CONSUMER VACTIONS

Scotiabank has conducted a survey revealing that 50% of Canadians plan
to take vacations in Canada during the summer months of 2007. The
study shows that 61% of the travelers plan to use their credit cards to
fund the trips while 47% plan to use cash. Destinations of choice indicate
the 12% will be visiting Quebec, 11% visiting Ontario, 10% to British
Columbia and 5% are going to Alberta. The average total cost of these
vacations will be around $2600. Scotiabank has 58,000 employees serving
approximately 12 million customers in 50 countries. The bank has $412
billion
in assets.

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VISA INC.

VISA has named Hans Morris as its new President of VISA Inc., effective September 1st. VISA also confirmed that John Coghlan, President and CEO of VISA USA has resigned. Coghlan led the U.S. region of VISA since July 2005. John Partridge, President of Inovant, will assume the expanded responsibilities of interim President of VISA USA. Morris is currently CFO of Citi Markets & Banking, a post he assumed in November 2002. VISA filed SEC IPO documents on Friday and will officially begin conducting business as Visa Inc. following a series of mergers involving Visa Canada, Visa USA and Visa International. Visa Europe will retain its member-owned association structure and will become a licensee of Visa Inc. (CF Library 6/25/07)

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PAYPASS STATISTICS

A recently conducted study by Mastercard Worldwide in collaboration
with Taiwan Mobile and Taipei Fubon Bank has revealed that 75% of
consumers prefer the use of Mastercard’s “PayPass” product in mobile
phones over traditional means. One hundred consumers were given the
NFC enabled Nokia 3220 mobile phone, with “PayPass” embedded, by
Taiwan Mobile to test the product. Other findings of the study include
participants using the Nokia made payments more often in comparison to
traditional contact-based cards, more than 25% whom previously used their
“Paypass” less than 3 times a months began to use it more, more than 40%
expressed preference towards using “e-coupons”, and 67.8% of participants
plan continued use of the product. The Mastercard “PayPass” is accepted
at 51,000 merchants globally and by over 2,000 merchant locations in
Taiwan.

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RESERVE BANK & CONSUMER

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has reported a slight increase in card
spending as of May 2007. This reflects only a marginal rise in consumer
spending, an area of economic concern as of late. Findings include a 1.1%
increase, to $4.6 billion, in electronic card spending between the months
of April and May, a .1% rise in total consumer spending, and a drop in
core retail spending by .4%. Furthermore, the overall trend was 8.4%
higher in May ’07 than May ’06. These findings reflect waning consumer
confidence despite high employment and rising home prices.

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MERCHANT CONNECT EMV

TD Merchant Services has introduced a “chip ready” POS solution by
Tender Retail called “Merchant Connect EMV”. “Merchant Connect
EMV” allows businesses to connect POS systems to the payment
processor for the acceptance of chip-based cards and ensures
merchants meet requirements of EMV. This is a reflection of
TD Merchant’s foresight concerning the payment industry conversion to
chip technology. Companies implementing the solution can also take
advantage of increased fraud protection, reduced liability for charge
backs, global interoperability, checkout efficiency, transactions at
offline and unattended locations and the elimination of dual receipts.

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CARDTRENDS

Citibank has released a report reflecting the cultural differences in
credit card trends and habits. Findings show that India and China
favor the use of credit cards as ID, Malaysians and Australians
oppose using cards as ID, 3.5% of Australians use cards over 20
times per week, and 81% of South Koreans pay off credit card in
full every month. Other findings reflect that Australians have 2.1 cards
each, Malaysians have an average of 3.26 cards, Australians use their
cards an average of 5.4 times per week, 60% of those in India and
Indonesia use their card once or twice per week, and 65% of South
Koreans use their credit card more often than cash/debit reflecting a
41% increase in credit card usage. Citi has nearly 200 million customer
accounts and does business in more than 100 countries.

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MELLON GROUP

For 2006, the Mellon Group has announced a 50% increase in
consolidated revenue of 50 million euro and consolidated earnings of 1.3
million euro. This is in conjunction with Mellon Groups’ parent company,
Mellon Technologies, reporting a 48% revenue growth to 20 million euro
and profit tripling that of 2005. This company growth is due in large part to the company’s expansion outside the Balkans to Poland and into Egypt. Also contributing to this growth is the group’s acquisition of OCCO. Composed of 15 different companies and employing nearly 2000,
Mellon processes transactions for many different organizations throughout Europe.

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Fortunoff and ADS to Launch a Co-Brand Card

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems Corporation has signed a multi-year expansion and renewal agreement with Fortunoff,to launch a co-brand credit card program. The new co-brand credit card program will complement Fortunoff’s existing private label credit card program, providing select customer segments with an alternate card choice for making purchases. Co-brand cardholders will receive five percent back on all purchases made at any Fortunoff store, online or through the catalog, and points-based rewards for all other purchases made on the co-brand card outside the Fortunoff brand. Private label cardholders earn points for every dollar spent on the card, redeemable for dollars-off on future purchases. Alliance Data will continue to provide Fortunoff with integrated credit and marketing services, including account acquisition and activation, receivables funding, credit authorization, card issuance, statement generation, direct mail and email marketing services, electronic bill presentment services, remittance processing, marketing and customer service functions. Alliance Data is a provider of marketing, loyalty and transaction services.

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Citi’s Furjanic Heads to Apollo Enterprise

Apollo Enterprise Solutions announced that John Furjanic, former EVP of CitiGroup’s Credit Policy and Risk Management group has joined the company as EVP, Analytics & Decision Strategy. Under his leadership at CitiGroup, credit loss rates were reduced for managed portfolios valued at $2 billion by more than 50% and $25 million per year and successfully managed credit process and policy system conversion for the Diners Club/MasterCard alliance in North America that increased sales by 50% within six months while maintaining credit loss performance within plan. Furjanic championed and managed a new product launch in January 2006 that achieved the entire year’s sales goal of $100 million by end of the first quarter. Furjanic holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering and an M.S. in Industrial Administration from Carnegie-Mellon University. Apollo Enterprise Solutions provides enterprise-class web-hosted solutions for receivables management and debt collections.

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Smartphone Market to Produce Phenomenal Growth

As the payment card industry gears up to tap into the mobile phone market a new report has found that smartphones and wireless data cards will show phenomenal growth rates in terms of both revenues and units shipped. Frost & Sullivan says its new report reveals that the market earned revenues of $127.8 billion in 2006 and estimates this to reach $152.5 billion in 2012. Besides the uptake of smartphones, replacement and upgrade sales in more developed markets and expansion of new subscriber base in developing mobile markets will drive global market growth. F&S says although smartphones accounted for less than 10% of total units shipped worldwide, they constituted nearly 15% of the total revenues. This was possible because smartphone’s average selling prices have become more than double that of feature phones. Vendors should produce more smartphones and also cultivate end-user capabilities with smartphones and their applications to increase revenues.

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