29% of Consumers Confident in Economic Recovery

With only 28.5% very confident or confident in chances for a strong economy in October, up from 27.4% last month but down from the year ago figure of 30.4%, 48.6% are more practical in their holiday gift
purchasing, compared to 47.6% in September and down only slightly from the year ago figure of 48.8%. Meanwhile, 56.7% are focused on needs over wants when spending, increasing three points from the
September figure of 53.8% a point from the year ago figure of 56.0%. However, with U.S. consumers planning to spend an average of $688.87 this upcoming holiday season,
compared with the $681.83 last season, the slow economic reincarnation is slowly underway. These findings, according to a recent National Retail Federation
survey conducted by BIGResearch, also shows promise with 57.1% planning to spend an average of $107.50 on themselves, compared to the year ago figure of
52.9% planning to spend an average of $101.37 on themselves. Additional October 2010 findings show 27.9% expect “more” layoffs over the next six months, down from 51.9% last month;
18.5% are hopeful for “fewer” layoffs, up from 16.1% last month; and 3.9% have personal concerns with becoming laid off, compared to 4.0% last month and 4.7% a year ago. Over the next three months,
34.6% plan to decrease cash outflow, up from the year ago figure of 33.7%; 33.9% are most concerned with paying down debt compared with the year ago figure of 34.7%; 27.1% are focusing on saving; and
23.9% intend to pay with cash more often, compared to 25.3% last year. Last year, 41% of consumers planned to spend significantly more over the next 30
days on travel; 80% Of the affluent expected to spend more on dining out and 30% of U.S. consumers planned to adjust their travel plans for Thanksgiving,
with the 19% who traveled the year prior intending to stay home in 2009. This year, 68.4% indicate the cost of fueling up is impacting their spending and 36.0% are offsetting costs by
simply driving less with 31.9% reducing dining out; 31.1% decreasing vacation/travel; and 27.4% spending less on clothing. Meanwhile, 43.5% anticipate fuel costs to rise by Halloween; 50.9% expect them
to remain the same; 5.6% are hopeful for a decline and all consumers expect an average of $2.91/gal to fill up by October 31(Cardflash Library, 2009/10/14, 2010/10/20).

CONFIDENCE IN RECOVERY
OCT 05: 38%
OCT 06: 50%
OCT 07: 45%
OCT 08: 19%
OCT 09: 30%
OCT 10: 29%
SOURCE: BIGresearch

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Verifone Partners with Gemalto for Euro Expansion

VeriFone Systems and Gemalto have forged a comprehensive strategic partnership. With this, the two companies will jointly pursue new chip card solutions based on the global EMV payment standard; have entered exclusive discussions for VeriFone to acquire Gemalto’s POS solutions business, for which Verifone will provide its full payment solutions product line; and have designated Gemalto the preferred supplier of Machine-to-Machine wireless modules and related solutions for VeriFone payment systems. For VeriFone’s planned European expansion campaign, the partnership will operate out of France and serve as an ideal initial step. This expansion comes on the heels of rumors VeriFone is pursuing a hostile takeover of Hypercom. This only after unsolicited September 24th, 29th and 27th proposals Verifone made to acquire Hypercom outstanding shares for $5.25 per share in cash for a total of $290 million, which was unanimously rejected by the Hypercom Board (Cardflash Library 2010/10/08).

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Huntington Renews & Expands Cardtronics ATM Branding

Huntington Bank has renewed its ATM branding agreement with Cardtronics, allowing it to continue to display its branding on Cardtronics-owned and -operated ATMs in 122 Walgreens and CVS/pharmacy stores in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. The multi-year ATM branding agreement extension with Cardtronics also allows Huntington to receive prominent brand placement in the retail locations where its customers routinely shop, while also making those ATMs available fee-free to its customers, and is placing its brand on 50 additional Cardtronics ATMs. Of these, 46 ATMs are located in CVS/pharmacy stores in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania, and the remaining four ATMs are located in Walgreens stores in the Cleveland area. Huntington has been an ATM branding customer of Cardtronics since 2005.

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EFTA Appoints New Chairman

James Hanisch has been appointed the chairman for the Electronic Funds Transfer Association trade group for debit, credit, ATMs, online and electronic payments and processing organizations. Currently an executive VP with CO-OP Financial Services electronic payment and ATM network serving credit unions, Hanisch will serve in the EFTA role for a 2 year term. Bringing with him extensive experience in credit, debit, online banking and payments processing, James’ background allows for soundly navigating the legislative and regulatory challenges currently in the electronic payments industry. The EFTA shapes the legislative and regulatory issues surrounding electronic payments and has always been most relevant during times of legislative and regulatory change.

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Open Solutions Named Tops in Finance Technology

Open Solutions integrated, enterprise-wide data processing technologies for banks and credit unions has been ranked on the FinTech 100 annual international listing of top vertical technology vendors. On it, Open Solutions ranked 27th on the list of financial technology companies that were judged according to their global revenues. With this recognition by the most comprehensive vendor ranking within the financial services industry, Open Solutions is among the vendors that stand out among the thousands. Open Solutions offers a fully-featured strategic information management product platform that integrates core processing applications for Internet banking CRM/business intelligence, financial accounting and imaging, digital documents.

