First Data Unveils the FD50 POS Terminal

First Data has introduced an affordable POS terminal featuring solid design and construction, easy operation and state-of-the-art security. The new “FD50” features touch-screen technology, five USB ports, 64 megabytes of memory, and is off-the-shelf multi-language capable. It is the latest addition to the expanding First Data proprietary terminal line, which already includes the “FD100.” The “FD50” terminal supports both dial-up and IP communications. With the addition of optional peripheral equipment, the “FD50” terminal can also accept contactless payments, and checks using TeleCheck ECA or paper solutions.

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Higher One Set to Acquire EduCard

CT-based Higher One has signed acquisition agreements to takeover EduCard from its affiliate, CA-based Evisions. Using “Intellecheck” technology, EduCard provides users with paperless payment solutions through the “Intellecard” stored value card and with this acquisition provides “Intellecheck” clients with greater convenience and faster refund payment transfers directly to Higher One disbursement management. Higher One has managed disbursements of over $4 billion in refunds, currently serving 5% of all college students in the United States, while Evisions Software Developer provides 900 Higher Education Institutions with its products and services.

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Moneris Teams with Infonox for TranSending

IL-based Moneris Solutions has partnered with Infonox for the implementation of the Internet-based “TranSending” automated merchant acquiring solution. Ultimately to provide savings costs and efficiency, Moneris will be deploying the Infonox solution to automate sales management, back office functionality, merchant reporting solutions and to manage/organize sales leads, online merchant application submission, underwriting, service agreements and profitability analysis. “TranSending” also provides Moneris customers with a portal in which to access a document library, help center and customized report for statistical trends and transaction details. Infonox “TranSending” platform provides businesses with complete automation while Moneris credit and debit card processor has assets of over $700 billion, serves more than 350,000 North American merchant locations and has a staff of over 1,100 employees.

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VIDEOGUARD & PAY-TV

Premier has deployed “VideoGuard” NDS content protection technology
to secure its “Pay-TV” satellite platform for 2Q08. With this development,
Premiere and NDS will migrate operations to protect 82.7 million
“VideoGuard” devices around the world. In doing so, the smart cards
currently deployed will be replaced by the said software using Premier’s
“Simulcrypt” technology and NDS’ “MediaHighway” middleware. NDS
middleware of this nature has been deployed in over 76.4 million devices
worldwide. Premiere serves 11 million viewers in about 4.2 million
households
while NDS end-to-end digital technology is available on digital
pay-television
platforms.

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U.S. Bank Credit Card Charge-Offs Approach 4%

U.S. Bancorp reported that its first quarter merchant acquiring volume grew more than 12% over 1Q/07 to $64.9 billion, produced from 846,108 merchants. Average credit card loans were up more than 4% year-on-year to $11.0 billion. However, credit card charge-offs rose to 3.93% from 3.29% in the fourth quarter and 3.48% one-year ago. Payment Services contributed $289 million of the Company’s net income in the first quarter, a 25.1% increase over the same period of 2007 and a 9.4%t decrease from the fourth quarter. Net interest income increased due to strong growth in higher yielding credit card balances and the timing of asset repricing in a declining rate environment. U.S. Bank says the decrease in Payment Services’ contribution in the first quarter was due to seasonally lower fee-based revenues and an increase in the provision for credit losses due to portfolio growth and changing economic conditions. Total net revenue was lower due to a 6.9% decrease in total noninterest income, partially offset by a 10.0% increase in net interest income in this declining rate environment. Merchant processing services also declined on a linked quarter basis due to seasonally lower transaction volumes and the impact of the mix of business on interchange rates. For complete details on U.S. Bancorp’s 1Q/08 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

MERCHANT ACQUIRING VOLUME HISTORICAL
1Q/06: $49,222,000,000
2Q/06: $56,056,000,000
3Q/06: $56,411,000,000
4Q/06: $56,007,000,000
1Q/07: $57,839,000,000
2Q/07: $62,853,000,000
3Q/07: $63,882,000,000
4Q/07: $62,382,000,000
1Q/08: $64,853,000,000
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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WU & ABSA

Western Union and the Absa Group have signed agreements to provide
WU’s “Money Transfer Service” for inbound/outbound monetary transfers
at Absa branches throughout South Africa in time for 2H08. The agreement
taps the South African remittance market valued at approximately $735
million inbound and $1 billion outbound transfers for 2006. WU global
money transfer services provides money remittance through a network of
over 335,000 Agent locations in 200 countries while The Absa Group
Limited (Absa) financial services group has a market capitalisation of R75
billion, assets of R641 billion, 892 points of presence, 9 million
customers,
7,687 ATMs and 36,893 employees.

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I-SERIES TERMINALS

First Data has awarded Ingenico “i-Series” transaction terminals, which
includes its “i5100,” “i7780” and “i3010” PIN pads, with its “Class A”
certification. The final certification will be complete before the end
of 2008 and allows Ingenico to promote its products through the First
Data channels. First Data also offers its “Class B+” certification,
currently available for certain channels. First Data Corp provides
electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses worldwide
through its operations in 37 countries, over 5.4 million merchant
locations and 2,000 card issuers.

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I6550 TOUCH SCREEN PAYMENT

For its “i6550 touch screen” signature capture payment solution,
Ingenico has been awarded Global Payments “Class A certification”. The
“i6550” contactless transaction terminal accepts magnetic stripe, smart
card and contactless card transactions and, with this certification, is
afforded access to greater sales channels with POS products and
features. Ingenico prides its new terminal on its signature
capture technology and monochrome screen technology while Global
Payments provides electronic transaction processing services for
consumers, merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial
institutions, government agencies, multi-national corporations and
gaming establishments located throughout the world.

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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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