CLEAR2PAY CAPITAL

Clear2Pay has announced that it has received EUR10 million in capital
from its current investors, led by Iris Capital. Reasons behind this influx
of investment capital include a bright outlook on financial software
solutions, investors’ positive impression of Clear2Pay’s growth strategy,
which is composed of targeted acquisition and integration, investor
support for expansion in China and the development of the Company’s
Open Payment Framework. Clear2Pay financial technology company
is headquartered in Belgium, employing 340, and provides payments
services for financial organizations on e-commerce, remittance and retail
platforms.

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mPoria Introduces GoLo Shopping Service

WA-based mPoria mobile commerce has launched its “GoLo” mobile shopping service to provide consumers with discounts on hard-to-find merchandise with the application of a unique method. The “GoLo” method offers consumers merchandise at a price that drops every few seconds until it either sells out or the price reaches $0. The new service serves as a portal for over 100 merchants and provides consumers with free registration from their mobile phone browser. Upon registration, consumers can monitor current featured items, a schedule of upcoming products and are allowed to make purchases using credit card, debit card or PayPal.

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CAPITAL ONE CONSUMER SURVEY

A newly released Capital One consumer survey shows that, among the 41%
whom decided not to make a New Year’s resolution, 74% see more
importance in a balanced personal budget over a balanced diet. Among the
Canadians who did decide to make a resolution, 19% make resolutions in
physical fitness while 11% are trying to improve their financial shape,
with
71% having met holiday ’07 budgets. Additionally, 25% Canadians are
unaware of their credit card interest rates, while 58% are unaware of
various
low-interest options available to them.

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Keynote Identifies Top Holiday 2007 E-Tailers

A Web traffic service has found that Cabelas, a sporting goods retailer, Barnes and Noble and Best Buy had the retail industry’s best reliability over the holiday season, an indication their sites were highly available and experienced little or no downtime over the 30 day study period. According to Keynote, Victoria’s Secret, Circuit City and Cabelas had the industry’s best site responsiveness over the holiday season, an indication of how fast those sites were in downloading pages and completing transactions for consumers. Cabelas and Best Buy had the industry’s best overall service levels over the holiday season, ranking highly in terms of both site reliability and site responsiveness. Keynote also found that some of the leading retail sites showed up to 400% slow-downs during peak shopping days, a rate at which Keynote experts caution leads to consumer abandonment of a product search or check-out. On average, retailers experienced 5% to 10% slow-downs during peak holiday shopping periods, which would not significantly impact the consumer’s online experience or impede check-out.

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Consumer Banks Must Lead Mobile Banking Market

A new report has found that mobile banking deployments will develop significantly over the next five years. However, TowerGroup finds that the most critical driver for the successful evolution of mobile banking and payments will be the ability of financial institutions and mobile operators to balance ease of use with security. TowerGroup says banks must also be wary of mobile operators that wish to control the emerging mobile payments space and profit from the anticipated high volume of mobile transactions. Although the mobile operators deserve their fair share of mobile banking and payments revenues, TowerGroup believes that consumer banks — with deep expertise in payments processing and maintaining trusted consumer relationships — must be the central player in this burgeoning market.

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Loss Provisions & Reward Costs Impact AmEx Q4

American Express reported that its U.S. Card Services division posted a fourth quarter net income of $7 million, compared to $473 million for 4Q/06 due to higher loan loss provisions and increased expense related to “Membership Rewards.” U.S. gross dollar volume rose 11% and the AmEx cardbase expanded by 6% during the fourth quarter, compared to the quarter one year-ago. Total net revenues for the fourth quarter increased 14% to $4.38 billion. Total U.S. card loans rose 29% to $43.3 billion. Delinquency on U.S. card loans (30+ days) rose to 3.5% versus 3.1% in the prior quarter and 2.7% for 4Q/06. Charge-offs on total U.S. card loans rose to 4.3%, compared to 3.7% for 3Q/07 and 3.5% for 4Q/06. Card volume in the U.S. hit $123.0 billion, up 11% from the year-ago quarter. The total number of domestic cards-in-force grew to 52.3 million cards, compared to 48.1 million for 4Q/06. For complete details on American Express’ third quarter results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

American Express U.S. Card Portfolio Snapshot
4Q/07 3Q/07 2Q/07 1Q/07 4Q/06
Volume $123.0B 115.2 115.7 105.4 109.7
Cards 52.3mm 51.7 50.5 49.3 48.1
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Consumer Confidence Dec Rebound is Short-Lived

The modest improvement in consumer confidence last month was short-lived as consumers’ appraisal of current business conditions is slightly less negative than in December, is more negative than a year ago. The “Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index,” which had improved moderately in December, gave back the gain in January. The Index now stands at 87.9, down from 90.6 in December. The “Expectations Index” declined to 69.6 from 75.8. The “Present Situation Index,” however, increased to 115.3 from 112.9 in December.

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Mobile Payments Gain Consumer Popularity

A new study sponsored by PSCU Financial Services, and conducted by Hitachi’s Dove Consulting, found that nearly two-thirds of study participants chose mobile banking and 30% chose mobile payment at the point-of-sale. Only a handful indicated they were excited about mobile person-to-person payments. Convenience is the most compelling feature of both mobile banking and mobile payment at the point-of-sale. Participants cited the ability to perform banking functions, such as check balances and pay bills, from anywhere without the need of a computer as the major convenience of mobile banking, and the prospect of no longer carrying a wallet as the major convenience of mobile payment at the point-of-sale. Conversely, participants indicated security and fraud were their main concerns regarding these mobile applications, wondering what would happen if their mobile devices were lost or stolen.

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BECU Expands with NCR’s SelfServ ATMs

WA-Based BECU Credit Union has purchased 50 of NCR’s “SelfServ” ATMs to provide customers with “No Envelope” deposit technology and for the implementation of NCR’s ATM “APTRA Edge” remote management solution, “Gasper Vantage”. The “Gasper Vantage” solution will be used to manage the Credit Union’s entire ATM network. NCR has designed “SelfServ” to provide users with convenience technology using image-based “Intelligent Deposit”. Over 4,700 NCR ATMs are deployed across North America and 30,000 are deployed worldwide while BECU provides membership to all Washington residents, has over 525,000 members and assets of more than $7.9 billion.

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NetWinner Selects Ecount for Rewards

NetWinner game site has chosen to implement Citi’s “Ecount” for reward fulfillment. “Ecount” will provide proprietary prepaid technology for convenient rewards in cash, delivered on a prepaid card, and is expected to increase customer acquisition. This has proven successful with 75% of redemptions recorded for the “NetWinner Prepaid MasterCard”, which is accepted anywhere MasterCard is, and can be continuously re-loaded with every additional reward.

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