SVPCO Check Network Exceeds Projections

NY-based SVPCO-Electronic Clearing Services reported that 105 million check images were exchanged in November, exceeding projected volume of 100 million check images a month by the end of 2006. The leading receivers of images were Bank of America and Wachovia In November 2005, daily average items were 438,000, total monthly items were 8.7 million, daily average dollar volume was $3.0 billion, and monthly dollar volume was $61.0 billion. The Clearing House Payments Company L.L.C. (http://www.theclearinghouse.org) is a private-sector, global payment systems infrastructure that clears and settles 40 million payments for more than $1.6 trillion per day.

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MetaBank to Issue Young America STV Cards

SD-based MetaBank has signed a deal to issue select rebate and promotional prepaid cards offered through Young America Corporation’s Fortune 500 client-base. Under the partnership, MetaBank will be the issuing bank for select rebate and promotional prepaid cards offered through Young America’s Fortune 500 client-base. Meta Payment Systems, a division of MetaBank, offers card issuing and program support to banks, processors, and third-party distributors seeking to develop, market, and manage stored-value cards. Young America provides marketing and fulfillment services to Fortune 500 companies seeking to increase profitability through optimized promotions across their customer lifecycle.

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Subdomain Attacks Rise Sharply in October

The Anti-Phishing Working Group reported that the number of distinct spoof Web sites rose 52% in October to 37,444, up from 24,565 a month earlier. The statistics reflect a substantial increase in the use of subdomain-based attacks, which primarily affect the most frequently-targeted financial services organizations. This new phishing technique aims to thwart recent advances in anti-phishing technology, including spam filters and URL-based blocking technology. APWG researchers also report that detected crimeware variants rose substantially for the second straight month, with the number of crimeware variants rising to break records – in October hitting 237 unique variants, up 38% from August. A good deal of the increase in crimeware detected can be accounted for in greater volume of variations coming from Brazilian malicious code authors.

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NY MetroCard Extends to Westchester County

Cubic Corporation has been awarded an $8.3 million contract from the MTA New York City Transit to extend the “MetroCard” fare payment system to all of the 390 buses operated by the Westchester County Department of Transportation. The Cubic provided MetroCard(R) system is the nation’s largest integrated fare system allowing a common fare card to be accepted by four participating regional transit operators. Agencies participating in the MetroCard(R) network include New York City Transit (buses and subway), the Long Island Bus systems, the PATH subway system, and now, Westchester County’s Bee-Line Bus System. Cubic Corporation is the parent of two major segments: transportation and defense. Cubic Transportation Systems is the world’s leading full-service systems provider of automated fare collection systems for public transport including bus, bus rapid transit, light rail, commuter rail, heavy rail, ferry and parking.

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Consumer Confidence Heads South in December

The “RBC CASH Index” slipped to 86.9 this month, compared to 92.4 in November, reflecting consumer concerns about current and future economic conditions, as well as investing. RBC says the downturn this month breaks a three-year trend of increasing consumer confidence in the month of December, as 2003, 2004 and 2005 all exhibited gains in consumer confidence from November to December. The dip in consumer confidence is consistent with RBC’s view that consumer demand will slow in the coming months. The “Expectations Index” stands at 55 this month, compared to 60.5 in November when it reached the highest level since January 2005. The “Current Conditions Index” for December stands at 95.2, decreasing after gains last month. The “Investment Index” for December stands at 82.5, down nearly ten points from the 92.1 observed last month. The “Jobs Index” for December stands at 126.5, compared to 121.3 in November.

RBC INDEX HISTORICAL
Jan 06: 85.5
Feb 06: 96.1
Mar 06: 86.2
Apr 06: 89.4
May 06: 67.1
Jun 06: 84.1
Jul 06: 80.1
Aug 06: 74.8
Sep 06: 93.7
Oct 06: 83.1
Nov 06: 92.4
Dec 06: 86.9
Source: RBC Financial Group

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41% of Rewards Cardholders Do Not Redeem

