ALTAIR FX CARD

Prepaid business solution provider Altair Financial Services International Plc has launched the “PocketCurrency”
Foreign Exchange [FX] card for Currency Solutions, a
specialist in the foreign exchange industry. As a prepaid currency card developed specifically for travel,
“PocketCurrency” is available in Pounds Sterling, Euros and US Dollars. Unlike a debit or credit card, PocketCurrency
is not linked to the cardholder bank account details, and hence no
sensitive banking details are associated with the card. Since
“PocketCurrency” is prepaid and does not have a credit facility, there is
no need to pass a credit check, and fraudsters can not take advantage of
overdraft or credit facilities.
It provides cardholders with highly competitive, commission free, foreign
exchange rates and the freedom and convenience to manage the card.
To allow greater freedom, the cards are MasterCard branded and can be
used for purchases at over 27.3 million merchant locations globally.
“PocketCurrency” is issued by Newcastle Building Society and for enhanced
security the cards offer the added benefit of Chip and PIN protection.
As an additional security measure, Altair Mobile Payment System (AMPS)
gives cardholders the ability to lock and unlock their card using a
registered mobile phone.

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BARCLAYS CONTACTLESS DEBIT

As of March, Barclays will begin the rollout of contactless VISA
debit cards. Most Barclays debit cards that are issued or reissued will
have contactless technology built in as standard and more than three
million customers are expected to be using contactless debit cards by
the end of the year. Barclaycard was the first to introduce
contactless technology on credit
cards in the UK in September 2007 with the launch of Barclaycard
OnePulse, the three in one oyster, credit and contactless card. Over
8000 retailers already accept contactless payments including many
outlets of Pret A Manger, Coffee Republic, EAT, Books etc, Krispy Kreme,
Threshers and thousands of independent retailers, with more installing
the technology every week.

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EZIO & MC CAP

Digital security provider Gemalto has announced that its
Ezio Pocket Reader is the first fully certified reader made available to
the market for MasterCard “Advanced Authentication for Chip” (CAP). It
supports financial institutions in markets where off-line PIN is not
used to verify online customers’ identity. The CAP reader makes it
easier for
banks to deploy strong authentication to their entire base of online
customers, as they no longer need to make any changes to their legacy
cards. It also enables millions of new banking customers to benefit from
increased security for online transactions, by making it accessible in
every environment. The Advanced
Authentication for Chip specification allows two-factor authentication
on any EMV card already in use, whether or not it has been personalized.
Gemalto provides end-to-end solutions for digital security, from the
development of software applications, through the design and production
of secure personal devices such as smart cards, SIMs, e-passports, and
tokens to the deployment of managed services for its customers.

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POSLYNX220

IP payment and networking product provider Precidia Technologies’
“POSLynx220” payment router has been certified by ATM reseller and
processor Cash Depot.
The “POSLynx220” connects dial-based ATMs to Cash Depot’s SSL gateway
for processing over an IP network.
The solution allows ATM operators to take advantage of the cost savings
and efficiency of IP-based processing,
without the cost of upgrading ATM equipment. The POSLynx220 is ideal
for convenience stores, and is certified with
most of the transaction processors and equipment providers that supply
this industry. What makes the POSLynx220 attractive to convenience
stores is the ability to network multiple existing store devices with
one device – all with automatic dial back-up in case of network failure.
Stores can connect existing Ruby terminals, ATMs, surveillance cameras
or tank monitors to a broadband IP network. In the case of ATMs and POS
terminals, the POSLynx220 delivers faster transactions without the cost
of a dedicated telephone line. In addition, the POSLynx220 is actively
managed by the NetVu management server, which gives ISOs, dealers and
help desks 24/7 remote access to the device for statistics and network
status. Cash Depot distributes, installs, maintains and manages ATM
machines
along with transaction processing, at stand alone locations throughout
the USA and is a master distributor for DIEBOLD and a direct
processor with the PULSE network.

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Bling Nation Names a New CFO

Payment network Bling Nation has hired Daniel Rogers, previously with
Fifth Third, as CFO.
Rogers was CFO and vice president of OH-based Fifth Third Bank
Processing Solutions, where he delivered more than $900 million in
annualized net revenue across a multi-line electronics payments business.
Prior to Fifth Third, he held the position of vice president and finance
manager at San Francisco-based Wells Fargo Merchant Services, growing
the department through increased sales productivity, margin expansion
and cost-reduction initiatives. Rogers also spent time at Wells Fargo as
the vice president and finance manager of the Corporate Financial
Planning Team and senior financial consultant of the Management
Reporting and Analysis Group. Bling Nation provides community banks
with a local payment network,
which allows banks to convert potential on-us debit transactions into
actual on-us debit transactions by offering consumers secure contactless
payments at the point of sale.

