Upromise Launches Tuition Tales Promotion

College funding solution provider Upromise has launched the
“Tuition Tales” video contest. One contestant in each
of three categories – Saving for College, In College Now and Paying it
Back – will win $10,000 for college education expenses. Those three
winners and 9 finalists will win a $250 “Bed Bath & Beyond gift card”
and a $250 “Bank of America Visa Gift Card”.

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SignFort SAFE-BioPharma Certified

Fraud prevention provider Arcot’s “SignFort” has been certified as
compliant with the “SAFE-BioPharma” digital identity and signature
standard. “SignFort” allows electronic documents to be signed with
SAFE-BioPharma digital signatures from any location without tokens,
smart cards or software stored on desktops. The “SignFort” application
provides
strong authentication of the user before allowing access to the
SAFE-BioPharma credential. Arcot fraud prevention, strong
authentication, and e-Document security solutions are delivered
on-premise or on-demand as an Arcot hosted service.

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TSYS Teams with mPay Gateway and Nova Libra

TSYS Acquiring Solutions has teamed with mPay Gateway and Nova Libra to provide POS solutions that meet the needs of healthcare providers and their patients, as well as pharmacies and drug stores.
Effective June 30th, an IRS mandate prohibits FSA and HRA debit cards from being accepted at most drug store and pharmacy retail locations without an “Inventory Information Approval System.” Nova Libra specializes in the maintenance and distribution of product information.
The mPay Gateway empowers health care providers with a single source payment solution that enables collections from patients, regardless of the patient’s third party payer affiliation.

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Paur to Head DeltaCard Services

Merchants’ Choice Card Services has appointed Stan Paur as President and
CEO. Previously, Paur served as Chairman of PULSE EFT Association
LP, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit networks. Prior to being named
Chairman of PULSE, he served as President and CEO for over 23 years. He
was Chairman of the MasterCard Maestro U.S.A. Board of Directors from
1991 to 1996. From 1986 to 1992, Mr. Paur served as Chairman of the
Shared Networks Executive Association. He received his degree from Saint
Louis University. MCCS serves over 41,000
clients, processing more than $3.4 billion in annual credit card volume.

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eBillme Intros Buyer Protection Program

Alternative payment portal eBillme has introduced its “Buyer Protection
Program” and includes more protection for shoppers on consumables.
eBillme’s buyer protection program, provided at no cost to shoppers and
retailers, has the same or a better level of buyer protection than
premium credit cards. Protection features include a return guarantee,
price guarantee, in-transit protection, and fraud protection. Consumers
can shop with confidence knowing their eBillme transaction is guaranteed
and protected.

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HYPERWALLET

hyperWALLET announced the expansion of their global payment network into Israel. With the addition of Israel, hyperWALLET’s global financial network now reaches 40 countries worldwide and provides in-country clearing and settlement capabilities across North America, South America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Central America and Africa. With the addition of Israeli shekels, hyperWALLET now supports transaction processing and payment distribution in 20 currencies. And with support for localization of website and application interfaces, hyperWALLET’s payment services can be readily launched in any of 7 languages including English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Hebrew and Chinese.

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Credit Card ABS Faces Spread Compression

Among credit card-backed ABS the three-month average excess spread
increased to 5.80% in February from 5.43% for the prior month. The
improvement was largely driven by the exclusion this month of the low
reading from October, when the effect of last fall’s LIBOR dislocation
was realized. Excess spread would have been further compressed by a drop
in gross yield had it not been partially offset by lower trust funding
costs, driven by one-month LIBOR rates. Fitch expects an additional
100-200 basis points of compression in excess spread in the coming
months as charge-offs mount. Fitch also notes that on March 6th,
Citibank filed an 8-K specifying an additional 375 basis points of
credit enhancement and a variable discount option. The credit
enhancement could be either a subordinated note from the master trust or
the issuance trust that will take the first loss position or the
subordination of the seller’s interest in the master trust. A dynamic
discount option is effective March 1; it will be set at 1% initially and
will vary from month to month based on the levels of excess spread.
Citibank expects to put the credit enhancement into place by May 1, 2009.

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Gen Y Marketing Study is Released

Javelin Research has released a report that focuses on Marketing to Gen
Y. Gen Y is a digital generation that expects to
participate and lead conversations, not just be passive recipients.
Within ten short years, this group will be generating $2.77 trillion
dollars per annum. An examination of successful financial marketing
collateral rounds out this report. Marketing needs to meet Gen Y on
their own turf, via targeted online messaging, social networking, and
personalized mobile offerings.

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Gen Xers Stressed Over Card Debt

A new survey has found that “Generation Xers” (ages 27 to 42) are the most financially stressed generation for the second year in a row. The study commissioned by Scottrade also found that 52% of this group are “extremely” or “very” concerned about paying off credit card balances. Additionally, “Gen X” is the most worried that Social Security will run out (62%). The dual stresses of smaller savings and lack of confidence in Social Security are drivers of Gen X’s top financial concern: 64% are worried about not having enough money for retirement.

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Food City Deploys ACI’s Card Solutions

K-VA-T Food Stores, which runs the Food City chain, has implemented ACI “Retail Commerce Server” and the “Value Card Management” module for its gift card program. K-VA-T currently operates 102 retail food outlets in the tri-state regions of Southeast Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. In addition to its own branded cards, the new system enables Food City to offer third party cards through the Blackhawk prepaid and payments network. “Retail Commerce Server” and the “Value Card Management” module enables Food City to issue and manage its own pre-paid gift cards, as well as managing third-party cards. The system manages fixed or variable-value cards, and handles elements of card management, such as simply checking and changing balances, through order management of bulk purchases of cards for charitable organizations, to supporting loyalty programs or managing card end-of-life.

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Nokia Takes a $70MM Stake in Obopay

Nokia has decided to make a $70 million minority investment in Redwood City, CA-based Obopay. The service works on any phone and any carrier to empower consumers and businesses with the convenience of mobile payments. Obopay has also named Teppo Paavola, vice president and head of Corporate Business Development at Nokia, to its board of directors. Obopay says it will use the investment to aggressively extend its product suite and enhance its global presence. Obopay charges 25 cents to send any amount up to $1,000.

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BUSINESS PLATINUM

Amex Bank of Canada has launched the “Business Platinum Card from
American Express” which offers some of the most flexible rewards and
premium services for business owners including access to over 600
airport lounges worldwide; the “Companion Ticket” 2-for-1 travel
benefit; airport security priority through the Pearson Priority Lane;
personalized travel booking services through American Express
Travel Services, access to the American Express Business Travel
Management Program Accelerated earn rate of 1.25 points for every $1 in
purchases with the ability to instantly transfer points to Aeroplan at 1
point = 1 Aeroplan Mile and the annual fee of $399 can be tax-deductible.

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