Credit Card Charge-Offs Flat at 11.08%

Charge-offs on U.S. credit cards finished at 11.08% in February, one basis point higher than the January rate of 11.07%, while delinquencies fell to 5.91% to its lowest level since August. This, according to Moody’s Investors Service’s” Credit Card Indices Report,” also shows the February yield index of 22.23%, representing the highest monthly rate in the history of Moody’s index. With Base case expectation for the unemployment rate – a plateau in the second half of the year between 10% and 10.5% – and the expectation delinquencies will continue to improve, the charge-off rate is expected to peak at slightly lower than its long-held forecast of 12%. The trailing three-month average charge-off rate reached 10.82% in February, the highest level since September 2009. Meanwhile, excess spreads continue to receive significant support from issuer discounting initiatives and the strong yields and steady charge-off rates help catapult the excess spread index back above the 8% mark in February.

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AIR MILES

American Express and AIR MILES Reward Program launched a new Platinum Business Card to offer business owners a more significant AIR MILES earn rate. With extensive services and built for business coverage, the American Express and AIR MILES partnership has also enhanced the Gold Business Card to offer additional benefits and a faster way to earn AIR MILES Reward Miles on the no-fee business Credit Card. Business owners can earn up to 1,250 Bonus reward miles with the new American Express AIR MILES Platinum Business Card; enough for a round-trip air fare. The new Platinum Card earns business owners one AIR MILES reward mile for every $10 in purchases charged to the Card at AIR MILES Sponsors and one AIR MILES reward mile for every $15 in purchases charged to the Card everywhere else.

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ClariPhy Semiconductors Makes Available Data Recovery Solution

CA-based fabless semiconductor provider ClariPhy has started shipping
the “CL1012” clock and data recovery
(CDR) IC with maximum likelihood sequence estimation (MLSE) into line
cards with Tunable XFP and XFP+ modules for 10 Gb/s optical networking.
While the CL1012 IC supports both XFP and XFP+ tunable modules, the
proven benefits of MLSE are fully realized with the + version of the
module. These benefits include improved tolerance to major impairments
in telecom networks – chromatic dispersion (CD), first and second order
polarization mode dispersion (PMD), and nonlinear distortion. The CL1012
has ½ the power and ¼ the area of competing MLSE solutions, and achieves
higher performance by design than alternative EDC architectures such as
decision feedback equalization. Carriers deploying the CL1012 and
tunable XFP+ modules in their transport platforms will realize both opex
and capex savings by reducing or eliminating expensive and bulky optical
dispersion compensation equipment, avoiding the need for fiber
characterization, and enabling the use of a greater percentage of their
installed fiber.

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PLAN CANADA

Plan Canada and MasterCard have partnered with the intentions of economically empower 70,000 in Niger, Sierra Leone and Senegal with access to savings and loans services and financial literacy training. The $4.1 million program is the largest program to take place in West Africa. It offers those ages 15 to 25 an opportunity to lead and manage a savings-led community-based approach to microfinance. This program will be expanded over four years, while at least 70 per cent of the participating youth will be female. Along with the 70,000 youth that will benefit from the project, 340 trainers, 490 community volunteers, and 135 staff will also receive training to become important resources and change agents for youth-centered economic and social development.

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Total Debt Relief Launches Free Quote Feature

Total Debt Relief offers consumers a free savings quote
via its website for credit card Debt Settlement.
In a debt settlement program, a debt management firm will negotiate on
behalf of the consumer or business in debt with their credit card
companies in order to achieve a mutually agreed upon settlement for a
reduced amount of the original debt owed. In most cases, in a typical
debt settlement, outstanding credit card debt is eliminated by up to 50
percent or more. This eliminated debt is essentially written off and
never needs to be repaid.

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GLOBUS & VERSAPAY

American Express and AIR MILES Reward Program announced an enhanced no-fee American Express AIR MILES Credit Card, redesigned to give consumers a faster way to earn AIR MILES reward miles on a no-fee Credit Card. The Card earns Cardmembers 1 AIR MILES reward mile for every $15 dollars in purchases charged to the Card at AIR MILES Sponsors and allows them to earn 1 reward mile for every $20 in purchases charged to the Card everywhere else. Reward miles in the Collector’s Account do not expire and can be redeemed for a variety of travel, leisure, entertainment, and merchandise options. And by using both their American Express AIR MILES Credit Card and their AIR MILES Collector Card, Cardmembers can “double dip” by shopping at thousands of Sponsor locations across Canada to earn reward miles from both the Sponsor and American Express. Cardmembers can also collect reward miles faster by combining their spending with free Supplementary Cards.

