POS Market Revenues to Top $1B This Year

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that the POS market earned revenues of $951.6 million in 2Q/07 and estimates this to reach $1.02 billion by 1Q/08. The handheld market earned revenues of $150.6 million in 2Q/07 and estimates this to reach $165.2 millions by 1Q/08. With increasing competition, more retailers focus on information technology to provide a competitive edge. Over time, POS systems have evolved into multifunctional advanced systems. The latest trend has been technology vendors in POS, handheld terminals and tablet PCs focussing on providing multifunctional device architectures capable of forward and backward integration into the retail value chain. By leveraging on newer RFID, smart cards and Wi-Fi technologies, these vendors are partnering with retailers to address complexities in customer, profitability, and operational challenges. This partnership approach between retailer and solution vendor will provide the much needed growth driver over the long term.

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Shoppers Charge Accounts Names a President

TD Banknorth’s subsidiary Shoppers Charge Accounts has hired Marc G. Sczesnak , previously with Federated Department Stores, as its new president. At Federated, he served as senior vice president- marketing and media services, where he spearheaded efforts to convert over 50 million cardholder accounts to the Macy’s brand and concentrated on the company’s gift card business. Previously, he served as vice president-credit card products at Sears, where he was responsible for launching the Sears Gold MasterCard – the largest gold card credit program in the country. Sczesnak earned an MBA and an undergraduate degree from Fordham University. Shoppers Charge Accounts Co. (SCA) ranks among the nation’s largest private label credit card companies, launches and administers new credit card portfolios for brick-and-mortar, internet and catalog merchants, and acquires retailers’ existing credit card portfolios.

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PETRONAS CREDIT CARD

Petronas has teamed with CIMB & Maybank banks to issue a Mastercard
credit card and VISA credit card, respectively, in response to a recent card
transaction growth of nearly 12-15 %, nationwide. Both cards charge no fees
and require no minimum spending. However, the “Petronas CIMB MasterCard”
is targeting 150,000 cardholders over the next 3 years, will be offered
in classic,
gold and platinum editions while the “Petronas Maybankard Visa” will be
provided in gold and platinum card editions and hopes to attract
100,000 cardholders over the next year.

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Sub-Prime Credit Card Yields Sink Sharply

Charge-offs among sub-prime asset-backed credit card portfolios declined 42 basis points to 8.30% in December from the prior month. At the same time delinquency (60+ days) decreased two basis points to 4.88% in December from November. According to Fitch Ratings, the monthly payment rate decreased 119 basis points to 9.44% in December from 10.63% in November. Although the “MPR” was 34 basis points below year-ago levels, it has remained consistent with historical levels. However, gross yield decreased a sharp 257 basis points to 23.71% in December from 26.28% in November. Aside from the decline last month, yield has remained robust in recent months. Despite the sharp decline in yield, December excess spread was 8.02%, three basis points above the November excess spread of 7.98%. Additionally, excess spread was 297 basis points below year-ago levels.

SUB-PRIME METRICS
DELINQUENCY CHARGE-OFFS
Jul 07: 4.66% 8.85%
Aug 07: 4.82% 8.55%
Sep 07: 4.55% 8.58%
Oct 07: 4.86% 8.04%
Nov 07: 4.90% 8.72%
Dec 07: 4.88% 8.30%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Consumer Bankruptcy Filings Retreat in Dec

Consumer bankruptcy filings in December dipped to 66,000 compared to 77,000 in the prior month. Chapter 13 filings made up about 45% of all consumer cases in December, down slightly from last month. According to data provided by the National Bankruptcy Research Center and Lindquist Consulting, consumer bankruptcies hit 66,400 in December compared to 69,000 in September and 61,000 in March. Cumulatively, the 2007 bankruptcy filings totaled 802,000, a 40.5% increase from 2006.

CONSUMER FILINGS
Mar 07: 61,000
Apr 07: 62,000
May 07: 70,000
Jun 07: 69,000
Jul 07: 64,000
Aug 07: 75,000
Sep 07: 69,000
Oct 07: 72,000
Nov 07: 77,000
Dec 07: 66,000
Source: National Bankruptcy Research Center/Lindquist Consulting

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ALCB EXEC

Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank (ALCB) has named John Schratz
as director of sales and marketing. Joining the company with 20 year’s
experience, having worked with Egg Plc and HSBC Holdings Plc, Schratz
has been welcomed aboard as a sales leader to contribute to the Bank’s
intentions of further developing its prepaid card business. His addition to
the banks sales and marketing team comes at a time the prepaid cards
business is set to takeoff, with 110% growth in units issued for
circulation
across Europe for each of the next 4 years and 2.3 billion transactions by
2010.

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SAS to Power HBOS Card Fraud Protection

HBOS has entered into a seven year agreement with enterprise intelligence software solution provider SAS to develop fraud protection for HBOS cardholders. “SAS Fraud Management” will be used to protect the millions of active HBOS debit cards from fraudulent transactions. SAS’ fraud solution will enable HBOS to uncover fraudulent transactions faster, earlier and more accurately. It will examine each and every HBOS debit and ATM card transaction in real-time, checking it against any possible changes in customer behavior to make a decision as to whether or not to proceed with the transaction. The SAS fraud solution provides the option for HBOS to extend its use to cover other types of transactional fraud which may affect HBOS’ customers, including banking and credit card fraud.

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FUNDSTECH

FundsTech Co has signed a Letter of Intent to provide credit card
processing, debit card processing and other various infrastructure
components with an unspecified Central African financial institution.
These services’ ‘various’ components are to include payroll cards,
money transfers and micro lending and will subsequently be made
available to nearly 45 million consumers. FundsTech Corp financial
services provides prepaid debit cards to the over 1 Billion working
population worldwide who do not have a bank account.

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Monitise Americas/NYCE Expands Further

Monitise Americas has signed five additional financial institutions with NYCE Payments Network to provide mobile services to their customers and members. These new agreements bring the total number to 20 financial institutions that have chosen the Monitise Americas solution for their mobile needs. The signing of these agreements comes on the heels of 10 financial institutions that were announced earlier in January. The most recent institutions to offer mobile banking and payment services from Monitise Americas and NYCE include: Commerce Bank of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.; Forest Park National Bank & Trust Co., Forest Park, IL.; Industrial Credit Union, Boston; Patriot State Bank, Fuquay-Varina, N.C.; and Wedbush Bank, Los Angeles.

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TransUnion Names a New CFO

TransUnion has appointed Samuel Allen Hamood, previously with EDS, to CFO. Hamood comes to TransUnion from Electronic Data Systems (EDS), where he was the corporate vice president and CFO for its U.S. Operations. Prior to his CFO role, he was responsible for investor relations, oversaw strategic planning and business development opportunities for EDS. From 1995 through 2001, Hamood worked in various leadership positions within finance for the Walt Disney Company. He started his career in Chicago with Deloitte & Touche, LLP. Hamood graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Iowa and a jurist doctorate from Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles.

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ING & MASTERCARD

ING Payments has made public its intentions to partner with
MasterCard Worldwide for the provision of increased customer control
and convenience with Mobile Payment applications. This will provide
debit or credit card functionality with NFC technology over the user’s
mobile phone. For transactions of less than a given amount, users need
not provide a signature for transaction completion. ING and MasterCard
Worldwide will be partnering with Collis, Venyon, Toro and LogicaCMG
for the development of the mobile phone NFC solution.

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