Q1 Debit Card PDV Bucks Historical Trends

U.S. debit card purchase dollar volume continued to march upward in the first quarter besting the prior quarter by $3 billion. Historically, there is a slight dip in debit card PDV during the first three months of the year. According to CardData, debit card volume hit $189.1 billion in the first quarter, compared to $186.1 billion in the prior quarter. VISA’s consumer signature debit purchase volume rose 8.4% to $119 billion for the first quarter. MasterCard’s first quarter debit purchase volume, which now includes all PIN debit data and online debit, rose 45.3% to $63 billion. MasterCard began including online debit in the second quarter of last year. At the end of the first quarter VISA had 208 million consumer debit cards in force while MasterCard reported 103 million debit cards.

U.S. VISA/MC DEBIT CARD PURCHASE VOLUME
2Q/06: $177.1 billion
3Q/06: $179.5 billion
4Q/06: $186.1 billion
1Q/07: $189.1 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Co-Branded/Affinity Cards Up 51% Since 03

A new study estimates that between 30 and 60 million U.S. consumers carried over 320 million co-branded and affinity credit cards last year. Market research publisher Packaged Facts says the figure is up 51% compared to 2003. The report also estimates that consumers used co-branded and affinity cards in at least 9.4 billion transactions worth at least $849 billion. The research found that the co-branded and affinity card market is thoroughly saturated and that most of the deals involving big customer lists have been thoroughly mined. However, the report suggests that co-branded debit cards are just in their infancy pointing to strong growth potential for co-branding.

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Debt Eliminator Scam Settles with the FTC

Debt Solutions, DSI Financial, DSI Direct, and Pacific Consolidation Services have agreed to settle FTC charges that their debt elimination program violated federal and state laws. Under the scam, consumers were told that a financial consultant with special relationships with the consumers’ creditors would negotiate substantially lower interest rates for them, resulting in reduced monthly payments and elimination of debt with guaranteed savings of at least $2,500. Consumers paid $399 to $629 for the program. However, the FTC charged that the promised savings were based on projected savings that would result from simply paying more than the monthly minimum on their credit card debts over an extended period of time and not from reduced interest rates on the credit card debts. Kenneth Schwartz and Jennifer Whalen owned the four entities. .

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IndyMac Joins AmEx Mortgage Rewards

American Express announced that IndyMac Bank has become the second lender to offer the “Express Rewards Mortgage” program wherein monthly mortgage payments can be charged to an AmEx card and earn “Membership Rewards”. The Express Rewards Mortgage program, designed for the consumer seeking a new or refinanced prime loan, provides cardmembers with the ability to pay recurring monthly mortgage payments on the American Express Card. The program is open to all American Express consumer cardmembers and applies to new or refinanced qualifying prime loans offered by Indymac. To be eligible for the program, the cardmember must qualify for, and close on, a participating prime loan under Indymac’s underwriting standards and must be pre-authorized by the issuer to make the anticipated monthly payment.

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MobiClear Names a New Top Executive

MobiClear has hired Anders Ericsson, previously with Global Connexion, as its new CEO. Ericsson served for five years as the CEO of Zurich-based Global Connexion, a IT venture and consulting firm. Ericsson served in various upper management positions with Ericsson Group, Ltd., the Swedish provider of telecommunications equipment. MobiClear specializes in electronic Personal Identification Verification (PIV) solutions in connection with credit/debit card transactions.

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Hang Seng Bank Allowed To Establish Subsidiary In China

The China Banking Regulatory Commission(CBRC) has granted Hang Seng bank
permission to establish a locally incorporated bank in mainland China.
Hang Seng
bank is a member of the HSBC Group and operates 150 branches, automated
banking centers, and 13 Business Banking Centers in Hong Kong. The bank also
has a branch in Macau, a network of 17 mainland China outlets, including
seven
branches, nine sub-branches and one representative office. The Bank also
has a
representative office in Taipei. With assets of HK$669.1billion at the
end of 2006,
the Hang Seng Bank reported a profit attributable to shareholders of
HK$12.04
billion for 2006.

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HSBC ATM Cards To Operate On China Unionpay

HSBC ATM cards are now accepted at China Unionpay ATMs and POS
allowing cardholders to withdraw funds, check balances and make purchases.
This development is projected to be beneficial to tourism considering that
73.9 million visits to mainland China, 60% of the total in-bound visits
to the
country, were of Hong Kong citizens. CUP ATM cards have been accepted
by HSBC’s ATMs in Hong Kong since January 2005 enabling CUP
cardholders to withdraw cash in Hong Kong dollars and check account
balances. CUP has the widest network of nearly 100,000 ATMs and
890,000 POS terminals across the country.

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Canadian Tire Outlets To Accept MasterCard Chip & PIN

Canadian Tire and MasterCard Canada have jointly announced that Canadian
Tire is establishing software and POS in its 468 stores to accept
MasterCard Chip
and PIN cards before the end of next year. Canadian Tire is a retail
outlet to which
40% of Canadians visit each week. This development marks the progress of
the
Canadian marketplace with this advance in card security. The chip is a
processor
enhancing security with information in an encrypted form and requires
the use of a PIN
complete the transaction. The store has 1,100 general merchandise and
apparel retail
stores, gas stations and car washes in an inter-related network of
businesses engaged
in retail, financial services and petroleum.

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Jordan Ahli Bank Now Offers VISA Gold & Classic

Jordan Ahli Bank has announced that it will be offering VISA Gold and
VISA Classic cards. The bank will offer the cards with the lowest
interest rate
in the Region and a variety of monthly payment schemes which suits their
individual needs. Options allow the customer to pay the balance in full
or to
reimburse 5% of the utilized credit with a minimum amount of JD 10. This
development allows clients to make purchases from points-of-sale anywhere
around the globe and cash withdrawals from ATM machines with”Visa” and
“Plus” emblems.

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TSYS Earns A 2007 International Award

At the annual “Cards International Awards Dinner”, TSYS was awarded
the “Card Processor of the Year”. Contributing factors to the judges’
decision include the company’s creation of the joint venture with CUP Data
in China; the acquisition of Card Tech Limited; and TSYS’ multi-product,
multi-country expansion across Europe and in Japan. TSYS offers
processing technologies that support consumer-finance, credit, debit and
prepaid services for financial institutions and retail companies around the
world.

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SMARTTRAC Completes multitape Acquisition

SMARTTRAC has announced the completion of the acquisition of multitape
GmbH. Having acquired a 25.2% stake in the company in January 2007,
SMARTTRAC has announced the acquisition of the remaining 74.8% for
which the price is not being disclosed. Multitape GmbH provides etching
technology used to etch antennae structures out of a substrate and
compliments SMARTRAC’s wire-embedding technology used in Radio
Frequency Identification (RFID) components. These inlays are used in public
transport, access controls, logistics, passports with integrated
contactless
chips (ePassports), and contactless credit cards (ePayment). Furthermore,
the inlays are designed to work at high frequencies (13.56 MHz) at a
distance
of not more than ten centimeters or at low frequencies (125 kHz) at
distances
of up to 80 centimeters.

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Global Payments Inks VABA Bank Processing

Global Payments Inc has announced its 5 year agreement to provide VABA
Bank with payment card processing. Services provided include authorization,
card management, fraud monitoring and prevention, card personalization and
Point of Sale (POS) terminal network management. VABA Bank is based in
Bosnia Herzegovina. Global Payments provides electronic transaction
processing
services for consumers, merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs),
financial institutions, government agencies, and corporations located
throughout
the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific
region.

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