HOUSE OF LORDS

The House of Lords and UK’s Technology Committee have advocated
that the government, Internet Service Providers, and hardware/software
manufacturers take action to protect Internet users. This movement cites
evolving e-criminal skills and organization with the intention of financial
gain at others’ expense, a growing trend. In their advocation, the house
is recommending increased resources available to authorities to catch and
prosecute e-criminals, a centralized and automated system for e-crime
reporting, incentives to financial institutions to improve security and
encouraging Internet service providers to improve security.

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Cardtronics’ Second Quarter Revenues Up 5%

Houston-based Cardtronics reported second quarter revenues of $77.2 million, a 5.3% increase over 2Q/06. However, the Company posted a net loss for the second quarter of $5.6 million, compared to net income of $0.8 million for the same period last year. Cardtronics says the revenue increase was primarily attributable to the Company’s focus on growth in its United Kingdom ATM operations. The loss was related to selling, general, and administrative costs and vault cash costs, as well as higher depreciation expense amounts associated with additional ATM deployments in the United Kingdom and Mexico and incremental development costs associated with the Company’s in-house processing conversion efforts. Average transacting ATMs for the second quarter totaled 25,484, which represents a decrease of 1.1% from 2Q/06. Average cash withdrawal transactions per ATM per month during the second quarter increased 5.9% to 432, and average revenues per ATM per month in the second quarter increased 6.4% to $967. In July, the Company acquired the ATM portfolio of 7-Eleven, adding 5,500 high-volume ATMs and Vcom units to its portfolio, making Cardtronics the largest ATM network in the world. For complete details on Cardtronics’ second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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Austin Ventures Files a Creditcards.com IPO

Austin, TX-based Austin Ventures’ CreditCards.com, Inc. has filed a registration statement with the SEC for an IPO. The credit card application aggregation service posted revenues of $27.4 million for the first six months of this year, compared to $18.7 million for the same period one-year ago. The firm paid $12.0 million in sales and marketing expenses to generate Web traffic, mostly from Google, during the first half of 2007. Last year the firm produced nearly $43 million in revenues from commissions earned from nine of the ten largest credit card issuers. About 60% of its traffic is produced from paid ads while the rest is generic domain name traffic. In 1999 Los Angeles-based Electronic Card Systems acquired and changed its name to creditcards.com. Boston-based marketing firm DealJam LLC acquired the domain name for an undisclosed amount in 2001 from ECS. Austin-based ClickSuccess purchased the domain name for $2.75 million in July 2004 from DealJam. ClickSuccess sold the business to Austin Ventures in 2006 for $98 million. (CF Library 3/5/99; 2/13/02; 7/21/04)

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Cash Systems Names a New EVP/Operations

Las Vegas-based Cash Systems has named Charles S. Crawford, previously SVP of Corporate Development at Optimal Payments, as EVP of Operations. Crawford will oversee the day to day initiation of services for Cash Systems’ new casino partners, the continued reliability of real-time services and technical support to consumers and clients, as well as operational planning and implementation of new product offerings. Crawford served in a variety or roles with Optimal, most recently as SVP of Corporate Development and previously as Senior Vice President of Operations, a position that included oversight of client administration, consumer transaction risk management, bank and processor relations, client relations, transaction funding and reconciliations, project management and other day-to-day functions. Crawford entered the payments industry originally as President of Electronic Card Systems, Inc., a representative of merchant banks and served concurrently as the COO of its sister company, Electronic Authorization Systems, Inc., a provider of pre-transaction risk screening services. He has a Bachelors of Science degree from University of Nevada.Cash Systems is a provider of cash-access and related services to the retail and gaming industries.

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Experian Consumer Direct Nails Mighty Net

ConsumerInfo.com has entered into a settlement agreement and obtained an injunction against Mighty Net in a trademark infringement case. As part of the settlement, Mighty Net is required to change its business practices and make a monetary payment to Experian Consumer Direct. Experian Consumer Direct filed suit against Mighty Net in March 2006 for trademark infringement, claiming that Mighty Net copied Experian Consumer Direct’s URLs, logos, and the look and feel of its Web sites in order to drive traffic and create interest in Mighty Net’s products and services. To comply with the settlement, Mighty Net cannot copy Experian Consumer Direct’s current and future URLs, logos, the look and feel of Web sites, or advertisements. In addition, Mighty Net cannot state that Experian Consumer Direct or its sister company, Experian, authorizes or endorses its products or services in any way without written consent.

