Epson and ParTech for a New POS Line

Epson has expanded its partnership with POS platform provider ParTech
to offer an expanded line of products and support for the hospitality
industry. PAR will offer Epson?’s “TM-T88IV”, “TM-U220” and “EU-T432” receipt printers for PAR?s
“ViGo”?, “Gemini?” and “EverServ? Series 6000” POS terminals. Under the expanded agreement between PAR and Epson, PAR also joins
Epson?s Envision Partner Program. This comprehensive channel program
provides extensive sales and marketing resources as well as educational
tools designed to help partners deliver the most complete and effective
solutions and service, along with the fastest possible time to market.

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Western Union Revenue Down as Transactions Rise

Western Union reported that third quarter revenue was down 5% to $1.3
billion. The consumer-to-consumer segment was also down 5% to $1.1
billion in the third quarter, however WU handled 50 million C2C
transactions, a 3% increase over 3Q/08. The international portion of C2C
revenue declined 3% on transaction growth of 6%. The Global Business
Payments segment declined 3% to $171 million. During the quarter, WU
completed the acquisition of international B2B payments provider Custom
House; signed letters of agreement with Lagardère Services, Ortel
Finance and PayUp, potentially adding 15,000 locations in Europe over
the next few years; renewed agreement with Agricultural Bank of China,
bringing an additional 15,000 agent locations by 2011; agreed to partner
with Maxis Communications in Malaysia to launch a service that will
allow Maxis subscribers to send cross-border remittances from their
mobile phones worldwide. For complete details on Western Union’s third
quarter results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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New Gconomy Visa Offers an Ultimate Green Product

A new credit card that rewards cardholders for positive green actions has been launched by Barclaycard US and RecycleBank. The new
“Gconomy Visa” offers points for each purchase, donates a portion of every purchase to a “green” schools program, and rewards households for recycling. The card is also made from 55% recycled plastic. Cardholders earn 1.5 “RecycleBank Points” for every dollar spent with “RecycleBank Reward Partners” and one point spent elsewhere. A portion of every purchase is donated to the “RecycleBank Green Schools Program,” that offers numerous grants, ranging from $100 to $5,000 to schools that work with children (ages 6-18) in the fields of environmental awareness, education, and action. Additionally, RecycleBank motivates households to recycle by measuring the amount of recycled material from the home and converting it into “RecycleBank Points.” RecycleBank has committed to donating a minimum of $1 million dollars over the next five years to the RecycleBank Green Schools Program via the “Gconomy Visa” card. NYC-based RecycleBank services over 1 million members across 22 states and the U.K.

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ELAVON & SANTANDER

The non-profit Secure POS Vendor Alliance has added four more electronic payment companies. Chase Paymentech joins the SPVA along with Mustang MicroSystems, Semtek and Transaction Network Services. These companies join existing members such as Heartland Payment and Atos Worldline who partnered with the organization early on. The SPVA organization founded by Hypercom, Ingenico and VeriFone. The organization’s goal is to develop an end-to-end security framework and to enhance security elements of payment solutions which protect cardholder information and defend merchants and acquirers against security breaches, while helping reducing fraud and lowering risk for all electronic payment stakeholders.

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59% of Americans Want Gift Cards This Holiday Season

With the holidays just around the corner, 69% of shoppers expect to do the bulk of
their holiday shopping by December 7 and 52% plan to shop on “Black Friday”, 10%
more than the year ago period. However, 86% contend they are only buying items
discounted at least 20%; 25% will be looking for a 50% discount before they open
their wallets; 63% are planning a budget; 44% can be sold on breaking said budget;
and 62% are planning to spend more than $250 on holiday gifts. These findings,
according to the Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey, also show 85% plan to shop at
discount stores; 45% will be shopping at department stores; 5% are planning to shop
at luxury goods retailers and 79% plan to buy gift cards this holiday season. Of
the recipients, however, only 44% will maximize the value of the card while 25%
will use their gift cards to buy regular, staple products. Gifts cards are also the
most coveted holiday shopping gift with 59% hoping to find one in their stocking,
71% of which plan to spend the card entirely within three months or less, while 76%
of shoppers would spend the same for a gift card as they would on a gift.

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Comdata Signs Mercury Fuels

Payment solution provider Comdata has entered into an agreement with CA-based Mercury Air Group’s
Mercury Fuels division to provide a POS system for the business aviation industry.
The point-of-sale solution automates the fuel ticket process with
easy-to-use prompts that guide the service agent through the
transaction. Driven by tail number identification, the system integrates
with existing industry software tools to enhance data transmission and
back-office efficiency. Comdata’s web-based
solution streamlines data capture and provides detailed reporting for
fixed-base operators and fractional jet organizations.

