SFR Joins Credit Mutuel’s Contactless Pilot

Mobile network operator SFR has been scheduled to join a contactless
payment pilot launched by Credit Mutuel-CIC. The pilot is being tested
at approximately 60 merchants in the town of Strasbourg, France and
allows participants to make purchases by tapping their cell phones
against a certain type of reader. For the pilot application, 500
compatible phones have been manufactured . The application complies with
MasterCard Worldwide’s PayPass specifications and stores the subscriber
identity module card in the cell phone.

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Coinstar 4Q/06 Revenues Up 10%

WA-based Coinstar posted net income of $5.0 million for 4Q/06 compared to $5.5 million one-year ago. Revenues for the period were $138.0 million, compared to $125.6 million for the prior year’s quarter. Management estimates that revenue for the quarter ending March 31st will range from $125 million to $135 million. During the quarter, Coinstar launched “Direct Coin Deposit,” a new service that enables bank and credit union customers to electronically transfer coins into personal accounts. Last year, the Company signed a deal to purchase London-based Travelex Money Transfer for approximately $27 million in cash. Coinstar, known for its green consumer coin counting machines in supermarkets, has its products and services in more than 60,000 retail locations. For complete details on Coinstar’s latest results, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]). (CF Library 5/5/06; 10/26/06)

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

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MasterCard Sees Major European Growth

In Europe, cash transactions are steadily being replaced with card
purchases. MasterCard reported gross dollar volume (GDV) of $520 billion
for Europe, a year-on-year increase of 13.9 per cent, along with
purchase volume growth of 14.1 per cent to $384 billion for the year
ending 2006. MasterCard’s customer banks had issued 152 million
MasterCard-branded cards in Europe, a growth of 17.4 per cent, with 7.7
million locations accepting the cards. Among MasterCard’s family of
brands, Maestro and Cirrus cards rose to 287 million in Europe, an
increase of 5.7 per cent in 2005, with acceptance levels at 6.9 million
European locations. With headquarters in Waterloo, Belgium, MasterCard
Europe works with 51 European countries. MasterCard develops and markets
payment solutions, processes approximately 14 billion transactions each
year and serves consumers and businesses in 210 countries and territories.

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Schmidt to Lead NCMIC’s Processing Business

Newtek Business Services announced that T. Alan Schmidt has announced that he will be leaving Newtek Business Services on February 15, 2007. Schmidt was a founder and served as President and COO of Newtek Merchant Solutions, the company’s electronic payment processing division to join NCMIC, Newtek’s processing bank and strategic partner in order to develop and operate NCMIC’s merchant processing business. Newtek Business Services, Inc. is a financial service provider to the small to medium-sized business market.

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GSMA and MC Test M-Payments for the Unbanked

The GSM Association and MasterCard have launched a program to both
complement existing local remittances channels and make transferring
money internationally significantly more affordable. The program is
aimed at international migrant workers & utilizes 19 mobile operators
with networks in over 100 countries and represents over 600 million
customers. The program will utilize a global hub that will link together
national markets and local payment systems run by mobile operators &
local banks. The GSMA believes the program could double the number of
recipients of international remittances to more than 1.5 billion. The
GSMA and MasterCard has a 25,000 member-bank network. International
remittances, which total more than US$230 billion a year, are already a
major source of income for many developing countries and a very
important factor in their economic development.

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MasterCard Q4 Net Revenues Climb 17%

MasterCard posted net income of $41 million for the fourth quarter
compared to a $53 million loss one-year ago as net revenues climbed 17%
to $839 million. In the prior quarter MasterCard earned $193 million on
revenues of $902 million. Gross dollar volume climbed 14% for 4Q/06 to
$532 billion and worldwide purchase volume increased 17% to $391
billion. As of December 31st, the Company’s customers had issued 817
million MasterCard cards, an increase of 12% over the same period in
2005. General & Administrative Expenses rose 6% to $399 million.
However, Advertising & Market Development Expenses declined almost 9% to
$353 million. Litigation Settlements dropped from $27 million in 4Q/05
to less than $2 million for 4Q/06. MasterCard also made a $14.5 million
contribution to its Foundation during the quarter which was more than
offset by higher investment income. MasterCard also announced it is
raising its quarterly dividend by 67% to 15 cents a share. For complete
details on MasterCard’s fourth quarter performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Infineon Powers MasterCard Program

