PayPad Becomes 3PEA International

Payment solutions company, PayPad, has changed its names to 3PEA International. 3PEA International, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary 3PEA Technologies, Inc., designs and develops next generation payment solutions including proprietary payment terminals and payment gateway services. Since 2001, 3PEA has provided online payment solutions with specific focus in the area of PIN-Debit transactions. The company now provides turnkey and customized payment processing services to retailers, internet merchants and software development companies.

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Cardways Offers Customized Gift Cards

Chicago-based Cardways.com has launched 4YourSoul.com to offer customized gift cards. At Cardways.com, consumers can make gift cards uniquely their own by uploading digital photos and script to create a personalized message for family and friends. From a ballet recital to a memorable vacation spot, users can easily add their photos to appear on two-thirds of the gift card. The remaining third of the gift card features the retailer at which the gift card value can be redeemed. Cardways.com is a service of Arroweye Solutions. Founded in 1999, Arroweye Solutions is a technology enabled marketing services company focusing on gifting solutions for multi-channel retailers.

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ADS Signs a Cruise Vacations Retailer

Dallas-based Alliance Data Systems has signed a long-term agreement with Cruise Management International to provide co-branded credit card services. The co-brand credit card services Alliance Data will provide include account acquisition and activation, receivables funding, credit authorization, card issuance, statement generation, direct mail and email marketing services, remittance processing, and customer service functions. CMI is a service provider for the cruise and travel industry, enhancing customer value and branding efforts for its customers. Alliance Data (NYSE: ADS) is a leading provider of transaction services, credit services and marketing services, managing over 105 million consumer relationships for some of North America’s most recognizable companies.

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Debt Poll Shows 90% Worry About Debt

Fox Symes, the largest debt relief company in the country, released its first national news poll into how Australians feel about household debt. The survey shows that Australia is a nation of worriers, with more people concerned about paying bills than becoming the victim of a violent crime. The findings of the “Fox Symes Quarterly Debt Poll” have revealed that 92% of of Australians feel household debt is a problem in Australia. One in six people feel that their personal household debt has increased over the past three months.

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26% of Consumers Report Personal Info Thefts

A new survey shows that 19% of consumers have had their financial information stolen including a bank or credit card number. Approximately 14% say they have had their personal information stolen. The latest “Experian-Gallup Personal Credit Index” survey also found that consumers with a college education and higher incomes and those living in Western States report the highest occurrences of theft. Three-fourths of Americans think credit card fraud is identity theft. Although about half of all Americans say they think it is unlikely that they will be a victim of identity theft, 70% said they would take more steps to prevent being a victim if they knew what to do. The “PCI” sampling was conducted in July, August and September 2006 and included 3,032 adults.

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Citibank Offers Free Credit Card Cash Withdrawals

Citibank Germany announced that cardholders in the future will be able to withdraw cash without any charges whatsoever if they are generally willing to pay an increased annual fee. Outside Euroland as well, the charge for withdrawing money from a cash machine will be abolished; all that remains is the foreign handling fee, as with credit card purchases. This means that customers of Citibank Germany will in future be able to withdraw their cash free of charge at a million ATMs worldwide. Citibank customers who want to to use the “free cash” service can have their credit cards modified accordingly. The service is conditional on a current account with salary in-payments at Citibank (direct deposit of salary of the customer). The annual fees for the credit cards will then increase by 10 euros to reach 30 euros for “Classic” cards, to 40 euros for “CitiBest Gold” cards and to 76 euros for “Gold” cards. The “CitiBest Gold” cards will remain free of charge as from a purchase turnover of 2,500 euros a year. If customers want to continue using their credit cards without this service, the annual fee will remain unchanged.

