Experian Acquires Tallyman Debt Software

Experian has acquired the Tallyman debt collection management software and operations. The Tallyman solution is based on three key functions: decisioning (from customer segmentation to strategy setting), collections (to manage customers and the collection process) and analytics (to model strategies and predict outcomes). Continuous improvement in the collection process is achieved using tools for visualisation, simulation and champion/challenger testing of new strategies and collection models. The Tallyman technology is compatible with Experian’s existing Decision Analytics product set and its integration will enhance the capabilities and functionality of Strategy Management, Experian’s market-leading decision engine.Tallyman offers a rapid return on investment by reducing the amount of cash locked up in outstanding debt and reduced debt write-off, resulting in a lower cost of collection. Some forty clients currently use Tallyman to successfully manage more than 20 million customers and control the collection of more than £1.25 billion ($2.5 billion) of debt.

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Crackdown on Internet Gambling Websites

A federal grand jury in Salt Lake City returned a 34-count indictment, charging seven individuals and four companies with conspiring to violate laws prohibiting Internet gambling. The indictment alleges the defendants operated a business that helped Internet gambling websites to disguise credit card charges for gambling as charges for something else, thereby deceiving credit card issuers who otherwise would not have authorized the transactions and assisted Internet gambling websites by arranging fund transfers between bettors in the United States and various Internet gambling websites using Western Union wire transfers. The indictment alleges that the defendants facilitated the payment of more than $150 million to illegal Internet gambling websites. The potential maximum penalties for the counts in the indictment include 20 years for racketeering conspiracy; 30 years for bank fraud; two years for transmission of wagers/wagering information; and 20 years for money laundering. The case is being investigated by the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.

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Ceridian Boots its Comdata President

Ceridian announced that Gary Krow, EVP of Ceridian and President of Comdata has been terminated for violations of Ceridian’s “Code of Conduct.” Krow allegedly had unauthorized meetings with and disclosure of confidential information to Pershing Square Capital and other third parties. Information about the misconduct came to the attention of the Board through documents and testimony provided in legal proceedings commenced by Pershing Square. Jim Burns, EVP and President of Ceridian has been appointed Interim President of Comdata, effective immediately. Robert Skiba, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Comdata Stored Value Solutions and Brett Rodewald, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Transportation Services Division, will now report directly to Mr. Burns.

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Money Network Pay Card is Launched

Coinstar and First Data announced an agreement between “Money Network Financial” and Coinstar E-Payment Services, to offer the “Money Network Pay Card” through select Coinstar kiosks. To obtain the “Money Network Pay Card” at Coinstar kiosks, consumers select and load funds onto a “STAR”-branded “Pay Card” which is activated and instantly available for use at more than 2 million PIN-secured debit retail locations and ATM machines coast to coast. The single-load “STAR” card can be upgraded to a reloadable personalized VISA-branded prepaid card by calling “Money Network.” In addition, the “Money Network Pay Card” products include features that provide ACH bank transfers, as well as convenient paper “Money Network Checks.” The Money Network Checks offer a unique option that permits cardholders to withdraw up to 100% of their pay to the exact penny without any fees.

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Direct Energy Implements FDC’s Peace 8

First Data Utilities announced that Direct Energy has implemented the newest version of “Peace 8 Customer Information System” to manage its electricity and gas customers. “Peace 8” incorporates hundreds of new features and enhancements and reflects a particular focus on process improvement to lower utility customer cost-to-serve. Direct Energy delivered $7.6 billion USD of energy and energy-related services to residential and commercial customers in 2006. Direct Energy is one of North America’s largest energy and energy-related services providers with over 5 million residential and commercial customer relationships and is a subsidiary of Centrica plc. First Data Utilities develops utility billing software and provides outsourced utility billing and payment transaction services.

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MasterCard Hands-Out Prepaid Card Awards

MasterCard has given Altair Financial Services International the award for the “Best Newcomer 2006/7” for the prepaid market. The “Best Usage/Expansion Program 2006/7” was presented to PrePay Technologies for its “360money Mirror Quidity Card.” The “Best Multi-Channel Marketing Program” was won by Newcastle Building Society, which works with a number of partners specializing in a range of markets for prepaid cards, including shopping centers, travel, sport, lifestyle magazines and employee reward schemes. The “Best Cardholder Service” award was bestowed upon Advanced Payment Solutions for its “CashPlus Gold Card,” which launched in the retail sector last year. MasterCard this week released a new report that predicts spending on prepaid payment cards in Europe will reach $164 billion within three years.

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T-Base Communications & FDR to Partner

T-Base Communications and First Data Resources will collaborate to provide specialized statement services to First Data’s clients to give blind or partially sighted customers full access to their private financial statements in the format of their choice, including Braille and large print. First Data expects to make the service available in the third quarter of 2007. Issuers and billers who do not process their portfolio with First Data will also be able to use the service. First Data is a provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for business worldwide. T-Base Communications specializes in Braille, large print, e-Text, audio and website accessibility.

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Citi Acquires Grupo Cuscatlan

Citi has completed the acquisition of substantially all of the subsidiaries of Grupo Cuscatlan. Under the terms of their agreement announced on December 13th Citi acquired Grupo Cuscatlan’s banking operations, some of its insurance operations, and other financial activities for $1.51 billion in cash and Citigroup stock. Grupo Cuscatlan serves more than 45,000 corporate banking customers and 1.2 million consumer banking customers through a distribution network of 202 branches and 263 ATM’s throughout the region. Mauricio Samayoa will remain CEO of Grupo Cuscatlan.

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PELORUS M-Payments Conference is Slated

The PELORUS Group will host “M-Payments & M-Banking: The Rise of Mobile Financial Services” June 27th and 28th at Caesars Atlantic City. Among the issues to be addressed: what is the potential for m-payments and m-banking to erode the traditional payment and credit card systems; when, why and how quickly will m-payments and m-banking catch on in the U.S.; how do these mobile financial services fit in with other mobile commerce offerings;what opportunities and threats do mobile payments and banking create for carriers, retailers, the financial industry, and companies that currently employ traditional payment systems and what are the key regulatory, standards, fraud prevention, and security issues.

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