US Alliance Group Appoints New President

Greg Mahoney has been appointed President of the US Alliance Group (USAG). Having created and executed strategic programs that have resulted in significant sales growth over the last two years, in his new role Mahoney will oversee the entire operation and the expansion plan. Greg joined USAG in 2007 as SVP, after serving as EVP of Electronic Cash Systems and as GM for Ingram Micro. Mahoney holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. CA-based US Alliance Group offers complete payment processing solutions with Credit Card Processing, ATM, ACH, RDC, Check Cashing, Bill Payment, Gift Cards, MasterCard Issuing and Prepaid Products.

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Fiserv Appoints New VP, Product Management

Chris Capdevila has joined Fiserv financial services technology as VP, Product Management and Strategy for Risk and Compliance Solutions. Most recently with Oracle Corporation as VP, GRC Strategy, responsible for driving the strategic direction and roadmap for Oracle’s Governance, Risk and Compliance applications, Capdevila brings with him 25 years’ experience in technology and financial services. He was previously the CEO of Logical Apps, which was acquired by Oracle in November 2007. Chris was also a senior management consultant with Price Waterhouse for several years. He also graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of California-Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics.

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VIP Parts to Offer CashStar Gift Cards

ME-based VIP Parts, Tires and Service is now offering CashStar powered
gift cards. By making CashStar-powered digital cards the only gift
card offering available on VIPAuto.com, the company is giving consumers
a way to conveniently purchase online gift cards that they can easily
make into personalized and unique gifts with a custom message or by
uploading a photo. Consumers can then select the card denomination and
set the day and time the gift should be delivered via email – either
instantly or at a later date. CashStar digital gift cards have no
shipping or redemption fees, or expiration dates. Consumers can print
the gift card at home for redemption at any VIP Parts, Tires& Service
location. VIP Parts, Tires& Service offers
customers high quality, name-brand original equipment parts, tires and
repair services.

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Starbucks Releases Conservation International Card

Starbucks customers can now join Conservation International
to help protect forests and the life that exists within them.
Every time a customer pays with their new “Conservation
International Starbucks Card” at participating stores in the U.S.,
Starbucks will donate five cents to CI to help protect forests.
The new CI Card, made with at least 80% post-industrial recycled
materials, is a stored value card that can be given as a gift or loaded
for personal use. The five cents
donated by Starbucks with each purchase will provide contributions to
support CI’s work to protect forests and address climate change.
Starbucks has worked with CI for more than 10 years to help support
responsible coffee farming, protect
biodiversity, and reduce coffee farming impacts on climate in an effort
to sustain the supply of the world’s best coffee. Customers can also
register their Card at
www.starbucks.com/card to receive benefits through the My Starbucks
Rewards program.

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Credit Card Industry in No Danger of Extinction

With outstanding card balances in 2009 up to $80 billion lower and nearly 100 million fewer cardholder accounts, rumors are springing up about the end of the credit card industry as the world knows it. The credit card business, however, is here to stay for a multitude of reasons. Card issuers, for one, which have found an approach to dealing with inactive credit card accounts, have saved over 30% of their potential account closures, according to R.K. Hammer. Also, it is predicted most of the credit card industry will have moved to “value-based” enterprises rather than so called “fear based,” which the early adopters are applying in 2010 and 2011. This requires issuers to really learn what consumers value most about their credit cards. And with the days of double digit charge offs to dwindle over the next 6 months, and return to safe-harbor loan loss levels, cardholders will still have to repay the outstanding $800+ billion in credit card debt.

