AmEx Business Travel Saves $2B in T&E

American Express Business Travel reports it has helped its clients save
over $2 billion in T&E expenses.
New business acquired reached $3.4 billion and global customer wins
increased 172 percent compared to 2007, with a global retention rate of
98 percent1. The North America Middle-Market client segment experienced
a 63 percent year-over-year growth increase, while Advisory Services
achieved a 33 percent annual growth rate, globally, in consultative
sales. In 2008, American Express reported $25.4 billion in travel sales.
The “Free Travel Program Assessment” program provided clients and
non-clients of all sizes located around the
world with the opportunity to identify areas for further savings, and
offered advice on how to best recession-proof travel budgets. In less
than four months, the program has identified more than $2.6 million in
potential saving opportunities for participating mid-size companies by
using proprietary methodology to analyze key indicators. Other services
offered include
Global Advisory Services; Small Meetings Solutions; aXiom in
International.
FX International Payments (FXIP) Solution; BusinessTravelConneXion.com
(BTX);
Eco Solutions; Pre-Trip Approval (PTA)and aXis @ Work.
The roster of newly-won business and renewed customers cuts across all
industries and client segments, revealing a diversified global and
regional base, including notable brands such as British Telecom, which
decided to consolidate its program and use American Express Business
Travel in Europe, Asia and the United States; and Rio Tinto, which
globally consolidated its program in Australia, Europe and North
America. Leading companies that expanded travel programs into additional
regions include ExxonMobil in India; Commonwealth Bank in Australia;
Akzo Nobel in China; and Citi, Walmart and Philips in Argentina.

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Credit Card QSR Takes in $72 Billion in 2008

U.S. consumers racked-up a revised $72 billion worth of fast food on their personal credit and debit cards this year, compared to $63 billion one-year ago. The 11% year-on-year increase in quick service restaurant volume is driven by expanded merchant acceptance, promotion of card usage and new contactless payment options, according to CardData (www.carddata.com). The current economic turmoil has given new energy to “dollar” menus which has been driving payment card growth. Americans spend about $190 billion per year at quick service restaurants.

QSR ON PLASTIC HISTORICAL
2000: $ 1.7 billion
2001: $ 3.7 billion
2002: $ 6.1 billion
2003: $12.9 billion
2004: $22.5 billion
2005: $33.2 billion
2006: $51.3 billion
2007: $62.8 billion
2008: $70.4 billion
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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MASTERCARD CORP CARDS

MasterCard has been named the “Best Corporate Cards and Expense Services Provider” by Global Finance magazine for the third consecutive year. The award was bestowed to MasterCard for innovative solutions that enable value and efficiency in commercial payments. MasterCard was selected by the publication’s editors who incorporate input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts in determining the award’s recipient. The results of the exclusive survey are published in the March 2009 issue of the magazine. The award highlights MasterCard’s leadership as a premier provider of commercial payment solutions that provide actionable information, turnkey integration and unmatched optimization benefiting issuers, merchants and their corporate customers around the world.

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Sea Shepherd and CardPartner Offer a Visa

Serverside’s NY-based affinity card provider CardPartner has teamed with
Sea Shepherd to issue the Sea Shepherd Visa Platinum Card to protect
ocean wildlife. Cardholders who use their “Sea Shepherd Visa Platinum”
affinity credit card for shopping, dining out, online purchases and
other everyday
activities directly support Sea Shepherd in ending marine habitat
destruction and the slaughter of defenseless animals including whales,
sharks, seals, dolphins, and turtles. Sea Shepherd earns $50 for each
activated card, plus a share of the monthly charge volume, paid
quarterly over the life of the card. CardPartner maximizes
returns by stripping out costs, operating in the virtual environment,
offering free, customized self-service marketing tools, and working with
groups on a “human scale” not often seen in the credit card industry.

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CASH Index Bubbles up Slightly in March

U.S. consumer sentiment edged up in March according to the most recent
results of the “RBC CASH” (Consumer Attitudes and Spending by Household)
Index. As a result, the overall “RBC CASH Index” stands at 8.2 for March
2009, up slightly from 1.6 in February, the lowest level on record since
the inception of the Index in 2002. The “RBC Current Conditions Index”
rallied to 14.8, up 13.2 points compared to February’s 1.6 record-low
level. The “RBC Investment Index,” which was at 17.6 in February,
currently stands at 24.6. The “RBC Expectations Index” held
steady in March, ticking up just 2.2 points to – 25.9, up from – 28.1
last month. Despite the plunge in the value of the stock market, the
number of Americans who believe it is a “bad time” to invest in the
stock market held steady at 70% this month.

RBC CASH INDEX
Mar 08: 33.1
Apr 08: 29.5
May 08: 39.0
Jun 08: 22.5
Jul 08: 14.6
Aug 08: 33.8
Sep 08: 69.2
Oct 08: 37.0
Nov 08: 34.7
Dec 08: 15.3
Jan 09: 13.3
Feb 09: 1.6
Mar 09: 8.2
Source: RBC CASH

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Lund Food Deploys NCR Two-Sided Printing

NCR’s newest POS solution with thermal receipt printer has been deployed by MN-based Lund Food Holdings.
The patented NCR “RealPOS Two-Sided Thermal Printer”
simultaneously prints on both sides of a thermal paper receipt, reducing
paper consumption by up to 40%. This can result in less energy
being consumed by paper production and distribution, as well as less
waste disposal, air emissions and wastewater. In addition to NCR’s two-sided thermal receipt printing, the solution
deployed by Lunds and Byerly’s includes the “NCR RealPOS 80XRT
workstation”, “NCR RealPOS High Performance Scanner/Scale” and NCR
two-sided thermal receipt paper rolls. Lund Food Holdings operates 21 Lunds and Byerly’s supermarkets in and
around the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.

