Frequent Flyer Programs Should be Explored

Carlson Marketing has released a white paper that explores the pros and
cons for airlines selling off frequent flyer programs.
The paper, “Spinning Off Frequent Flyer Programs in Turbulent
Times”indicates there are six compelling reasons for selling off an
airline’s frequent flyer program that include raising capital, unlocking
value, accelerate revenue growth,achieve economies of scale and improve
customer relationship management and data analysis. The disadvantages
include program delivery and how intertwined the program is in the
airline operations, short term views, unpredictability of future events,
capital gain is a one time event, the imbalance of power between the
frequent flyer program and the airline, the impact on global alliances
and current liabilities.

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PayPal Q2 Revenue Rises 12% as Accounts Jump 20%

eBay reported that PayPal posted $669 million in net revenue for the
second quarter, an increase of 11% year-over-year driven in part by
“Bill Me Later” transactions. Net total payment volume for the quarter
was $16.7 billion, an increase of 12% year-over-year. Global active
registered accounts increased to 75.4 million, representing 20%
year-over-year growth. During the second quarter, PayPal handled 259.6
million payments, a 2% increase over the prior quarter, and up 23% from
2Q/08. PayPal’s 2Q/09 transaction revenue rate decreased to 3.77% from
the prior quarter and is 12 basis points lower lower than the previous
year rate. The processing expense rate for the second quarter edged down
slightly to 1.15% which is lower than the prior year at 1.23%. PayPal’s
transaction loss rate went up two basis points to 0.30%. For “Bill Me
Later” credit transaction the delinquency rate (90+ days) was 4.64% for
the quarter, up from 4.57% in the first quarter. The “Bill me Later”
charge-off rate hit 11.08% in 2Q/09, compared to 8.95% for 1Q/09. For
complete details on eBay/PayPal’s second quarter performance, visit
CardData (www.carddata.com).

PAYPAL HISTORICAL
$VOLUME #ACCOUNTS
2Q/08: $14.9 billion 62.6 million
3Q/08: $14.8 billion 65.3 million
4Q/08: $16.0 billion 70.4 million
1Q/09: $15.9 billion 73.1 million
2Q/09: $16.7 billion 75.4 million
SOURCE: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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INACTIVE CARDS

Given that 16.3 million consumers have an average of 2.3 credit cards they no longer use, 7% of whom have as many six, totaling 38 million useless
credit cards for a credit limit of GBP200 billion, many are faced with
the question of whether or not to close their account. Most are keeping
their accounts open for backup funds in case of emergency, potentially
impacting credit scores negatively given how providers weigh timely debt
payment. Fraud is also a possibility with GBP54.1 million spent on lost
and stolen credit cards in 2008. Dormant accounts are attractive to
fraudsters because of the low attention they receive. Additional research
from uSwitch.com shows 7.8 million balance transfers were conducted in
2008 with just 46% of people closing card accounts they no longer use
and almost 10 million consumers try to recession-proof themselves by not
using their credit cards. uSwitch reps recommend users close down any
credit card accounts not in use and canceling for eligibility as a ‘new
cardholder’. The best deals on the market are usually available to new
cardholders.

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GLOBAL PAY-PLUS

Results of the mass payments benchmark test conducted in the UK-based
Sun Microsystems’ Solution Center were announced by Fundtech global
transaction banking solutions. “Global PAYplus” processed 10 million
payments per hour to demonstrate linear scalability, sustained system
throughput and incorporated complete transaction processing of payment
card transfer payments. The benchmark test was conducted on Sun M5000’s
in March to emulate payment processing scenarios with “BICplusIAN” files
loaded on an active database of 70+ million payments. The tests
conducted include Sustained Throughput; Soak Test; Scalability; and
Latency while the transactions tested were a combination of book
transfers, credit transfers, and direct debits. Sun and Fundtech
concluded the system is capable of handling over 50 million payments per
hour.

