BOCOM & WAL-MART

Bank of Communications and Wal-Mart have formed an alliance to launch a general purpose credit card in China. Wal-Mart plans to introduce the card in six stores located in Shanghai, Nanjing and Fuzhou. Wal-Mart indicated it will eventually market the card at all its 60 locations nationwide. The card will offer special discounts at Wal-Mart stores. It is the first credit card to be issued in the country by a foreign retailer. The card will be a dual-currency credit card for use outside China. The Bank of Communications and HSBC jointly run the Pacific Credit Card Center which has issued more than one million dual-currency credit cards over the past twelve months. HSBC says it expects the joint venture will become profitable as a result of the Wal-Mart deal.

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Global Payments Adds Marshall to its Board

Atlanta-based Global Payments has named Ruth Ann Marshall, former President of the Americas for MasterCard, to its Board of Directors effective September 26th Prior to joining MasterCard, Marshall also held executive leadership positions within the payments card industry including her service with Concord, EFS; Electronic Payment Services, Inc; and BUYPASS. Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN) is a leading provider of electronic transaction processing services for consumers, merchants, Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs), financial institutions, government agencies and multi- national corporations located throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

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ACLEDA, UCB & Vattanac to Deploy Wincor Nixdorf ATMs

Wincor Nixdorf is deploying its first 30 ATMs to three of the local banks in the Kingdom of Cambodia. ACLEDA, Union Commercial Bank and Vattanac Banks will offer the first ATMs. Wincor has been growing about 20% annually Asia/Africa region. Wincor Nixdorf is the
world’s third largest supplier of POS systems and ATMs and the number one supplier of POS systems in Europe.

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Online Banking Security Ignorance Grows

GuardID Systems released the results of a national survey that shows 44% of respondents mistakenly believe that their up-to-date anti-virus and anti-spyware software protects against phishing attacks. Anti-virus and anti-spyware protects users against virus and spyware intrusions but does not protect against schemes that lure users onto bogus financial websites or hijacked DNS servers — known today as phishing and pharming attacks. Consumers do not realize the serious impact of these threats and are losing billions of dollars to these schemes annually. GuardID Systems, a privately held company, designs, develops and markets anti-phishing and pharming products to help consumers protect themselves against online identity theft and other forms of fraud.

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Office Depot Picks TeleCheck for ECA

Office Depot has contracted with FDC’s TeleCheck to provide the “ECA” service in the company’s more than 1,000 stores nationwide Customers presenting checks at Office Depot locations beginning this fall will benefit from increased security and convenience as the company converts those checks to electronic transactions at the point of sale. The service utilizes the Automated Clearing House Network (ACH) to collect the funds from the customer. This process is growing steadily and attracting merchants nationwide. First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC) is a leading provider of electronic commerce and payment solutions for businesses and consumers worldwide. Office Depot provides more office products and services to more customers in more countries than any other company.

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C-Store and Card Fees Webcast is Scheduled

PA-based Penton Media is holding a free roundtable Webcast series tomorrow for convenience store retailers entitled: “Controlling the High Cost of Credit Card Fees”. The increasing rate of card fees is of great concern for the convenience industry. While industry profits showed a strong swell in 2005, credit card processing fees leapt to record levels. Convenience Store Decisions is the in-print idea factory for executives and management personnel at the headquarters of convenience store chains, franchises, petroleum marketers, and independents, with a circulation of more than 41,000 professionals.

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Payment Cards Boot Layaway Programs

Wal-Mart is phasing out its layaway program and will promote its payment card programs instead. For the first time, customers who apply for a new “Discover” or “Wal-Mart Credit Card” will receive $20 cash back when they apply at the register and purchase at least $100 on their card the same day. The giant retailer says declining use and increasing costs forced the decision. Customers will have until November 19 to place items in layaway for this Christmas season and merchandise must be picked up by December 8.

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Chase Intros a Rewards Card for Switcheroos

Chase is rolling-out a new rewards credit card that enables cardholders to seamlessly change between cash back and points. The new no annual fee “Chase Freedom” card offers rewards for all purchases, triple rewards on certain everyday purchases and no loss of cash or points when changing between rewards. The new card is also “blink”-enabled for contactless payments at more than 30,000 U.S. merchant locations. The card offers 1% cash-back on all purchases or one point for each $1 spent on the card. The card carries interest rates ranging from prime +5.99% to prime +14.99%, with a 0% APR on purchases for the first year. Chase is launching an integrated marketing and advertising campaign to support the new card featuring a remix of The Rolling Stones’ “I’m Free.” Earlier this year Chase and United Airlines launched the “Choices” program for its “Mileage Plus VISA” cardholders. The unique program offers enhanced redemption opportunities that goes beyond simple mileage redemption. (CF Library 5/1/06)

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Western Union Offers Spin-Off Guidance

Top executives of Western Union are hitting the road today to make presentations to the equity investment community in advance of its spin-off from First Data on September 29th. The Company said its expects 2006 revenue to be 11% to 12% above the prior year possibly hitting $4.5 billion. Excluding expenses related to its spin-off, operating income should fall between $1.32 billion and $1.34 billion. For 2007, Western Union expects revenue growth in the range of 10% to 12%, excluding acquisitions. In addition, the company expects operating income growth of 6% to 9%, excluding spin-off costs. The Company also noted that for the third quarter through September 14, the company’s overall consumer-to-consumer transactions grew 15% on a year-over-year basis. International transactions grew 23% for the same period.

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North American Bancard Pushes PayPass

Troy, MI-based North American Bancard is deploying 3,000 MasterCard “PayPass” acceptance devices to all NAB merchants, free of charge. The Vivotech devices are in stock and ready for national deployment to all new and existing customers. NAB calls it contactless devices “Tap-Here” devices. There are approximately 10 million “PayPass” cards and devices in the market and approximately 32,000 merchant locations around the world that accept “PayPass.” NAB is a registered MSP/ISO of HSBC Bank and has more than 50,000 clients.

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VISA and the Chamber Wrap Up Security Tour

At the final stop of a joint, 12-city data security tour VISA USA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce indentified five major causes of data breaches. The five leading causes of card-related data breaches include storage of magnetic stripe data; missing or outdated security patches; use of vendor supplied default settings and passwords; SQL injection; and unnecessary and vulnerable services on servers. The Chamber is currently distributing the VISA security alert to its full membership of small and mid-sized businesses nationwide. VISA and the Chamber of Commerce began the 12-city nationwide town hall tour titled, “Securing Our Businesses, Protecting Our Customers” on June 26th. (CF Library 6/26/06)

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