Small Business Confidence Rises in July

Economic confidence among small business owners rose in July after a very sharp drop in June which was driven by a deteriorating outlook on economic conditions for their businesses, rising insecurity about the U.S. economy and increased cash flow issues. The “Discover Small Business Watch” index rose to 107.3, up nearly five points from June’s 102.5. The number of small business owners who report having had no cash-flow issues for the past 90 days is up to 60, the highest it has been since March. Discover found that 41% of small business owners feel that economic conditions for their business are getting better, a significant increase from 34% in June. about 39% of owners said that they would rate the overall U.S. economy as excellent or good, which is nearly the same as last month’s 38%. Also, 38% plan to increase spending on business development, up from 35% last month. Additionally, the poll found that three out of four small businesses said that their business either increases or stays the same during the summer.

Discover Small Business Watch
Aug 06: 100.0
Sep 06: 107.0
Oct 06: 120.0
Nov 06: 130.0
Dec 06: 109.7
Jan 07: 114.3
Feb 07: 113.4
Mar 07: 117.7
Apr 07: 110.3
May 07: 110.0
Jun 07: 102.5
Jul 07: 107.3
Source: Discover Business Card

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Advanta Outstandings Rise 36%; Profits Fall 3%

Advanta Corp. reported second quarter 2007 net income from continuing operations of $0.51 per diluted share for Class A and Class B shares combined. This is $0.03 per share higher than the first quarter. It includes a $0.01 per share asset valuation gain associated with the Company’s venture capital portfolio.

“The powerful dynamics we have described in the business are once again demonstrated by the performance in the quarter,” said Dennis Alter, Chairman and CEO.

Ending managed receivables grew to $6.0 billion at quarter end with ending owned receivables totaling $1.1 billion. During the quarter, 103,000 new customers were added and transaction volume increased to $3.7 billion. The managed net credit loss rate was 3.48% and the owned net credit loss rate was 3.06%.

About Advanta

Advanta is one of the nation’s largest credit card issuers (through Advanta Bank Corp.) in the small business market today. Advanta’s exclusive focus on this market, as well as its size, experience and commitment to developing meaningful product offerings and a high level of service tailored to the needs of small businesses, differentiate the company from other issuers. Founded in 1951, Advanta has long been an innovator in developing and introducing many of the marketing techniques that are common in the financial services industry today. Learn more about Advanta at www.advanta.com.

For complete details on Advanta’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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Identity Theft is a Real Ouch Point

A new study has found that 54% of consumers cited identity theft and fraud as their biggest personal financial concerns. The findings from Opinion Research’s monthly “Ouch Point Series” suggest that financial institutions still have to pay attention to the basics of the customer experience as nearly 20% of consumers polled said that rude tellers or unhelpful service centers make their “blood boil. The survey also found that consumer’s top personal finance “Ouch Points” were fraud or identity theft (54%); over the limit bank charges (12%); unhelpful service centers (10%); unhelpful or rude tellers (9%); bureaucracy (8%); and expensive ATM charges (6%).

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Most Consumers Protect Their Identities

MA-based IdentityTruth released a survey that shows 85% of the respondents believe that they are taking some measures to protect their identities by shredding documents, securing sensitive information at home and using caution when responding to emails requesting information. The survey also disclosed that 75% of those respondents are most concerned with credit card fraud. IdentityTruth’s survey of 8,500 consumers found that 89% of consumers say that they worry about identity theft; and 80% expressed interested in a service that would notify them of security-related problems. A 2006 report published by the FTC, shows that out of the $5 billion in identity fraud, only 25% was based on credit card fraud and of that, only 12% were new accounts fraud.

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Profitable Pay Card Rolls-Out

Las Vegas-based Cubis Financial has introduced its “Profitable Pay Card.” The new prepaid debit card provides all the elements necessary for rapid deployment and program success with virtually no changes to existing ACH direct deposit payroll procedures. The solution provides customized card design and printing; a full-time compliance department; a Website that allows employers to track and manage direct deposit activity; a user Website that enables employees to check their balance, pay bills, and access other benefits 24 hours a day; marketing collateral for use in educating and promoting the program to employees; ongoing technical and customer service support; and it offers employees nationwide access to over 32,000 Allpoint surcharge-free ATMs.

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