CONSUMER PROTECTION

Option Consommateurs, a not-for-profit association dedicated to the defence and promotion of consumers’ rights, is
concerned about the adoption of the Code of Conduct for the Debit and Credit Card Industry introduced by the Finance Department in November 2009 and slated for adoption in the latest federal budget. If adopted as is, this voluntary code would give more power to merchants, to the detriment of consumers. Option Consommateurs
has stated that whenever consumers make a purchase, they must be able to freely and transparently choose their preferred payment method from among those offered by the merchant. However, the voluntary code allows merchants to require the payment method of their choice and the government should prohibit overbilling resulting from the mode of payment used, in order to permit consumers to compare competitors’ prices more easily.

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COMMERCIAL CONTACTLESS

Barclays has launched the first European commercial contactless debit cards to its business customers. All Barclays Business customers receiving new or re-issued cards will find that they come with contactless technology as standard. This enables them to pay for low value transactions by holding the card over a reader, without the need to enter a PIN or insert the card into a terminal. Over six million people in the UK already have a contactless-enabled Barclays VISA debit card or Barclaycard credit card since the bank became the first in the UK to begin rolling-out the technology to its personal customers in 2007. The maximum limit for contactless card transactions increased recently from GBP10 to GBP15 in line with demand from retailers and customers, widening the appeal of the technology.

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Fitch Assigns LS Ratings to $274.7B U.S. Credit Card Receivables

Fitch Ratings assigns Loss Severity (LS) ratings to 561 classes of $274.7 billion of U.S. credit card receivables asset-backed securities (ABS) issued from 20 trusts. The pool loss expectation varies widely from 0.5% to 11%. For credit card receivables ABS, the pool loss expectation is derived by adjusting the base case default assumption accounting for the base case payment rate assumption. LS ratings are meant to complement the existing LTC ratings for structured finance securities. LTC ratings exclusively address the probability of default of a security. The LS ratings provide an indication of the relative degree of risk that a security might suffer a high loss severity in the event that the security defaults.

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SCA Releases White Paper Focused on Smart Card Fare Collection

The Smart Card Alliance has released two new white
papers to help transit agencies who are planning to
upgrade their fare collection systems and announced new officers and
steering committee for 2010. Among these is “A Guide to Prepaid Cards for Transit Agencies,”
providing an overview of the prepaid card industry and the products
available, including network-branded prepaid cards. It provides guidance
for transit agencies evaluating the feasibility and benefits of using
prepaid cards as one element of a fare collection system that includes
open loop payment cards. The Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council is made up of more than
130 individuals from 59 organizations, including transit agencies,
payment brands, financial services providers and technology and service
providers.

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Zuuply.com Launches Personal Finance Q&A Website

A new free financial services website, Zuuply.com, has launched for consumers who want
answers to common finance-related questions. Zuuply.com promotes financial literacy by providing comprehensive,
easy-to-digest articles, answers and other resources for consumers
seeking the information they need to take charge of their financial
future. Site visitors can search the site for topics of interest and
browse questions and answers previously posted, or post their own
question if the information they need isn’t currently archived on the
site. Questions are answered by both experts and consumers, creating an
interactive and informative online community.

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Capital One Launches New Travel Rewards Card

Capital One Financial Corporation has launched the “Venture” premium travel rewards
credit card. Offering double miles on every purchase without typical
restrictions, “Venture” allows cardholders maximum flexibility when redeeming rewards.
Customers simply make their travel purchase using their Capital One “Venture” card, then call Capital One or
go online to reimburse the charge with miles. The cost of the
transaction is refunded on the next statement. A simple formula makes it
easy to determine how many miles are needed to redeem rewards:
cardholders multiply the cost of the purchase by 100. As with all other Capital One cards, there
are no foreign transaction fees. Additionally, the “Venture” premium travel rewards
credit card allows cardholders to earn 2 miles per dollar on all net purchases; rewards
that don’t expire; no limit on how many miles you can accumulate; no
special spending categories; and no separate rewards enrollment requirements.
It also offers 10,000 bonus miles when $1,000 is spent in the first three months;
compatibility with any airline with no blackout dates; and travel purchase
redemption.

