Consumers More Sensitive to Bank Fees

A new impact report issued by Javelin reveals that banks risk losing customers sensitive to fees.
Seven years of Javelin consumer survey data
underscore the necessity of designing banking products and services to
serve the customers’ craving for financial control, as 8 out of 10
online households now bank online. Some questions posed in the report include:
how fast will online banking and bill-pay adoption grow over the
next five years; how active are users of online-banking and bill-pay services;
can banks use online-banking and bill-pay services to boost
revenues, increase customer loyalty, reduce costs and create cross-selling opportunities;
can mid-size banks and credit unions boost the performance of
their online-banking services to better compete with giant national financial institutions
and what services can make online banking more appealing to consumers?

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Asta Funding Returns to Profitability in Q2

Asta Funding reported second calendar quarter revenues of $17.3 million, a 27% decline over the same period in 2008. However, the Company returned to profitability after two quarters of reported losses.
Net income for the quarter was $1.5 million, compared to net income of $2.4 million for the year ago period. The profitability was attributed to prudent actions in cost management and debt reduction. The Company completed $13.8 million of portfolio acquisitions with a face value of $335.6 million during the quarter, compared to $2.7 million of acquisitions during the first six months of fiscal year 2009. Net cash collections of consumer receivables acquired for liquidation, including
net cash collections represented by account sales decreased 23% to $37.6 million for the quarter, but increased slightly over the prior quarter’s
$36.9 million. For complete details on Asta Funding’s latest performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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HSBC USA 2Q/09

HSBC reported that its Personal Financial Services business in the U.S. posted a pre-tax loss of $2.9 billion for the first half of this year, compared with a loss of $2.2 billion in the first half of 2008. HSBC USA Consumer Finance, which includes private label and co-brand credit cards such as the “General Motors MasterCard,” reported a pre-tax profit of $90 million for the second quarter, compared to a $12 million loss for 2Q/08. Operating income jumped 61% to $604 million for 2Q/09, primarily due to higher late fees on higher delinquencies in the private label and co-brand credit card portfolios. HSBC USA also reported that managed delinquency (60+ days) for its private label cards was flat sequentially at 4.21%, but up from last year’s 3.43%. Managed delinquency for V/MC credit cards hit 4.23% in the second quarter, compared to 3.44% in prior quarter and 4.55% one-year ago. HSBC ended the quarter with $15.1 billion in private label outstandings and $13.8 billion in credit card outstandings. For more details on HSBC’s second quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Travelex Names a New VP/Currency Select

Foreign exchange service Travelex has appointed Paul Ackermann to VP, Currency Select Sales-North America.
Ackermann has over 25 years of experience in senior management,
sales and marketing, particularly in the technology and financial products field.
He has been with Travelex for two years and prior to that worked for 10 years with
First Data Resources. Previously, Ackermann had been the Head of
Sales for North America in Travelex’s Outsourcing division. This new position will
allow him to focus solely on generating new Currency Select business in the
United States and Canada. Travelex Currency Select is a proven, global solution offered to
merchant and ATM acquirers that process international transactions at an ATM, online or POS.

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AmEx and Hilton Launch a Shutterfly Promo

American Express has teamed with Hilton Hotels and online photo
publisher Shutterfly to offer a $55 Shutterfly photo reward.
Travelers who use Hilton Family’s signature online group booking tool to
reserve rooms and complete their stay at participating hotels between
August 1, 2009 and January 31, 2010 using an American Express ® Card
qualify for a reward from Shutterfly.
Whether booking guest rooms or event space for a wedding, a family
reunion, a business meeting or beyond, guests will also get the added
bonus of $55 toward Shutterfly photo merchandise so they can capture and
preserve those memories for years to come. By booking using an
American Express Card, once guests reach the $2,000 spend threshold for
their room block or event, they are eligible to receive a $55 shopping
spree at Shutterfly to purchase products such as a hard-cover photo
book, photo prints, or a collage poster – all via the Shutterfly web site.

