DISCOVER

Discover Financial Services has forged agreements with Serbian-based
DinaCard payment network, allowing DinaCard cardholders to use the
Discover, Diners Club International and PULSE networks for international
purchases and cash access internationally by the end of 2010. This will
give DinaCard cardholders global access to credit and cash withdrawals,
with local volume remaining on the DinaCard network. DinaCard national
payment cards has 27 local issuing banks and 2.5 million cards, holding
a 30% acquiring network market share. Its alliance with Discover is
similar to those held with BC Card, China Union Pay and JCB, offering
growth opportunities for value and volume to merchants and partners.

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CLEAR2PAY

The Korea Electric Testing Institute (KETI) has selected Clear2Pay’s “Integri” test tools
for digital communication testing between Near Field Communication (NFC) devices.
Supplying key testing technologies and certification services for companies, KETI
focuses on helping introduce mpayment infrastructures based on NFC technology.
Clear2Pay delivered three different tools that enable KETI to validate its NFC
devices, including the “Listen Device Test Suite,” the “Poll Device Test Suite,” and
the “Peer-to-Peer Device Test Suite.”

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EXIMBANK

Vietnam Eximbank, a division of Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank acquiring bank started to recruit JCB credit card merchants across Vietnam. Vietnam Eximbank will phase in enabling JCB cardmembers to use their JCB credit cards for purchases at Eximbank merchants. The bank targets to complete enabling JCB cards to be accepted at all their existing merchants by 2011. JCB entered into this arrangement with the aim of enhancing convenience for 64.21 million JCB cardmembers largely based in Asia, including Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea, who travel to Vietnam. Vietnam Eximbank aims to strengthen services for their merchants by accepting JCB, the international credit card brand, giving more payment options for customers and generating more sales opportunities with a growing JCB cardmember base in Asia.

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INSTANT ARTWORK

Gemalto’s Allynis “Instant Artwork” solution has been selected by Banco del Bajio as its supplier of small quantities of smart payment cards with the artwork of the end user’s choosing. Serving primarily customers who provide electronic payroll services, this partnership builds on the success of the ongoing secure EMV bank cards programs. Gemalto’s “Instant Artwork” solution solves common marketing challenges for banks like Banco del Bajio by enabling them to offer a larger variety of banking cards without the constraint of minimum volumes. Banco Del Bajio can respond quickly to demand for customized cards by simply selecting a specified artwork and ordering any quantity of cards.

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Fico Launches Advanced Debt Collection

Fico decision management has made available its “Debt Manager” solution version 8.0 for collections and recovery with a complete redesign of the company’s core collection system. Offering new analytic and adaptive capabilities designed to help lenders accelerate collections and reduce operating costs, “Debt Manager 8.0” arrives at a time when credit card charge-offs remain at historically high levels. The collection system integrates adaptive control technology, built-in analytics and events-based design, allowing clients to design, test, compare and continually refine their strategies to improve effectiveness in collections. It also provides a new user interface; eliminates the need for overnight batch processing; is built entirely on a services-oriented architecture that allows for faster and easier upgrades; and allows for sharing of data with other FICO applications.

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VERSAPAY & POSITIVE

VersaPay merchant credit, debit, gift and loyalty card payment processing solutions has closed the sale of its 75% ownership stake in Positive Inc. (“Positive”). With this, VersaPay has agreed to exchange its shares in Positive, for 150,000 common shares in VersaPay held by Mr. Stapenhurst, which are currently subject to escrow. Also, VersaPay has granted an option, exercisable no later than July 11, 2010, to transfer to VersaPay all of the remaining 100,000 escrowed shares of VersaPay he owns at a price of $0.50 per share. VersaPay’s proprietary technology enables businesses and consumers across Canada to accept and process credit, debit and gift card transactions.

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Winn-Dixie Offers Shoppers Fuel Savings Rewards

Winn-Dixie Stores announced customers who shop at any of its 54 New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette-area stores using the new Customer Reward Card (CRC) will earn fuel savings at Shell stations through the “fuelperks!” Rewards program. This launch is part of the grocer’s ongoing partnership with Excentus Corporation, a retail marketing coalition specializing in fuel-based reward programs. For every $50 in qualified purchases that customers make using their new CRC at Winn-Dixie, they will receive a five cents per gallon fuel savings redeemable at any one of more than 125 participating Shell stations. Additionally, fuelperks! Rewards are stackable — the more shoppers spend, the more they earn.

