CARDPOINT & ALPHYRA

Cardpoint and alphyra have agreed on terms for a merger. The parent company
will operate under the name of “Payzone” and will allow the companies
to collaborate on the creation of a new European consumer payments
and cash distribution group. Terms of the merger stipulate that Payzone
will acquire shares of both Cardpoint and alphyra to be 59.05% owned
by alphyra Shareholders, 40.95% by Cardpoint Shareholders and
Payzone is to be led by a board drawn from both company administrations.
Furthermore, alphyra’s acquisition will be conducted
according to a sale-and-purchase agreement between Payzone and the
alphyra Vendors, the Cardpoint acquisition is to be conducted according
to a “Scheme of Arrangement” between Cardpoint and Cardpoint
Shareholders, and Payzone shares will be traded on the main market of the
London Stock Exchange at such time as the Directors deem to be best for
the Company and its Shareholders. alphyra has operations in 20 countries
and processes over 400 million transactions annually with a total value of
over 12 billion Euro through a payzone network of over 150,000 retail
POS.

Total Card Picks Enterprise Configuration Manager

System management provider Configuresoft has announced Total Card has selected Configuresoft’s “Enterprise Configuration Manager” for PCI DSS compliance. ECM addresses all six PCI security areas, through a continuous process which assures PCI DSS compliance 24 x 7. ECM quickly discovers, analyzes and automatically eliminates PCI compliance deficiencies such as password policy violations and vulnerable machine configurations. Rapid deployment across the enterprise enables customers to reduce the time to prepare and the cost of PCI audit by over 70%. Total Card is a third party credit card servicer.

EVERLINK EXEC

Everlink electronic payments service has appointed Mark Ripplinger as
President and Chief Operating Officer to oversee company operations
in client support, product strategy, and sales. With 28 years of business
experience, Ripplinger was previously vice president of technology and
chief information officer (CIO) for the Canadian Payments Association
(CPA) following his time as the senior vice president for technology and
CIO at ATB Financial, VP/CIO at Crown Life and vice president of
systems for Co-operators, in that order. Ripplinger’s advance education
includes a bachelor of administration degree from the University of Regina
in Saskatchewan.

Citi Warns of a Kitchen Sink Third Quarter

Citigroup announced that dislocations in the mortgage-backed securities and credit markets, and deterioration in the consumer credit environment are expected to have an adverse impact on third quarter financial results. Citi currently estimates that it will report a decline in net income in the range of 60% from the prior-year quarter, subject to finalizing third quarter results. Citi says its expected third quarter results are a clear disappointment. The decline in income was driven primarily by weak performance in fixed income credit market activities, write-downs in leveraged loan commitments, and increases in consumer credit costs. However, Citi says it expects to return to a normal earnings environment in the fourth quarter.

WINCOR & METRO GROUP

Wincor Nixdorf will be providing METRO Group’s “Cash & Carry”
checkout stations with 6500 point-of-sale systems and service
in 28 countries. This decision was made based on the solutions’
international versatility and the need for the standardization of
METRO’s hardware/software. The standardization will rationalize
operations and, subsequently, minimize expense. Over 35 companies
have implemented TP.net software over the past 3 years which has
been oriented to the principles of modularity and standardization.

Small Business Owners Trim Jobs This Fall

A semi-annual survey of business owners finds that hiring plans among business owners have dropped, with three in ten business owners reporting plans to hire full and/or part-time staff in the next six-months. That is down from 34% in fall 2006, 37% in fall 2005, 35% in fall 2004, 34% in fall 2003 and 26% in fall 2002. The “OPEN from American Express Small Business Monitor” also found that healthcare is cited by one in five small business owners as the issue that will most sway their decision on the next president of the United States, followed closely by homeland security. More business owners believe the downturn in the housing market and rising interest rates have negatively impacted their business. The survey found a 5% rise in the number of business owners who believe that the downturn in the housing market has had a negative affect on their business, compared to this spring.

QUIC BRIDGE

QuIC Financial Technologies has launched its “QuIC Bridge” allowing
direct user access for risk management. The solution also streamlines
integration and model validation with QuIC Engine and work-flow
management through the application of the QuIC Simulation Framework.
The new “Bridge” solution circumvents the need to go through model
validation and the costs of implementing a high-risk project. The QuIC
product suite provides customizable flexibility and scalability on pricing
and risk analysis for in-house, partner and third-party applications.

