Green Dot Names a New Technology Chief

Pre-paid card provider Green Dot Corporation has promoted Mark Goldin, who joined Green Dot’s IT Division in 2005. He was previously CTO with Thomson Elite as its Chief Operations and Technology Officer. Goldin is responsible for the company’s operational infrastructure including the voice and data networks, retail distribution and supply chain, worldwide call centers and IT application development functions. He has worked in Information Technology for over 20 years and has an extensive background in software development and relational databases. Green Dot Corporation is a provider of retail-based financial services for America’s underserved community.

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FINANCE HOUSE MASTERCARD

Finance House PJSC has introduced Standard, Gold and Platinum
Mastercards to offer
consumers 5% cash-back on purchases for the first 90 days following
acceptance.
For everyday as a card customer thereafter, card users are guaranteed
1.5% cash-back
on all purchases. Moreover, the highest award allotted is Dhs3,300 to
Platinum Card
customers, Dhs2,400 to Gold Card customers and Dhs1,650 for Standard
Card customers
and are rewarded on a single rate for all transactions-basis. Other
features afforded
customers is an interest rate of 1.25% per month on balance transfers,
13 months of Auto
Insurance coverage and no annual fee.

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PayChex Unveils a FSA Debit MasterCard

Paychex has launched the “FSA Debit Card” for client employees to pay for things such as prescriptions, co-pays, dependent care, and other FSA-eligible expenses. The Paychex FSA Debit Card complies with the latest IRS regulations, which now stipulate that cards can be used at grocery and discount stores, wholesale clubs, and mail- and web-based vendors with an “inventory information approval system,” or IIAS, installed. The technology means the system knows immediately if the expense is eligible. Paychex, Inc. is a national provider of payroll, human resource, and benefits outsourcing solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses.

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ALARIC EXEC

Alaric International has announced that it has appointed payments
industry expert Ron Hill to oversee the company’s expansion
throughout Australia and New Zealand. With 20 years experience in
the payments industry, Hill brings a comprehensive market knowledge
and payments background to Alaric and will be fundamental in enabling
the company’s transition to a second generation of payments systems.
Hill joins the company following his positions as CIO and CTO with
Customers Limited and Cashcard Australia, respectively.

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Americans Plan to Trim Fat Not Debt in 08

A new poll reveals that Americans will be more focused on trimming fat than trimming debt this year. Only 17% say paying down credit cards and other debt is their top priority for 2008, as compared with 32% who pick eating healthy or losing weight as their number one resolution for this year. Both figures are lower than the prior year when 22% said they wanted to trim debt and 37% wanted to trim their waistline. The latest TransUnion TrueCredit.com Survey discovered that the top resolution for 2008 is spending more time with family, up significantly from last year. When asked about their greatest financial concerns in 2008, 40% pick their salary level or job prospects and 41% name making non-mortgage payments.

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VIVONFC

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia has deployed ViVOtech’s
“ViVOnfc” mobile phone NFC payment solution throughout Australia.
Being the first bank to introduce the contactless solution, the
Commonwealth Bank of Australia is deploying “ViVOnfc” to provide
both credit and debit account holders with mobile payments. In
addition to this, the partnership will be providing a “ViVOwallet” mobile
phone user interface, a “ViVOnfc” Issuer Server and a “ViVOnfc
Control Server” for over-the-air account management. “ViVOnfc”
products have been used in over 16 pilot programs around the world
by various companies while ViVOtech has over 330,000 units in 27
countries.

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Democrats to Cut Personal Spending in 08

A new survey has found that 44% of Democrats and 45% of Independents say they are going to “cut back on their household spending this year” than Republicans (36%). The new Harris Interactive poll found that overall 25% of American says they will get rid of one or more credit cards this year. About 42% say they plan to pay down their level of debt in 2008. Harris says the survey shows that the economy is the number one issue this year and Americans are currently more aligned with Democrats than Republicans. Half of Democrats and Independents feel that the economy is going to get worse in 2008. This is in contrast with Republicans where only a third feels the economy is going to get worse.

