CITICONNECT

Citibank Berhad and Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri Malaysia (LHDNM), sole
government income tax authority, have partnered to launch the
“CitiConnect” e-Tax online tax settlement solution. As the first foreign
bank in the country to provide online tax payment services to its
corporate customers, Citi Berhad’s “CitiConnect” solution offers users
24/7 convenience through its secure, online channel to initiate tax
payments to LHDNM using its built-in online form. Citibank was among the
first to introduce online financial solutions in Malaysia and offers its
wide range financial services in more than 100 countries worldwide.

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Consumer Spending Decline Stabilizes in May

The pace of decline in real consumer spending appears to have stabilized, however, recovery is being delayed by a sharp increase in consumer savings. The Deloitte “Consumer Spending Index” declined 1.35% in May from an downwardly revised gain of 1.44% a month ago. Deloitte says the recovery is being delayed by a sharp increase in consumer savings, which has risen to 5.7% from zero a year ago. Furthermore, the weakness in May was driven almost entirely by falling home prices, which are down nearly 14% over the past year, undermining small gains in real wages, a declining tax burden and current stabilization in new unemployment claims. Deloitte projects that when a recovery takes hold and spending strengthens, consumers will likely remain focused on value.

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EPAY DEBIT

EPAY online payment platform has launched its “EPAY debit card” for
personal and business money access worldwide. The “EPAY debit card” was
designed to provide consumers and small businesses access to all
participating ATMs worldwide; POS transaction capability; online
purchase capabilities; the option to establish payout card capabilities
and money remittance around the globe. Additionally, business owners are
allowed to issue 2-300 cards to their employees for payroll, commission
and benefits payment options, can pay affiliate commissions worldwide
and reduce the transaction costs of cash transfers & wires. EPAY online
payment gateway allows money transfers from around the world through its
debit cards with a variety of benefits over traditional bank accounts.

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First Data Captures More Wells Fargo Business

Wells Fargo has expanded its agreement for card processing services with First Data. Under the terms of the agreement, WF will move its newly-acquired Wachovia credit card portfolios to FDC for processing. WF will also add the “Wells Fargo Private Label” card accounts and the “Personal Credit Management” line of credit accounts to the existing Wells Fargo portfolios serviced on FDC’s system. FDC already provides data processing services, statement/letter production and mailing, plastic card personalization and fraud services for WF’s seven million plus cardholder accounts within its consumer credit and small business card portfolios. Wells Fargo has been a First Data client since 1971.

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BCI & MAGNEPRINT

MagTek secure electronic payment technology has deployed its
“MagnePrint” card authentication technology through 552 of the 996 Banco
Credito Inversiones (BCI) ATMs. Able to transforms the typical magnetic
stripe card into a dynamic token allowing the issuing bank to assess and
validate authenticity, “MagnePrint” allows the issuing bank to identify
a card as authentic or not. Using the magnetic stripe 54 byte dynamic
value-which changes with every swipe-the card is either authenticated or
declined by the “MagnePrint” enabled ATM. Subsequently, BCI has reported
4.4 million transactions on the upgraded ATMs, non of which were
detected as fraudulent. CA-based MagTek electronic devices and systems
offers banks reliable issuance, reading, transmission and security of
cards, checks, PINs and other identification documents in over 40
countries.

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Moody’s Rates BofA and Target Card ABS

Moody’s Investors Service has assigned a definitive rating of Baa1 to
the “Bank of America Class
C” credit card notes and has placed under review for possible downgrade
the Aaa ratings of the senior classes of
asset-backed notes issued by “Target Credit Card Master Trust”. The
Bank of America rating is based on the quality of the underlying credit
card receivables, the transaction’s structural protections, the
expertise of FIA Card Services, National Association as servicer, and the
credit enhancement from subordinate classes of notes in the series of
which the notes are a part. On March 2 2009, BAC added
credit enhancement for the benefit of all classes of currently
outstanding Trust securities (classes A, B and C) by creating a
subordinated, Class D interest sized at approximately 8%. The Target
review is primarily driven by substantial deterioration in some of
the Trust’s key performance metrics such as the Trust’s charge-off rate
which has increased substantially over the last 12 months,
nearly doubling from a rate of 8.7% in April of last year to reach an
all-time high of 15.7% in April 2009. This pace of deterioration exceeds
that of the industry as measured by Moody’s Credit Card Index. In
addition, the Trust’s principal payment rate, a measure of the
principal payments that obligors make on their balances each month, has
been falling consistently since early 2007.

