PREMIER MILES VISA

Citibank has launched the “PremierMiles VISA” credit card in the Asia-Pacific region which offers mileage redemption opportunities through four frequent flyer programs. Citi rewards 60,000 flyers miles to every
S$50,000 charged on the card, equating to 1.2 miles rewarded for
every S$1 spent. Furthermore, 5,000 bonus “Citi Miles” are awarded upon
the first purchase made, 10,000 upon renewal of the card and an
additional 10,000 upon renewal if at least S$50,000 is charged in the
previous year. The participating frequent flyer programs include Singapore Airlines’ “KrisFlyer”, NorthWest Airlines’ “WorldPerks”, Thai Airways’ “Royal Orchid Plus” and Cathay Pacific’s “Asia Miles”. The card also offers complimentary hotel room upgrades and discounts, “Priority Pass” membership granting access to more than 450 airport VIP lounges in
over 275 cities, travel assistance service and a first-year fee waiver.

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Triton Names a New Top Executive

ATM manufacturer Triton has hired William Bill Johnson, previous EVP at Hill PHOENIX, as CEO. Johnson, who has more than 22 years experience in leadership roles, comes to Triton from Hill PHOENIX, where he served as Executive Vice President with responsibility for the Case and Refrigeration Systems divisions. Prior to joining Hill PHOENIX, Johnson was President and CEO of Graham Corporation. In addition, he was with ESAB Welding and Cutting Equipment, a global welding and cutting equipment manufacturer, where he served as Vice President and General Manager. Johnson has a Bachelor of Science degree in Ceramic Engineering from Alfred University in Alfred, New York and an MBA from Rollins College in Lake Mary, Florida. Triton has expanded into the banking sector and into 22 countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia, as well as countries throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe.

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FAMILY FIRST FIGHTS FEES

Family First is pushing for legislation to stop excessive bank fees with its
“Australian Securities and Investments Commission (Fair Bank and Credit
Card Fees) Amendment Bill 2007”. The bill has been referred to the Senate
Economics Committee and is modeled after policy in the UK to restrain
fees. The potential legislation cites statistics that show that, over
the last five
years, late payment fees on credit cards have risen more than 50%,
Westpac’s credit card penalties have increased by 16-40% over the last
two years, and St George credit card penalties increased by 40-50% in the
last two years. The legislation is aiming to stop excessive bank penalty
fees
by ensuring penalty fees are for cost recovery only, boosting the powers of
the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) fee monitoring,
and giving customers the right to sue banks for damages if they breach the
Act.

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Sub-Prime Card Issuers Post Strong Growth

Sub-prime credit card issuers continue to post higher growth than the overall industry. During the second quarter UT-based Merrick Bank posted a 23% year-on-year gain in outstandings and active accounts while SD-based First Premier Bank posted a 13% year-on-year gain in outstandings and active accounts. According to CardData (www.carddata.com) Merrick Bank had $956.1 million in credit card outstandings and 864,000 active accounts at mid-year. First Premier Bank reported $839.9 million in 2Q/07 outstandings and 3.4 million active accounts. Last week, Merrick reported it has now hit the one million cardholder milestone. CardWorks, Inc. is the parent company of Merrick Bank. Also last week, First Premier Bank agreed to settle with the New York State AG over its marketing practices including the charging of upfront fees upon card issuance. Under the terms of the settlement, First Premier will pay $4.5 million in refunds and $105,000 in penalties and costs. (CF Library 8/16/07; 8/17/07)

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TRANSUNION EXEC

TransUnion has appointed S.A. Raveendhrun as vice president of fraud
solutions to oversee theft prevention solutions in the Asia-Pacific market.
The appointment was made citing Raveendhrun’s experience in designing
and implementing fraud management strategies in the banking industry.
This experience includes his position as the head of the risk containment
unit for ICICI Bank retail banking, his time as founding chairman of the
India Payment Card Risk Council and as a consultant in the risk management
group at Citibank NA. Before this, Raveendhrun was employed with J.
Surendar & Company, American Express TRS in Delhi and obtained an
education with a degree in commerce from A.M. Jain College.

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Consumers Favor ID Theft Insurance

Bankrate has released a survey showing that 63% of Americans think identity theft insurance is a good idea. As part of the Financial Literacy project, Bankrate conducted a national poll with GfK Roper surveying Americans on insurance. Other findings of the poll include: 55% think trip insurance is unnecessary and in the event of financial hardship, Americans would drop life and/or disability insurance over health insurance. Bankrate is the leading aggregator of more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states.