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ARX Launches HSM PCI DSS Compliance Plug-In

Algorithmic Research (ARX) digital signature and data security solutions
has introduced its “PrivateServer HSM” (hardware security module) with an EKM
plug-in at G. B Premium Financial Services. G. B Premium Financial Services
specializes in credit card clearance. Using ARX’s solution for
encrypting credit card information, G. B Premium has gained Payment Card
Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance.
ARX’s EKM plug-in for the PrivateServer HSM enables it to connect to
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 in a way that allows users to continue
managing data in the Server as they would regularly. The EKM
encrypts the data in the background to enable PCI DSS compliance.
The PrivateServer HSM also provides a wide
range of cryptographic operations, including PIN applications, EMV,
secure key storage, and secure application execution.
Compliance with PCI DSS is expected to become a
legal regulation in summer 2010 for organizations that process credit
card payments or otherwise manage cardholder information to prevent
credit card fraud.

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Bridgevine Breaks Mold, Earns PCI Certification

Bridgevine has earned PCI DDS certification as a PCI Level I Service Provider, granted by the PCI Security Standards Council. This minimizes the company’s business risk and protects their advertiser and affiliate partner brands’ important financial processing information. The award is a testament to the high security measures put in place by Bridgevine, as it capped off an infrastructure strengthening initiative, and completed rigorous scans on firewall security and compliance. With this, Bridgevine must adhere to six core principles, including building and maintaining a secure network; protecting cardholder data and regularly monitoring and testing their networks. Bridgevine internet marketing acquires leads through search, e-tail and retail, and then offers consumers a variety of services and money-saving bundles from its expanding base of participating brands.

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NPC Markets Hypercom Mobile Payment Terminal

National Processing Company (NPC), one of the nation’s largest acquirers exclusively focused on the merchant processing market, has Class A certified the Hypercom “Optimum M4230” mobile payment terminal. With this certification, the high-performance, PCI-PED-approved “M4230” opens an important sales channel through NPC’s large customer base. The terminal features long-range GPRS with dial back-up, the industry’s top security certification, 32-bit multi-application processing for maximum transaction speed and 24MB memory that is two to three times larger than similar products to accommodate value-added applications such as check services. Kentucky-based NPC is the largest provider of payment processing services exclusively focused on the merchant processing market. It provides a wide range of payment processing services, from POS credit card processing to integrated e-commerce solutions.
Hypercom Global payment technology delivers high security, end-to-end electronic payment products, software solutions and services, addressing high security electronic transaction needs of its company in clients in more than 100 countries.

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HID ID Security Certified Through IAPP

Secure identity solution provider HID Global has achieved a second level of certification through
the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). This
strengthens the company’s role as an expert and trusted advisor on
issues related to U.S. and international privacy laws and information
management practices. As part of HID Global’s value-added privacy service, the company assists
integrators, customers and other partners in the areas of privacy impact
assessments (PIAs) and other activities that mitigate privacy concerns.
The company also regularly contributes to the development and support of
public policies that safeguard individual privacy while fostering the
responsible use of identification technology. The IAPP confers the CIPP designation on individuals who have passed
a rigorous and comprehensive examination covering management techniques,
regulatory familiarity, privacy terms, and privacy protection case
studies. The CIPP designation confirms that its holder has achieved
understanding of key legal, technical and operational concepts and
applications in the handling of consumer information.

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Netsize Launches Mobile Marketing Solution

Mobile commerce provider Netsize has launched SaaS-based “mMarketing
V3.0” solution for corporate mobile messaging and mobile marketing campaigns.
mMarketing version 3.0 includes an optimized user interface that
simplifies campaign management, progress tracking and monitoring of
contacts making the solution very easy to use for even novice users.
Netsize mMarketing can be fully customized to fit a customer’s corporate
branding. Application Programmer Interfaces (APIs) are provided, which
enable the use of mMarketing by other software such as enterprise CRM
and ERP systems, email solutions and Web pages. Delivered as Software-as-a-Service, mMarketing does not require
installation, and all popular Web browsers are supported. mMarketing is
part of the Netsize SaaS Portal where customers manage their accounts,
access technical support and have tools at their disposal to analyze
messaging usage. Netsize is a subsidiary of Gemalto.

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GCA To Present At Emerging Growth Investor Forum

Global Cash Access Holdings will be presenting at the Sidoti&
Company Fourteenth Annual New York Emerging Growth Institutional
Investor Forum on Tuesday, March 23 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in
New York. GCA’s products and services provide
gaming patrons access to cash through a variety of methods, including
ATM cash withdrawals, point-of-sale debit card transactions, credit card
cash advances, check verification and warranty services, and Western
Union money transfers.

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