DISCOVER & GOLDFISH

Discover Financial Services says it will take a $422 million impairment charge related to its “Goldfish MasterCard” and “Goldfish VISA” credit card business in the U.K. for the quarter ending November 30th. The charge involves substantially all of the goodwill and other intangible assets of the “Goldfish” business. Discover says it concluded that continued disruption in the U.K. financial markets, higher interest rates and its decision to reduce loan exposure to the U.K. market have negatively affected the book value of its “Goldfish” business. However, the Company is refocusing the business and will continue implementation of significant actions to improve the performance of the “Goldfish” business. Two years ago Morgan Stanley/Discover agreed to purchase Lloyds TSB “Goldfish” credit card program for $1.76 billion for a 22% premium. The deal included 800,000 credit card accounts. Discover also announced today that its Board of Directors approved a share repurchase program, authorizing the company to purchase up to $1 billion of its common stock through 2010. (CF Library 12/20/05)

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MNOs Eye-Up M-Banking End-User Transaction Fees

A new global report on mobile banking, mobile payments and mobile commerce from Boston-based Aite Group has found that the greatest motivation for mobile operators deploying such services is in enabling new revenue streams, with 42% of operators indicating that this is an “important” or “extremely important” criterion in deploying mobile banking services, and 83% of operators indicating that enabling new revenue streams was an “important” or “extremely important” criterion in deploying mobile payment or commerce services. While, mobile operators see financial institutions as the most important stakeholder in M-banking, they see themselves as the main drivers in mobile commerce. Mobile payment services were perceived by carriers as providing an overwhelming opportunity for revenue generation on a fee-per-transaction basis for end-users. Of mobile operators, 83% stated that they thought it “likely” or “extremely likely” that they would generate revenues from mobile payments in this manner. Operators also thought fees per end-user transaction were a “likely” or “extremely likely” means of generating revenue from mobile commerce. Aite surveyed 12 mobile network operators in October for the report.

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BREATHE EASY CARD

Barclaycard has introduced its “Breathe Easy Card” designed to help
the reduction of carbon emissions. This new Barclaycard credit
card and loan product encourages the popular consumer movement to
reduce household carbon emissions in the face of the financial burden that
comes with it. In doing so, the card provides discounts and low interest
rates on efficiency upgrade purchases, such as home insulation products,
through retail partnerships. Furthermore, repayments for these loans and
credit card purchases are rationalized to monthly payments that equal
the savings made on their otherwise inefficient energy costs.

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uWink Offers Pay-at-the-Table Technology

Digital media entertainment software developer uWink has implemented customer-controlled “pay-at-the-table” technology. uWink’s new software features a user interface that walks customers through the checkout process step by step. Once the customer has verified the bill, added a tip and swiped a credit card using the credit card reader attached to the uWink terminal, uWink’s software securely captures, verifies and processes the credit card information and then prompts the customer to digitally sign the charge directly on the uWink touchscreen. The system also offers the ability to email transaction receipts and is fully integrated with uWink’s electronic credit card processing gateway and point-of-sale system for secure transaction processing and direct capture of transaction data in uWink’s accounting and reporting systems.

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BANCA ANTONVENETA & PHOENIX

Banca Antonveneta has implemented Phoenix VISTAatm software for
deployment of multi-vendor support software. The support software
will provide its network with cross-channel integration and complete
ATM functionality that is tailored to local requirements using open bank
architecture. The Italian bank will deploy the Phoenix solution to operate
its 1100+ self-service banking units for the provision of financial
personalization, envelope-free deposit automation, bulk cash and bulk
check acceptance. Phoenix Interactive Design provides Windows-based
ATM operating software in the financial industry while Banca Antonveneta
has over 1,000 branches in Italy, nearly 63,000 points-of-sale and employs
9,600.

