American Express Recognized as an Ethical Company

American Express has been recognized by the Ethisphere Institute as one
of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for 2010 for a fourth year.
The methodology for the WME ranking includes reviewing codes of ethics,
litigation and regulatory infraction histories; evaluating the
investment in innovation and sustainable business practices; looking at
activities designed to improve corporate citizenship; and studying
nominations from senior executives, industry peers, suppliers and
customers. Through in-depth research and a multi-step analysis,
Ethisphere reviewed thousands of nominations from companies in over 100
countries and 36 industries in order to determine the winners. American Express secured a hard-earned
spot on the list by implementing business practices and initiatives that
raise the bar for ethical standards within the industry.

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79% of Dissatisfied SMB Bankers are of Large Banks

Twenty of the 40 largest U.S. banks based on asset size are underutilizing technology, relying on
transaction-based selling, segmenting their customers by
size rather than need, and failing to develop a strategy for migrating small-business customers onto
business banking platforms. The revenue potential associated with addressing the financial needs of U.S.,
small businesses, according to recent Aite Group research, remains untapped as financial institutions struggle to understand small-business needs.
Meanwhile, More than 30% of U.S. small businesses with less than US$10 million in annual revenues currently
consider a community bank
to be their primary institution. Among small-business customers that are disappointed with their primary
banking institution, 79% are customers of large and regional banks.

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Credit Card Defaults Drop 10 bps to 11.27%, 34%+ Y/Y

Prime credit card chargeoffs dipped 10 basis points (bps) to 11.27% after reaching a six-month high in February while the chargeoff index remains 34% above year earlier levels. Chargeoff results have seen increased volatility as a result of policy modifications such as payment holidays and other programs. For example, Citibank’s 150 bp chargeoff increase offset an expected improvement following a normalization of Chase’s results, which declined 196bps. Late payments fell another six bps to 4.44%. Additional findings, according to the latest Credit Card Index results from Fitch Ratings, show 30+ day delinquencies also decreasing for the second month by six bps. to 5.66%. Current levels remain at around 2.50% higher versus March 2009 results and could provide an early insight to a possible recovery for chargeoffs in the later months. Gross yield outperformed another record high of 21.75% in March, surpassing the previous nine year high of 21.15% in January, while the monthly payment rate had a decrease of 55 bps. this month to 18.79%, but represents a 19% increase compared to the same period last year.

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RFinity Recognized for NFC Product Innovation

NFC mobile communication provider RFinity has been nominated by
Contactless Intelligence for its Monkey Award in the category of
Trailblazing and Innovation. This nomination follows a successful pilot program that began last fall
at Brigham Young University-Idaho, where students are using
RFinity-enabled cell phones to securely and conveniently make purchases
at the campus bookstore. The award recognizes exemplary companies
worldwide that further the boundaries of contactless technology through
product introduction or pilot programs. The winners will be announced at
CI’s spring conference on April 29 in London.

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Semiconductor Research & UNT Open Semiconductor Lab

Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) university-research consortium for semiconductors and and the University of North Texas (UNT) have unveiled their new research center focused on the fundamental understanding of advanced plasma processes and insulators used in manufacturing state-of-the-art semiconductor chips, the Center for Electronic Material Processing and Integration (CEMPI). Funded by SRC and UNT with an annual budget for at least three years of approximately $850,000, CEMPI is focused on ensuring semiconductor devices continue to increase in performance while growing smaller in size. Plasma processing is used throughout every stage in the manufacturing of semiconductor chips, including depositing, etching and cleaning materials. CEMPI also is to focus on the growth and reliability of the new insulators between the copper wires for more speed while using less power.

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MBNA CHEQUES

MBNA has announced that as of Wednesday, 31st March, it will stop issuing all new promotional cheques, standard credit card cheques and replacement cheques. Customers can access their credit facility by using their credit card, making a balance transfer or money transfer online or over telephone or withdrawing cash either at an ATM or over the counter.
Customers can order replacement cheques up to and including 31st March and they will be sent within seven working days. However, they will no longer be able to order any new or replacement cheques after 31st March.
Customers are being informed about the decision through their statements in March and April, on MBNA’s online banking areas, and through promotional campaigns.

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Heartland Payment & Voltage Launch Data Security Protocol

Several of the electronic payments system manufacturers working with Heartland Payment Systems payments processors are integrating Heartland’s “E3” protocol end-to-end encryption solution. Leveraging Voltage “SecureData” encryption and key management technology, “E3” end-to-end encryption is considered the most effective security method available for protecting cardholder data on POS devices and other card payments platforms. Its encryption methods available to safeguard cardholder data at rest and in motion throughout the lifecycle of payments transactions through the payment processor’s network, making payment data useless in the event of a compromise. E3 features a tamper-resistant POS terminal, magnetic stripe reader/wedge and other devices and software tools that protect cardholder data and never store it on a business’ system, relieving the business of PCI card data liability. Heartland currently provides Uniform Industrial Corporation (UIC), Hypercom, ExaDigm, and others with the “E3” protocol specification.