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BERLIN GROUP

With the SEPA Card Framework, major financial names have formed the Berlin Group for defining a set of common standards for the implementation of bilateral card transaction processing between acquirers and issuers in Europe. The “T3:Berlin” Functional and Performance test tool components will allow acquiring/issuing banks or software development organisations to build edit and run an integrated set of unit and regression tests which can be used as part of their testing programmes in readiness for certification of their Berlin Group compliant POS, ATM and Settlement/Clearing system interfaces. Also, “T3” offers end-to-end coverage for all components of a payment system from EMV enable cards through all types of POS and ATMs to the formats supported by the world’s largest switches, credit card schemes and interchanges.

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Spending Continues Decline in June

In the face of increasing economic uncertainty, 17% of consumers plan to spend more on a major purchase in the month ahead, a 2-point increase from the prior month. This, according to to the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor for June 2010, also shows from May to June of 2009 the number of consumers planning to spend more in this category dropped 1 point. Meanwhile, the Discover U.S. Spending Monitor fell 2 points in June to 88.4 thanks to a 3-point decline month over month in the number of people who believe economic conditions are improving to 28%. This saw a decline of 6 points over the last two months. Month to month spending flux went relatively unchanged in going out to dinner, movies or sporting events at 10%; home remodeling or new appliances having dropped from 17% to 16%; and savings and investing having decreased from 9% to 8%. The Monitor concludes 48% of consumers feel economic conditions are getting worse, a 3-point increase from May and 5-point jump in the last two months; there was a 2-point drop to 33% in the number of consumers rating their finances as good or excellent; a 2 point drop in those feeling their financial situation improving to 20%; and those expecting an income shortfall in the month ahead was up a point to 38%.

2010 SPENDING MONITOR
JAN: 85.2
FEB: 87.5
MAR: 85.0
APR: 91.5
MAY: 90.4
JUN: 88.4
SOURCE: Discover

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CUP& NI

Network International acquirer and card solutions provider has signed a cooperation agreement with China UnionPay (CUP) to extend the latter’s CUP card services to more than 20 EAMEA. Network international will allow CUP cardholders to use their cards at POS terminals and other payment modules that utilize NI’s payment services. As most major merchants in the region utilize NI’s payment services, CUP cardholders will now be able to use their cards almost anywhere. Network International will also develop CUP card issuance in the Middle East, Africa, and Western Asia, through its established connections and partnerships with financial institutions in the area.

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Americans Spend 9% More With Good Service

A majority of Americans report that quality customer service is more important to them in today’s economic environment (61%) and will spend an average of 9% more when they believe a company provides excellent service. Although only 37% of Americans believe companies have increased their focus on providing quality service, 27% feel businesses have not changed their attitude toward customer service and 28% say companies are now paying less attention to good service, according to the American Express “Global Customer Service Barometer.” Additionally, 91% of Americans consider the level of customer service important when deciding to do business with a company while only 24% believe companies value their business and will go the extra mile to keep it; 48% feel companies are helpful but don’t do anything extra to keep their business; and 21% believe companies take their business for granted.

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1H/10 Bankruptcy Filings up 14% Over 1H/09

From January 1st-June 30th, U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings totaled 770,117 nationwide, a 14% increase over the 675,351 total consumer filings during the same period a year ago, according to the American Bankruptcy Institute (ABI). Data from the National Bankruptcy Research Center (NBKRC) showed consumer filings for the first half of 2010 represent the highest total since 2005. Meanwhile, the overall June consumer filing total of 126,270 was 8.5% more than the 116,365 consumer filings recorded in June 2009, however a 7.8% decrease from the May 2010 total of 136,142 consumer filings. Chapter 13 filings constituted 27 percent of all consumer cases in June, a slight increase from May.

BANKRUPTCY FILINGS
Jun 09: 116,345
Jul 09: 126,434
Aug 09: 119,874
Sep 09: 124,790
Oct 09: 135,913
Nov 09: 112,152
Dec 09: 113,274
Jan 10: 102,254
Feb 10: 111,693
Mar 10: 149,268
Apr 10: 144,490
May 10: 136,142
Jun 10: 126,270
Source: ABI/NBKRC; CardData.com

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