The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Korea continued
increases with a 2.3% gain while The Conference Board Coincident
Economic Index (CEI) increased 0.9% in September. With the 2.3%
increase, the Conference Board LEI for Korea now stands at 108.3
(2004=100), which decreased 0.3% in August and increased 1.5% in July.
Meanwhile, the CEI increase for the month was preceded by 0.2% increase
in August, no change in July and now stands at 108.9 (2004=100). LEI
results for the month were attributed to positive gains in 4 of 4
components, including industrial production, the wholesale and retail
sales component, total employment, and monthly cash earnings.


The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Spain increased
for the fifth time in six months by 0.3% while The Conference Board
Coincident Economic Index (CEI) decreased 0.1% in September. With the
0.3% increase, the Conference Board LEI for Spain now stands at 109.5
(2004=100), which increased 1.9% in August and increased 0.9% in July.
Meanwhile, the CEI decrease for the month was preceded by a 0.1%
decrease in August and 0.1% decrease in July to now stand at 101.0
(2004=100). LEI results for the month were attributed to positive gains
in 4 of the 6 components, including order books survey, the capital
equipment component of industrial production, the Spanish equity price
index and job placings while negative contribution came from the Spanish
contribution to Euro M2 and the (inverted) long-term government bond yield.

TransCard Inks University National Bank

Prepaid card solution provider TransCard has partnered with MN-based
University National Bank for a card program sponsorship
agreement. The two companies will work together on prepaid programs and
extend prepaid products and mobile bank accounts to those individuals
who are normally beyond the reach of conventional financial institutions.
University National Bank focuses on financial services in the urban
core, including specific initiatives targeted to the unbanked and
underbanked. The bank?s mobile banking platform, provided by mobe- inc.,
allows the bank to bring a large suite of financial services to a
largely underserved market segment. The bank offers a Socially
Responsible Deposit Fund (SRDF), which puts money to work in low- and
moderate-income communities through the bank?s provision of loans to
support small businesses, affordable housing development and non-profit
organizations in these communities. University National Bank?s mission
to be ?The Leader in Improving Our Urban Community? dovetails with
TransCard?s corporate values.

Smart Card Alliance Elects New Leaders

The Smart Card Alliance has announced its 2009-2010 board and seven-member executive committee.
The committee includes the Chair, Neville Pattinson of Gemalto; Vice chair Bryan Ichikawa of Unisys; Treasurer Bob Merkert of CardLogix;
Secretary Wendy Humphrey of First Data Corporation; Assistant Treasurer Willy Dommen of Booz Allen Hamilton; Assistant Secretary John McKeon of IBM and
Technology Vice Chair Bob Gilson of the U.S. Department of Defense/Defense Manpower Data Center. Elections were
held during the 8th Annual Smart Cards in Government Conference, taking
place this week through October 30th at the Washington DC Convention Center.
The Smart Card Alliance is a not-for-profit, multi-industry association
working to stimulate the understanding, adoption, use and widespread
application of smart card technology.

TMG and Coopera Partner for Prepaid

IA-based Affinity Credit Union has partnered with TMG (The Members Group) and Coopera Consulting to
launch prepaid reloadable cards to serve the Hispanic market.
TMG specializes in prepaid card solutions and will work with Affinity to
implement a new card specifically to meet the needs of the Hispanic community. TMG
will work with Coopera to introduce a culturally relevant prepaid reloadable card
including Spanish-language customer service via Web and live agents, as well as Spanish-language marketing materials and disclosures.
The new product – designed in part to improve Hispanic populations’ relationship with the
financial sector – will be funded by a $40,000 Innovation Grant from the National
Credit Union Foundation.


The Conference Board “Leading Economic Index” for the Euro Area increased 1.2% in September to 100.6, following a 1.8% increase in August and a 1.7% increase in July. Seven of the eight components contributed positively to the index this month. The “LEI” for the Euro Area has increased by 9.6% during 2009 after falling more than 15.0% between June 2007 and December 2008. Meanwhile, The Conference Board “Coincident Economic Index” for the Euro Area, a measure of current economic activity, declined by 0.1% in September, falling to 101.7.
The Conference Board currently produces leading economic indexes for
nine other individual countries, including the U.S., the U.K., Germany,
France, Spain, Japan, Australia, Korea and Mexico.

