TSYS Inks AdvanceMe as Preferred Partner

TSYS Acquiring Solutions has signed AdvanceMe, a supplier of merchant cash advances for small and mid-sized businesses, to a “preferred partnership” agreement. The partnership expands the TSYS Acquiring Solutions product portfolio by providing its acquiring clients and their merchants with a best-in-class funding solution that is quickly becoming recognized as one of the most business-friendly forms of working capital available. AdvanceMe, Inc. in Kennesaw, GA is the nation’s leading provider of Merchant Cash Advances to small and mid-sized businesses. TSYS Acquiring Solutions is the preeminent supplier of acquiring solutions, related systems and integrated support services to the acquiring industry and its customers.

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Business Debit Cards Emerging as a Hot Market

A new report says the small business segment is messy from a segment viewpoint, however, card issuers are missing the emerging business debit card market. Mercator Advisory Group says it found that there are about 8 million small business debit accounts in place, perhaps one of out of three small businesses. The report suggests that positioning small business credit offerings with regard to debit, and perhaps offering dual debit/credit programs will be of increasing importance. Among other findings is the fact that the payment volume of small business credit cards is growing at twice the rate of credit cards overall. Mercator noted that small business credit cards benefit from superior commercial card interchange and higher payment volumes per account than consumer cards.

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Survey Says: Affluent Parents Shun Materialism

The “Third Annual American Express Platinum Luxury Survey” has found that affluent parents are teaching their children to value philanthropy, cultural experiences, and other personally enriching activities above material goods. Parents said they emphasize the value of the dollar through discussions with their children, and these affluent children are frequently taking part-time jobs when they reach the age of 15. Affluent parents surveyed said when it comes to personal passions they spend the most money on travel, with an average overall annual spend of $13,004. Of the 22% of respondents with a reported household income above $600,000, average overall annual spend on travel increased to more than $20,000. The survey had 1,170 respondents with an average of two children and an average annual household income of $472,000.

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Equity Commerce to Market CrossCheck Services

MD-based Equity Commerce has signed an agreement to market CrossCheck’s check services as part of their enhanced payment offerings. CrossCheck’s standard guarantee and check conversion services, including Business Office Conversion Plus(sm), will now be available to Equity Commerce merchants. These services offer maximum check authorization flexibility and convenience along with special programs for business check conversion, disputed stop payment protection and a hold check program for standard guarantee. Equity Commerce is a payment solutions company designed specifically to give businesses the tools they need to achieve their goals and build equity in their businesses. CrossCheck, Inc. provides check approval and guarantee for a variety of merchants nationwide.

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First Data Inks a Long-Term Deal w/Barclaycard

First Data International and the U.K.’s Barclaycard have inked a long-term processing contract. FDC will provide credit card and loans processing for Barclaycard’s new partnership programs in the U.K. on its “VisionPLUS” processing platform. The deal also includes a full range of contact center services and managed services to include plastics personalization, applications processing, payment processing, statements, letters and PIN mailers. In the UK, Barclaycard manages the Barclaycard branded credit cards and other non-Barclaycard branded card portfolios including Monument, SkyCard and Solution Personal Finance. In consumer lending, Barclaycard manages both secured and unsecured loan portfolios, through Barclays branded loans, being mostly Barclayloan, and also through the FirstPlus and Clydesdale Financial Services businesses. Outside the UK, Barclaycard provides credit cards in the United States through Barclaycard US, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Scandinavia and across Africa. Barclaycard has 11.2 million U.K. customers and has issued 5.3 million international cards to-date. The bank currently has 95,000 retailer relationships.

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Bankruptcy Filings Drive Down the ARM Index

The indicator of economic conditions affecting the accounts receivable management industry slipped in July after hitting a record high in June. The index was driven by an increase in the number of bankruptcy filings and the market capitalization of public ARM companies. The “Kaulkin Ginsberg Index” for July decreased to 1454.2 compared to 1475.2 for the prior month. During the second quarter the ARM index hovered around 1460. The KGI remains up 15.1% year over year. KGI says the “Index” should continue to gradually increase until after the completion of the NCO Group buyout. During July PA-based NCO Group inked a definitive agreement to be acquired by One Equity Partners and Michael Barrist, Chairman, President and CEO of the Company for $1.26 billion. The price represents a 44% stock premium. (CF Library 7/25/06)

KGI HISTORICAL
Jan 06: 1179.3
Feb 06: 1229.3
Mar 06: 1222.4
Apr 06: 1472.7
May 06: 1458.6
Jun 06: 1475.2
Jul 06: 1454.2
Source: Kaulkin Ginsberg

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Natl City to Present a Payment Trends Webcast

Cleveland-based National City is holding a free Webcast tomorrow entitled “Synchronizing the Global Supply Chain: An Opportunity to Capitalize on Payment and Transaction Processing Trends”. This webcast is approved for one recertification credit by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). AFP does not require documentation of credits. However, CTPs and CCMs are encouraged to retain documentation of their attendance for a period of two years in the event of an audit. National City Corporation (NYSE: NCC), headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the nation’s largest financial holding companies.

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Bankruptcy Filings Edge Down in August

Bankruptcy filings took a slight turn south in August but still are averaging about 14,000 per week compared to approximately 8,000 filings per week six-months ago. One-year ago filings averaged 35,000 per week level, prior to the full implementation of the “Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005.” During August filings dropped to 57,000, the second highest level since October when the reforms went into effect. The number of filings in the first quarter of 2006 is the lowest number of quarterly filings in the last 20 years.

MONTHLY FILINGS
Nov 05: 21,457
Dec 05: 32,480
Jan 06: 34,411
Feb 06: 39,636
Mar 06: 42,724
Apr 06: 44,989
May 06: 43,780
Jun 06: 54,937
Jul 06: 62,986
Aug 06: 57,412
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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InComm to Acquire DataWave for $36MM

Atlanta-based InComm Holdings has signed an agreement to acquire NJ-based DataWave Systems for $36 million in cash. DataWave is a provider of prepaid and stored-value delivery systems in Canada with operations in the U.S. InComm plans to integrate DataWave’s 10,000 retail locations and 6,000-plus POSA terminals located in Canada and the U.S. into its network of more than 145,000 retail locations. DataWave will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of InComm. Josh Emanuel, DataWave chairman and CEO, will remain as president of the InComm subsidiary. InComm offers financial debit cards, gift cards, music downloads, ring tones, games, long-distance cards, online games, broadband, digital television as well as bill payment solutions. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

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WAY Systems Appoints a New COO

MA-based WAY Systems, a wireless card payment systems provider, has promoted Bruce Shirey, who previously worked for First Data, to the position of COO. Earlier in his career, he founded his own company and was one of the early pioneers in electronic commerce. Concurrently, Shirey announced the appointment of two other members to the WAY Systems leadership team. WAY Systems is the fastest growing firm engaged in providing solutions for wireless transaction processing.

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CSU CardSystem’s Board Approves a Share Buy-Back

Sao Paulo-based CardSystem’s Board of Directors has approved the stock buy-back of up to one million common CSU shares. This equivalent to 5.3% of the free float. On September 13th, the Company held 120,000 common shares in the treasury at an average cost of R$11.03 per share, equivalent to 0.6% of the free float and 0.2% of the Company’s total capital. The maximum and minimum acquisition prices were R$12.19 and R$10.50, respectively. On September 13th, the market value of CSU’s shares was R$13.50. CSU manages many different types of electronic payment services and has a card base of approximately 10.1
million cards (including credit cards, private label cards and vouchers).

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