e-Card Transactions Rise 10% Over Year

Since March of 2006, New Zealanders conduct 9.7% more transactions
using electronic cards thanks to the wider acceptance of technology
and fluctuations in consumer price. March of 2007 saw 81 million
electronic card transactions totaling $4.8 billion, which is an increase
from not only last year, but a .7% increase in spending from February,
2007. However, measurements of the number and value of
debit, credit and charge card transactions with New Zealand-based
merchants have decreased since March of 2006.

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ACCEL/Exchange Transaction Volume Up 11%

Fiserv’s “ACCEL/Exchange Network” has grown its in-network transaction volume by 89% over the last two years. The network also signed 272 new members last year, notably Canadian financial institutions. Cross-border POS transaction volume with Canada has increased more than 500% since 2004. “ACCEL/Exchange” transactions are currently enabled at more than 180,000 ATMs in North America and most major merchant locations throughout the USA. There are 2,100 of “THE EXCHANGE ATMs” throughout Canada. The 246 Canadian financial institutions that participate in “ACCEL/Exchange” are part of FICANEX, the exclusive licensor in Canada of all intellectual property associated with the operation of the “ACCEL/Exchange Network.” In addition to managing “ACCEL/Exchange,” Fiserv EFT provides ATM and debit services to more than 2,700 financial institutions in the USA. Fiserv EFT operates more than 17,000 ATMs and currently processes approximately 450 million ATM and debit transactions per month.

ACCEL/Exchange Transaction Volume
2003: 223 million
2004: 281 million
2005: 410 million
2006: 455 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Citi Names a New Egg Manager

Following Citi’s acquisition of Egg Banking for 546 million GBP,
the bank has appointed a new CEO, Ian Kerr, to run the UK division.
He has experience with such institutions as HBOS, where he was a
Group Services Director, Birmingham Midshires Building Society as
Chief Executive, and Lloyds Bowmaker Finance Group in management.
Kerr was most recently Retail Banking Chief Executive at Halifax Bank
of Scotland, which at that time had $400 billion in assets, $4 billion in
profit and 7,500 employees. Citigroup has over 200 million customer
accounts and does business in more than 100 countries.

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PaidByCash is Offered on 200+ Web Sites

Retail Expansion Network, an e-commerce solution provider, announced that more than 200 Internet retailers have added “PaidByCash” to their sites. PaidByCash enables consumers to easily use cash to make purchases online by obtaining a virtual prepaid MasterCard card account. Shoppers may load a PaidByCash card account with an exact amount for a one-time online purchase or load up to $350 and make multiple online purchases. The new service was launched in the United States only two months ago and is gaining significant traction quickly among online merchants and shoppers. The PaidByCash Virtual Prepaid MasterCard account is issued by First Bank of Delaware.

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Air China Offers Special Summer Offers

From June 1 until August 31 Air China is offering its “Air China
Companion” frequent flyer program members discount rates at
Shangri-La Hotels and triple mileage credit toward their accounts.
Among other promotional offers, from May 14 to August 31, the
company will offer double mileage credit to the members for each
second-night’s stay in any one of 3,650 hotels worldwide of the
InterContinental Hotels Group. Also, passengers will earn an
additional 800-kilometer award for every qualified second-evening
stay in any InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Hotel Indigo, Holiday
Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood
Suites hotel. Greater member benefits will be offered when
Air China enters Star Alliance in the next year. Currently, the airline
serves 78 domestic and 39 international cities.

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FreedomPay Hires the Former MAC President

PA-based FreedomPay has named Phil Valvardi, former President of the “MAC Network” its new Chief Development Officer. Valvardi started his career at Procter & Gamble and served as Vice President of the electronic payments division at CoreStates Financial Group. He holds an MBA from Drexel University and a BS from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. FreedomPay is a cashless payment solution provider to the foodservice industry utilizing RFID technology.