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TSYS MANAGING DIRECTOR

Payment outsourcer TSYS has appointed Amit Sethi to the position of
Managing Director of TSYS India and South Asia.
Sethi has held several executive positions with companies such as Visa
International,
KPMG, Bank of America, HSBC, Oracle Corporation and iGate. Most
recently, he was Global Sales Head of Financial Services and Service
Industries for Sutherland Global Services, where he was responsible for
leading a global sales team for selling Business Process Outsourcing and
Call-Center services delivered out of centers in five countries,
including India, the Philippines, the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Sethi earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from University of
Delhi and a master’s degree in business administration from the
University of Rochester, New York and is a Chartered Accountant. TSYS’
existing footprint includes some of the highest ranked banks in
India and in 2006 TSYS successfully achieved one of the largest credit
conversions outside of the U.S. for India’s second largest bank and
largest private sector bank.

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ProPay Seminar Lands a Industry Leaders

UT-based payment processor ProPay is the host of the “Data Security
Summit” set for March 18 and 19. ProPay has
finalized the agenda for its upcoming Data Security Summit to include
Bob Russo, General Manager of the PCI Security Standards Council
– PCI Data Security Standard; Chris Mark, Co-founder of The Society of
Payment Security
Professionals – Breeches and the value of removing data through
alternative solutions; John Verdeschi, Senior Business Leader, Fraud
Management
Solution, MasterCard Worldwide – Account data compromise trends; Dr.
Heather Mark, Co-founder of The Society of Payment Security
Professionals – Regulatory environment; Michael Dortch, Media Expert –
The Media Perspective on data security; Special Agent FBI Cybercrimes –
Cybercrimes
and Greg Pesci and Darrel Welling, ProPay Inc. – ProtectPay—ProPay’s
End-to-End solution. The Summit will be held at the Snowbird Ski Resort
in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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TransAct Technologies Rises 23% in 4Q/08

TransAct Technologies posted fourth quarter revenue of $14.3
million, an increase of 23% compared 4Q/07. The Company
recorded GAAP net income in the fourth quarter of 2008 of approximately
$0.6 million, compared to a net loss of approximately $1.3 million, in
the prior-year period. During the fourth quarter TransAct was selected
as exclusive printer provider for the new Snoqualmie Casino in
Snoqualmie, Washington; was selected to provide its new “Ithaca 8040”
thermal printer to approximately 11,000 of its United States locations
for its new coffee and beverage initiative and received $4.9 million
order for “BANKjet 1500” printers from one of the largest banks in
the USA. For complete details on TransAct Technologies’ latest results
visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

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MasterCard Corp Ranked as Best Globally

MasterCard has been named the “Best Corporate Cards and Expense
Services Provider” by Global Finance magazine for the third consecutive
year. The award was bestowed to MasterCard for innovative solutions that
enable value and efficiency in commercial payments. MasterCard was
selected by the publication’s editors who incorporate input from
industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts in
determining the award’s recipient. The results of the exclusive survey
are published in the March 2009 issue of the magazine. The award
highlights MasterCard’s leadership as a premier provider of commercial
payment solutions that provide actionable information, turnkey
integration and unmatched optimization benefiting issuers, merchants and
their corporate customers around the world.

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RENESAS & OMRON

OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation.
OMRON Corporation and semiconductor producer Renesas Technology have reached an agreement to jointly develop capacitive touch sensor
solutions. Renesas
will integrate OMRON’s touch sensor technology into its R8C Family
16-bit microcontroller (MCU) products and supply touch sensor solutions
for a wide range of fields, including household appliances and mobile
devices by creating a hardware version of OMRON’s proven touch sensor technology
in the form of a touch detection circuit device and integrating it into
Renesas’ R8C Family of MCU products as a single chip solution. Integration on a single chip eliminates the current need for a large
number of external peripheral devices such as capacitors and resistors,
enabling the use of a more compact printed wiring board. An entire
system can be built from the MCU and some capacitors and resistors,
reducing the total number of devices for lower overall cost and
increased reliability. The objectives of this joint development project are to achieve adoption
of OMRON’s world-class touch sensor solutions throughout the world
market and to establish Renesas’ MCU products in a dominant position in
the touch sensor market. OMRON Corporation is a leader in the field of automation.

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Portfolio Yields Sinks Below 13.00%

Yield for credit card issuers slipped to 12.77% in January. The figure
was down 163 basis points from the year ago period. Among credit
card-backed ABS portfolio yields normalized to 17.21% after December’s
drop caused by day count issues in November. FitchRatings says that
although yield is 245 basis points lower than last year, this is
attributable to the drop in prime rate, which is down by over 300 basis
points year-over-year.

PORTFOLIO YIELD
Aug 08: 13.45%
Sep 08: 13.51%
Oct 08: 13.77%
Nov 08: 13.59%
Dec 08: 13.03%
Jan 08: 12.77%
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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