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TSYS Revises Estimates; Sets Dec 18th Spin-Off

TSYS reported that estimates for 2007 total revenues will increase 1% instead of the previously announced decline of 3% to 2%. On a non-GAAP basis, 2007 net income, excluding spin-off charges, is estimated to increase 25% versus the previously announced 20% to 22% increase. On a GAAP basis, TSYS♠2007 net income is expected to decline 4% instead of the previously announced increase of 0% to 2%. TSYS♠2008 net income is estimated to increase 4% to 6% with total revenues increasing 7% to 9%. Additionally, Synovus announced that it has set December 18th as the record date for the TSYS spin-off. Synovus currently owns approximately 80.7% of TSYS. The TSYS spin-off was announced in October. TSYS reported that third quarter profits rose 27%, hitting $68.8 million. (CF Library 10/23/07; 10/26/07)

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BACKGAMMONMASTERS

In response to customer demand, the BackgammonMasters online game
software now accepts withdrawal and deposit transactions in multiple
currencies with its “BackgammonMasters Cashier”. The new solution
allows users to participate in the organization’s games, including
Backgammon, Perudo, Poker and 21 blackjack, with winnings deposited
in user accounts through credit cards, Pay Pal, Neteller,
MoneyBookers, Click and Buy or UKash. The software solution calculator
conducts all conversions for deposit, regardless of currency.

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ADS Inks a 7-Eleven Processing Deal

Alliance Data Systems has signed a multi-year agreement with 7-Eleven to provide payment processing services to more than 5,500 7-Eleven-branded convenience stores nationwide. Under terms of the agreement, Alliance Data will provide 7-Eleven payment processing services including authorization and settlement for debit and credit transactions and prepaid card services. During 2006, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $44 billion.

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Zions Picks TRANSFIRST for Processing

Zions Bancorporation has selected TRANSFIRST to provide merchant credit card processing and payment services. TRANSFIRST will be working with Zions Bancorporation through a contract with its eight affiliate member banks and Zions Management Services Company. Zions operates its banking businesses under local management teams and community identities through over 500 offices and approximately 600 ATMs in ten Western and Southwestern states. TRANSFIRST is a provider of secure transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies.

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IDT, UTA and CVT Settle a Prepaid Lawsuit

Prepaid calling card companies IDT Telecom and Union Telecard Alliance have reached a private settlement of the lawsuit brought by IDT and UTA against CVT Prepaid Solutions. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, CVT has agreed to continue its current practice of delivering 100% of minutes of telecommunications time stated to consumers in its voice prompts and advertising. IDT and UTA will similarly continue such practices. IDT Corporation is a multinational company with operations that span various industries. CVT Prepaid Solutions is a provider of enhanced prepaid solutions.

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MasterCard Unveils a Prepaid Travel Card

MasterCard has introduced the first prepaid travel card with contactless technology. The new “MasterCard Travel Card” is a collaboration with SSB Payment Systems and is being offered via Airlines Reporting Corporation’s network of 20,000 U.S. travel agent locations. The new prepaid card is enhanced with “MasterCard PayPass” technology. “PayPass” is currently accepted globally at more than 73,000 merchant locations. Card benefits include emergency traveler assistance, lost luggage insurance, purchase assurance and zero liability protection for unauthorized transactions in the event the card is lost or stolen. MasterCard notes that the travel card market in North America is estimated to grow to nearly $9 billion in gross dollar volume by 2010, according to Independent Research commissioned by MasterCard Worldwide in April.

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Colorado Card Plant Uses 100% Wind Power

While several U.S. issuers and U.K. issuers have launched “green” credit cards, one card manufacturer has taken it to the next level. CPI Card Group has expanded its “green” manufacturing initiative by using wind power to runs its Colorado plant. CPI is the first and only card manufacturer in the U.S. to specify that 100% of its electricity be generated through wind power. Under a deal with Xcel Energy, CPI has agreed to buy approximately 296 megawatts of electricity through the “Windsource” program. CPI says the wind power initiative is consistent with its environmental policies, including promoting biodegradable card stock, recycling materials used in the manufacturing process, printing with UV inks that are not solvent based, and using water-based silkscreen inks that do not generate VOCs. CPI offers a wide range of plastic cards from foil cards and holograms, to translucent and smart cards.

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