TranZfinity Hires a New Tech Chief

CA-based transaction solution provider TranZfinity has hired Senthil
Kanagaratnam, previously with Symbol, as its CTO. Kanagaratnam has had
progressive responsibility
managing engineering teams at companies such as Symbol, Motorola and
Hypercom, where he was the VP of Technology Architecture. At Symbol, he
managed the technical marketing group for Symbol’s POS and Kiosk
division, and was instrumental in growing the division’s revenue from
US$ 10 million to over US$ 35 million in one year. Most recently,
Kanagaratnam served in an engineering leadership role at Yahoo, where he
was responsible for managing advertising platforms. He holds a Bachelors
degree in Computer Science from the University of London.

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PASS MASTERCARD

Societe des Paiements PASS has inked a partnership to issue a MasterCard on February 11th. The new “PASS MasterCard” offers both debit and credit functionality as well as new contactless technology. Cardholders will also have an enhanced insurance package that extends guarantees up to five years for electrical-product purchases. Societe des Paiements PASS, which is Carrefour’s financial services’ subsidiary, will also offer a loyalty program with the new card. Existing Carrefour and PASS advantages include the doubling of some discount benefits for cardholders making at least one monthly purchase in a non-
Carrefour group merchant. The new “PASS MasterCard” is also one of the first in France to offer the MasterCard “PayPass” technology. Carrefour has 11 million customers in its current loyalty program. La Societe des Paiements PASS, which currently offers a Visa card, has 2.8 million cardholders, generating a total of 360 million transactions annually.

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ARM M&A Activity Tops $2 Billion in 08

Mergers and acquisitions in the debt collection and accounts receivable
management industry rose 18% last year, topping $2 billion.
According to Kaulkin Ginsberg, there were 36 deals that closed in 2008,
compared to 50 transactions in 2007. The year’s five major transactions
included NCO’s acquisition of Outsourcing Solutions for $325 million;
Investor AB purchase of 50% of Norwegian debt collection company
Lindorff Group, for $558 million; UK-based Exponent Private Equity
acquisition of Lowell Holdings, a British debt purchasing company, for
an estimated $394 million; and mortgage insurer MGIC Investment selling
its remaining stake in the largest U.S. debt purchasing firm, Sherman
Financial Group, to management for $209 million. Late in the fourth
quarter, United Recovery Systems, a credit card debt collection
specialist, was recapitalized by private equity company Audax
Group. For 2009 Kaulkin Ginsberg projects greater deal volume from
larger ARM companies acquiring smaller ones, and distressed ARM
companies being forced to sell or recapitalize their businesses.

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WINCOR NIXDORF Q4

Banking IT and POS solution provider Wincor Nixdorf AG experienced 7%
growth in net sales and an 8% increase in operating profit (EBITA). Net
sales generated by the company rose to 646
million euros in the first three months of the fiscal year (602 million
euros). Adjusted for the effects of exchange rates, net sales growth
amounted to 5% with EBITA climbing to EUR56 million euros.
The EBITA margin improved by 0.1 percentage points to 8.7%, while profit
for the period rose by 9% to 35 million euros. As in the past, growth
at Group level was driven mainly by the extremely
solid performance of its Banking segment, which expanded by 12%. Within
this area, net sales rose to 456 million from 406 million euros.
Retailing generated net sales of 190 million euros in the first three
months down 3% from 196 million euros.

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Obopay Introduces Donation Widgets

CA-based mobile payment provider Obopay has introduced three widgets to
help users donate and pay money quickly. Obopay’s cash gift widget is
ideal for those who prefer cash gifts for
weddings, birthdays or any gift-worthy event. For charitable and
community organizations, the
Obopay donation widget facilitates receipt of desperately needed
dollars. With Obopay’s payment widget, individuals selling items online
can accept payment for items with no hassle. Each of Obopay’s widgets
can be customized with specific amounts and
text and easily added to social networking profiles, blogs, or online
listings of any type.

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CAIXA GALICIA & DIGIPASS

VASCO Data Security International announced that the sixth largest
Spanish savings bank Caixa Galicia is securing its corporate customers
with VASCO’s “DIGIPASS” strong authentication solution together with the
“VACMAN Controller” core authentication platform. “VACMAN Controller” is
integrated in the online
platform of CECA, the Spanish Confederation of Savings Banks. Caixa
Galicia is the first Spanish savings bank
that made the use of “DIGIPASS” 2-factor authentication obligatory for its corporate clients. Caixa Galicia
offers financial products and services to corporate customers through
their online banking application: Caixa Gestión and the savings bank
currently has 55,000 corporate customers who use Caixa Gestión for
advanced payments of invoices, financial transactions and credit card &
investment information.

