Wincor Nixdorf Announces Asian Expansion

As a part of the company’s worldwide software-development network,
Wincor Nixdorf has announced the company will be opening an enlarged
production facility and software competence center near Shanghai, China.
These expanding production capacities reflect success in the Chinese
market and Wincor’s future expectations. The new facility will be 15,000
square meters in size and will produce banking and retail products
enhancing capacities for integrating and adapting international software
in Asia. 400 people are now employed at Wincor Nixdorf China, and
approximately 1,500 of the company’s 8,000 employees are based in Asia.

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Issuers Should Evaluate Alternative Scoring

A new report suggests that lenders increasingly require better stratification of consumer credit risk than current scoring provides especially as they target “underbanked” and “unbanked” consumer segments, and deal with subprime defaults. The research from TowerGroup says lenders should evaluate new custom credit score options such as “VantageScore” by Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, the “Anthem Score” from First American, and the “FICO Expansion Score” from Fair Isaac. TowerGroup estimates that the consumer-direct customer segment for credit reporting and scoring products will grow 39% between 2001 and 2010.

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OTI Q4 Revenues Jump 42%

Contactless specialist On Track Innovations posted revenues for the fourth quarter of $13.2 million, a 42% increase over the same period of last year. The Company says it expects to achieve long term growth of 20% to 25% for this year, driven by the petroleum, ID markets, and the payment markets. During the quarter, USA Technologies selected OTI to provide its next generation contactless reader solution to be integrated into its “Generation Six e-Port” cashless transaction solution and the Discover Network certified the OTI “Saturn 5000” contactless reader for use with Discover Network’s contactless payment application. Recently, OTI’s new “Saturn 6000” contactless reader was approved by MasterCard for the “EMV M/Chip v.1.3” and “Magnetic Stripe v3.2” contactless payment programs. OTI also completed its acquisition of most of SuperCom’s assets. For complete details on OTI’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Wirecard to Process WAU Payments on Fujitsu Computers

Wirecard will be responsible for processing all payments associated
with the Microsoft “Windows Anytime Upgrade” (WAU) of Fujitsu Siemens
Computers. Fujitsu Siemens will enable consumers to conveniently buy and
install an even more efficient edition of Windows Vista any time from
the convenience of their computer. Wirecard Bank is responsible for
the payment acceptance for these transactions. Fujitsu Siemens has sold
three million computer systems and had over 21 percent growth in the
private customer segment in fiscal 2005/2006.

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Washington Mutual Joins NACHA

Washington Mutual has joined NACHA-The Electronic Payments Association as a direct financial institution, which now totals 42 direct members. According to the most recent NACHA Top 50 list, “WaMu” is the nation’s fifth largest receiving financial institution of ACH payments. Washington Mutual and its subsidiaries hold assets of $346.29 billion. NACHA direct members, consisting of 23 financial institutions and 19 regional payment associations include ABN-AMRO, American Express Centurion Bank, Bank of America, BB&T, Capital One, Citigroup, Citizens Bank, Commerce Bank, Discover Bank, Fort Knox National Bank, Harris, N.A. (BMO Capital Markets), JPMorgan Chase, KeyBank, Mellon, National City, PNC Bank, Synovus Financial Corp., TCF National Bank, US Bank, Wachovia, Wells Fargo, and Zions Bancorporation.

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Women Business Owners Shop Bank Services

A recent research study by SYNERGISTICS Research entitled “Financial Insights: Women Small Business Owners” has revealed that more than nine out of ten business women surveyed indicated that the top rated feature to be offered is competitive pricing on financial accounts and services. The top rated feature among male small business owners is having convenient locations, being cited as important by slightly more than nine in ten of those surveyed. The national Internet survey was conducted with 454 women small business owners in companies having annual sales of $100K to $5M, representing four major industry segments – manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, and selected services. The sample also includes a control group of 160 male small business owners. This study examines the business and personal financial profile of women small business owners, including their experience with relationship managers and the extent of overlap of business and personal financial relationships. In addition, usage of various delivery channels and response to various marketing tactics is measured. SYNERGISTICS is the leading provider of multi-sponsor marketing research for the financial services industry.

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TSYS CTL & DNB NOR

DnB NOR Bank has chosen TSYS Card Tech’s “PRIME” card
and merchant management system to manage the DnB NOR Kort credit card portfolio. “PRIME 3.0” will enable DnB NOR Kort to consolidate its issuance and management of different types of credit and payment cards, including prepaid, private-label and loyalty cards, on a single platform. In addition, “PRIME” provides support for handling
multiple issuers and acquirers on the same installation, support for
multiple languages and currencies, and fully EMV-compliant issuing and
acquiring for VISA, MasterCard and American Express requirements. “PRIME” uses Oracle’s “Real-Time Application Clustering” to achieve secure, high-volume transaction processing. The DnB NOR Group is Norway’s largest financial services group.

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Report Projects Solid Consumer Spending

Chicago-based Mesirow Financial says persistently strong consumer spending among other factors should offset any additional drag coming from the housing and auto sectors with prospects for real GDP growth of 2.1%. Mesirow’s “Themes on the Economy” newsletter cites that among other factors: Loss rates in the larger mortgage market (compared to sub-prime mortgage market) remain relatively low, running almost half the pace of the 1990s recession; debt service burdens have been rising consistently over the years, and have yet to constrain consumer spending. No one knows what the “equilibrium” level of debt should be given financial innovations, which have enabled consumers to carry more debt in recent years. Mesirow Financial is a diversified financial services firm with nearly $23 billion in assets under management.

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Monthly Payment Rates Head Down Again

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, headed south to 19.27% in January and should continue downward as consumers migrate from home equity loans to revolving credit. Payment rates reached nearly 22% during 2006 driven by increased minimum payments and a strong economy. Consumer revolving credit hit a record of nearly $879 billion in January, growing at an annual rate of 1.1%. According to FitchRatings, the gross yield jumped 50 basis points in January to 18.28% and is 32 basis points above year-ago levels. Both measurements are for credit card backed-securities.

ABS METRICS
YIELD MPR
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%
Source: FitchRatings

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Gemalto Delivers CharlieCards to the MBTA

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is using Gemalto devices for its “CharlieCard” electronic ticketing initiative. Gemalto is providing 3.5 million secure contactless transit smart cards to the MBTA for the program. By the end of this month, Gemalto will have successfully delivered 2.4 million contactless transit devices for the program. Because the cards were delivered fully encoded by Gemalto, the MBTA was able to distribute the cards immediately without having to be processed through the MBTA’s smart card encoding equipment. “CharlieCards” are reloadable at fare vending machines, fareboxes, MBTA ticket offices and eventually on-line. The MBTA is the nation’s oldest public transit system and currently the fifth largest mass transit system as measured by ridership.

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