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AUGUST LEI

The Conference Board Leading Economic Index (LEI) for France increased
by 0.9% while The Conference Board Coincident Economic Index (CEI)
remained in August. With the 0.9% increase in August, the Conference
Board LEI for France now stands at 103.2 (2004=100) after having
increased 0.5% in July and increased 0.9% in June. Meanwhile, the CEI
posting for the month was preceded a 0.1% decrease in July, no change in
June and now stands at 102.9 (2004=100). LEI results for the month were
attributed to positive gains in 6 of the 7 components increasing, which
include yield spread, the stock price index, production expectations,
industrial new orders, building permits (residential)* and the ratio of
the deflator of manufacturing value added to unit labor cost for
manufacturing while negative contribution came from unemployment claims
(inverted).

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MoneyGram Coughs Up Penalty for Fraudulent Transfers

MoneyGram has agreed to pay $18 million in consumer redress to settle
FTC charges its money transfer system was used by fraudulent
telemarketers to scam millions from consumers between 2004 and 2008. The
FTC concluded MoneyGram agents knowingly helped fraudulent telemarketers
who tricked U.S. consumers into wiring more than $84 million within the
U.S. and to Canada. These consumers were tricked by being told they were
falsely hired for a secret shopper program, they had won a lottery or
were guaranteed loans. In some cases the FTC alleges MoneyGram agents in
Canada actually participated in these schemes. Moreover, 131 of its more
than 1,200 agents accounted for more than 95% of the fraud complaints it
received in 2008 regarding money transfers to Canada. At least 65 of
MoneyGram’s Canadian agents have been charged by Canadian or U.S. law
enforcers with, or are currently being investigated for, colluding in
fraud schemes that used the MoneyGram system.

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M2 EUROPE

M2 Global has acquired UK-based Altair Technologies prepaid card design
under undisclosed terms to form M2 Europe. Establishing its presence in
Europe as a leading prepaid debit card program manager and processor, M2
Europe will channel its expertise from the M2 Global flexible, secure
prepaid card processing. This development is meant to strengthen sales,
marketing, customer support and account management for all of M2’s
clients and brings valuable resources close to key financial
institutions, customers, suppliers and resellers. Executives from both
organizations see this as an opportunity to build stronger relationships
with the global clients each represents.

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Dynamic Card Unveils CardWizard 5.1

Dynamic Card Solutions has released “CardWizard 5.1” which offers enhanced features
and capabilities that create flexible instant card issuance and PIN
selection. CardWizard 5.1 is designed with optimum functionality and ease of use.
In addition to DCS CardWizard’s complete custom background selection
that enables financial institutions and retailers the ability to produce
a fully personalized, thermally printed unembossed card in real-time,
this new software release will also feature enhanced interfaces and
reporting functions, multiple language capabilities, as well as a new
menu option to specify PIN pad devices.
Companies can combine CardWizard with an array of card issuance machines and PIN pad
devices to create flexible card issuance environments to accommodate
multiple user requirements. As a component-based Windows 9x/NT/200x
software application, “CardWizard 5.1” is currently available and easily
integrates into existing branch, host and network systems and boasts an
easy-to-use administration component.

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U.S. Bancorp Acquiring Volume Slowly Rebounding

U.S. Bancorp reports that third quarter merchant acquiring volume declined 7% year-on-year to $62.0 billion, compared to an 11% year-on-year decline in the second quarter, as the number of merchants rose to 855,498. Payment Services contributed $67 million of the Company’s net income in the third quarter, a decrease of 67% from 3Q/08, but a 24% increase over the prior quarter. The decline year-over-year was primarily due to a $223 million increase in the provision for credit losses. Net interest income increased 22.5% to $55 million due to strong growth in credit card balances, partially offset by the cost of rebates on the government card program. Total noninterest expense increased by $64 million (16.2%), principally due to marketing and business development expense related to new credit card products. Average credit card outstandings rose 7.4% to $15.4 billion. Charge volume decreased 4.5% to $20.95 billion. For complete detail on U.S. Bancorp’s latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

MERCHANT ACQUIRING VOLUME HISTORICAL
3Q/07: $63,882,000,000
4Q/07: $62,382,000,000
1Q/08: $64,853,000,000
2Q/08: $66,940,000,000
3Q/08: $66,941,000,000
4Q/08: $58,630,000,000
1Q/09: $57,877,000,000
2Q/09: $59,725,000,000
3Q/09: $62,011,000,000
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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