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IDN Gives AccuPOS Gold Developer Status

Attitude POSitive announced that its “AccuPOS 2007 Retail POS” software has achieved “Gold Developer Status” with the Intuit Developer Network. The company’s AccuPOS Point of Sale software was included in a “QuickBooks Customer Satisfaction Survey” conducted by a third-party research firm. In this survey, AccuPOS received a 9.5 out of 10 rating, one of the highest scores possible for any third-party solution tested and proven to work with “QuickBooks Pro,” “Premier” and “Enterprise” editions. Customers were asked 32 questions about product functionality, ease of use, technical service, overall user experience, and the customer’s willingness to recommend.

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USAT ePort Shipments Up 259% in 4Q/07

PA-based USA Technologies reports it shipped 7,123 “ePort” units in the fourth quarter, compared to 1,982 units shipped during 4Q/06. The “Quick Start” financing program offers vending machine operators and bottlers a convenient ‘no money down’ plan to help them get started with the ePort Connect service quickly and easily. Operators and bottlers have access to an all-in-one solution to help fund the cost of the “ePort” and support services. Under the program, vending operators or bottlers have no capital cost and pay a monthly service fee of $24.95, which includes the ePort device and the full “ePort Connect” suite of services. USA Technologies provides networked credit card and other non-cash systems in the vending, commercial laundry, hospitality and digital imaging industries.

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TD Banknorth Intros Simply Flexible Cards

TD Banknorth has introduced two new credit cards offering lower interest rates pegged to the minimum monthly payment. The new “Simply Flexible” consumer credit card and the “Simply Flexible Business VISA” offers a 7.99% APR if a payment at least equal to the minimum monthly payment that is also at least 10% of the new balance for the prior billing period is paid on time; 13.99% APR if a payment at least equal to the minimum monthly payment that is also at least 5% (but not more than 9.99%) of the new balance for the prior billing period is paid on time; 18.99% APR if the minimum monthly payment for the prior billing period is paid on time. All of the new credit cards offered by TD Banknorth feature zero percent APR for up to six months on eligible purchases and balance transfers. TD Banknorth serves more than 1.5 million households through its network of 600 branches and 750 ATMs located across the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions.

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Fee Income Maintains Profitability in 07

2007 CARD INDUSTRY P/L UP AGAIN

For 2007, P/L revenue and expense streams for the credit card industry calculated by investment banker R.K. HAMMER:

2007 Revenue Streams: $160.1 Billion total for ’07 vs. $145.3 Billion in ’06 18.30% ROA Yield

Interest Income: $97.1 Billion for ’07 (representing 61% of total revenue), up from $90.1 Billion in ’06

Fee Income: $63.0 Billion for ’07 (representing 39% of total revenue), up from $55.2 Billion in ’06

2007 Expense Streams: $119.4 Billion total for ’07 vs. $106.7 Billion in ’06 13.65% ROA Yield

Operating Expense: $40.7 Billion (34.1% of total expense), up from $39.5 Billion in ’06

Blended Cost of Funds: $37.6 Billion (31.4% of total expense), up from $33.6 Billion in ’06

Net Charge offs: $41.1 Billion (34.5% of total expense), up from $33.6 Billion in ’06

2007 Net Pretax Profit: $40.7 Billion, vs. $38.6 Billion in ’06 4.65% ROA Yield

Comments:

This was the highest ROA % year for the card industry since 1987.

2007 ROA percentages based upon our model’s denominator calculation of $875 Billion in card loans for national brand and private label/retail credit card segments.

R.K. Hammer has been tracking card profitability and credit card portfolio sale prices since 1983, and is a leading independent broker of bank card portfolios in the U.S. and in 50 countries abroad.

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MICRO-SD CARD

Heathrow’s second largest airline has teamed with MBNA Europe to launch two new American Express cards. The “bmi American Express” card offers 1.5 destinations miles for every GBP 1 spent on the card, while the “bmi plus American Express” card offers 2.0 destinations miles for every GBP 1 spent on the card. The standard card also offers 20,000 bonus destinations miles when cardholders spend GBP 250 on their card within 90 days of account opening and the premium card offers 24,000
bonus destinations miles when they spend GBP 250 on their card within 90
days of account opening. The “bmi American Express” card has no annual fee, but the “bmi plus American Express” card carries a GBP 60 annual fee. The standard card interest rate is a variable 15.9% and the premium card carries a 17.9% variable APR. Additionally, if cardholders use the card to book flights through flybmi.com they will receive double destinations miles for every GBP 1 spent and the credit card booking fee will be waived by bmi. bmi operates 1,800 flights a week in Europe.

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