Delinquency Edges-Up for the Third Month

Delinquencies for managed credit card outstandings headed north in August after falling for three consecutive months. Despite the recent credit meltdown, credit card delinquency has remained steady this year but will likely rise through the fourth quarter as more consumers get squeezed with higher interest rates. According to CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]), delinquency (30+ days) for August inched up to 4.70% of managed outstandings, versus 4.64% in the prior month and 4.22% one-year ago. Chase reported that the second quarter 30-day managed delinquency rate was 3.00%, down from 3.14% in the prior year and 3.07% in the prior quarter. BofA said its managed 30+ day delinquency ratio for the second quarter declined to 5.24%, compared to 5.44% in the first quarter and 4.73% for 2Q/06. Citi reported that overall delinquency (90+ days) declined slightly from 1.57% for 1Q/07 to 1.47% for the second quarter 2007.

DELINQUENCY
Aug 06: 4.22%
Sep 06: 4.27%
Oct 06: 4.32%
Nov 06: 4.40%
Dec 06: 4.44%
Jan 07: 4.56%
Feb 07: 4.63%
Mar 07: 4.66%
Apr 07: 4.72%
May 07: 4.67%
Jun 07: 4.62%
Jul 07: 4.64%
Aug 07: 4.70%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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

AMEX EVA CARD

Reflecting the company’s confidence in the Taiwan card market, American
Express has launched a gold card with EVA Airways. This co-branded
launch is targeting upper class consumers, a population segment that has
demonstrated sustained purchasing power. The card is being launched with
the country’s second largest air carrier despite recent changes for card
applications in the face of unsecured consumer lending problems. As a result
of the more stringent guidelines, local banks reported a lack of
performance
and profitability with their card programs. Figures show that from January
2007 until August 2007, the credit card revolving balance totaled NT$2.53
trillion (US$77.7 billion), down 28.1% from the same period last year.
However, total credit payments amounted to NT$944.5 billion, an increase
1.85% last year.

Chase Releases an Alternative Payments Forecast

Chase Paymentech’s Future Payments Now forum has presented a new report titled “Alternative Payments Forecast 2007-2012” The report indicates that U.S. online transaction volume will reach $355 billion in 2012, and that payments alternatives will represent 30% of this volume. Traditional methods will grow by 14% in the same period, with credit card volume expected to reach $156 billion (44% of total online volume) and debit almost $94 billion (26%) by 2012. While traditional payment options such as credit and debit cards continue to be of primary significance, alternatives provide payment options, some of which are aimed at under-banked consumers and to address premature abandonment of the online shopping cart. Chase Paymentech Solutions is a global payments firm and the world’s largest merchant acquirer that processed approximately 18.2 billion payment transactions, with more than $660.6 billion in annual bankcard and debit volume in 2006.

POSTILION & VAS MARKETING

The S1 division, Postilion bank software, will be jointly marketing its
integrated banking and payments solution in Brazil with VAS Consultoria
Empresarial (VAS). Postilion’s solutions will offer self-service banking
and
payment to Brazil’s banking customers using mobile devices as real-time
payment channels. This partnership expands the Postilion global network
to more than 20 resellers. VAS financial sector technology supports the
Postilion solutions in Brazil in addition to its presence in over 50 other
countries with offices on 5 continents. Postilion self-service financial
solutions include transactions for prepay, Internet access points, ATMs,
POS terminals, and phones with multi-channel,open system architecture.

AmEx Launches Gold Card Destinations

American Express launched a new collection of travel benefits for its “Gold” and “Rewards Plus Gold Cards.” The new “Gold Card Destinations” enables cardholders to enhance their vacation experiences with special amenities valued at $100 to $150 or more on virtually any trip from AmEx travel partners. Cardholders also have access to exclusive, unique travel and entertainment packages updated each month on the dedicated “Gold Card Destinations” Web site. In addition to current travel offers, the Web site also provides a variety of travel-related resources and tools that can help cardholders with travel planning, including a list of American Express Travel Specialists. On the site, cardholders can also sign up to receive the monthly electronic “Gold Card Destinations” newsletter and view a complete list of all the benefits and services offered on their Gold Card.