St. Louis Bank Offers Discover Card Options

St. Louis-based Heartland Bank has launched an Internet bank offering multiple credit card options including the recently released “Discover Network” card, all of which offer travel, entertainment and product rewards. During the online application process, applicants’ identities are electronically verified and the customers will provide information on their existing checking account which will be linked to their Heartland Bank Direct Performance Savings account. Once the account is open, customers will have the convenience of transferring money between their Performance Savings account and existing checking account from any computer in the world. It offers one of the highest rates available, currently 5.05% APY, to all customers regardless of balance, with a minimum opening balance of $500 and no fee if the balance falls below $500 after opening. Heartland Bank has assets totaling more than $800 million.

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Multimedia Gift Card Ramps-Up its Production

Tulsa-based EnXnet and Duplium have doubled their production capacity for the “Multimedia Gift Card” from 600,000 cards a month to 1.2 million per month. Additional manufacturing increases are also being planned so that EnXnet will be able to meet expected demand increases in 2008. The “Multimedia Gift Card” provides marketers a unique format to speak one-on-one with their customers.

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GE MONEY & EDB BANK

For its activity in Denmark and Norway, GE Money has signed a 7
year, NOK 160 million contract with EDB. Providing an option to
expand to other countries in the region, EDB will provide GE Money
Bank with standard components for cards, payments and reporting
to the authorities. EDB offers platform-independent solutions for bank
offices, payment services, card systems, self-service banking and related
services. The company has 3,800 employees, and a reported turnover of
NOK 5.8 billion in 2006. Operating in all Nordic countries, GE Money
has nearly 50,000 employees and 120 million customers in 50 countries.
The Banks’ product offering includes services such as mortgage loans,
car financing, consumer lending and international credit cards. GE Money’s
Norway Office has 340 employees and some 300,000 customers.

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Card Issuers Need to Tweak Online Ads

While more advertising dollars are moving online there is a consensus the the market share of search advertising, where Google reigns as king, will decline from 40% today to 32% by 2011. However, IDC expects Internet advertising will grow to $31 billion by 2011. Major credit card aggregation Web sites such as Austin Ventures’ creditcards.com also face multiple challenges as credit card underwriting tightens, competition strengthens and market saturation peaks. Furthermore, advertising rates will likely increase as response rates will likely weaken. According to Mortgage Advertising Insider the best online strategy is the interaction, synergies and overlap of multiple online channels including banner advertising, paid search and sponsorships. Because advertisers attribute the buyer’s behavior to the last ad seen, they are blind to the implications of users who saw their ad over multiple publications and mediums.

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LIQUIX & POSTILION

Postilion has announced that Liquix will be using the company’s payment
processing engine for payments processing. Liquix currently provides
solutions for prepaid top-up payments, SMS reloads, interactive voice
response (IVR) systems, point-of-sale (POS) terminals and processes
payments and top-up requests for nearly 12 different organizations. These
organizations include telecom operators such as BASE in Belgium and
mobile virtual network operators like Ayyildiz and Simyo. The company
also provides gas top-up payment services for Essent, a Dutch household
energy provider. Liquix chose Postilion for its proven performance and
capability to apply prepay and top-up service. Liquix specializes in prepay
reloads, payment services and personal value storage systems such as gift
cards. Postilion is a division of S1 Corporation and a leading provider of
integrated solutions for self-service banking and payment processing. S1
employs 1,400 people in operations throughout the world and more than
3,000 customers use S1 software solutions.

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Cardtronics Raises Cash for 7-Eleven Deal

Cardtronics is planning to offer $125 million of Senior Subordinated Notes to fund its acquisition of substantially all of the assets of the financial services business of 7-Eleven. The notes are an additional issuance of Cardtronics’ 9 1/4% Senior Subordinated Notes due 2013, $200.0 million of which were originally issued in August 2005. Cardtronics is the world’s largest non-bank owner/operator of ATMs with more than 25,750 locations.

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CASHBOX EXEC

Anthony Sharp, having stepped down from his position as Chairman of
Cashbox, has resigned as a company director. In his place will be John
Maples, whom was Chairman of ATM operator Bank Machine Ltd
from 2003 to 2005 and was a Treasury Minister under both Margaret
Thatcher and John Major. Furthermore, Maples is a Member of
Parliament for Stratford-on-Avon and the Deputy Chairman of the
Conservative Party.

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Prepaid HSA Cards to Post a 60% CAGR

The Mercator Advisory group has released a new report focusing on prepaid debit cards for health spending accounts. The report evaluates the size of the HSA market today and forecasts growth through 2011. It also offers a forecast of the number of HSAs that will likely be candidates for HSA Prepaid cards. Not all Health Spending Accounts will be candidates for a Prepaid HSA card. For instance, many HSAs are under funded. Many have very low transaction rates because the owner perceives the HSA more as an investment account than for health spending. While there are just over 1 million HSA accounts associated with a Prepaid HSA card today, this will increase to 6.5 million accounts in 2011 – a compound annual growth rate of just under 60 percent.

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AAIBA & VISA MINI

With approximately half the dimensions of a standard-sized credit card,
Arab African International Bank (AAIBA) and VISA have launched the
“VISA Mini” card in Egypt. To be used at contactless POS terminals, just
as standard cards, the “VISA Mini” can be issued as a standalone or
supplementary card with a card number, name and expiry date and is
designed to be attached to the cardholder’s keyring. This feature helps
prevent card loss with a smaller size making the account numbers less
visible for fraud prevention. The new card, however, cannot be
used at ATMs. VISA products generate more than $4 trillion in sales
volume worldwide and VISA/Plus is one of the world’s largest global ATM
networks, offering cash access in local currency in over 170 countries.

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Walgreens Picks Fifth Third Processing

Fifth Third Processing Solutions has signed a new, multi-year contract for credit card processing services with Walgreens. Fifth Third Processing Solutions also provides debit and electronic benefits transfer (EBT) processing services to Walgreens. Fifth Third Processing Solutions processes over 21 billion ATM and POS transactions per year for more than 2,300 financial institutions and over 143,947 retail locations worldwide. Walgreens is the nation’s largest retail pharmacy chain with nearly 6,000 retail locations.

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EB ONLINE

In conjunction with the bank’s 30 year anniversary, Emirates Bank has
introduced online payment service through the Emaar online payment
service. This online service will be available for such products including
purchase installments, rental, service fees, maintenance fees and late
payment charges. Using the online banking platform, BankNet, the Bank’s
payment service will provide a payment mode to settle bills to various
parties
and government authorities such as Etisalat, DEWA, Dubai Police and Emaar.
Customers can also settle their credit card bills and make charity
donations.

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