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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Phishing Attacks Soar Around Thanksgiving

Cyveillance announced that Thanksgiving saw a 300% increase in phishing threats compared to the average number of phishing attacks seen in the previous week. This one day spike is a tactic used by criminals around long holiday weekends, often targeting smaller businesses and credit unions, which may not have around-the-clock security teams to respond to threats that occur during extended weekends. In Cyveillance’s recent fraud report, the company identified that phishers continue to heavily focus on the financial services sector, targeting banks and credit unions in nine out of 10 attacks. During the three months ending September 2007, phishing attacks against companies targeted for the first time increased 20%, led by newer blended phishing attacks that combine malware with traditional phishing techniques. Cyveillance is a provider of cyber intelligence.

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Pipeline Data Sets Up Two Mergers

MA-based Pipeline Data has inked deals to acquire MA-based stored value card specialist Innovative Resource Alliance and FL-based Merchant Services Network. IRA is the parent corporation of TenderCard which has more than 12,000 merchants. IRA has also initiated negotiations and executed letters of intent to purchase cash portfolios totaling approximately 15,000 merchants. Following the mergers, Pipeline Data/IRA will acquire TN-based COCARD Marketing Group a merchant services provider catering primarily to small and medium-sized retail accounts with 25,000 merchants. The agreement to acquire COCARD for approximately $101 million in cash was entered into on October 22nd. Pipeline Data has received a senior secured debt proposal of $160 million for the funding of the transactions. A closing date of no later than January 31st is anticipated. The newly combined Pipeline Data, IRA and COCARD is projected to have pro-forma 2007 revenue in excess of $95 million, gross profit in excess of $55 million and EBITDA in excess of $30 million.

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BofA Mobile Banking Tops 500K Users

Bank of America has reached a record 500,000 active mobile customers. Bank of America, with 23 million active online customers, introduced Mobile Banking service in March to consumers in selected markets and expanded the service across the country in May. The Web-based service is accessible via most major carriers that have mobile Internet access and requires no downloading of software. To access Mobile Banking, customers simply go to the Web browser on their mobile phone and enter http://www.bofa.mobi. Once on the site, customers enter their Online Banking ID and passcode to access their accounts.

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Town Square Las Vegas Card Rolls-Out

KS-based prepaid card issuer StoreFinancial and Turnberry Associates’ Town Square Las Vegas has launched its new gift card program. Gift cards are available at the Concierge Center in Town Square Park or online at www.townsquarelasvegas.com. Various gift card designs are available for the holidays and other special occasions. Turnberry Associates is one of America’s premier real estate development and property management companies. StoreFinancial is an international payments processor and prepaid card program administrator.

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EURONET & SMA

Euronet Worldwide and SMA grocery have signed agreements to provide
an electronic top-up service pilot to consumers. With this pilot, Euronet
will integrate its e-top-up solution with the SMA cash registers allowing
the merchant to sell mobile top-up minutes from various mobile operators.
This replaces traditional top-up scratch cards, which are easily stolen,
and
requires no additional equipment. The e-top-up solution is to be deployed
with one Italian mobile service provider by December 1st, 2007 and full
deployment with all service providers by the end of 1Q08. The Italian
mobile phone market has nearly 80 million subscribers, saw 2006 revenue
of EUR13 billion from mobile top-up minutes and experienced a 13%
growth rate for the same period.

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