G&D 2008

In 2008, the Giesecke & Devrient (G&D)
technology group reported it generated net sales of 1.7 billion euros, an increase of 9% compared with the previous
year. All business units of the Group presented high growth rates. Net
income for the year increased by 16% to 111 million euros. EBIT
amounted to 160 million euros. At the same time, G&D made further
substantial forward-looking investments, increasing its R&D expenditure
to 109 million euros. Sales by the Cards and Services business unit increased year-on-year by
5.6 percent to 609 million euros. The Payment division once again gained
additional market shares, profiting especially from the ongoing
migration from simple magnetic strip cards to more sophisticated cards
with embedded microprocessors. G&D was able to significantly expand its
position in this market sector, particularly in Canada, France and
Spain. As in 2007, the Telecommunications division considerably
increased the volume of sales of SIM cards. The demand for value-added
cards for mobile communication applications greatly exceeded our
original expectations. The global trend towards lower prices was
balanced by a higher volume of sales and greater demand for premium
products offering higher memory capacity.

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TSYS To Issue Visa Prepaid Cards for JTB Group

TSYS announced that it
would begin processing Visa-branded prepaid cards for the Japanese
market in July 2009. The prepaid cards will be issued by Travel Bank
Inc., a financial services company that is part of the JTB Group.
Consumers can use the cards to make payments at Visa merchants when
traveling overseas or to withdraw cash from Visa ATMs. TSYS is one of the world’s largest processors for branded prepaid cards.
In Japan, the company offers payment-related services for debit, credit,
retail gift, loyalty and prepaid products to a variety of industries
through its wholly owned subsidiary, TSYS Japan. Travel Bank is a company of the JTB group. Since its establishment
in 1997, it has offered financial products and services to consumers,
including support service for international ATM card issued by Japanese
banks and membership services for affluent customers of trust banks.

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TransCard Hires a New SVP of Retail & Government Sales

Prepaid card provider TransCard has hired Candy Whitley, previously with InComm, as SVP of Retail and Government Sales. Whitley was Senior Director of Partner
Acquisition in the gift card division at InComm and designed a
gift card program that after five years produced sales of more than $700
million annually. She had a similarly successful experience at Lynk
Systems where she developed and launched a debit card program—the result
was that Lynk acquired the U.S. Treasury debit card business. TransCard handles nearly $2 billion in electronic
transactions annually.

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MasterCard and Travelex To Implement Prepaid Processing

MasterCard Worldwide and The Travelex
Group will extend its brand relationship
with MasterCard and implement the global prepaid transaction processing
capabilities of MasterCard Integrated Processing Solutions (IPS). As
part of the new global agreement Travelex, which already issues and
distributes MasterCard Cash Passport™ cards, will launch new MasterCard
branded consumer and corporate Cash Passport programs around the world
utilizing IPS. Travelex will also convert existing programs to MasterCard. Travelex serves 1.75 million cardholders through a network of more than
25,000 agents and 700 retail branches in 35 countries as well as
corporate relationships in more than 100 countries. With this
enhancement to its global offering, Travelex will be able to re-engineer
its existing prepaid offerings and efficiently pursue new growth
opportunities in the consumer travel, airline and maritime industries
with minimal infrastructure investment. In addition, Travelex is tapping
into the expertise of MasterCard Advisors to optimize its global prepaid
card portfolio.

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ADS and Tween Brands Sign Long Term Contract

Loyalty marketer Alliance Data Systems has signed a long-term
contract expansion and extension with OH-based specialty retailer Tween Brands. Since 1996, Alliance Data has provided multi-channel private label credit card services for Limited Too. With this expanded agreement, Alliance Data will continue
to provide private label services to these stores, which have now been
converted to Justice, as well as to Justice’s existing stores. The new
Justice-branded private label card program was launched to support Justice’s expansion, now totaling over
900 stores, and included converting Limited Too cardholders to the new
Justice card. The private label credit card services Alliance Data provides include account acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization;
private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing; customer service functions; and marketing services.
As a part of the card-marketing strategy, Alliance Data will apply advanced analytics and develop customer segmentation strategies to improve cardholder acquisition and retention. These efforts will allow Justice to intelligently target customers based on their past purchase behaviors and preferences — enabling Justice to more effectively introduce and engage customers to the Justice brand and drive sales across all sales channels.

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VPS Releases Printer Program and Sidebar POS Application

Secured Financial Network’s subsidiary Virtual Payment Solutions (VPS) will launch its Windows based program for its P-25M Card
Swiper/Printer and its RedFin “Sidebar” application for point-of-sale
transactions (POS). The Windows based application enables mobile merchants and brick and
mortar businesses a tool to instantly swipe, transact, and print
receipts for credit and debit card transactions using the P-25M with
virtually any office computer through a simple online download.
The RedFin “SideBar” is a POS program that communicates with the RedFin
Network (PCI) Payment gateway where wireless, retail, Internet, Check,
ACH and gift/loyalty card transactions are securely processed and
exported into QuickBooks accounting software. The RedFin “Sidebar”
provides instant access to view detailed transaction reporting using a
resident software application, which installs on laptops and desktop
computers within seconds, delivering a valuable solution for mobile and
retail merchants of all sizes and industries with a utility to process
swipe credit card transactions and print customer receipts using our
P-25M, a durable pocket-sized peripheral.

