ACS Wins an Award for OK Benefits MC

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services and Affiliated Computer
Services have won a “2009 Quality Award” for their debit MasterCard
program for state benefits. The Quality Award recognizes OKDHS
projects that best serve the citizens of Oklahoma. ACS is an operational
partner to OKDHS by administering its electronic
payment card program that provides state benefits to citizens on a debit
MasterCard. OKDHS’ team contacted Oklahomans who are recipients of the
State
Supplemental program to make them aware of their available benefits and
help them receive the funds. The eight-week program reached
out to approximately 800 clients, connecting them with more than
$425,000 in benefits. ACS assisted by providing no-cost services and the
information necessary to help the state make the funds quickly
available. ACS serves
as an operational partner to more than 1,700 government agencies on the
federal, state, county and local level. ACS manages 22 electronic
payment card programs for state and federal clients, disbursing
government payments and benefits.

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Maverick Network Solutions Adds 2 Execs

Prepaid program provider Maverick Network Solutions has hired Barbara
Hvasta, previously with First Bank, as VP of Product Management and Jill
Boova, previously with SynapQuest, as VP, Client Relations. Hvasta
served as vice president/general manager
for First Bank’s prepaid card program in Nashville, TN. She has an
extensive background in loyalty, rewards, and co-brand programs, having
headed MasterCard’s international loyalty rewards consulting and
co-branding team as well as serving as vice president of co-branding for
Visa. Hvasta also held senior management positions at US Bank Voyager
Fleet Systems and Dell, Inc. Boova adds financial and credit card
processing experience to Maverick,
having served as vice president of program support for SynapQuest, LP, a
subsidiary of Corestates Financial, after which Boova became a
consultant for the Personal Financial Services division of Wilmington
Trust, where she was instrumental in launching the bank’s on-line
personal deposit products.

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PLAY.COM PLAYPOINTS

Offering users competitive rates and rewards, Play.com online UK
retailer, along with MBNA Europe, has launched its new PLAY.com / MBNA
credit card in an effort to attract business and generate loyalty. The
multi-layered rewards scheme offers cardholders one ‘PlayPoint’ for
every GBP spent and two ‘PlayPoints’ for every GBP spent on any of
PLAY.com’s 8 million products. Additionally, 1,500 bonus ‘PlayPoints’
will be rewarded upon the cardholders first purchase, which can be
redeemed for a GBP15 Voucher, while the reward points can also be
redeemed for all
purchases at PLAY.com. The PLAY.com card has an interest free purchase
period of 9 months (compared with the industry standard of 3 months),
has an APR of 15.9%, offers a low introductory balance transfer fee,
online banking and standard fraud protection.

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Online Card Marketing Revenues Collapse

Websites marketing credit cards for a bounty per approved account have been taking it on the chin this year as more issuers pull the plug on Internet marketing or tighten underwriting standards. The average number of paid offers has declined by 50% over the past twelve months with revenues declining by an estimated 65%. According to
CardWatch the average number of paid credit card offers appearing on the
top card marketing sites in May was 38, compared to more than 70
one-year ago and as many as 188 in 2007. In addition to suspending paid
online marketing for credit cards, some issuers have insisted that their
non-bounty paying cards be removed from consumer-related credit card sites. With the exception of CardTrak, which currently offers consumers 447 credit card offers, the card choice for consumers is limited to paid
offers. However, [CardTrak.com](http://CardTrak.com) reports that U.S. Bank, Barclays, Chase, and
Capital One have asked that all non-paying cards be removed too. Bank of
America has stopped advertising online totally. Chase and Capital One have pulled advertising back and will not approve any new Websites. One year ago creditcards.com pulled the plug on its $100 million+ IPO in the wake of a tough public market and deteriorating marketing conditions. (CF Library 6/3/09)

TOP CREDIT CARD SITES
(Number of Paid Offers)

bankrate.com 55
creditcardguide.com 48
cardtrak.com 47
credit.com 43
cardratings.com 41
lowcards.com 40
creditcards.com 37
credit-land.com 31
creditcardcity.com 21
creditcardmenu.com 19
Source: CardWatch (www.cardwatch.com)

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CREDIT CARD PLUS

Co-operative Bank is launching its family travel and lifestyle benefit
package for its credit card products allowing customers to choose
benefits of their liking. Available for a monthly subscription of
GBP 8.50, customers are given such core benefits as worldwide travel
insurance; mobile phone insurance; worldwide insurance for a digital
camera; camcorder and three iPods; 20% off home insurance provided by
The Co-operative Insurance; 40% off a family holiday; and 20% off a
family ticket to the London Aquarium. Additionally, subscribers are
allowed to add one of the following; “Option 1: Gadget Insurance” for MP3, cameras, laptops, camcorders, SatNav and portable DVD players and games consoles etc. worth up to GBP 179.98; “Option 2: Safeguard” against ID theft and resolution package (key recovery service and handbag & contents insurance); and “Option 3: Traveller” providing four free airport lounge passes per year, “Airport Angel” annual membership, a passport and luggage recovery service worth up to GBP 129.50. The
Co-operative Financial Services is part of The Co-operative Group, has
5.5 million customers, employs over 8,000 staff and has GBP 38billion assets under management.

