Portfolio Recovery Q2 Profits Rise 17%

VA-based Portfolio Recovery Associates reported that second quarter net income grew 17% over 2Q/06 to $13.0 million. Total revenue in the second quarter increased 19% to $54.8 million. The Company purchased $2.5 billion of face-value debt during the second quarter for $63.4 million, the second-largest amount the Company has spent on debt acquisitions in a single quarter. The debt was acquired in 58 pools from 27 different sellers. Cash collections rose 9% to $64.6 million in the second quarter. The Company’s fee-for-service businesses generated revenue of $8.4 million in the second quarter, up 45% over 2Q/06. The Company also announced the appointment of Kent McCammon to the new position of Senior Vice President, Strategy and Business Development. For complete details on Portfolio Recovery Associates’ second quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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VISA Launches VidayDinero.com for Hispanics

VISA USA and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have launched a free, comprehensive Spanish-language personal finance website called “VidayDinero.com”The lessons and financial education resources found on VidayDinero.com have been developed using Visa’s free, award-winning online financial education program, /Practical Money Skills for Life/. Available in English, Spanish and Chinese, /Practical Money Skills for Life/ contains an array of tips to help prepare for life changing financial events, from planning a baby to saving for college and retirement, as well as a number of budget calculators and interactive games.The USHCC implements and strengthens national programs that assist the economic development of Hispanic business and works to promote financial success in the Hispanic community.

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Citi & Obopay to Offer a M-Payment Service

Citi will begin piloting a new mobile peer to peer payment service with CA-based mobile payments provider Obopay. Select Citi customers participating in the trial can add money to their mobile payment account via http://www.citi.obopay.com through credit card or electronic bank transfer. Then, using the Obopay mobile application, their mobile Web browser or text messaging, Citi customers can manage their mobile payment account directly from their mobile phone. Citi trial participants will be able to check balances, view payment histories, and add funds to their mobile payment account. Funds received via the mobile payment service can also be accessed with a prepaid debit card to be provided with the service. The mobile payment service will be initially offered to select new and existing Citi customers as part of a limited consumer trial in Boston and Chicago.

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American Banknote Joins GlobalPlatform

American Banknote is the newest organization to join as a member of smart card specification body, GlobalPlatform, and the association’s fifth new member since January 2007. A global supplier of secure documents, services and systems, American Banknote joins GlobalPlatform to support the development and promotion of the organization’s open smart card infrastructure, which it will utilize to enhance the deployment of smart card technology throughout the ABnote Group operating companies (Leigh Mardon, ABnote Brazil, Transtex, CPS Technologies, Arthur Blank, American Bank Note Company and Presscard).As a Participating Member of GlobalPlatform, American Banknote representatives will take an active role in the organization’s Systems Committee, helping to evolve the Committee’s technical roadmap and drive the continued, world-wide adoption of GlobalPlatform systems technology. The Systems Committee designs infrastructures for single and multi-application smart card programs and develops associated requirements, specifications and guidelines.American Banknote Corporation is a global supplier of secure documents, services and systems.

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Coinstar Money Transfer Service Expands

Self-service coin counting specialist Coinstar has inked an agreement to acquire GroupEx Financial Corporation in a deal valued at approximately $50 to 60 million. GFC provides electronic money transfer services between the U.S. and Latin America, and currently operates a network with approximately 1,650 send agents in 23 states servicing 13 countries. GFC has achieved a 240% CAGR in electronic transfers from 2004 through 2006. Following the deal the Coinstar Money Transfer service will be offered at more than 31,000 agent locations in 143 countries. The purchase includes a $60 million cash payment upon closing, at which time Coinstar will receive the cash on GroupEx’s balance sheet, which is expected to be approximately $12 million. In addition, there is a contingent payment of up to $10 million within 15 months of closing if certain performance hurdles are met. This is expected to produce a net purchase price of between $48 million to $58 million before cost savings or synergies; however, the exact net amount will not be known until closing. Coinstar products and services can be found at more than 60,000 retail locations.