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AmEx Appears at Hearing with Senate Committee on Small Business

The United States Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship held a hearing to explore how the small
business provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being implemented and to find alternative sources of financing for small
business owners. The Committee heard from Small Business Administration(SBA) Administrator Karen G.Mills and from the President of American Express’s OPEN program, the
company’s division that handles small business, a community development credit union, a microlender and a company specializing in capital for high-growth firms. During the second panel of today’s hearing, Sen. Mary Landrieu noted that credit cards
are playing an increasing role in small business financing. According to
a recent survey by the National Small Business Association, 59% of the nation’s small businesses utilize credit cards for their firms. The National Federation of Independent Business estimates that the number of small businesses using credit cards could be as high as 85%.

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NRF Reports Consumer Confidence Still Wary

According to the National Retail Federation, retail industry sales for April reported
by the U.S. Commerce Department show
total retail sales (which include non-general merchandise categories
such as autos, gasoline stations and restaurants) decreased 0.4%
seasonally adjusted over March and decreased 9.4% unadjusted
year-over-year. Even with an Easter holiday in April, people still cut back on
groceries, apparel and gifts. Sales at electronic and appliance stores
decreased 2.8% seasonally adjusted from March and 11.9%
unadjusted from last year. Clothing and clothing accessories stores
sales decreased 0.5% seasonally adjusted month-to-month and 3.0%
unadjusted year-over-year. Grocery stores sales also decreased
1.1% seasonally adjusted from last month but increased 0.5% unadjusted year-over-year.

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MoneyGram & AccountNow to Launch Visa Prepaid Card Program

MoneyGram International and CA-based prepaid card marketer AccountNow will launch a new Visa-branded
prepaid card available at select MoneyGram agent locations starting in
June 2009, issued by MetaBank. The agreement builds on an existing relationship wherein
MoneyGram is providing consumers with the convenience of adding funds to
their AccountNow reloadable prepaid cards at any of its 40,000 MoneyGram
ExpressPayment locations across the United States. “The MoneyGram AccountNow Prepaid Visa” card will participate in
the Visa ReadyLink, Interlink, and Plus networks. No credit or bank account is necessary
for card holders to load cash at any MoneyGram agent location and
consumers can use the card everywhere Visa debit is accepted.

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Landrieu and Snowe Intro Credit Card Act Amendment

United States Senate Committee on
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Chair Mary Landrieu, D-La., and
Ranking Member Olympia J. Snowe, R-Maine have introduced an amendment to the Credit CARD Act of 2009 that would expand both the underlying legislation and the Truth in Lending
Act’s credit card provisions to include small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. The amendment would also increase the current credit limit from $25,000to $50,000 to adjust for inflation and the increasing number of small businesses with higher credit limits.

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4Q 2008 SHOPPING

The MasterCard Worldwide Insights Report,
Economic Crisis and Preference for Online Shopping in Asia/Pacific,
Middle East and Africa reveals that online shoppers across this
region spent an average of US$667 online in 4Q 2008 versus US$633 during
the same quarter in 2007, and made an average of 3.3 purchases, up from
3.1 in 2007. The survey covered 5037 respondents across 10 markets: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, UAE
and South Africa. Books and arts (with 38% of online shoppers choosing this) emerged as
the most frequently bought items online, closely followed by home
appliances and electronic products (37%) and CDs/DVDs/VCDs (36%).
The majority of the online shopping conducted in the region was planned,
with 83% of online shoppers admitting that they tend to plan their
shopping in advance and conduct research on their planned purchases.
Most online shoppers either bought items impulsively “hardly ever” (36%)
or “just a couple of times” (38%). The top reason for impulsive buying
was the discounted prices (67%) that online channels afford. The survey and the accompanying Insights Report do not represent MasterCard financial performance.

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RAKBANK & POSTILION

The National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah, RAKBANK, has selected Postilion solutions to drive the bank’s ATM
network. The Postilion solution for ATM owners and
deployers will replace the bank’s existing ATM solution, providing
real-time monitoring and a holistic view of all payment transactions on
the ATM channel. By choosing Postilion to be
at the centre of its ATM network, RAKBANK will be able to more easily
maintain compliance with payment card industry security regulations.
Postilion’s back-office application will provide automated
reconciliation with the UAE’s national EFT switch and provide
consolidated reports on payments processing activity and performance to
support RAKBANK’s IT management decision-making.

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