Sixth Annual EPCA Conference to be Held in May

The 6th International EPCA conference will be held in Frankfurt May 15
and 16, 2007. The focus of the conference will be “Reshaping the European payment landscape: the realistic scenarios” and will address key issues for strategic professionals involved in payment services industry to include compact briefings on the SEPA update, the customer view, reshaping processing networks and payments innovations in Europe.
The European Payments Consulting Association (EPCA) is a pan-European
association of independent payments consultancies. The annual EPCA
conference is organized for financial professionals by financial
professionals.

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Tranax Technologies Forms a Board of Directors

CA-based Tranax Technologies has formed a Board of Directors including Wolfgang Hausen, Jack McDonnell Jr., Dr. Kathryn Hanson; Dr. Hansup Kwon and Heemook Kwon. The role of the newly-created board of directors will be to serve as a sounding board and counsel to help the CEO and executive team evaluate and respond to strategic business opportunities and challenges. The charter will also include accelerating the implementation of practices, people, and strategies needed to expand and grow Tranax. The five board members will serve for 3 years and will provide best practices related to corporate strategy, operations and general management. Tranax provides the design, development, manufacture and sale of self-service technology to the retail, banking, hospitality, entertainment, and gaming industries.

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Nearly 3 MM Credit Applicants Are Rejected

Research from MoneyExpert.com found that as many as 2.8 million attempts
to obtain a credit card
had been rejected over the last half year, around 15,555 a day.
People aged between 25 and 35 were found to be the most likely to have card applications turned down, with 11% having been rejected. This compared with 8% of 18 to 24-year-olds
and just 3% of the 55 and above age group. MoneyExpert.com has warned
that some people who genuinely need access to credit may have been
excluded in the crackdown by providers. A poll of 2,300 UK adults
revealed that around 6% of people had seen their
credit card application turned down in the last six months. One in 10
people in total reported having been rejected for a range of
financial products. MoneyExpert.com provides financial comparison service allowing customers to select from all suitable products from all relevant providers.

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INTRUST Bank Expands its NYCE Relationship

NYCE Payments Network has signed a long-term contract extension with KS-based INTRUST Bank which also expands the existing relationship by naming NYCE the sole provider of retail PIN debit access for INTRUST, which will also use NYCE as its primary network for ATM card access. The NYCE Network provides consumers with secure, real-time access to their money, connecting the accounts of more than 74 million cards with 280,000 ATMs and 1.5 million point-of-sale locations nationwide. INTRUST has assets of $3.3 billion, 47 branches spread across Kansas and Oklahoma, and contributes more than 100,000 cards and 100 ATMs into the NYCE Network. NYCE is a leading U.S. debit card payments network and a division of Metavante Corporation, the banking and payments technology subsidiary of Marshall & Ilsley Corporation.

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Citi Announces Acquisition of Overseas Chinese

Citi has announced the approved acquisition of the Bank Of Overseas
Chinese, by members of major shareholders’ board, for the
amount of NTD 14.1 billion. BOOC has assets of US$8.5 billion, loans
of US$5.5 billion and a deposit base of US$7.0 billion and offers
consumer and corporate banking products and services. It serves more
than one million clients through 55 branches. The merger will consist
of the combination of operations of the two entities creating an
institution with 66 branches and assets of $22.8 billion, making it the
largest international bank and has the 13th highest assets in Taiwan.
BOOC employs 2,200 staff. Citi has some 200 million customer
accounts and does business in more than 100 countries. The
transaction, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals, is
anticipated to close in the second half of 2007.

