Western Union Develops a Remittance Calculator

Western Union Financial Services has partnered with the Mexican government
to develop a new online tool to help consumers understand their options as
they send money across the U.S./Mexico border. The “Remittance Calculator”
will allow U.S. consumers to understand and compare a variety of factors
when transferring money from the United States to Mexico. The online
Calculator will allow a person sending money from the United States to
Mexico to compare and contrast different remittance providers based on
such important attributes as cost, speed, security and the convenience of
locations for both senders and recipients. Participation in the
“Remittance Calculator” is available to any financial services company
legally authorized to provide service from the USA to Mexico.

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Cash Systems Acquires IGS for $12MM

Las Vegas-based Cash Systems has acquired San Diego-based Indian Gaming Services from Borrego Springs Bank for $12 million. Indian Gaming Services provides ATM, check cashing and credit and debit services to 11 casino facilities. The acquisition comes on the heels of a two-year-long effort by IGS to advance its infrastructure and services to the forefront of the cash-access industry. Borrego Springs Bank is a Native-American-owned, federally chartered, financial institution. Cash Systems is a provider of cash-access and related services to the retail and gaming industries.

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COMMERCIAL SPENDING

Global business and government spending is expected to approach US$65 trillion this year, a 6.6% increase over 2005. Europe is the largest spending region with a projected US$22.1 trillion. According to VISA International’s “Commercial Consumption Expenditure,” the CEMEA region will expand by 13.5% this year. Global “CCE” is estimated using four key data elements: the amount of business-to-business purchases to acquire goods and services used in production; wholesale and retail purchases of final goods; some business capital expenditures; and government spending on goods and services. VISA first introduced the
standardized metric to track business and government spending in the USA in 2004. One-year ago VISA expanded the index to track global business and government spending. (CFI Library 1/26/05)

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Gemplus Shareholders Approve Axalto Merger

Gemplus International confirms that its General Meeting of Shareholders
was held on February 28 in order to deliberate on matters related to the
proposed combination with Axalto Holding N.V. announced on December 7,
2005. A majority of the shareholders adopted the proposed resolutions,
with votes in favor ranging between 97.8% and 99.9%. The shareholders
approved a distribution of available reserves of an amount of EUR 0.26 per
share, subject to the satisfaction of conditions precedent. The
distribution would represent an amount of approximately EUR 164 million
based on current Gemplus shares outstanding. Gemplus shareholders also
approved the proposed conditional recomposition of its Board of Directors.

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January Charge-Offs Dip Below 7.0%

Charge-offs among “prime” credit card-backed securities edged down slightly during January but remain at elevated levels due to bankruptcy reform hangover. However, “sub-prime” charge-offs soared by nearly 100 basis points. For January, charge-offs in the “prime” asset-backed credit card securities market decreased 15 basis points to 6.88%. “Sub-prime” charge-offs rose by 98 basis points to 12.73%. One-year ago, “prime” charge-offs were 6.25% and “sub-prime” charge-offs stood at 14.46%. According to the latest “Fitch Credit Card Index,” “prime” delinquency (60+ days) declined to 2.09% in January. “Sub-prime” delinquency (60+days) for January slipped 26 basis points to 6.16%, and continues to hover at the lowest level in four years. Fitch reported “prime” charge-offs averaged 6.25% for the full year in 2005 versus 6.36% in 2004. For 2005, “sub-prime” delinquencies averaged 6.72%, versus 8.78% in 2004.

ABS CHARGE-OFF HISTORICAL
Month Prime Sub-Prime
Jan 05: 6.25% 14.46%
Dec 05: 7.03% 11.75%
Jan 06: 6.88% 12.73%
Source: Fitch Ratings

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Genesis Financial Buys Two Portfolios

OR-based Genesis Financial Solutions has acquired a $250 million portfolio of performing bankcard accounts. This is the second bankcard portfolio acquired by the firm during the first quarter. Genesis earlier acquired more than 250,000 performing bankcard accounts from a large national bankcard issuer for more than $100 million. The two deals more than double the size of the company. Genesis has doubled its staff during the first quarter, adding about 100 new employees at its Beaverton, Oregon headquarters. Genesis was created in 2001 by executives from sub-prime specialist, Renaissance Holdings, (acquired by Household International in 2000). Initially, the company engaged in buying and servicing consumer loans. In April 2005, Genesis launched into consumer lending and bankcards, focusing on the sub-prime market.

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UBC Brings Customer Support In-House

New Jersey-based United Bank Card has brought its entire merchant support operation in-house and will now be providing internal 24×72 customer service and technical support. This shift to entirely in-house 24-hour support is in response to the growing needs of United Bank Card’s rapidly expanding merchant base. United Bank Card currently handles the merchant accounts for over 40,000 locations and processes in excess of 3.5 billion dollars annually.

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Morgan Beaumont and PBS Partner

Morgan Beaumont and Products Benefits Systems, both Florida-based, have inked a partnership including the exchange of some stock. Morgan Beaumont’s technical staff will maintain, monitor and operate PBS’ servers and data processing activities. Additionally, Morgan Beaumont will provide marketing resources and administrative support to PBS in order to introduce and increase the sales of Morgan Beaumont’s stored value products and solutions to PBS’s customer base of employer companies nationwide. In conjunction with this expanded relationship, Morgan Beaumont will receive 700,000 shares of PBS common stock and in exchange, PBS will receive 150,000 shares of Morgan Beaumont’s restricted common stock. Products Benefits Systems provides proprietary mathematical formulas in conjunction with its accounting software tracking system for health benefits and premiums.

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MobileLime Loyalty Goes Nationwide

Boston-based MobileLime has lined-up its first merchant in Chicago to deploy its marketing and loyalty program linked to mobile phones. Potash Bros. Markets, an upscale Chicago grocery store chain, will use text messaging and email communications to let shoppers know about special sales and events. The cashier also enters the member’s cell phone number at checkout and the shopper receives instant item-level savings towards purchases. MobileLime has similar clients in the Boston area. The Company is also seeking to market a payment service via mobile phones. The Company recently introduced a next generation platform for its “Near Field Communication” solution that enables consumers to get rewards and pay for purchases by waving their cell phone over a contactless reader. (CF Library 2/21/06)

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Diebold Acquires Genpass Service

Diebold confirmed this morning it has signed an agreement to purchase Genpass Service Solutions. GSS is an ATM maintenance and service provider and was a subsidiary of Genpass. Genpass was purchased by U.S. Bank in May. The acquisition will add nearly 100 service professionals and approximately 6,000 ATMs in 34 states to Diebold’s ATM support. Diebold and U.S. Bank also extended their service contract for more than 7,100 U.S. Bank ATMs nationwide.

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ICICI Installs 50,000 VeriFone Payment Systems

VeriFone is delivering 50,000 “Vx 510” payment
systems to ICICI Bank Limited. VeriFone has been working closely with
ICICI since the bank began developing its merchant acquiring business,
and has previously delivered more than 50,000 units of the “Omni 3750”
payment system. The “Vx 510” is part of a new generation of VeriFone solutions targeted at international markets.

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