CMI Shows Housing Market Dragging the Economy

A monthly survey of the business economy shows that conditions modestly improved from the prior month, with an increase in the manufacturing sector offset by a decrease in the service sector. The decimated housing market continues to be the real drag on the overall economy. The seasonally adjusted “Credit Manager’s Index” edged up in June by 50 basis points. The report showed mostly small changes in the 10 components of the “Index,” with only six of the components rising. The manufacturing sector rose 1.1%, chiefly as a result of improvements in sales and bankruptcies. But, the service sector fell 0.2%. The National Association of Credit Management noted that on a year-over-year basis, the combined index was unchanged at 57.2%, remaining well above the 50 level indicating economic expansion.

Credit Manager’s Index
Jun 06: 57.2
Jul 06: 57.6
Aug 06: 57.3
Sep 06: 57.1
Oct 06: 55.3
Nov 06: 55.2
Dec 06: 54.7
Jan 07: 57.2
Feb 07: 56.6
Mar 07: 55.0
Apr 07: 56.6
May 07: 56.7
Jun 07: 57.2
Source: National Association of Credit Management

Discover Begins Trading & Expands Board

Discover Financial Services began trading this morning on the New York Stock Exchange as an independent company with an opening price of about $28.50 per share. The card network also announced the addition of Gregory Case, CEO of Aon Corp. and E. Follin Smith, former CFO for Constellation Energy Group, to the company’s previously announced Board of Directors designees. Other outside directors include: Jeffrey Aronin, President and CEO of Ovation Pharmaceuticals; Mary Bush, former U.S. Government representative on the IMF Board and former head of International Finance at Fannie Mae; Robert Devlin, former Chairman, President and CEO of American General; Philip Laskawy, former Chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young; Michael Rankowitz, senior advisor to Morgan Stanley; and Lawrence Weinbach, former Chairman and CEO of Unisys Corporation and former Managing Partner and Chief Executive of Andersen Worldwide. David Komansky, Chairman Emeritus of Merrill Lynch will join the Board later in the year. CEO David Nelms has been leading Discover’s business since 1998 and will sit on the company’s Board of Directors. Roger Hochschild will continue in his current role as President and COO, and Roy Guthrie will continue to serve as CFO.

HORTONS & MASTERCARD

The country’s largest quick service restaurant chain is gearing up to accept credit cards as well as contactless payments. Tim Hortons has signed a deal to accept MasterCards and to deploy MasterCard’s “PayPass” contactless technology. For a limited period, MasterCard will be the exclusive credit card accepted at Tim Hortons. As of April 1st, Tim Hortons system-wide restaurants numbered 2,724 in Canada and 340 in the USA. Approximately 500 Tim Hortons locations are currently installed
with MasterCard capability and more locations are being added throughout the summer. MasterCard is facilitating payment card acceptance in quick
service environments with its exclusive “Quick Payment Service” and
MasterCard PayPass programs.

Stone Edge Order Manager Gets a High Ranking

Internet Retailer ranks “Stone Edge Order Manager” as a top choice among America’s largest online retailers. The Stone Edge Order Manager, which began seven years ago as a simple program for importing orders and printing invoices and packing slips, has grown into a wide-ranging tool for e-commerce business management. It is currently used by over 1,500 merchants to automate and streamline their operations. Stone Edge Technologies is a privately owned developer of affordable e-commerce software for small businesses.

Metavante Names a New Chief Financial Officer

Metavante Corporation has hired Timothy C. Oliver, currently VP and treasurer of Rockwell Automation to serve as senior EVP and CFO. Since May 2004, Oliver has been responsible for the global treasury, contracts, pricing and investor relations functions at Rockwell Automation. Prior to joining Rockwell Automation, he was vice president for investor relations and financial planning at Raytheon Company in Lexington, Mass. Previously, he spent five years at Honeywell (formerly AlliedSignal), and served as director of finance for the $1.6 billion Aviation Aftermarket business there. Oliver also held bond trading and investment banking positions at Bear Stearns & Co. and at Kidder Peabody & Co., New York City. Oliver received an MBA degree from the New York University Stern School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Williams College. Metavante Corporation delivers banking and payments technologies to over 8,600 financial services firms and businesses worldwide.

CPI Card Teams With Tricor Pacific Capital

CPI Card Group has partnered with private equity firm Tricor Pacific Capital. The existing management team of CPI will remain in their current capacities. Bob Clarke, Russ McGrane and Scott Heck will move forward in their current capacities and as shareholders in the new partnership. as Antonio Accornero plans to retire. CPI Card Group is a manufacturer with the capacity to produce over one billion standard, contactless, foil, textured, scented and translucent cards. Tricor Pacific Capital has approximately $800 million of funds under management.

GULF BANK & SCTN

Gulf Bank of Kuwait has chosen selektpoints Loyalty Program which will
be implemented through Phoenix Technology Holdings “SCTN (OTC) End
to End Loyalty Solution”and Smart Chip Technologies. selektpoints is an
interoperable loyalty program that partners with “landlord banks” and
select
merchants to offer participants loyalty programs. The agreement
stipulates that
Gulf Bank will be the “landlord bank” in Kuwait and will offer customers
rewards at selected merchant establishments.

US Dataworks First Quarter Revenue Rises 11%

Houston-based US Dataworks reported revenues for the quarter ended March 31st of $2.3 million, an 11% increase over the same period a year ago. Net loss for the quarter was $1.3 million, compared to a net loss of $47,694 for the corresponding period in the prior year. The Company recently entered into a resale agreement with Hyundai Syscomm, which has delivered initial revenues of $1.0 million. The Company also noted that during the fiscal year there was a 65% improvement in its recurring, transactional-based revenues. US Dataworks says it will approach profitability as its ATM/teller-less kiosk revenues expand over the next few quarters. The Company estimates fiscal 2008 revenues to be in the range of $12-$16 million. US Dataworks is a developer of payment processing solutions. For complete details on US Dataworks latest results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

TSYS CARD TECH EMV

TSYS Card Tech has partnered with three Cyprus banks for the
implementation of EMV cards following the company’s certification
for VISA Smart Debit/Credit card(VSDC) and Mastercard M/Chip.
The EMV cards will replace the traditional magnetic-strip cards as
they reach expiration dates over the next two years. TSYS has
over 190 clients for whom it assists with EMV implementation and
supports the introduction of interest-free installment schemes. TSYS
Card Tech has clients in 75 countries with 13 offices worldwide.

BATA Expands FasTrak in San Fran-Oakland

The San Francisco Bay Area Toll Authority and Caltrans says it is converting more lanes at the region’s state-owned toll bridges to “FasTrak”-only lanes and will start construction on a series of other improvements to the freeway approaches and toll plazas. New customers who open FasTrak accounts from July 1 through Aug. 31 can receive up to $10 in free tolls. As more toll lanes are reserved exclusively for FasTrak-equipped vehicles, drivers will find fewer available lanes accepting cash. FasTrak-only lanes can process three times as many cars per hour as lanes where drivers stop to pay cash. There is no fee to open or maintain a FasTrak prepaid toll account, and no deposit is required for customers who use a credit card to open their account and request three or fewer toll tags. FasTrak enrollment is rising rapidly, with over 650,000 accounts now open in the Bay Area, up by nearly 100,000 since late 2006.