PDS May Volume Soars 20% Sequentially

Payment Data Systems has announced the company’s credit card transaction processing performance for May 2007. increased 20% in May over the previous month and was 108% over May 2006. The associated transaction volume was 12% higher than April’s numbers and 65% higher than May 2006. Payment Data Systems, Inc. is an integrated payment solutions provider to merchants and billers and the owner of the electronic bill payment portal, http://www.billx.com, which has the ability to transmit payments to thousands of national billers.

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ePage Merchants Offer SAF-T-PAY

SAF-T-PAY Inc. has entered into a new partnership with e-commerce provider ePages. SAF-T-Pay will now be available to all of the 30,000-plus ePage merchants, providing their online shoppers with SAF-T-PAY as a viable and secure payment alternative. SAF-T-PAY’s unique model allows e-banking customers and online shoppers to make e-commerce purchases worldwide directly through their local bank. Utilizing their banking and merchant partners, SAF-T-PAY enables international online-commerce transactions to be cleared through the customer’s existing bank, offering them, for the first time, a completely secure and convenient way to shop globally, but pay locally. SAF-T-PAY – The Safe Internet Payment System – is a secure e-payment system that allows all online bank customers to make online purchases worldwide directly through their local bank. ePages is a provider of e-Commerce solutions for medium sized companies and hosting providers.

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U.S. Credit Card Cash Advances Fall in Q1

Cash advance dollar volume on VISA and MasterCard debit cards grew 19.6% in the first quarter while cash advances on credit cards fell for the first time in the industry’s history. According to CardData, credit card cash advances fell 0.7% in the first quarter, compared to 1Q/06. VISA and MasterCard cash advances on debit cards in the first quarter hit $84.1 billion, compared to $80.3 billion in the prior quarter and $70.3 billion one-year ago. Meanwhile, cash advances on VISA and MasterCard credit cards fell to $58.6 billion in the first quarter, compared to $63.2 billion in the fourth quarter and $59.0 billion for 1Q/06. Most VISA and MasterCard issuers charge cash advance fees of 3% plus a higher interest rate of more than 19%.

U.S. CASH ADVANCE HISTORICAL
Credit Debit
1Q/06: $59.0 billion $70.3 billion
2Q/06: $60.7 billion $77.8 billion
3Q/06: $63.1 billion $80.6 billion
4Q/06: $63.2 billion $80.3 billion
1Q/07: $58.6 billion $84.1 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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AmEx Launches New Ad for The Members Project

American Express has launched a new ad campaign this past weekend with the tag line: “You don’t have to be famous to make a difference — just a Cardmember.” The new campaign highlights the “The Members Project” wherein AmEx cardholders come together as a community to submit project ideas for making a positive impact in the world, rate and discuss their ideas and ultimately vote and choose one idea that American Express will help bring to life with up to $5 million. The new spot brings together tennis great Andre Agassi, singer/songwriter Sheryl Crow, comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, singer Alicia Keys, and professional snowboarder and skateboarder Shaun White as they share their ideas on how to make a positive impact in the world. The spot is directed by Martin Scorsese who also comes from behind the camera for a cameo appearance.

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Borders Introduces Harry Potter Cards

Borders has unveiled three limited edition gift cards designed especially for Harry Potter fans. The gift cards are holographic 3D images featuring the book’s cover art with Harry and Voldemort, the words “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” and Severus Snape switching between “friend” and “foe” as the viewing angle changes. The Snape image is a Borders’ exclusive based on the company’s “Great Snape Debate” campaign and publication of the book, “The Great Snape Debate.” The gift cards come in denominations ranging from $5 to $500 and can be used to purchase anything in the store. Borders is a $4 billion retailer of books, music, movies and stationery items.

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50% of Americans Have Card Debt Concerns

A new consumer survey has discovered that 48% of Americans are uncomfortable with the total amount of household debt they have. The poll by LendingTree also found that 54% do not have a financial plan. Not including mortgage debt, the survey revealed that 74% of Americans envision themselves being completely debt free at some point in their lives. The survey further uncovered that 50% of Americans confess they are concerned or extremely concerned about the amount of credit card debt they have and surprisingly, 10% chose to declare bankruptcy as the only way to solve their debt problems. Young Families, ages 19-34 with children, had the most shocking results of the survey participants. This life stage has the highest debt-to-income ratio (59% spend half or more of their gross income on total debt expense); is admittedly the most uncomfortable with their total household debt (68% are uncomfortable with their debt); and is the least financially prepared should an emergency occur (59% do not have savings available for an emergency).

