The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for South Korea
increased 2.1%, following a 6 month rate of decline total of 3.6%, while
The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) increased .6% in
April. With the 2.1% increase in April, The Conference Board LEI for
South Korea now stands at 103.4 (2004=100), which increased 0.3% in
March and .9% in February, while the CEI now stands at 106.6 (2004=100),
which increased 0.9% in March and increased 0.5% in February. LEI
results for the month were attributed to positive gains in real exports
FOB, stock prices, the (inverted) index of inventories to shipments,
letter of credit arrivals, the (inverted) yield of government public
bonds, and value of machinery orders.

Bank Freedom Inks a Major CU Card Deal

Prepaid Card Holdings’ subsidiary Bank Freedom will manage a
prepaid debit card program for its 1,000,000
union membership and their families. Under a co-branding agreement between Bank Freedom and an undisclosed
third party, Bank Freedom will act as the program manager for the union.
The cards issued will bear the union’s name and branding. The prepaid
debit card being offered to union members can be used to withdrawal cash
at over 1,000,000 ATM’s worldwide and over 30,000,000 merchants

Computerworld Cites MasterCard Workplace

For a fifth year, MasterCard has been named “one of the Best Places to
Work in Information Technology” by IDG’s Computerworld magazine. This
year MasterCard ranked No. 23 among medium-sized
businesses and No. 72 overall. MasterCard Global Technology and
Operations manages technology
operations in 210 countries and territories and manages the MasterCard
Worldwide Network,
which serves as a critical link among financial institutions, businesses,
cardholders and merchants worldwide, processing 21 billion transactions
in 2008. In
addition, MasterCard employees are encouraged to participate in the
company’s holistic
wellness program and take advantage of flexible scheduling options.
MasterCard also provides continuing education programs through
MasterCard University,
which offers hundreds of education and training courses across many
The announcement comes on the heels of the company’s
selection as one of the “Ten Technology Companies to Watch” by Bank
Technology News.


NCR has announced plans to build its R$73 million innovation hub and
manufacturing plant in Brazil to provide a broader range of its
self-service solutions. Responding to the market requirements of Brazil,
the Caribbean and Latin America, the new facility will focus on
“SelfServ” ATM design and create nearly 250 new jobs with operations
slated to commence in December 2009. These announcements are in
conjunction with NCR’s plans to establish ATM manufacturing in Columbus,
Ga., where all North American NCR ATM manufacturing will take place,
creating 870 new jobs. Brazil is the third largest ATM market in the
world and is projected to grow 16% by 2012 while the OH-based NCR
Corporation provides its self-service solutions in more than 100 countries.


Wireless Expertise has been introduced with the intention
of bridging the market gap, providing rapid development and delivery of
Mobile Value Added Services and Applications for the global market.
Along with Wireless Expertise services will be international
consultancy, service design and development solutions to help brands
overcome barriers to reach out to their customers via the mobile
channel. Founder & CEO Anuj Khanna has 12 years’ experience with international mobile payments, managed content, applications and messaging services to over 100 global mobile operators across 30 countries. The Company plans to expand operations into North America, Middle East, Asia and Africa over the course of the next 18 months.

DCS Releases CardWizard easyPIN

Instant issuer Dynamic Card Solutions announced the availability of
“easyPIN” change solution that allows portable and remote changing of PINs.
“easyPIN” makes use of an Internet or phone connection and a small
unconnected handheld smart card reader that is issued by their financial institution.
Cardholders can simply insert their EMV card into the smart card reader
and follow the instructions that prompt them to change their PIN. This can be done
through the online banking website, interactive voice response (IVR) support, or an
optical interface. The flexible design of DCS’ easyPIN means
it can be integrated into issuers’ existing customer delivery channels such as
home banking, and the solution is also compatible with standard Two Factor
Authentication (2FA) functionality, such as MasterCard CAP & Visa DPA, ensuring that the
deployed readers provide a wide range of features to cardholders.

