TNB Signs Three More CUs for Processing

Dallas-based TNB has signed Service First FCU of South Dakota, First Alliance CU of Minnesota, and Employees CU of Texas as processing clients. Service First Federal Credit Union has 17,800 members and assets of $127 million. First Alliance Credit Union has 11,444 members and assets of $84.5 million. Employees Credit Union has 8,247 members and assets of $50 million. TNB Card Services provides electronic payments processing, as well as an agent issuing solution to more 475 financial institutions and manages more than 1.6 million cards.

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Coinstar First Quarter Revenues Rise by 4.8%

WA-based Coinstar reported that first quarter revenues increased by 4.8% to $132.3 million. However, net income dropped 38% compared to 1Q/06 to $2.6 million. At the end of the first quarter, Coinstar had approximately $61.6 million in cumulative net operating loss carryforwards. The Company reported that its coin-to-card, e-payment or e-certificate-enabled base expanded to 8,500 from 6,100 one-year ago. However, POSA terminals dropped from 19,500 for 1Q/06 to 14,000 for the first quarter of 2007. During the first quarter, Coinstar repurchased 120,800 shares of common stock at an average price of $28.94 per share. Management estimates that revenue for the second quarter will range from $130 million to $140 million. For complete details on Coinstar’s first quarter performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

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

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MasterCard PayPass Pilot Logs 40K Transactions

The first two trials of contactless payments, which began in June 2006, has racked-up more than 40,000 transactions to-date and is gearing-up for a national launch in the fourth quarter. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group and MasterCard launched the pilots at RBS’s
headquarters in Edinburgh and at the staff restaurant at one of its
London offices. The RBS headquarter test involves 11 retailers located in the Bank’s flagship site including coffee shops, pharmacy, florist and a hairdressers. The second trial includes some 1,500 staff who
volunteered use their “Maestro/PayPass” debit and “MasterCard/PayPass” credit cards. Feedback from RBS employees has been extremely positive thus far. RBS is now working with MasterCard and the UK card payments industry towards the first phase of the public roll-out in London in the autumn. RBS, NatWest, MINT and Ulster Bank will issue several hundred thousand contactless payment cards, both debit and credit, during the London launch of the roll-out to those customers who live in the roll-out zone. These cards will retain the existing chip and pin and magnetic stripe functionality.

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MasterCard to Launch a Travel Dashboard

MasterCard has teamed with TRX to develop a Web-based business intelligence tool that will enable companies to evaluate, analyze and optimize travel programs. The new “MasterCard Travel Dashboard” will leverage detailed information from MasterCard’s corporate card program and TRX’s advanced travel data reporting tools to provide greater visibility into the performance and compliance of travel programs. The new proprietary tool will enable travel managers to review performance and trends; drill-down on reports to analyze major travel spend categories, including spend-to-vendor agreement reporting; compare spend data with corporate policy to highlight out-of-compliance departments and travelers and benchmark the performance of their programs.

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Payment Rates Sink But Yield Remains Stable

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, collapsed in March to its lowest level in nearly eighteen months. While the dip historically has been seasonal, it appears that many borrowers are increasingly pressured by current economic factors. Among credit card-backed securities, payment rates reached nearly 22% last year driven by increased minimum payments and a robust economy. According to FitchRatings, the gross yield on credit card ABS increased 51 basis points in March to 18.21%, and is 30 basis points above year-ago levels. Fitch expects gross yield to remain stable as payment rates decline.

ABS METRICS
YIELD MPR
Apr 06: 18.81% 21.74%
May 06: 17.61% 19.14%
Jun 06: 17.97% 21.00%
Jul 06: 17.63% 20.71%
Aug 06: 17.86% 20.24%
Sep 06: 17.96% 21.06%
Oct 06: 17.58% 19.30%
Nov 06: 17.96% 19.82%
Dec 06: 17.78% 19.32%
Jan 07: 18.28% 19.27%
Feb 07: 17.70% 20.80%
Mar 07: 18.21% 18.76%
Source: FitchRatings

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Encore Capital Names a New Board Chairman

Encore Capital Group has appointed Carl C. Gregory, III, previously Vice Chairman, as Chairman of the Board. Gregory has served as a director of Encore Capital since May 2000 and served as Vice Chairman from October 2004 to May 2006. From October 2004 until September 2005, Mr. Gregory also served as Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer from May 2000 to October 2004. Encore Capital Group is a purchaser and manager of charged-off consumer receivables portfolios.

