ABA responds to Senator Dodd’s Initiatives

ABA STATEMENT Edward L. Yingling, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association, has released a statement reflecting the intentions of credit card industry corporations. These corporations, accordingly, are committed to promoting consumer protection, responsible business practices and support Senator Dodd’s initiatives for consumer protection in the banking area. Yingling also disclosed legislation supporting these initiatives, however, could be met with consequences such as unfairly raising the cost of credit for consumers by hurting credit access as a result of federal government intervention. Representatives of the ABA will continue to work with Senator Dodd and his colleagues to address these concerns. The American Bankers Association provides a forum for banks of all sizes to enhance competitiveness and the economy, the majority of which are banks with less than $125 million in assets representing over 95% of American banks.

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38% Do Not Trust Online Payments

With 68% of credit card users unaware of liability limits in the event of a lost/stolen card, research on consumer trends demonstrate increasing concern in regards to data security. Additional information shows 38% of Americans do not trust online payments, 42% said friends and family provide the best security advice and only 27% expressed trust in specialized digital security companies. Subsequently, retailers are pursuing more ways to protect consumer data found on payment cards data and are increasingly making efforts to meet PCI compliance. NRF has released the second part of its “SmartBrief Special Report: Data Security” providing contemporary insight on POS Technology, Consumer Trends and Regulatory Compliance.

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ASIANA AIRLINES CREDIT CARD

Bank of America and American Express have teamed with Asiana Airlines to
launch the “Asiana Airlines Credit Card”. With the new product,
cardholders are rewarded 2wo miles for every $1 spent 3 miles for every
$1 spent at select grocery stores, 5,000 miles with the first purchase,
an annual airfare rebate of $100 on Asiana tickets purchased with the
card, 2 annual Asiana lounge invitations and an annual 10,000 bonus
miles certificate. Bank of America serves 59 million consumers in more
than 150 countries , 25 million of whom use the company’s online
banking, has 6,100 retail banking offices and 18,500 ATMs while American
Express has over 115 card-issuing partnership arrangements in 125
markets around the world.

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ECG Q1 Gross Collections Rise 15%

Encore Capital Group consumer debt management company has released its 1Q08 financials reflecting a 15% increase in gross collections since 1Q07 of $104.4 million, investments in receivables of $47.9 million and revenues from receivables up 3% since 1Q07 to $64.1 million. Additional figures show, since the same period of the year prior, a 3% increase in total operating expense of $51.1 million, adjusted EBITDA up 28% to $58.5 million, total interest expense down from $6.2 million to $3.9 million and net income up from $5.7 million to $7.5 million. With this report, the company also demonstrated a net impairment provision of $5.3 million, an aggregate total remaining collections for portfolios of $67.3 million, an increase in revenue of $0.1 million and net income of $1.9 million. For complete details on Encore Capital’s first quarter results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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MIX MARKET 2.0

The MasterCard Foundation has awarded $740,000 to Microfinance
Information eXchange (MIX) to launch the “MIX Market 2.0” web platform,
contributing to its efforts to increase transparency in the microfinance
sector. This support to “MIX Market 2.0” demonstrates the importance of
building capacity of microfinance and providing financial services to
low-income populations for MasterCard, which will improve speed,
accuracy and usability to 25,000 monthly visitors with its investment.
This web platform provides annual financial and operating information on
more than 1,150 microfinance institutions, profiling 100 funders
investing in microfinance.

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Credit Manager’s Index Rises Slightly

The Credit Manager’s Index rose slightly to 50.1 for the month of April, .1 point above the economic expansion indication. The increase of 0.2% since March was a result of the manufacturing sector falling 0.8%, 5 of the 10 combined index components fell, six of which below 50, and 8 components fell in the manufacturing sector, 6 of which were below 50. These figures in the manufacturing sector are a culmination of inflationary pressures, rising fuel prices and a 30% increase in raw material cost(s) from last year. The service sector, however, rebounded 1.2% with 7 of 10 components having increased. Over the past 12 months, weakness is very clear with manufacturing down 5.3% and services down 5.4%, according to the MD-based National Association of Credit Management(NACM). The NACM supports over 22,000 business credit and financial professionals worldwide with its services, tools and information.

