MICROPASS

Launched in November 2005, the “MicroPass” intelligent
payment platform for contactless payment cards by INSIDE Contactless
is now powering more than 50 million bank cards from more than 30 card issuers worldwide. “The MicroPass” platform is designed to power open standard contactless and dual-interface bank card payments, along with other value-added applications in all global regions. It is based upon a RISC architecture and optimized to the demanding requirements of contactless transactions. “MicroPass” is approved by VISA, MasterCard, and Discover – including all required functional, analog, performance, and security requirements compliance. The new “MicroPass 4000” suite offers high-volume, multi-payment, and multi-application capabilities for the next generation of contactless payment applications.

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GE Money & AmEx Team with Universal

GE Money and American Express have teamed with Universal Studios for the introduction of the “Universal American Express Card.” In 1997 Discover first issued a co-branded credit card with Universal Studios, followed by Chase in 2002 with the launch of the “Universal Entertainment MasterCard.” Under terms of the most recent deal AmEx becomes the official payment of choice at Universal Studios Theme Parks Resorts and GE Money becomes the Parks’ official financial services sponsor. Additionally, AmEx has the first opportunity to participate in product placement and co-promotion on Universal Pictures and Focus Features’ films in the payment services category. GE Money will have a presence at high-profile theme park attractions including Jurassic Park and Twister, with AmEx named the exclusive sponsor of the VIP Tour. The partnership also sets the stage for ongoing offers and promotions for anyone holding an AmEx Card, ranging from discounts at the park to special once-in-a-lifetime entertainment experiences. Cardholders earn “Universal Rewards” points towards Universal movie premieres, private screenings, theme park tickets, Universal Studios VIP tours, special vacation packages and cash rewards. Cardholders also earn double points on qualifying purchases within Universal Parks and Resorts properties and for purchases at stand-alone gas stations and grocery stores. (CF Library 4/1/97; 12/6/02; 6/28/04)

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Cash Systems Revenues Up; Loss Widens

Las Vegas-based Cash Systems reported first quarter revenue of $27.1 million, an 8% increase over the year-ago quarter. The net loss was $4.6 million for 1Q/08, compared to a net loss of $1.4 million in the first quarter of 2007. The Company previously announced that its Board of Directors decided to explore strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value, which is ongoing. During the quarter Cash Systems signed a multi-year contract extension with Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma for its Choctaw Casinos; signed a Letter of Intent to provide its “powercash” product to American Gaming Group’s first casino project; and signed a new multi-year contract to provide its full line of cash access services including “all-in-1atm” services, “casinopc” for cash advance services, and “ecash checking” at Gold River Casino and The Wildwood Casino. For complete details on Cash Systems’ latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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iPayment Profitable for 4 Quarters

TN-based iPayment has reported $185.5 million in revenue, up 4% from 1Q/07. Net income of 1.3 million for the first quarter, compared to a loss of 1.7 million in 1Q/07. This is the fourth consecutive quarter of profitability, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). Revenues, net of interchange, were $77 million for the quarter. The Company filed its Form 10-Q last week. iPayment provides payment card processing services for nearly 145,000 small merchants across the U.S. for both traditional card-present and card-not-present transactions.

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M-BANKING FORECAST

Research conducted regarding the deployment of mobile banking across
Europe shows the adoption rate is expected to increase from 6% today to 25% by 2010. Celent says the growth will be driven by Spain, France, Italy and the UK. However, significant barriers remain: a general lack of awareness, technological issues, customers’ perception of security, and more significantly, the cost of mobile Internet are major hurdles to mass market mobile banking adoption. Additionally, using the WAP and SMS technologies, few downloadable applications have been successful, mostly
only in the UK and Germany, and many disparities remain between
countries regarding the number/type of mobile banking information and
SMS services offered, mostly in France, Spain and Italy.

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Online Resources Signs ACE Cash Express

Check cashing service ACE Cash Express has signed a multi-year contract for bill paying services through Online Resources. Online Resources will enhance the existing walk-up bill payment service offered by ACE by providing a wider distribution network of billers through expedited payments, with guaranteed same-day posting to hundreds of billers in Online Resources’ extensive biller network; next day guaranteed payments to Online Resources’ biller network; and standard online bill pay to thousands of payees in the USA. ACE operates the largest network of retail check-cashing stores, with more than 1,800 locations throughout 38 states and the District of Columbia.

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CHECKMYFILE

Having provided 1.5 million customers with online consumer information in the UK, checkmyfile has released a new credit report analysis service through its checkmyfile.com.au portal. Additionally, the service matches consumers to lenders based on credit report information and access to those likely to grant credit. With this, Australians can now get their credit report from both of Australia’s main credit reference agencies from one online source, rather than have to deal with both bureaus separately, and have easier access to credit. checkmyfile was the first company to make credit reports available online in the UK and the first company in the world to lift the lid on credit scoring. In the UK checkmyfile has led the online consumer information market since its launch in 2000 and has over 1.5 million customers.

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U.S. Debit Card GDV Growing by 14%

VISA’s dominance in the U.S. debit card market continues as it maintains its market share rose at 73% in 4Q/07. Overall off-line and PIN gross dollar volume (GDV) for VISA and MasterCard debit cards is growing at an annual rate of 14%. In the fourth quarter VISA and MasterCard posted $358 billion in GDV compared to $315 billion in the year ago quarter, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). Sequentially, debit card GDV rose 5%. VISA reported $261 billion in fourth quarter GDV while MasterCard posted $97 billion. In the first quarter MasterCard reported that its debit card GDV rose 16% to $104 billion. VISA’s first quarter data will be released in the third quarter.

VISA/MASTERCARD DEBIT GDV
($ billions)
VISA MASTERCARD TOTAL
4Q/06 230 85 315
1Q/07 226 90 316
2Q/07 248 92 340
3Q/07 249 92 341
4Q/07 261 97 358
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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M-PAYMENTS & NFC

Research shows the processing cost to transit operators of electronic
transactions are roughly 40% cheaper than that for a paper ticket. The
same research, based on the strength of trials conducted in 2007,
concludes in 2008 device manufacturers will ship NFC-enabled handsets
CAGR of 338% for the period 2008-2012, translating to 504 million
devices in 2012. Having released the “Driving Mobile Payments and
Ticketing with NFC Handsets” report, Research and Markets examines how
mobile phones can be used similar to other contactless payment methods,
the emergence of handset proximity payments,
ticketing, discusses the impact this will have on the mobile industry
and concerned industries.

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Online/M-Banking to Drive Bank Fees

Among the top 80 U.S. financial institutions, 23 have demonstrated, over the next 2 years, online and mobile banking product development efforts will be concentrated on the introduction of fee-based payment services, online marketing efforts and deployment. Statistics show 65% of institutions will be offering expedited bill payment, 61% will make special, pre-approved offers to online customers, 57% will provide card-based bill payment through online banking while 57% of institutions are to focus on the implementation of mobile banking. The report was conducted by Aite Group.

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