Average Card APRs Eek up M/M, sit at 14.15%

Core credit card interest rates have been rising and will likely rise higher by early next year. At the start of the recession average credit card APRs hovered around 16%, dropping to a rock bottom 12.64% earlier this year. Over the past 8 months since, rates have been steadily increasing and for the month of September sit at an average of 14.15%, compared to 14.12% last month. According to CardTrak, average credit card APRs declined from 16.02% in December 2007 (recession start) to 14.55% in September 2008 (credit crunch) to sit where they are now. Moreover, purchase rates are up nearly 20%; balance transfer fee maximums have increased almost 34% (from a maximum average of $94 in January to maximum average of $126 in July); and issuers that have changed their rates the least include American Express and Bank of America while the issuers that have increased rates the most are Capital One, US Bank, Discover and Citi.

CREDIT CARD APRS
Aug 08: 14.77%
Sep 08: 14.68%
Oct 08: 14.55%
Nov 08: 14.37%
Dec 08: 14.17%
Jan 09: 14.11%
Feb 09: 13.98%
Mar 09: 13.96%
Apr 09: 13.96%
May 09: 13.99%
Jun 09: 14.01%
Jul 09: 14.12%
Aug 09: 14.39%
Sep 09: 13.99%
Oct 09: 13.89%
Nov 09: 13.01%
Dec 09: 12.87%
Jan 10: 12.64%
Feb 10: 12.64%
Mar 10: 12.94%
Apr 10: 13.11%
May 10: 13.65%
Jun 10: 13.99%
Jul 10: 14.10%
Aug 10: 14.12%
Sep 10: 14.15%
Source: CardTrak.com

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Trustmark Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

Gerard R. (Jerry) Host has been appointed to serve as president and chief executive officer of both Trustmark and Trustmark National Bank. Having served as president and COO of Trustmark National Bank since 2008 and having been in the Trustmark family over 26 years, Host has served as president and COO of the General Banking, Consumer Services and Financial Services divisions, as well as chief financial officer. Mr. Host is a director of the New Orleans Branch Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta and the Mississippi Bankers Association. He is past Treasurer and serves on the Board of Governors and Executive Committee for the Mississippi Economic Council and is past Chairman of the Board for Pulse-EFT Association, now a subsidiary of Discover Financial Services.

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VERIFONE& GLOBAL PAYMENTS

VeriFone Systems has announced Global Payments electronic payment
processing will distribute and support the VeriFone “PAYware Mobile”
secure card payment system, the first payment processor to
offer the card processing solution for the iPhone in Canada. Fitting
snuggly over the iPhone 3G and 3GS to accommodate secure
card swipes and offer lower-cost “card present” transaction fees, the
“PAYware Mobile” card encryption sleeve will be made available
immediately to Global Payments merchants. Incorporating VeriFone’s
end-to-end encryption technology to ensures secure payment processing,
the system currently incorporates a secure mag-stripe card encryption
reader for iPhone and a PA-DSS validated App and has an EMV version on
the way.

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Citigroup Appoints New Citi Cards CEO

Jud Linville has been appointed CEO, Citi Cards. Most recently with American Express where he was President and CEO, U.S. Consumer Services, he will now run Citi’s North America branded Cards business and work closely with the regional Cards heads to develop world-class service and facilitate rapid growth and innovation. He will be a member of the Executive Committee and serve on the Global Consumer Banking Council, chaired by Medina-Mora, and will head the Global Cards Council. During his 20-year career at American Express, Linville led a variety of business segments and held responsibility for all U.S. cardmember, small business and merchant customer services and most recently oversaw the AmEx Consumer Card Group, Membership Rewards, the Consumer Travel Network and the Prepaid Services Group on a worldwide basis.

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T8 Webware Introduces Debit Card Personalization

T8 Webware Web development, management and hosting services has introduced its “Cre8 My Card” intuitive Web-based application. Allowing community financial institutions to extend personalized debit card development capabilities to their customers and members online, from the convenience of any location, “Cre8 My Card” equips users with customizable payment card options with personal photos from media outlets or personal computers or predetermined images from the financial institutions, for which customers have full-photo manipulation rights to crop, rotate, resize and/or even adjust saturation of the image to their preference. The “Cre8 My Card” solution is installed as an extension to the institution’s existing website and, as a unique marketing platform, encourages partnership opportunities with local schools, boosters and other community groups.

