CMB Inks With Happigo For Installment Payment

China Merchants Bank (CMB) has joined with Happigo TV Shopping Co
to introduce, “HappiZhao”, an online installment payment solution.
“HappiZhao”
will be interest free and available for CMB credit card holders. To
apply for
the program, consumers can either apply online, over the phone, or at
one of the bank’s
branches. The financing will be available for nearly 2000 items sold on
Happigo.

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Gemalto Announces a Restructuring Project

Gemalto will be implementing a restructuring project ending
manufacturing activity in the Orleans facility by the second half of 2008,
directly affecting 362 jobs in the facility and 47 elsewhere. This
development will also effect the redeployment of its production activity in
France and Western Europe and is focused on lessening the central industrial
costs and specializing manufacturing facilities. In doing so, the
Pont-Audemer
(Normandy) site is to manage production of SIM cards for Western Europe
while Gemenos will gather industrialization and the embedding activities
for
French banking cards. Gemalto had 2006 annual revenues of EUR1.7 billion,
operations in about 100 countries and has over 10,000 employees.
The Company employs close to 3,500 people in France.

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ABN AMRO Takes Anti-Skimming Measures

As a means of preventing skimming, ABN AMRO will be installing
equipment on 1200 outdoor ATMs. The company will soon be installing the
devices on all of its ATMs to prevent copying of the card’s magnetic strip.
This will save the bank money due to the fewer projected incidences of
having
to reimburse customers for the stolen funds. The bank processes 100
million withdrawals a year, over 97% of which take place through ATMs.

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PAGO Reports Record Low Chargeback Ratios

A new report shows that chargeback ratios for credit card
transactions have fallen dramatically to new lows. The average chargeback ratio is now 32 basis points, compared to 48 basis points one-year ago. Ratios for consumers from Germany is about nine basis points and for the rest of Europe about six basis points. All the results are based on the analysis of a representative selection of
around 30 million real-life purchase transactions processed through the
Pago platform between October 2005 and September 2006. Because Pago is a
credit card acquirer for VISA and MasterCard for the European license area, the transactions all originate from online shops in Germany, the U.K. and the rest of Europe. The new PAGO report also analyzes the E-commerce sectors retailing, gambling, services and travel and entertainment in more detail.

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Welcome Partners With AXA Private Equity

AXA Private Equity has acquired a majority hold in Welcome Real-time.
Welcome has bank customers in 21 countries around the world,
140 employees, and steady revenue growth at 50% per year. The
company’s card marketing enhancements create added value at the moment
of payment. AXA Investment Managers concentrates on private equity
investments and offers a selection of funds across a range of asset
classes.
These classes include Buyout, Mezzanine, Funds of Funds, Co-Investment,
Expansion and Venture Capital.

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Triton Selects MorphisSC Platform

ATM manufacturer Triton selected “MorphisSC” as the software platform for its worldwide technical support and services organization. MorphisSC provides real-time management of remote Help Desk facilities and field service organization functions. Triton will also be using the system to maintain up-to-date asset, owner and location information. Morphis data mining capabilities will enable Triton to analyze and more closely monitor service metrics using a variety of parameters. Every technical support call from field technicians will be recorded, building a historical service record, which will allow Triton to better analyze service performance and provide a higher level of support. Morphis is a supplier of currency supply chain management software. Triton is a provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software.

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British Break Record In Charity Donations

From the period of January to April of 2005, APACS plastic card
statistics have revealed that a record-breaking GBP 373.7 million have been
donated in Briton. This figure is GBP 200 million over the net total
donated in
the same period of the previous year and included donations to
political, social
and religious organizations on debit and credit cards. Experts credit
this leap in
donations on cards to sums raised by the central of Disasters Emergency
Committee following the Tsunami and Comic Relief’s “Red Nose Day”.

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ING & ANZ Introduce Pension Access Solution

ING & ANZ have combined resources to offer retirees access to pension
funds. In doing so, the institutions are combining pension with an
integrated
cash management account and granting access to the funds through ATMs,
branches, and Internet banking. The combining of resources consists of
ING’s
“OneAnswer” pension product offering ANZ “Prime Cash Management”
account as an investment option and providing access to funds. “OneAnswer”
provides over 70 investment options from ING and gives customers the
ability to shift funds between all the investment options.

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Federal Preemption on Data Security

The National Retail Federation says any new federal law on the national data breach notification standard should have strong preemption and recognize the fact that retailers usually do not possess the private consumer data needed to commit identity theft. Legislation on data security should take into account both the type of data held by different businesses — not imposing the same requirements on retailers, for example, as on financial institutions, which hold a full array of personal data — and also their size. Similarly, extending data security laws to paper documents is unnecessary because would-be identity thieves are not likely to steal large quantities of paper documents when they can more easily acquire the data electronically. Legislation requiring retailers who suffer a data breach to reimburse banks for the cost of reissuing credit cards is not needed because merchants’ contracts with credit card companies and banks already require the party responsible for a data breach to cover associated costs.

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McLuskie Leaves the MasterCard Board

MasterCard announced that Norman McLuskie, Class M Director and former Chairman, Retail Direct of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, has concluded his service as a member of the Board of Directors. McLuskie served as a MasterCard director since 2000. Class A stockholders also reelected Class A Directors Nancy Karch, Director Emeritus, McKinsey & Company, and Edward Suning Tian, Chairman, China Broadband Capital Partners. Stockholders also approved the conversion of up to 13.4 million shares of Class B common stock into Class A common stock, and repurchase of up to $500 million of Class A common stock in open-market transactions. MasterCard’s Board of Directors also declared a cash dividend of $0.15 per share, payable on August 10th, to holders of record of its Class A common stock and Class B common stock as of July 3rd.

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Consumer Confidence Weakens in June

After a one-month rebound consumer confidence slumped in June as respondents expressed less confidence about their current situation and are only mildly optimistic about their future prospects. Rising mortgage rates, $3+ gasoline prices and weakening equity prices are contributing factors. The “RBC CASH Index” plummeted to 81.4 for June, well below May’s 87.1 level. Americans’ ratings of their current personal finances dropped in June, with 23% saying their personal finances are “strong,” down from 31% in May. By comparison, 27% of consumers rate their personal finances as “weak.” In addition, consumers said they were less comfortable making major purchases, such as a home or a car. The “RBC CASH Index” is a monthly national survey of consumer attitudes on the current and future state of local economies, personal finance situations, savings and confidence to make large investments. The “Index” is composed of four sub-indices: “RBC Current Conditions Index;” “RBC Expectations Index;” “RBC Investment Index;” and “RBC Jobs Index.”

RBC INDEX HISTORICAL
Jun 06: 84.1
Jul 06: 80.1
Aug 06: 74.8
Sep 06: 93.7
Oct 06: 83.1
Nov 06: 92.4
Dec 06: 86.9
Jan 07: 95.3
Feb 07: 103.0
Mar 07: 92.3
Apr 07: 85.4
May 07: 87.1
Jun 07: 81.4
Source: RBC Financial Group

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