RAHAXI & SYSOPENDIGIA

FreeStar subsidiary Rahaxi has signed agreements for the distribution of
SYSOPENDIGIA POS solutions. With these agreements for distribution,
the flexible Rahaxi “OTI” will be integrated with SYSOPENDIGIA ICT
products and services. In addition to distribution, the agreement calls for
referral arrangements between the two companies. SYSOPENDIGIA
provides IT products, services and mobile software, employs over
1,100 professionals, has a nearly 9.8 % profitability rating with
earnings per
share at EUR 0.25. FreeStar provides merchants and acquirers with card
processing in over 20 countries.

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Comdata to Offer Serious DVD Gift Cards

Comdata Stored Value Solutions has a strategic alliance with digital publisher and marketer Serious to offer DVD gift cards. The cards work like traditional gift cards, with payment magnetic stripes on one side and DVD content housed on the flip side. The gift cards will provide interactive multimedia content, such as music downloads, movie clips, product descriptions, educational information, catalogs, games, and more. Comdata’s platforms support both its proprietary and branded card networks, as well as card processing for all card types.

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COMMERCIAL BANK FEES

As a means of redeeming capital spent on ATMs, Vietnamese commercial
banks have implemented a procedure to generate capital from ATMs.
Following an extended hiatus of no-fee ATMs, the banks have realized newly
implemented teller machines must be redeemed by the consumer. Many
banks across the country have recently invested in off-site and on-site
ATMs
to attract new customers and provide convenience. With this, came expenses
many banks did not account for and subsequently are now forced to pass on
to the consumer. Asia Commercial Bank, for example, automatically deducts
VND10,000 monthly from each customer’s account. VIB Bank charges
VND20,000 monthly from customers with bank accounts only (not from those
whom have loan accounts). Some banks, however, are holding off on
introducing
the fee-charging as a means of attracting new customers.

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Gemalto Q3 Secure Transactions Up 7%

Smart card specialist Gemalto reports that overall third quarter revenue rose 6% to $588 million, marking the return to year-on-year growth. Revenues for the “Secure Transactions” unit, which includes smart payment cards, rose 7% to $148 million compared to 3Q/06. The Company says the growth in “Secure Transactions” was driven mainly by strong growth in personalization activities. However, some related production and labor difficulties were encountered during the quarter which adversely affected card deliveries. Gemalto is banking on its new “CardLikeMe” solution that enables customers to customize and order new credit cards via secure access to an online design portal. SEB Germany recently signed to offer “CardLikeMe” to its five million customers. In the “POS Terminals” unit revenues also increased 7% year-on-year to $17.3 million. During the quarter Gemalto’s “Java Card” implementation received “EAL4 Common Criteria Certification” and “EAL7” assurance. ensuring the secure isolation of applications. For complete details on Gemalto’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

GEMALTO REVENUE HISTORICAL
3Q/06: $535.1 million
4Q/06: $631.6 million
1Q/07: $495.9 million
2Q/07: $544.8 million
3Q/07: $588.0 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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GLOBAL UPLINK TAKEOVER

Cardtrend Intl has completed its acquisition of Global Uplink HK for
HK$500,000 and added 4 new executives. Global Uplink Founder,
Chen Yu Hua, is to assume the role of Chief Officer while the additional
executive appointees will oversee business development, operations and
financial control, all under 5-year contracts. Cardtrend International
operations are focused on payments and loyalty-rewards throughout Asia
with the operation of their Cards Business, Prepaid Business and
Processing Business.

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Citi Cards Snags an AmEx Veteran

Citi Cards has hired a 23-year American Express veteran as EVP of New Business Development. Mark Webb served as Head of Establishment Services, EMEA, Head of Global Business Partnerships and Head of the Global Client Group at AmEx. Webb will be responsible for the strategic leadership and management of the Citi Cards North America New Business Development teams, establishing the business development strategy and direction the leaders to identify, develop, negotiate and secure new “Partner Programs.”

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TNS to Deploy OpenService’s NerveCenter

Event and information management provider OpenService has announced that Transaction Network Services, Inc. is planning to use “NerveCenter” to monitor networks and services worldwide. TNS plans to implement another NerveCenter installation at their International NOC located in Sheffield, England, where it will also handle customer and service specific correlations. Transaction Network Services is an international communications company that enables payments, money and voices to move globally.

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VISA Settles AmEx Lawsuit for $2.25B

VISA Inc. reached a $2.25 billion settlement with American Express over a 2004 antitrust lawsuit that claimed VISA and MasterCard illegally blocked AmEx from the bank-issued card business in the USA. The heat is now on MasterCard to settle as AmEx said yesterday that as sole remaining defendant, MasterCard would be liable for the full amount that could run into billions of dollars. Under the proposed agreement, AmEx will receive $945 million from VISA and an additional payment from the bank defendants by March 15th and no later than March 31st. Beginning March 31st, VISA will pay AmEx an additional amount of up to $70 million a quarter for 16 quarters, based on quarterly performance criteria within the U.S. network services business of AmEx. The maximum payout to American Express would be $2.25 billion. In return AmEx has agreed to drop its potential claims against US Bank, Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, JPMorgan Chase and Capital One. The proposed settlement agreement is contingent upon VISA USA member approval.

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Sony Signs a U.S. Client for FeliCa

Washington, DC-based Blackboard and Sony have teamed to integrate Sony’s “FeliCa” contactless technology in Blackboard’s “Commerce Suite,” a suite of applications supporting one-card transactions on-campus, off-campus and online and allowing for identification, payment and access. Sony said it is anxious to bring its “FeliCa” technology to the U.S. following its success in Japan. There are more than 250 million “FeliCa’ cards and chips embedded in mobile phones in circulation. In addition to meeting ISO standards, “FeliCa” provides a supportive layer of user credentials which can be integrated with NFC-enabled devices including door access readers, point of sale terminals, mobile phones and a variety of attended and unattended devices. Blackboard products are used by millions of people at academic institutions worldwide.

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ETELECARE GLOBAL SOLUTIONS

eTelecare has announced its new business process outsourcing contract
managed from its Philippines center to launch this month. The company
that signed the contract for eTelcare’s services is a major credit card
issuer
and will be outsourcing its sales program for its customers. eTelecare’s has
been honored with 65 awards since 2000, including 6 2007 “Top 50” awards,
2006 “Top Outsourcer” and “Best of Show: Best Outsourcer”. The
outsourcing service provides technical support, customer service, sales,
customer retention, chat and email in the Philippines and North America.

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Reports Find Cards Cover More Living Expenses

A new report concludes that Americans are using credit cards to bridge the gaps created by stagnant wages and higher costs of living. The research by NYC-based Demos suggests that cardholders are trapped in a cycle of debt with unnecessarily punitive fees and interest rates. From 1989 to 2004, the percentage of cardholders incurring fees due to late payments of 60 days or more increased from 4.8% to 8.0%. Demos also says 46% of very low-income credit card-indebted households spent more than 40% of their income to pay off debt. About 84% of African-American households and 79% of Latino households carried credit card debt compared with 54% of white households. Additionally, since 1989, Americans over 65 have experienced the greatest increase in the amount of credit card debt carried. The average balance for this age group increased 194% from $1,669 in 1989 to $4,906 in 2004.

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