GMAC Mortgage released a new survey that shows more than 50% of respondents reported having at least one or two rewards credit cards, but, only 41% of these reward cardholders either rarely or never even bother to use their rewards. The results of the national survey sponsored by GMAC Mortgage also indicate that traditional rewards programs, such as airline miles, are losing steam as only 13 percent of all respondents in the survey ranked airline miles as valuable. The GMAC Mortgage survey also revealed that nearly one in four rewards cardholders would use their rewards more often if it were easier to redeem their points. GMAC Mortgage, LLC is among the nation’s top ten residential mortgage originators and servicers. The company originates first and second lien residential mortgage loans through a nationwide network of 300 retail offices, direct lending centers, and Internet sites

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Pacific Gas Joins VISA’s Utility Pay Program

Pacific Gas and Electric Company and VISA USA have launched an 18-month pilot program to enable Californians to pay their utility bills using VISA-branded payment cards. Under the no-fee pilot program, PG&E’s 5.2 million residential customers are now able to use their VISA cards to make individual payments by phone. The program will be expanded in early 2007 when PG&E residential customers will be able to make regular monthly payments via the Internet and schedule recurring payments for their gas and electric bills using a VISA credit, debit or prepaid card. PG&E joins more than 3,500 utilities across the country that participate in VISA’s bill pay program. In the 12 months ending September 30th, VISA cardholders paid $103 billion in household bills with VISA debit and credit cards, a 22.5% increase over the previous year. VISA’s volume in the utilities segment increased approximately 40% during the same period.

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Triton Extends Hours for ATM Parts Ordering

MS-based Triton has extended hours for parts ordering until 8pm CST. Triton ATMs are some of the most reliable ATMs on the market today, averaging less than one service call per year, per ATM. With a complete line of products for retail locations & financial institutions, Triton is committed to redefining and leading the market for cash delivery systems. Triton is the largest provider of off-premise ATMs and ATM management software in North America and has more than 150,000 installations in over 23 countries worldwide.

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U.K. Charge-Offs Continue to Hover at 7%

Charge-offs for credit card-backed bonds in the U.K. improved slightly during the third quarter to 7.03%, compared to 5.40% one-year ago and 7.07% for the prior quarter. Delinquencies were fairly stable and even fell slightly from 3.78% at the end of June over the third quarter. According to FitchRatings, in July the index fell to 3.74%, slipping further to 3.72% and 3.69% in August and September, respectively. Although this remains high compared with historical values, there had been a general leveling-off of the index over the preceding five months since a peak of 3.93% in March 2006, which may herald a slowdown in the growth of charge-offs. FitchRatings reported that charge-offs improved to 6.86% in July and, despite an increase to 7.14% in August, finished the quarter at 7.03%, a sequential improvement of 4 basis points. The monthly payment rate fell from 17.26% at the end of 2Q/06, to 16.50% by end-September, but, climbed to 17.75% in August. The yield was fairly stable in comparison with recent quarters, and slightly below levels seen earlier in the year. From 19.72% at the end of June, the index fell to 19.13% in July and, although an increase in August took it back up to 19.41%, it closed the the third quarter at 19.05%.

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Chase Paymentech Has the Pulse on Online Sales

Dallas-based Chase Paymentech has created a “pulse” index to measure online commerce at the top merchants this holiday season. This week shows that online sales for the first Monday in December rose 49% from one-year ago. Overall sales for 10 of the largest Internet retailers during the period Nov. 20th thru Dec. 6th increased 17% over 2005. Early weekdays continue to emerge as favored online shopping days. In addition to Monday’s strong sales, Tuesday December 5th and Wednesday, December 6th outperformed 2005 by 20% and 28%, respectively. Overall sales growth is counter-balanced by an equally significant dip in weekend online shopping activity, in some cases dipping below 2005 sales performance. The Chase index is based on actual transactions going through the system rather than samples.

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Loyalty Access Solutions to Deploy SCTN

Loyalty Access Solutions will be deploying the Smart Chip Technologies’ “Loyalty System” to several of its clients early next year. Smart Chip Technologies’ turnkey customer retention solutions,
including loyalty, pre-paid stored value, punch cards, and gift cards, enable issuers, acquirers, and merchants to take advantage of real-time programs using their cardholder’s existing cards using bar codes, magnetic stripes, smart chips, RFID, Internet accounts, and other consumer electronic devices.

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