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FRB Begins its 2007 Consumer Finance Study

The Federal Reserve Board has begun a statistical study of household finances called “The Survey of Consumer Finances” to provide insight into the economic conditions of American families. The survey, undertaken every three years since 1983, will provide data that offers a representative picture of what Americans own–from houses and cars to stocks and bonds–how and how much they borrow and how they bank. Past study results have been important in policy discussions regarding pension and social security reform, tax policy, deposit insurance reform, consumer debt and a broad range of other issues. Participants in the study are chosen at random from seventy-nine areas, including metropolitan areas and rural counties across the United States, using a scientific sampling procedure. Summary results for the 2007 study will be published in early 2009 after all data from the survey have been assessed and analyzed. A letter from FRB Chairman Bernanke was mailed to approximately 10,000 households urging their participation in the study.

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GE Money Renews The Anderson Credit Card

Ohio-based The Andersons retail stores and GE Money have signed an agreement to extend its 10 year relationship with The Andersons Credit Card consumer financing program. The Andersons Credit Card offers consumers an option to earn 2 percent reward certificates on every purchase, 90-day, 6-month and 12-month deferred payment and deferred interest on specified levels of purchase, no annual fee, and a 25-day grace period on all new purchases. A Contractors Card also is available. The Andersons has six large retail stores that offer extensive traditional home center merchandise along with a broad array of products including lawn and garden, house wares and work wear. The stores also feature a unique offering of high-quality fresh foods including produce, deli, bakery, specialty gourmet foods, frozen and fresh meats and one of the largest selections of fine wines in the Midwest. Total revenues in 2006 were $1.5 billion. GE Money, a unit of General Electric Company, is a provider of credit services to consumers, retailers and auto dealers in more than 54 countries around the world with more than $190 billion in assets.

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PAI Acquires NetBank Payment Systems Assets

KY-based Payment Alliance International announced that it has acquired the principal operating assets of NetBank Payment Systems and will add over 8,500 ATMs to PAI’s base. The company will maintain the 20,000 sq ft facility in Jackson, Mississippi and expects to retain NPS’ 60 employees. PAI now has 315 employees and serves over 40,000 retailers and community banks across the country. The Tremont Capital Group of Boston, MA and Inverness Management of New York City, NY served as transaction advisors to PAI. Payment Alliance International offers credit card, check, ATM network management, cash management and business information services.

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Consumer Credit Card Applications Fall

The number of credit card applications has fallen out of fear of interest
rate hikes and are being replaced with personal loans and store financing
according to Veda Advantage credit research. Applications fell 7.3% in
1Q/07 compared with the same quarter in 06, down 70,498 applications
to 889,396. Correspondingly, personal loan applications rose 7.7% to
745,753 1Q/07 compared with 1Q06. Due to cost-effectiveness,
consumers feel that personal loans are better suited to finance their
purchases, according to experts.

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Free Discover Network Payroll Cards Launched

FL-based nFinanSe has launched a suite of “Discover Network Payroll Cards” that carry no fees to the employer. The new payroll cards are instantly issued and use the existing direct deposit program to load payroll onto the card via ACH, Internet or batch loads. An employee photo on the payroll card is also available. In February, nFinanSe first launched its line of instant issue “nFinanSe Discover Network Reloadable General Spend Cards” which will be sold at retail locations. Features include instantly issued Discover Network cards for immediate use, a $5.95 suggested retail price, $2.95 monthly fee, free first load, no hidden transaction fees or gimmicks and reloadable at 80,000 nFinanSe Network locations. nFinanSe owns and operates the “nFinanSe Network” as a standardized, national network of stored value and prepaid card cash load stations nationwide. (CF Library 2/8/07)

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OFT Greenlights the Voca/Link Merger

Voca and LINK were given approval by the Office of Fair Trading(OFT) to
merge forming the payment processor, “VocaLINK”, that will compete
in Europe after SEPA is launched. “VocaLINK” will provide ATM and
automated payment services across Europe for SEPA transactions
delivering real-time solutions, including the “Faster Payments” initiative and
employ its network of partners to offer online and mobile services. The
new solution forecasts volumes of over 8 billion transactions for 2007.
Since 1968, Voca has processed more than 60 billion transactions. LINK
connects 130 million card accounts and 63,000 ATMs and last year
processed and settled over 2.9 billion transactions.

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