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EMN8 Names a New SVP/Engineering

Restaurant self-service solutions provider EMN8 has announced the addition of Michael “Mike” Crawford, previously, SVP of engineering at Syntricity, to serve as the company’s senior vice president of engineering. At Syntricity, Crawford was responsible for R&D product development, product management, the customer support organization and quality assurance. While there, Crawford introduced a combination of technologies and architecture that provided a foundation for a highly interactive user interface for advanced analytics in the development of semiconductors. Crawford has also served as a vice president of engineering for Prisa Networks, Inc., EMC Corporation, Loral Telemetry and Instrumentation, and as senior vice president of engineering at Lockheed Martin and L-3 Communications. EMN8 develops animated, rich-media self-service solutions for the restaurant industry.

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Funky Housing Market Means Weak Spending

A consumer index forecasts a weak spending outlook, primarily due to continued falling home prices. The Deloitte Research index found that large amounts of housing inventory continue to exert downward pressure on home prices, creating a negative wealth effect among consumers. However, partially countering the housing impact, the growth in the tax burden on households has slowed, the labor market is robust and real wages continue to be strong. The index, comprising four components – tax burden, initial unemployment claims, real wages and real home prices – fell to 2.67%, from an upwardly revised gain of 3.08% a month ago.

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Payment Data Systems July Volume Up 35%

Payment Data Systems announced that its credit card dollar volume processed rose 35% from the July 2006 level. Based on August processing levels for the first seven days of the month, August will also be a new record month for volume and expect a processing increase for the third quarter of over 50% as compared to the same period in 2006 and greater than 30% from the second quarter of this year. Payment Data Systems is a provider of world class electronic payment solutions to merchants, billers, banks, service bureaus, and credit and stored-value card issuers.

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Chase and Telemundo to Educate Hispanics

Chase and Telemundo have rolled-out a financial education tour for Hispanic consumers in five major markets. The tour, which also involves MasterCard, kicks-off in Chicago tomorrow and wraps-up in Houston on Monday, Aug. 20. Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix and San Jose are all stopping points for the tour. MasterCard has worked with the Hispanic College Fund for over a decade, providing direct scholarship support to more than 50 Hispanic college students. Chase also offers an increasing array of Spanish-language services, such as bilingual branch employees and customer service, as well as credit card applications, new cardmember materials and card statements in Spanish. Telemundo reaches 93% of U.S. Hispanic households in 142 markets through its 16 owned-and-operated stations, 36 broadcast affiliates and nearly 684 cable affiliates.

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AmEx Launches a Gift Card Promotion

American Express has launched a nationwide in-store promotion enabling shoppers to receive a free $25 “Back-To-School Card” when they purchase any two AmEx gift cards between now and September 30th. The card can be used at Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap and Linens ‘n Things. Consumers can visit a participating location, purchase any two AmEx gift cards, complete a rebate form found in-store and mailing it to the address noted on the rebate form. Participating retailers include A&P, Albertsons, Carrs Food Store, CVS, Dominick’s, Duane Reade, Eagle, Genuardi’s, Kings, Pak N Save, Pavilions, Randalls, Rite Aid, Safeway, Simon David, Tom Thumb, Vons, Wawa, and Winn Dixie.

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RentPayment Accepts the Green Dot MoneyPak

Los Angles-based Green Dot has inked a deal with RentPayment, the largest electronic payments processor in the multifamily industry. RentPayment customers will have access to cash payment methods using Green Dot’s “MoneyPak.” “MoneyPak” loads cash onto prepaid cards and is available at CVS/Pharmacy, Radio Shack, Rite Aid, Walgreens, WalMart and Kroger. The “Green Dot MoneyPak” is available nationwide and can be used by consumers in any part of the country even if a business is regional, such as is the case with many multifamily and apartment facilities. RentPayment’s services are available in over 2 million apartment units. Green Dot’s products include the “Green Dot MasterCard/VISA and Discover branded prepaid debit cards, Green Dot credit cards and the “Green Dot MoneyPak.”

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OPTIMAL 2Q/07

Optimal Group has released 2Q07 results reflecting a drop in revenue to
$28 million, compared to $52.2 million for the same period of last year,
and a drop in adjusted earnings of $4.3 million, compared to $9.8 million
for 2Q06. Net earnings also fell during the past year from $3.7 million to
$1.2 million. To blame for this lack of performance is the introduction of
the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 on October 13,
2006, forcing the company to cease the processing settlement transactions
of United States consumers. Optimal Group is a payments company that
processes credit card payments for various online and phone transactions.

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