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Merchants Want True Transparency on Rates

The Merchants Payments Coalition says the VISA and MasterCard decision to publish online their U.S. interchange rates is a “small step in the right direction.” However, the transparency offered so far is “only one piece of the puzzle” that merchants need to understand why they are paying “excessive merchant rates.” The MPC noted that VISA’s interchange list included more than 70 combinations of rates for different types of merchants, cards and transactions. MasterCard’s list included nearly 150 combinations. The MPC says the shear number of rates alone is “testimony to the opacity of the interchange system and the need for true transparency.” The Merchants Payments Coalition is a group of about 20 trade associations representing retailers, restaurants, supermarkets, drug stores, convenience stores, gas stations, on-line merchants and other businesses that accept debit and credit cards.

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Calypso Obtains Approval to Accept VISA Intl Cards

Alberta-based Calypso has obtained approval from VISA to accept
VISA International cards at approved ATM locations. ATMs processed by Calypso, the first white label ATM processor to succeed in getting both “VISA Plus” and “VISA International” approval, will now be able to accept International VISA-sponsored cards, an additional 1.5 billion cards worldwide. Also, the approval allows for VISA branding to be applied to Calypso ATMs. Calypso works with Moneris Solutions and VISA Canada.

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Advanta Biz Cards Top 1MM; Loans Up 29%

Business credit card specialist Advanta posted a 29% rise in managed outstandings during the third quarter to $4.65 billion. During the third quarter, the issuer opened 85,392 business card accounts and ended the quarter with a record 1,037,161 gross accounts. Advanta’s Business Card unit earned net income of $20.7 million as compared to $16.2 million for 3Q/05. Transaction volume increased 23% to $3.1 billion during the third quarter. Charge-offs, on averaged managed receivables, increased from 3.24% in the second quarter to 3.41% for the third quarter, but, well below 3Q/05’s 5.15% figure. Over 30 day delinquencies on managed receivables rose 4 basis points to 2.70% from the prior quarter. However, over 90 day delinquencies on managed receivables declined eight basis points to 1.23%, compared to the second quarter of 2006. Advanta says new bankruptcy filings remained lower than anticipated, and the Company is increasing its guidance for 2006 full year earnings from continuing operations to a range of $2.78 to $2.83 per share. For complete details on Advanta’s third quarter performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

ADVANTA’S CARD PORTFOLIO SNAPSHOT
Period Card Loans
3Q/05: $3.60 billion
4Q/05: $3.76 billion
1Q/06: $3.89 billion
2Q/06: $4.39 billion
3Q/06: $4.65 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

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INSIDE Launches microread to Boost NFC Deployments

INSIDE Contactless announced “microread,” the world’s most advanced single integrated circuit for sending and receiving NFC data between two electronic devices. “microread” establishes secure connections between devices, and helps to facilitate mobile payments, transport ticketing, access control, and numerous other transactions from mobile phones or PDAs. “microread”-enabled mobile devices are able to complete transactions with other mobile phones, or with millions of contactless reader terminals already installed worldwide. “microread” supports all of the NFC standard which enables it to behave as both a reader and a card, in order to execute secure contactless transactions. Furthermore, it enables RFID transactions commonly used for Access control applications.

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CO-OP Financial Services Adds a New Director

Patsy Van Ouwerkerk, CEO of Travis Credit Union, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of CO-OP Financial Services. In 2002, Van Ouwerkerk was named President/CEO of Travis Credit Union, which serves the military and civilian personnel on Travis Air Force Base, as well as members who live or work in 12 Northern California counties. The credit union now has more than $1.5 billion in assets and serves approximately 140,000 members at 14 branch locations. CO-OP Financial Services is the nation’s largest credit union service organization.

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MBNA Canada Bank Names a New President

Bank of America has named Debra Armstrong as president of MBNA Canada Bank. Armstrong joined MBNA in 1999 to start up the legal department and later assumed responsibility for administration including law, personnel, facilities, security, community relations, quality assurance and communications. MBNA Canada Bank is a subsidiary
of Bank of America. MBNA Canada credit cards and related products and services are endorsed by nearly 500 Canadian organizations. In Canada, Bank of America has had a presence since the late 1950s and operates in four provinces with about 271 employees.

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