CPAmerica to Market I.C.E. Merchant Services

International Card Establishment has signed a marketing partnership deal with CPAmerica International, one of the world’s largest networks of independent CPA and consulting firms. Under the terms of the agreement, CPAmerica will initiate marketing of I.C.E.’s credit card processing and gift and rewards programs by providing links on the CPAmerica, CPACONNECT and CPA Mutual members’ only websites, sending out periodic emails to members, printing announcements in member newsletters and direct hardcopy mailings to new and existing customers. In turn, I.C.E. will promote CPAmerica’s referral program for professional accounting firms nationwide with a web-based marketing program to its existing customers. I.C.E. is a provider of diversified products and services to the electronic transaction processing industry.

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NATIONAL BANK & NOMAD

The National Bank of Malawi has implemented Nomad’s “CORTEX”
software platform for EMV migration because of its flexibility, open
systems
architecture and compatibility with the institutions “Bankmaster”
system. The
card processing solution provides VISA EMV compliance and will allow
the National Bank of Malawi to issue VISA cards. This development allows
the bank to maintain its standing as a leading financial institution in
the country,
according to experts.

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MGIC Investment and Radian Group Merger is Off

MGIC Investment Corporation and Radian Group jointly announced last week that they have entered into an agreement that terminates their pending merger. The companies cited as the rationale that current market conditions have made combining the companies significantly more challenging and believe it is in their best interests to remain independent companies at this time.

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CPI & LATIN ID

CPI and Latin ID S.A. DE c.v. have signed a partnership agreement to
increase its Mexican market presence. Latin ID will provide technical
support, logistic support and will import cards to issuers throughout the
region. Latin ID will also be hiring local sales representatives and
will support manufacturing with U.S.-based expertise to ensure Mexican
CPI expansion. CPI Card Group was established 20 years ago and is a
manufacturer of plastic cards with the capacity to produce over 1 billion
cards annually. Latin ID was also established 20 years ago and is a
distributor of security and automation solutions.

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CUs Generate Response on Life Balance Transfers

Dallas-based TNB Card Services reports that 33 of its credit union clients recently participated in a “good for the life of the transferred balance” promotion. The program yielded $5.3 million in transferred balances. The promotion gave credit unions a choice of seven different annual percentage rates, from 0 to 5.9%, with the option to extend three of those rates – 1.9%, 3.9%, and 5.9% – over the life of the transferred balance. The average amount transferred per cardholder across all the participating credit unions was more than $4,300. NJ-based First Financial FCU reported a response rate of 4.12%, with the average cardholder transferring $4,807. San Antonio City Employees FCU reported an average response rate of 6.51%, with an average balance transfer of $5,985.

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JEWELRY CARD

Gitanjali Group & ICICI Bank has launched a “Jewelery Card” to
provide customers with benefits at more than 200,000 Indian
merchants and 22 million around the world. The card was designed
for Gitanjali patrons, free of membership fees, and provides 8 reward
points per Rs. 200 spent at Gitanjali outlets. The card also provides
discount of 5% on purchases of diamond jewelery up to Rs10000,
discount of 7.5 % on purchases above Rs 10000 at Gitanjali outlets,
and Interest free EMI for 3 months or 6 months on purchases at
Gitanjali exclusive outlets. Benefits also include Rs 500 Gitanjali gift
vouchers, jewelery cleaning vouchers, Worldwide acceptance, ATM
access more than 3400 ICICI Bank ATMs and over 1 million Visa
ATMs, an interest free credit period of up to 52 days and 24-hour
phone banking services. ICICI Bank has a 50 year presence, assets
of Rs. 3,446.58 billion, a network of over 745 branches and 3340
ATMs.

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Nearly Half of Americans Lose Track of Spending

VISA USA released a survey today that shows Americans lose track, on average, of $2,340 annually. About half of consumers say they can’t account for more than one-third of their cash, spending an average of $120 in a typical week, but losing track of $45. According to the results, 48% of respondents suffer from mystery spending, with 7% losing track of $100 or more each week. One in five people who admit to misplacing more than $25 in cash per week say their mystery spending is “out of control,” and 62% feel that “small cash purchases make it difficult to track spending.” Furthermore, 47% say that “mystery spending makes budgeting difficult.” Americans ages 34 and under – especially men – are the biggest mystery spenders losing track of an average of $3,078 per year.

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America First CU to Offer Firethorn M-Banking

UT-based America First Credit Union has agreed to offer the Firethorn mobile banking solution to its 432,000 members. America First plans to go live with mobile banking and payments during the first quarter of 2008. Members will be able to use their mobile devices to pay bills, check balances, view history and transfer funds from their America First Credit Union accounts. America First selected Firethorn based on its relationships with the nation’s two largest wireless carriers and the opportunity for the application to be pre-loaded on AT&T mobile handsets, thus increasing visibility and likelihood of user adoption. America First has over $4 billion in assets and over 432,000 members. Firethorn is the mobile banking and payments enabler supported by the nation’s leading financial institutions and wireless carriers.

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MOBICLEAR, TRANSPACIFIC & BASTION

MobiClear Inc, Transpacific Broadband Group and Bastion Payment
Systems have signed a 5-year collaborative agreement for the sales
and promotion of Mobiclear’s electronic Personal Identification
Verification (PIV) solution. Promotion will be conducted through
web-hosting, joint client demonstrations, marketing campaigns,
catalogs and trade shows. The solution will be applicable for Internet
shopping, business-to-business procurement, and in-store retail
shopping. For the the PIV promotion, Transpacific Broadband Group
(TBGI) will be providing local infrastructure, data networks and all
virtual private networks (VPN). Bastion is to provide proprietary
payment solutions, systems and software, as well as its carrier-neutral
Internet data center. MobiClear, Ltd. specializes in electronic Personal
Identification Verification (PIV) solutions in connection with credit/debit
card transactions.

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