ABBEY VISA

Abbey International has teamed with Visa, AXA Insurance and Airport Angel to offer an extensive package of insurance, travel and lifestyle services as part of its new “Visa Platinum” and “Visa Infinite” deferred debit cards. The new cards are only available to holders of Abbey International’s “Gold” account which offers multi currency banking in sterling, euros and U.S. dollars, as well as interest on credit balances and an online banking package.
The “Gold” account can also be linked to a “Monthly Offshore Saver” account to combine the flexibility of a current account with guaranteed fixed rate savings. Abbey says the “Platinum” card has been developed for clients who regularly travel, while the “Infinite” card offers bespoke personal services.

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SBA & GLOBAL PLATFORM

Global Platform has announced that security solution provider SBA Technologies has joined
GlobalPlatform as a Full Member. As a Full Member, SBA Technologies will be able to play an active role
in the leadership of GlobalPlatform and in the development of its
technology. The company will have heavily weighted voting privileges and
can put forward one representative for consideration to be elected to
the Board of Directors, and candidates for consideration as technical
committee chairs. In addition, SBA Technologies is entitled to
participate on each technical committee as well as GlobalPlatform’s
Advisory Council and Mobile and Government Task Forces. SBA Technologies provides high-performance risk-averse
mobile commerce solutions that offer complete security and business
process management functionality to support next-generation Mobile
Commerce.

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MMPCU & FDC

E-commerce and payment provider First Data has announced that Maritime,
Mining and Power Credit Union (MMPCU) has signed a one-way card
acceptance agreement with First Data’s Cashcard network, offering
cardholders Cashcard branded ATMs direct charge-free. The Reserve Bank
of Australia (RBA) began direct charging for ATMs on March 3, 2009.
In addition, the RBA recently announced an ATM access regime that allows
financial institutions to sign a one-way card access agreement with an
ATM provider, and to join an ATM sub-network. By entering into an
agreement with Cashcard, MMPCU’s 22,000 members will benefit from direct
charge-free access to their funds at all Cashcard branded ATMs. The
Cashcard branded ATM network comprises close to 5,500 ATMs across
Australia.

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MINI CARD STATEMENTS

Citibank N.A. Pakistan has launched its ATM-generated ‘mini
credit card statement’ facility, becoming the first bank in Pakistan to
offer this free service for its credit card customers. Citi’s businesses
in Pakistan provide a variety of best-in-class
products and services to more than 200,000 consumer and institutional
clients. Citi’s consumer bank was launched in 1990 and since then has
many “firsts” to its credit including launching the first credit card in
Pakistan, pioneering consumer asset financing, introducing the first
24/7 call center, launching bancassurance and more recently the first
bilingual cheque-book in Pakistan.

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M-PAYMENTS FORECAST

Management consultancy Arthur D. Little has released “M-Payments surging
ahead: distinct opportunities in developed and emerging markets”, which
offers insights into the current stages of the m-payment market
development in different countries and regions, and draws conclusions
for relevant value chain players. Arthur D. Little expects m-payments to grow globally at 68% p.a. and to
reach a transaction volume of almost USD 250 billion by 2012. M-payments
will develop differently in emerging and developed markets resulting in
emerging countries growing faster, representing 65% of the total
transaction volume by 2012. In developed markets, m-payment services
will not substitute existing payment systems, as massive adoption will
be limited to niche segments. For financial institutions, m-banking and related m-payment
services can be a differentiating factor and a chance to tap into the
trillion US$ market of micro cash payments. For merchants, it is best to evaluate the m-payment channel as a
means to increase customer convenience, mobility and accessibility of
their services and goods. The report recommends that independent payment service providers expand
their partnerships in order to become better integrated in the market,
and hence to increase their bargaining power concerning value chain
margin distributions.

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BIOMETRIC GROWTH

Frost & Sullivan will present its 2009 quarterly analyst
briefing presentation on the “Biometrics Market” Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 16.00 BST.
Highlights of the briefing involve analysis of economic impact across
regions, growth rate analysis, consolidations in the market, future
technology trends and best practices. Biometric hardware/software/algorithm manufacturers, system integrators,
distributors and customers will likely benefit from the discussion of
the growth and opportunities in the European biometrics market.

