Online Banking Growth Softens Last Year

The growth in the number of online banking customers at the 10 most-visited online banks softened in 2007 compared to the previous year. The new study also found high customer satisfaction with banking relationships and receptivity to the use of new media tools — such as chats and widgets — to enhance the online banking experience. comScore’s research reveals that the number of customers who logged into a liquid deposit account (checking, savings, or money market account) at one or more of the top 10 online banks increased to 8.1% in the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to a 9.5% growth rate the prior year. The study also discovered that customers who have not enrolled in paperless statements, the top two reasons for not doing so were the desire to have a hard copy of the statement for record-keeping (46%) and the desire to have a paper bill as a reminder to make a payment (38%).

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KIVAB4B PROJECT

Advanta has partnered with CA-based Kiva to launch the “KivaB4B
Project”, which is a fund to support entrepreneurs in developing
countries. With this new partnership, businesses customers can
contribute to the fund in support of entrepreneurs of their choice when
using the “Advanta business credit card”, which the company will match,
dollar for dollar, up to $200 per month/per account. Kiva is focal on
providing entrepreneurs access to seed money, typically seeking less
than $1,000, with this innovative initiative. The Advanta credit card
issuer provides products and services to the small business market while
the Kiva.org person-to-person micro-lending website provides services in
50 countries to entrepreneurs in 39 developing countries with its 62
microfinance partners.

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Feb Consumer Spending Index Shows a Big Drop

Deloitte Research has released its monthly “Leading Index of Consumer Spending” reflecting rising U.S. unemployment, in conjunction with plummeting consumer confidence, with its overall score having dropped to 1.39% in February 2008 from 1.59% in January. Other highlights demonstrate the tax burden on consumers continues to rise slightly with inflation, unemployment is likely to be higher in March, food and energy costs undercut real wage growth significantly and home prices fell 11% for the month.

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EQUIFAX & GPCS

Equifax has acquired a 28% stake in Russian Global Payments Credit
Services LLC credit bureau (GPCS) affording it access to the Country’s
credit market. Through GPCS’ database of 20 million records
on over 14 million consumers in Russia, Equifax will have the option to
acquire up to 50% of the organization and has developed a renewed
interest in the country’s lending market. Moreover, this lending market
grew 75% in 2006 to a total volume of US$32.5 billion, of which retail
lending accounts for 8%. Equifax Inc. employs nearly 7,000 associates in
14 countries while Global Payments Inc provides electronic transaction
processing services to companies around the world.

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EnXnet Multi-Media Gift Card Expands

OK-based EnXnet has introduced new varieties of its ‘Multi-Media Gift Card.” Several retailers, purchasers, distributors and marketers requested variations of the gift card over the past 6 months. These variations have all been created, tested and are ready for delivery to market. While the gift card was ready for market some time ago, it was imperative to be able to supply all these different versions to the market and in sizable quantities.

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MASTERCARD INCONTROL

Building on its existing processing platform, MasterCard has partnered
with RBS to deploy its “inControl” payment platform. Combining
authorization controls and routing, “inControl” provides users with
real-time alerts, such as fraud warnings, and will be marketed as
“Approval to Buy” by RBS, mainly targeting corporate customers in the
UK. Features of the platform include capabilities to generate unique
purchasing card numbers, providing corporations with security for
purchases conducted through e-commerce, mail order and telephone, and
extension the of use to staff members lower than management. The Royal
Bank of Scotland Group operates in Europe, the US and Asia Pacific
serving over 36 million customers world-wide and employing more than
140,000 associates while MasterCard Europe is headquartered in Waterloo,
Belgium with operations in 51 European countries.

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DIGIPASS 905

VASCO Data Security Intl Inc has launched the “Digipass 905” eID card
reader targeting end users in retail. In targeting end users, consumers
are given the option to protect themselves from attempts at internet
fraud when conducting online transactions. Specifically, VASCO is
marketing the new smart card reader/writer to major online retail stores
in the UK and Belgium with plans for global expansion. By 2009, the
solution which can connect through the USB port and is interoperable
with pcs/smart card functionalities, will be commonplace for Belgian
consumers. VASCO provides its software security to a customer base of
nearly 6,500 companies in over 100 countries.

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CardinalCommerce & ipCapital Group Team

CardinalCommerce has partnered with ipCapital Group to strengthen its intellectual property assets as Cardinal continues to pursue patents. Through the partnership, ipCapital Group has assisted CardinalCommerce in assessing and strengthening its IP assets through the development of actionable IP strategies to improve the scope and breath of Cardinal’s patents. ipCapital Group has IP management expertise to identify market and business opportunities and advises Cardinal as to where its U.S. and international patents can be leveraged. ipCapital is also focused on creating valuable business opportunities to leverage CardinalCommerce’s additional patented technologies including the mobile commerce platform “Cardinal MAX” and the bank authentication platform, “2IDENTIFI”. CardinalCommerce enables authenticated payments, secure transactions and alternative payment brands for both eCommerce and mobile commerce.

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Online Banking Scores High in Satisfaction

ForeSee and Forbes.com have released research from its “2008 ForeSee Results/Forbes.com Online Financial Services Study.” The study demonstrates customers are much more satisfied with online banking than most other online financial services, scoring an 82 on ACSI’s 100-point scale. Other online services, including online credit card and investment services, reported an average volume of satisfied customers having both scored a 75. Additional statistics show online banking was up 12% from 2003 and scored a 78 on the same scale in 2007 while highly satisfied customers are 37% more likely to increase online transactions and 51% more likely to purchase more services.

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Feb Credit Card ABS Performance Deteriorates

Credit card performance among $445 billion of U.S. bank credit card loans backing securities deteriorated in three of five major metrics during February. The charge-off rate is now the highest it has been since December 2005 and the delinquency rate is the highest it has been since March 2004. According to Moody’s “Credit Card Credit Indices,” the February charge-off rate rose to 5.59%, up 24% from the rate a year ago, 4.51%. The February 2008 delinquency rate, which measures the proportion of account balances for which a monthly payment is more than 30 days late as a percent of total balances, rose to 4.53% from 3.89% a year ago. However, other performance metrics have remained relatively strong. In February, cardholders paid back, on average, 17.27% of their credit card debts — about 2.52% lower than last year’s February rate of 17.72%. Yield (the annualized percentage of income, primarily finance charges and fees, collected during the month as a percent of total loans) rose to 18.95% from 18.33% a year ago. The excess spread in February was 8.12%, up from 7.42% this time last year.

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Co-Branded Airline Cards Drive Revenue

NY-based Corporate Insight has reported co-branded airline cards generate the greatest amount of revenue in the credit card industry. Having studied 38 co-branded airline cards from six different issuers, the research organization found American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Chase, Citibank, and U.S. Bank have issued a total of 38 co-branded high fee airline cards in conjunction with 24 different airlines and 53% of the cards carry a yearly fee of $55 or higher. Additional findings show only one of the said cards offers a 0% APR and no-fee cards offer half the earnings rates of fee-based versions.

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RDM Introduces Simply Deposit Software

E-payment processor RDM has introduced “Simply Deposit” remote capture software for small businesses. “Simply Deposit” software solution that enables small businesses to easily deposit checks electronically without having to physically go to the bank. The product was specifically designed and developed for the needs of small businesses and is simple, intuitive and easy to use with little or no training required. RDM is a leading provider of specialized software and hardware products for electronic payment processing.

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