R.K. HAMMER LAUNCHES UPDATED CARD ANALYSIS RESEARCH

International card industry expert, R.K. Hammer, has expanded their research and analysis report practice, which is available to card issuers, hedge funds and other investors, and government agencies. In addition to their most often viewed annual year-end series of card revenue/expense/profit reports, many new card industry analysis and research reports have become available online.

Among others recently added to the traditional R.K. Hammer menu of portfolio valuation and profitability/risk reports are:

“The Due Diligence Examination Process”
“Getting the Most Value for Your Credit Card Portfolio”
“Computing Card Portfolio Transaction Value”
“# of Card Portfolios Sold Since 1990, by Geographic Region”
“Issuer/Acquirer Vendor Selection Questionnaire”
” # of Card Deals Done Since 1990 by Asset Size Range”
“Cost Per Acquired Card Account, 2000 – 2010”
“Private Label vs. National Brand: The Great Migration”

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Heartland Payments Expands Network Solution

United Refining petroleum products has partnered with Heartland Payment Systems payments processors for the Heartland “SmartLink” network services to all United Refining locations in New York and Pennsylvania. The “SmartLink” secure, managed network service consolidates multiple in-store devices onto one high-speed broadband line for increased operational efficiency to effectively support transaction data and back-office systems, allowing petroleum and c-store operators to spend less time managing their networks and more time focusing on their business. Its merchant gateway provides operators with monitored, firewall-protected, VPN communications for automatic tank gauges, in-store environmental control systems, back-office systems, digital signs, email and Internet. SmartLink’s payment gateway provides a distributed and segmented SSL network to support transactions generated by point-of-sale (POS), money order, check cashing, ATM and fleet card terminals. “SmartLink” allows operators to utilize DSL or broadband to connect all business applications into one fully managed network that supports high-speed POS transactions, ATMs, back-office reporting, and tank gauge monitoring while adding PCI-compliant network security.

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Element Payment Services Launches PCI Compliant Processing

Element Payment Services PCI compliant payment processing released its “CardSense” PCI DSS compliant payment technology available for both merchants and software providers. Allowing merchants to identify a customer’s payment card type prior to processing a transaction resulting in risk mitigations, lower transaction fees and proper handling at the point of sale, “CardSense receives an identifier that allows the merchant to distinguish between a PIN debit, prepaid debit and healthcare cards. All merchants do is swipe or manually key a customer’s card as normal to determine how they want to proceed with the transaction. This is designed to help users make informed decisions about how they accept payments and ultimately more effectively manage processing expenses.

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ChargeSmart and Plastic Jungle Allow Gift Card Bill Payment

ChargeSmart online consumer bill payment portal and Plastic Jungle secured gift card exchange partnered to let customers use unredeemed gift cards to make payments on utility, car and mortgage bills. This new gift card exchange solution was officially debuted this afternoon at FinovateSpring 2011, the high-profile banking technology conference held in San Francisco, and will be available to the public within the next couple months. Merchant-issued- or closed loop – gift cards now represent $90 billion of the U.S. economy, and an estimated $30 billion in gift cards are unredeemed at any given time. Plastic Jungle brings liquidity to the secondary gift card market by allowing consumers to buy gift cards at their favorite stores for savings up to 35 percent, sell unredeemed gift cards for up to 92 percent of the gift card value, or donate the value of unused cards to their favorite cause.

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American Express & vente-privee.com Kickoff JV

American Express and vente-privee.com online private sales kicked off their JV to introduce vente- privee.com online store for luxury fashion and lifestyle products in the U.S. market. The vente-privee.com’s European websites offer sales of designer brands with preferential pricing for its members for limited amounts of time and will offer a new shopping option for consumers while enabling brands to connect with new audiences. The vente-privee.com reputation for customer service and quality merchandise has helped to shape the private sales industry and has spawned a host of imitators around the world while its JV with American Express marks the latest move in online commerce solutions and continues its commitment to serving as a connection point between customers and businesses. The new online platform will help American Express engage with an expanded audience while also introducing vente-privee.com and its participating brands to a broader range of consumers. The new site will be available to all consumers and will be the online destination for highly desirable products, services and experiences with each offer having been carefully selected from leading global brands.