Credit Card Statements Fail Usability Globally

A global study of credit card statements conducted by an Australian non-profit group has found that majority of these documents
fail to meet the minimum acceptable usability level. Melbourne-based Communication Research Institute tested credit statements from Australia, Argentina, Austria, Chile, Netherlands, Portugal, South Africa, UK and the USA and found that the statements could not be used to find out how much credit was run up on the credit card, how long it would take to pay it back, the ‘pay by’ date for each month, how much extra it’s going to cost in interest payments, and what happens if people miss a payment. The overall performance of statements from each country, where the minimum acceptable usability target level is 81%, was 33% for Australia, 55% for the U.K. and between 32% and 60% for the USA.

BOKU Launches Global M-Pay Service for I-Purchases

A West Coast startup has launched a new global mobile payments service for online purchases that could potentially reach 1.6 billion customers via 170 mobile operators. The firm has picked up funding, acquired two established companies and formed a top management team. San Francisco-based BOKU has raised $13 million in venture capital investment led by Benchmark Capital, with participation from Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures. The Company also acquired Paymo, based in San Francisco and the Mobillcash business, originally founded in the UK. BOKU also named Mark Britto as CEO, formerly with Amazon, Ingenico, and FirstUSA; Paul McGuire, previously founder & CEO of Paymo and founder of mBlox; James Patmore as Managing Director of EMEA; and other executives with experience in finance and technology companies including AT&T Interactive, PayPal, Apple, FICO, Google, O2 UK, Bank of America and eBay.


Slated for delivery by 2Q09, Precise Biometrics has signed agreements to
provide the latest hardware follow-up order, worth USD 268,000, in a
“Match-on-Card” project to government employees. In addition to
furnishing the Middle Eastern government with hardware, Precise is
granting “Match-on-Card” licenses and Precise “200 MC readers”, which
combine fingerprint and smart card detection for the government ID card
project. Storing and matching fingerprint information on a smart card to
establish the physical presence of an individual, Precise Biometrics
shipped the same client orders valued at SEK 5 million in 2008, has
deployed 20 million card licenses and close to 100 million contracted
licenses for its bio-ID solution across Qatar, Bahrain and other
regional countries.


Celcom, the mobile communications of Axiata Group has decided “Sybase 365”
mobile messaging services will power its “AirCash Unstructured
Supplementary Service Data” (USSD) mobile financial service, targeting 9
million Malaysian customers. Run on the Sybase 365 mCommerce “Mobiliser
Platform” payment processing and service delivery, “AirCash” allows
Celcom 2G and 3G customers to use their mobile phones for money transfer
to fellow “AirCash” users, remit money to foreign countries, top-up
mobile airtime and to add or withdraw money from their account at Celcom
branches. Offering end-to-end solutions for mBanking, mPayments and
mRemittance “AirCash” offers live deployment to more than 15 million end user
consumers and 20,000 merchants around the world while USSD transactions
occur only during the transaction, harboring no store-and-forward
capability, and is an instant messaging type phone service. The
service will be rolled out to other Axiata-owned operator entities
within major remittance corridors in the region over the next few months.


NEOVIA Financial independent global online payments has deployed
services for the Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming (MMOG)
multi-billion dollar global market, having inked contracts with MindArk
MMOG. With these development, NEOVIA will be providing MMOG global
payment solutions for the exchange of virtual products and services. An
industry projected to increase to $9 billion by 2010, the MMOG market
subscriptions, virtual land, retail products and services now support
the NEOVIA Payment Suite consisting of fraud control, anti-money
laundering policies and e-wallet solutions. This payment suite
additionally manages payment-demanded capabilities with local deposit
options, local languages and local currencies in countries offering only
limited online credit card use. NEOVIA Financial is trusted by consumers
and merchants in over 160 countries to move and manage billions of
dollars annually.