PET SUBSTRATE

KSW Microtec has launched “PET substrate”, a contactless card inlay in
sheet format which can be directly laminated into PVC layers, affording
card manufacturers more options. The Company’s RFID inlays are attached
using palladium bump technology and are available in various colors and
formats. The inlays also provide contactless credit card manufacturers with
UHF RFID for conversion into UHF PVC cards. KSW Microtec AG
operates out of Germany, supplying Radio Frequency Identification
components for applications around the world through its employee base
of 60.

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SAINSBURY’S FINANCE

Sainsbury’s Finance has extended its interest-free balance transfer period,
originally a 10-month period, to 12 months for its credit card. The
Sainsbury’s Finance Credit Card has no annual fee, applies a 0% interest
on purchases for the first year, followed by a standard 15.4% APR, charges
a 3% fee on balance transfers and awards cardholders under the “Nectar”
points system. “Nectar” awards users for in-store and online purchases at
both Sainsbury’s and other retailers with 4 points for every 1GBP spent
and 2 points for every 1GBP spent, respectively.

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OFT & BAR

For its practice under OFT’s Consumer Codes Approval Scheme (CCAS),
the British Association of Removers (BAR) has secured OFT approval.
With this approval, BAR has met standards for safeguarding consumer
interests beyond the basic requirements of the law and can now provide
consumer financial protection of up to 150% cashback if a BAR member
were to cancel at short notice or cease trade on an obligation and
consumers are afforded an independent disciplinary panel to ensure code
is complied and enforced. The BAR is a trade association for professional
removal and storage businesses with more 650 members in the UK.

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JCB & CASSIS

JCB and CASSIS International will be collaborating
to test NFC over-the-air(OTA) services for NFC mobile phone
contactless payments. ABI Research projects that up to 20% of all
global mobile handsets will come with NFC capability by 2012 and,
regarding the aforementioned partnership, JCB and CASSIS will test
NFC in the application/security, creation of security domain, EMV data
processing and customer service arenas. Moreover, this collaboration
will allow customers to receive JCB information using NFC applications
around the world with CASSIS NFC commercial management, which
provides end-to-end security solutions to its clients. JCB has a merchant
network of 13.53 million across 190 countries, 58.08 million cardmembers
in 19 countries and alliances with over 350 financial institutions.

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ABS 4Q/07

Charge-offs amongst credit card-backed bonds in the U.K. retreated for the third consecutive quarter, after peaking in the first quarter of 2007. For the fourth quarter charge-offs dropped 30 basis points to 6.3%, representing a 17-month low. Charge-offs for the first quarter hit 7.8% before dropping to 7.3% in the second quarter. Delinquencies, among asset-backed credit card securities, remained flat in the fourth quarter at 3.4%. According to FitchRatings, the average quarterly “Monthly Payment Rate Index” value was 17.8% in 4Q/07, an increase of 30 basis points from the 3Q/07 value. In December 2007, the Fitch MRPI was 16.6%, a drop of 130 basis points from November and the lowest value for the quarter. In a similar trend to the previous quarter, the Fitch MRPI increased at the start of the quarter, to 18.8% in October from 16.2% in September, and then declined gradually over the quarter. This trend of a decline in the MPRI from October to December was in line with seasonal expectations, as consumers spent more and paid off less on their cards in the run-up to Christmas. In December, the Fitch “Yield Index” declined to 19.1% from 19.9% the previous month. This followed a fall of 80 basis points from October to November 2007, bringing the average quarterly Fitch YI value to 19.9% in 4Q/07, a 10 basis points increase from the previous quarter value of 19.8%.

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Obopay Integrates IDology’s Solution

Age verification solution provider IDology has integrated its authentication solution “ExpectID” with Obopay mobile payments. When consumers sign up for Obopay, their identity will be verified using IDology’s ExpectID product suite including its ExpectID IQ solution which uses dynamic, multiple choice questions to determine an individual is who they claim to be online. IDology’s services are not based on credit data, consumers are not asked intrusive questions or ones that are easy to answer when, for example, a wallet or piece of postal mail is stolen. Obopay lets consumers and businesses purchase, pay, and transfer money through any mobile phone using Obopay’s mobile application, text message, mobile Web, widget, or Obopay.com. IDology provides real-time technology proofing solutions that verify an individual’s age and identity while maintaining consumer privacy and building trust through the responsible use of data.

