Asta Funding 3Q/07 Revenues Climb 41%

NJ-based credit card collection firm Asta Funding reported that total revenue for the third calendar quarter grew 41.3% to $43.1 million. However, net income for the quarter decreased 3.7% to $13.1 million, compared to the year ago quarter. Fiscal 2007 included $227.6 million in net cash collections from consumer receivables acquired for liquidation, up 42.8% from $159.4 million a year ago. Subsequent to September 30th, the Company purchased portfolios of consumer receivables with a face value of $1.02 billion at cost purchase price of $35.9 million, including one of which included a portfolio from a major financial institution located in a South American country for a purchase price of approximately $8 million. For complete details on Asta Funding’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ASFI REVENUE HISTORICAL
3Q/06: $30.5 million
4Q/06: $25.6 million
1Q/07: $33.1 million
2Q/07: $38.9 million
3Q/07: $43.1 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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TSYS & CUP

TSYS and China UnionPay Data Services (CUP) have completed its bankcard
conversion for Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB), leading to a
number of “firsts” in China’s financial industry. Of these “firsts”,
included is the successful conversion in China by an overseas data center,
conversion from a mainframe to an open platform and the conversion of more
than a million Chinese accounts at once. Furthermore, this conversion
allows SPDB to move its card portfolio to its domestic data center. CUP
Data processes bankcard accounts and transactions with over 40 credit- and
debit- client banks while TSYS outsources payment services around the
world and was issued its IPO in 1983.

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QSR Annual Card Volume Rises 22% in 07

U.S. consumers racked-up $70 billion worth of fast food on their personal credit and debit cards in 2008, compared to $63 billion one-year ago. The 22% year-on-year increase in quick service restaurant volume is driven by expanded merchant acceptance, promotion of card usage and new contactless payment options, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). At mid-year, VISA USA reported that the number of VISA card transactions at QSRs increased 31% and debit card usage grew 32% over the previous year. VISA latest QSR survey found that one in five survey respondents are using cards to pay for more than half of their purchases at QSRs. The poll discovered that respondents would make additional purchases with their cards if they could get through lines faster; had the opportunity to earn rewards or free meals; more locations accepted payment cards; or they could swipe their own card. The average QSR credit card ticket is about $12.65. Americans spend about $170 billion per year at quick service restaurants. (CF Library 6/21/07)

QSR ON PLASTIC HISTORICAL
2000: $ 1.7 billion
2001: $ 3.7 billion
2002: $ 6.1 billion
2003: $12.9 billion
2004: $22.5 billion
2005: $33.2 billion
2006: $51.3 billion
2007: $62.8 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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Credit Card GDV Increases 7.7% in 2007

General purpose credit card gross dollar volume is up 7.7% this year in the U.S. approaching a record $2.2 trillion. While VISA and MasterCard are still producing solid growth in debit cards this year, American Express is leading the pack in credit card GDV rising 12.5% in 2007. VISA’s credit card volume is running about 7.4% higher than last year as MasterCard’s credit card GDV is up 5.8% year-on-year. Discover’s credit card volume was up 2.6% though the third fiscal quarter, however the network reported yesterday that U.S. credit card volume rose 6% during the fourth fiscal quarter. For the third quarter VISA had an estimated credit card volume of $247 billion, while MasterCard reported $164 billion, American Express posted $115 billion and Discover reported $31 billion, according to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

U.S. Credit Card Volume
2000: $1243 billion
2001: $1330 billion
2002: $1427 billion
2003: $1525 billion
2004: $1673 billion
2005: $1838 billion
2006: $2031 billion
2007: $2187 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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POST OFFICE ATMS

At its Rotherham branch, the Post Office has installed its landmark,
1000th “free-to-use” ATM. ATM transactions have increased from less than
140 per week to over 1600 since the introduction of this ATM solution. For
2007, ATM users have withdrawn GBP 1.2 billion from the Post Office ATMs,
conducted 20 million transactions and have saved nearly GBP 21million in
fees. With its partner, the Bank of Ireland, the Post Office has sights
set on further deployment over the coming months.

