E-Payments to Dominate Healthcare Payments

Healthcare industry e-payments will transition from minority to majority status in the next two years. A new survey shows that e-payments will displace checks as the dominant form of healthcare payer-to-provider payment for the first time, crossing the 50% barrier by 2009. According to Metavante “Payment Progress Index” program findings an increase in e-payments will reach a 60% market share by 2009, up from 46% today; 76% of surveyed healthcare providers can receive payment explanation electronically; and 93% of surveyed providers expect to be able to receive electronic remittance advice by 2009. Over the next two years, payers are expected to increasingly send e-remittances and e-payments. As a result, providers anticipate investing in e-payment technologies to ensure they have the ability to automatically process electronic remittance advices for direct posting to their patient management systems.

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Payment Data Systems Rises 64% in Sept

Payment Data Systems announced that its credit card dollar volume processed in September rose 64% from the September 2006 level, the highest for any month to date. On an unaudited basis, September’s dollar volume rose 64% from the September 2006 level. Credit card dollar volume processed for the third quarter was 52% greater than the same quarter of 2006 and 29% greater than the second quarter of 2007.

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GE MONEY 3Q/07

GE reported that revenues for its GE Money unit soared 23% in the third quarter to $6.2 billion. Profits grew by 13% to $942 million, compared to one-year ago, despite the impact in the quarter due to market volatility. During the quarter, GE Money and American Express teamed to offer a “Gold” and “Standard in Japan; signed an alliance agreement in Spain for the creation of a consumer finance organization to offer financial products such as loans and credit cards; signed a 7 year, NOK 160 million contract with EDB in Denmark; and introduced the “Ryanair Card” MasterCard” to be implemented across different European markets. In the USA during 3Q/07, GE Money signed San Diego State University for an alumni affinity credit card; signed a credit card renewal and expansion agreement with Gap Inc.; announced a multi-year agreement with Lord & Taylor to offer the “Lord & Taylor Credit Card” through the company’s 47 stores and on its Web site; renewed its consumer finance agreement with TN-based American Residential Services for the “ARS HomeCard”; and launched a new rewards MasterCard that contributes up to one percent of card purchases to buy greenhouse gas emissions offsets. For complete details on GE’s third quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Two-Thirds of Small Businesses Shop Online

A new national survey commissioned by MODASolutions reveals that 64% of small business bank and shop online. When asked what online payment options would be most appealing, small businesses said that a payment option that did not require use or disclosure of credit card information, as well as an option that gave them more control over the purchasing and approval process would spur online confidence and increase purchases. In the survey commissioned by eBillme and conducted by Market Platform Dynamics, 721 small businesses were polled. Of the 64% of small businesses that shop online, 33% cited convenience and the availability of a secure payment option as the key to online commerce. The survey also found that the small businesses who are not shopping online are not necessarily Internet-averse. Many maintain other online relationships, and the majority do their banking online. MODASolutions is a provider of payment solutions that extends online banking to the merchant’s checkout.

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CLICKANDBUY & REDTIENDA

ClickandBuy payment systems and Redtienda eCommerce software have
partnered for the expansion of operations in Spanish-speaking markets
around the world. Given its established presence in these markets and
continued growth, Redtienda was seen by ClickandBuy as the best partner
for expansion. Under the partnership, of which the terms have not been
disclosed, the two companies market and network opportunities throughout
the respective regions to aid Hispanic companies and entrepreneurs to
conduct
business on the Internet more easily. Redtienda eCommerce was established
to provide software products in Spanish and English for emerging Hispanic
businesses and is used by over 3,100 companies in 54 countries. ClickandBuy
E-Payment systems is soon to be implemented as TELMEX in Latin America,
has over 7,000 merchants customers and is used by more than 8,600,000
customers to pay for retail goods and services over the Internet.

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L2C Launches Link2Credit Scores

Credit scoring company L2C has launched “Link2Credit Scores” for the consumer finance industry and bankcard industry markets. The scoring systems ensure better risk assessment resulting in higher approval rates for under-banked borrowers. The customized scoring system pulls data from up to seven sources relevant to the specific industry to evaluate the customer at the time of application. Each of these scores is tailored for prime or sub prime portfolios. L2C is a consumer credit scoring company that specializes in helping banks, credit card companies and other lenders reach the under-banked market.