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IBM and NCR Still Dominate POS Market

An annual survey has found that top retailers are now utilizing POS
hardware with an average age of 4.75 years, compared to 5.8 years in
2007. On the software side, this year’s survey indicates the average age
of POS software is down slightly from last year’s 7.5 years to 7.11
years this year. The research by Cleveland-based LakeWest Group says the
remaining useful life for POS hardware is now 4.16 years which has
remained relatively constant from last year’s 4.2 years of useful life.
The firm notes that the POS hardware market continues to be dominated by
IBM and NCR. LakeWest says on the software side the remaining useful
life has risen slightly with 3.82 years this year, compared to 3.4 years
last year. IBM has a strong presence on the software side, as do SAP,
Oracle, and NCR with 11% shares each. Epicor, with its acquisition of
NSB Retail Systems in 2008, has jumped into the top spot with a 12%
share of the market.

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Intel Unveils a POS POC Kiosk

Intel has rolled out a prototype POS proof-of-concept kiosk system that
could lower a store’s total cost of ownership while improving customer
satisfaction. The kiosk demonstration includes features that match the
perks of Internet shopping, such as suggestive selling real-time inventory
access, as well as showing promotions, product details and customer
reviews. These features, in turn, facilitate sales associate up-selling
and cross-selling opportunities, which will increase a retailer’s bottom
line and customer loyalty. The POS demo is based on the very popular and
energy-efficient 45nm
Intel® Core™2 Duo mobile processor that is inside hundreds of millions
of today’s laptops and PCs.

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Alliance Data to Issue HSN Credit Cards

Loyalty marketer Alliance Data Systems has signed a multi-year
agreement to provide both co-brand and private label credit card services to multi-channel retailer
HSN. Alliance Data will provide a comprehensive set of
private-label and co-brand credit card services for HSN, including account
acquisition and activation; receivables funding; card authorization;
private label credit card issuance; statement generation; remittance processing;
customer service functions; and marketing services.
Alliance Data will partner with HSN to develop cardholder loyalty
programs designed to incent and reward both private label and co-brand cardholders.
Additionally, Alliance Data will provide advanced analytics services geared toward
helping HSN identify, target and acquire high-value customers. Specific services
will include customer segmentation, product affinity, and response modeling designed to target and better engage customers with the HSN brand. The
accounts purchased by Alliance Data generate a portfolio between $100 and $200
million in receivables. with a modest level of
delinquencies and, as such, Alliance Data believes that its performance will be consistent with
traditional expectations. Additionally, all new co-brand and private
label accounts will be consistent with Alliance Data’s traditional credit quality
standards. Conversion of the file is scheduled for the first quarter of 2009.
HSN is an operating segment of HSN, Inc., a company with approximately $3 billion in annual revenues.

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CUP 3Q

Reportlinker.com has released the “China Financial POS Machine Market Report 2008”. According to
China UnionPay, by the end of June 2008, China had 152
card-issuing institutions with the total issue of over 1.6 billion
cards; and 930,000 merchants accepted Unionpay cards, 1.45 million
financial POS machines and 140,000 ATMs and by the end of Sep 2008, China had over 1.6 million financial POS
machines, about 150,000 ATMs and over 1 million merchants accepted
Unionpay cards.

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BofA Posts Q4 $204MM Loss as PDV Drops 17%

Bank of America global credit cards posted a $204 million loss in the fourth quarter compared to a $498 million profit on credit cards for 4Q/07. However, total fourth quarter credit card revenue of $7.4 billion was up 11% year-on-year. Fourth quarter charge-offs rose sharply to 7.16%, compared to 6.40% in the prior quarter and 4.75% one-year ago. The managed 30+ day delinquency ratio also increased to 6.68%, compared to 5.89% in the third quarter and 5.45% for 4Q/07. Managed global credit cards, excluding business credit cards, at the end of the fourth quarter
declined about 1% to $182.2 billion, compared to $183.4 billion in 3Q/08 and $183.7 billion for 4Q/07. Purchase volume for global credit cards was $56.6 billion for 4Q/08, compared to $62.7 billion for 3Q/08 and $68.4 billion for 4Q/07. BofA noted that debit card purchase volume declined slightly during the fourth quarter to $52.9 billion. Additionally, Card Services opened 1,432,000 accounts during the quarter, compared to 1,766,000 accounts in the prior quarter. For complete details on Bank of America’s 4Q/08 performance, visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)).

BOFA CREDIT CARD NET INCOME
(Global Cards; Excludes Business Cards)
4Q/07: $498 million
1Q/08: $670 million
2Q/08: $423 million
3Q/08: (-$373 million)
4Q/08: (-$204 million)
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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