AmEx Cards to Accept Certain Mortgage Payments

American Express has set-up a partnership with American Home Mortgage Corp. to enable prime mortgage customers to charge their mortgage payments to an AmEx card. The “Express Rewards Mortgage” program will enable pre-authorized cardholders to earn “Membership Rewards,” cash back, airline or hotel points or other types of rewards. It is the first time in the industry wherein consumers can directly charge a mortgage payment to a credit card. AmEx cardholders with qualifying new purchase or refinance loans with American Home Mortgage will pay a one-time fee of $395 to the lender for enrollment in the program at the time of closing.program enrollees receive a package of benefits including access to premium service with a dedicated loan sales and processing group and an exclusive set of home-related offers from AmEx merchants. Today’s announcement follows the introduction of luxury rental payments in 203 and luxury condominium down-payments in 2006 on the AmEx Card.

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LIC Prospects Credit Card Partners

Life Insurance Co(LIC) of India is considering a small group of banks as
partners for its credit card. Also, to ensure the card company will not be
a subsidiary, the bank is most likely going to sign an agreement with
Corporation Bank. From LIC’s microfinance and international businesses
department head, the company has recently appointed Hemant Bhargav to
manage the project. Of the strongest candidates for the project is ICICI
Bank with over 7.5 million cards. Other possibilities include HDFC Bank,
UTI Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Visa. Of these, LIC is considering
which option would best expand insurance penetration and is also concerned
with interest conflicts regarding what the bank may have in the credit card
industry.

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TRM Restructuring Continues; New CEO Coming

OR-based TRM reported that fourth quarter revenue declined to $24.9 million, compared to $29.8 million for 4Q/05. The Company has been engaged in a restructuring and also announced this week management changes. Since June 2006, TRM has sold its U.K. photocopy business, its U.S. photocopy business, its Canadian ATM operations, its U.K. ATM operations and its German ATM operations. Net loss (including both continuing and discontinued operations) was $15.2 million for 4Q/06 compared to $13.7 million in the 4Q/05. The average number of transacting ATMs in the network during the fourth quarter was 11,511 compared to 13,926 during the fourth quarter of 2005, total withdrawals were 9.4 million, and average monthly transactions per ATM was 274 compared to 277 in the fourth quarter of 2005. Meanwhile, TRM named COO Richard Stern, to the positions of President and CEO effective June 15th. He was also appointed to the Board effective immediately. Jeffrey Brotman will remain with the Company as non-executive Chairman. For complete details on TRM’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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The Central Bank To Decrease Wait-Time

In response to customer complaints, The People’s Bank of China has
implemented measures to reduce customer wait time. The source of
the issue, the bank concludes, is that personal payments have to
be made through certain banks, people have excessive reliance on cash
payments, and imperfect banking services. Among new policy
implementations is the change in limit of ATM cash withdraws from
5,000 yuan (649.4 U.S. dollars) to 20,000 yuan within a day. This
will hopefully discourage people from going to the bank counters to get
cash. Also, because Chinese people go to banks to pay for most bills and
loans, the bank plans to designate all institutions capable of receiving
these
payments. Currently, people have to make the payments in different banks
designated by the service providers.

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BPC Signs JSC Kredobank for SmartVista Suite

BPC has announced that it will supply JSC Kredobank with the SmartVista
Suite to build the bank’s in-house card processing center. This will provide
the bank with the ability to issue and acquire both debit and credit cards
of Visa International and MasterCard Worldwide payment schemes, the
SmartVista Fraud Prevention Monitoring module for on-line transaction
filtering,
and SMS-banking and EMV acquiring facilities. Kredobank will also enhance
the efficiency by allowing the customers to manage their accounts linked
to a
card using a different channels such as ATMs, kiosks, mobile devices.
The net
profit of the Bank amounts to around 23 bln UAH and the net assets 3 287
bln
UAH. JSC “Kredobank” is ranked in top-20 of the largest Ukrainian banks by
various indices.

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First USA Co-Founder Joins Heartland Board

Heartland Payment Systems has appointed Richard W. Vague, recent CEO of Barclays Delaware Bank, to its Board of Directors. Vague joined Barclays in 2004 after its acquisition of Juniper Financial, a direct consumer credit card bank he co-founded in 2000. Previously, he was co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of First USA, a credit card company he grew from a start-up to an issuer of over 57 million cards and $70 billion in loans. He also served as chairman of Paymentech, the merchant processing subsidiary of First USA. He holds his B.S. in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin. Heartland Payment Systems provides credit, debit, and prepaid card processing, payroll and payment solutions to more than 150,000 small and mid-sized businesses nationwide and is the founding supporter of The Merchant Bill of Rights, a public advocacy initiative that educates merchants about fair credit and debit card processing practices.

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ILC Loophole Closure Bill Passes the House

The U.S. House overwhelmingly passed the “Industrial Bank Holding Company Act of 2007.” The bill restores the historic separation between banking and commerce, prevents branch banking by some commercially-owned ILCs, and bolsters the supervisory authorities of the FDIC as a holding company regulator. “H.R. 698,” was co-sponsored by Paul Gillmor (R-OH), Barney Frank (D-MA), and Jim Marshall (D-GA). The bill was introduced on January 29th, the subject of a hearing on April 25th, and was overwhelmingly passed by the Financial Services Committee on May 2nd. Frank, who is Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services, said he hopes to work with the Senate to forge a compromise bill that the President can sign.

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Shift4 Launches 4GO with SecureSwipe

Shift4 has introduced “4GO with SecureSwipe” technology software that removes all usable personal credit card data at the POS terminal, in back-office data storage and during all data transport. It works by securely encrypting transaction data at the point of sale, replacing any potentially useful data with “faux data” that can not be used by anyone outside the system. which means useable data is never retained in the POS device or the merchant’s system. Shift4 is a developer of secure financial transaction processing software and services and provides web-based, real-time enterprise payment solutions for leaders in the hospitality, retail, foodservices, auto rental and e-commerce markets.

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