MasterCard has initiated a global contactless payment program with
technology provided by Infineon Technologies. These debit and
credit cards will contain a chip, provided by IT, featuring a
contactless interface and state-of-the-art cryptographic capabilities.
Research suggests that the smart card market is expected to see a
compound annual growth rate of 63% over the next five years. In
2005 Infineon had a 31% share of the total market supplying
around 1.08 billion chips. In sales, Infineon’s share was 29% of
the $1.9 billion market in 2005. In fiscal year 2006, the company
achieved sales of Euro 7.9 billion and had approximately 42,000
employees worldwide. MasterCard authorizes more than 32 million
purchases daily and services more than 210 countries around the world.

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Orlandi Valuta & TransferUnion Signs Agent Agreement

Orlandi Valuta, a subsidiary of Western Union, will offer money
transfer services in Ecuador for the first time thanks to an agent
agreement with with TransferUnion. TransferUnion, based in Ecuador and
offering remittance services since 1992, has agreed to be OV’s agent
allowing for customers to receive transfers at more than 91 ACTIVA
locations in 49 cities throughout the country. TransferUnion offers
remittance service in more than 100 cities throughout Ecuador. Orlandi
Valuta offers money transfer service from Latin America to the United
States and has more than 12,000 locations worldwide.

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PPI Suspected Of Unfair Competition

Features of the Payment Protection Insurance market are suspected
of restricting competition by the OFT. This referral is driving a full
investigation by the Competition Commission. There has been limited
consumer satisfaction in PPI and the OFT believes this is due to unfair
competition in the market. Consequently, OFT believes that gross profits
in PPI are entirely too high. All parties understand, however, that lack
of competition in the market cannot be remedied in this arena, rather,
the aim is to address fair treatment of the PPI customer. This comes
after OFT’s first motion for investigation on 19 October, 2006. Over the
summer of 2006, The OFT found that for a GBP 5000 unsecured loan over
five years monthly PPI repayments for an accident sickness and
unemployment policy (ASU) range from GBP 16 for the cheapest to GBP 40
for the most expensive with very little obvious difference in the
coverage provided. The investigation by the CC will address items beyond
that which OFT has provided and an independent investigation will be
performed.

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SPS Introduces expresscheck21

CA-based Secure Payment Systems has introduced its new Check21/ARC solution branded as “expresscheck21”, a hybrid web-based platform that processes and deposits all types of paper items including business checks into electronic transactions. Using a high speed, multiple check scanner, or a simple, single pass check imager, the checks are processed in the back-office where they are scanned and electronically deposited. Secure Payment Systems provides check services, ACH origination, Web based ACH platforms, and gift & loyalty card processing.

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UPM Raflatac To Power Moscow Metro Tickets

Moscow Metro has selected UPM Raflatac, in conjunction with Comvision
Russland, to supply the necessary inlays for contactless ticketing.
Initially, the system will be introduced to passengers with 5 million
pieces monthly. Then, by the conclusion of the summer of 2007, it will
rise to 30 million inlays per month. UPM Raflatac has around 2,300
employees and
annual sales of EUR 987 million in 2006. The Moscow Metro is one of the
world’s most heavily used metro systems, carrying 8.2 million passengers
on a normal weekday.

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Online Banking to Overtake ATMs

A new report predicts that online banking will ultimately become the predominant channel of choice, even surpassing the ATM, due to its ease of use and low cost. The study projects the number of online banking households in the U.S. will rise from about 35% in 2006 to nearly 42% in 2009. TowerGroup says efficiency is the name of the game for banking delivery channels even as the industry faces rising customer expectations and fraud, as well as increased regulatory pressures and the quest for organic growth. The research firm says even in areas where banks must modernize their technology or introduce it for the first time, they will do so with an eye toward squeezing out all possible efficiencies right from the start.

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