VAUGHAN MUNICARD

The City of Vaughan has launched a municipal credit card called
the “MuniCard”. The “MuniCard” will reward cardholders with
savings on municipal property taxes when purchases are made
using the card. The credit card points are channeled to the customer’s
property tax balance for commercial and residential real estate. The
card was designed to make the necessary expense less of a burden
for the residents of Vaughan.

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MasterCard & Orbiscom Launch MC inControl

MasterCard and Orbiscom have inked a deal to create “MasterCard inControl,” a platform that offers an array of advanced authorization, transaction routing and alert controls designed to enable issuers to more quickly and cost- efficiently introduce new and enhanced products. The first application to be launched later this year from the “MasterCard inControl” platform is a solution which provides enhanced purchase controls for the “MasterCard Corporate Purchasing Card.” Among the new features: enhanced authorization controls that direct how, when and where cards may be used to a greater level of specificity than previously supported; intelligent routing capability that enables a transaction to be routed through to the appropriate funding source at authorization time, depending on the transaction characteristics; robust alert functionality that provides personalized real-time communication on transaction activities; and a one-time use number feature that allows authorization, spending limits and usability controls to be set on a transaction-by-transaction basis, providing enhanced levels of security, control, data capture and traceability on every purchase.

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PayPass Goes to the Community Bank Level

MO-based Central Bancompany is the first community bank holding company to issue “MasterCard PayPass” cards to its customers. Member banks currently offering this new technology to its customers include: Boone County National Bank, Columbia; Central Bank of Lake of the Ozarks, Osage Beach; Central Trust Bank, Jefferson City; City Bank and Trust Company, Moberly; Empire Bank, Springfield: First Central Bank, Warrensburg; First National Bank of Audrain County, Mexico; First National Bank of Missouri, Lee’s Summit; First National Bank of St. Louis, Clayton; Jefferson Bank of Missouri, Jefferson City; Ozark Mountain Bank, Branson; and Third National Bank, Sedalia. As of 2Q 2007, PayPass is currently accepted globally at more than 55,000 merchant locations, including participating 7-Eleven, CVS, McDonald’s, Regal Entertainment Group theaters and many others. PayPass is also accepted at numerous football and baseball stadiums. Central Bancompany is a full-service financial institution with $7.8 billion in assets.

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PINless Debit Bill Payment to Grow 40%

A new study has determined that PINless debit bill payment volume this year will be at least 40% higher than in 2006. TowerGroup says its new research identifies the challenges related to PINless debit bill payment, the methods for overcoming these obstacles, and the durability of PINless debit as an alternate payment method. PINless debit offers benefits to billers that “split the difference” between credit cards and ACH debits. PINless debit, like credit cards, provides guaranteed funds. ACH does not. However, PINless debit does not have the higher fee structure associated with credit cards.

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Payment Data Systems Volume Up 17% Over July

Payment solution provider Payment Data Systems announced that its credit card dollar volume processed in August was its highest for any month to date and surpassed July’s volume by 17%. On an unaudited basis, dollar volume for August rose 57% from the August 2006 level. Based on September processing levels for the first ten days of the month volume for the third quarter will also set a record for the highest volume of processing in any quarterly period. Payment Data Systems is an integrated provider of world class electronic payment solutions to merchants, billers, banks, service bureaus, and credit and stored-value card issuers.

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American Express Unveils the Plum Card

American Express has introduced the “Plum Card.” The new card for small business owners offers an early pay discount of up to 2% and the ability to defer payment up to two months. Cardholders who pay in full within 10 days of the end of the billing period receive the early pay discount of 2% discount on new spending when it exceeds $5,000. Any month the charges total $5,000 or less receive a 1% discount for early payment. Payment can also be deferred up to two months by paying 10% of the balance by the date indicated in the billing statement. The card’s $185 annual fee is waived the first year. The card also offers access to the “OPEN Savings” program, which offers automatic savings at select travel and service providers, and business suppliers like Delta, JetBlue, Fedex Kinko’s, and Hyatt. AmEx says the new “Plum Card” was developed for small businesses with high materials costs and variable cash flow, including construction, retail, wholesale, IT/Solution providers, the auto-care after market and others.

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50%+ of Online Consumers Abandon Applications

VA-based comScore released a new study conducted with Forrester Research that found 54% of online financial product applicants abandon applications prior to submitting. Of those who initiated an online financial application but did not submit it, 49% said that they had no intention of completing the application. This percentage was higher for deposit product applicants (58%) and substantially lower for credit card applicants (32%). The top reasons cited by those who did not intend to complete the application included: 23% wanted more product information; 19% were not ready to apply and 14% wanted to see if they qualified for the product. Those who started an application with the intention of completing it, but who ended up abandoning the application cited the following reasons for not completing the application, 12% changed their mind about applying online, 11% had privacy/security concerns and 11% wanted to speak to a sales person regarding the product.

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Maine Bank Introduces the RewardsNOW Program

ME-based Bar Harbor Bank & Trust and RewardsNOW has rolled out “Pik n’ Clik” and “Full Spectrum Rewards” programs. With “Pik n’ Clik,” when customers open a new debit card and checking account at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, they are set up with a reward account and credited with an initial number of points. Customers can redeem those points immediately for a gift, or save them for later use. “The Full Spectrum Rewards” program lets customers accumulate additional points through the business they transact with the Bank on an ongoing basis. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is an $840 million community bank. RewardsNOW is a premier provider of marketing services and loyalty programs for the financial industry.

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BofA New ATM Fees Ignite a Consumer Fury

Bank of America’s plan to raise fees for non-customers at many of its ATMs to $3 per transaction has kicked off a fury among consumer groups. The consumer groups says it fears the ultimate consequence would be an unconscionable squeeze on low- and middle-income bank consumers. Americans for Fairness in Lending, California Reinvestment Coalition, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Service Employees International Union, and Woodstock Institute notes that many consumers who are unable to leave work to use lobby services during traditional “banking hours” and rely heavily on ATM transactions for small-dollar amounts will bear a disproportionate financial burden in affording these increases. The consumer groups says it believes the temptation to squeeze out new profits by gouging consumers with unreasonable and unjustified fee hikes is one that should be resisted by our nation’s financial institutions’ and meet resistance from both consumers and Congress.

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LeadPoint Launches Voice Leads Exchange

CA-based online leads exchange LeadPoint has launched a credit card debt voice leads exchange to allow buyers to purchase leads generated from high quality sources such as television, radio, print, and call centers. Online leads exchange LeadPoint has launched a credit card debt voice leads exchange to allow buyers to purchase leads generated from high quality sources such as television, radio, print, and call centers. The highly automated bid-based exchange allows buyers to purchase leads based on an ROI model, changing their pricing in real time based on conversion of the leads. Additionally, buyers can change their filters at any time, including credit card debt amount, days past due and state. LeadPoint is a leads exchange marketplace. Leads are competitively priced based on criteria and bidding by members of the LeadPoint community.

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TSYS & NATIONWIDE PROCESSING

TSYS has signed agreements to process Nationwide Building Society’s
credit card account portfolio, becoming the processor’s largest client. TSYS
will also provide member support services through a customer care center
with nearly 300 agents for the 1 million + Nationwide VISA cardholders.
Nationwide has over GBP 100 billion in assets with more than 100 mergers,
is a mortgage lender, savings provider and has around 13 million members.

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