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Weak EMEA Sales Drive Q2 NCR Revenues Down 16%

NCR reported that second quarter net income fell nearly 49% to $23 million as revenue slipped about 16% to $1.12 billion, compared to 2Q/08. Negative factors affecting revenue included foreign currency translation and lower financial product sales in the EMEA region. Revenue for the Americas was off by 13%, Asia Pacific and Japan was down 2% and EMEA declined by 25%. During the second quarter, NCR embarked on a plan to create a new global self-service innovation headquarters and a separate state-of-the-art, clean-energy based manufacturing facility for the company’s next generation of NCR “SelfServ” ATM solutions in Columbus, GA. In Brazil, NCR is committed to creating a new manufacturing and research and development center which will produce advanced ATM’s for Brazil, Latin America and Caribbean markets. In April, NCR purchased TNR Holdings, the second largest DVD kiosk operator in North America, with the goal of expanding the NCR “SelfServ Entertainment” portfolio across the continent as part of its strategic partnership with Blockbuster. NCR also invested in e-Play. For more details on NCR’s second quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

NCR REVENUE HISTORICAL
2Q/08: $1.33 billion
3Q/08: $1.38 billion
4Q/08: $1.42 billion
1Q/09: $1.01 billion
2Q/09: $1.12 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Epicor Software is PCI-DSS Certified

CA-based Epicor Software’s “Retail Software as a Service” hosted solution has been awarded compliance
status by Visa with the PCI-DSS version 1.1. “Epicor Retail SaaS” is an all-inclusive offering developed, implemented
and delivered directly to stores and head
office via high-speed persistent networks. The solutions included in
Epicor’s Saas offering give retailers the same advanced functionality as
best-of-breed systems used by the world’s leading retailers, in a format
that dramatically reduces capital investment and implementation
requirements. Epicor offers software, hardware, services, and support which enables the SaaS to minimize in-house
resource requirements and overall total cost of ownership.
Customers and prospects can now find Epicor on the VISA Global List of PCI DSS Validated Service Providers.

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INGENICO 2Q/09

Ingenico’s consolidated revenue for the second quarter declined 3% at constant exchange rates to 175.7 million euros, compared to the prior year quarter. Revenue declined in all regions except China/Asia, up 71%, and Latin America, up 7%. In Latin America the increase was driven by good performance in Brazil and Mexico. In China/Asia-Pacific the solid increase was attributable to Australia, China, and the consolidation of Landi in the Group perimeter. On June 30th, Ingenico completed the disposal of Sagem Denmark and Manison Finland to BBS, a provider of electronic ID, payment and information solutions in the Nordics. The disposal, which is combined with a strategic partnership for the distribution by BBS of Ingenico’s Telium-based terminals in this region, allows Ingenico to reinforce the group financial structure. For complete details on Ingenico’s second quarter performance visit CardData (www.carddata.com).

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WINCOR 2Q/09

Wincor Nixdorf fiscal 2008/2009 year posted net sales of EUR1,729
million so far, a decline of 1% over the previous year, operating profit
(EBITA) fell by 9% to EUR138 million and 6% profit for the period to
EUR87 million. The worst of the first nine months was seen in the third
quarter with net sales of EUR496 million and an EBITA of EUR35 million
for a year-on-year decline of 11% and 31%, respectively. Although net
sales in Germany for the year soared 17% to EUR484 million, across the
rest of Europe, sales declined of 13% from the year ago period to EUR805
million, in Asia/Pacific/Africa declined by 1% and in the America
region increased only by 1% to EUR146 million. In response, Wincor
Nixdorf has launched its “ProFuture” program in an effort to realign its
performance, to position itself more sustainably for the post-crisis
market and complement measures for reducing cost levels.

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TELSTRA CARD FEES

Hiking existing credit card payment processing fee 1% of the payment
amount for MasterCard, VISA, and American Express and to 2% of the
payment amount for Diners Club, Telstra is set to introduce its new bill
payment fees. Starting September 14th, Telstra is focusing on
assessing residential and business customers using bill payment methods
accruing a higher cost with increased fees. The Organization is charging a
$2.20 administration fee for each bill payment sent by mail or made in
person at a Telstra Shop or Australia Post unless an exemption applies.
Millions of customers, however, will be offered exemptions from these
new fees.

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Bankrate Sells for $571MM as Profits Sink 54%

London-based Apax Partners, a major investor in financial services and media, has signed a deal to purchase Bankrate for about $571 million in cash. The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Savingforcollege.com, Fee Disclosure, InsureMe, CreditCardGuide.com and Bankaholic.com. Recent investments by the Apax Partners Media and Financial & Business Services division include: Trader Media, EMap, Cengage Learning, Travelex, Hub International, Global Refund and Azimut. Separately, Bankrate reported preliminary second quarter results which show that total revenue for the second quarter fell 23% year-on-year to $31 million. Net income is expected to be $1.9 million, compared to $4.1 million for 2Q/08. As of yesterday the Apax deal represented a premium of 15.8% over Tuesday’s closing stock price and 18.2% over the average closing price for the previous ten trading days.

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