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Solveras Partners with Trustwave PCI DSS Compliance

Solveras Payment Solutions electronic payment services has partnered with Trustwave to implement a Level 4 compliance program to help its merchants achieve and maintain with PCI DSS compliance. Level 4 merchants are defined as those that process fewer than 20,000 e-commerce transactions and/or fewer than 1 million single card transactions per year. Solveras’ commitment to assisting with PCI DSS compliance obligations, its merchants will have access to Trustwave’s “TrustKeeper 3.0” for compliance easy and efficient validation for all Solveras merchants. Using the dynamic PCI Wizard, merchants work through a personalized, guided interview that reduces the complex terminology of the PCI assessment into understandable terms, and uses given answers to complete the process on the merchant’s behalf. Also included is Trustwave’s “TrustKeeper Agent,” which is downloaded and installed on the POS system to provide merchants with tools that help ensure the PCI DSS process protects and maintains a secure environment.

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Hypercom Appoints New VP of Marketing

William Rossiter has been appointed VP, Marketing with Hypercom Corporation. In this capacity, Rossiter will oversee the deployment of the Company’s mobile payment technology. This is part of Hypercom’s efforts to ramp up strategic positioning in mobile payments and strengthen its competitive angle. Rossiter brings to Hypercom nearly a decade of marketing, sales, business development expertise in electronic transactions, mobile payments and consumer electronics. He served for six years with Oberthur Card Systems as VP, Wireless Sales & Marketing; Director, Wireless Business Development; National Accounts Manager, and Financial Analyst. He was most recently serving Bassett & Partners and has worked with globally-respected high-tech companies such as Microsoft and Dell, AT&T, T-Mobile, Telcel and Telefonica. Rossiter holds a master’s in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and a bachelor’s in English and Economics from Santa Clara University.

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Overdraft Bank Revenue to Shrink $1.95B

Overdrafts for debit cards and ATMs are projected to shrink
financial institutions’ revenue by $1.95 billion in 2010.
Overall, banks and credit unions should earn about $35.2
billion in 2010, down from $37.1 billion in 2009. This,
according to IL-based Moebs $ervices economic research firm, also
shows through the first three quarters of 2009 overdraft revenue was
accelerating on an annualized basis to $39.1 billion over $35.4 billion
in 2008, or at a pace over 13%. An estimated $38.5 billion in overdraft
revenue was in US depositories. Through the first three quarters of
2009 overdraft revenue was accelerating on an annualized basis to $39.1
billion over $35.4 billion in 2008, or at a pace over 13%% and about
$2.0 billion of new revenue was lost in the fourth quarter.

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GEMALTO & OHA

Gemalto digital security is joining the “Open Handset Alliance” (OHA).
Representing a partnership of more than 60 global mobile industry
leaders that developed the Android complete, open, and free mobile
platform, OHA will be working closely with Gemalto to develop
initiatives. Gemalto will be an active member of the OHA, joining forces
with technology and mobile companies currently engaged with this
industry effort to drive the future of the mobile industry. Bringing
with it its expertise in security, in secure elements, development and
in the associated applications to the project, Gemalto will be
contributing to the joint production of technology to further the open
mobile OS initiative. This combined effort of industry leaders will
provide operators a unique set of tools to customize and bring new
services and applications for Android devices making the user experience
more secure and enjoyable. Gemalto had 2009 annual revenues of EUR1.65
billion, and over 10,000 employees operating out of 75 offices, with
research and service centers in 41 countries.

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NEC To Unveil Mobile Backhaul Solution

IT solution provider NEC Corporation of America is set to showcase its
innovative mobile backhaul
solution, and complementary digital microwave radios along with
optical/IP transport technologies. NEC offers a mobile backhaul
solution, also known as its “Intelligent Converged Platform” to support
operators as they refine their migration path to 4G; incorporating
enhanced IP-related features and functionalities, such as Operations,
Administration, and Maintenance, and class-of-service definitions to
ensure service level agreements (SLAs). With a flexible, scalable radio
backbone, NEC’s mobile backhaul solution
enables extensive support for resilient topologies and backward
compatibility, enabling operators to minimize risk and lower CAPEX and
OPEX due to its ability to leverage existing hardware, and reduce
maintenance—all without compromising the reliability of connections
between base stations and high capacity core switches. This advanced
mobile backhaul
offering empowers operators to cost-effectively expand its bandwidth
capacity, diversify service offerings, and enhance its revenue potential.

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