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RNCOS

The Indian payment card market is one of the fast growing markets. The prepaid card market is one of the promising areas expected to strengthen the Indian payment card market, according to the RNCOS “Indian Payment Card Market Forecast to 2012” report. ICICI bank, for example, has emerged as one of the largest players in the Indian payment card segment focusing on domestic payroll cards, international travel cards as well as prepaid fleet cards. The report also covers a ‘current and future outlook’ section that analyzes the Indian financial card market in present environment and based on effective techniques and methods, forecast the future market potential. The forecasting section not only brings out future projections but also presents the factors driving growth in market. RNCOS specializes in Industry intelligence and creative solutions for contemporary business segments.

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AmEx Launches Amazon.com Rewards Points

American Express has launched its Membership Rewards points for use on purchases at Amazon.com. Cardmembers enrolled in the Membership Rewards program can use points to pay for all or part of their Amazon.com purchases in numerous categories. Cardmembers also continue to have the option to use points for rewards from more than 500 brands in the Membership Rewards program across popular categories, including Travel, Dining and Entertainment, Retail, and Charities. Shopping with Membership Rewards points on Amazon.com requires Cardmembers to complete a one-time registration to securely link their American Express Membership Rewards account to an Amazon.com account.

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MASTERCARD EXEC

MasterCard Worldwide has appointed Betty K. DeVita, president, MasterCard Canada, effective September 15. Most recently having served as Chairman and CEO of Citibank Canada for the past 28 years, Betty will oversee regional strategy, business development, acceptance expansion, operations, regulatory, marketing and product introductions with a mandate for delivering continued growth and innovation in the market at MasterCard Canada. She has also held a variety of other management roles including starting with Citibank at the retail branch level in New York. She holds a B.S. from St. John’s University, New York and the CEO Program Certificate from Wharton-KMA in Seoul, Korea.

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LOGICA

Logica is allowing banks in the eurozone to deliver mandate management services for SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) payments to their corporate clients. Based on the flagship Logica All Payments Solution (LAPS), Logica Mandate Management provides the first single platform for both creditor and debtor mandates – saving costs and reducing time to market for banks. The solution, which is delivered through a cost-effective ‘pay-as-you-grow’ license model, automates the entire lifecycle of all SDDs and can be deployed in less than two months. The on-boarding of corporate clients to the Logica Mandate Management platform is quick and easy. It allows automatic upload of mandates, monitoring of expiration dates, BIC/IBAN conversions, flexible workflow and a debtor mandate database. This means the bank can also use it to provide enhanced services to personal customers, such as accessing mandates through e-banking.

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VISA

Kiwi Collection is set to deploy the “Strangeloop” Site Optimizer to high-end travelers and users of the Visa “Luxury Hotel Collection.” With each hotel individually reviewed before being invited to join its selective network, the Kiwi Collection website allows travelers to research and book their hotels online. The site is tailored toward knowledgeable, discriminating travelers, for which the Strangeloop “Site Optimizer” allows average page load times for all visitors a mere 6.4 seconds for a full 3 seconds faster than the 9.4 seconds that it takes for the average Fortune 500 website to load for international visitors.

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CashStar Now Powers More Than 75 eGift Card Programs

CashStar digital gifting and incentives now powers digital gift card programs for more than 75 leading retail and restaurant brands. With more than $3 billion in gift card sales, these brands understand the incredible sales-generating potential of their gifting programs and are leveraging CashStar’s best-of-breed platform to capitalize on the explosive growth of the digital gifting category. With its latest brand wins, the company has emerged as the clear leader in the digital gifting category with clients spanning across numerous industry categories from retail and fashion to dining and entertainment.

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Revolving Credit Continues Descent, -6.3% Y/Y

Consumer revolving credit, mostly credit card debt, declined for the third consecutive month in July. Americans cut $900 million since June and $4.4 billion
since May in total consumer revolving credit thanks mostly to lower credit limits, reduced personal income and higher credit card interest rates. Revolving
credit now stands at $827.8 billion, having plummeted throughout the year since the December 2009 figure of $963.5 billion. This translates to an annual
decline rate of 7.8% annual rate, after consumers piled on $37 billion in revolving debt between January and September of 2008 alone. Since the year ago
period, July revolving debit is down 6.3% from 894.0 billion. These figures, according to the Federal Reserve Bank, also shows bank credit card debt
(excluding store and gas credit cards) at the end of the fourth quarter was about $822 billion.

REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL ($billions)
Jul 09 May 10 Jun 10 Jul 10
GRWTH: n/a -5.9 -7.5 -6.3
$OWED: 894.0 837.4 832.2 827.8
Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 9/9/10;
For complete historical data, visit CardData (www.carddata.com)

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