GE to Issue the Lumber Liquidators Card

GE Money has signed a multi-year agreement with hardwood specialty retailer Lumber Liquidators to provide
consumer financing. The Lumber
Liquidators credit card offers consumers a no annual fee card with
special financing options and online account management. The card is
managed by GE Money’s Sales Finance unit, which provides billions of
dollars of consumer financing through more than 145,000 small business
locations on Main Streets across the United States.
GE Money provides credit card programs and financial services for consumers
through dealers; national, regional and independent retailers;
associations; contractors; manufacturers; healthcare practices; and
service providers in nearly 20 industries.

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More Stores Re-Launch Christmas Club Gift Cards

After being shelved for years due to high administrative costs, “Christmas Club” store cards are back. Stage Stores has joined Sears and Kmart in launching new cards this season, according to CardTrak.com.
Beginning October 16th, Bealls, Goody’s, Palais Royal, Peebles and Stage will offer a “Christmas Cash Club” that will reward customers with $10 for each $100 they load on their Cash Club gift card. Also, rewards will be earned based on the card’s balance on November 21st. With the Sears “Christmas Club” gift card, customers can deposit funds on the cards and be eligible for a 3% reward. Also, customers who activate cards through October 31th, earn the 3% reward based on the card balance on November 14th. The new “Christmas Club” card can only be used at Sears/ Kmart and the maximum reward value is $100.

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Late Stage Delinquency Begins to Decline in Q3

Over the past twelve months average managed delinquency (90+ days) among the nation’s top three issuers increased 84 basis points, rising from 2.12% for 3Q/08 to 2.96% in 3Q/09. However, for the first time since the start of the recession, delinquency rates began to decline the third quarter, according to CardData. All three major issuers reported sequential declines in their late stage delinquency rate. Chase reported that its managed delinquency rate for the third quarter was 2.76%, up from 1.77% in the prior year, but down from 3.25% in the prior quarter. BofA reported that third quarter delinquency for its global cards declined to 3.76%, compared to 4.21% for 2Q/09, but up from 2.88% one-year ago. Citi posted managed delinquency for its North American cards of 2.37% for the third quarter, compared to 2.62% in the second quarter and up from 1.73% in the third quarter of last year. For complete details on third quarter results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

DELINQUENCY HISTORICAL
BofA* Chase Citi**
3Q/08: 2.88% 1.77% 1.73%
4Q/08: 3.16% 2.34% 2.16%
1Q/09: 3.99% 3.22% 2.60%
2Q/09: 4.21% 3.25% 2.62%
3Q/09: 3.76% 2.76% 2.37%
* Global Cards
** North America cards
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Retailers Face Serious Bargain Hunters in 2009

With 65% of Americans foreseeing an economic impact on their holiday plans, 84% are spending less. Also, 55% will be shopping for sales more often; 42% are using more coupons; 34% are reusing decorations; 36% are planning to buy more practical gifts; 17% will be purchasing joint gifts; 16.7% will make gifts; and 29% are traveling less or not at all for the holidays. Additional findings, according to NRF’s 2009 “Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey” by BIGresearch, show U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $682.74 on holiday-related shopping, 3.2% less Y/Y; 43.3% say sales and price discounts will most determine where to shop; 70.1% of shoppers will purchase from discounters; 55.8% will also shop at department stores; 42.4% will shop on the Internet; and 11.4% of shoppers plan to buy gifts at thrift stores/resale shops. Concerning recipients, 55.2% would like to receive a gift card this holiday season, 48.8% want clothing, 48.6% asked for books and DVDs while 33.2% want electronics. The NRF expects holiday sales to decline 1.0% to $437.6 billion.

XMAS GIFT POPULARITY
Gift Cards: 55.2%
Clothing: 48.8%
Books/DVDs: 48.6%
Electronics: 33.2%
Source: NRF

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Americans More Willing to Accept POS Biometrics

A new survey has found that 65% of Americans are at least very
concerned about identity theft and 64% feel the same way about credit
and debit card fraud. However, 58% are willing to provide biometric data to
merchants and financial institutions to verify and authenticate their
identity. About 93% said they would be willing to use fingerprint scans,
while 79% are willing to use iris recognition. The Unisys “Security
Index” says that is an increase of 20% and 17%, respectively, since
consumers were surveyed in November of last year. Americans who are
seriously concerned about the security of their online transactions rose
to 42%, the highest level since the “Index” began two years ago. Only
22% of Americans fully trust government agencies to keep personal
information secure and private and the proportion is only slightly
better (29%) with regard to trust in data protection by financial
institutions.

