U.K.’s Faster Payments Marks 1-Year Milestone

Launched on May 27, 2008, the U.K.’s new “Faster Payments Service” has racked up 180 million payments with a total value of just under GBP 70 billion. More than half of all credit card accounts are now payable through the “Service” with four major credit card companies offering the facility to their cardholders. During the year, the sort code checker facility has registered nearly 600,000 hits with customers checking whether they can send money to specific sort codes using the Service.
APACS says the peak day for “Faster Payments” was March 2nd with 5 million payments valuing over GBP 1 billion. CHAPS says its research shows that some UK customers still aren’t aware that the new “Faster Payments Service” exists while some are not sure whether they’ve used it. There is a maximum limit placed on the value of each payment sent
through the service, with the maximum value for Internet and phone payments set at GBP 10,000 and standing orders to GBP 100,000.
VocaLink provides the infrastructure for the “Faster Payments.”

FASTER PAYMENTS STATS
Month Total volume (000s) Total value (GBP m)

May 08 334 209
June 08 4,165 2,266
July 08 6,984 3,621
Aug 08 7,945 3,787
Sept 08 11,656 4,853
Oct 08 15,824 6,162
Nov 08 16,144 5,459
Dec 08 19,737 6,514
Jan 09 18,679 6,208
Feb 09 18,476 6,234
Mar 09 22,950 8,183
Apr 09 21,802 8,007
May 09 22,329 7,736
Source: CHAPS and APACS

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FASTER PAYMENTS

Launched on May 27, 2008, the “Faster Payments Service” has racked up 180 million payments with a total value of just under GBP 70 billion. More than half of all credit card accounts are now payable through the “Service” with four major credit card companies offering the facility to their cardholders. During the year, the sort code checker facility has registered nearly 600,000 hits with customers checking whether they can send money to specific sort codes using the Service.
APACS says the peak day for “Faster Payments” was March 2nd with 5 million payments valuing over GBP 1 billion. CHAPS says its research shows that some UK customers still aren’t aware that the new “Faster Payments Service” exists while some are not sure whether they’ve used it. There is a maximum limit placed on the value of each payment sent
through the service, with the maximum value for Internet
and phone payments set at GBP 10,000 and standing orders to GBP 100,000.
VocaLink provides the infrastructure for the “Faster Payments.”

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FINANCIAL REPORT

Mediation specialist The Financial Ombudsman Service has published
its annual review for the 2008/09 financial year. The ombudsman handled
789,877 consumer enquiries and a record 127,471 new complaints; resolved
113,949 disputes – a 14% annual increase – with involvement resulting in
compensation for consumers in 57% of cases and saw the number of
complaints about mortgages, credit cards and consumer credit rise by
34%. Insurance disputes increased by 84% – while complaints about
mortgage endowments fell by more than half.

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Advanta to Shut-Down Biz Cards this Weekend

Advanta has moved up the date that it will shut down all credit card accounts for future use from June 10th to May 30th, however no purchases can be made after May 29th. Via its Website the business card issuer stated that if a promotional rate convenience check was written to a third party before May 30th and presented to Advanta for payment by June 3rd, it will honor the promotional rate according to the terms of the original offer. If the balance transfer request is received by Advanta before close of business on May 29th, it will also honor the promotional rate according to the terms of the original offer. “Cash Back” program participants will receive a check for the amount of any accrued rewards more than $1.00 as long as the cardholders makes at least the required minimum payments and the account remains in good standing. “Business Rewards” participants have at least 60 days to redeem points as long as the cardholders makes at least the required minimum payments and the account remains in good standing. Earlier this month Advanta announced its securitization trust will go into early amortization on June 10th based on May’s performance. Advanta earlier reported a first quarter net loss of $75.9 million, a 62% sequential increase. Managed charge-offs soared to 16% from 12% in the prior quarter and compared to 6% one-year ago. For complete details on Advanta’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)). (CF Library 5/19/09)

MANAGED CHARGE-OFFS
1Q/08: 6%
2Q/08: 8%
3Q/08: 10%
4Q/08: 12%
1Q/09: 16%
2Q/09: 20%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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Transcard Intros a Fuel Card Net in Mexico

TN-based prepaid card provider Transcard has launched a fuel card network targeting to Latin American fleets. The new “TransCard Fuel Card” will be accepted at more than 2200 locations in Mexico, representing over 25% of the entire fuel-stop market in the country. The technology will enable fleets to receive real-time fuel pricing, electronic authorizations and fraud protection. In addition,
the card will allow for cross-border acceptance with a multi-currency
component built in for corporate fuel purchases. TransCard developed
this unique network in collaboration with fuel truck stops in Mexico, along with a number of fleets that have identified fraud of as one of their key concerns. The card also offers a payroll component. TransCard is a provider of prepaid debit card solutions branded with MasterCard, Discover Network and STAR associations.