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Authorize.Net Q2 Revenues Soar by 24%

MA-based Authorize.Net reports that revenue from continuing operations for the second quarter rose 24% to a record $17.2 million. Income from continuing operations was $2.0 million versus $457,000 for 2Q/06. Gross merchant adds in the second quarter were 20,740 with net merchant adds at a record 10,196, up 18% and 27%, respectively, compared to the same period in 2006. Active merchants as of June 30th were at a record 185,635, up 24% over the prior year. The Company processed $9.4 billion of merchant transactions in the second quarter, up 27% compared to the same period in 2006. Also, it processed 90.6 million transactions in the second quarter, a 24% increase over 2Q/06. On June 18th, Authorize.Net signed a definitive agreement to merge with CyberSource. For complete details on Authorize.Net’s latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

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

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CITI CLEAR CARD

Citibank has introduced a credit card with a spending limit of S$500 for
consumers in the 18-35 year old age bracket called the “Citi Clear Card”.
The introduction of this card is in response to a new exemption requiring
companies to issue cards to consumers with a limit of no more than S$500
whom do not meet minimum income requirements, a segment of
approximately 500,000 in Singapore. The “Clear Card” will offer holders
benefits, discounts and rewards in Sports and Fitness, Books and Music,
Dining, Fashion, Gadgets, Beauty and Wellness. Cardholders can also
make online bill payments to services and take advantage of Citibank
Rewards and 24-Hour “CitiPhone” Banking Service. Citi has nearly 200
million customer accounts in more than 100 countries.

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Printed Card Statements Draw Solid Response

A new study has found that Americans spend twice as much time reviewing printed bank and credit card statements compared to the 3.5 minutes spent examining their Web equivalents. Meanwhile, residents of large European countries devote even more time to these materials, at just over four minutes. The research released today by Pitney Bowes’ Group 1 Software also found that email to existing customers receives almost as much attention as the typical direct mail piece, while cold emails only have 50-90 seconds to grab the recipient’s attention. The documents that receive the most attention in the U.S. include bank/credit card statements and mobile phone bills, while government and tax correspondence command less interest. The research reveals that marketing offers that accompany bills, statements, and other customer correspondence typically generate response rates of around 5.5% — not far off the typical direct mail campaign response rates.

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CHASE & CBRC

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) has granted
JPMorgan Chase Bank approval for operations in the Asian country.
This development is part of, and accelerant to, the bank’s effort for a
broad geographic reach in the region. In conjunction with the approval,
the bank has also appointed a new chairman to work out of Beijing. Peter
Lighte, Senior Vice President heading up International Client Coverage
for Treasury and Securities Services for EMEA and Asia, joined the group
in 1979. Lighte has extensive education in the Asian culture with a PhD
from Princeton University in East Asian Studies.

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SEC Inquiry Delays Diebold’s Q2 Report

Diebold Incorporated announced that it will delay the release of its second quarter 2007 earnings results and related conference call, both originally scheduled for July 31. The delay relates to Diebold’s long-standing practice of recognizing certain revenue on a “bill and hold” basis within its North America business segment. In connection with questions that have arisen during the ongoing formal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Diebold has decided to proactively seek guidance from the Office of the Chief Accountant (OCA) of the SEC as to the company’s revenue recognition policy. While the percentage of this bill and hold revenue may vary from period to period, it represented less than 10 percent of the company’s total consolidated revenue in 2006. The company will issue its second quarter 2007 earnings results as soon as possible following a response from the OCA.

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FIRST DATA & CHECK FORTE

As means of expanding Brazilian operations, First Data International have
inked agreements for the acquisition of Check Forte processing services.
Check Forte offers services including data capture, switching and POS,
processing services to banks, and terminal management. Experts say First
Data’s global payments expertise and the channeling of a local market
presence through Check Forte is an ideal partnership for the expansion of
electronic payment processing capabilities in the country. First Data serves
over 5 million merchant locations, 1,900 card issuers and their customers.
The company’s STAR Network offers PIN-secured debit acceptance at 2
million ATM and retail locations.

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VISA Beefs-Up its Signature Dining Website

VISA USA has upgraded its “VISA Signature Dining” Web site with a new partnership with Zagat Survey. The enhanced site features information on fine dining and wine, as well as complimentary access to the latest Zagat restaurant ratings and reviews; access to epicurean events through partnerships with Sonoma County Vintners, Bon Appetit and Gourmet; special benefits at more than 40 Sonoma County wineries, including complimentary wine tastings and discounts on purchases; cooking classes through a new partnership with the Institute of Culinary Education; and dining reservations at restaurants worldwide through the “VISA Signature Concierge.” “VISA Signature” cardholders also receive discounted subscriptions to “ZAGAT TO GO,” a mobile information service.

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