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Dialect Signs License Agreement with IP Commerce

Card associations, acquiring banks and merchants who work with global payment services provider Dialect, will now have access to a candy store of innovative payment solutions. Denver-based IP Commerce announced a licensing agreement with Dialect for IP Commerce’s “IP Payments Framework.” The “IPPF” is an open platform that connects payment service providers, financial institutions, distribution channels and commerce application developers. Dialect will use the “IPPF” to deliver embedded, integrated financial capabilities to their customer base which includes American Express, MasterCard, Royal Bank of Scotland, and others. Dialect offers predominantly “card not present” payment processing services for major financial institutions and also supports the electronic payments needs of their customers, particularly globalizing merchants, with consulting, integration, processing and support services.

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Debt Resolve to Acquire Creditors Interchange

NY-based Debt Resolve has signed a deal to acquire Buffalo-based Creditors Interchange for $64 million. Creditors Interchange maintains eight satellite operations offices throughout the U.S. and two facilities in Canada, a call center in India, and has over 850 employees. Creditors Interchange has approximately $60 million in annual revenue. The Company is managed by Bruce Gray, President and CEO, and John Farinacci, COO and VP of Operations, who will both remain after the acquisition. Gray will also become EVP of Debt Resolve and a member of the Board and Farinacci will become SVP Debt Resolve. Debt Resolve is actively engaged in the purchase and collection of distressed accounts receivable using its First Performance subsidiary. The transaction is expected to close at the end of June.

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TRM Selects NCR for its U.S. ATM Network

ATM provider TRM Corporation has selected NCR to maintain its network of 2,500 TRM-operated, multivendor ATMs in the U.S. The three-year contract includes first- and second-line maintenance services. TRM operates a large installed base of NCR EasyPoint ATMs and units from other vendors. TRM has provided convenience ATMs and photocopying machines for retailers and financial institutions in high-traffic consumer environments. NCR is a global technology company.

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MasterCard Launches a Business Sweepstakes

MasterCard today launched the “Run Your Business, LIVE Your LIFE” sweepstakes. Each time small-business owners use their “MasterCard BusinessCard” or “Debit MasterCard BusinessCard” between May 1st and June 30th they will be automatically entered to win a $100,000 cash prize: $50,000 for their business and $50,000 for themselves. The promotion is being run in conjunction with the free Microsoft “Office Live Seminar Series” which kicks-off today with expert advice and insights on topics critical to small-business success. MasterCard is a sponsor of the free Webinars.

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CO-OP Network Free ATMs Rise 80% Since 02

CA-based CO-OP Financial Services now operates 25,000 surcharge-free ATMs via its network in 50 states and 10 countries. In 2002, the CO-OP Network operated just 14,000 surcharge-free ATMs. CO-OP Financial Services is the nation’s largest credit union service organization with nearly 2,000 credit union members, 120 million-plus monthly transactions and 24 million cardholders. This week, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association partnered with CO-OP. The “CO-OP Network” currently has 564 surcharge-free ATMs located in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia-based Freedom Credit Union, with more than 55,000 members is the most recent Pennsylvania credit union to join the “CO-OP Network.” The Pennsylvania Credit Union Association supports more than 500 member credit unions and serves nearly three and a half million members. At year-end 2006, CO-OP had 24,364 surcharge-free ATMs.

CO-OP Free ATMs
2002: 14,000
2003: 18,000
2004: 19,000
2005: 20,000
2006: 24,000
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Transaction Wireless Signs a SPS Contract

San Diego-based Transaction Wireless has entered into its first processor licensing agreement with gift and rewards card processor Secure Payment Systems Under the agreement, Transaction Wireless will perform its first processor integration with SPS to build a wireless transaction system that lets consumers redeem and manage that allows consumers to buy and send gift cards, request balances, combine balances from multiple cards, add funds to cards, and more via their mobile phone. For merchants, the gift card transaction platform will become a powerful communication and branding tool. The application incorporates text messaging, Internet, and voice technologies and operates on any wireless system or transaction processing platform. Secure Payment Systems provides transaction processing and risk management systems.

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