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SINO & BCS MOU

Sino Payments and card processor BCS Holdings have entered into a merchant acquisition agreement. Sino Payments focuses on providing IP
credit and debit card processing services to large retail chains in China and throughout Asia including supermarket chains and large regional multinational retailers. BCS Holdings is a full service payment
solutions provider for traditional and internet businesses.

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Stratus Media Hires Intl Biz Development Executive

Entertainment group Stratus Media, developer of the “Stratus Rewards Visa White Card,” has appointed Emanuele Rossi,
previously with Exclusive Events, as VP of
International Business Development. Rossi served as Logistics and
Communication Manager for
the Swiss-based company Exclusive Events S.A., where he planned and
coordinated worldwide motor sports events, conceived and implemented the
company’s public relations and communication strategy, and developed the
strategic international corporate network for the company’s expansion
into Far East Asia, Middle East and the U.S. Rossi served for two years
as a board member of Pitagora Management Sàrl, a Swiss company
specializing in private equity advisory and project management.
Previously, Rossi spent two years in communication
and marketing for the Cisneros Television Group in Miami, a leading
Latin American TV broadcaster and TV channel owner, to consolidate their
leading position in South and Central America, as well as enhancing
corporate relations with European counterparts.

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Heartland Bundles I:Deal with Express Funds

Heartland Payment Systems has bundled its “Express Funds”
solution with “Panini’s I:Deal” check scanner for remote deposit
capture. Heartland Express Funds is designed to accelerate
cash flow for business users by digitizing the check deposit process.
With this unique deposit and recovery solution, business owners gain the
ability to deposit checks anytime and from anywhere using the “Panini
I:Deal”. They also benefit from the advantages of Heartland
“AutoRecovery”, an automated program that efficiently recovers funds
from returned checks. Panini is a provider of payment technology
innovation. It’s scalable check capture
platform addresses the complete range of distributed check capture
applications.

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Discover Card Introduces Mobile Reminders

Discover has beefed-up its mobile service solution with the launch of
“Mobile Reminders.” Discover.com registered users can log in and select
to receive any of eight “Account Activity” reminders via text message
or email. “Mobile Reminders” offers notification of statement
availability; payments posting; balance transfer posting; merchant
credit/refund posts; when minimum payment is due; when purchases exceed
the credit limit; when a purchase exceeds a specified amount; and
nearing the account credit limit notification. Discover.com Mobile also
offers the ability to make a payment; view recent transactions; view
recent and pending payments; view rewards activity; and enroll in 5% the
“Cashback Bonus” program.

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INSIGHT 4.5

Business transaction management provider INETCO Systems have released of
“INETCO Insight 4.5” business transaction monitoring software. “INETCO
Insight 4.5” captures complete information on every financial
transaction as it moves across both internal and third-party service
provider networks and applications. This rich transaction information
can improve the efficiency of a wide variety of business processes, from
customer service to fraud monitoring to application support, reducing
the risk of downtime and fraud losses, decreasing overhead costs, and
improving customer satisfaction.

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Billeo and NetSpend Launch Biller Directory

Payment network Billeo and prepaid card provider NetSpend have launched
“Biller Directory”, designed to help consumers pay bills with their
NetSpend card. The service will be available on
www.netspend.com as part of NetSpend’s suite of Bill Payment Services.
By clicking on the “Pay Bills” tab on the main menu of NetSpend’s
website, cardholders will
have access to more than 9,200 company websites where they can search
for their billers and pay bills instantly with their card. Cardholders
can also download a “Bill Management Toolbar” that will enable them to
save their card information in a secure eWallet, save website passwords
and automatically fill-in forms. In addition, Billeo’s “Shopping
Assistant” will enable cardholders to easily save and search for online
receipts. Billeo will also provide a free, downloadable toolbar
to help cardholders manage their bills.

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