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TSYS Posts 3Q/10 Revenues of $433.2mm

TSYS outsourced payment services reported its 3Q/10 total revenues of $433.2 million, an increase of 1.0% over 2009, while operating income was down 10.6% compared to 2009. Total revenues were up 2.6% and operating income was down 4.7% compared to 2009. With this, sequential quarterly revenues increased 2.9% and operating income increased 12.9%; same client transactions were up 5.3% in North America and up 4.3% in International; and transactions grew 1.1%. These results are thanks in part to the sale of TSYS POS Systems and Services and the Company having purchased 3.1 million shares of its stock on the open market for $45.1 million, leaving 6.9 million shares remaining for purchase under the current approved share repurchase plan. TSYS offers issuer- and acquirer-processing technologies that support consumer- finance, credit, debit, healthcare, loyalty and prepaid services for financial institutions and retail companies around the world.

TSYS REVENUE
3Q/08: $500 million
4Q/08: $439 million
1Q/09: $409 million
2Q/09: $412 million
3Q/09: $432 million
4Q/09: $435 million
1Q/10: $415 million
2Q/10: $434 million
3Q/10: $433 million
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Discover Awarded for Technology and Business Objectives

Discover has earned the 2010 Enterprise Architecture Award from InfoWorld and Forrester Research. This, thanks to its organizational alignment of business and technology objectives across the organization, recognizes the value of information technology activities and investments in line with business efforts to provide common ground for an organization and its technology arm to work together. Discover’s entry described IT efforts to recast the enterprise architecture function from being solely focused on technical analysis and standards to being a facilitator of strategic business alignment across all stakeholders in the company.

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Cannabis Solutions Deploys Cashless ATMs

Cannabis Medical Solutions merchant payment solutions for the medical marijuana will now provide specialized “cashless ATM’s” and POS banking solutions for dispensaries operating legally within 15 states. The “cashless ATM” devices are smaller than a standard cash register, dispensing tickets for the desired amount of cash designated on the pin pad rather than actual cash, and will be placed in participating licensed medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the country. Patients will use the company’s pin debit card system on the cashless ATM, requiring the read of the debit or credit card, along with a pin number for added security. The ticket will serve as funds to complete the purchase of medicine or products. Merchants will receive funds within 48 hours from the patient’s card through the CMSI merchant clearing and banking alliance network.

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Visa Contributes to Kiva.org SMB Lending

Kiva.org personal micro-lending website and Visa have partnered to allow U.S. small businesses access and benefit from microloans. Supported by a $1 million contribution from Visa, the partnership expands the reach of Kiva’s pioneering microlending model within the United States to further empower small businesses and support job creation. The announcement coincides with a major Kiva expansion in the Gulf Coast through the addition of ACCION Texas-Louisiana, the largest microfinance institution in the country, to the Kiva Field Partners network. The Kiva expansion into the Gulf Region comes one year after the organization launched a pilot in the U.S., allowing individuals across the globe to make small loans to U.S. entrepreneurs through its field partners, since which time it has facilitated more than $1 million in loans to U.S. small businesses.

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TxVia to Process Prepaid Cards SMI

TxVia processing technology for prepaid and emerging payments has signed an agreement with Carrollton, Georgia-based Systems & Methods, to process prepaid cards utilizing its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) delivery model. TxVia will provide SMI with a custom and segregated processing platform developed, hosted and managed by TxVia as well as supporting services. SMI is a provider of technological services and solutions to state and local government agencies and can now offer its clients a variety of prepaid card solutions. TxVia processes general purpose reloadable (GPR), gift, incentive, government disbursement, payroll and expense management cards for program managers and issuers and offers processing solutions in merchant acquiring and payment network enablement.

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MOPAY FOOTPRINT

mopay mobile payment solutions now connects its mobile payment platform to 80 countries worldwide. With almost 100% coverage in Europe, North and South America and Australia, mopay recently expanded its footprint to South Korea and India, further extending its reach in the Asian market. Adding India and South Korea to its portfolio further increases mopay’s leadership position in the global mobile payment market, adding 600 million mobile phone users that mopay reaches and allowing merchants to offer easy-to-use mobile payments to more than 3.3 billion consumers worldwide.

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Gift Spending to Slowly Rebound for Holidays

The slow economic recovery is indicating this holiday season will be a little less bleak than the previous two, with U.S. consumers planning to spend an average of $688.87. This, compared with the $681.83 last season, is still not what it was before the bubble burst in 2007. Spending on gifts alone is up 2.1% year-over-year to $518.08, $393.55 of which to family members; $71.45 for friends; $18.26 for coworkers; and $34.82 to others. These findings, according to a recent National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGResearch, also shows over 25% of Americans will use a smartphone to research or make holiday purchases and 45% of 18-to-24-year-olds. The most popular items include gift card requested by 57% of people; 48.2% want clothing; and 47.3% want books. Also, 57.1% plan to spend an average of $107.50 on themselves, compared to the year ago figure of 52.9 planning to spend an average of $101.37 on themselves.

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