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FleetCor MasterCard and TrimWeb Integrated

CA-based Trimble has introduced its “FuelGuard” reporting feature, a suite of fuel management reports that combines FleetCor MasterCard fuel purchase information with Trimble’s “TrimWeb” fleet productivity service for improved Mobile Resource Management. The new feature enables operators to more easily identify the fueling of unauthorized vehicles on company-issued fuel cards and allows fleet operators to measure the return of fuel reduction efforts such as optimizing miles driven, reducing engine idle time, and reducing vehicle speeding. Fleet owners will be able to determine which fleet activities most impact actual fuel consumption and make data-driven decisions to maximize fuel reduction programs. FleetCor is a provider of fuel card processing serving over 650,000 business fleets with 3.5 million active cardholder.

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EXPATRIATED & WEB

Alliance & Leicester International research shows that, among expatriated
Britons, Internet use is a way of life. For example, 83% use the Internet
to shop, 63% use it for correspondence with loved ones, 69% use it for
news and 22% use it for sports and weather. Experts however conclude
that keeping up on finances is of the most fundamental importance for
those surveyed, with 47% checking their bank balance online at least once
a week. Other statistics show that 70% log on to the Internet daily with
25% online every hour. Alliance & Leicester International provides
customers with solutions to allow authorizations and account management
online with its “eSaver Offshore” service.

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Consensus Builds for a Weak 2008 Economy

U.S. financial professionals believe the U.S. economy will weaken over the next 12 months but will not slip into recession in 2008. Meanwhile, The Conference Board reported that the U.S. leading index decreased 0.4% in November. The index has decreased sharply for the second consecutive month, and it has been down in four of the last six months. Most of the leading indicators contributed negatively to the index in November, led by large declines in stock prices, initial claims for unemployment insurance, the index of consumer expectations, and real money supply. According to results of a new survey conducted in early December by the Association for Financial Professionals more than a third of the survey respondents expect their organizations to expand their U.S. workforce in the coming year. Financial professionals expect gross domestic product to grow modestly in 2008, with the median prediction at 2.5%. Only 4% expect the economy to contract in 2008. Top concerns of financial professionals are the decline in the U.S. dollar, rising energy prices, and the housing market. Eighty-two percent of financial professionals are paying closer attention to the declining value of the U.S. dollar; 63% of respondents believe the U.S. dollar will continue to decline against the Euro, while 54% expect the dollar to decline against the yen.

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Money Centers Completes Triple DES Conversion

Money Centers of America has completed the conversion of its ATM terminal network to VISA’s Triple Data Encryption Standard. Compliance with Visa’s PIN Security Program minimizes the risk of PIN compromise and reflects Money Centers of America’s commitment to security, network integrity, and consumer protection. Money Centers of America, Inc. provides cash access, transaction management system, and financial networks to the gaming industry.

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Fiserv’s CheckFree Hires a Top Sales Exec

CheckFree has hired Peter T. Crenier, previously with DST Output, as SVP of the CheckFree Investment Services sales team. Crenier is an accomplished senior-level, sales professional with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. Most recently, he was vice president national accounts for DST Output managing sales for the company’s $200 million financial services, insurance and health vertical markets. Before taking that role, Crenier was responsible for sales for DST Output’s $123 million dollar mutual fund vertical market. Prior to joining DST Output, he designed, developed and managed the first sales operations organization for Lycos, a leading provider of publishing, media and search services.

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CANADIAN CONSUMER

Environics Research Group research, conducted on behalf of Mastercard
Canada, has shown that with less than 7 days until Christmas many Canadian
consumers have yet to complete their holiday shopping. Moreover, 19% have
yet to begin their holiday shopping, 67% of whom are Canadian men. In
response to these findings, Mastercard recommends to these shoppers to
decide in advance what needs purchasing, avoid crowds by shopping during
off-hours, buy gifts for multiple recipients at once, maintain all
receipts to compare with card statements and to shop online if possible.

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