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Card Issuers Vary Email Marketing Tactics

A competitive intelligence service has concluded that smaller card issuers are using email marketing to find new customers while larger issuers are focusing email marketing on cross-selling. Chicago-based Mintel says companies such as Metabank in the banking sector and First Premier Bank in the credit card sector have been identified as key players, flooding consumer mailboxes with acquisition offers and promotions. However, on the direct mail front these companies are distributing a significantly lower share of offers than their larger competitors. But, larger issuers that grind out millions of direct mail solicitations per year are now offering email promotions for other products. Citibank recently revived efforts to promote its “e-Savings” account to customers via email and Capital One renewed promotional efforts via email for “Blank Check Auto Loans” to current customers. Mintel reported that the top 2006 overall mailers for acquisition financial services direct mail pieces were Chase (1.7 billion), Capital One (1.2 billion), American Express (1 billion), Citibank (980 million), and Bank of America (920 million).

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TRAVEL MONEY MC

The “Travel Money MasterCard”, by RHB Bank Bhd, was introduced
and offers rewards such as gifts from points accumulated from
shopping, free flights and travel packages. Also, with “Visit Malaysia
Year 2007”, cardholders earn travel air miles faster under its
“2X TM Air Miles” rewards program. With the introduction
of the “Travel Card”, a partnership agreement with The Flying
Emporium has been developed, making it the latest merchant partner
of RHB Bank. This will enable holders of the bank’s many credit
cards to redeem their reward points “On-The-Spot” for
“Smart Gifts” at the emporium. RHB has more than 300 partner
merchants where cardholders can earn free air miles. These new
rewards are meant to encourage travel. Reflecting a 7.8% year-
on-year growth, 21.7 million people are expected to travel
outbound for the first six months of 2007. Ranked fourth among
local banks, RHB Bank has issued more than 700,000 credit cards.

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Biodegradable Cards Get Renewed Attention

IL-based Versatile Card Technology says its biodegradable plastic card is grabbing international attention. The Company’s “Green Earth Card” is made of corn starch and can be printed on using VCT’s waterless-ink “KBA Genius 52” printing press. VCT developed the card ten years ago in response to calls for protecting the environment. The “Green Earth Card’s” plastic core and overlay material are completely biodegradable, reducing hundreds of tons of poly vinyl chloride waste. Meanwhile, Australia’s Westpac has launched the “Easy Being Green” initiative for its “Altitude” cardholders, according to CardFlash International. Cardholders can redeem points for offsetting greenhouse gas emissions of auto and plane travel and purchase environment-friendly products for their home.

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Precidia Technologies Releases NetVu 2.3

Precidia has announced the introduction of “NetVu 2.3”. The management
server offers important new features such as managing PCI compliance
requirements, automatically updating the POSLynx220 as new threats are
recognized, strict password rules and audit logs of operator activity.
“NetVu 2.3” also offers the ability to remotely download configurations
to a field device, what many of the server users consider to be
critical. These features collectively offer security insurance to
merchants and ensure PCI compliance. Precidia has customers in over 80
countries and migrate stand-alone dial and serial equipment onto more
sophisticated IP networks.

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Affinion Acquires ID Fraud Expert CardCops

CT-based Affinion Group has acquired CA-based CardCops, a specialist in ID theft protection, data monitoring and analysis technology solutions. Founded in 1999, CardCops monitors the Internet for fraudulent activity involving consumers’ personal information such as credit card account, debit card account, PIN numbers, social security numbers, mother’s maiden name and many other types of personal information. CardCops collects compromised personal information from foreign underground chat rooms where full sets of personal information are bought and sold by identity thieves for $10 to $30. CardCops’ exclusive technology will alert members instantly if their personal information has become compromised and assist them with keeping their identity safe. Affinion and CardCops partnered last year to launch a sophisticated new tool called “ID Secure” that uses public records, SSN and credit card monitoring technology to fight ID theft. Affinion Group currently offers its programs and services worldwide through more than 5,200 affinity partners. Terms of the CardCops deal were not disclosed.

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StanChart Looks to Batman for Cardholders

Standard Chartered Bank Bhd (Stanchart)
expects its credit card customer base to register
double-digit growth this year. The decision to expand the base was made
in part by the expected growth in the economy of 6%. A new credit
card, “Batman”, has been issued to meet the competitive changes and
demands of the Malaysia consumer. There are approximately 450,000
Stanchart cardholders in Malaysia.

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