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DINING COSTS

The Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce heard from
credit and debit card company representatives this week during its
investigation into fees charged to merchants and consumers and Canadian
restaurateurs continue to be baffled by the skyrocketing credit
card fees being charged to restaurants each time a customer pays with
Visa or MasterCard. Despite repeated calls from Senators for an
explanation of fees, Visa and MasterCard blamed the payment processors
that charge fees to merchants and avoided questions about all other
credit card fees. The head of Interac also appeared before the Senate,
outlining a plan to change Interac into a for-profit commercial entity
that will be “more innovative.” In its written submission to the
committee, CRFA explained how the unfair
practices of credit card companies and banks are leading to significant
increases in costs for restaurant operators and to higher menu prices
for consumers.

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GEMALTO & MCAFEE

Digital security provider Gemalto announced that it has joined the
McAfee Security
Innovation Alliance partner program. The McAfee Security Innovation
Alliance is the foundation of a
technology ecosystem designed to assemble the world’s leading security
innovations. Under the McAfee SIA
program, Gemalto has integrated its “Protiva Enterprise Authentication
Solutions” with “McAfee Endpoint Encryption” software for pre-boot
authentication. The software includes full disk encryption to
ensure security of information stored on desktops, laptops, tablets and
other mobile devices. Security
administrators can set a system to prompt for authentication before it
even starts booting to protect against possible attacks on the operating
system, or just before it is finished booting. Users must insert their
Gemalto digital security device and enter a passphrase or PIN before
being authorized to access the system data.

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DC SALON PREMIER

Discover’s Diners Club International announced the
opening of 13 new airport lounges located in Mexico and Singapore,
bringing the total number of lounges in the Diners Club
airport lounge program to more than 130 worldwide. In Mexico, 11 new
“Salon Premier” lounges will be accessible to Diners
Club Cardmembers at airport locations in Cancun, Chihuahua, Ciudad
Juarez, Guadalajara, Merida, Monterrey, Tijuana, Torreon, and Mexico
City Terminal 1 and 2, which will feature three lounges. The Salon
Premier lounges will be managed and staffed by AeroMexico, the largest
airline in Mexico. The lounges feature a range of complimentary snacks,
fresh-brewed coffee, tea, and alcoholic beverages, as well as
television, newspapers, and magazines. All lounges also offer Internet
access along with telephone and fax services. Diners Club Cardmembers
also can relax in two Premium Plaza lounges located in terminals 2 and 3
at the Changi International Airport in Singapore. Fee-based services
include: a fitness facility; napping suites; body massages; and foot
reflexology.

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YUCHENG & MINSHENG

IT provider Yucheng Technologies will deploy a
stand-alone credit card call center for China Minsheng Bank (Minsheng),
with brand new systems designed to track and avert fraud.
Minsheng’s credit card call center will utilize Yucheng’s leading
software to decrease wait-time while increasing risk controls. The
systems will allow operators to access complete information across
multiple accounts to assist with caller identification and information
collection. The data is input into customer information and data
analysis systems, which can identify fraudulent credit card applications
and improper account access. Yucheng’s technology will help to lower
Minsheng’s credit card risk exposure. The new system will enable cardholders to review multiple accounts
seamlessly, and will streamline many business practices. In phase I
alone, Yucheng will expand Minsheng’s call center seats to 600, three
times current capacity. Due to the scalability, reliability and
responsiveness of our software, phase II will further increase
Minsheng’s call center capabilities in the highly competitive credit
card market.

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Comdata Promotes Daly to EVP

Comdata has promoted Joseph B. Daly to executive vice
president and general manager, enterprise solutions. In this role, Daly
will be responsible for sales and operations for Comdata’s Healthcare,
Merchant, and Prepaid solutions. Daly joined the organization in 2004 and served most recently as senior vice president of Merchant Solutions. Prior to Comdata, Daly was director of internal audit for Ceridian Corporation, Comdata’s parent company, where he was responsible for the execution of a risk-based
operational, financial and information technology annual internal audit
plan.

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CARD MAIL

A new report has found that credit card issuers only reduced direct mail offers to prospective Canadian cardholders by 8%. However in the U.S., they cut such mailings by 50%. Mintel Comperemedia attributes this difference to a less severe financial crisis in Canada during 2008.
Though Canada’s economy was fairly stable last year, economists predict a slowdown during 2009. Mintel Comperemedia expects credit card mailings to follow suit and drop as well. A 20% decline in solicitations is projected for Q1 2009 in Canada (from Q4 2008). However, this reduction still pales next to the 47% drop projected in US mailboxes.

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