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Microchip Tech Inks Second Amendment to Acquire Silicon Storage

Microchip Technology has entered into a second amendment to acquire
CA-based memory product provider Silicon Storage Technology.
Additionally, in connection with the amendment, Microchip is today
purchasing directly from SST newly issued shares in an amount equal to
19.9% of the current issued and outstanding shares of the common stock
of SST at $3.05 per share in cash. In the event that Microchip’s
acquisition of SST is not consummated, Microchip has agreed that as a
general matter, it will not use its voting rights to block a transaction
that constitutes a superior proposal and the profits on its sales in
such transaction will be limited. Furthermore, Microchip will have an
option to sell its shares back to SST at $3.05 per share. Microchip
Technology is a leading provider of
microcontroller and analog semiconductors, Silicon Storage Technology, Inc.:
SST designs, manufactures and markets a diversified range of memory and
non-memory products for high
volume applications in the digital consumer, networking, wireless
communications and Internet computing markets.

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ClearPoint Focuses on Spring Break Spending Pitfalls

ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions, a member of the National
Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)is offering tips to college students
to prevent problems while enjoying spring break: increase security; create and follow a spending plan
If you take a credit card, make sure to budget for the trip so that,
when you can get home, you can pay it back immediately to avoid interest
and drawn-out, on-going payments. By monitoring your spending and keep a
running total of your expenditures, you can avoid overspending and decide on a method for spending whether its a card or cash.
Traveling with credit cards is often safer than with debit cards. Credit
cards come with numerous consumer protections such as coverage on stolen
or damaged goods.

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PIZZAEXPRESS & BARCLAYCARD

PizzaExpress restaurants has partnered with Barclaycard. A leading
global payment business which understands the needs of both purchasers
and sellers, Barclaycard allows retailers and merchants to accept cards,
helps customers make payments through card, contactless and mobile
applications as well as extending credit to consumers. The company is
one of the pioneers of new forms of payments and is at the forefront of
developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and
cutting edge forms of payment for the future. It also issues credit and
charge cards to corporate customers and the UK Government. Barclaycard
partners with a wide range of organisations across the globe to offer
their customers or members payment options and credit.

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HSBC Expands Presence with ATM Branch

HSBC Bank has opened the doors to its latest full-service retail branch, situated in the heart of Koreatown, Los Angeles. The addition of this facility extends HSBC Bank USA’s network in California to more than 35 branches. The Bank’s presence in over 80 countries and territories is perfectly aligned to Koreatown. The brand-new, 2,534 square-feet facility features two teller stations, a Premier banking center, customer meeting rooms and 24 hour ATM, as well off-street parking and the latest in customer-friendly design. Operating initially with a staff of seven locally employed banking professionals, the Koreatown branch provides a full range of financial services to both businesses and individuals including Premier.

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DOLLAR FINANCIAL

Dollar Financial Corp financial services for the unbanked and
under-banked announced an agreement to settle its British Columbia class
action litigation, in which the plaintiffs claimed collection of
excessive fees. The business model used by the Company’s Canadian
subsidiary, National Money Mart Company (NMMC), according to plaintiffs,
resulted in the collection of fees in excess of the statutory limit for
payday loans made since 1997. The Company announced court approval of
the previously announced settlement of its comparable Ontario class
action litigation. Subsequently, the Company will create a settlement
fund in an amount of C$24.75 million, consisting of C$12.375 million in
cash and C$12.375 million in vouchers. Fees payable to plaintiffs’
counsel will be paid from this fund. The remaining amount of the fund
will be available to class members who make claims, with the Company
receiving a credit for any unpaid debts incurred through November 1,
2009 and owed by claimants to the Company.

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Cirro Energy Offering Credit Card Option for Payments

TX-based Cirro Energy has expanded its payment program to include the
option to pay their bills using a Visa or
MasterCard. Unlike other electricity provider programs, the latest
solution from Cirro Energy is free of charge when a commercial customer
makes a payment with a credit card. Cirro Energy has offered electronic
payment options, including credit
card payments, to residential customers since 2002. With this expanded
program, Cirro Energy’s small and mid-size commercial customers can now
also make automatic, recurring or one-time payments using a Visa or
MasterCard with no fee. Payments can be made through the Cirro Energy
customer care center at 1.800.MY.CIRRO or online at www.cirroenergy.com.
Companies taking advantage of this payment program may also enjoy
benefits such as extra miles or points on their qualifying reward credit
cards.

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