Euro Area Economic Index Drops

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the Euro Area decreased 0.2% in May to 108.8 (2004 = 100), following a 0.2% increase in April and a 0.5% decline in March. The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) for the Euro Area, which measures current economic activity, declined 0.1%t in May and now stands at 103.0 (2004 = 100), up 0.3% in April, following a 0.2% decline in March. The eight components of the Euro Area Conference Board Leading Economic Index include Economic Sentiment Index; Index of Residential Building Permits Granted; Index of Capital Goods New Orders; the EURO STOXX Index; Money Supply; Interest Rate Spread; Eurozone Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index; and the Eurozone Service Sector Future Business Activity Expectations Index.

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First Data and Alior Bank Extend Processing Agreement

First Data electronic commerce and payment processing furthered its cooperation with Polish financial institution Alior Bank in a five-year agreement. Having begun when Alior Bank was established in 2008, its agreements with First Data will continue to provide card personalisation and issuing services, manage the bank’s card database and perform transaction authorisations and settlement. Meanwhile, First Data will additionally implement its Proactive Risk Manager fraud management system to meet the bank’s demand for effective fraud management to identify and alert on card transaction irregularities for preventing fraudulent transactions for increased credit card security.

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CashPlus Prepaid MasterCard Allows Councils Save

Prepaid MasterCard cards can help save money, improve accountability and transparency, yet actually make life easier for both council employees and customers who receive benefits. There are many reasons why councils over here in the UK may find prepaid cards attractive – as well as being a cost-efficient way of disbursing Direct Payments and Personal Benefits, prepaid cards are more secure and convenient than cash or cheques. Prepaid cards are an excellent replacement for cheque payments and cash disbursements for council expenses, as they make reconciling everything from travel to office supplies so much more efficient. Cashplus prepaid Gold MasterCard cards can also help councils to meet their commitment to the ‘Putting People First’ vision of finding new ways to improve social care in England.

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Oil pRices & Currency Exchange Bolster Economic Index

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for Mexico was up 0.5% to now stand at 120.8 (2004=100) while The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI) dropped 0.3% in April. Thanks is great part to oil prices and the real exchange rate (inverted) making large positive contributions, the six-month change in the leading economic index stands at 3.35 (a 6.8 percent annual rate) in the period through April 2011, up from -0.1 percent (a -0.2 percent annual rate) for the previous six months. However, the strengths among the leading indicators have become less widespread and the number of components rising has been only slightly more than those falling in recent months. The CEI drop, however, was due to industrial production having declined sharply.

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STMicroelectronics Deploys Fast-Write Memory

STMicroelectronics semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and the world’s leading supplier of EEPROM memories for electronic equipment has introduced a new memory with a unique ultra-fast recording feature for storing important data during unexpected events. Its uses will include recovering system data when a sudden power failure occurs, and ‘black-box’ recorders that help identify the causes of equipment failures or accidents. A system using the M35B32 EEPROM is able to store a significant amount of vital information (2 Kbits) in less than one millisecond, and hence can react when the onset of a system failure or an accident is detected. In cases such as a power failure, this super-fast data storage can save the information needed to recover the system before the power supply voltage falls to an unusable level.

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Credit card usage down by 13% in 2010

New figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) suggest cautious customers, increasingly reluctant to spend money they haven’t got, are turning from credit cards to cash and debit cards to better manage their finances. The findings show the proportion of transactions using credit cards fell by 12.9% in a year while the proportion involving debit cards rose by 15.8%. Cash was involved in a smaller proportion of transactions than a year earlier but used for a greater proportion of overall retail spending as the average amount spent in each cash transaction increased by 13% to £12.93. Retailers are investing to cut the payment costs they can influence. Fraud losses fell by a huge 37% in 2010, compared with 2009 as retailers invested in technology such as the latest secure card readers, new levels of internet security and note checkers at tills.

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MONEYGRAM International Opens 1,000th location Y/Y

MoneyGram International global money transfer company, announced its network has grown from 100 to 1,000 locations in France since June 2010. The 1,000th location is close to communities of immigrants from Maghreb and francophone Africa. This significant and focused growth is evidence of the demand for MoneyGram’s services and the value MoneyGram brings as an additional revenue source for its agents. This achievement is attributed mainly to the partnership with SRD MP and the addition of four new agents- Ingenico Group, Logicartes, Panini and Suncard Group- having added an initial 400 locations to its network. In addition to the initial 400 new locations in France, each agent offers MoneyGram significant long-term opportunities for expansion in France and other territories. France has an immigrant population of 6.6 million and is experiencing significant remittance industry growth.

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Economic Index & COFs Rally, Unemployment Findings Lose Luster

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] As the Conference Board Leading Economic Index for the U.S. was up 0.8% in May to 114.7 (2004 = 100) after dropping 0.4% in April, mass layoffs directly impacted 143,540 workers. Meanwhile, as the Coincident Economic Index (CEI) was up 0.1% to 102.9 (2004 = 100) after a 0.1% increase in…

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Moody’s Shows May COFs Dips Below 7%

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Moody’s Investors Service is indicating its credit card chargeoff rate index dipped below the 7% mark in May to sit at the 6.95%, thanks in great part to lenders’ tight management of credit card-issuing standards. The Moody Index is down 21 basis points from 7.16% in April to a rate not…

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Citigroup Discloses Hack Loss

[ihc-hide-content ihc_mb_type=”show” ihc_mb_who=”0″ ihc_mb_template=”1″] Over the weekend, Citi released figures on the number of accounts impacted and moneys lost to hackers’ breach in the spring. Some 360,000 credit card numbers were exposed in the attack, of which about 3,400 accounts were actually accessed and $2.7 million was stolen. Customers affected by the attack and have…

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EDC Completes Cash Sale to Cardtronics

Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities has been designated the sole strategic and financial advisor to EDC and its Board of Directors on its sale to Cardtronics USA for $145 million. EDC turnkey ATM deployment services operates approximately 3,700 ATMs and multi-function kiosks in the United States focused on multi-state retail operators and high-transacting merchant locations such as convenience stores. This adds to the number of Cardtronics’ ATM terminals and will significantly increase its market footprint, particularly in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions.

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CreditCall & MagTek Introduce end-to-end-encrypted card reader

CreditCall and MagTek partnered to issue the “Magnesafe” card reader, on the bank-independent “CardEase” Ultra platform. The “CardEase Ultra” End-to-End Encryption (E2EE) solution guarantees fraud protection from the point of card acceptance until settlement. The E2EE simplifies PA-DSS compliance for terminal manufacturers, allowing merchant users to take significant segments of their networks outside the scope of PCI DSS, reducing both infrastructure complexity and compliance costs. It also provides secure card tokenisation allowing future transactions or refunds without the card needing to be present.

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