CardFlash Looks Back to August 2007

WI-based Fiserv agrees to acquire CheckFree in an all-cash transaction valued at about $4.4 billion. Shopko launches the “My Shopko extra savings Rewards Card” and the co-branded “my Shopko rewards VISA.” Contactless specialist ViVOtech picks up NCR as a new investor as it raised more than $22 million in its third round of funding. A new study from Demos find that 7% of white cardholders, 15% of African American and 13% of Latinos cardholders pay interest rates higher than 20%. Capital One inks deal to acquire prepaid card specialist NetSpend for $700 million in cash. Austin, TX-based Austin Ventures’ CreditCards.com, Inc. files a registration statement with the SEC for an IPO. The TJX Companies reports it took an after-tax cash charge of approximately $118 million for its recent computer intrusion events. Hypercom unveils a new version of its “PCI PED” certified “P1300 PIN Pad.” BankAtlantic becomes the first Florida bank to become an agent offering American Express business cards. Bank of America becomes the first “Official Bank of the NFL” in the U.S. and has introduced the “NFL Checking” program that includes “Check Cards” and checks designed specifically for the pro football fan. First Data’s “STAR Network” surcharge-free service hooks-up with the nation’s largest surcharge-free ATM network. Shell Oil Products US begins to implement VISA USA’s partial authorization policy for prepaid VISA cards. 7-Eleven, Elan Financial Services and InComm introduce the “Vanilla VISA Gift Card.”

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SVENSKA SPEL & SAMPORT

Svenska Spel gaming company and Samport Payment Services have
partnered to offer casino-goers a card payment solution. Moreover, with
this development, Svenska Spel can offer customers an Internet payment
option, a POS payment option and an anti-fraud solution for card
payment transactions. Experts with Svenska Spel see this partnership with
Samport as a necessity for their expanding business model and the need
to provide cost-efficient flexibility and responsiveness.

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NOVA and AmEx Sign a Merchant Agreement

Atlanta-based NOVA has inked a deal to sign up and service American Express merchants on behalf of AmEx. Under the terms of the agreement, NOVA will add American Express Card acceptance to the payment processing services offered to merchants and will provide processing, settlement, customer support and reporting to merchants for all major card brands. The program is also open to existing NOVA merchants that wish to now add American Express Card acceptance and use NOVA as their single point of contact. NOVA offers integrated payment processing services to more than 1,000,000 merchants worldwide.

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OCT DEBT

FSV Payments and MiCash have teamed to provide a prepaid debt
“card-to-cash” money transfer solution. With this solution, users pay a
flat fee, regardless of the remittance destination or transfer amount, and
are allowed to collect cash at any of the Bancomer Transfer Service
locations
around the world. The recipient can also opt to have the funds deposited
to an account of their choice and is given the option to establish a
list of
fund recipients. FSV Payment Systems provides stored-value and prepaid
debit solutions across various sectors and is headquartered in Houston,
Texas while MiCash provides financial services to the underserved
consumer-segment with remittance solutions and cards.

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Rewards Network Adds a Board Member

Rewards Network marketing services has appointed Mark R. Sotir to its Board of Directors. Sotir is also a Managing Director of Equity Group Investments, L.L.C. and has experience in upper level management with Coca-Cola, Minute Maid and Budget Auto Rental. Most recently, however, the new board member was CEO of Sunburst Technology Corporation, an educational software distributor. His advanced education includes a BA in Economics from Amherst College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Rewards Network is based in Chicago and provides frequent dining programs throughout North America for thousands of restaurants and more than 3 million members.

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CBA & NDP

In response to the recent NDP criticism of Canadian credit card interest
rates, the Canadian Bankers Association(CBA) holds that the NDP is
misunderstanding credit cards, which are useful to consumers whom
benefit from a competitive market of 550 issuers. Evidence supporting
CBA’s position reflects that 73% of Canadian consumers pay their
balance in full every month, revoking the need to pay any interest, with
the remaining consumers paying an average of no more than 15% interest.
The Canadian Bankers Association represents 54 Canadian banks,
representing 249,000 employees, which were collectively responsible for
3.57% of the 2006 GDP.

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J.C. Penney Computer Tape Goes Missing

Reportedly a computer tape containing information on approximately 650,000 customers of J.C. Penney and up to 100 other retailers has been lost. The Associated Press reports that the tape from GE Money was lost by Iron Mountain. The backup computer tape was discovered missing last October. The missing information includes Social Security numbers for about 150,000 people. According to the AP, GE Money is paying for 12 months of credit-monitoring service for customers whose SSNs were on the tape. Iron Mountain has more than 100,000 corporate clients throughout North America, Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Rim. Neither J.C. Penney or GE Money have issued statements on the breach.

