TIO and Presto C-Stores Enter Agreement

TIO Networks has signed an agreement with Presto Convenience Stores to
deploy self-serve automated bill payment and financial services
touch-screen terminals. The terminals enable cash preferred customers to
pay a host of bills including wireless, utility and cable and update their
accounts quickly and conveniently. Payments are made by feeding the cash
directly into TIO terminal’s note acceptor. Once the cash is accepted,
then TIO uses an Internet link to ensure timely posting of the payment.
Customers will also be able to purchase prepaid products and services and
revalue and/or activate stored value products.

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Marquis Jet Card is Recognized as Best

The “Marquis Jet Card” has been recognized as the “Best of the Best” by Robb Report in its 18th annual “Best of” report. The Marquis Jet Card program was named ‘Best Jet Card Program’ based on combining the simplicity and low financial risk of a jet card with many of the advantages of NetJets fractional ownership program and additional attractive benefits provided by Marquis Jet’s alliance partners.

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Sallie Mae Agrees to Buy Upromise

Sallie Mae inked a purchase agreement to acquire Upromise for an undisclosed amount. Upromise’s rewards service has more than 7 million members who have joined to save for college when they and their families buy gas or groceries, dine out or purchase other goods and services from more than 450 participating companies. Upromise is also the largest administrator of direct-to-consumer 529 college savings plans, administering nearly 1 million college savings accounts and over $10 billion in assets with tax-advantaged 529 investment options through partnerships with seven states. Sallie Mae has 10 million borrowing customers. Under the terms of the transaction, Upromise will become a wholly owned subsidiary of SLM Corporation. Upromise, which employs approximately 250 individuals, will retain its separate brand identity, management team and operations in Massachusetts.

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VISA & NFIB Offer an Entrepreneur Program

The National Federation of Independent Business’ Young Entrepreneur Foundation, in partnership with VISA USA, have announced a new online curriculum to teach budding entrepreneurs the basics of how to start a business. With this complimentary curriculum, teachers can educate future entrepreneurs on how to write a business plan, obtain funding and interact with business-related agencies, to name a few. Teachers can download the free program from both Visa’s Practical Money Skills for Life financial education program and the NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation’s Entrepreneur-in-the-Classroom programs.

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Word of Mouth Drives Business Cards

A new study has concluded that when it comes to marketing business
credit cards, the card industry needs to be focused on generating
positive word of mouth. Toronto-based The Warrillow & Co. research found
that business owners prefer to rely on recommendations from fellow
business owners before making any buying decisions. Using methodology
made famous by Bain consultant Frederick Reichheld, Warrillow calculated
each company’s “Net Promoter Score”, which is the percentage of a
company’s customers who would be very willing to recommend them,
subtracted by the percentage of the company’s customers who would be
unlikely to recommend them. The second-highest-ranking category on the
“Index” is the business credit card with an overall “Net Promoter Score”
of 29%. Topping the list was shipping companies.

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VISA Products to be SEPA Compliant by Year-End

The VISA Europe Board of Directors have unanimously confirmed that all
products will be in compliance with the SEPA Cards Framework (SCF)
principles by the end of this year. This means that that its products will
be SCF compliant by 1 January, 2007, a full year ahead of the
implementation deadline of the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) as defined
by the European Payments Council (EPC). During 2006, VISA Europe will make
the final changes to implement all remaining principles to include a
single pricing structure for all intra-SEPA transactions, freedom of
choice of the processing system for all Visa transactions, active
participation in the standardisation activities planned by the EPC and
cooperation with other SCF compliant payment schemes to fight fraud.

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OTI Revenues Rise 38% in the First Quarter

Rosh Pina-based On Track Innovations reported that revenues increased
38% in the first quarter to $9 million and that its loss increased 17%
to nearly $2 million. Licensing and transaction fees rose 26% to
slightly more than $1 million, year-on-year. The Company is investing
heavily into contactless solutions. During the first quarter, OTI
delivered key fobs to Taipei Fubon Bank as part of the “2006 FIFA World
Cup” promotion; acquired InSeal SAS; received Vital “Class A” approval
for the “Saturn 5000” contactless reader; and OTI “EasyFuel” entered
Costa Rica and Peru. For complete details on OTI’s first quarter
performance, visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Wire Card Expands CLICK2PAY Services

Wire Card AG next week will be extending the range of services
of its alternative payment system “CLICK2PAY” to include virtual banking
services. This will enable customers to additionally order an eMoney
account in connection with a virtual VISA card from the Group’s member
company Wire Card Bank. This will make more than two million VISA
acceptance locations available to customers on the Web. “CLICK2PAY” is
available in 24 countries and has a global orientation with its seven
currencies and eleven languages and is suitable for industries offering
products and services that require customer registrations like
subscriptions or small purchases such as music downloads.

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Latin American Governments Promote Card Usage

At the 8th annual VISA International Government Services Conference
“Modernizing through Innovation,” government partnerships have
significantly contributed to the realization of economic development goals
for emerging and industrialized nations around the world. Argentina,
Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, and Uruguay have
implemented incentives that drive payment card usage to provide greater
transparency of financial transactions and improve tax collection. The
VISA International Government Services Conference (IGSC)provides an
opportunity for government officials, VISA specialists, representatives
from VISA member financial institutions, and industry experts from
around the world to network and discuss new ways to work together to
serve the needs of governments, economies, and their citizens.

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Online Retail Purchases to Rise 10%

The latest IMRG Annual Report indicates that the year ahead for the
e-retail industry will be characterized by 10% of retail purchases being
made online, consumers embracing a broadband lifestyle and retailers
investing in better Web services and predicts an estimated GBP 26
billion will be spent online by UK shoppers with online shoppers who
will spend on average GBP1,000 each. Christmas 2005 online sales were
50% higher than the previous year, exceeding GBP2 billion each month in
November and December, while High Street trade remained flat. Internet
shopping has been the fastest growing area within the retail sector for
more than ten years, and has grown 2,600% during the past five years
alone. IMRG is the industry body for e-retailing, comprised of a large
group of online retailers and facilitators.

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