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CITI HANDLOWY

For the bank’s debit card, Citi Handlowy is the first in Poland to implement
a “Keep the Change” program allowing consumers to save the change on their
purchases by rounding to the nearest whole-zloty amount. The difference
between the purchase price and the whole-zloty is then deposited into the
customers savings account. The program is called “Totalnie Oszczednosciowe
Konto 4.65%” (Complete Savings Account 4.65%) and gives customers
the option to round to the nearest 1, 5 or 10 zlotys. In addition to
disbursing
the funds to the high-interest savings account, Citi Handlowy provides the
customer with a bonus of 10% of the total funds transferred in the last 12
months, of no more than PLN 100, on each anniversary of the accounts
opening. Citi Handlowy has over 200 branches with 20,000 corporate
customers and 800,000 individual ones. Being a member of Citi enables
customers access to financial services provided in over 100 countries.
Citi has
nearly 200 million customer accounts around the world providing financial
products and services.

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Diebold to Offer Better ATM Gift Cards

Diebold has become the first ATM manufacturer certified to offer AZ-based Better ATM prepaid gift cards. This means that the new technology enables existing ATM machines to dispense prepaid cards to their customers through offered cash trays. Better ATM Services’ cards are contained as a single panel of three panels on a “card sheet.” The card sheet has approximately the same dimensions of larger foreign currencies like the Danish Kroner. ATM cassettes accommodate currency of various sizes that can accommodate Better ATM Services’ card sheet dimensions. Early testing with two ATM manufacturers’ equipment has proven that the card sheets can be easily retrieved and dispensed. Better ATM Services’ technology runs on all of Diebold’s “ix,” “iSeries,” and “Opteva” ATMs.

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DIGIPASS & APACS

VASCO Data Securities has announced that it will be unveiling its APACS-
compliant Digipass smart card reader family at the October-18th London
Banking Summit. The smartcard reader line consists of the “Digipass 830” and
the “Digipass 840”. Both devices provide smart card reader functionality,
meet
EMV-CAP compliance, offer 3D Secure Internet Payment Authentication and
meet APACS user interface requirements. The “Digipass 840”, however, has an
embedded speech module to provide service to the blind and visually
impaired.
Over 5,300 companies in more than 100 countries utilize VASCO’s financial
products and services.

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Card Mail Slows; Response Rates to Top 0.6%

A new report projects that U.S. households will receive about 5.3 billion credit card solicitations during 2007. The full year projection shows a slight decrease from the 5.76 billion offers received last year, which was also down from the all time high of 6.05 billion card offers received in 2005. According to Synovate’s “Mail Monitor,” response rates will edge up slightly to 0.6% from 0.5%, representing some 32 million applications for new credit cards. The 2007 dip is a continuation from 2006, and mainly due to the Bank of America/MBNA merger and a decrease in direct mail by Chase and Capital One. Synovate says that despite the decrease, 2007 will likely be the third heaviest year on record for credit card direct mail since Synovate first began tracking solicitations in 1988. Synovate says other acquisition channels, particularly the Internet, will play an increasingly important role but direct mail, with more than 50% of card applications, will likely remain dominant for the foreseeable future.

CARD MAIL HISTORICAL
YEAR OFFERS RESPONSE
1998: 3.44b 1.2%
1999: 2.54b 1.0%
2000: 3.54b 0.6%
2001: 5.01b 0.6%
2002: 4.89b 0.5%
2003: 4.29b 0.6%
2004: 5.23b 0.4%
2005: 6.05b 0.3%
2006: 5.76b 0.5%
2007: 5.30b 0.6%
Source: Synovate’s Mail Monitor

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CONSUMERS & SAVINGS

In conjunction with the introduction of a new interest rate on balances
in its
“Direct Savings Account” of 4.25%, an HSBC Canadian survey was recently
conducted to examine the spending and savings habits of consumers. The
survey
showed that across all regional and age demographics, Canadians tended
to be
money savers. Moreover, the research showed that 70% of Canadians have
either
investments or savings, 33.3% are saving on a schedule of pre-authorized
deductions, 55% save up rather than using credit and 12% will pay their
credit cards
off tomorrow. The survey also showed that 91% feel a high savings rate
is important,
less than 50% know what their savings account return rate is, and 48%
check their
rates of return each month. Comparing different Canadian regions, 88% of
Albertans
are confident in managing their money and 32% twice as likely as others
to put away
a set amount of money on a monthly basis, 29% of those in the Prairies
are more
likely to be at their credit maximum and 78% British Columbians say they
are no
where near their credit card maximum. HSBC Bank Canada has more than 170
offices while HSBC has nearly 10,000 offices in 83 countries and
territories with
assets of US$2,150 billion.

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