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S1 Corp Q1 Revenues Drop 12 Y/Y

The S1 Corporation has reported its 1Q08 financials reflecting 749,064 preferred shares were issued and 56,748,906 common shares were issued. The net income from operating activities was $5,190,000, the Depreciation and amortization totaled $2,970,000 and net cash through operating activities totaled $ 4,794,000. Additional figures show revenue from software licenses posted $1,423,000, support and maintenance generated $ 3,723,000, operating income accounted for $4,115,000, while reconciliation to adjusted EBITDA depreciation and amortization posted $787,000 and $883,000, respectively.

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HPY to Acquire ADS’ Network Services

NJ-based Heartland Payment Systems will acquire the Network Services Business of Alliance Data Systems for $77.5 million in cash, which is among the 20 largest petroleum industry payment processors posting an annual bank card volume of $17 billion and an average of 600 million annual transactions. Heartland handled a total annual card volume of $51.9 billion in 2007 and believes the acquisition will be non-dilutive to earnings in 2008, which is expected to close within the next 30 days. Heartland Payment Systems provides payment card processing, payroll, check management and payment solutions to more than 165,000 businesses nationwide while Alliance Data’s Network provides payment processing solutions for a variety of industries.

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PaySimple Upgrades Small Biz Payment Solution

PaySimple has released PaySimple 2.0, its newest electronic payment solution for small businesses. Users have the ability to electronically collect payments via eCheck/ACH or credit card as well as pay their vendors via those channels in one user-friendly, convenient system. Payments can be made as one-time or scheduled recurring transactions, all at the merchant’s discretion and convenience. Schedules can be easily updated, multiple payment types can be used, and all communications with customers and vendors can be automated and customized. Small-business owners can use and benefit from the PaySimple Solution 2.0 even if they don’t have a website. With the enhanced PaySimple WebForms Module, even novice users can create securely hosted Web pages that their customers or donors can use to make payments for online purchases, pay their bills online, or even set themselves up on recurring billing. PaySimple 2.0 customers can insert customizable Payment Buttons into their websites that link to those customizable payment forms. This gives PaySimple 2.0 customers the ability to easily collect payments on their website with a page that can be configured to match the look and feel of the existing website without any .html experience.

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NFCC Finds that 10% Miss Mortgage Payments

Addressing American financial deficiencies and overall financial health, a recent survey has found 10 % of Americans with a mortgage have been late or missed a mortgage payment in the last year, 15 million have fallen behind on bills, decisively struggling, only 59% of those aged 18-29 pay bills on time every month and 20% of American adults maintain little-to-no track of personal finances, all demonstrating a need for national financial education. Additional findings show 33% have no retirement savings, only 10% of renters have renter’s insurance and 33% are ignorant to their credit score. The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) and MSN Money have released the findings of the survey, conducted over the phone by Princeton Survey Research Associates International between March 5th and March 15th, 2008 with 1,001 Americans, to appeal to those most at-risk.

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PAYEASE/CYBERSOURCE SOLUTIONS

eCommerce solutions are met with an impasse when attempting penetration
to the growing Chinese market given, rather than credit cards, most
consumers have Chinese debit cards provided through over 20 different
key banks across the country and is with what eCommerce brands and
merchant solutions need be integrated. Posing an issue for the consumers
and merchants alike, CyberSource and PayEase have collaborated to
address these challenges with cost-effective access to online payment
vehicles, support for the Chinese credit/debit cards and assistance to
foreign companies in navigating regulatory/licensing requirements. The
partnership also provides merchants with tax calculation for Chinese
value-added tax, recognition of the Chinese language character set and
the automation of acceptance/rejection of orders. CyberSource
Professional Services provides 228,000 businesses with its electronic
payment and risk management solutions while PayEase payment & loyalty
marketing
service provider supports over 65 different types of debit cards and 4
international credit cards.

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IDD-PAYPASS ELAN AWARD

ID Data Group plc (IDD) has been awarded the Elan Award for technical
achievement by the International Card Manufactures Association in
recognition for its development of MasterCard Paypass “Touch and Go”
payment technology. The Paypass technology was designed for use by other
MasterCard issuers contactless payment implementations for transactions
of less than GBP10. Furthermore, this is the 2nd Elan Award awarded to
ID Data over the past 3 years.

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