Western Union Revenue Down as Transactions Rise

Western Union reported that third quarter revenue was down 5% to $1.3
billion. The consumer-to-consumer segment was also down 5% to $1.1
billion in the third quarter, however WU handled 50 million C2C
transactions, a 3% increase over 3Q/08. The international portion of C2C
revenue declined 3% on transaction growth of 6%. The Global Business
Payments segment declined 3% to $171 million. During the quarter, WU
completed the acquisition of international B2B payments provider Custom
House; signed letters of agreement with Lagardère Services, Ortel
Finance and PayUp, potentially adding 15,000 locations in Europe over
the next few years; renewed agreement with Agricultural Bank of China,
bringing an additional 15,000 agent locations by 2011; agreed to partner
with Maxis Communications in Malaysia to launch a service that will
allow Maxis subscribers to send cross-border remittances from their
mobile phones worldwide. For complete details on Western Union’s third
quarter results visit CardData (


The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for France increased
by 0.9% while The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI)
remained in August. With the 0.9% increase in August, the Conference
Board LEI for France now stands at 103.2 (2004=100) after having
increased 0.5% in July and increased 0.9% in June. Meanwhile, the CEI
posting for the month was preceded a 0.1% decrease in July, no change in
June and now stands at 102.9 (2004=100). LEI results for the month were
attributed to positive gains in 6 of the 7 components increasing, which
include yield spread, the stock price index, production expectations,
industrial new orders, building permits (residential)* and the ratio of
the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost for
manufacturing while negative contribution came from unemployment claims

New White Paper Out on Smart Cards & Fraud

A new report from the Smart Card Alliance details the reduction of fraud with contactless card implementation.
Much of the fraud on debit and credit cards in the United States results
from activities like counterfeiting and card skimming. Credit and debit
card fraud is possible because magnetic stripe cards use static data
that can be copied and reproduced on fraudulent cards or used in an
Internet purchase transaction. The Alliance does not see protection of
data or better fraud detection techniques as the solution to the fraud
problem. Rather, the solution is to replace this static data with
dynamic data, because it renders stolen account or transaction
information useless. To achieve this goal, the Smart Card Alliance recommends contactless
chip cards, already implemented throughout the United States. Current
contactless payment devices generate dynamic cryptograms (encrypted
codes), similar to those generated by EMV payment cards, so certain data
on the card and the terminal change with every transaction. The
authentication of the cryptogram assures the issuer that the card
presented is authentic. If data is copied or intercepted at the reader,
the data is already obsolete for future transaction attempts, and cannot
be used successfully to counterfeit cards or replay transactions.
Importantly, the current U.S. payments infrastructure can already handle
the contactless payment dynamic cryptograms. The white paper, “Fraud in the U.S. Payments
Industry: Fraud Mitigation and Prevention Measures in Use and Chip Card
Technology Impact on Fraud,” developed by the Contactless and Mobile
Payments Council, is available on the Smart Card Alliance Web site.

Fifth Third Bank to Issue Revolution Money

OH_based Fifth Third Bank has joined the Revolution Money network as an
issuing bank. With no interchange fees, RevolutionCard creates substantial cost
savings for merchants – savings they today are passing back to consumers
in the form of loyalty programs and incentives. As the first PIN-based
credit card, RevolutionCard provides cardholders peace-of-mind knowing
that if they lose their card an unauthorized person cannot use it
without their PIN. Additionally, RevolutionCard reduces the chance of
identity theft as the card does not display a cardholder’s name or
signature. These consumer-oriented security features benefit merchants
by helping to reduce chargeback and fraud risk.
The combination of Fifth Third Bank’s card-issuing
capabilities with Revolution Money’s marketing and customer servicing
and communication capabilities will provide a robust platform for
expanded adoption of RevolutionCard.


The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Germany increased
by 1.3% while The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI)
decreased 0.2% in August. With the 1.3% increase in August, the
Conference Board LEI for the Germany now stands at 90.1 (2004=100)
after having increased 0.9% in July and increased 1.1% in June.
Meanwhile, the CEI decrease for the month was preceded by no change in
either June or July to now stand at 101.6 (2004=100). LEI results for
the month were attributed to positive gains in 5 of the 7 components
increasing, which include stock prices, new orders in investment goods
industries, yield spread, consumer confidence and inventory change
series while negative contribution was seen in residential construction
orders and gross enterprises and properties income.