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CNB Teams with Postilion for Prepaid Cards

S1’s Postilion division and OK-based Central National Bank of Enid have teamed to offer prepaid card programs for community banks. Postilion provides a range of card management services and is fully EMV capable, in terms of card production, management and authorization capabilities, and can help organizations become PCI DSS compliant. CNB offers FDIC-insured prepaid card products, along with card issuing and card processing, to financial institutions that wish to enter the stored value card market. CNB has been issuing and processing prepaid cards since 2000.

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U.S. Web Users Subjected to Malware

Cyveillance has announced its latest “Online Financial Fraud and Identity Theft Report,” indicating U.S.web users are most vulnerable to attacks. The report indicates that U.S.-based Web surfers are more at risk to malware attacks and online identity theft schemes than citizens from other countries, with more than 63 percent of malware distributed on U.S.-based Web sites. In addition more than 2 million URLs world-wide distributed malicious downloads to site visitors. Cyveillance also determined that despite the rate of traditional phishing attacks leveling off, there was a 20% increase in the aggregate quantity of brands targeted, indicating that phishers continue to change targets. Since 2005 over 1,400 companies have been attacked. Cyveillance found that of the 284 brands targeted by phishing attacks for the first time during the second calendar quarter of 2007, more than 80 percent were U.S.-based financial institutions. These figures draw a distinct parallel to the total number of compromised credit cards found online, of which more than 80 percent were supplied by US issuers. Cyveillance is a provider of cyber intelligence.

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Real Security Summit Adds DOJ Speakers

Shift4 has added representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice to the roster of speakers for the 2007 Real Security Summit in Las Vegas, focusing credit card transaction security and combating terrorism According to a news account in washingtonpost.com, British investigators uncovered “a significant link between Islamic terrorist groups and cyber-crime, and experts say security officials must do more to understand and confront cyber-crime as part of any overall strategy for combating terrorism.” Three men who pleaded guilty in the British case were accused of using stolen credit card data to pay for terror-related recruitment and instructional Web sites, and to purchase suspect items, including bomb-making components. The men were also alleged to have laundered money obtained through stolen credit card numbers through Internet gambling sites. Shift4 is a developer of secure financial transaction processing software and services.

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MasterCard & US Airways Launch Fall Promos

MasterCard has teamed with US Airways to offer two fall promotions. US Airways customers who book roundtrip airfare to select cities throughout Europe and pay with a MasterCard card can save up to 20% and earn up to 20,000 “Dividend miles.” Under the promotion customers can receive a 20% discount on business class or “Envoy Class” fares for travel between Sept 2nd and Nov 14th. Customers who purchase a roundtrip “Economy” ticket will receive a 10% discount. MasterCard and US Airways are also offering a 5% discount on roundtrip airfare and 5,000 bonus miles for travel to beaches in Mexico and the Caribbean. The US Airways beach discount is available to customers who book their roundtrip airfare by Sept 30th and travel between Sept 1st and Nov 14th.

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PAYPASS PILOT

Bank Danamon Syariah and Baznas Dompet Dhuafa have signed agreements
for the generation of zakat, an obligatory tax required of Muslims, and
funds
for charity from the syariah credit card, “Dirham Card”. The card requires
its holders to maintain a goodwill investment and manages a charity fund,
“Qardhul Hasan”, supported by card fees. Other goals are to educate and
encourage customers to save through the goodwill investment which is 10%
of their
card limit. ‘Akad’, consists of 3 contracts; Ijarah, Kafalah and Qardh. The
Ijarah scheme requires that the card issuer acts as the provider of payment
and service system for the card holder by charging a membership fee.
Kafalah
transaction scheme requires that the issuer acts as the guarantor
against the
merchants and the Qardh scheme requires the issuer to act as a lender
through
the cash withdrawals from the bank and is, therefore, obliged to return
the same
amount withdrawn.

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PSCU Selects GIS Platform for B2B

PSCU Financial Services has acquired Gentran Integration Suite (GIS) to become its business-to-business platform. The solution gives PSCU the ability to automatically handle a variety of multiple management credit and bill payment services in a variety of file formats and protocols on one centralized platform. GIS will also enable PSCU to optimize its data-transfer processes and improve service to the credit union community. GIS enables companies to extend processes to their customers, partners and suppliers while maximizing existing and future IT systems and technologies. PSCU Financial Services was formed by credit unions to provide products and services to credit unions.

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