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PAYDAY LOAN REGS

National Money Mart, the lowest cost payday loan provider in British
Columbia below the government’s rate cap, is welcoming regulation of the
payday loan industry in the Province effective November 1, 2009. With
this, British Columbia is allowed to implement its own rates and
regulations with respect to the governance of payday lending which, in
combination with Nova Scotia and Ontario, account for over 75% of Money
Mart’s company-operated store base. Money Mart is a founding member of
the Canadian Payday Loan Association (CPLA) that has been working for
five years towards provincial regulation of the industry while its
parent global store network consists of 1,206 stores, including 1,031
company-operated financial services stores and 175 franchised and agent
locations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Republic of
Ireland, and Poland.

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Duane Reade Renews MoneyGram Contract

Global payment provider MoneyGram International has
renewed its agent agreement with NY-based drugstore chain Duane Reade. As part of the multi-year agreement, MoneyGram
introduced Utility Bill Payment services at Duane Reade locations that
already offer MoneyGram money transfers, money orders and
ExpressPayment services for urgent bill payment and reload options for
prepaid debit cards. MoneyGram International helps consumers to pay bills
quickly and safely send money around the world in as little as 10
minutes. Its global network is comprised of 180,000 agent locations in
190 countries and territories.

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CONVERGED IAM

Identita has been selected to install and manage of one of the largest
converged logical-physical identity and access management installations
in the world. For a large national airline carrier in the Middle East,
whose identity is not being disclosed, Identita will be deploying its
“Converged IAM”, which creates one identity assigned to one credential
that encompasses all of an identity’s logical and physical access
privileges. When one set of physical or logical privileges change, an
automatic alteration is triggered for complementary revisions in the
other set. Converging identities address time-consuming, expensive and
inefficient management encountered through disconnected logical and
physical identities proliferation.

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Monitise Mobile Money Manager Hits Milestone

UK-based Monitise global mobile money specialists has registered its one millionth customer following a period of rapid growth in the uptake of its industry-leading services. The Monitise “Mobile Money Manager” platform handles 25 million transactions annually with debit card activation, balance texting and alerts to help people avoid going overdrawn. Research projects the mobile payments market will be worth GBP365 billion by 2013 with 110 million users in Europe by 2014. Current Montise partners include VocaLink, FIS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, first direct, Alliance & Leicester, Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Ulster, Visa, Vodafone, Orange, O2, T-Mobile and 3.

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GUESTLOGIX & NORTHWEST

Northwest Airlines has chosen to implement GuestLogix POS handhelds and
retail transaction platform across its fleet of passenger planes. It was
late 2007 when Delta began using the GuestLogix platform, a leading
provider of onboard retail solutions to the airline industry. This comes
on the heels of GuestLogix having signed deployment agreements for
WestJet, having made available the ” Mobile Virtual Store” on-board POS
system to allow guests to purchase buy-on-board items with their payment
cards on all WestJet flights. Passengers are given the convenience to
pay in either Canadian or U.S. currency or to use their Visa, MasterCard
or American Express cards (CardFlash International 10/7/2009).

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Tempo Intros a SaaS Card Platform

CA-based affinity card enabler Tempo has rolled out a SaaS platform to
enable organizations to offer open loop debit cards and loyalty rewards.
Tempo’s new solution is supported by an innovative software-as-a-service
(SaaS) technology platform, which makes it easy for organizations to
offer affinity and co-branded debit cards. It is also easy for consumers
to apply, activate their cards, and track purchases online. Working with
First Bank & Trust, Tempo manages all aspects of card issuance,
including risk management, application processing, card fulfillment,
authorization and settlement. The debit cards enabled by Tempo are
issued by First Bank
& Trust, of Brookings, SD, part of Fishback Financial Corporation.
Tempo’s platform enables these cards to be linked to cardholders’
pre-existing checking accounts.

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ING & NCR

NCR is set to provide at least 1,200 “SelfServTM 34” ATMs with
cash-recycling functionality for ING Belgium at their Proxi branches.
Proxi branches highlight “self bank” self-service and customer advice
areas and, with this NCR deployment, reduce safety risk to staff and
customers, not to mention greater autonomy in day-to-day banking. Cash
deposited through the units, which have a capacity of approximately
16,000 notes, will be re-dispensed to subsequent customers making
withdrawals. ING Belgium has taken a clear lead with this approach,
requesting automatic cash-recycling modules on almost all the 1,200 ATMs
for installation, 95% of which will be installed inside branches. This
is the most extensive deployment of cash-recycling ATMs in Europe.

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