past 9 months.

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RBC HABITS POLL

Given the state of the Canadian economy, a mere 22% of Canadian
consumers are saving more than they did before, discloses RBC bank with
the findings of its “Account Habits” poll. Additional findings of the
poll show 43% are maintaining current spending habits, 20% are spending
more, 83% are concerned with a lack of savings, 86% would like to save
more while 49% have a rainy day account set up for an emergency, 55% of
whom have only enough to cover one-month’s expenses while 24% can cover
3 months. Moreover, 65% depend on lines of credit/credit cards as a
fall-back, 34% spend their entire paycheck on living expenses with
nothing left over while 33% put their entire salary into savings. The
RBC online poll was conducted by Ipsos Reid between March 13 and March
18, 2008 of 2,020 adult
Canadian bank account holders.

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