Barclays U.S. Taps Firstsource Solutions

Firstsource Solutions has signed a deal to manage a Barclays operations center in Colorado Springs. Barclays opened the operations center in 2005 to primarily handle customer-service calls for its U.S. credit card business. Firstsource, headquartered in India, will oversee day-to-day operations at the center. The call center currently handles approximately 15,000 inbound calls each day and employs a total of about 370 people. The operations center also provides collections and fraud-prevention services. Firstsource employs more than 2,400 people in the U.S. and is seeking to expand its U.S. operations.

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AMERICAN BANKNOTE & INTERPRINT

According to American Banknote, regarding recent discussions over the
acquisition of Interprint, the company has signed an agreement with the
Bonnier Group. With this contract, American Banknote has made
agreements concerning the takeover of Interprint Ltda. subsidiaries,
which include Tecnoformas Industria Grafica Ltda. and 50% of Incard
do Brasil Ltda. This transaction, however, does not include Interprint
in Intelcav Cartoes Ltda.

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Check Image Volume Soars in January

The Clearing House Payments Company reported that the SVPCO Image Payments Network processed 353 million check images in January, a 150% increase compared to a year ago. Dollar value was $587 billion in January, an 85% increase compared to a year ago. In January 2007, monthly items totaled 141 million and monthly dollar volume was $316 billion. The Clearing House clears and settles more than 40 million check and electronic payments with a value of $2.4 trillion each day for financial institutions in the U.S. and around the world.

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PIC CREDIT RISK MANAGEMENT

PIC Solutions Credit Risk Management has introduced its credit
bureau score consulting service in Bahrain, allowing lenders to
make more informed decisions regarding credit lending. The
information reflected in the score service has basis on past consumer
payment practice, which is proven predictive of future payment
performance, to more accurately determine decision-making.
Existing credit bureaus, such as the Benefit Company Credit Bureau,
benefit from the use of PIC Solutions with experts on staff whom
have experience in the industry. PIC Solutions provides services to
over 150 companies in more than 25 countries, focal on performance
and profitability enhancement.

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Discretionary Spending Declines in Jan

According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales for January rose 2.0% unadjusted over last year and 0.1% seasonally adjusted from December. January retail sales released by the U.S. Commerce Department show total retail sales increased 0.3% seasonally adjusted from last month and 4.6% unadjusted year-over-year. The NRF says that the January numbers are indicative of the issues consumers are facing, including the housing slump, a sluggish employment sector and high energy prices. Marginal improvement is expected in the second half of the year once consumers begin to receive their rebate checks.

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QUEBEC STOLEN DATA

Bell Corporate Security, in conjunction with the Montreal, Quebec Police
Department, has recovered the stolen data on 3.4 million of its customers.
The stolen data contains customer information including names, addresses,
telephone numbers, of which approximately 5% are unpublished
numbers, and Bell services. Following the search of 2 suspicious locations,
the Montreal Police have arrested a suspect found in possession of the data
and have filed pending charges. Bell Communications Company
provides solutions such as telephone, wireless communications, high-speed
Internet, digital television and voice over IP services to consumers across
Canada.

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BSG Releases its Card Identification System

San Antonio-based BSG Clearing Solutions has released its “Card Identification System” for card-not-present merchants. The new Card Identification System combines the identification of the specific card type and card class with usage data and heuristics to accurately identify prepaid / gift cards and track purchase attempts to reduce fraud. Additionally, BSG’s Card Identification System gives CNP merchants other advantages by providing them with information about a customer’s purchasing behavior to enable them to make informed business decisions and optimize marketing. BSG Clearing Solutions is a provider of advanced payment services for digital media, communications providers and eCommerce merchants.

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NLYTE

HBOS has finalized contracts with Global DataCenter Management
(GDCM), providing that the Data Center will manage the Bank’s data
using its “nlyte” solution. This solution will be implemented in HBOS
data centers to afford management the capacity to handle environmental
changes without increasing workloads or costs and provide a more
thorough understanding of data center assets. The “nlyte” management
tool provides companies with hardware, capacity and power
management for maximum efficiency and better allocation of assets.

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PayPass via ePort Tops 17K Vending Machines

Contactless payment for vending machines, driven by MasterCard and USA Technologies, has topped 17,500 machines in the U.S. More than 4,000 new locations in seventeen states were just added that offer the “MasterCard PayPass” payment option via USA Technologies’ “ePort” solution. Among those who have decided to add or further expand “ePort” cashless technology to their fleets of vending machines are Ace Vending, Canteen Vending Services, Continental Vending, Continental Services, Custom Foods, Evergreen Vending, Fantasy Entertainment, McLiff Vending, Mid-Atlantic Vending, Peachtree Vending, Proformance Vending, Sanese Vending and Coca-Cola Enterprises, who have equipped an additional 2,450 vending machines to accept credit and debit cards through the ePort services. At the end of 2007, there were more than 23 million “MasterCard PayPass” cards and devices in use at over 95,000 merchants worldwide.

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Citi to Become LiveNation’s Official Card

Citi has made a strategic investment into Los Angeles-based Live Nation, the most comprehensive concert search engine on the Web. In return, Citi’s has become Live Nation’s “official credit card partner”. Citi’s recently expanded “Private Pass” program will offer an array of Live Nation benefits such as presale and preferred tickets, box seats at select venues, premium seats, exclusive merchandise and a variety of VIP experiences. Live Nation has assembled a vertically integrated live music platform that provides our corporate partners comprehensive access to over 10,000 events and more than 36 million avid fans. Citi will also receive other opportunities to participate in future initiatives, such as venue naming rights, tie-ins with Live Nation’s new ticketing operation and benefit access for other Citi customers. It is anticipated that Citi’s brand messaging and logo will be integrated into online and offline initiatives as well as in signage, direct mail campaigns, and LiveNation.com.

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TU and Edgar Dunn Introduce Revolver Model

TransUnion and Edgar, Dunn & Company have introduced their second scoring model to identify predictive credit behavior characteristics using survey-based data. The “Revolver Model” is based on data from the “PaymentDynamics 2007 Preferred Payments Study.” The “Revolver Model” joins the “Payment Preference Model” as part of the “PaymentDynamics Suite” which was introduced in July 2007. The suite is designed to allow retail banks, financial services companies, credit card issuers, and card associations to maximize and prioritize direct product offer strategies across the full payment spectrum of cash, check, debit cards and credit cards.

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CITI, IFC & BRAC

The IFC has joined Citi’s lead, having signed $22 million financing
agreements, including a US$ 18 million partial credit guarantee from
IFC, to support BRAC microlending of Bangladesh. Citi began
financing for the organization in 2007 and is providing US$42 million
in BDT this year. Citi and BRAC have partnered in the past to launch
a local currency securitization of microcredit receivables in 2006 and
a remittance distribution arrangement in 2007. BRAC’s microfinance
services targets consumer populations in over 40,000 Bangladesh
villages, employs more than 100,000 and has provided assistance
in many developing and 3rd-world countries. The IFC has committed
$8.2 billion, financing for 299 investments in 69 developing countries
and has provided advisory services in 97 countries while Citi has over
200 million customer accounts across nealry 100 countries.

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