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I AM SMART CARD

e-Smart Technologies and IVI Smart Technologies have launched the
“I AM” Super Smart Card for Hansun Information Systems. With the
“I AM” card, Hansun will provide sales and management services for credit
card and EFT-POS terminal monitoring. Moreover, the new card and
“Super Smart Card” system provide an on-card sensor for biometric ID
verification across various sectors, including government, healthcare and
corporate security.

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COF Intros Preferred No Hassles Miles Card

Capital One has launched the “Preferred No Hassles Miles” card offering small business owners double rewards for travel and entertainment purchases. Cardholders earn two miles per dollar on all travel and entertainment purchases made with airlines, restaurants hotels, bowling alleys, buses/charters, car rentals, cruise lines, movie theatres, passenger railways, taxicabs/limousines, timeshares, travel agents, and video rental stores. This broadened definition of the travel and entertainment category, which has traditionally been limited to airline and restaurant transactions, coupled with Capital One’s no foreign transaction fee policy, makes this card ideal for business owners looking for more flexibility in earning rewards on their travel and entertainment purchases. Additionally, customers will earn one mile per dollar for all other purchases. Miles can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, merchandise, and even cash that can be put back into their business.

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OSCA AWARDS

The Smart Card Alliance is currently accepting nominations for its
“Outstanding Smart Card Achievement” (OSCA) awards, which will
be presented at the SourceMedia CTST 2008 in May 2008 at the
Orange County Convention Center West of Orlando, Florida.
Categories for the OSCA Awards include “Outstanding Issuing
Organization”, “Outstanding Supplier Organization” and “Outstanding
Individual Leadership” for which 3 finalists will be chosen in each
category. These finalists are to be judged by North American smart
card industry suppliers, end-users and individuals against such criteria
as the nominee’s merits and qualifications. The Smart Card Alliance
association is focal on stimulating the understanding, adoption and use of
smart card technology in the U.S.and Latin America while previous
OSCA Awards recipients include such organizations as The U.S.
Department of State, Gemalto and the Defense Manpower Data
Center.

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Archway Gift Cards Tops 220MM in 07

Fulfillment provider Archway Marketing Services surpassed its gift card forecast and shipped 220 million cards in 2007, doubling 2006 gift card distribution numbers. Archway predicts gift card shipping to continue to grow exponentially and is preparing to ship nearly 350 million gift cards this year. Archway is an end-to-end gift card solution provider, offering procurement, fulfillment, and inventory management, as well as serial number tracking, forecasting, automatic replenishment and online reporting for gift card programs.

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PAYSAFECARD.COM CEO

paysafecard.com has appointed David Hunter
to CEO, given his experience in electronic commerce. Hunter has joined
paysafecard.com Ltd from ClickandBuy as a Managing Director, for which
he contributed to the organization’s transformation from that of a
micropayments
service to an online wallet service, succeeding his roles in
management
for BT’s ePayments and “BT Accurate” divisions. His experience with BT
were fundamental to David’s reputation as an eMoney industry expert.
paysafecard is available to consumers in 10 countries across Europe who
want the same convenience as credit and debit cards without the same
level of
risk. The paysafecard user is required to enter a PIN code to authorize
payments using their card, which are available in increments of GBP10,
GBP25, GBP50 and GBP75 at over 18,000 locations throughout the UK.

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Experian Sues LifeLock Over Fraud Alerts

Experian has filed suit against LifeLock for allegedly placing fraud alerts illegally on credit files maintained by Experian. The suit also alleges that LifeLock is engaging in deceptive and fraudulent behavior by adding hundreds of thousands of fraud alerts every 90 days to Experian’s consumer credit database in a manner that was not intended by Congress when it implemented the federal FCRA. The complaint alleges that corporations are specifically prohibited from adding fraud alerts to consumer credit files and that LifeLock’s service uses consumers’ free yearly allocation of credit reports without adequate disclosure. Experian says LifeLock’s activities constitute false and misleading advertising and fraud. The complaint alleges that the long-term effects of LifeLock adding four alerts per year for its 600,000 members to Experian’s database will degrade the effectiveness of legitimate fraud alerts over time.

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