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Datacard Intros Card Personalization System

ID and personalization solution provider Datacard Group has introduced
advanced financial and telecom configurations for the “Datacard MPR5800”
inline card production and personalization system. With a new telecom configuration, GSM card issuers and service bureaus
are capable of running at speeds of up to 10,000 cards per hour which
allows a single system to personalize up to 5 million SIM cards per
month. For financial applications, the new “MPR5800” system configuration meets
traditional card requirements and provides the latest laser technology
for flat financial card printing running at speeds up to 6,000 cards per
hour. Laser technology offers not only fraud prevention but also low
cost per card. Card issuers do not need additional consumables for
personalization thus they save a lot of production cost. Personal
information is engraved into the surface of cards that is tamper-proof
once it has been issued.

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Compass Plus EFT Technology Opens North American Office

Compass Plus EFT and bank payments technology has opened its first North American office in St. Louis. Serving 100 banks across 25 countries through its suite of TranzWare electronic payment products, which was released in 1994, Compass drives financial transactions through a variety of platforms. These platforms include the Internet, mobile, POS and ATMs. With 300 employees located throughout the world, including the United States, Great Britain, Singapore, Brazil, Russia and Vietnam, Compass Plus has developed a global presence in EFT and online transaction processing (OLTP), streamlining front-and back-office process management.

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Visa Introduces Online Shopping Tool

Visa is set to introduce its new online shopping
tool, “Rightcliq by Visa.” Rightcliq will combine “Wishspace”– a central location for storing items
that a consumer is interested in purchasing – with a “social shopping”
experience that will allow consumers to solicit opinions of friends and
streamlined checkout. Consumers will be able to add products to their “Wishspace” as they search
the Web and comparison shop, providing them with a single place to
store, organize and access their shopping research. Special discount offers from a variety of merchants will be available
through “Rightcliq” and consumers will be
able to easily share offers with their friends through a simple email
function or by posting offers on their personal Facebook pages.
Users will be able to initiate purchases from “Rightcliq” or launch
“Rightcliq” as they are browsing any merchant website when they’re ready
to buy. Consumers will also be
able to store and organize online merchant discount codes/offers in
“Rightcliq” for easy redemption at checkout. In addition to storing Visa
credit, debit and prepaid accounts, consumers will be able to store
other payment options and track their purchases from one
convenient location.

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For Credit Unions, Better IT Equals Better Performance

High performing credit unions have three things in common: tolerance of IT risk, strong commitment to IT from senior management, and excellent coordination between IT and the business. Over the past two years, credit unions that demonstrate these attributes have grown their membership base three times higher than that of other credit unions. This, according to a new report from Aite Group, compiled from a survey of 54 credit unions, sheds light on the differences between high-performing credit unions and their less successful peers in terms of membership growth, loan and net growth, and market share. In addition, their growth in market share has remained 20% higher over the same time frame, and their loan growth is nearly twice as high as that of other credit unions.

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EPL Reports Credit Union Contract Wins

EquiShare Credit Union in Kansas and Lakehurst Naval Federal Credit Union in New Jersey signed up for EPL’s technology solution suite that includes the
i-Power core processing system, online banking, e-statements, collections, and EPL’s newly introduced document storage solution. Lakehurst Naval Federal
Credit Union also elected i-KNOW® EPL’s embedded MRM solution powered by Sedona, EPL’s BSA Reporting and Anti-Money Laundering solution powered by Verafin
and EPL’s website design and hosting and CU- Dashboard. Electrical Federal Credit Union located in Arvada, Colorado renewed their EPL online services
agreement for i-POWER and EPL’s technology suite.

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FIS to Process Bank Freedom Prepaid Card Transactions

Bank Freedom prepaid card financial services has signed agreements with FIS payments technology for transaction processing of Bank Freedom’s prepaid card business. With this, FIS will provide transaction processing and card issuer services for the Bank Freedom branded prepaid card programs and Bank Freedom’s co-branded prepaid card programs. Bank Freedom will also leverage the FIS platform to support its Prepaid Business Expense Card Program and its consumer General Spend Reloadable (GPR) Prepaid Cards, Payroll Cards, and Co-Branded Prepaid Card programs. FL-based FIS delivers banking and payments technologies to more than 14,000 financial institutions and businesses in over 100 countries worldwide.

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