ESPIRIT & CHECK 21 CHINA

After considering the acquisition of International Express Payment
(IEXPay), Espirit Financial Group has decided to purchase the
establishment’s sister company, Check 21 China. Espirit cites the
company is better suited for acquisition, considering the business
plans in place, and more likely to meet short term strategic needs than
IEXPay. Furthermore, Espirit expects a quick investment return with
Check 21. Espirit’s consideration for purchase of either of the companies
first came with the desire to access the China market. Espirit expect to
see results with Check 21 as early as next quarter.

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VISA Files its First SEC IPO Documents

VISA’s charge to launch an initial public offering remains on track as the network filed details of its plan with the SEC on Friday. The filing initiates a formal SEC review process. The participating members of the boards of directors of each region and VISA International unanimously approved the global restructuring agreement, which contemplates a series of transactions through which VISA International, VISA USA, VISA Canada and Inovant will become subsidiaries of VISA Inc., a single, global company. VISA Europe will remain a membership association and will become a licensee of, and own a minority interest in, VISA Inc. Once the SEC has completed its review VISA will undertake a global process to seek member approval of the restructuring. At that time, voting members will receive a definitive proxy statement-prospectus. The proxy statement-prospectus will serve as VISA’s primary tool for explaining the details of the proposed restructuring. Voting members will then be asked to review the proxy statement-prospectus carefully and approve the restructuring agreement proposed within it. Last month VISA officially named Joe Saunders as Chairman and CEO of VISA Inc. (CF Library 5/15/07)

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HSBC ATM Cards To Operate On China Unionpay

Gemalto has implemented smartcard technology with Financial Information
Network & Operations Ltd (FINO) enabling microbanking to be authorized
with the use of biometric authentication. This development is aimed toward
the rural population in India with the ability to store transaction
records on the
smartcard, including 15 different types of applications that facilitate
financial
services such as deposit remittances, savings, loans, insurance and
e-purses.
FINO provides core banking technology solutions for low-income households
of India and acts as a business correspondent of large institutions,
serving an
estimated 500 million people. Gemalto provides digital security with 2006
annual revenues of 1.7 billion euro, has operations in about 100
countries and
more than 10,000 employees.

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BITEL & INNOVA CARD

Bitel has chosen to work with Innova Card because of the increasing
requirements for data security and in order to meet PCI requirements.
Focusing POS design on PCI strategy, Innova Card is utilizing USIP.
This allows the companies to address emerging markets, global PCI PED
certified products, gives the ability to consolidate components and
streamlines mechanical design and security features. Bitel is preparing to
launch new wireless products this autumn utilizing the Innova Card USIP
processing chip. USIP Professional hosts tamper detection built-in
mechanisms (temperature, voltage, frequency and metal shield sensors),
keyboard monitoring countermeasures, permanent active protection,
automatically and rapidly erase keys for security, and side channel attacks
countermeasures.

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CHOICE & CONSUMER ACTION LAW

Consumer Action Law Center has demanded of the Australian Bankers
Association (ABA) and Abacus’ Australian Mutuals a stop to the
imposition of fees from financial institutions. This development is in
response to general perceptions of unfair and excessive penalty fees,
for late payments or overdrawing among Australian consumers.
Experts say that the financial industry has become very reliant on revenue
from these fees and penalties, which have been increasingly common
since 2004 with little done to prevent the growth. The Consumer Action
Law Canter and CHOICE’s recommendations include putting an end
to bounced check fees, providing real-time account information, ending
credit card over-limit fees, and limiting penalty fees to be in
proportion to the cost to the institution.

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TSYS Earns A 2007 International Award

Athena has introduced the “ASEDrive IIIe USB Bio KB” combining
the “UPEK TouchChip TCS2” fingerprint sensor and password-free
logon for PC keyboards. Using a smartcard keyboard, the solution
eliminates the need for password through fingerprint detection with
the “UPEK TCS2” Area Sensor. “ASEDrive IIIe USB Bio KB” also
uses Bio API and Precise Biometrics’ Match-on-Card technology for
multi-factor authentication and is compatible with PC/SC standards,
Windows 2000, XP and Vista, Linux and MAC. Athena Smartcard
Solutions provides smart cards, tokens, smart card readers, combined
keyboards and smart card management systems.

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MV MIGRATION

In response to the growing card fraud, members of Canada’s
payments industry will be implementing a migration to chip-
and-pin technology. Payment companies leading the initiative
include the Interac Association, MasterCard Canada Inc. and VISA Canada
Association, among others. Mercator’s International Payments Advisory
Service has released a report on the state of the payment card market
in Canada,
revealing that card fraud has been growing steadily since 2002 and costs
businesses hundreds of million of dollars. The report also analyzes
Canada’s EMV migration project, card fraud trends in the market and
offered an estimated time-line.

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Jordan Ahli Bank Now Offers VISA Gold & Classic

JACCS, Mitsubishi, and The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi (BTMU) have
signed agreements to introduce a credit card processing and acquiring
business alliance. The companies will have 35 million issued cards and
projected billings of JPY 8 trillion and are planning alliances in
Mitsubishi
UFJ NICOS non-contact IC card technology, BTMU’s Internet strategy,
and biometrics. Matters are to be further discussed regarding the
specifics of increasing operational efficiency in these areas. JACCS has
nine million cards issued and gross billings of JPY 900 billion. Mitsubishi
UFJ NICOS credit card company has a total of 26 million cards
outstanding and gross billings of JPY 7,100 billion. BTMU is expected
to take a stake of approximately 20% in JACCS.

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Canadian Tire Outlets To Accept MasterCard Chip & PIN

Transunion has hired Satish Pillai as vice president of Solutions
Development to be responsible for analytics and decisioning technologies
for the marketplace for Credit Information Bureau India Limited (CIBIL).
This development is relative to the introduction of CIBIL’s credit scoring
model, a first in India. Pillai was previously a director of collection
strategy
and a manager in the small business risk management area for American
Express. Prior to that, he was beginning his career with Banco Popular
North America, then with Wachovia Bankcard Services. His education
includes a master’s in economics from the University of Florida. CIBIL
currently has more than 77 million credit-active Indian consumers.

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Sub-Primers Pay Card Debt Before Mortgages

New research shows that consumers with credit scores of 620 or lower are more likely to pay credit card debt before mortgage debt. This represents a significant departure from conventional behavior. Consumers with higher scores still tend to follow the historical payment pattern. The latest Experian study found that the mortgage delinquency rate for sub-prime consumers has grown at 13.2% over the past four years. Also, between 2005 and 2006, outstanding mortgage balances for sub-prime consumers increased 8.8%, while total outstanding mortgage balances grew only by 3.3%. Over the past four years, bankcard lending to sub-prime consumers has risen by 137%, and mortgage lending to sub-prime consumers grew by 58% during the same time period.

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