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DIEBOLD 2Q/09

Diebold reported that second quarter revenue declined 9% to $700.5 million, but net income rose 5% to $30.6 million. Revenue in the EMEA region was off 31% while the Americas posted a 5% decline and Asia a 2% decline. The Company’s Financial Self-Service Division, mostly its ATM business, posted a 2% decline in second quarter revenue to $536.2 million. ATM product revenue was up 2% while ATM services was down 7% for 2Q/09, compared to 2Q/08. In the Americas financial self-service orders decreased more than 30%, primarily due to a difficult comparison to the prior-year period when the company had two very large orders in Brazil. Orders in the EMEA region decreased more than 40%, but orders in Asia Pacific increased more than 50%. Diebold is forecasting that total revenue will be down 13% to 7% while financial self-service revenue will be off by 8% to 2% for the 2009 full year. For complete detail on Diebold’s latest results visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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Bankruptcy Filings Hit a New Post Reform High

The number of U.S. consumer bankruptcy filings rose at a 34% annual clip in July, setting a new high since the 2005 bankruptcy reform.
The number of filings also increased nearly 9% sequentially. According to the American Bankruptcy Institute and the National Bankruptcy Research, consumer filings totaled 126,434 in July, compared to 116,345 in June and 94,124 in July 2008. Chapter 13 filings constituted 28% of all consumer cases in July, up slightly from June. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts total bankruptcy filings rose in the first quarter by 34.5% from 33.1% in the fourth quarter. Total filings in the first quarter of this year hit 330,477, compared to 301,317 for the fourth quarter and 245,695 one-year ago. Consumer filings for the 12-month period ending March 31st, totaled 1,153,412, up 32.4% from the same period one-year ago. (CF Library 6/9/09)

BANKRUPTCY FILINGS
Jun 08: 82,770
Jul 08: 94,124
Aug 08: 96,413
Sep 08: 88,663
Oct 08: 106,266
Nov 08: 99,925
Dec 08: 84,926
Jan 09: 88,773
Feb 09: 98,344
Mar 09: 121,413
Apr 09: 125,618
May 09: 124,838
Jun 09: 116,345
Jul 09: 126,434
Source: ABI/NBKRC; CardData.com

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WESTPAC FEES

Westpac intends to initiate an across-the-board reduction in all
exception fees to $9 on its credit cards and savings and transaction
accounts. Maintaining its customer-focused strategy, the fee reduction
pertains to overdraft fees, dishonour fees, credit card missed payment
and over the limit fees for both personal and business accounts. The
decision to implement this initiative follows Westpac’s review of the
fees over the past 18 months. Effective October 1, 2009, the new policy
will benefit a total of 5 million personal and business customers.
Westpac has 1.2 million active customers, over 5,500 staff, almost 200
branches and over 500 ATMs nationwide (CardFlash International 6/18/2009).

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I-SERVICE STATION

CNOOC offshore oil and gas producer has signed agreements with Wincor
Nixdorf. These agreements stipulate the installation of Wincor Nixdorf
“Beetle iSprint” POS and “i-SERVICE STATION” hardware and software on
the NAMOS software platform. Impacting over 500 CNOOC service stations
across the country, the agreements ensure the company build its
expanding service station network in conjunction with car
ownership-growth across China. Optimizing processes and driving new
revenue streams, the “i-SERVICE STATION” uses “NAMOS compact,” “NAMOS
retail” and “NAMOS paylane OPT” solutions to manage the entire service
station operation from a central POS system on a common software platform.

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U.S. Bank Tests Unembossed/payWave Debit Card

U.S. Bank has become the first U.S. card issuer to add “Visa payWave” technology to an unembossed debit card that is issued instantly to an account holder upon opening an account. The new card is being tested at select U.S. Bank branches in Denver and Salt Lake City. Under the program, the permanent debit card can be issued in the branch at the time the customer opens a checking account and the unembossed personalization provides greater security and customer satisfaction and “payWave” speeds up the payment process. Dynamic Card Solutions is providing the software and hardware necessary to personalize and issue the debit cards instantly at the branches.

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FSV Payment Systems Lands Walmart Card Exec

Prepaid card product provider FSV Payment Systems has appointed James “Jim” Grabow, previously with Walmart, to Chief Retail Partners Executive.
Grabow is responsible for leading the development and delivery of prepaid card
programs for FSV’s financial services partners. Grabow joins FSV after several years in Walmart’s Card Products
division, where he served as Senior Director and was responsible for
strategic leadership of the Walmart MoneyCard Prepaid Visa® and Visa
Gift Card programs. Grabow holds an MBA from Colorado State University
and an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering with a minor in
Business from Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado.

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CONCUR & ETAP-ON-LINE

Concur on-demand Employee Spend Management services has acquired
Etap-On-Line business travel and expense management solutions. Concur
will discuss the acquisition of Etap-On-Line on its fiscal 2009 third
quarter earnings call, which will be open to the public through
www.concur.com. This development is focused on expanding Concur’s
investment and presence in Europe and ultimately driving innovation for
existing Etap-On-Line customers. The partnership is also focused on
helping clients across both the travel and expense industry, globally
and locally. The acquisition will be accretive to fiscal 2010 pro forma
earnings.

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