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Paper Tyger Offers Contactless Shield

Paper Tyger has introduced a unique “easily printable” new product for protecting personal information on contactless smart cards. The new patent-pending RFID Shield contains a new security barrier to assure that sensitive information contained on the card’s RFID chip remains protected when not in use. When fabricated into envelopes or sleeves this revolutionary new lightweight product provides water resistance, durability, and printing and converting benefits of the traditional Paper Tyger line of products.

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Incomm Markets the Best Western Card

Best Western International and InComm is continuing to expand the distribution of the hotel chain’s gift card by introducing it at CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide. The $50 Best Western Travel Card is now being sold at approximately 6,200 CVS outlets in 43 states. The chain joins U.S. discount giant Wal-Mart and The Kroger Co. in carrying the card. Since last fall, it has also been available at Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores throughout Canada. U.S.-based Walgreens was the first retail outlet to offer the Best Western Travel Card beginning in November 2005. The Best Western Travel Card is used by guests to pay for both accommodations and related incidentals, such as room service, at 4,200 Best Western hotels worldwide. InComm is a marketer, distributor and technology innovator of stored-value gift and prepaid products with more than $5 billion in retail sales transactions processed in 2006.

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Marquis Jet Voted Best of the Best

Marquis Jet was recognized as the “Best of the Best” by Robb Report in its 19th annual “Best of the Best” issue. The Marquis Jet Card program was named “Best Flight-Card Program: Fractional,” based on combining the simplicity and low financial risk of a jet card with many of the advantages of NetJets fractional ownership program and additional attractive benefits provided by Marquis Jet’s alliance partners. In this year’s “Best of the Best” issue, Robb Report cites a number of exciting and exclusive Marquis Jet Card Owner benefits, including access to nine jet types from the industry-leading NetJets fleet; combination cards that provide flight time in two different NetJets Aircraft; and special access to top Sotheby’s events and a $3,000 certificate towards the purchase of Judith Ripka jewelry.

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MBNA/AMEX/AOL REWARDS CARD

BMO Bank of Montreal has added “AIR MILES” to its debit cards starting today. In addition, BMO customers who have a “Mosaik MasterCard ” with an “AIR MILES Reward Option” can also increase their monthly reward totals by as much as 30%, simply by doing more business with BMO. For example, BMO will increase the value of rewards earned each month by a multiple of 10%, 20% or 30% depending upon how many BMO banking products and services customers have in their portfolio of bank business. The program is a move by BMO to capture the personal banking
business of “AIR MILES” collectors who currently represent nine million active collector accounts or approximately two-thirds of Canadian households. BMO noted that since 2002, debit purchases in Canada have grown 73%.

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Magnum to Use the PaySimple Gateway

PaySimple is partnering with e-commerce systems provider Magnum for retail and restaurant establishments to process ACH direct-debit and credit card transactions through the PaySimple payment gateway. Magnum’s product offering includes a variety of systems ranging from e-commerce enabled websites to restaurant POS systems, all of which can be integrated with the PaySimple payment gateway. All functionality from the PaySimple gateway â” including reporting, recurring billing, and ACH direct-debit and credit card processing â” is transferred through to the Magnum system interface. From the interface, a business can automate and manage all of its retail processes with the combined functionality of the two systems. PaySimple is a provider of payment management solutions. Magnum is an e-commerce systems provider for small to medium sized retail and restaurant establishments.

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Emirates Bank Launches VISA Infinite

Emirates has launched the “Infinite” Visa, offering a range of customer
privileges and discounts. The new card also offers a high credit limit and a
concierge service, “Infinite Concierge”, with global resources to ensure
customers receive good service. The new card will also offer free access
to lounges in the Dubai and Abu Dhabi international airports, travel and
medical insurance options, roadside assistance, purchase protection and
special offers on retail, dining and travel.

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