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CardPartner Inks 100+ Affinity Cards in 08

CardPartner reports it has signed up more than 115 affinity groups for
credit cards in the last ten months. The company, a subsidiary of the
UK’s Serverside Group, says it signed five nonprofits to Visa affinity
credit card programs on New Year’s Eve, and 12 other groups during
Christmas week. CardPartner connects small nonprofits, membership groups
and others underserved by traditional credit card companies with free
online tools to design and market their own branded cards and pays
groups a one-time fee for every activated card, plus a portion of the
ongoing charge volume. The Company does not seek access to membership
lists. CardPartner affinity credit cards are issued by UMB Financial and
the program is run by former MBNA executives.

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Global Payments’ 4Q/08 Revenue Climbs 30%

Atlanta-based Global Payments reports that revenues for the quarter ending November 30th were up 30%, compared to the year ago quarter. The Company noted that fourth calendar quarter revenues were affected by unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates, but have improved significantly in the current quarter to warrant a more optimistic revenue guidance. For the second fiscal quarter ending November 30th GPN posted revenues of $401.1 million, compared to $405.8 million in the prior quarter and $308.8 million in the year ago quarter.
The recent U.K. acquisition and strong results in its North America segment drove the revenue increase. During the quarter GPN announced an agreement to acquire ZAO United Card Service and Global Payments Asia-Pacific, its JV with HSBC, completed an agreement to expand into the Philippines. GPN also signed nine new U.S. casinos in October and
in November promoted Joseph Hyde to President/International and David Mangum, formerly with CheckFree, to EVP/CFO. The Company updated its annual revenue guidance to be in the range of $1,550 million to $1,580 million, or 22% to 24% over fiscal 2008. For complete details on GPN’s latest performance visit CardData ([www.carddata.com](http://www.carddata.com)). (CF Library
10/02/08; 11/04/08)

GLOBAL PAYMENTS REVENUES
4Q/06: $260.7mm
1Q/07: $260.4mm
2Q/07: $280.1mm
3Q/07: $311.0mm
4Q/07: $308.8mm
1Q/08: $310.6mm
2Q/08: $343.8mm
3Q/08: $405.8mm
4Q/08: $401.1mm
Source: CardData (www.carddata.com)

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TransCard Names a New CFO

Prepaid card provider TransCard has tapped Brad Townsend, previously
with Advanced Interactive Systems, as CFO.
Townsend has twenty years of professional experience in a variety of
strategic
financial and accounting roles and considerable experience related to
Department of
Defense and federal agencies with extensive experience guiding the M&A
process for large and small organizations as both buyer and seller. He
has effectively managed GAAP, SOX compliance and corporate finance
functions on a global basis, and has led efforts in structuring G&A that
support both organic and acquisition expansion for fast-growth
companies. Townsend holds a BBA in Corporate Finance from the
University of Georgia
and an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Emory University. TransCard
handles $1.4 billion in electronic transactions annually. Its products
include pay cards, financial institution stored-value processing, gift
reward cards, fleet services and retail program management.

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Consumer Spending Downward Spiral Continues

An index tracking economic confidence and spending intentions among U.S. consumers has hit another low for the fourth straight month.
The monthly poll shows that consumers will continue to ratchet down plans in January. Over one-third of Americans plan to spend less in January, compared to 22% in November and 24% one-year ago. The Discover “U.S. Spending Monitor” declined to 76.6 in December. Last year at this time, 27% of the country rated the economy as “good” or “excellent” and only 35% said it was “poor.” This year, only 7% give the economy a “good” or “excellent” rating and 65% say it is “poor.” Consumer attitudes about their personal finances have a less volatile deterioration, but are still at record lows. This December, 35% of American adults rate their own financial situation as good or excellent. That’s 4 points off the 39% reported a year ago. Discover also found that 55% of consumers are trimming discretionary and home improvement expenses, and 52% are holding off on major personal purchases.

U.S. Spending Monitor
Dec 07: 90.5
Jan 08: 86.1
Feb 08: 86.4
Mar 08: 85.1
Apr 08: 85.4
May 08: 86.8
Jun 08: 85.9
Jul 08: 85.2
Aug 08: 87.8
Sep 08: 86.5
Oct 08: 80.4
Nov 08: 79.7
Dec 08: 76.6
Source: Discover

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Hypercom Hires a Global Marketing Exec

Hypercom has appointed Stuart Taylor to the position of VP, Global Marketing. Taylor is responsible for all
aspects of the Company’s marketing activities, Hypercom’s Global
Solutions business unit and global strategic relationships. Taylor brings to Hypercom more than 20 years of international
marketing and business development experience in the electronic payment
and ATM industries. For the past four years he has provided
general management, business development, marketing and product strategy
consulting services to a wide range of Fortune 500 companies and payment
and security technology start-ups and has provided payment industry
analysis to many Wall Street investment firms. Taylor served at VeriFone Inc. from 1996 to 2004 in leadership roles
including Vice President and General Manager, Global Marketing;
Director, Emerging Markets and Business Development; and Director,
Product Management and Marketing. Taylor holds a Masters in Business Administration from Herriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Graduate School of Business.

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