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CardFlash Looks Back to September 2007

Chevron selects GE Money Bank to own and operate its Chevron and Texaco branded consumer credit cards and FleetCor Technologies Operating Company to own and operate its branded commercial credit cards. VISA has named Byron Pollitt, formerly a top executive at Gap and Walt Disney, as CFO designate of Visa Inc. New York City taxi drivers go on strike over new rules that require then to install credit card readers and GPS technology in their cabs by October 1st. MasterCard rolls-out two new spots in the NFL season opener that features tongue-in-cheek vignettes by Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. JCB and Union Bank of Taiwan launch the first card with “J/Speedy” in the world. Ceridian and hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management reached an agreement over a proxy fight. Houston-based Cardtronics files a registration for an IPO to raise up to $300 million. Target announces it is reviewing potential ownership alternatives for its $7 billion credit card portfolio. American Express inks a deal to sell its American Express Bank Ltd to Standard Chartered PLC for $1.1 billion. A six-month “Visa payWave” pilot is launched in Taiwan. Barclay’s introduces the “DIRECTV Rewards VISA.” Discover Network signs an integration deal with Chase Paymentech. Discover Financial Services signs an agreement with Wells Fargo Merchant Services to offer full-service processing for all Discover transactions through WFMS. MasterCard introduces a new savings program for “MasterCard BusinessCard” credit and signature debit cardholders. VISA expands its contactless program with a key fob payment device embedded with “VISA payWave.”

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CPI Acquires Didier Printing Company

CO-based CPI Card Group has acquired IN-based Didier Printing Company. This will allow CPI Card Group to expand the services offered to its customers with highly flexible and responsive customer card solutions. The combined business will have three state-of-the-art manufacturing sites (Colorado, Nevada and Indiana), and has the largest smart card production capacity in the industry. The executive management team from Didier — Jim Galliher, Gary Smythe, Bill Lynch and Andy Sappenfield — will remain with the company. CPI offers a single source for plastic cards.

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WaMu’s Q4 Credit Card Profits Slip 35%

Seattle-based Washington Mutual reported that fourth quarter net income for its Card Services unit decreased 35% from the year-ago quarter to $92 million. However, managed card outstandings were $27.2 billion as of December 31st, compared to $23.5 billion one-year ago. Net interest income continued to grow slightly to $694 million with the increase in managed receivable balances, but it was partially offset by a decline in yields that reflected the lower Prime rate and higher proportion of better credit quality, but lower-yielding retail accounts. WaMu also reported that Card Services opened 653,000 new credit card accounts, or 292,000 less than in the third quarter, reflecting the selective reduction in marketing activities as the company places more emphasis on its retail channel. WaMu’s Retail Bank customers accounted for 37% of the quarter’s credit card account production, compared with 32% in the third quarter and 28% a year ago. The issuer is also dealing with worsening credit trends as the 30+ day managed delinquency rate climbed to 6.47% for 4Q/07, compared to 5.73% in the prior quarter and 5.25% one-year ago. Net credit losses of 6.90% during the quarter were up from 3Q/07’s 6.37% and 4Q/06’s 5.84%. For complete details on WaMu’s latest performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

WaMu Net Income Track Record
4Q/06: $142.0 million
1Q/07: $256.0 million
2Q/07: $141.0 million
3Q/07: $ 66.0 million
4Q/07: $ 92.0 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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MC’s Roy Dunbar to Lead Network Solutions

Network Solutions has hired Roy Dunbar, current President of Global Technology and Operations for MasterCard, as its new CEO. Dunbar joined MasterCard Incorporated in September 2004 and led a significant number of employees driving technology that processed approximately 16 billion transactions, clearing $2 trillion per year and representing 73% of the company’s annual revenue in 2006. Previously, Dunbar was with Eli Lilly and Company for 14 years, serving as President, Intercontinental Region, and as CIO. Mr. Dunbar currently serves as a director of EDS Corporation Network Solutions provides Web hosting, web design, e-commerce software, search engine marketing, SSL certificates, e-mail services and domain name registration.

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FLYBE MASTERCARD

Flybe has reported that applications for its new “Spend & Fly” chip
and PIN credit card have shown impressive volumes, given the card’s
customer benefits. Among these benefits, customers are afforded the
‘spend once, fly free’ program, various offers on retail purchases and,
upon their first transaction, are awarded a free return flight through the
card’s “Rewards4all” frequent flyer program. Moreover, for every
GBP250 spent on the card, the card member is rewarded 1 point
toward their free flight, which requires a total of 16 points.

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