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APACS & HYC

Hypercom has announced its payment solutions have been accredited for
use in the UK by Association of Payments And Clearing Services (APACS).
Hypercom payment solutions accredited by APACS include its “Artema
Modular” unattended payment terminal, its “P2100” PIN Pad, and its
Optimum “T4200” platform with options for dial, IP and GPRS
connectivity, the M4200 Bluetooth and GPRS mobile terminals, and the
“S9” PIN Pad. “Artema Modular” is meant for use at kiosks, vending and
other self-service machines while Optimum “P2100” PIN Pad provides users
an integrated privacy shield, a high-contrast full graphics display,
color-coded and DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) compliant keypad and
complies with Chip & PIN standards. Hypercom payment technology delivers
secure, end-to-end electronic payment products and services to retailers
in more than 100 countries.

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TASC Warns Consumers on Credit Counseling

The Association of Settlement Companies (TASC) warns to exercise caution
when seeking credit counseling and is fully supporting the Credit Card
Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (Credit CARD) Reform Act
designed to protect consumers. The act seeks to stamp out deceptive
practices used by credit card companies to lure consumers into debt,
companies which ironically contribute to credit counseling companies
through pre-arranged agreements while debt settlement companies receive
fees only from the debtor client. TASC was established in 2005 as a
non-profit watchdog for self-regulating debt-settlement and seeks to
help individuals overcome financial distress, promotes fair business
practices, consumer protection and industry standards for the industry.

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SINOPAY GPP

Sino Payments payment card processing services is deploying its “SinoPay
GPP” (Global Processing Platform) in Shanghai and Macau to service Asian
regional supermarkets and retailers, mostly in China. With a volume of
16.7 billion bankcard-based transactions in China valued at nearly $18.6
trillion-a 22.5% and 14.1% increase respectively over 2007-the card
processing industry serves 1.2 million merchants and 1.8 million POS
machines for the 1.8 billion payment cards currently in circulation.
NV-based Sino Payments converts transaction processing systems, focusing
on providing IP credit and
debit card processing services.

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Merchant Trade Groups Advocate PCI DSS Changes

Several trade associations representing merchants have sent a letter to the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council to offer suggestions. Their recommendations: incorporate a formal review and comment phase on revisions to the “PCI DSS” by participating membership before they are issued; ensure the amount of time from issuance of a revision to the “PCI DSS” and the effective date is appropriate for all merchants; follow, and adopt, the “ASC X9” announcement of its plan to develop a new standard to protect cardholder data that may include end to end data encryption; utilize the concepts of key controls and controls rationalization to restructure the more than two hundred detailed requirements of the “PCI DSS”; and require credit card companies and their banks to provide merchants with the option of keeping nothing more than the authorization code provided at the time of sale and a truncated receipt. The letter was signed by the National Retail Federation, National Restaurant Association, American Hotel and Lodging Association, National Council of Chain Restaurants, Association for Convenience & Petroleum Retailing, Merchant Advisory Group and the International Franchise Association.

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NBB & SINNAD

National Bank of Bahrain has signed a deal with the Sinnad Company to issue the smart card for its ATM cards and Visa/MasterCard credit cards. NBB recently received certification from Visa, MasterCard and Benefit in producing EMV-compliant cards. The new chip-based cards are expected to get into production shortly. Sinnad will handle the production and personalization of NBB’s new smart debit and credit cards. NBB is Bahrain’s first locally owned bank and has the largest network with 24 branches and 51 ATMs. National Bank of Bahrain is also the first bank in Bahrain to win “JPMorgan Chase’s Quality Recognition Award” for a record 8th consecutive year.

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More Hypercom Products Get APACS Accreditation

Hypercom’s “Artema Modular” unattended payment terminal and “P2100 PIN Pad” have received APACS “Common Criteria” accreditation for use in the UK. APACS has also accredited Hypercom’s “Optimum” family including the “T4200” platform with options for dial, IP and GPRS connectivity, the “M4200 Bluetooth” and “GPRS” mobile terminals, and the “S9 PIN Pad.” “Artema Modular” was introduced at the end of 2005 and can now be found in kiosks, vending, petrol and other self-service machines deployed in Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and North America. The “P2100 PIN Pad” offers a range of chip and magnetic stripe card reader configurations.

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