Webster Bank and First USA Extend

CT-based Webster Bank and First USA have announced the extension of their existing agent bank agreement. The credit cards will be marketed under the Webster Bank brand name and First USA will continue to service the loans and provide administrative support for the program. Webster Financial Corporation is the holding company for Webster Bank, National Association and Webster Insurance with $16.9 billion in assets. Webster provides business and consumer banking, mortgage, insurance, financial planning, trust and investment services.

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VISA Inc. Completes its Restructuring

VISA Inc. announced the completion of its restructuring, having received broad member approval for the series of transactions by which VISA Canada, VISA U.S.A. and VISA International have become subsidiaries of VISA Inc. VISA Europe will remain a membership association and will become a licensee of, and own a minority interest in, VISA Inc. The restructuring was lead by Joseph Saunders, Chairman and CEO. Last month VISA confirmed that its S-4 filed in connection with its proposed restructuring was declared effective by the SEC on September 13th. This gave the green light to proceed with securing the required approval of member financial institutions for the restructuring. (CF Library 9/14/07)

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Experian to Offer Credit Report Freeze

Experian, a global information solutions provider, announced that it will offer the option to freeze credit reports to consumers nationwide. Beginning Nov. 1, Experian will allow any consumer across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories to place a freeze on their credit report. A credit file freeze prevents new creditors from accessing the credit file without the consumer’s consent. Experian’s file freeze will be free to victims of identity theft. Unless state law mandates otherwise, there will be a $10 fee to institute, temporarily lift or permanently remove the freeze.

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VISA VS EU

The European Commission has made the decision that VISA Europe has
infringed on the European Union’s (EU) Competition law. VISA Europe’s
sentiments, however, are opposing to this decision and the card issuer has
declared its intent to appeal the verdict. VISA’s decision to appeal is
citing the
withdrawal of the Morgan Stanley’s complaint, the original plaintiff.
Additionally, Visa Europe responded with its declaration of committal to
create an internal market for payments in Europe, the establishment
of SEPA
and its decision to operate as a bank membership for the provision of an
association payments system. VISA Europe is a membership association owned
and operated by 4,500 European member banks that provides 321 million
debit,
credit and commercial cards in Europe that were used to conduct EUR1.2
trillion
in transactions during 2006. VISA operates in over 170 countries around the
world.

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Postilion Mobile Solution Set to Launch

Self service banking solution provider Postilion will launch the “Postilion Mobile” solution for banks and credit unions in the U.S. The mobile banking solution supports a wide range of banking and payment function, is multi-language and multi-currency capable, and offers a consistent look and feel across Postilion self-service channels. Postilion Mobile is based on technology developed by Fundamo, an international provider of mobile banking and payment solutions. Postilion has acquired a source code license to Fundamo’s mobile banking software, a proven technology that has been enabling mobile banking transactions since 2002. In connection with the source code license, a team of employees from Fundamo will join Postilion to continue to develop and enhance the Postilion Mobile solution.

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OBERTHUR 07

Oberthur Card Systems has reported its 1H07 financial statements reflecting
revenue, sales and operating income for the period and comparing
performance
with the same period of the previous year, 1H06. Most significant for the
half is a 13.7% increase in revenue, to EUR278.1 million, since 1H06.
Contributing to this revenue increase was a 27.9% in gross margin sales.
Furthermore, operating income, before Oberthur’s EUR9.1M manufacturing
restructuring, reached EUR15M, up 10.9 million since 1H06 while gross
margin
was up 3.9 points. Expenses, however, remained mostly unchanged at 22.6%
of sales for 1H07 compared with 22.3% of sales for 1H06. Projections for the
card business in Q307 sales is favorable to be consistent with the
current trend
and conditions based on the growth seen in 2006. This is thanks to
Oberthur’s
focus on cost efficiency, improving its purchasing policy, and expanding
R&D
resources with cost reduction programs in manufacturing and designing
the smart
cards through new services. The company had sales of EUR524.0 million in
2006 providing card-based solutions, software and applications. Payment &
Services generated 47% of the revenues and 38% was generated by Mobile
Communications solutions. Oberthur also has strong positions in ID projects
throughout the world, the Pay-TV market and Transit solutions. Oberthur
Card
Systems was established in July 2000 and is a subsidiary of the
Francois-Charles
Oberthur Group.

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Health Net Offers the BofA HSA Card

Bank of America and Health Net have teamed to utilize the “Consumer Directed Health Care” platform provided by Bank of America Benefit Solutions. This platform will enable “Health Net” members enrolled in a “Health Savings Account” compatible plan to have greater control over their health care spending by pairing affordable health insurance coverage provided by Health Net with a tax-advantaged HSA from Bank of America. For example, these members can choose between the ease of using a “Bank of America HSA VISA” debit card to pay for their qualified health care expenses or they can go online and request their health care providers be paid directly from their account using online bill payment. Health Net’s behavioral health subsidiary, MHN, provides mental health benefits to approximately 7.0 million individuals in all 50 states.

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ICBA Bancard and Billeo Partner

Billeo announced that its card-based bill payment solution will be jointly marketed with ICBA Bancard. ICBA is the largest association for community banks in the U.S. ICBA Bancard will make an exclusive version of Billeo’s directory of billing companies that accept credit and debit card bill-payments available to its nearly 5,000 member-banks. Billeo maintains the largest directory of companies that accept online bill payments via their websites, where the majority of consumers’ bills can be found. The Billeo Biller Directory is featured on the websites of more than 40 U.S. banks/issuers, including VISA. The nearly 6,000 participating companies in the Billeo Biller Directory span 26 categories, including utility, mortgage and cable companies, standard phone and wireless service providers, and credit card companies, of which over 3,500 accept payment via credit or debit card.

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EBA PRIORITY PAYMENT

The Euro Banking Association (EBA) is now ready to deploy its “Priority
Payment Scheme” to provide banks a solution to deliver payments on
the SEPA platform. From 26 banks in 13 European countries, “Priority
Payment Scheme” allows for fast money transfers for banks with declared
adherence to the scheme, registered to the Central Repository, domiciled in
SEPA and licensed in SEPA. The scheme will allow single credit transfers
from account to account within 4 hours and same-day funds availability and
payments on the EBA scheme can be sent on any mechanism able to
process urgent single payments.

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Paymetric Introduces XiPayNet Service

An on-demand Web-based service for accepting, managing and integrating credit card transactions in enterprise resource planning systems, such as SAP, has been launched. Houston-based Paymetric has released “XiPayNet.” The new service manages the payment card acceptance workflow – from payment origination, to card authorization, to transaction settlement – all without additional hardware, installation of software, or costly maintenance. “XiPayNet” also provides interfaces for multiple credit card processing institutions and most enterprise applications. Additionally, iPayNet enables secure payments to flow directly from an organization’s on-premise enterprise system, through the secure “XiPayNet” service at Paymetric’s PCI-certified data center, to a multitude of card processors or banks.

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MAYBANK & CUP

Maybank and China Unionpay have signed partnership agreements
that will allow CUP customers access to the Malaysian banking network.
This will benefit Chinese nationals, tourists and students in Malaysia
whom are customers of CUP and in need of banking network access.
This network will consist of 2,000 Maybank ATMs and 1,000 merchants
by 2008. These developments are also in response to research and statistics
that have shown that for 2007 it is expected that 600,000 Chinese in
Malaysia are projected to spend over US$400 million. Throughout the
country, Maybank currently has card acceptance with nearly 45,000
merchants.

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