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USA Technology Ships the ePort EDGE

Cashless solution provider USA Technologies is now shipping the “ePort
EDGE” all-in-one device with faster credit and debit card
authentication. The “EDGE,” which is priced at $199, is equipped with
enhanced features including an “Over-the-Air Update” capability that
allows changes to be made to codes and encryption remotely, by wireless,
overcoming the need of visiting each terminal to make the changes. USA
Technologies also offers the “ePort G8” which accepts payment via
contactless cards, NFC enabled cell phones and key fobs. Earlier this
month the Company announced the availability of “ePort SDK”, a software
version of its “ePort” cashless transaction technology that includes
enhanced security features. The software-based “ePort SDK” is designed
for applications in which a customer’s unattended point of sale solution
has computing power ‘built in’ – overcoming the need for a standard
ePort terminal. The Company’s “ePort,” “eSuds” and other payment devices
are installed in approximately 48,000 locations across the U.S. and
Canada. (CF Library 5/13/09)

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SCOTIABANK 1Q/09

Scotiabank reported a net income of $872 million for the first calendar quarter, down $108 million
by 11% compared with 4Q08. Quarter over quarter, however, net income
increased $30 million by 4% with a provision for credit losses of $489
million. This is an increase of $336 million from the same period last
year and is a $208 million increase since 1Q09. The bank reported a
funded commit- exposure to credit card/consumer receivables of $125
million with allowance for net credit losses on credit cards of $154
million. Scotiabank’s unaudited consolidated balance sheet reflects
personal loans and credit cards total $52,847,000,000 while gross
allowance is $965,000,000. In March, Scotiabank introduced its new
“Scotia Momentum” VISA offering cardholders 2% cash back on purchases
and recurring payments.
Scotiabank employs over 69,000 serving 12.8 million customers in nearly
50 countries and has generated over $509 billion in assets.

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BANCA CARIGE & DIEBOLD

Banca Carige has signed agreements with Diebold for the deployment of
Diebold “Agilis” software and “Opteva” ATMs at its “BancaCONTINUA”
branches. This will provide 250 Banca Carige ATM locations a
multichannel, multivendor platform based on Agilis software for cash
dispensers, ATM cheque book dispensers, ATM foreign currency dispensers,
ATM cash/cheque deposit units, night drop depository and self-service
information terminals. Agilis multichannel software is installed in 500
ATMs serving Banca Carige customers, which has over 1,000 outlets
throughout Italy. Meanwhile OH-based Diebold integrated self-service
delivery and security systems employs over 17,000 in nearly 90 countries.

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Online Advertised Job Vacancies Rise

There are some indications that the employment situation is improving slightly. This is good news for credit card issuers who historically finds that charge-offs and unemployment rise in tandem.
The Conference Board “Help-Wanted Online Data Series” reveals online advertised vacancies rose 250,000 to 3,367,000 in May, however, even with this month’s increase, online advertised vacancies remained down or 25%. Nevertheless, the May gain was the first since the modest gain of 21,000 in October 2008, and the largest since October 2006. Online advertised vacancies were up in 43 of the 50 States in May. Over the past four months New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Hawaii among states where drops in labor demand have either leveled off or shown small increases. Among the 20 most populous states, the number of unemployed persons outnumber advertised vacancies (Supply/Demand) and range from a low of 2 to 1 (Maryland) to about 9 to 1 (Michigan). The number of advertised vacancies rose in May in all four regions of the country (Northeast, South, Midwest and West), reflecting gains in 43 states across the nation. For many states, May marked the first increase following months of steady decline in labor demand.

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APR ABS

Delinquency and charge-offs among credit card-backed securities hit record highs again in April. The 30 basis point sequential increase in 60 to 180 day delinquency and the 60 basis point sequential leap in charge-offs are both significant. The Fitch “Charge-off Index” increased for the third straight month in April to 9.0%, compared to 8.4% in the prior month and 6.5% one-year ago. Fitch says it is particularly concerned that the increase in charge-offs is a result of the increased roll-through of delinquencies, with the stress on consumer payments brought about by the deterioration in the UK economy expected to continue throughout 2009. In April, the Fitch “Delinquency Index” increased for the eighth month in a row, moving to 5.3% from 5.0% in March and 3.6% in April 2008. On an individual trust basis, six of the eight trusts included in the “Index” reported new historical high delinquency levels in April. Fitch also reports that its “Monthly Payment Rate Index” fell 150 basis points in April to 15.8%. The Fitch “Yield Index” declined to 19.5% in April, compared to 21.1% in March.

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MARCH LEI

The Conference Board “Leading Economic Index” (LEI) for Mexico increased
1.3% and The Conference Board “Coincident Economic Index” (CEI) decreased
.8% in March. The positive contributors to the index includes US
refiners’ acquisition cost of domestic and imported crude oil, stock
prices, and the (inverted) federal funds rate. Negative contributors
include industrial production construction component, net insufficient
inventories, and inverted real exchange rate decrease. With the 1.3%
increase in March, The Conference Board “LEI” for Mexico now stands at
100.8 (2004=100), which declined 0.6% in February, 1.6% in January and
decreased 14.1% between September and March.

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