Chinese Online Payment Firm Targets U.S.

China’s largest online payment service with 56 million users is being expanded to facilitate consumer purchases directly from U.S. retailers. Hangzhou-based Alipay, with a market share of over 54% among Mainland Chinese, is teaming with NY-based Philliou Selwanes Partners to promote its third-party online payment platform to North American merchants. Alipay is growing at a rate of more than 80,000 new registered users each day. The Company’s average daily transaction volume exceeds US$23 million handling an average of nearly 1.2 million each day. According to Research International the two kinds of U.S. products that attract the most purchase interest from the Chinese are cultural-related products and high-tech ones, that is, books/music/video and consumer electronics. Specifically, laptops, video/digital recording systems, VCD/DVDs and CDs have great market potential in China. Research International found that Beijing and Shanghai favor imported books/music/videos the most; Shanghai consumers have the greatest interest in consumer electronics and apparel/fashion accessories among 6 cities; and home appliances are more attractive in Guangzhou than in other cities.

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GRUPO ELEKTRA & SKYEDGE

For the provision of broadband communications, Mexico’s Grupo Elektra has
signed agreements for the deployment of the Gilat “SkyEdge” Satellite at
1,964 VSATs across Latin America. These communications will allow for the
processing of point-of-sale data management, credit card processing,
downloads, Internet access and communications. Grupo Elektra operates
nearly 1,900 retail outlets and financial services across Latin America
while “SkyEdge” satellite communications delivers data over a unified
system using flexible architecture and space segment utilization.

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Synovus Shuffles EVPs for TSYS Spin-Off

Synovus has appointed G. Sanders Griffith III to transition to TSYS to serve as Senior EVP, General Counsel and Secretary and named Paul M. Todd to EVP of Mergers and Acquisitions, J. Barton Singleton as EVP, Synovus Financial Management Services in anticipation of the upcoming spin-off of TSYS. Griffith began his career at Synovus in 1988 as VP and General Counsel. He was promoted to EVP General Counsel and Secretary in 1992 and Senior EVP in 1995. His responsibilities also included directing the governmental and regulatory affairs for both Synovus and TSYS. Todd will be returning to TSYS, where he began his career with the Synovus family of companies in 1995 and served in various capacities in the Finance and Strategy areas. In May 2002, he moved to Synovus Finance where he led the area responsible for mergers and acquisitions. He became the CFO for FMS in 2003 and then COO in 2005. Todd was promoted to Synovus EVP in March 2007. Before coming to Synovus, Singleton spent 16 years at SouthTrust Securities in various roles, including Manager of the Capital Markets Group and as a member of the board of directors. He joined Synovus Securities in August 2005 and has served as a SVP and Manager of the Investment Banking and Institutional Brokerage Groups.

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WESTPAC & KIWISAVER

Credit card debt climbed again in October setting a new record of A$41.3 billion. Credit card volume also hit a new high of A$18.8 billion. Year-on-year credit card debt has increased 10.7%, compared to October 2006. Card volume is up 9.8% compared to one-year ago. Credit card limits also reached a new high at A$112.3 billion, marking the 14th consecutive month of A$100+ billion. According to the Reserve Bank of Australia there are currently 13.8 million credit card and charge card accounts in Australia, compared to 13.2 million one-year ago. The Conference Board says its leading index for Australia increased 0.9% in October. Money supply and building approvals were the largest positive contributors to the index for October. With October’s gain, the six-month growth rate of the leading index picked up to a 2.3% from April to October, about the same average growth rate as in the first quarter and above the average growth rate of 1.6% in the third quarter. However, the strengths and weaknesses among the leading indicators have remained somewhat balanced in recent months. The Conference Board says
the current behavior of the leading index so far suggests that moderately strong economic growth will likely continue in the near term.

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UATP Teams with HomeATM ePayment Solutions

Universal Air Travel Plan has teamed with HomeATM ePayment Solutions to offer an alternative payment option to the global commercial airline community. HomeATM developed a secure PIN debit and PIN credit card transaction method via the internet; the growing preferred method of payment for consumers and merchants alike. HomeATM’s unique system utilizes state of the art technology and the HomeATM swipe pad to allow users to conduct secure, PIN-based transactions ensuring virtually zero fraud and with significantly lower merchant processing fee costs. HomeATM is the owner of a global patent covering PIN-debit card and PIN- credit card authentication in a browser environment.UATP accounts are accepted as a form of payment for corporate business travel by airlines and travel agencies worldwide.

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COINSTAR & CLINTON CARDS

Coinstar and Clinton Cards have partnered to deploy their gift card program
for 730 retail merchants. The Clinton Card solution affords consumers a
variety of gift card options given a range of different types of retailers
involved in the new solution. Consumers are given complete control to
select the gift card and decide on the prepaid denomination.
Clinton Cards provides consumer greeting cards through its more than 300
“birthdays” stores while Coinstar provides 56,000 retail locations with
its services.

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AmEx Celebrates AEIS Ten Year Anniversary

B2B prepaid card provider American Express Incentive Services (AEIS) has marked its 10 year anniversary. AEIS combines Maritz’s incentive experience with American Express’ banking and card processing strengths to provide business clients with a broad range of prepaid solutions for consumer promotions and corporate incentives. A key factor in the success of AEIS is the patented “DirectSpend”^ process, which enables the company to provide selective spend or themed cards. AEIS’ portfolio includes a variety of card products and value-added services such as online reward management.

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CHASE AWARD

Chase Canada has been awarded the 2007 British Columbia Contact Center
Association (BC CCA) Community Service Award, given its support of
community charities, spirit, caring and enriching the community. The
charities that the bank was recognized for supporting include the United
Way, Surrey Food Bank and public education. Chase Card Services Canada was awarded based on meeting criteria that includes the bank’s community
involvement, fundraising initiatives, volunteer efforts, employee
participation and appropriate letters of commendation from
organizations. The British Columbia Contact Center Association promotes
call center growth throughout the province while JPMorgan Chase provides
banking services and employs more than 1,600 Canadians.

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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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