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iPayment Sees 1Q/11 Revenue Up $100mm Y/Y

iPayment 1Q/11 revenues up to $169,613,000 from the year ago figure of $159,540,000. Revenues net of interchange was up to $78,884,000 from the year ago figure of $68,543,000 while net income was $7,562,000 for the first quarter of 2011 compared to $2,220,000 for the same period last year. iPayment provides credit and debit card payment processing services to small merchants across the United States which its payment processing services allows merchants to accept credit cards from VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and Diners Club, as well other forms of electronic payments including debit cards, checks, gift cards and loyalty programs.

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PaymentVision Launches Payment Processing Gateway

PaymentVision launched its “3.0 Universal Payment Processing Gateway” (UPPG) to add a whole new dimension to payments by offering customers easier, faster and more secure processing. The next generation “Universal Payment Processing Gateway” solution offers BATCH CONTROL to control batch cut-offs; CARD TYPE FILTERING, allowing users to block all credit cards or only those that have been issued by a particular bank; CONTINUOUS SYNCHRONIZATION to keep all systems in-synch with collected payments; BANK ACCOUNT VERIFICATION with on-demand run mode for its Bank Account Verification service allowing users to selectively verify bank account status when scheduling a check or ACH payment in PaymentVision; and ON-DEMAND REPORTING for the ability to request batch history reports and itemized transaction lists.

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Total U.S. Retail Sales for April Up 8.8% Y/Y

MasterCard Advisors’ SpendingPulse macroeconomic report tracking national retail and service sales, provided summary results for April 2011, indicating retail sales grew by 8.8% year-over-year. Substantially higher growth than the average 7.1% year-to-year growth rate of the previous quarter, seasonally adjusted retail sales fell in April by 0.1% month-to-month, which may be more of an indication of fluctuating gas prices than the overall state of retail spend. Sectors showing positive results in April included eCommerce, Luxury, Apparel, Groceries and Travel, both in the Airlines and Lodging categories. Weaker segments included Furniture and Furnishings, Hardware, Electronics and Department Stores.

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Aperta Deploys Payment Processing for Austell

Parascript image analysis and pattern recognition technology provider announced Austell Gas System has implemented Aperta’s Visual Remittance and Payments Application (VRPA+), which incorporates Parascript’s check and form recognition software. The integrated solution allows Austell Gas System to automatically process payment stubs and checks, as well as charitable donations from customers electing to give one, three or five dollars on top of their bill to a local non-profit organization. Using the technology, Austell Gas System processes up to 5000 payments per day with recognition rates of over 90 percent. Aperta’s VRPA+ uses state-of-the-art document imaging technology to reduce the labor required to capture, correct, balance, and process checks and other payments with accompanying documents.

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LIVE GAMER AND SKRILL OFFER END-TO-END MONETIZATION ENGINE

Live Gamer total revenue solution for the interactive entertainment industry and Skrill have forged a preferred payments partnership creating a sophisticated, end-to-end monetization engine tailored for online game publishers. By seamlessly integrating Moneybookers’ secure, real-time payments platform with Live Gamer’s total commerce solution, Live Gamer Payments by Skrill offers game publishers and developers a one-stop solution for driving online revenues, maximizing user acquisition and retention, developing and managing digital item sales, increasing user engagement and much more. This gives publishers and developers instant access to new markets with over 100 payment methods in 200 countries and territories. The combined service offers a complete virtual economy management platform, including advanced merchandising tools and an industry-leading transactional analytics system.

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BILLMYPARENTS Anticipating Huge NATIONAL EXPOSURE

BillMyParents teen payment solutions brand offered by Socialwise announced its upcoming weekend of unprecedented brand exposure. In conjunction with BillMyParents’ “Spend Smart” card prepaid reloadable card kickoff, the national media rollout includes fully integrated broadcast, advertising and event programming on the ESPN and MTV television networks. BillMyParents reached millions of viewers this weekend on ESPN and continues its push on MTV tonight, spreading a simple and powerful message about the BillMyParents Spend Smart card. For use everywhere debit MasterCard is accepted, “Spend Smart” will be featured on ESPN with its first-ever national television commercial, integrated event-branding, digital advertising and multiple appearances during a 2-hour live ESPN broadcast of the first of four Street League Skateboarding Series events.

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