New Survey Reveals Economic Crisis Extent

Nearly 40% of global respondents expect the economic crisis to end by 1Q/10 while 66% of US respondents anticipate a rebound in business by the end of 2010. Also, 50% of US respondents believe their companies’ financial position will stabilize at the end of 2009 while 30% anticipate an improvement in their financial stability by this year’s end. This, according to the MD-based Atradius “Global Economic Crisis Survey,” additionally found 34% have suffered a decrease in their access to financing; the US remains the most pessimistic country; 40% have changed their credit terms; 34% have increased their use of outsourced collection services and 41%increased the frequency of their buyers’ credit reviews. Additional findings show 32% are considering or have begun using credit insurance and 56% of US businesses think the government’s efforts thus far have largely been ineffective while 62% think the government should stimulate economic growth through tax cuts and incentives.

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Cybersource Payment Webinar Coming Up

Cybersource is holding a a webinar that focuses on secure commerce payment data on Tuesday, December 8.
In this webinar, Bill Zujewski, VP of Product Marketing at ATG, Dave
Glaser, VP of Global Services and founder of payment security practice
at CyberSource, and Chris Pogue, Senior Security Analyst for the
Trustwave Spiders Incident Response team, will share some industry
trends, best practices and case studies around the importance of
securing commerce payment data.

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Black Friday Sales Rose 0.95% From 2008

Main Street merchandise retailers experienced a pickup in payment card sales this “Black Friday” period as same store card sales rose 0.95% from the year ago period. Restaurants also showed gains during the 2009 “Black Friday” period with a 4.06% lift in 2009 Black Friday period card sales Y/Y. These findings, disclosed in the “Black Friday on Main Street” Special Issue of CAN-DSD’s Small Business Credit Sales (SBCS) Report, showed the combined total of all Main Street small business categories posted a 5.74% increase during the 2009 Black Friday period over the year ago period, the very smallest of the businesses having experienced the biggest lift, with card sales up 16.98% over last year. Those with revenues between $250,000 to $500,000 saw a 13.44% gain and those with annual revenues of $500,000 to $1,000,000 experienced a 3.63% increase Y/Y.

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AmEx Offers NYC & Company’s NYC Extreme

American Express Cardholders have exclusive access to top fashion designers during the “NYC & Company’s NYC Extreme
Local” event. From December 7 – December 11, Diane von Furstenberg, Phillip Lim and
Tory Burch, along with J. Crew and Intermix, will invite American
Express Cardmembers into their stores for after-hours, private
Cardmember-only shopping events. Cardmembers will enjoy exclusive personal shopping experiences with top stylists and
select designers to help find the perfect holiday gift; private Cardmember hours to avoid the holiday crowds and a
special gift with purchase while supplies last. In addition to the private shopping events, Cardmembers can get a $50
statement credit when they use any registered American Express Card to
make a total of $300 in purchases at three or more NYC Extreme Local
participating retailers between now and December 20, 2009. To register an American Express Card and view a full list of the more
than 650 participating shops, restaurants and retailers, Cardmembers
must go to www.nycgo.com/x. NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership
organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel
and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building
economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City
worldwide.

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Nilson Ranks USAT Among the Top in POS

CA-based The Nilson Report has again ranked USA Technologies among the leading shippers of
point-of-sale (POS) terminals in the United States.
USA Technologies was ranked 6th in the United States after worldwide
giants VeriFone, Ingenico, Hypercom, First Data/Link Point, and Way
Systems. No direct competitors of the USA Technologies in the beverage
vending industry are listed in the report. The ePort solution offers cashless payment options, from traditional
magnetic stripe, to wireless contactless tap-and-go credit/debit cards,
pre-paid solutions, and NFC payment using a cellular phone. The Company recently announced an increase in the number of devices
connected to the USALive® Network to approximately 60,000. The Company
also announced that it projected 114,000 devices would be connected to
its network by the end of December 2010.

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Webloyalty Defends Against Abuse Charges

CT-based online marketer Webloyalty issued a response to the Senate
Commerce Committee’s investigation into the process of charging
membership fees for discount membership clubs. According to the site, “Webloyalty cannot and will not enroll a consumer in one of our discount
membership programs without that individual’s express consent, and,
contrary to widely published reports, enrolling in our discount clubs
requires more than a single mouse click. Consumers are shown a full-page solicitation offering one of
Webloyalty’s programs for $12 per month after a 30-day free trial period
and a $10 cash back incentive for trying the service. If consumers wish
to accept the offer to join the program, they must enter an email
address twice and, as of August, 2009, must enter the last 4 digits of
their credit or debit card to indicate consent to have that card billed
for the membership following the free trial period. The consumer then
clicks the “YES! Click Here to Sign Up” button, [e]nter the last 4 digits of your credit or debit card and your email
address as your electronic signature to confirm that you have read and
agree to the Offer and Billing Details and authorize
to securely transfer your name, address and credit or debit card
information to for billing after your 30-day
free trial.” After the consumer has consented, the consumer’s billing
information is passed from the e-commerce partner to Webloyalty in an
encrypted format that ensures security and protects privacy.”
Webloyalty.com provides consumers with easy to access dining, shopping and travel discounts and
additional travel and protection benefits.

