Apriva Hires a New CFO

Wireless specialist Apriva has hired David Riddiford as CFO. Mr. Riddiford is a CPA with twenty years of comprehensive experience in finance, accounting and business at publicly traded corporations. Apriva is a leading wireless solutions provider integrating the hardware, software and network infrastructure required to develop and deploy high-performance high-reliability solutions in the Point of Sale (POS) and Secure Mobile Messaging markets.

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Monthly Payment Rates Retrench in October

Monthly payment rates, the amount that cardholders pay on their credit card debt, nose-dived to 19.30% in October, reflecting a continuing trend attributed to current economic conditions. Driven by recently enacted minimum payment regulations, the MPR, on credit card-backed securities, reached nearly 22% earlier this year, but, consumers have become more dependent on revolving credit lines. According to FitchRatings, the gross yield declined 42 basis points in October to 17.58%, and is 18 basis points above year-ago levels. Fitch expects gross yield to remain stable as payment rates decline. Last month payment rates rose to 21.06% after declining steadily since June.

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%
Source: FitchRatings

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Card Marketing Resource Guide for CUs Released

Dallas-based TNB Card Services’ new 2007 “Card Marketing Resource Guide” has been released to help credit unions launch the marketing efforts that will drive the growth of their credit and debit card portfolios. TNB offers the most extensive turnkey marketing programs in the credit union payments industry with more than 18 promotions to choose from. Every promotion is tailored to the needs of individual credit unions and their members. Materials are customized with the credit union’s name, logo and rates. TNB Card Services, owned and directed by credit unions since 1976, provides electronic payments processing, as well as an agent issuing solution for credit unions nationwide.

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GE Money to Issue Northwestern U MasterCard

Northwestern University has signed with GE Money for an affinity MasterCard credit card product to be marketed to the university’s alumni. Cardholders will earn Net Rewards – one point for every dollar spent. Points may be redeemed for alumni association merchandise including Northwestern branded apparel as well as travel, merchandise and cash. Northwestern University is one of the country’s leading private research and teaching universities with an enrollment of approximately 8,000 full-time undergraduate students and approximately 7,000 full-time graduate and professional students on campuses in Evanston and Chicago. GE Money’s Personal Finance business is an innovative, customer-centric lending organization that provides financial services such as personal loans, mortgages, bankcards and student loans both directly to consumers, as well as through partner-based channels.

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3PEA PaySign Payment Gateway is Introduced

Las Vegas-based 3PEA International announced today the availability of its “PaySign Payment Gateway” which supports all merchant retail transactions including PIN-Debit, Debit, and all major Credit Cards with electronic signature capture and retrieval. The PaySign Payment Gateway supports all merchant retail transactions including PIN-Debit, Debit, and all major Credit Cards with electronic signature capture and retrieval. It provides support for check services including verification, guarantee, conversion, check image capture and retrieval, as well as eCheck, ACH, EBT and Gift Cards. 3PEA International, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary 3PEA Technologies, Inc., designs and develops payment solutions including proprietary payment terminals, secure key loading systems and payment gateway services.

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TransFirst Hires Institution Sales Exec

Dallas-based TransFirst has hired Thomas Sheridan, formerly with First Data and Hypercom, as VP/Financial Institution Sales. Prior to joining the Financial Institution Division of TransFirst, Sheridan was vice president, domestic bank sales, for First Data Corporation. He has also served in financial institution sales and management roles with Hypercom Corporation, CES-Card Establishment Services and Citicorp Establishment Services. A premier provider of transaction processing services and payment enabling technologies, TransFirst offers a first-rate suite of products and services and customized processing programs uniquely tailored for the special business needs of financial institutions, independent sales organizations and agents and its referral and reseller partners.

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Credit Manager’s Index Heads South in Nov

The “Credit Manager’s Index” slipped slightly in November from 55.3 in the prior month to 55.2. The National Association of Credit Management says the figures indicate an economy slowly weakening under the weight of monetary tightening by the Fed and a decimated housing market. Also, uneven holiday sales, plunging durable goods orders, falling consumer confidence and below-trend GDP growth contributed to the southward trend. NACM says existing homes have fallen on a year-over-year basis for an unprecedented three straight months, the latest of which was the largest decline ever. However, NACM says the “Manufacturing Sector” showed a surprising 1.4% upturn, breaking a three-month string of losses. The “Service Sector” suffered its largest decline since May of this year, as nine out of the 10 components fell.

Credit Manager’s Index
Jan 06: 57.2
Feb 06: 57.3
Mar 06: 58.1
Apr 06: 57.5
May 06: 54.9
Jun 06: 57.2
Jul 06: 57.6
Aug 06: 57.3
Sep 06: 57.1
Oct 06: 55.3
Nov 06: 55.2
Source: National Association of Credit Management

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OzoneCard Credit Card to Launch Next Month

Los Angeles-based OzoneCard International say it will launch a new zero interest, $50,000 credit limit, no cash repayment required, credit card service for businesses in the U.S. and Canada on January 30th. As a cash-saving mechanism, prospective card members will be required to accept the new card in receipt for payment from other cardholders, with the funds received being credited directly to the sellers account. When funds are transferred by a cardholder, the non-OzoneCard merchant will receive an email or SMS message advising them of the pending payment. Accepting recipients simply click a link, fill out a few details and they immediately become enrolled as OzoneCard merchants.

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Allow MasterCard for Teens Offers 35 Controls

Detroit-based Allow Card of America has launched the “Allow Card Prepaid MasterCard” for teenagers. The card is issued by First Bank & Trust, Brookings, SD. The heart of the “Allow Card” program is its online portal whereby parents can load funds to the card from any credit card or checking account, anytime. The Web site offers over 35 parental controls, allowing parents to set parameters for their teens spending. The site even allows parents to lock out specific merchant categories, so teens can’t spend money at undesired locations. The Web site also features a variety of constantly-updated online financial lessons helping to break the bonds of financial illiteracy among youth.

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BofA Re-Inks 70 Affinity Credit Card Programs

Bank of America reported long-term extensions of affinity agreements that will enable it to continue marketing to the alumni, fans, faculty and staff of more than 70 schools, including Penn State, University of Texas, UCLA, University of Southern California, Auburn University, University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Iowa, and Georgetown University. BofA (merged with MBNA) has more than 800 collegiate endorsements. The University of Texas was the first affinity credit card program signed in 1992 by MBNA, now BofA.

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New Report Says Payday Lending a $4.2B Rip-Off

A new study says payday lenders pocket $4.2 billion in excessive fees each year from Americans who seek a two-week loan and end up trapped in debt. The Center for Responsible Lending says it calculates the cost of predatory payday lending state-by-state and also estimates that borrowers save $1.4 billion in states that enforce reasonable interest rate caps. The new report found that the average payday borrower pays back $793 for a $325 loan. CRL’s study, “Financial Quicksand” updates its 2003 estimate of the cost of payday lending.

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TD’s Green Machine Turns Thirty

TD Canada Trust is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of its “Green Machine.” Over this period the bank has deployed 2,500 new
state-of-the-art ABMs across the country. TD’s new “Green Machines” now feature a choice of five languages (English, French, Portuguese,
Italian and Chinese); improved accessibility for the visually impaired with audio guidance; greater security features such as mirrors, a protective metal shield to hide the PIN keypad and highly secure encryption of customer PINs; as well as a deposit calculator and consolidated receipts. ABMs are the primary means of banking for 34% of
Canadians. TD says the new ABMs handle more than 21 million transactions a month.

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