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RedFin Network Repositions its E-Brand

Secured Financial Network has rolled out the a redesigned website for its
owned subsidiary RedFin Network with a focus on easy access to RedFin Network’s product lines, services, and support, as
well as showcasing the company’s brand positioning and strength in the
market. RedFin Network owns and operates a Level 1 (PCI) Certified payment
gateway known throughout the industry as The RedFin Gateway. RedFin
Network exclusively provides 24/7 Class A support, distribution,
wireless activation, billing and fulfillment for Blue Bamboo products
and services in the Americas. RedFin Network services ISO/MSP acquiring
companies while managing The RedFin Gateway, and POS terminal /
solutions helpdesk.

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2009 Online Holiday Sales Edge Up by 3%

For the holiday season-to-date, $12.26 billion has been spent online, marking a 3% increase versus the corresponding days last year. “Cyber Monday” reached $887 million in online spending, up 5% versus year ago, and matching the heaviest online spending day on record. comScore reports that “Cyber Monday’s” 5% growth in sales versus a year ago was driven primarily by an increase in the number of buyers, reflecting consumers’ increasing familiarity and comfort with online buying, while average spending per buyer was down slightly, presumably a result of economic constraints. Specifically, the number of online buyers grew 6% to 8.7 million, while the average dollars spent per buyer declined 2% to $102.19. On “Cyber Monday” this year, more than half of dollars spent online at U.S. Web sites originated from work computers (52.7%), representing a gain of 2.3 percentage points from last year.

2009 Holiday Season
($ millions)
2007 2008 2009 CHNG
Nov 1 – Dec 1 $12,217 $12,025 $12,262 +3%
Pre-Thanksgiving $10,035 $9,588 $9,876 +3%
Thanksgiving and Later $ 2,182 $2,437 $2.536 +4%
Thanksgiving Day $ 272 $288 $318 +10%
Black Friday $ 531 $534 $595 +11%
Thanksgiving Weekend $ 645 $769 $805 + 5%
Cyber Monday $ 733 $846 $887 + 5%
Source: comScore

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MFI Benchmarks to be Released in December

The Microfinance “Information Exchange” business information and data services provider for the global microfinance industry released its latest data set, the “2008 MFI Benchmarks,” the first of its kind to reflect the impact of the financial crisis and the subsequent global economic slowdown on microfinance providers.The benchmarks cover financial and performance data from 1084 MFIs (microfinance institutions) throughout Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America for calendar year 2008. The 2008 MFI Benchmarks will be featured in the #19 issue of MicroBanking Bulletin, due out Dec. 30 from MIX and is available for download at: www.themix.org.

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NewPage to Offer Ceridian Payroll Cards

Coated paper manufacturer NewPage Corporation will use Ceridian’s payroll, HR, tax filing and other
services to support its HR management needs. NewPage has
approximately 7,800 salaried, hourly and hourly union employees located
in multiple states and Canada. NewPage’s size and geographic diversity
make it a challenging HR environment to manage, but one especially well
suited to Ceridian’s expertise. For their part, the NewPage team was not only looking for HR and payroll
solutions that worked, but a team with whom they could partner to
produce best practices and most importantly provide NewPage employees
with an excellent experience. The open, frank discussions during the RFP
process set the stage for real chemistry between the two teams.
In early 2008 Ceridian released the
industry’s first HR/payroll management solution that managed payroll and
related HR services for both Canada and the U.S.

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Twitter Co-Founder Intros Square Payments

Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced this week a new company that enables merchants and individuals to accept secure payment from credit cards using a mobile phone. The new “Square” company aids a merchant by attaching a card-reading dongle to the smartphone’s audio input — or any device with an audio input jack. According to Square’s website, payees can start accepting payments via Square in under 60 seconds, with “no contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs.” The company donates one cent from every transaction to the charity of the payer’s choice. In order to streamline the process, payees can register for Square and upload a photo, so that payees can verify that you are who you say you are. Square is backed by Khosla Ventures and a team of angels. Square, Inc. has offices in San Francisco (Product & Engineering), Saint Louis (Operations), and New York City (Risk & Partnerships).

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PROSPER.COM EXEC

Prosper.com P2P lending marketplace has appointed Nick Talwar as Chief
Revenue Officer to oversee revenue and customer growth for the company.
As the former head of Citibank Sweden, he oversaw the quintupling of the
customer base, doubling assets and the introduction of Citi as a leading
credit card business. Prior to this, he launched and served as the
business head for Flexible Equity Lending and as head of sales and
strategy for Citi’s credit card business in EMEA. This after having
served as a founding Director of Schwab Bank and beginning his career at
Bain & Company. Nick holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the
University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in International Politics and
International Economics from The School of Foreign Service at Georgetown
University.

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